The Lawnmower Saga (in which my fragile emotional state gets the better of me at Home Depot)

Well, Ken has a new play toy.

lawnmower

However, getting this playtoy home was a process. Let me share the story.

We ordered this lawnmower from Home Depot SEVERAL weeks ago and were pleased with the deal we got: we used a 10% off Lowe’s moving coupon and paid with gift cards that we purchased on Raise.com at a 10% discount (or more!), so we got about 20% off. Nothing to sneeze at for a purchase this large. Still: foreshadowing.

After we nervously clicked the “order” button, we began to eagerly tracking the shipment, getting our hopes up only to be let down again and again. Home Depot=heartbreaker. At one point, the mower was in Cincinnati, scheduled for delivery that day, but by the evening, the tracking info showed that the mower was in Lexington, Kentucky. Which is the opposite of Grand Rapids.

So we kept waiting, but strangely enough after the Lexington incident, the tracking info didn’t update at all. Ken and I planned to wait until the day after the scheduled date range we’d initially been give (you know, “your mower will arrive between April X and May X”) and then call the Home Deep to see what was up.

But the morning we were going to call them, Kenny got a call from the shipping company: they’d “mis-delivered” our lawnmower. ACK!?! What does that mean? They said they needed to contact the mower manufacturer to see what they wanted to do.

At this point, we were getting pretty uptight about the state of our lawn (and by “we”, I mean “Anne”. Ken was cool as a cucumber). We were those neighbors, the ones with the unkempt yard–not exactly the impression we wanted to give as the new kids on the block.

So, while the shipping company was calling Husqvarna (why the manufacturer was involved–I’m not really certain), Ken called Home Depot’s customer care line and they found a solution: our local store had two in stock, so they would set one aside for us, refund the money from our first lawnmower purchase, and we would go to our local store and re-buy our lawnmower. “Great,” Ken said.

However, attorney Ken was hard at work, so the job of going to Home Depot to re-buy the lawnmower fell to Anne (who had also been hard at work, so… huh).

So I trotted down to the store over my lunch hour, explained the situation, and the manager began helping me. The only wrinkle? THOSE GIFT CARDS. You see, when Home Depot (the online store) processes a return that has been paid with giftcards, they refund the money onto a physical gift card that gets dropped in the mail…to arrive at our house in a week or so. BUMMER. So the manager had to call a bunch of people to cancel the gift card and get them to email us the gift card so we could use it to re-buy our lawnmower that day.

Except that the emailed gift card would take anywhere from 10 minutes to 4 hours to arrive in our inbox. BUMMER AGAIN. All of this had taken A Very Very Long Time, so at that point, I’d been in Home Depot at the customer service desk for about an hour and had wandered the store for another half hour. And when I heard that the gift card would be a while and that the mower delivery from the store would occur in 1-3 days IF we could get the mower purchased that day, I HAD A COMPLETE AND UTTER BREAKDOWN. There were tears. Those poor employees (mostly male, whatevs) did NOT know what to do with me and it was all very embarrassing as you can imagine. But as I headed out, I got a super nice hug from a caring (female) cashier who proceeded to offer me 1) water, 2), diet coke, and 3) a candy bar, all of which I turned down. WHY did I do that? I still regret it. I want that candy bar.

So I left and ran to Meijer for some dinner ingredients.

Thankfully, the gift card arrived in our inbox within about 20 minutes, so I dutifully headed back to Home Depot to get everything figured out. This was my version of “getting back on the horse” and riding again–red-rimmed eyes and everything.

This time I dealt with a different employee who had been briefed on the situation (and probably cautioned about the hysterical woman with the missing lawnmower). He had another employee wheel up the mower they’d tagged for us…and once they wheeled it out in front of me, I knew it wasn’t the one we’d ordered. GAH. Thank goodness I realized this before I re-purchased it… So they wheeled it all the way back, switched the seats (?), and another half-hour later, wheeled out the mower we’d wanted in the first place, all while VERY CAREFULLY tiptoeing around my fragile emotional state.

I checked out, and they knocked $100 off the price for the hassle, so we ended up getting our $1200 lawnmower for $989 (plus another 10% off because we used discounted gift cards). And did I mention that Ken got a $50 Home Depot gift card from the online customer service team? While I was thrilled about all that and very thankful, the 1-3 day delivery schedule was still not okay. I think they must have seen my wild eyes and recalled my earlier “episode” because they definitely took pity on me.

They ended up loading the mower onto one of those trucks you can rent from Home Depot by the hour and getting two random employees to FOLLOW ME HOME. It was weird. But at that point, I’d been at Home Depot almost the whole afternoon (minus a 10-minute trip to the grocery store) so I was DONE.

The rest of the story is without incident. Ken mowed the lawn that night (YAYYY!). The funny thing is, we never figured out where our original lawnmower actually was. We heard a few different rumors/theories: that the shipping company lost it entirely, they’d delivered it to a neighbor (doubtful–we saw no sign of it), and that they’d delivered it to someone who had USED it so they couldn’t give it to us. Who knows?

I guess for me, lawnmower purchases are highly charged emotional situations for me. Gah. Anyone else have any hardware store breakdown stories? I cannot be the only one, right??

3 Comments

  • Holy crap, what an ordeal! I am glad you (finally) got your lawn mowed but sheesh! That reminds of the first (and last) time I ordered from Home Depot online. I ordered $50 of protective gear and they accidentally sent me a 100 lb. commercial mailing scale (?!?!?!?) which I pregnantly hauled into our house in the rain only to discover that the box as big as me did not contain the gloves and mask I had ordered.

  • Oh man. I haven’t cried in a hardware store, but I probably would in that scenario. I love that they drove the lawn mower home immediately. At least your tears went to good use :)

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