I shop at the Home Depot. A lot. And, as I do with absolutely every purchase possible, I used to always pay with my American Express Centurion Card (Membership Rewards points + hassle-free purchase protection). And, every time, as I’m sure Home Depot’s company policies dictate, the cashier would ask “Would you like to save 10% by applying for a Home Depot Credit Card?” I said “no” every time, until the day that the cashier added “plus you can save 10% on trash bags, light bulbs, batteries, air filters…” Whoa, whoa, whoa. She just said “light bulbs.” Let me explain why that got me excited.
My house is… larger than average. It would be rude for me to say exactly how much larger, but let’s just say it consumes a lot of light bulbs. In fact, the primary reason I go to Home Depot is to buy light bulbs. And on this particular visit, I was buying a few thousand dollars of light bulbs, because I was going eco-friendly (LED and Compact Flourescent) for the master bath and many of my exterior lights. So you can see why I got a little excited at the thought of getting a 10% for light bulb purchases now and in the future. So I got the card, and the discount.
For months, every time I needed bulbs (when an interior Halogen bulb burned out, I would replace it with an LED one), I would buy them at the Home Depot with my Home Depot Credit Card and enjoy the discount. And so today, when I went to the Home Depot in Covington to pick up half-a-dozen-or-so new EcoSmart LED bulbs for my front porch, I was surprised when my receipt spat out and displayed no discount. I mentioned it to the JJ (who coincidentally is the same JJ who helped me pick out a new washer and dryer combo back in 2009), who politely apologized and got someone from Customer Service to come over and sort it out. After three separate Customer Service people came over and tried to figure it out, one of them called somewhere, who told them to tell me that they “don’t do that discount any more.” To say I was angry would be going too far, but I admit I was disappointed. They hadn’t informed me when I got the card that the discount was temporary, they hadn’t sent me an email or notified me in my credit card statement that the discount would be ending, and the discount was the only reason I owned the card. I actually considered asking JJ to cancel the purchase so that I could re-purchase everything on my Amex, but he’d been so polite and apologetic that I decided not to… which turned out to be a mistake, because when I installed one of the $30 EcoSmart 14W LED BR30 bulbs on my porch today using a 20 foot extension pole, the plastic lens on the bulb popped off – so now I have one of the bulbs showing a grid of individual LEDs, and I’m going to have to rent a scissor lift (there’s no way I’m going up that high on a ladder!) to remove the bulb and replace it. Had I paid with my Amex, a 30 second phone call would have had the money refunded to my account and they’d have told me to toss the bulb in the trash. The hassle of having to stuff the bulb back in the box, find the receipt, and hope I get time to drive back to Home Depot before the return period is over (which I always seem to miss) is exactly why I always say “no” whenever a store offers me their credit card. I should have known better than to stray from my Amex.
Google located this page for me, which does clearly state “through May 25, 2011” (although I swear I’ve received the discount since then). So it’s not exactly like I can demand that Home Depot honor the discount. Although, they probably should remove the video from their website of the dude walking around Home Depot, unbelievably happy that he’s “buying the things [he] uses every single day, and saving and seeing the discounts right on [his] sales receipt!” Yeah, buddy. I used to walk around Home Depot that happy, too. But not today. And not any more. Sniff…
So while I can’t demand that they honor the discount, they can’t demand that I use their credit card, either. That’s something I did only because it was mutually beneficial. And with that benefit gone, there’s simply no need for me to keep the card. That’s why I’m cancelling my Home Depot Credit Card today.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see a man about a scissor lift.