Home Depot’s Appliance Departments Dissed by CBS News

Report recommends local independents to shoppers

By Alan Wolf, YSN

A new two-part series on The Home Depot by CBS News advises consumers to avoid the home improvement chain when shopping for major appliances.

According to the account, headlined “What Not to Buy at Home Depot,”  the orange aprons can make shoppers see red when it comes to in-store advice and post-sale support. CBS cited Consumers Reports editor Robert Markovich, who pointed to the limited expertise of Home Depot’s white-goods sales associates and the retailer’s lack of a service function.

“If you care about service, you’re going to want to go to … the local independents,” Markovich said, who service what they sell, provide personalized attention and can better explain the different products and their features.

In its most recent “Appliance Store Buying Guide,” Consumer Reports ranked Home Depot 19th out of 22 appliance retailers, based on a 16,000-subscriber survey that considered pricing, selection, service and in-store atmosphere.

BrandSource member Spencer’s TV & Appliance placed fourth in the rankings, just ahead of the independent dealer channel, while members Famous Tate, Albert Lee Appliance and Grand Appliance outflanked both Home Depot and Lowe’s.

A separate report by House Digest also took Home Depot to task for its draconian return policy, which gives consumers just 48 hours to return or exchange a damaged delivery.