Home Depot and UPS are my personal hell

Just sit right back and you’ll hear the tale, the tale of a fateful… well, not trip.  And now the Gilligan’s Island theme song is stuck in my head.  Anyway.

The Manly Workbench

Men men men men, Manly men men men

I’ve been getting my house cleaned, organized, improved, what have you, over the past few months.  One of the things I realized through this process was that my toolbox in the garage was finally reaching the point of overflowing.  After all these years of living on my own, I’d finally collected enough tools to require a better storage mechanism than a simple toolbox.  Can I tell you how much this makes me feel like a man?  I’m not a particularly handy person; I like to say that I’m a software guy, not a hardware guy.  So, with manly pride, I started looking for a workbench to put in the garage.

I found one online that was the right size, had the right features, and was in the price range I was willing to pay — the Husky 54-inch Workbench with Storage.  Look at that bad boy.  Doesn’t it look manly?  Yeah, I thought so too.

I ordered it online from The Home Depot on November 9th, expecting to receive it within about ten days.

Hagerstown, Where Workbenches Go To Die

After two weeks, without any sign of the workbench arriving at my front door, I checked the order status on Home Depot’s website.  “All items shipped”, I was informed.  Maybe it’s still on the delivery truck, then?  I check the UPS tracking number on the order, and I was informed that it had arrived, in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Do I need to mention that I do NOT live in Hagerstown, Maryland?  Hagerstown, Maryland is about 2800 miles due east of my house.

On November 24th, I called Home Depot to ask, “Huh?”  I phrased it only slightly more intelligently than that.

The nice lady who worked for Home Depot customer service apologized for the inconvenience.  Apparently, Hagerstown is the distribution center for Home Depot, and when the item was arrived at UPS’s northern California distribution center, the packaging had been damaged in transit.  UPS returned it to sender.

Mind you, neither Home Depot nor UPS bothered to inform me of this.  I had to call to find out why my item wasn’t delivered to me, whether I was going to be credited for the return, whether I was ever going to see that manly workbench waiting for me on my doorstep.

The nice lady said she would credit my account, and asked if I wanted to re-order the item.  “Sure, I still want it, and I understand that accidents happen in shipping. Go ahead and re-order it for me. Here’s my credit card number again.”

Hagerstown, Redux

A week goes by, including the Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m starting to get a little antsy.  I’d really wanted to spend some time over Thanksgiving weekend assembling the workbench, and now I was heading into the month of December, when I’d be out of town a lot.  There weren’t going to be many opportunities to accept a delivery or spend the time assembling the workbench.

December 2nd, I look online at the order status…… Much to my dismay, the UPS tracking told me that it had AGAIN been shipped to Hagerstown, Maryland!

I called Home Depot again.  The second nice lady who worked for Home Depot customer service apologized for the inconvenience, and told me that for the second time, the item was damaged during shipping and returned to sender by UPS.

Worse, once again there was zero attempt to notify me by either Home Depot or UPS.  If I hadn’t checked the status of the order, I’d have been left twiddling my thumbs for who knows how long, out the money for the workbench, with nothing to show for it.

At this point, I’m pretty much fed up.  I asked her to cancel the order and refund my money.  She asked if I wanted to re-re-order the item.  “No thank you,” I replied, “I still want it, but I’m not dealing with this nonsense any more.”  I was thanked for my business, and told to expect to see the credit back to my credit card in 5-7 business days.

You Won’t Like Jason When He’s Angry

Today, December 8th, I get home from work to find a UPS Return Service Attempt packing slip on my front door.


UPS failed at delivering the workbench TWICE, shipping it back across country after damaging it in transit, and now is telling me to leave it outside for them to pick up?  Are you kidding me?!?

I called Home Depot to complain, and Nice Lady #3 asks for my order number, my shipping address, etc.  And then hangs up on me.


I called Home Depot back immediately, and Nice Lady #4 assures me that:

  1. Home Depot will tell UPS to not bother me again about picking up the item that I don’t have
  2. There’s still another 1-3 business days left before I should expect to see the credit.
  3. The order isn’t showing up as canceled in their system, although the customer service notes on the order indicate that it should have been canceled.
  4. I should call back on Monday, December 13th, if I still have not received the credit back to my credit card.


When I tweeted the above on December 2nd, the @HomeDepot Twitter account contacted me, offering to help, asking if I wanted to try one more time… this time with a 20% discount on the order.  I’m willing to let them try ONE MORE TIME, with the discount, and with some assurance that UPS won’t screw up the delivery again.  To date, that order has not been placed.  I’m not holding my breath that I’ll ever get the workbench that I wanted, and I’m going to go shopping for one that I can pick up or have delivered from a local store — be it Home Depot, Lowe’s, OSH, Sears, or Ace Hardware.

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