We just took delivery of an outdoor patio set which we love except for one little part came defective.  The seat frame (“Part C”) came split as shown in the photo.  As I’m a DIYer, I would typically try to repair something like this, however, since it is A) an expensive item B) a product that will be used outdoors and in weather  C) the wood is split and shattered… the repair I make wouldn’t last.  So I went with getting the product replaced.   I thought it would be any easy replacement item and called up and told them I needed either a whole new seat, or if possible, just the replacement part – “Part C”.  The customer service agent told me he could get me a replacement part and said he sent the request for the new part onto the vendor.

The issue is that the replacement part could take up to 3 weeks to get AND no one can guarantee that the part will even arrive in 3 weeks as it depended on this unknown vendor (apparently it’s a tightly held secret as to who the vendor is… even Thomasville said the same thing and they are the ones with their name on the product!).   The customer service agent has no way of getting a hold of the vendor directly besides through “email”.  The boxes say the set is made in Vietnam so does that mean the vendor is located there too?  Do they only have one-way email?  Who knows?   I said fine and he placed the order and that was that.   I thought about it last night and realized that a few weeks will bring us into the prime of summer and since no firm date was given, it was not sitting right with me.  Heck, it could take months to get the replacement for all I know.   So I called up Home Depot again today and asked them if there was any status or if they could find out the status.  They checked and said the “email is still in the process of being uploaded into the system”.   How can that be?    Are they running on 300 baud modems and sending terrabytes worth of data each day to warrant an email still in the process of being uploaded to the system?   When I send an email, it is sent instantaneously.   That got me a bit fired up… so I told the lady at Home Depot that if it takes two days to get an email sent what are the chances that the replacement part will come sooner than 3 weeks?  She couldn’t give an answer.   The only option to get a firm date (5-7 days) for a replacement part was to reorder a complete 7-piece set!  That’s right!   I had to reorder 267lbs of goods, trucked from who knows where to get a part that weighs only 1lb.  Then, when the whole new set arrives, in four boxes, I need to pull out the piece I need from one box, call up the trucking company and have them take it all back again.  Efficient!  

I tried everything to get Home Depot / Thomasville to just either give me a firm date for the replacement part, just ship a single chair, or two chairs as two chairs come per box.   However, “due to inventory”, they cannot ship just one item if it comes in a set.  They can’t even hold all the packages at the warehouse except for the one I need (two chairs).  Nope.  It makes more sense for Home Depot to eat all shipping costs, to and from (since this set is only available online in our area) than it is to break up a set, ship a chair or two and then wait for the return of the damaged chair to arrive to make their set whole again.   Did I already say, I’d just be happy with a firm date on the replacement part — but NO ONE could give that?  This is a perfect example of how reckless our businesses are run in the US.   Sad.   If I were a Home Depot Share Holder I’d be quite upset over these types of business practices.  This “Eco-Friendly” set which uses FSC-certified Eucalyptus wood frames has now turned into one of the most un-eco friendly ones.

I really don’t know what my options are besides going the most unpractical, inefficient, ungreen way.  What would you guys do in this situation?

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