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Home Depot withdraws Support of the Troops June 10, 2008

Many of you know that my husband is deployed back to Iraq for the fourth time. We always laugh that when he leaves, everything breaks….his fix-it mojo exits our little world. As I sit here all the light bulbs in our bathroom have burnt out, the pool motor burnt out, the control panel is fried, the burners on the stove aren’t lighting and we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. So usually, to fix all these things and do more “retail therapy” home renovations projects, it’s off to Home Depot I go.

Over the past four years that we have lived here, and had a Home Depot literally down the road, I have been overwhelmed by their consistent support of the troops. No matter if it was light bulbs, flooring or appliances I knew that I could count on them for a great 10% discount extended to military families. Often stores do specials on Memorial, Veterans Day or the 4th of July when it seems the patriotic thing to do… but Home Depot chose to have that every day…and because of that…out of all the home stores in our area…I chose them.

Until today.

I was informed by the check out associate that as of yesterday, Home Depot has withdrawn their military discount program. So, I informed him that the purchase I was making would be my last with his company. As a corporation they have the right to conduct business however they see fit. As a customer I have the right to stop purchasing there, and to let my readers know about the change of Home Depot’s corporate policy. I confirmed the information with a manager at the store, and also called the Corporate Office for confirmation… I am still waiting for a response.

I am grateful for the years that they have supported military families, and am extremely disappointed that they have decided to stop doing that. It’s not about the discount per-say (although it would have been nice to have when purchasing my new stove) it is also about the feeling I got when they looked at my ID, gave me the discount, and said thanks for serving. Your families sacrifice means a lot to us, and we honor you in the best way we can.

They aren’t doing that anymore.

You can make up your own minds….as I have already done… but I hope that you think about this the next time you have a choice between Home Depot and your local hardware store, ACE, LOWESor Sears….and vote with your dollars. Let them know what you think about it, click here to contact them. Let your friends, family and neighbors know about this, and if you are military how the decision affects you.

I would encourage Home Depot to rethink their newly changed policy and remember that the military customers they have,  are most likely there because they chose to Support ourstill deployed…still sacrificing for our country…still fighting for their right to be in business…still fighting for my right to speak freely….TROOPS.

Home Depot isn’t doing that anymore.

Till the last one is home… Semper Fidelis

 

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13 Responses to “Home Depot withdraws Support of the Troops”

  1. Sparky Says:

    Just bought something today from Home Depot. I asked for the military discount, (we don’t have a big military presence here in Central Florida), and while the cashiers didn’t know if they could, they gave me a 10% discount just because. I’ve heard similar things as what you are reporting about Home Depot from other friends. I know I’m moving my business over to Lowe’s … I’ll spread your story far and wide!

    Sparky

  2. navycs Says:

    I know the ones around Memphis are hit and miss – mostly miss. It also seems to depend on who is there at the time. I have had some people get down right uppity when I ask and give a look like, “How dare you?”

    It is obvious the headquarters has put out no direction on this issue.

  3. Dana Says:

    “Here-Here”, Amie! Thank you for your thoughts and this information.
    Josef and I are always shopping for home improvement things..I’ll definitely take this into consideration when chosing the store we purchase from. I’ll let Home Deopt know too; perhaps they’ll reconsider and re-enstate a good policy of honoring our military and their familes. It’s the least we can do for those making the greatest sacrifice of all. We as a nation should find as many ways to say “thank you” to our faithful, brave military men as we can!
    JOHN 15:13
    “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

    love your friend,
    Dana

  4. Kate Says:

    Hey – if you go to wwwconsumerist.com website, (specifically http://consumerist.com/search/home%20depot/)
    you can find the email addresses of most of the senior executives, including Frank Blake. Send your post to them directly.

    I do know that the the original impetus for the military support program was Bob Nardelli. Say what you like about his management style, or his impact on the company, but the man has strong opinions about supporting the military. Chrysler just made a large donation to the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation (http://www.chryslerllc.com/en/news/article/?lid=chrysler_do_nation&year=2008&month=5) and has joined the Dept. of Defense’s America Supports You initiative.
    Also, they offer special pricing and warranties to military families and have a hiring program for military personnel.

    My guess is that you’ll see more of that from Chrysler, with Nardelli running their company.

    Good luck & I hope your husband is home safely, soon.

  5. Funny how support breaks down after a while but us brother and sisters and our families in arms march on…Aim High and Semper Fi—TFD

  6. John Says:

    Another way to look at Home Depot’s elimination of the military discount program:

    When Home Depot was doing well financial, they were willing to share some of that good fortune with the military families,
    now that Home Depot is not doing very well financial, the military families could help out Home Depot by doing more of there
    shopping with them.

    Maybe even sending Home Depot a “Thank You” for having the military discount and wishing that sometime in the future they
    could reinstate the military discount.

    John

    Home Depot said Thursday it is closing 15 “underperforming” stores and will put off the opening of 50 new stores nationwide.
    The closures will impact 1,300 workers.

  7. Dana Says:

    I agree with John above, we are in an economic crisis with no end in sight and companies do not have the luxury to dole out financial assistance as they onc e were able to. I would agree that instead of turning your back on a company that gave so freely when others did not…they now need YOUR support!

    Consider all the benefits that military families can receive…non-res military fees from DMV, discounts on food and other supplies on base, and probably so much more. As the daughter of a retired LA police officer who served in the line of fire every day…our family never received discounts for anything because of his job. There are many chosen careers that are rarely given a thank you and certainly not an instituted program of discounts….police, fire, teachers!!

  8. writetools Says:

    Thank you to all that have commented so far! I appreciate a good healthy debate. While John and Dana’s comments have merit and truth, in my gut I am still angry. I think this is why. I believe teachers, police, and firefighter ARE hero’s and DO deserve to earn our respect more than say basketball players, singers and actors… (who are not hero’s, stay tuned for a blog on this) I think that anyone who puts their life on the line for another willingly and without thought of consequence deserves that status: we should honor them.

    There is a difference however, for the military. All those others mentioned get to come home to their wives and families. They are not told they have a forced seperation for 6 to 17 months. There wives aren’t left behind (usually with no family around nearby to help them.) They fight for our country when told, and are willing to defend us to the death…their death. While at times police and firemen do as well, it is usually not en mass, on foriegn soil, defending a country who often is too busy to remember they are over there, to jaded to care that they are, or to poliarized politically to recognize they are repeating Vietnam in their sentimants no matter how many hurried caveats (like, we support the troops, just not the war) thrown on. It is this calluosness that I expereince everyday…as a spouse. I can’t imagine how my husband must feel as the one actually with his boots on the ground.

    It is bad form to withdraw a program that was set up to honor the troops and help out their families left behind, while they are still over their fighting fo us. It feels like a slap in the face, and if they are looking to do better economically, then this was the worst time to withdraw it and lose customers over it. Everyone is having problems economically, but that is for other reasons, not because they had a military discount program. Sorry, although I respect my friends Dana and John (and they really are my friends), I have to disagree. Still vote, bad form.

  9. Sarah, Home Depot Communications Says:

    Amie – I work at The Home Depot and would like to clarify that we absolutely continue to honor our military with a 10 percent discount to all active duty personnel, reservists, retired service members, veterans and their immediate families. The discount is offered a few times each year for several days in recognition of Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans’ Day. This is one small way that we say thank you for your outstanding service to our nation. This discount has been in place for several years and some of our stores choose to extend it for a brief period so check with your local store on the exact dates that they offer it.

    As one of the largest employers of veterans, separating active duty service members, National Guard members, reservists and military spouses; support and honor for our men and women in uniform is a very rich and proud part of our Home Depot culture. We equalize pay and benefits for our associates who are deployed to serve our country, and will relocate and offer jobs to military spouses whose families are moved to other areas of the country. We take support for our military very seriously, and look forward to continuing to serve your home improvement needs.

  10. bejewell Says:

    I am on board with write tools about the continuation of the program – while I sympathize with whatever economic trouble Home Depot might be having, it’s irresponsible to discontinue a program that our underpaid military families have come to depend on. But at the same time, is it better to take your business to other stores that have NEVER offered a discount program like this? Do those other stores offer the same kind of program, or have they ever? I don’t know the answer and I don’t know which store would be more deserving of your hard-earned dollars, even if they did. It’s an interesting debate, though.

    Sure do wish you and your family all the best!

  11. writetools Says:

    That is a good point jewell… and adds great input to the debate! Thanks for comment.

  12. Chris Stout Says:

    Amie,

    We use the Home Depot in Murrieta and I purchased several things, several times this last weekend totally utilizing the Military Discount. I’ve been told in the past that, ‘We have it, but we’re not allowed to offer it unless you ask for it.” My wife on the other hand has had a couple of instances where they said they would only offer it to the card carrying service member vice the dependent. She worked her way into it eventually.

    I was in Oak Harbor, Washington over Fathers Day which is the definition of a military town. about 22,000 and 18,000 of them are military or retired, etc. I rolled into the Home Depot to purchase something for my Father-In-Law, asked for my 10% discount and they said, “We’re not offering that this month.” So, maybe it’s a store by store thing. Weird.

    I will be paying close attention to this in the very near future.

  13. Kathy Cooper Says:

    I just went to a Home Depot in SE Pennsylvania and was told that the military discount was being discontinued or modified so that only the actual military member would receive the discount after spending $50 or $100 sometime in December, and then was proceeded to be told that they would not be honoring it on a daily basis ( I had just received it approx 10 days previous). Today is the last day Home Depot will be seeing me as a customer, I will support Lowe’s , Ace Hardware, Sears Hardware or one of my local mom & pop hardware stores.


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