On Sunday, I installed a new faucet in my kitchen. The old one had been leaking.
Last week, I went to Home Depot and found the perfect faucet. $100. Not too bad. American Standard trumpets their lifetime warranty. Powerful sales tactic when your previous one just failed. Very nice packaging.
On Sunday (after two trips to the hardware store), I installed the faucet. The cold water didn't work. Just a trickle. Lots of hot water. I disassembled the faucet and looked at the cartridge. No visible problems.
Like most big vendors in big box stores they had a flyer in the box. "Do not return this item". The tremendous negotiating power of Home Depot and similar means the manufacturer eats return costs, shipping, etc. $30-40 down the tubes. Call <b>us</b> if you have any problems. The first key that they were not serious was that they had no hours on Saturday or Sunday which is when amateurs fix their houses. So I waited until Monday morning. I spoke to a nice gentleman who wanted me to disassemble the faucet which I had already done. I insisted on a new cartridge. 7-10 business days.
Now 7-10 business days was fine when my outdoor fireplace was missing a few bolts. It could be assembled regardless, just not as sturdy. This is my kitchen faucet. No water for cooking (at least not hot water -- I had reversed the hoses since only cold water is better than a scalding). No washing hands or hand washing dishes. For two weeks.
I told the gentleman I would be returning the faucet to Home Depot. Which I did. Their feeble attempt at customer service "call us first" only served to annoy me. They should have offered to fedex the part next day or simply told me to return the product. Either would preserve the relationship.
Instead, they polluted their brand and won points for Home Depot, since they come off as the defender of the consumer.
Note: I returned a bathroom fan purchased 10 months ago to Home Depot last month. Never got around to the project. The cashier was quizzical, but I was more than happy to get store credit.