Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Subjective Comparison

We have an older gas barbecue grill that has served us well over the years. But for the Fourth of July this year, I wanted food cooked on a charcoal grill. I know it is more work to light the charcoal, wait for it to get ready and then cook as compared to the gas grill which would light with the push of a button. But the taste is very different. So off we went, all the kids and I, in search of a Weber barbecue grill.

In my town, there are two large hardware stores - Lowes and Home Depot. There are also some smaller stores, but usually their prices are higher. We decided to try Lowes first since it was closer to home.

We arrived in our tank of a van, unloaded wheelchairs and headed to the entrance where grills were on display. Apparently most people want gas because I saw no charcoal grills. We went into the store, and there stood a gentleman who appeared to be directing people to where they needed to go.

I asked where the Weber grills were, and he pointed me to an indoor display of gas grills. I politely said "No, I want a charcoal grill." He said, "I don't think we have any of those", and then he moved on to the next group entering the store.

As you might be able to imagine, as a group my family is hard to ignore. It is also pretty difficult for us to maneuver through a store with 2 wheelchairs and several people in tow. But because the gentleman told us there were no charcoal grills inside, we went back outside to check. Lo and behold, there was a Weber grill, just like we wanted.

We went back in the store, approached the gentleman again, and said, "We saw a Weber grill outside, and the tag said it was in location C29." He said, "Over there" and pointed to his left. We found the grill, in its box, stacked high above our heads. When we asked for help, he said it would be a while.

We left the store and decided to head to Home Depot.

The experience at Home Depot was completely different. This wasn't the first time I had noticed this, but everytime a Home Depot associate walks past you, they say hello and ask if you need help.

We found the exact grill we wanted - same price as Lowe's - got it loaded into a cart and headed to check out. The checkout person was very helpful, and said he could get the bar code without lifting the box. While paying, the associate spoke to Ashley and once we finished and were heading out, he said, "Thanks for shopping with Home Depot, and have a great holiday."

I realize that this was only one outing, and making a comparison between the two stores based on that is probably not fair. It's very subjective, but based on this one visit, you can probably guess where I will shop in the future.


Queenbuv3 said...

We chose a charcoal grill over a gas grill for many reasons. We also just don't grill enough to spend the money on a gas grill.

Glad you were able to find what you were looking for and finally get the help you needed at Home Depot. I live in a really small town so I get really good service almost every store I go to around here unless they are really busy. Do you live in an urban area? Are the stores usually really busy? I know this should matter when it comes to good customer service but it should be consideration. Also, maybe the guy at Lowe's was a bad apple that doesn't reflect the rest of the staff. I love my Lowe's. I go there all the time when the weather is warm for gardening stuff and they are always very helpful.

Carl Anderson said...

One of the founders of Home Depot, Bernie Marcus, funded and founded The Marcus Institute, a nationally recognized center of excellence for the provision of comprehensive services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. He and his wife are among the top charitable donors in the country. More good reasons to shop at Home Depot.