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Home Depot has a very good marketing department- I will give them that. They have a good "concept idea" of how to get a job done cheaply and quickly while having a huge warehouse to impress the customer. The idea is that they hire out independent contractor's that agree to get a job done with-in a certain amount of days.

Someone will go out to their home and look at the job to be done and make notes on it - not someone who works at H.D., but "for" them.

Next, the notes will be faxed to the person who will actually "do the job", along with a "work order" from a Home Depot employee who went over the notes or "measure", and made out a list of what needed to be done and had the customer pay for it. So at this point the customer is thinking that everything is covered and that all these people work "at" Home Depot. They are told that when the goods all arrive that someone will call them to "schedule" the job. So this next sub-contractor who sends their guys out to do the work(sub-contractors for them), call up the customer with a "work order" from Home Depot and a "measure" from another sub-contractor and set's a date to go out to the job. They then hand over the work order to their sub-contractor and send them off to the job with their goods that have been delivered from Home Depot to their warehouse.(This is if all has gone well and no-one has made any mistakes on the measure creation or work order, or ordering the goods and having them delivered(another sub-contractor). And then the job is done at the appropriate time and the customer is happy.

This is the Concept. It is good in concept, but not in practice. This idea forgets about "human error" and that when people are not communicating with each other because they do not directly work "for" that company that errors will not be caught as easily. Or if errors are caught the sub-contractors get irritated with each other and Home Depot, and it ends up costing Home Depot more in the long run when they have to buy jobs; which they can if you make a big enough stink about it.

All of this information they would hate for the general public to know but if they researched or asked they would find out. Home Depot representatives don't even always know these things. There are only a few people in the store that do, and it is not the salesperson. So if there is a mistake, the customer will find out that all these people do not work together as tightly as they had thought. They each answer to different supervisors at their store/office, and then their supervisors answer to Home Depot in order to keep working for them.

If the sub-contractor is thought to be making too many mistakes or costing Home Depot too much because they are not working well with Home Depot employees then they will end the contract and get someone else. Thus starting a new relationship, and possibly getting them for cheaper, so it sounds good. But this new relationship will have new communication problems of its own, I can assure you.

When you bid with a company you are only getting prices, but you do not know everyone in their company or who they hire out to. This is something you should ask before you pay for your job. And you should call these people and ask for references on jobs they have done, but do not tell them that you are calling because of another company they work for, or they will have to refer you back to them. Then ask them if they have ever worked with this "other company like Home Depot" and what they think of them. This may give you an idea of how professional they will be with your job if you go through the initial company. Also, get their prices if you go directly through them.

I know all this because I have my sources and have worked many a year with a sub-contractor and I know all the ins and outs of working with and for Home Depot.

I have heard all the frustrations of customers and I think the main thing that Home Depot could do to lower their customers unhappiness would be to tell them "up-front" that they hire out to sub-contractors and the people calling them are from different companies, so if they have any problems to call Home Depot directly and let them know what has gone on.

But Home Depot is afraid this information will end up costing them too much. I am telling you it will not.

I should work for Home Depot's marketing and development or advertising department. And I am thinking of applying. But I will not work for Home Depot as an employee setting up jobs because I will be doomed from the moment I start, and I will always have District Managers riding me because customers are upset with the jobs done, or the way business was conducted, etc...When I can not tell these sub-contractors what to do 24-7, like my supervisors think I can. It just doesn't work in practice- trust me.

POST THIS TO AS MANY BLOGS AS POSSIBLE (This is un-edited for the truest content.)

Ronald Wong

I have a print shop in Burbank CA, and was wondering as to how I could become a vendor of printed products for Home Depot .

Cedric  Bumpass

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Cedric Bumpass

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