This is the letter I wrote to Menards
I have recently had a number of very bad experiences at your new Washington Il. Menards location. First let me say that I have been shopping at Menards for many years. I don't know if that counts for anything though and I will explain why I say that in a moment but first let me get to the point.
After the Menards was opened in Washington Illinois, I began shopping there because it was closer to my home than the Menards in Peoria. It soon became apparent that I was shopping at the WRONG place. The first problem I had was when I asked one of the teenage kids working in building products where the joint compound was. He didn’t know what joint compound was. When I explained what it was used for he didn’t know what drywall was. OK, well, I wandered the store for another thirty minutes and found it myself. Second issue. I bought $1600 worth of laminate flooring and the teenage girl working in flooring knew nothing about the product, installation, or anything actually. She was very rude and just tried her best to spin me and up-sell me on product she knew nothing about. She went out of her way to explain to me that she was an expert in laminate flooring and I was wrong for wanting what I wanted. I finally left the store without purchasing anything and went back when she wasn’t there and purchased exactly what I wanted, installed it, and am very pleased with the purchase. I was however, very unpleased with the insults and strong arm sales tactics I endured trying to buy it.
Third problem, I recently ordered a countertop from Menards from Countertops, Inc. When I came in to order the countertop I went to the computer kiosk for designing the countertop layout and put in almost all of the right measurements, end caps, etc. when a girl named Tonya approached me from behind and reached around me and touched the screen to end what I was doing thereby canceling all of the measurements I had just spent 15 minutes entering. She said ”Hi I am Tonya and if you want to order a countertop I will enter it all for you over here at my computer.” I said, well I was just about finished entering the measurements here. She lied and told me “well, you can’t order a countertop from there, that’s just a place to get a rough idea of your cost but it will be wrong. If you want to order a countertop it has to be entered here at my computer.” OK, fine, I just bit my tongue and went ahead and had her reenter everything and print me out an order.
Now, when I get to the cash register to pay for the countertop, along with an entire cart full of stuff, the stores card system was down and they wouldn’t take any of my credit cards and I didn’t have a check book with me SO, I wound up spending almost three hours shopping, being strong armed and insulted, and walked out of the store with nothing.
Next, I returned to Menards about a week or so later, fully prepared with a checkbook and CASH in my pocket. I went to the countertop design kiosk and entered all of my measurements, and then I had a question about the sink cutout, endcaps, and backsplash, so I found an employee who actually works in appliances I think named Matt. He was actually very helpful, but didn’t know much about countertops but he didn’t work in that department so I could understand that. Matt went to the same computer that Tonya had used before and brought up my measurements that I entered, imagine that. We checked the sink cutout size, and then discussed the end caps. I explained to him that the end of one section of the countertop would be connecting to an island and that the backsplash needed to extend the distance and be capped. He said, “well of course they wouldn’t leave it unfinished.”
Three weeks later the countertop finally comes in. I went and picked it up all wrapped in cardboard. I left it in the back of my van. I then ripped out all of my old cabinets and countertop. Installed my new cabinets (I purchased somewhere else, not because of the price or quality, but because of the level of service). Then, I went out to my van to get the countertop out. I opened the cardboard and not only was the countertop cut wrong, it was busted along one edge. The end that was supposed to connect to the island had the backsplash cut at a 45% angle and was unfinished. So, the next morning I called Menards and guess who I get on the phone, Tonya. Great! I explained the problem to her and she informed me that they don’t cut countertops like I wanted and that I didn’t know what I was doing. So I asked to speak to the manager and was informed that she was the manager. What! So Menards has resorted to hiring teenage girls who no nothing about construction and making them managers. Needless to say I was appalled. However, my concern was to resolve the issue so I asked if I could speak to the store manager. At this point Tonya informed me that she was the only person that could help me and refused to transfer me to anyone else. So I said well I will just come in then and ask for the store manager at the front desk, which I did.
When I arrived I was greeted by a manager named Gene who had Tonya in tow. I introduced myself and extended my hand to shake his hand as I always do when I am speaking to someone about business. At first he refused to shake my hand and was very rude right off the bat. He began the conversation by telling me that they don’t cut countertops the way I wanted it cut. I tried to explain that I have never seen the end of a backsplash cut off at a 45% angle and not finished on a piece that connects to an island. After telling me I was wrong and didn’t know what I was doing, he explained that I should have ordered separate backsplash and glued it on myself. Well, OK if that’s the only way you guys do it can we reorder the entire countertop with separate backsplash? He said sure if I want to pay for a whole new countertop. Well, OK then I asked what are my other options? He explained to me that the only option was for them to re-order the countertop exactly as it was, since it was damaged. He then rudely told me to put it on a cart and bring it into the store. At this point I got upset. I have been insulted repeatedly, told I was wrong, told that I didn’t know what I was doing, and now to add insult to injury I am TOLD to go get the countertop and wheel it across the parking lot into the front door. So, I said “Look Gene, you should have one of your employees come out and get it.” He then turned to his employee Chris and said “ go with this guy to get this countertop and let me know if he gives you any trouble. Actually I will just escort you to make sure you don’t abuse my employee.” WHAT!?!. So I said “Wait a minute, this has gone far enough. Why would you say something like that to me unless you are just trying to aggravate the situation? “ I said, “Look now you have insulted me, and offended me when all I am trying to do is get this issue resolved. At this point I can’t see any reason for me to ever shop here again if this is what you call customer service.” He laughed as we walked out to the parking lot together. When we got to my van he said “Oh yeah by the way don’t ever call here again and make one of my employees cry.” I said “excuse me? Are you threatening me? Who do you think you are to say something like that to me? Plus, I didn’t say anything to her that should have made her cry. She was probably just over-dramatizing because she was worried she would get in trouble.” To which he responded “Oh yeah that’s right your not ever gonna shop here again right? (chuckle giggle laugh)” And here is where I say that it seems that Menards doesn’t care about it’s customers because I said “Probably not at this point.” To which he replied, half under his breath but loud enough for me to hear him. “They always say that and they always come back, I have seen it a million times.” REALLY? Wow, so he is admitting that he has seen a MILLION unhappy customers? Sad!
Well, needless to say, he called me about twenty minutes after I left the store and tried to accuse me of damaging the piece myself. I explained that the countertop was busted when I picked it up and he finally reluctantly agreed to replace it. When I asked how long it would be he said ”Oh same as before, a couple or three weeks.” OK, so now, in three weeks I am going to have a countertop that I cannot use and I will have to try to sell to someone else. I will need to re-order a new countertop from Lowes (they WILL cut it right and not insult me doing it). And I am out $500 while your store manager laughs. But you know what hurts me the most. I have two little girls, one is only 2 years old and the other is 5. I now have to figure out what I am going to do for 2 or 3 weeks to provide them with a kitchen. I have no countertop, so I can’t put the sink in, so I can’t hook up the dishwasher. So, for 2 or 3 weeks I have to figure out how I and my wife are going to cook and clean without countertops or a sink. This has been one of the worst experiences I have ever had purchasing anything from a home building supply company.
After doing some research on the internet, (which I wish I had of done before placing the order), I find that the Internet is inundated with complaints about Menards customer service. Seriously, just go to Google and type in Menards and the first page will be more complaints than anything else, especially complaints about ordering countertops. It seems to me that Menards would not want that sort of reputation, considering when you call Menards the first recording you hear says, “Thanks for calling Menards where service and quality are number one.”
I am writing this letter in an attempt to resolve a customer service issue. What I believe would be appropriate at this point is to either refund my money so I can purchase another countertop somewhere else, cut the countertop correctly, or reorder the entire countertop with a separate backsplash. I am not unreasonable nor am I nieve or ignorant about ordering and installing countertops. I have ordered and installed countertops for over 25 years and have never had such a bad experience. Therefore, I do not believe my request is unreasonable.