Chicago, Illinois
5.1K views 21 comments

Last weekend I was at the Menards store on Clyborn Ave in the lincoln park area of Chicago and requested to have a Key copied.Apparently they discontinued the manual key cutting machine and replaced it with an "automatic" vending machine.

I asked a middle age employee named Bob in the lock area regarding the new machine. He told me you either deposit the exact amount of cash into the slot or insert a credit card and the key is cut automatically. I then noticed a sign stating receipts are either e mailed or texted to your phone. I asked how do i get a printed receipt for the purchase and he said its not an option.

I then asked what if they key does not work and he says you call the phone number and they handle the situation. I stated it sounds like menards is basically trying to pass the buck if keys don't work to the vendor and cut back on employees labor at the store. He then proceeded to continue stocking shelves instead of continuing to provide customer service. I asked then how do I go about getting change for the machine if I want 2 key cut at $2 a piece and don't have 4 $1.00 bills on me since the machine does not give change and was advised to go to the front desk.

I approached the cashier for change for the key machine and she says sorry sir we don't give taxi or meter parking without a purchase. I said I need it for your key machine that does not provide change. She then rings a bell and waits for a supervisor to come over to authorize exchanging a $5.00 bill for singles. The manager gives me some goofy look asking why i need change without a purchase and yet again explain for the *** key machine.

She says why don't you use a credit card and I say as a customer of your business I desire to pay with cash if I have your authorization to do so. She exchanges the money slamming the singles on the counter without even counting them out to me and she walks away. I then return to the key machine and go though the 5 step process for each key to be cut. Guess what the garage key was cut on the completely wrong blank and the 2nd key for the house was cut 1/16" out of alignment compared to the original key.

I returned to Bob to explain my concern and frustration over this "easy to use" machine, and he insisted both key were perfectly fine even though even Stevie Wonder could see the blank was wrong for one key and improper alignment for the 2nd key. I returned home and neither key worked as I suspected. A couple days later i returned to menards to inquire about getting keys recut or refund. I explained I had keys cut and neither one worked.

The return desk clerk replies in an firm angry tone "do you have a receipt" to which I reply "your new key machine doesn't print receipts" using the same tone of voice she did. I tell her the only option is to have the receipt e mailed or texted and not printed which i felt was extremely unprofessional of the company. I attempted to show her the text message "receipt" and she says its against company policy for store employees to have any form of contact with a customers cell phone. Another employee comes over and explains the store can not recut the keys or reimburse me I need to contact a 1-800 phone number to be reimbursed.

Then he says "its only $4.00 anyways whats the big deal" I reply if $4.00 was randomly taken out of your paycheck or wallet would you care? And also told him what about the other customers who had defective keys made to which i got no reply. I then tell him so far I spent over an hour f@arting around with your store trying to get 2 keys cut neither of which work and your advice is for me to call a phone number? The employee walks away and proceeds to the organize the end of an Aisle display.

As a proceed to leave the store a cashier asked if I found what i was looking for I replied it appears your store no longer stocks "customer service".

I then call the toll free number and connected to some overseas person who barley speaks english and give him my information to have a $4.00 check mailed to me which has not arrived yet.Menards needs to quit trying to minimize customer service by getting rid of these piece of junk key machines and bring back the manual key cutting machines which the employees can recut if needed.

Review about: Key Machine.

Review #513058 is a subjective opinion of a user.

Reason of Review / Monetary Loss Not specified / $4
Preferred solution Not specified

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Toledo, Ohio, United States #1318693
Exact story for me but nicer clerk . Happened at Lowes in toledo. Key blank was incorrect so their key would not even go in the lock. 100 percent guarantee? they make getting your money back extremely inconvenient
Berea, Ohio, United States #1267586
I'm a realtor and I absolutely prefer to use these machines as I have Never got a bad one!
It's a machine and it was new (looking at your posting date) It probably needed some bugs worked out.
I'd hate to see what happens when something "really" bad happens around you. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near you
Louisville, Kentucky, United States #1257273
Talk more about the quality of the key. And less about how much you like to complain.
You are an ***
I love those machines. I have lots of keys made for rental properties & never have had a challenge.
To me its much quicker way to get it done.
Oh how I miss Menard's here in AZ. Thank god I still go to WI enough!
ba hah just shop at home depot or if you need money email me or i now a guy in hodd whipo can do it.
stop crying the receipt and print it at aint a big deal......grown men whining....SMH
Omaha, Nebraska, United States #1045010
I have used the Menard machine a couple times. It worked just fine.
Ticked Off
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #1029935
Had a similar experience with the MinuteKey machine at Menards in St. Paul, MN. I asked an employee if he thought the machine could make my key. He said to "give it a try". I asked if Menards would give me a refund if it didn't work. He said they would if I gave them the receipt (which has to be emailed or texted to you). What happened next was insane. First, I accidentally asked for two keys instead of one. Before pressing the "start" button (or whatever it was called), I asked the employee how I could go back a page, or cancel? (Like editing your cart when shopping on line). While talking to the employee, the screen offering a receipt by email or text came and went--without any input from me. Apparently it times-out after a bit and assumes you don't want a receipt and starts making the key anyway. "Fine" I said "probably better to get two keys anyway." When they were done, it was obvious that the blank the machine chose wasn't even close to the original. The employee then told me to call the 800 number on the machine. I said "you're kidding, right?" "We don't have anything to do with the machines and can't give you a refund". "Seriously?!" I said. "You helped me do this!" I asked for a manager and was referred to the millwork manager. He actually seemed delighted to tell me that they wouldn't give me a refund and I needed to call MinuteKey's customer service. What about being "Dedicated to Service and Quality"? He then pointed to the Coke machine and said "we don't... Show more
Following directions is something taught in elementary school. If you can't put on big boy pants and use self service machines you should probably get your keys cut where someone can hold your hand the whole time so we don't have to read your wah-wah.

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