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.
Monetary Loss: $4.