Q: I recently bought new carpet for my house from Home Depot. After only a few weeks, the carpet on the floor started to look really worn out.
I contacted the installation company that worked with Home Depot, which sent a manager to look at the stairs. He agreed that the wear and tear was “excessive.”
I contacted Home Depot. A representative assured me that the carpet was under warranty. But he also said the carpet I had was not suitable for stairs.
I still owe Home Depot $600 for this carpet. At this point, I’d like to remove the carpeting. Shouldn’t Home Depot take responsibility? I’d like the company to either remove the carpet and replace it with something that works for stairs, or refund the money. Can you help me? — Monica Krupinski, Parlin, New Jersey
A: Home Depot should have installed the correct carpet on your stairs. When the company discovered the mistake, it should have removed the carpet and refunded your purchase.
But you also could have asked me about the wisdom of covering a staircase with carpeting. It’s a bad idea. My parents decided to do it, and the results were a disaster. Stairs are heavily trafficked, so they get dirty and trampled on. Plus, we had the added benefit of a cat who decided the stairs were her territory, and marked them. So, they were dirty and smelled bad.
Your problem was compounded by the passage of time. A full five months had gone by between installation and your complaint being filed. The longer you wait, the more of an “out” a company has when you ask for a refund or a do-over. You saw evidence that the carpeting wasn’t going to work out much earlier. I would have advised you to say something sooner rather than later.
You could have climbed the staircase at Home Depot to get this case resolved, starting with the manager in charge of customer service and then following the steps up the company hierarchy, as outlined on the Home Depot executive-contacts page on my consumer-advocacy site: www.elliott.org/company-contacts/home-depot/.
I contacted Home Depot on your behalf. The company claims it already was reviewing your case, which means your initial contact may have worked. Home Depot has refunded your purchase. Next time, go with the hardwood floors.
Christopher Elliott has long helped Star readers with problems that arise when traveling. We are currently testing his new column, “Problem Solved,” in which he tackles a variety of consumer issues. Please send your thoughts about this possible new feature to Home+Life editor Inger Sandal at firstname.lastname@example.org