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stevecaaster

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Here comes a big rant, im so pissed about this so I have to write it down somewhere! just a heads up, dont get mad at me if its not a great read ;-)...

I know a lot of us homebrewers are of the DIY crowd, DIY MLTs, DIY this and that, so we often find our ways to home depot for parts. Until yesterday , I did the same, for more than just HB stuff as well, but I will never shop there again.
last night at about 9 PM I was running around gathering bits for the leap to all grain. Just as I pulled a 20 foot roll of copper tubing off the shelf for my wort chiller some guy appears out of nowhere, BAM! in my face, then asks me what I was building. I told him i was constructing a heat exchanger for cooling liquid. "WHATS THAT FOR?" he points at my bayou classic sq14 burner that I was also picking up. "cooking" I said, now feeling slightly uncomfortable that some guy is in my face just staring at me and my cart. So I try to shrug the man off by checking out the tools used for bending copper tube, but I look over my shoulder and he was standing there staring at me not doing anything. Feeling very uncomfortable at this point, I finally make my way over to the registers, and I look back and notice the guy is 10 feet behind me the whole way! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ABOUT? im saying to myself, as im catching that terrible feeling I felt 20 seconds before I got jumped for my wallet back when I was younger.
Then I realize that he thinks im going to steal the tubing, and that the man was a security guard dressed in street clothes to be "undercover".
when I see him wisper something to the self checkout cashier all my suspisions are confirmed. I turn and tell the guy it was very obnoxious of him that he would stalk me like that, that it scared me, and I will never shop at a Home Depot again because of it. He then denied that he worked for home depot, said he was waiting for someone to pick him up, and started getting very defensive. I WAS PISSED that he wouldnt even admit to being a security guard and also pissed that he then got all definsive with me because I asked what the **** he was doing! I seriously thought either he was some pervert stalker or some thug who is up on the prices of copper who is planning on swiping my copper roll outside the store, or just some sort of sick bastard combination of the two. I swear before I knew what he was and what he was doing, I was gettin ready to wail the guy with something heavy.
Home Depot is definatly getting a bastard of a letter from me, this was entirely unacceptable. I totally agree with security at stores (even undercover shoppers)because there is tons of theft everywhere, but such intrusive undercover security measures should never become as confrontational as this did. I've seen this undercover act before at my previous job at a grocery store, but that guy would never confront a person or clearly follow them up and down isles, and jesus he would be in the camera room until he saw something suspicious, then he would be out on the prowl. This guy sucked at his job. and I feel he was desparate to bag someone that night. anyone else have such experiences at home depot?
 

skou

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Wait, you were on your way to the registers? Yep, perfect way to steal stuff!! You PAY for it, and steal it to your car! What a bleeping thief you are! Imagine, actually PAYING for copper! (Wouldn't pass here in Arizona!)

(Can you detect the sarcasm here?)

Someone in HD asks me what I'm doing, he'd better have an orange vest on, and be willing to help me out, or I'm going OFF on him!

(Oh, just so you know, the #2 crime in Az is stealing copper. Second to stealing identities. {Or, maybe stealing cars.})

steve
 

shafferpilot

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In my younger days, teasing "undercover" security was one of the best games. yep I was one of those little bastards who hung out at the mall. We would go into one of the bigger stores and pull somethin off a shelf and stuff it in a pocket or under a shirt. Then wait till we saw the out-of-place person following. Then made our way up and down isles to find a spot out of the cameras' view to dump the "stolen" merchandise and head for the door. When they grab me, I start raising holy hell, kickin, screamin... the whole 9 yards. Then laughed my ass off when they made me empty my pockets but don't find anything. hilarious. My other trick was to get the "undercovers" on my tail and then approach them. I'll never forget the young woman in a business suit paroozing the tool isle at K-Mart for over 10 minutes. Come on, people; is that woman really shopping for a hammer?? I walked right up to her and asked if I could help her find something (she looked like she'd seen a ghost), if she needed something nailed, if K-Mart truly had a hammer BIG enough to get the job done..... Damn, I was a real $hit-head back then..... ah memories:)
 
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Year ago I was holding an event and my busines partener decided to buy a sho[pping cart worth of candy for resale at Costco. My Mom was woth us doing some shopping as well. We were stalked all though Costco by an ibviosly security dude. Pissed us off. That was $800 in Cany that was purchased. Made us feel like criminals for PAYING for CANDY!

Some of these guys need another job.
 

Bernie Brewer

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In my days as an electrician, I have helped wire just about all of the big box stores at one time or another. I have done Home Despots, Menard's, Lowe's. Wal-Marts. I have dealt with store personnel at set-up time enough to form quite an opinion of them. If they treat the crews like sh!t, then I have an extra disdain for the retailer than I normally would. I will never set foot in a Walmart, Home Despot, Walgreen's, or Lowe's unless I ABSLUTELY can't find what I need anywhere else.
 

Evan!

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cubbies said:
Sounds like you missed a perfectly good opportunity to screw with someone.
What I was thinkin too. Like, ask the undercover guy, in a hushed whisper, "hey, chief, you know how much copper's goin' for on the street these days? I gotta unload some stuff..." :D
 

cd2448

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I reckon the guy thought you were going to build a meth lab. If you'd had a 10-gallon drum of pseudo-ephedrine in the back of your car, he might have seen that and decided to "investigate".
 

fratermus

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stevecaaster said:
but I look over my shoulder and he was standing there staring at me not doing anything. Feeling very uncomfortable at this point, I finally make my way over to the registers, and I look back and notice the guy is 10 feet behind me the whole way! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ABOUT? im saying to myself, as im catching that terrible feeling I felt 20 seconds before I got jumped for my wallet back when I was younger.
Sounds like a nutter to me.

It might also be a reminder to see if your state has a concealed handgun license option. It would be a pity to be shivved in a HD parking lot for a roll of copper.
 

homebrewer_99

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I know hindsight is 20/20, but if it were me and he denied being security I would have pulled the pervert card and make a point to yell loudly for a manager that there's a pervert in the store just to see where the conversation went... ;)
 

shafferpilot

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homebrewer_99 said:
I know hindsight is 20/20, but if it were me and he denied being security I would have pulled the pervert card and make a point to yell loudly for a manager that there's a pervert in the store just to see where the conversation went... ;)
Oh, if I only would have thought of that one when I was young! Sweet!
 

bearymore

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Check out Consumerist.com. They are filled with similar stories and have e-mail addresses for HD executives so that you can do what they call an "executive e-mail carpet bomb". Follow their advice to maximize its effectiveness.
 

Kramman

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i type this sitting in good ole HD although i work in the tool rental(only part time while im in school). traditionally the loss prevention arent alowed to approach you. they cant even follow you once your outside of the store. the LP at my store generally calls the police if he has verified that a person has stolen/concealed product. the precinct is only about 3 min from the store so they usually get here before the suspect can walk outa the store and they confront the person. but concidering some of the people that i work with it doesnt seem too farfetched that something like that would happen. i dont shop at HD either...
 

Hagen

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fratermus said:
Sounds like a nutter to me.

It might also be a reminder to see if your state has a concealed handgun license option. It would be a pity to be shivved in a HD parking lot for a roll of copper.
+1 I carry lawfully anytime I'm not drinking.
 

Philip1993

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shafferpilot said:
In my younger days, teasing "undercover" security was one of the best games. yep I was one of those little bastards who hung out at the mall. We would go into one of the bigger stores and pull somethin off a shelf and stuff it in a pocket or under a shirt.

My other trick was to get the "undercovers" on my tail and then approach them. I'll never forget the young woman in a business suit paroozing the tool isle at K-Mart for over 10 minutes. Come on, people; is that woman really shopping for a hammer?? I walked right up to her and asked if I could help her find something (she looked like she'd seen a ghost)
I still screw with the undercovers (usually by confrontation, sometimes by walking all over the store (end to end) for about 15 minutes. But don't try to screw with them by hiding stuff. In most states, concealment of merchandise is a criminal act and will get you locked up. And even if you have dropped it later, if the video (or the eyewitness) shows concealment you are going to jail.
 

SteveM

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Not to make a mole hill out of a mountain, but it seems like a waste of time and energy to mess with the head of some low paid trade school drop out who has so few options in life that he had to take a job as an undercover guard at Home Depot.
 

431brew

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Steve, I have not had any problems with security personnel there, but share in your frustration with HD. I do not know if I have ever been able to buy anything from them as hard as I have tried. Below are a couple of examples of what I am talking about. Sorry for the length, but hope you see a little humor in the stories.

My wife and I were building a house a couple of years ago, and were our own GC. Keep in mind that the town that I live does not have these stores; we have to drive 50 miles to Dothan where the Home Depot and the Lowes are down the street from each other.

Lowes inventory was low on the faucets that I wanted, but I got what they had and went over to HD to pick up one more. The guy in the department walked up to me and asked could he help me. So I told him what I needed. His response: "I do not know anything about plumbing."
"You do work in this department, right?" I asked.
"Yes, but I really do not know anything about this stuff."
I didn't have time to train him, so we left and had Lowes order the other faucet for us.

We needed a front door, went to Lowes, went to HD in Dothan again, comparing prices. Walked into HD and there wasn't anyone in the door department. Waited for awhile, but never saw a person in the door department. We left.

A week later, we were on vacation in Panama City, saw a HD there, so went in to buy a door (HD had the best price). Walked to the door department, and there was not a single person there. Stood around a few minutes, still no one. A man came by on a forklift and asked could he help me. I told him I would like to buy THS door and pointed to it. He said that he couldn't help me because he was loading lumber (but he was inside and asking me if he could help me...never got that. I guess he was wanting to answer a question instead of actually help me.)

So I asked him if he could get someone to come sell this door to me since he was busy. He said that he would try, but everybody was loading lumber. He could have helped me with the door in the 5 minutes that he told me that he couldn't help me. All I needed was a hand getting on the cart. It pissed me off.

Remember, we were on vacation and I didn't know where Lowes was, and we happened to drive by this HD. So I walked up the Customer Service counter and the lady behind the counter asked, "Can I help you?"

"Yes, can you tell me how to get to Lowes?" I asked. And she did, and we bought a door.

If the local folks do not have it, I go to Lowes. I have never had any luck with the people, let alone the prices, in HD.
 

McKBrew

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It's hit or miss for me at Home Depot, sometimes I get the person who is willing to go out of their way to help me, other times I just wander around the store until I find it myself. Service at Lowes is almost always better.

As for the undercover security guards, I must be the worst observer of people because I honestly didn't know that these people existed. I've seen the uniformed loss prevention people before, but never ones posing as regular people.

One time years ago I did have a Kmart employee ask me to unzip a duffel bag I was purchasing and to keep it open while I shopped.
 

Silviakitty

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McKBrew said:
As for the undercover security guards, I must be the worst observer of people because I honestly didn't know that these people existed. I've seen the uniformed loss prevention people before, but never ones posing as regular people.

One time years ago I did have a Kmart employee ask me to unzip a duffel bag I was purchasing and to keep it open while I shopped.
Most department-type stores have 'em. Never knew HD did.

As for the duffel bag incident: I've worked in retail for a lot of years, and that's horrible. Now, when you purchased the duffel bag, it's standard to 'gut' it (get all of the paper out and make sure nothing's been stuffed in there; even if it's not the customer in question, kids will play)...but asking you to unzip it while you shopped? Nuh-uh. Worst security ever.
 

missing link

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In my area, HD is always cheaper than Lowe's. I find HD has a better selection, better prices but a messy unorganized store. In my opinion HD is for Pro's and Lowe's is for the DIY crowd. Obviously other stores could be different. I have never found anything at Lowe's that HD didn't have for less. It was just harder to find.

Linc
 

DeadYetiBrew

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That's ok, wanna know something?

Home Depots policy on loss prevention is "let it go" meaning once you're outside they store they really won't go after you. Someone that worked at Home Depot told me about a guy that came in, swiped 3 weed eaters then came back in and swiped 3 more and they were told to let him go.
 

AFAJ Brew Guy

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Yeah whats funny about that is, I worked at the HD about 5 years ago. At the time HD had a policy that they would do cash returns on anything under $250 without a receipt. We had one guy who would come in once or twice a week and lift around $200 in merchandise. Walk out the store, sit in his car for a few minutes, and then bring the item back unopened to returns and collect the cash. The store managers response, "Yeah I know what he is doing, but there is nothing I can do about, my hands are tied."
 
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