10.13.2009

As If I Needed Something ELSE On My Plate

On Saturday, my husband decided to tackle the massive brush pile in our backyard. It's been there for two years. Definitely time to go. He rented a wood chipper from Home Depot, and bought the additional insurance (good boy). He was supposed to get instructions for the chipper, but Home Depot didn't have a copy. The rental clerk helped bring the chipper out to the truck, where he watched my husband hook it to the truck hitch to tow it home.

On the way home, my husband was going thirty miles an hour, max. He's fairly experienced in towing things, and knows better than to go flying down the freeway with something in tow.

About halfway home, he felt a pull and an impact on the side of his truck. He looked in the rear view and saw the chipper DRAGGING behind the truck.

He pulled over into a nearby parking lot where he discovered one of the wheels on which the chipper was riding was completely destroyed. After further inspection, he discovered that he had driven over a plate in the road and the chipper had failed to clear the plate (which was raised about three inches off the road surface).

By some stroke of luck, a man came up to him in the lot he'd pulled into and said he had a forklift in back. The very kind gentleman used the forklift to place the chipper into the back of the truck.

My husband drove back to Home Depot, thinking all would be fine as HE'D PURCHASED THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE.

Upon arriving at Home Depot, he learned the insurance was COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.

At this point, they tried to force my husband to take the chipper home, as they had quickly deemed it a complete loss. He refused to take it. Why would we want a destroyed chipper?

Before he left, he was told THREE times they would not charge our check card, but instead would wait until we could contact our insurance company.

He came home, visibly shaken up (Seriously, it was a miracle no one was behind him. This would be a very different story). He called the after hours insurance line who took the information and promised a call back on Monday.

Unfortunately, our auto insurance will not cover the damaged chipper. Maybe, our homeowners will. But only with a $500 deductible.

Monday, I felt the urge to check our bank account online. I felt something was wrong. Boy, was it. Home Depot had gone ahead and put a hold on our account for $1900. What? WHAT?

I called Home Depot and asked for the manager in charge. After several phone calls, she basically told me that the insurance only covered damage while under 'normal use'.

To which I asked "Is the chipper MEANT to be towed?"

"Yes."

"So wouldn't TOWING it to the site where it will be utilized part of NORMAL USE."

"No."

"So were we supposed to rent the equipment, and then bring all our scrap wood down to your parking lot and chip it there?"

(No reply)

I will give her this -she reversed the charges off our card. But, they're still sending us to collections.

In the meantime, I'm building my case. It's pretty strong. I've talked to an attorney, I've talked to my insurance adjuster. They both agree we are not at fault.

The Home Depot additional insurance contract reads that we should be covered.

They are choosing to interpret it in a way that absolutely makes no sense. At all. And, in doing so, are acting in bad faith.

Which leads me to ask - what in the world is the insurance policy for if not to protect the consumer? We are insured from all angles. And NO ONE wants to pay.

It's astounding that we take all the proper precautions and are still getting the short end of the stick.

It truly blows my mind that a huge corporation, to whom $2000 is a drop in the bucket, would sell a customer insurance, only to pick and choose what they will cover.

Like I told the manager yesterday, THAT IS OUR MORTGAGE MONEY. We are not irresponsible people. We didn't even ask Home Depot to pay for the damage to our truck.

So come on Home Depot. Step up. Do the RIGHT thing.

I don't feel like fighting right now, but believe me, I will. I'm not a fan of being taken advantage of.

8 comments:

*Lissa* said...

Fuck Home Depot. I hope they do the right thing.

XOXO

Kristin @ The Krumwiede 6 said...

I agree with Lissa!!!

Melissa said...

Oh, I'm so sorry Heather. That's the last thing you need to deal with. I know you won't let them get away with this. Write letters, contact the BBB, the Attorney Generals Office, everyone you can. I know it's time that you'd rather spend doing something else, but what they're doing is wrong. Good luck and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Sigh.

Sarah said...

Well what an eye opener! Seriously what is the insurance for?!! I would have thought for sure you were covered!! What a headache!!

~Mendie~ said...

OMG...I would have lost it! Can't believe they are fighting it.

PS...love the way you had to back them into a corner to understand how the chipper was intended to be used off of their property. Classic!

girlsintow said...

More evidence that you should move closer to home near us - at least up here you could have burned the brush pile.

Home Depot is definitely going to regret this.

the story of my life... said...

with your emotional distress settlement you can move "home"...chin up!

Andrea said...

oh no no no. this is not right.