When Home Depot Ruins Your Car

Once upon a time, Home Depot ruined my sister-in-law’s car.

So my sister-in-law Molly has this gorgeous home, which she regularly changes up with new paint colors and accessories. She easily could’ve been an interior designer, because everything is unique yet somehow blends perfectly into her overall design scheme. It’s masterful. She’s an experienced painter, knows what she’s doing, and has bought paint many times.

Not too long ago, she decided her house was almost exactly how she wanted it. All she had left was one room- her bathroom. All she needed to do was paint the walls with her chosen color, Chocolate Froth. She went by Home Depot to buy the paint, and planned on finishing her project that day. She was excited to have her whole house exactly how she wanted it.

Molly went to Home Depot, and they mixed the paint. They handed it to her, just as they always had when she had previously purchased paint there. She checked out and headed home.

She wasn’t quite a mile down the road when she reached into her passenger seat to get something, and her hand came back wet. It was paint. Chocolate Froth paint, to be exact.

She pulled over, and discovered the paint can had tipped. It hadn’t fallen over, she hadn’t slammed on her breaks, she was just driving normally and it had leaned to one side.  Had it been shut properly, what happened next would be inconsequential. But it hadn’t been closed properly. So when the paint can tipped, paint leaked out of it. All over her seat. All over her belongings in the seat. Through the seat foam, and onto the floor and vinyl of her car. Because it got on her hand, it also got on her clothes.

  

She turned around and went right back to Home Depot, where the manager was extremely apologetic and had several staff members take rags and wipe up as much as they could. They filled a trash bag with paint soaked rags. Then they had her fill out a claim for their insurance, assuring her it would be taken care of.

 

Fast forward several weeks. Corporate has been giving her the run around. The person she contacted about cleaning it said cleaning won’t remove it all, and recommended reupholstering the seat and replacing the carpet (which is only $50 more than the cleaning fee). Home Depot corporate refused, saying they would pay for the cleaning of the seat but nothing else. Her car will have significantly decreased in value if this isn’t resolved, all because the person at the paint counter didn’t properly close the lid with a mallet like they’re supposed to. Corporate’s reasoning? She should’ve bagged it.

Let’s pause on that. Home Depot doesn’t allow you to bag your own items. When you check out, the cashier bags your items. So if their theory for not paying is that the paint should’ve been bagged, it’s still their fault. It’s a moot point- either way, they’re responsible for making sure you can get your supplies home without destroying your car.

 

My hope is that by sharing Molly’s story, and Home Depot’s reaction, we can get Home Depot to step up and make this right. The local store was wonderful- they tried to help her in the moment and in the long term, and now it’s out of their hands. Corporate should be as responsible as their store, and fix it properly once and for all. They need to take responsibility; their employee should have properly closed the paint can lid with a rubber mallet so that even if tipped over, it would’t spill.

If Home Depot does do the right thing, I’ll update this post. I’m also posting a Twitter thread you can follow to see how they’ll handle it. I hope they’ll fix this #HomeDepotFail and right this retail injustice.

In the meantime, I recommend heading to Lowe’s for your paint needs.

**UPDATE!**
After this post, Home Depot did step up and do the right thing! They’ve paid for the damages and the new person to contact Molly was much nicer than all the previous people she’d been dealing with. Thank you for your support!

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