Home Depot: No Mo’

I used to go to Lowe’s and Home Depot about the same number of times. I recently switched completely and became a Home Depot only guy because, since I moved, they are closer to my house and they installed self check out, which absolutely rules at a home improvement store. But, despite convenience and proximity, my dollars will now go to Lowe’s only:

Dustin Chester is job hunting this week, after The Home Depot fired him and the general manager for thwarting a thief from running away with a pocket full of stolen cash.

Last week, the 24-year-old department manager confronted a man who was standing by a soda machine in front of the Murfreesboro store off Old Fort Parkway holding a crowbar and a wad of cash. When the suspect started running, Chester said his instincts took over.

He was fired Monday for violations of company policy in the incident.

“When he ran, I ran after him,” he said. Chester caught the thief and restrained him in the parking lot until police arrived.

Chester was shocked to find out that for managers and most employees, catching and detaining thieves is against company policy.


The Home Depot said its policy, which directs workers to notify loss prevention specialists or police to handle criminal situations, is in place to protect its employees and customers.

“The associates involved were not following company policy, resulting in this disciplinary action,” said Don Harrison, spokesman for the Atlanta-based company. “Safety is a primary focus for our company.”

Doing the right thing should also be a primary focus.

11 Responses to “Home Depot: No Mo’”

  1. _Jon says:

    HD began circling the bowl when their previous CEO (now in charge of Chrysler) put profit as #1. He didn’t like paying a good wage to people with experience, so he got rid of them and put in kids who could point and stock shelves, little more. His “marketing angle” was “catering to contractors”. Basically, he cut costs. Profits are up, stock is down. That means that long term – they are in trouble.
    He also reduced the number of active cashiers (having them split with cart-retrieving work and restocking returns). The result is the average time in store increased, even though more of that was standing in line. But again, he spun those as positives. The net result has been less-than-improved customer satisfaction surveys. Hence Lowes eating their lunch.

    And no, I’m not going to provide the doc’s that I culled this information from. I’m sure it will get posted somewhere, eventually.

  2. […] ALSO: Say Uncle Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

  3. […] I’d be revisiting Say Uncle later on today? Well, it’s later. Unc (Thanks, Unc!) says he’ll not be back to the Home Depot because: Dustin Chester is job hunting this week, after The Home Depot fired him and the general manager […]

  4. rich says:

    Home Depot’s policy is if the thief makes it out the door, let him go and call the cops. A former cashier for HD told me about seeing 3000watt generators, portable air compressors, hand tools, and light fixtures go right out the door.

    Hard to make a profit that way.

    By the wa, I don’t shop at Home Depot for a much better reason. The sponsor Tony Stewart in the Nextel Cup.

  5. Lyle says:

    Each company has the right to set their own policy of course, but it will determine who works there and who doesn’t. Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, they’re trying not to be. We also have the right to shop elsewhere.

    Criminals (the less retarded ones) will figure out where they have the best chances of success. By advertizing their policy thus, in the long run HD will become known as the better place to rob, hence, there may be more of a chance of meating up with criminals while shopping at HD, just as in WA DC and in Chicago, San Fran, etc. where they have laws against self defense.

    May as well put a sign on the door– “Criminals: We will not stop you. Have at us, and have a nice day.”

  6. Barry says:

    …so you’re punishing all the employees of that particular Home Depot store, not to mention all the employees of all the other Home Depot stores, for the actions of one manager and the likely misapplication of a company policy.

    Although in reality your protest will do no more to affect their jobs than the company’s bottom line as a whole, please realize that the principle you are standing for can hurt innocent workers as much as it does the guilty management.

    That’s true for every “boycott”.

  7. SayUncle says:

    That’s true for every “boycott”.

    Thems the breaks. But, Lowe’s will hire them now.

  8. straightarrow says:

    Barry, if Home Depot loses business, somebody else gets it. The displaced employees can then go to work for the better management team.

    I have a Lowe’s and a Home Depot about 35 miles away almost next to each other. I have shopped both, no more. I will create job opportunities now at Lowe’s. Get it, yet?

  9. AMCer says:

    Hell, I quit shopping at Home Depot years ago when I became obvious to me that they were an illegal supporter.


  10. I can’t imagine those employees didn’t know it was company policy. Almost every chain or franchise place, it is. Having a “no chase” policy in place is pure protection for the company. They certainly can’t say, “Go get ’em.” “Your call.” is an open invitation to a lawsuit.

    So, I fully under Home Despot’s position, though that’s not to say I agree with it. But it was the law of the land for those two people and so HD is well within their rights. Would you want impulsive and rules-ignorant people making calls about your behavior? Not me.

    Here in Memphis, BTW, I’ve quit shopping at Lowe’s. Their stores are strangely and severely understocked. They don’t stock basic washers or screws but have specialty ones. They don’t carry some big-name brands. A buddy of mine went into one in the center city to buy an A/C. They didn’t have any. As in NOT ONE. In August. They said they might get 9 in on Friday, but it was first come, first served, when they arrived. The other Lowe’s was in the same boat, according to the service desk. My buddy got home and called the one in Germantown, they had 300 — that’s 300 in stock and ready to sell. Forget them.

  11. Have you checked to see if Lowe’s has the exact same “don’t get sued, by ether the criminal person, or the injured employee” policy? I’ve heard that the average worker’s compensation claim costs the company $10,000 each (although that may be lies and statistics) Far more than what’s in a vending machine.

    Heh, what if Home Despot had a “gotta punch out before chasing criminals” policy? Would that be OK?

    And do you remember when you were picking banks an BB&T?