Out-of-stock order leads local woman on odyssey to recoup more than $1,000 in Home Depot gift cards

Problem Solvers

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — All Rebecca Carow wanted were two new appliances for her home. She never anticipated that she would have to pay for them twice, which is why she called FOX4 Problem Solvers for help.

“It’s been like four months of this fiasco,” said Carow who had ordered a new refrigerator and microwave before moving into her Lee’s Summit home.

Carow ordered both appliances online from Home Depot, a company she trusted and had used multiple times before. This time a customer service agent told her she could save $100 on the order if she opened a Home Depot credit card. So she did.

She put the maximum $500 on the card and the remaining $1,025 on two Home Depot gift cards.

“I look at it now and wish I had never done that,” she said.

Within a week of ordering, Carow realized Home Depot couldn’t guarantee when the out-of-stock appliances would be back in stock and delivered. Concerned the appliances wouldn’t arrive before her move-in date, she canceled the order and bought both items from another store.

Because Carow canceled so quickly, her Home Depot credit card was never charged. But months later, she’s yet to get a refund for the $1,025 she paid in gift cards.

Not that she hasn’t tried. She’s called. She’s written. She even got an email from an Ernesto at Home Depot who wrote: “Our records indicate your gift cards have been used, therefore, we are unable to take any further action.” 

She even complained to her bank. It also complained to Home Depot but was also told the money had been spent.

“I felt dismissed,” Carow said.

But $1,025 is a lot of money to just walk away from. That’s why she called Problem Solvers.

Home Depot has a solid reputation at Problem Solvers for resolving customer disputes. That’s why we were a little surprised by this one.

Problem Solvers called Home Depot’s corporate headquarters, which immediately started researching Carow’s case.

Home Depot discovered that when Carow canceled her order, the $1,025 in gift cards was placed in a reserve account that she could access at a later date. Unfortunately, no one in customer service seemed to know that, neither did the Home Depot employee who spoke with Carow’s bank.

Home Depot acknowledged this was its mistake. Although money on gift cards is typically never refundable in cash, Home Depot made an exception in Carow’s case and sent her a check for the full amount.

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