Menard’s Corporate Policy: Don’t Speak To Customers

Menard's Corporate Policy: Don't Speak To Customers

Dear Menard’s:

Thank you for informing me that you do not talk to customers and that any complaints must be put in writing and mailed to your corporate office. Fortunately, I am the type of person who doesn’t mind writinga second time.

We bought a ProCom wall heater from Menard’s, Chicago. We tried to install it in our garage, but despite our best troubleshooting efforts, it failed to ignite. Buying a faulty heater, especially one that takes time and effort to install, is an inconvenience (but, hey, we know that these things can happen). Therefore, as suggested in the ProCom instructions, we called the manufacture for help. Unfortunately, due to the high holiday call volume, they could not take our call; so we e-mailed, I assume that they couldn’t reply to our e-mail for the same reason.

Our next step was to package up the heater and return it to the store. Repackaging the heater, loading it in the car, and pushing it in a cart through a parking lot laden with snow and slush in the cold was a challenge (I’m sure you understand this as your home office is in Wisconsin). I could detail my conversations at the store but, suffice to say, I felt that someone at the corporate level might be more helpful for our particular issue, which was more than a return. The store could not provide a phone number outside of the store but did give us a customer service survey form to fill out (thank you for sharing).

Google provided a number to your corporate office, which I called and was greeted with a message announcing that Menard’s is dedicated to service and quality (I was hopeful!). The phone was promptly answered by a women in a position of great authorityto tell customers that she cannot, must not, will not  transfer customers to anyone that might be able to help them. With perfected haughtiness, she informed me that I may write to Menard’s and explain my issues and then someone would call me back at their convenience. I asked her about her announced dedication to service. She proudly told me that she worked for Menard’s and was responsible for upholding their policies, and then she started singing

God Bless Menard’s

Hardware that I love. 

From the hammers, to the toilet bowls,

To the plungers, to the sawdust. 

God bless Menard’s,

My sweet hardware store.

(Ok, she didn’t really sing, but she did keep customers from contacting you with the skill of a Jedi.) Frustrated, but determined to resolve our heater problem, I followed her instructions and wrote to you, explaining the problem and proposing a solution. However, I did not receive a reply (nada!).

I called again. A woman answered the phone, and after explaining my issue, including a lack of response to my letter, she informed me (with the same enthusiasm as the first anti-customer service women I had spoken to) that no customer service request would be handled by phone. (Was I speaking to the same women or do you recruit and train multiple anti-customer service employees?) No, she does not have a supervisor; no, she cannot transfer my call; no, she cannot take a message (no, she does not eat nails for breakfast). (Ha, Twitter away, Menard’s does not have a Social Media Department.) She spoke with absolute authority and made it clear that she was trained to provide the worst customer service experience possible. I would like to recommend that she receive a glowing evaluation for her ability to be unwavering in her rude, arrogant, and completely unhelpful customer service approach.

Have you read your reviews on the web regarding your corporate and store anti- customer service policies? It was heartening, in an ironic sort of way, to learn that I am not the only customer to whom you refuse to speak. There are many of us, all wondering if it’s healthy to spend money with a company that refuses to speak to us. After all, the key to a good relationship is communication, and, of course, quality products that work. In my case, your company did not provide either.

Menard’s, you have dedicated yourself to wasting my time and thwarting me with your reprehensible customer service. This letter is written with the intent of warning others of your policies and perhaps catching the eye of someone in your company who really is dedicated to service and quality. (It could happen.)

(And, dear Odd readers, don’t you worry, I will get the heater fixed or replaced. This is just the startI am going to melt some faces.)

Odd Loves Company,


Seth Godin’s Blog Post: Please, go away. You might want to read this one Menards.

* Menard’s – The email address on this corporate page leads to a 404 gnarly dude page. 

20 thoughts on “Menard’s Corporate Policy: Don’t Speak To Customers

  1. Great letter! Thanks for the warning. I will certainly not be buying anything from Menards, and neither will my friends.

  2. GOOD for you, Kb! Keep pressing ’em — you just might have some luck (though it sounds like you’ve already pursued all the avenues most of us would, and then some!)

    I don’t get companies like this. Not in today’s social media climate, when one viral complaint can be so harmful. What are they thinking?? You’ve stated your case well — it’s not like you’re asking something unreasonable. Whatever happened to “the customer’s always right”???

    • Thanks. The funny thing is they don’t seem to care about online complaints -they have a lot stressing the lack of customer service. Their FB page is mostly ads and they don’t respond to twitter. As far as I can tell they distance themselves from their customers as much as they can outside of the store level.
      Hopefully, next week I’ll see some results. I’m very committed to resolving this issue. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. I can’t understand how a company could be so stupid as to not value talking to their customers.
    Hope you get the problem resolved and never spend another dime with them.

    • Never again. Not speaking to customers seems very counter productive to me too. Hoping to have some answers next week.

  4. THANK YOU. I’ve had a similar run in Menards customer service in the fall over a leaf blower. They were the worst and you are exactly right about their corporate unwillingness to speak to you by phone or respond to your letter. I wrote twice. I finally tracked down a higher up manager at the store but it took 2 trips after the initial one to talk to him. I’m done with the store. Home Depot isn’t great but they do have people you can speak with and the one time I had a problem it was resolved quickly and politely.
    Hope the heater problem is solved and more people speak up and complain or stop doing business with them altogether. By the way the CEO is a jack ass too. Read about him if you have a chance.

    • Misery loves company. I’m sorry for your troubles tho. It is so frustrating. I read about John. He’s seems dedicated to satisfying his own needs. . .

  5. Same thing happened to me. Did you know that the irony of all of this is that Menards is a religious based Company (kind of like Chik-Filet). Interesting that the church going management does not follow the credo of “doing the right thing”.
    Just sayin.

    • It figures. John M has/had a number of lawsuits against him for “sexual indiscretions” and enjoys a close relation with the Koch brothers. The farm boy is a long way from his roots. Darn it! We need a helpful hardwear women.

  6. Thanks for the warning about Menards…I don’t think there is a Menards in El Paso but if there is I would never do business with them…no way..Hope you get the problem resolved soon.

    • Thanks. Me too. Home Depot isn’t great but, at least there is someone to talk to when your plumbing fixture cracks and they solve the problem for you eventually . . .

    • Thanks for the encouragement. Maybe I’ll hear something next week. The more I find out about the company the less I like them.

  7. I use to shop at Menards because the employees on the floor were well trained and helpful. But no more. I had a problem with a door that I bought and fixing the problem became a full time job. I talked to the same phone bank at Menards. It was hard to believe a company would allow their telephone operators to alienate customers. I wrote a letter and did not receive a response until I sent it again certified mail. The problem was eventually solved to my satisfaction but I will never step inside a Mernard’s again. Home Depot isn’t great but they do have customer service.

    • Menards employees are helpful on the sales floor. The problem is when you need more help than the store can offer. Good to know you eventually your issues. I hope I do too but I can’t buy from a store that refuses to talk to customers and hires people to make that point abundantly clear.

  8. Mernard’s customer service is the worst that I have ever experienced. If you have a problem they make no effort towards helping you solve it. And you are absolutely right there is no customer service support at the corporate level. I wouldn’t buy a single nail from them.
    Thanks for writing the letter that I should have written.

    • Your welcome. There are lots of “us” out there in internet land. I haven’t found any evidence that they care, tho. I guess we will see if they respond to my 3rd letter or blog post.

  9. I’ve put this store in my Never Again box. I don’t need the aggravation when I have other choices.
    Good luck getting your heater issue resolved.

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