I’m not the type of person who goes around demanding a veteran discount everywhere I go. It’s not a thing for me. I generally feel funny even asking about a possible discount, because I’m fortunate enough not to rely on it. But some veterans do. Some aren’t lucky enough to have an amazing job that allows them not to be concerned with something as small as a military discount. Some must save every penny.
That said… if a place of business advertises it and markets itself as an enterprise that wants to thank veterans for their service by giving them a discount, I would certainly expect them to honor it. I did a little research, and I haven’t seen Home Depot’s corporate policy regarding veterans’ discounts. Guardian of Valor detailed Home Depot’s policy a couple of years ago after some veterans said Home Depot didn’t honor their discounts, so they contacted the company. They received the following reply.
In reference to your e-mail, effective March 2010 we began offering,
when asked, a year round 10% discount, up to a $500 maximum
no registration needed, to all active, reserve, retired or disabled
veterans and their family members with a valid military ID.All other
military veterans will qualify for a 10% discount in your area during
Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans’ Day .
This philosophy is consistent with our long standing price match
guarantee. Please note that The Home Depot will offer a 10% Military
discount up to $500.00 maximum no registration needed.
Eligibility for discount:
1. The discount is only for active, reserve, retired or
disabled veterans and their immediate (mother, father, brother, sister,
child) family members.
2. The discount is only available on in-stock and special
order merchandise and online purchases. To utilize the discount online,
please call the Online Customer Service team at 1-800-430-3376.
3. This discount is not available for Installation Services
or for Deliveries (store and Service Provider).
4. The discount is only available on the day of purchase –
customers cannot get discount on a previous purchase
Customers must have one of the valid IDs listed below for year round discount:
- Active Duty Military ID card with a picture.
- A retired Military ID card with a picture.
- VA Card (Department of Veterans Affairs) – MUST have the
words SERVICE CONNECTED under picture.
- Active Military and Retired Military ID card for
A retired veteran must have qualified and gone through retirement with
the Military. Disabled Veterans should have a Veteran’s Identification
Card (VIC) that is given to them from the Department of Veteran’s
Affairs. The VIC and their Driver’s License should be sufficient
identification to get the everyday Military Discount.
The Home Depot is dedicated to supporting and honoring our men and women
in uniform through our business practices, recruitment efforts and
corporate contributions. We offer this discount to thank them for their
outstanding service to this nation and to help make their homes more
comfortable and safe.
The Home Depot appreciates your business and would like you to continue
to rely on us for your home improvement needs.
OK, fair enough. They are a business, and they certainly should be able to decide to whom they give a discount, if at all. I have no problem with this.
Here’s the deal, though. Let’s say you go to a particular Home Depot for years. Let’s also say you are a veteran who hasn’t retired, but who served his or her country with honor for several years. Let’s say the store kindly gave you a discount every time you have gone there and presented your VA card. And let’s say one day, you come in, and the store tells you that your service was no longer good enough to receive a discount, and that after years of giving you a discount, they’ve decided to follow their policy and deny you the discount you have been receiving all along.
This is exactly what happened to a friend of mine at the Home Depot in West Wichita, Kansas. He writes:
Here’s what I love about America. Freedom to take my business where I want. I’ve been going to Home Depot for years and getting 10% off with my VA military ID card, whenever I remember to mention it. Today, I was told that it wasn’t enough proof that I was a veteran by the cashier. I asked to speak to the manager and he showed me a corporate statement that said only veterans with 20 years or with a service-related disability would be allowed the 10% discount. I said that was unfortunate, since there were tens of thousands of veterans waiting for care at VA. I was doing ok with this whole thing…until the manager said “You can’t just do four years any more and get a discount.” (emphasis mine) I asked him how many years he had served and he said none. So I said “a guy or gal can serve four years active duty, do at least two tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, and that’s not good enough for Home Depot to show their gratitude with 10% off?” Answer? “No.” I said, really gritting my teeth now but keeping my voice calm, that I would never shop at Home Depot again. I would be taking my business anywhere else than Home Depot. He said that was my choice. I said yes, yes it was. It was corporate Home Depot’s choice to narrow who gets a discount at their stores, so my choice will be to make sure they never, ever see a thin dime from me again.
This is not about entitlement, folks. No one is entitled to free stuff at anyone else’s expense, unless they freely choose to give it. This is about more than that.
There are several issues at play here.
1) My friend was happy to just let it be, until the manager, who had apparently never served a day in his life, took it upon himself to disparage my friend’s service.
“Just do four years…” Really, dickhead? Service members have gotten deployed, maimed, and killed in less time than that! Getting blown up or shot takes just a few seconds, and the enemy doesn’t give a damn whether you’re on your first enlistment or fourth!
2) Why is it that someone with four, eight, or even 12 years of service is somehow not good enough for Home Depot to offer a discount?
Did they not sacrifice enough? Were multiple deployments, time away from families, loneliness, and in some cases grief at the loss of a significant other, who just couldn’t take the separation, not enough of a sacrifice?
3) Consistency. If you’re going to honor a veteran’s service for years, then at the very least be polite, honor it this time, but politely inform them that the store has applied the discount policy incorrectly, and that in the future, they will have to pay full price. Certainly don’t have a manager tell them that their service wasn’t good enough!
Common courtesy. Look it up. I’m fairly sure that my friend would have simply thanked the manager and gone on his merry way. Maybe he would have made the decision to return to this Home Depot store, and maybe not. We really are free to make that choice.
But I can guarantee you, that after having his service degraded by this sniveling ass weasel, who admits to never having taken the oath, never have made the sacrifice, let alone ever deployed, my buddy will not be coming back to this Home Depot or any other.
And neither will the many veterans who read this blog.
No one is entitled to a discount. But everyone should receive a modicum of courtesy and not have their military service belittled by a snotty jerk, who barely knows the meaning of customer service.
For future reference, Home Depot, some service members make the military a career. Others leave after a few years for various reasons – everything from family, to medical, to employment. That does not mean their service should be any less appreciated and any less honored.
As for your store manager in West Wichita, Kansas…
You may want to teach him how to not be a dick.