While I have had my share of complaints with the lack of service not given at the Home Depot on Reisterstown Rd in Baltimore, MD; I take offense to being followed and watched by an in store female security officer.
After returning an item for a cash refund, I walked around the Home Depot store shopping for several items. I was watched and followed by a female security officer. The store had just open. For my personal safety, I had no purse and my money was in my pocket. I had no shopping cart because I was only planning to grabbed a few items as I shopped the isles.
Being aware of being watched, I would deliberately walk into an isle just to see if security would appear. She did appear! When we would have eye contact, she would look down at the floor as if to be looking for something. There were just two customers in the store at the time, and there was only one cashier working at a register. When I paid for my items the security person was not in the area. As I walked to an exist, I saw her walking away from the area of the manager on duty. She walked in front of me and kept looking back at me walking behind her. The manager on duty walked behind me. The manager looked at me as I stopped near the door but not existing the store. There was a security person standing outside looking through the glass door at me as to be waiting for me to come outside. I did not immediately exist so to avoid an embarrassing moment of being treated like a shoplifter when I existed the store.
I called the corporate office for Home Depot to complaint. I spoke with a Customer Service Representative (CSR). She documented my complaint. I was then told that complaints of harassment are taken in writing. The CSR offered to file an official harassment complaint or have it filed by the store manager. I chose to speak with the store manager. The CSR stated that she was going to send the store manager a message. When I contacted Paul, Store Manager, an began explaining the incident he abruptly said, “security is not one of my employees, I have nothing to do with them”. I explained that I thought he should know what took place because he is responsible for what happens in his store. “I will report the incident and the actions of the security officer to the security company. Security are only suppose to stand at the door and check receipts”, said Paul. Paul never asked for the description of the security officer he was reporting. I volunteered a brief description. Paul never offered an apology, gift card, discount, or the like. No complaint was taken. Paul was defensive in that he said "the security offer did not work for me”. I now wonder if Paul called the security company.
Store managers and their employees should be cognizant of stereotyping their customers. Not every customer that looks like they might steal is a theft. Prejudging can be an embarrassment to the customer and the store. It might even bring liability concern to the company. This home supply store is not a depot of customer service.