My Cub Cadet is a Lemon!
Here's a letter I recently sent to Home Depot and other interested parties regarding my Cub Cadet Garden Tractor (one of the worst purchases I have ever made):
December 30, 2006
Mr. Frank Blake
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
The Home Depot, Inc.
2455 Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30309-4024
Dear Mr. Blake:
On or about May 13, 2006 I purchased a Cub Cadet Garden Tractor (Series 1500 Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Model GT1554 with a 27HP Kohler Engine) from The Home Depot store in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. I had originally been considering a John Deere model, however, my decision to purchase the Cub Cadet was based on the recommendations and assurances of The Home Depot sales associate assisting me.
Your sales associate explained that the Cub Cadet garden tractor was superior in every way to a comparable John Deere unit. He assured me that if I did encounter any problems, the unit would be repaired onsite, even though my home was located over fifty miles away, in the town of Hana, Hawaii. He then explained that Home Depot was conducting a special promotion between Mothers and FatherÂs Day and that there would be no interest or payments for twelve months. I had him call my husband and reiterate all of this in a telephone conversation before I made the purchase.
Unfortunately, not one of the statements has proven to be true.
The operation of the Cub Cadet has been a nightmare. Before we could even use it, one of the front tires became flat. I pumped air into the tire and searched, to no avail, for a leak. A friend of ours was in town and we asked him to go by The Home Depot and talk to them about the tire. The associate he spoke with said that was not unusual for those tires to go flat and said that we could try a can of "leak stop" or put an inner tube in the tire. When asked if we could purchase a new tire, the associate said they didnÂt keep anything like that in stock and we would have to order it direct from Cub Cadet.
Within sixty days an even worse problem occurred. While mowing, one of the outside cutting blades (there are three blades on the cutting deck) dropped off of the deck. We searched and searched and finally found the nut. After removing the mowing deck to reinstall the dropped blade, we noticed that the middle blade was loose. A further inspection showed that the "star" prongs on the spindle shaft were completely stripped, so that the blade could not be fully locked or tightened to the shaft. My husband called a friend in the lawnmower repair business and he said it was apparent that the blades had not been properly tightened before the unit was delivered to us. We then contacted The Home Depot store about a replacement shaft and were told we would have to contact Cub Cadet directly. My husband went to the Cub Cadet online website and found the needed part. When he tried to order it directly from Cub Cadet, a page came up stating that Cub Cadet did not make online parts sales to Hawaii residents. As a result, we have had to mow our lawn with no middle blade, a process that takes twice as long as it should. Furthermore, about a month ago the unit began to shoot flames from its exhaust and stopped operating altogether. Now it wonÂt even turn over when we try to start it.
Doug Williams, one of The Home Depot managers suggested I call Allied Machinery in Kahului, as they repaired lawn equipment for The Home Depot. I called and left messages, but never received a return call from Allied. I called Mr. Williams again and he gave me a number for Cub Cadet, which I called. A Cub Cadet representative suggested that I call Lear-Maui in Kihei, Hawaii for repair assistance. My husband spoke with a person at Lear-Maui about our problems with the unit and was told that the problems were not warranty-related, that they would not repair anything onsite, and that "The Home Depot tells people anything to make the sale and they have the worst service and warranties in the business." We asked him if he could order the spindle shaft and he stated that it would take weeks to get the part because Cub Cadet was notoriously slow to send out parts and difficult to work with.
I called Mr. Williams again and he had an associate place a call to Allied. I was told that Allied would repair the unit, but I would have to deliver it to their location in Kahului. This, unfortunately, is contrary to what the sales associate originally stated to my husband and me.
Adding insult to injury, in November, I received my monthly bill from The Home Depot with interest posted and a payment due on the Cub Cadet purchase. Apparently, the twelve-months no interest/no payment deal had been entered as six-months no interest/no payment. In a call to The Home Depot Customer Service, I was assured that this would be corrected, however, the December bill shows finance charges of $333.47 and a minimum payment due of $206.00. This is a classic example of "bait and switch" as well as false advertising.
Notwithstanding the credit fiasco, it is apparent at this point that the Cub Cadet unit I was sold is a "lemon." Therefore, I would like to return the garden tractor and the attachments I purchased for a full refund on my Home Depot Credit Card of $3,967.93 with no assessed interest or payments due. I will then consider the purchase of a comparable unit. I would also like to emphasize that Mr. Williams has been the most helpful and considerate Home Depot employee I have spoken with during this entire dilemma. While he hasnÂt been able to correct the problem, he has worked with me in trying to offer some kind of satisfaction.
Over the years, the companies I own, as well as I, personally, have spent thousands of dollars at The Home Depot stores in Hawaii. In the past, when there was a problem, I returned the merchandise and was given a refund or credit with no questions asked. I am hoping that policy is still in effect.
Aaron Gomez, Store Manager
The Home Depot
100 Pakaula Street
Kahului, HI 96732
State of Hawaii, Office of Consumer Protection
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
235 South Beretania Street, Room 801
Honolulu, HI 96813-2419
Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Chairman, CEO and President
444 Highland Drive
Kohler, WI 53044
Curtis E. Moll, Chairman and CEO
MTD Products, Inc
5965 Grafton Rd.
Valley City, OH 44280