Reader Feedback Requested: Lowe’s and Home Depot

You’ve probably heard the saying that says that unhappy customers tell ten people, but happy customers don’t tell anyone, or at least heard something similar.  I get lots of comments about the Lowe’s and Home Depot military discount and veteran discount policies, and most of them are from customers who are either unhappy with the way the policy is constructed, or unhappy with the way a particular store is interpreting or misinterpreting the policy.

For those of you who are unhappy with the way the policy is constructed, I’m sorry.  No one is forcing these companies to offer a military discount or a veteran discount and they are free to construct the policy in any way that they choose.  They have basically deferred the decision to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans of Affairs (VA):  if you have a military ID or a VA ID that identifies you as a disabled veteran, you are eligible for the everyday military discount.  If you do not meet the DoD qualifications for a military ID, or you do not meet the VA qualifications for an ID that identifies you as a disabled veteran, then you are not eligible for the everyday military discount.  If you are veteran who does not qualify for the everyday military discount, then you are eligible for the veteran’s discount on selected patriotic holiday weekends.

Now, onto my question for you:  If you are eligible for the everyday military discount, by virtue of being a military ID holder or having a VA ID card that identifies you as a disabled veteran, what sort of experiences are you having in these two stores?  Most of the comments that I receive state that customers are having trouble getting the discount.  What sort of things have happened to you when asking for this discount?

I am looking for a well-rounded set of answers here, so please reply with your experiences in the comments regardless of whether they are positive or negative.   I know that I’m opening up a can of worms here, and I’m a little afraid of what I’m going to hear, but it will help all readers know what to expect if they choose to ask for these discounts.  Thanks in advance for your input.

For more information on this topic, you can see these related posts:

Home Depot: Still Giving the Military Discount Year-Round, and the Veteran’s Discount 4 Weekends A Year
Lowe’s Official Answer on Military Discounts
Home Depot Military Discount
Home Depot Military Discount: Official, Updated Information
Lowe’s Military Discount Now Available All Year Long

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Erika

    We have never had a problem at either store, with my husband’s ID or mine (is a spouse ID considered a military ID? I am a new spouse so I am not sure- am I not really entitled to the discount?). In fact, sometimes they don’t even ask to see ID.

    That being said, we live in Hampton Roads where there are a ton of military folks. We are moving soon to an area that has very little military presence- I am curious if we will still have an easy time getting the discount.

    • KateKashman

      Erika, the way the policy is written, you are absolutely eligible. It states that family members of active duty, reserve, and retirees are eligible.

      And yes, that is a military ID. Your active duty husband’s ID is mostly likely referred to as a Common Access Card (CAC, or oddly, CAC Card.) Welcome to the crazy world of the military, where you’re never quite sure that you’ve figured it all out :)

  • Lynne

    I live in a very non-military town…. Ft Benning is 30 miles east of me… literally! The local Home Depot has never given me a problem, and has even gone out of their way to help me if I had an issue.

  • Mike

    I have never had a single problem at either store. The discount is honored graciously and I am thanked for my service without fail. I think the policy to provide a discount for ID card holders and disabled veterans is defensible and fair. They do provide discounts to those who served but dont have an ID card on patriotic holidays. Hooray for them. Stand strong and don’t let any whiners take away your pride in the good you’re doing.

  • Krista

    I’ve never had a problem getting the discount at our local Home Depot. We’re on Hawaii so there’s a large military presence but I’m also a spouse not the active duty member.

  • GEORGE PEREZ

    as of yesterday, the new jersey home depots are telling veterans that they would only give discounts to veterans unless they show a veterans card with a photograph. Veterans cards from veterans do not have photos on them unless you are receiveing care at a Veterans Medical Center. The stores are not accepting copies of dd214 with a drivers license photo id. Even the Veterans post do not have a photo ion them. Philadelphia home depots are accepting the latter but not NJ. Is this something new? Military personnel do have id with picture on them.

    GEORGE PEREZ

  • Judy

    Because I am a widow, I had my repairman shopping with me, the manager wanted to make sure I was making the purchase, not the repairman. He also said they had some people with expired ID’s, which they cannot honor.
    Other than that, I have had no problem at either Lowe’s or Home Depot.

  • Brenda

    My husband retired after 20 years in the Navy. We always got our military discount at both Lowes and Home Depot. No problems. Now that he is retired we both still use our Id to get the military discount and it has never once been an issue. We use it all of the time. It ‘s great!

  • Sarah

    Bah, I just spent $50 at Home Depot…I didn’t even know they had an everyday discount. Bummer! I will try next time.

  • Kim

    CAN SOME ONE TELL ME HOW TO GET A VETERANS CARD MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN OUT OF THE SERVICE FOR 35 YEARS NOW

    • KateKashman

      Kim, your husband will need to contact the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to see if he is eligible for any benefits, such as an ID card.

  • Alan Eldridge

    Harrisonburg Virginia Home Depot store doesn’t honor if manufacturer has discounted the item purchaced. Bali blinds offers 20% off so Home Depot won’t discount, Store mgr states it is corporate policy.

  • Terri D

    My husband retired from the National Guard, and I have a retired dependent’s card. Lowe’s gave me the 10% off just by asking. I did not have to show the card, which is a little odd. We’ve never had a problem, though.

  • Tammy

    Just returned from the Depot. My husband is retired navy with the official ID card and all. Now they have to have a red white and blue card to qualify for a discount. It comes down to does the Home Depot want to help all military or just put on a dog and pony show for the public. We should get the 10% year round not just on the red white and blue holidays. How can you save up for your home improvements like that. When plumbing leaks plumbing leaks.

  • Kathleen

    When we were travelling through AL we stopped at a Home Depot and they wouldn’t give us the discount – only store ever that wouldn’t honor the 10%. We were told it’s because they didn’t have a lot of military in the area. Last year our local HD started using a short form, no personal info other than name and branch of service, with a manager’s approval in order to get the discount. Looks like it varies from store to store and geo location. Both HD and Lowe’s have been terrific to us while on duty or now retired.

  • Emily

    As the wife of a WWII veteran of which 1500 are passing daily, why don’t they get their discount?? He has his honorable discharge card given him by the government as there was no DD215 -per say – issued during WWII
    BUT no one will accept it! We have checked with the Vets adm. in Leesburg
    and have been told they don’t issue discount cards. Any Help?????
    Thanks! Wife of a WWII Vet.

  • Rosemaire

    I live in Clearwater Florida and use my military ID at the local Lowe’s every time I shop. I am a widow of a retired military man and they have never been anything other than polite and prompt about giving me the discount. I did not know that Home Depot offered this discount as well.

  • Robert Scully

    I have written two letters to: Customer Care, 2455 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30330, 04/25/11 and 06/01/11 with negative response to date. The letters addressed the Home Depot Military Retired Discount program. If you could influence a written response, such would be greatly appreciated.

  • Tom Peters

    At the Lowe’s store at Danbury ct I received a difficult time. I had my discharge DD-214 ,but when left the service they took my ID. I had my drivers licence,my retired police officers ID,my pistol permit,all having my picture and I also had my dog tags on a chain around my neck. All having my name date of birth that if compaired to myDD-214 would show the person standing before them was veteran Thomas Peters. I have no trouble at Home Depot all they ask for is proof of being a veteran. So unless things change I will have to go to Home Depot. I don’t think anyone would carry all this information to get $13.00 off the bill.
    Thomas Peters Sr.

  • Brenda

    Just returned from The Home Depot and my husband was told that he could not get the 10% discount unless his card was marked “Service Connected.” He has used it many, many times but today was different! I think it is horrible that you can’t get a discount unless you have been hurt…not all Veterans were hurt or maimed in the war but they were still in there!

  • Greg Caraballo

    I’m retired military and trying to get a job at the home depot here in Puerto Rico. what happened with Home depot giving a job to a military member? Or do I have to return to the US and apply there? Can someone help in this matter?

  • DCRussell ret Chief

    I have had problems with Home Depot honoring my retired blue military ID for the 10% everyday discount. This happened approximately 4 months ago and Home Depot promised to get this “misunderstanding” corrected but then it happened again today and I was denied the coporate policy of the 10% discount. I called HD and they initially said the ID needed to identify a service connected disability and of course I said “BS”. Finally the 1-800-homedepot service desk conceded that retired military with a valid US Uniformed services retirement card did qualify for the everyday 10% discount and they called the local store to straighten this out. The unfortunate part of this tale is that they did this 4 months ago and assured me it would not happen again that management staff would be made well aware of this corporate policy. I have no reason to trust or find credibility in HD’s control of this military policy and suggest that Veteran’s consider another competitor for their Handyman needs. This simply is not right for the card carrying Veteran to be refused a Corporate policy Military discount.

  • flash

    Hi Folks. Sorry for your troubles. In Columbus, Ohio, just say military and you will get the discount, though I always flash my Blue DD2 -retired. Sometimes, I’ve been told that I didn’t need it. And in every buy I get a “thank you for your service’. Lowes here has been cooperative too. There is heavy competition here so I doubt you’ll be challenged like some of the other folks have.

    We also have Menards. I will not shop there as I was not granted any discount there as a veteran.
    flash

  • Colleen

    I have never had a problem at my local HD or Lowes where we have a “big” Navy base. I’ve also used the discount in FL with no base close by and never had a problem there either. I love that these stores do this! I wish more would!

  • J. B. Harold

    Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, and etc. need to establish a standard policy. If Lowes only want to give a Military Discount to Active Service Members, thats fine (actually that would be a great idea if ALL home improvement stores did so). If they only want to give discounts to any veteran on 4th July, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day; that’s fine also. If you don’t want to give a military discount; then don’t. Let people decide where they want to shop and where they can get the best deal and service.

    There needs to be a Standardized Published Policy not being left up to the ‘whims’ of a local store. I am a Vietnam Veteran (not retired) and I have gotten discounts before with a copy of my DD214 and Drivers License but not today (change in policy again?)

    The next time I’m making a major purchase, I’m taking cash and whoever has the best deal get the business!

    P.S. It appears you can get a “Veteran ID Card” by filling out a form along with a picture, a copy of your DD214 and $19.99. This makes an excellent second photo ID – I can play the game but I need to know the rules!

  • Dennis

    My husband was very rudely treated at HD in Humble Tx. They no longer give the discount without picture I.D. He doesn’t use the V.A. hospital nor do we ever buy anything on base. From the looks of these emails, Lowes is going to have a very rewarding 2012. They don’t ask for anything, not even the DD214. I agree that some will pose as Militay vets to get the discount and I hope they rot in H-ll. However, all veterans should not be punished because of the deadbeats. You deadbeats out there. Hope you read this and change your wicked ways. You are depriving the men who fought for YOU of some of their rights. Home Depot, hope you go to the same place. LOOK OUT LOWES. HERE COMES THE CROWD. The Dennis’s

  • Cleve Robertson Sr.

    I was reading the comments, concerning the Veteran’s policy on discounts. I feel that the stores are missing a lot in not providing the veteran’s that have given of their time to serve and fight for the USA. I did not stay in after my 6 years were up, but I did fight during the Vietnam war, saw men die and then be told I just am honored by 4 times a year for a discount, I feel Lowe’s and Home Depot should review their policy. I would still fight for the USA, I come from a family that have given their lives on the battle fields. Thank your for allowing me to tell how I feel, they are probably a lot of former service people, like me.

  • Ron

    Pennsylvania Lowe’s in Latrobe, Greensburg & Indiana USED to honor the red veterans ID card that my wife and I received after we completed our active duty service in the Army. Even though the card had long been expired it WAS honored with no questions asked all year long,…until recently. We were both informed that they no longer give the discount and that the only reason we received it in the past was “because someone wasn’t enforcing the policy”. Well 3 stores gave it to us so it seems that the policy changed and it was not a mistake in the application of the policy. I realize it’s their store and they can establish their policies however they see appropriate. I just don’t like being told we were recognized for our service by mistake. I’m glad to see them honor retirees and disabled vets but insulted that I was discounted by mistake. We served 24/7/365, not 3 holidays a year to defend their rights. No biggie, my local lumber & hardware appreciates the business now. No sense wasting gas to drive to Lowe’s when I have a store right in town.

  • antonio.hedgepeth

    I live in Upper Marlboro Md. Lowes and Home Depot always ask for military ID.
    Home Depot don’t always acknowledge my military ID from the the VA because it say’s indefinite expiration and many of them have never seen it before. They deny me sometimes, so I just go to lowes where I never have a problem.

  • Robert Burgess

    As of 2013 Tallahassee Home Depot discounts now only injured vets. Asked why they changed they said they are now under new management and that was the rule. Lowes now gets all my business because they continue to discount ALL vets. And I have a big ticket item coming up like a new John Deere lawn mower. I am more than glad that Lowes will get my business.
    Also, I am passing it on to all by vet buddies.

  • mike

    yes they give us 10 percent but they take it back if u use a sales tax # I have a sales tax # in my personal name & if I try n use it they take the 10 percent away. they will not give it to u. so really only get 3 percent instead of 10. it doesn’t make any sense because the sales tax doesn’t come out of the stores pocket but the tax does comes out of the vets pocket. what’s up with that

  • tom

    LOWES policy in Utah , a mere 2 miles from Hill AFB is that only active duty and disabled vets are authorized the discount. As of 21 Dec 2013. Turned down/refused to give it at the counter!!!!

  • Jimmy Willis

    Lowe’s military discount policy is listed on their web page at http://www.lowes.com. Just enter “Military Discount” in the search block. The policy applies to ALL Lowe’s store.

    I couldn’t find same on Home Depot’s web site.

  • Madmaxmutt

    Although, it doesn’t appear anywhere on their website, the Home Depot policy has apparently changed again. They no longer use the phone number and I was told this morning that many building materials are no longer part of the discount. They have a little note on the register counter with a lot of non-intuitive product descriptions that do not count for the discount. This is Home Depot’s call. So now the policy appears to be a 10% discount on many products that you will not know until you have completed checkout. I guess this means more trips to Lowes for me.

  • Glenn Pennell

    I am a “second class citizen” veteran because my active duty was in between wars and I am not retired and don’t have any service connected health problems.
    During my active duty I helped get our Country prepared for the next war. Our economy is based on war.