Paycheck Chronicles

Lowes and Home Depot Revisited

Still confused about Lowes' and Home Depot's military and veteran's discount policies?  I'll restate the policies again here for anyone who managed to miss all the previous debate.  However, for the most part, the policies aren't being properly interpreted by the individual stores so your results may vary.

Both stores have basically the same policies, and offer two different, but related, discounts.

  • The military discount is supposed to be for active duty military,current reservists, National Guard members, retirees, disabled veterans and their families.  It gives a 10% discount to eligible patrons every day.
  • The veterans' discount is for any and all veterans.   It gives a 10% discount to eligible patrons on selected patriotic holiday weekends such as Independence Day, Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.
A lot of confusion seems to come from the fact that these are two separate discount groups within the same general program.  Also, many stores have generously been offering the military discount to people who are actually only eligible for the veterans' discount.  As a result, many customers don't know which discount is which and there is a lot of misunderstanding.

In the last few years, both Lowes and Home Depot have been asking their stores to be careful about only giving the discount to the properly eligible shoppers.  Unfortunately, they've done a really poor job of training their store staff in the policy.  Also, there are so many types of valid and invalid military and veterans' identification that it is a huge job to keep all the store staff up-to-date on the variations.  The result is that many ineligible patrons are still getting discounts, and many eligible customers are being denied a discount.  It isn't a great situation but it is what it is.  Throw in some frustrated or confused store staff and lots of people are unhappy.

Please, please, please remember that these discounts are a courtesy being extended by these stores.  They are certainly not a right, nor are they guaranteed.  I understand it is frustrating if you truly meet the criteria but are denied a discount, or if you've been getting a discount for years and are now told that you are not eligible.  However, making a huge scene is not going to improve this situation.  With as much bad publicity has come from offering these voluntary discounts, I'm quite surprised that the stores continue to offer the discounts.  If you are sure you understand the offered discount, and you are eligible, and you are denied, please make sure that your complaint is polite and appropriate.  If you don't understand the discount, or you aren't actually eligible, please don't make a huge scene.  It makes us all look bad and it makes it harder for the stores to want to help veterans and military folks.

Here are the policies:

Lowes

From the original press release, Lowes offers:
"an all day, every day 10 percent discount to all military personnel who are active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members, with a valid, government-issued military ID card.

All other military veterans will receive the discount on the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day weekends."

Home Depot

Per my communication with the Home Depot's customer care department,
“We offer a 10 percent discount, up to a $500 maximum, to all active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members with a valid military ID. 

All other military veterans qualify for a 10 percent discount during Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Independence Day."

If you want to read more:

Military and Veterans Discounts and Identification, August 2011

Reader Feedback Requested: Lowe’s and Home Depot, June 2011

Home Depot: Still Giving the Military Discount Year-Round, and the Veteran’s Discount 4 Weekends A Year, May 2011

Home Depot Military Discount: Official, Updated Information, August 2010

Home Depot Military Discount, August 2010

Lowe’s Official Answer on Military Discounts, July 2010

Lowe’s Military Discount Now Available All Year Long, February 2010

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