During the last month, I have been to more hardware stores then any other shopping destinations and I have to say service at hardware stores in Toronto sucks. Here is in order from the worst to the best:
Rona (Warden and Eglinton) - I needed to get 3 items in 3 different departments at Rona, after wondering the aisles for 30 minutes and not finding what I needed, I decided to try to get help. I found the first person available they said "I don't work that department let me page someone." Thirty minutes later I had help. I then asked that person about something in the next department they gave me the same answer and again 30 minutes later I had help; needless to say the same thing happend for the 3rd item I needed. 3 hours later I was at the checkout with a screaming baby in arms that was just about as fed up as I was. If it would not be for the fact that we had about $400 in gift certificates at Rona I would not have entered the store again for the duration of the project.
Home Depot (Gerrard Square) - This is our close large hardware store we end up going here for almost everthing just because it is only a few minutes drive away. The service is hit and miss everyone is always nice but you can't trust what they say more then once we have been mislead on how to use a product. Like the guy who said the concrete board should face label-side out when the labels were randomly placed on smooth and rough sides, and, in fact, the orientation depends on whether or not you're using mortar or adhesive on top.
Home Hardware (Gerrard and Coxwell) - Amazing bunch of guys that work here, they are very knowlegeble and friendly however the store is very small so you can not always get what you want.
Lowes (Warden and Eglinton) - I hate saying this but I am impressed with Lowes, the staff knows what they are talking about, you get service fast, the staff is extra nice. The store is huge so they pretty much always have what we need. I hope this lasts, our Lowes is pretty new.
And that is that on hardware stores. Basically, Rona has lost my business except for when we have gift cards there (I say this because you can cash in Air Miles for Rona gift cards); Home Depot could probably treat us like crap and we would go back just because they are convenient; Home Hardware is my first stop for little things; Lowes has definitely won me over and if I need to price compare I will make the trip.