(WTNH) — Home improvement retail giant Home Depot is at the center of a growing controversy involving how one of their discounts for veterans is handed out.
The retailer, who posted more than $21 million in profit in 2013, boasts ten percent off for military members and their families.
When 10 year Air Force and Navy veteran Dominick Thomas went to a local Home Depot recently, he was not given the discount.
“I handed them my license, they said they no longer accept that,” said Dominick from his Derby office. “This license proves I’m a veteran. They said they couldn’t do it.”
He had used the discount for years. It was simple: he handed over a Connecticut state ID and Home Depot gave him the discount.
Home Depot decided to stop accepting all state ID’s because of the different confirmation of veteran status.
In Connecticut, the state’s DMV verifies veteran status using federal paperwork. Home Depot asks veterans to either provide a VA card or a DD214, a federal document confirming veteran status.
“The idea that a veteran has to carry around a whole bunch of special documents to prove that he’s a veteran is really unfair,” said Governor Dannel Malloy. “Quite frankly retailers would be smart to bend over backwards to get veterans into their places and take advantage of discounts that are offered.”
The problem is not unique to Connecticut. Groups across the country have voiced the same frustration with the retailers policy.
“To me, it was an insult to the state to say that you’re not competent enough to show that these people are veterans,” said Thomas.
Thomas stops short of saying he’ll never shop at Home Depot again, but says it makes it an easy choice when he’s looking, trying to save money.
“I had a major purchase to make… I called Home Depot… asked have you changed the policy, have you corrected it? The answer was no. I went to Lowes and purchased it.”
A Home Depot corporate spokeswoman said they have had issues with people abusing the veteran discount, so they had to change the policy. They are, however, testing a change to this policy that will change the way they deal with this. No official announcements have been made yet.