Man talking(l+r), The Home Depot sign(c)

Ken Wolter/Shutterstock @tinderluv/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I think you’re singling me out’: Man says Home Depot worker profiled him at self-checkout. But there may be a good reason for it

'The exact reason why I don’t use self checkout…'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Jan 3, 2024   Updated on Jan 3, 2024, 5:07 pm CST

A customer recently went viral when he claimed that a worker profiled him at the self-checkout of a Home Depot in Covina, California.

TikToker TinderLuv43 (@tinderluv) posted the video while walking to his car in the Home Depot parking lot to document what he says is clear discrimination. However, commenters claimed it wasn’t who he was but what he bought that prompted the employee to check his items. The video has been viewed over 74,000 times as of publication.

“So I got another story from the great Home Depot. So again, going through the self-checkout aisle, I have these two bins,” he explained, angling his camera down to show the large bins with lids on a trolley. “And I got some Windex and something else in there.”

“There’s a bunch of people at the self-checkout,” he continued. “None of the Home Depot associates are helping them, but it just so happens when I get to the front and decide to start checking out.”

According to TinderLuv43, a young employee approached him to ask if he needed assistance. He said when he asked why she was only approaching him, the worker explained that “it’s part of our job.” Frustrated with what he believed to be blatant discrimination, the TikToker said he asked to see the manager. Then, when he escalated the issue so the manager would speak to him, he was told that “it’s supposed to be self-assisted checkout.” 

“I say, ‘Well, what am I supposed to think?'” TinderLuv43 narrated. “I think you’re singling me out. I said, ‘I’ve been to plenty of Home Depots and they don’t do this.'”

The manager supposedly told him that assisted checkout is the policy at their location. “I say, ‘Well, you might want to post a sign up like that’ because to me—that’s just me—there was nobody else in the line that looked like me,” the TikToker said. “Everybody was of the fairer skin complexion.”

Frustrated, he concluded with: “Stuff just seems to keep happening to me, man. 2024.”

The Daily Dot reached out to TinderLuv43 via TikTok comments for further information.

Some users sided with TinderLuv43, sympathizing with his dilemma.

“I can’t staaand Home Depot, I just don’t feel good walking around in there. I strongly prefer Lowes,” one said.

“That has happened to me. Just like you. I feel ya,” a second agreed.

@tinderluv Home Depot strikes again! It muat be me or something. When we it stop? #homedepot #covina #2024 #blackorwhite #fyp ♬ original sound – TinderLuv43

Others claimed that bins are routinely checked to ensure that nothing was slipped inside them.

“They always check totes self serve or reg…I just bought 5 in self check and checked all of them,” a viewer said.

“Totes need to be opened… true for everyone I work at one,” another claimed.

“I am white as snow.. It’s not you, it’s what u bought.. happened to me too.. I showed them.. went on about my business,” another said.

Big retailers have faced a wave of theft over the last few years. Shrinkage—a loss of inventory due to employee theft, shoplifting, company error, and damage—accounted for $112 billion in lost revenue in 2022. This is an increase from the $94 billion of losses suffered by retailers in previous years. Internal and external theft reportedly accounted for two-thirds of these losses.

Theft from Home Depot has reportedly been “growing double-digit year over year,” Scott Glen, Home Depot’s VP of asset protection, told ABC News. “More and more we’re seeing the risk being brought into the stores, and people being hurt or people even being killed in many cases because these folks, they just don’t care about the consequence.”

Given the rise in theft, it’s not surprising that Home Depot may take extra steps to make sure customers aren’t leaving with items they didn’t pay for. However, if it’s really a Home Depot policy, it’s unclear why the workers seemingly neglected to inform TinderLuv43 that they needed to check his totes. The Daily Dot contacted Home Depot via email for comment on the video and confirmation of the policy.

In addition to TinderLuv43, several other Home Depot customers have recently criticized the store on TikTok. One customer said the store refused to take back a new Christmas tree because it was already listed as returned—even though she had it with her. Another customer bought an inflatable snowman only to find the box empty when she got home.

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*First Published: Jan 3, 2024, 9:00 pm CST