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Staples Refusing To Sell To Customers Who Won't Buy Their Service Plan!
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NEW JERSEY -- I had an appalling experience in not one but TWO different Staples stores yesterday, and I feel I have no choice but to formally notify you of this matter, as it has made it impossible for me to EVER shop in a Staples store again. I also will be asking my friends, family, and corporate associates to switch to one of your many competitors as well.

Staples featured an Acer laptop advertised in the Sunday newspaper insert yesterday (3/8) for $449. Now. Clearly, this was a very low price on a laptop. This laptop typically retails for the price of $599 at Staples. Upon reading this early Sunday morning, I drove over to the nearest Staples store, which was store 0019 in Milltown, NJ. I was in the store just after the store opened (the store opens at 10:00am, and I was there no later than 10:05).

Upon my arrival, I found an associate who informed me that the laptops were in stock. However, before he would get me one, he proceeded to try to sell me his "protection plan". Now, for a number of reasons, including my own knowledge of computers as well as ready access to free computer repair services, I declined this. The sales associate indicated that it was OK, and then walked away to, I assumed, get my computer. He returned with the store's general manager who again proceeded to aggressively push the protection plan onto me. He was EXTREMELY rude, implying that I was "cheap" and for not adding the plan. He walked away when I finally maintained I did not want it. Then, I heard him call the sales associate over and told him something. Moments later, the sales associate informed me that the laptop was not in stock after all. Just to summarize the timeline...it was available...I declined the approximately $150 protection plan would have boosted the price of the laptop to the regular sale price...then suddenly it was unavailable. They also refused to contact any other Staples stores to help me find out whether it was available elsewhere.

I then went home and called a 2nd Staples store, this one in East Brunswick (store number 1755). I asked the gentleman who I was transferred to in Electronics if the Acer laptop was in stock. He checked and came back to say they were in stock. I told him I live less than 10 minutes away and could be please hold one for me as I was on my way. He indicated that he could not hold a sale item, but that the store had multiple laptops and they should definitely be there when I arrived. So I immediately left...I arrived exactly 8 minutes later at the location. I walked in and found the exact person who I had spoken to 8 minutes earlier. The store was virtually empty. I asked him if I just spoke to him about the Acer laptop and he confirmed that he was the person. I asked him if they were indeed in stock, and he indicated that they were. I then asked if he could please go get one, because I definitely wanted one.

And then, before he goes back to get one, he asks me if I want the service plan.

I suppose I should have lied and said yes and then said no when I had the laptop in my possession, but I did what I thought was the right thing, because I could not imagine that this guy would try to pull this same scam only minutes after implying there was plenty of stock of this item. I responded, "No thanks...I went over this all at the last store, I know what it covers, and I am not interested."

He said "fine" and walked away. 2-3 minutes later...he walks back and, just like the last store, the inventory suddenly has vanished. I angrily confronted him regarding our conversation and, half smirking (obviously knowing that what he was saying had no truth to it), he implied that all of them had been sold in the last 8 minutes. Mind you, when I arrived, the store was nearly empty and no one was checking out buying any laptops.

I was and remain STUNNED at the lack of customer service that is being displayed in both of these stores. For all I know, this type of "bait and switch" is being done at Staples stores across the state and across the country, and as a freelance journalist, I believe that it is a story that merits more investigation. You cannot make it a standard practice to deny people products because they will not pad your profit margin with questionable (and supposedly completely optional) service plans.

I cannot believe that, in this economy, Staples would so readily shun previously loyal customers (I had shopped your stores for years, as its roots, I believe, are in New England, where I am originally from). Our dollars are limited, and there are MANY other places to go for the same items that Staples sells at similar, or lower, prices. To that end, following the service I received at this second Staples store, I walked right next door to the Best Buy, paid only slightly more, got a vastly superior laptop, and was treated with the respect that the sales teams at these two Staples stores could use a lesson in.

I can assure you that none of my friends, family, and work associates will be frequenting ANY Staples in the future, at the very least.
     
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User Replies:

dan gordon on 2009-03-09:
That is pretty hard core. I'd be more than a little po'd. I bought a Acer laptop at Office Depot fo $387 and while they of course offered the insurance which I declined they still sold me the computer. Sounds like they all must have had a sales meeting on how to sell extended warrantys. Next time offer them your credit card on the phone and tell them to put the product in will call and you will right over.
Anonymous on 2009-03-09:
Their regional manager needs to be informed of this.
JA2009 on 2009-03-09:
Thanks for the feedback so far...I will notify the regional manager.

Dan, I tried that...I offered to give them my CC# on the phone and they refused to accept it...

Passing...any idea how to determine the regional sales manager's name? That's one thing I cannot seem to find.
Anonymous on 2009-03-09:
It's too bad you didn't ask the clerk if you could see what the laptop looks like before you made up your mind about buying it. It'd be pretty tough to deny having one then.

I would take this complaint up with Besy Buy corporate. I suspect they'd be interested in hearing aboutthis.
dan gordon on 2009-03-09:
on the other hand corporate may have been the ones to suggest stores push the service plans as they are mostly all profit. Much more than the loss leader price on the computer.
jktshff1 on 2009-03-09:
dan, how's the ACER doing, I looked at one and did not like the hard drive, so I got a small hp.
madconsumer on 2009-03-09:
I find this hard to believe. I have made many purchases, including computers from staples, and if I refuse the extended warranty, no further discussion is made. I simply pay and leave.
JA2009 on 2009-03-09:
madconsumer, do you really think I would have written the entire spiel above if it did not? Clearly, the economy is affecting this company like others, and store managers probably are trying to squeeze every last cent of profit out of every sale. Doesn't make it one bit less of a disgrace.
Disaster Worker on 2009-03-09:
Good post JA.
Anonymous on 2009-03-09:
JA, I got in touch with Staples once regarding one of their stores and their customer service centre forwarded my e-mail to the regional manager. I assume they will do the same for you. For what it's worth, they were pretty quick to respond to my issue. Good luck.
JA2009 on 2009-03-09:
FYI...this evening one of the Staples in question (the 2nd one in question) called to advise me they had a laptop for me, one that they were "holding" for another customer.

I'm not sure how they think this helps their case.

First, I indicated in the very message I have already purchased a laptop. And Second, yesterday they wouldn't hold a laptop for 8 minutes...and yet they purport to have me believe that there is a laptop suddenly available that they were "holding" for someone else?

Please.
Duces2009 on 2009-05-09:
hahaha... I work at staples and I think that's very funny.. I suggest that you call the district manager. but really nothing will really be done about it. but not all staples r the same. we sale laptops and desktops without service plans. the companys goal isn't to not sale u a laptop. but I guess some people r just a holes.. lol sorry about ur experience but really just don't take it to the heart. if I'm shopping for a laptop I don't take things personal I just forget it and move on its they're loss they aren't getting my money. there are always going to be sales at Best Buy, frys, conns, staples, Office Max, office depot. I mean why bash one company for a few dumb people. yeah they were wrong but I tell u for a fact if u go to another staples be really nice and cool with the associates they will be more than happy to help u. yeah we do get a lot of BS from customers that isn't our fault. and always say "ill just go to Office Max" "ill just go to Best Buy".. really those comments..... we don't care. a store is a store. products r products.
DigitalCommando on 2009-05-09:
If your local news channel has an investigative reporter, I'm sure they would be interested in doing a sting op on these bozo's.
Anonymous on 2009-05-09:
Good iddea, DC!

Duces, you work for Staples and you find this funny? You should be disgusted by the way these store empolyees behaved. It sheds a bad light on all of you. You should take it to heart. If someone wants to spend their money in a Staples store (especially when disposable income is so scarce these days), the employees should do what it takes to make the sale and have a happy customer leaving the store. That will ensure that they will come back, spend more money and assist in keeping Staples in business. You should care when someone says "I'll just go to Best Buy". I am sure Circuit City employees are wishing they had not heard that line so many times . . .
Developer108 on 2009-05-18:
I bought laptop and battery in Staples Canada three times. All was open-items but pretended to be not. It sucks. I returned all, and will never buy in Staples again unless the company staffs and/or management are changed.
JA2009 on 2009-05-21:
The original poster here.

I just wanted to put a little update here.

The day after this all happened, and after I sent a rash of emails to every single department I could think of, I got a call from the 2nd of the 2 Staples stores in question, indicating that had a laptop in stock and were "holding" it for me.

Funny considering they didn't have any the day before. And funny that they were holding one for me considering they didn't hold sale items.

Regardless, I called them back and told them that I already had one and didn't need one (which was clearly indicated in my emails to Staples).

A couple days later I got an email from one of the VPs I had contacted, who was very apologetic and informed me that a RSM would be calling me.

A few days later I spoke to an RSM who was VERY apologetic. he vowed to speak to the store managers and employees involved at each of the 2 stores and to also have a conference call with every store in his region to make sure these practices are not taking place and do not happen again. Now...did any of this happen? Who knows. But I DID get an apology and this was all that mattered.

Lastly, and I never asked for them, they did provide me with a number of giftcards for use in their store (although I used them online as I won't be going back there).

All told...the higher ups did make an effort to make things right, but if the practices at the store level continue, the company still fails.
Ponie on 2009-05-21:
JA, glad Staples came through for you. I guess there's hope for them. I get the majority of my office supplies from Staples and have never had any type dustup with them. Mitt Romney, get back in there!
staples.seller on 2009-09-20:
I'm an Easy Tech associate, and I have actually witnessed one of my co- workers do this. Trust me, they do something about behavior like this! It's certainly frowned upon.
In defence to my co- worker, our job depends on those sales. Yes. I'm serious. As in if we are unable to sell a plan for an entire WEEK we get fired. What's really screwed up is we don't get rewards or pay on commission when we are able to sell. Last week's bonus was $.17 after selling a total of $1,500 in tech and plans. I'm sorry for a fellow Staples associate for being rude to you and not giving you the computer. When you buy something without a plan, our number shoot straight down- especially with that Acer that was just a little over half its original price. When the district manager sees drops like that people get fired quicker than bad customer service.
gomezd1 on 2009-09-25:
FYI..This is what happen to Circuit City.. They used to be all about service and training.. They changed everything to a "Selling Culture" and they would not sell you a Plasma unless you purchased the protection plan with it.. And yes, their jobs were on the line as well. I do believe that associate would have gotten ripped if he had sold you that item without a warranty.. FYI.
Yumazgirl on 2010-02-20:
Just about an hour ago I bought a laptop at Staples which was on sale and with rebate was $180 less than normal price. They did sell it to me without the service plan but they sure weren't happy about it! First the sales person went on and on about how it was a big mistake not to buy it. Then the manager came over and told me several aweful horror stories about people who didn't buy their warranty. Very overly dramatic about it. I just kept saying no, didn't even give them a hint that I might be swayed. I said I simply didn't have the money for it and would have to buy a much cheaper computer if I wanted to add on the service plan (not the truth but...). At the check out counter, the clerk gave me the evil eye when again I denied the plan. She said that if I had issues with my computer in the first year (that the normal warranty covers) I would have to talk to people in India to get my computer fixed and would have ship it off at my expense and wait for weeks to get it back. Ugh!

I think Staples must beat their employees bloody every time they let someone walk out the store without buying the store warranty!
gomezd1 on 2010-03-08:
Should have purchased a Mac..
PepperElf on 2010-03-08:
yumaz - the review is about a year old... if I'm not mistaken during the year since this was written, the companies that were lying about inventory, etc, actually got in trouble over the practice.
Anonymous on 2010-03-08:
Pepper, though I am wondering how the 2nd store knew what number to call him at BEFORE he made all the complaints to corporate.
PepperElf on 2010-03-08:
dunno.

but I will say that I had heard of other stores doing the same thing.

at another message board I go to, a regular reported the same thing happened to him (but at a different chain). "We're out" etc. only - he could clearly see boxes of the item. he said the manager fired the employee, but that later he saw the employee was back and the manager was possibly gone (because the rules were being pushed by management etc).

at the same mb I believe someone saw a man come in to buy a phone and bought the plan. a few minutes later another man came in and started yelling... about how they had told him (about an hour previously) that the item was out of stock. apparently the second buyer was a friend of his.
easytechguy on 2010-05-05:
this experience is the norm...customers are routinely driven away/ignored/lied to about laptops. the reason-staples wants each laptop(regardless of price-could be $400 could be $800) to have at least 200 dollars of 'attachments' with it. anything less is a failure and frankly will cause the technician/salesperson endless headaches. let's say you buy a laptop with nothing(no plan no accessories) the store is in an immediate hole(each laptop sale is reported with 'basket',the accessory bundle amount, at the end of each day).

the story of two stores:so let's say store 1 sells three of these laptops on Sunday, the start of the week, immediately on Monday this store can expect an email from their district manager complaining and berating them for not convincing you to buy software/printer/plans. now during this same week store 2 through evasion or flatout lying sells no laptops on Sunday they get no emails and in fact their week is going pretty good. so the math is 3 laptop sales with nothing means store 1 is minus 600 dollars in the hole on 'attachment sales' and minus also that percentage amount on their budgeted plan sales. store 2 meanwhile having sold no laptops(and even better let's say they had one returned from another store as well) is now -1 laptop sale for the week-but by the numbers they are having a great week. the glories of negative selling.

so how do we handle business well first of all while I'm talking to you I am qualifying you(basically will this person buy anything) if I get the impression you won't I'm pretty much going to follow a three step process 1)ignore you 2)lie to you and 3)attempt to either get you go to another store in a roundabout way or try to get you order it from the website directly(this is the best route for me as internet sales don't hit store numbers-even if you 'order' in store as long as you do it directly online).

what lies might I tell you?-let's say you called and I said I had 'one'(it's always one...if I tell you the actual number of say three frankly I have to sell you a laptop). when you arrive if I feel you out and you aren't going to buy anything and want the laptop-first thing I would do is say it is damaged or on 'hold' for another customer or we just sold the last one. if you are insistent I would then shoot for an online order(again either you preferably ordering from home but I could do it in store too by having you set up directly with the site(entering in your card information on the website etc...). now third option gets tricky say you then ask does anyone else have one? by policy I am obligated to sell you the laptop from another store and you would go pickup there. so first of all I would look and say the only stores that have any are the more distant stores(say 20 miles away or so...and also lie about their inventory, 3 is 1 again).

in short frankly we have zero incentive to sell a laptop and in fact every incentive not to sell one. when a customer starts looking at a laptop a sense of panic envelops the frontend(general manager/sales manager/salespeople)-but getting mad at the salespeople is frankly wrongheaded-in all honesty complaints directed at the greedy district managers or corporate office would do more good.

why is the company so interested in plans?...because essentially the plans are garbage and completely handled by third party-it is free money for staples-laptops themselves have little to no margin and in fact are often money losers. is the plan worth it? in short no-a 2 year plan is a one year extended warranty. let's say you buy a dell laptop and have a problem with it(faulty hard drive for instance) and having bought your dell from staples with a warranty(2 year 149 bucks) you March over to your local staples and look for a fix. what am I going to tell you? I will give you a phone number to call and from there you will be directed to call dell for resolution-that's right first year is completely manufacturer warranty. now failed hard drive is a legit covered issue so I might get lucky and dell will replace it...but let's say my touchpad stops working,keys fall off the keyboard, pixels on screen etc...these are all 'grey' areas where the company may or may not cover. in short anything that normally goes wrong with a laptop-that could in any way be interpreted as a 'use' issue is not covered. these sorts of issues are covered under the really expensive accidental plan(which we don't even bother to offer...239 bucks for a 2 year plan on a 400 dollar laptop :D).

one last note-the process doesn't apply just to laptops(but the pressure is heightened more intensely on laptops for certain)...I know of a general manager who sent a customer home to do an online order for $1000 of furniture because they wouldn't get plans(coverage on it). in all honesty for the salespeople's sake(we are low paid) just order stuff online from home.
ycrzy2 on 2010-08-26:
I would not call their regional manager because they probably won't do anything I would call corporate directly and a lot of the stores have been doing this recently
pennyaday on 2010-11-11:
This happened to me also only with a printer. They checked stock on the computer and had 2 - but couldn't find them. The story I was dealt was someone must have purchased the last two and they weren't taken off the inventory yet. Which happens at the time they are rung up!
They never have any stock for sale items, it's just a ploy to get you in the store in hopes that you'll buy the cheap garbage they can't sell or a more expensive model. Unfortunately, it works all too often.
gomezd1 on 2010-11-29:
@ Pennyaday.. That's what you call "Bait and Switch"..
Melz on 2011-06-10:
My husband and I tried to purchase a laptop today and was turned away b/c someone else who was there a half hour earlier had first choice... We didn't even get to the "extras"! They said they would call us if he didn't want it! Can you believe that?!
Ron on 2011-08-12:
To
President and CEO of Staples, Canada
6 Staples Avenue
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4W3

Sir,

We are disappointed with the evidenced bad attitude of your racially biased manager, Mr. Tristan.

On August 12, 2011, we stopped by to purchase some supplies.

We requested your store manager Mr. Tristan [a caucasian-white, clean-shaven, young, male] twice for assistance. He was pretending to be busy, when in fact he was doing nothing.

He chose to ignore us, and went on to assist another caucasian-white customer who came in after us. The lack of respect for visible-minority customers at your store, the rude manner of this evidently racially-biased store manager, seemed to be confirmed by the fact that there were no visible-minority managers in your store. The visible-minorities were simply workers taking orders from racially biased managers such as this rude Mr. Tristan.

The postal-counter weighing-machine was not working either. In spite of us waiting for over 10 minutes and requesting for assistance, nobody came.

We are left wondering about the evident glass-ceiling for visible-minority employees. If this is the demonstrated attitude of your store-manager, it is not surprising that the other employees follow his demonstrated example in bad customer service.


We would rather buy elsewhere.


Sincerely,
Kahula35 on 2011-09-09:
There are legit reasons why a Staples employee may tell you an item is in stock only for it to "magically" disappear.

Most often when you call or ask for a specific item Staples employees will just hope on their system and pop in the SKU number and check the report. The problem is the inventory system is not always current. It does not reflect floor models, damages, holds, or even recent purchases. So it is reasonable that a sales person could believe that something was in stock only to go into the lock room and find none there. Happened to me all the time when I worked there especially on the hot sale items.

However as to the plan selling I can also see this happen. Staples loses money on just about every laptop sale it makes. Specifically with the sale items. Many customers see a 600 dollar laptop glowing with 200 bucks off and they say, "Wow! What a great deal!" What they don't realize is those sales are designed to get them in the store.

When you buy that bargain laptop and nothing else, well the store just lost money and an opportunity. The opportunity to sell it to someone else who would buy other items. However that's the chance the store takes with such sale prices.

Unfortunately this puts a lot of pressure on the sales force who most often make very little money. Most retail sellers earn a little more than minimum wage but still have sales quotas. Like a reviewer above you have a sales number that is determined both by your "basket" sale (attachment sales) as well as protection plans and tech services. If you don't attach enough items or sell enough plans you don't get hours or could lose your job.

Should the customer care? Of course not. You just want your cheap computer.

While I worked there I always had to toe a line. Knowing how to relay the proper information about plans and stock to customers without killing the sale. I hated selling laptops to some customers because they wouldn't even listen to my sales pitch or recommendations even after I helped them for an hour to find the right computer for them.

The problem with the system is that it's mass consumerism. The computers generate no profit for the store so it's easy for the sales force to resent selling them. I have never denied a computer or product to a customer nor ever lied about stock levels to anyone. I also gladly assisted with sending customers to other stores and online orders. However I did sometimes feel a relief when a certain computer did go out of stock because I knew I wouldn't hear it from my boss that day.

Frankly, there were days when a customer would come in and be very rude about purchasing. They would treat me like garbage like I was a con artist and I often wanted to be rid of them faster than ever. They would yell at me and tell me the plans were scams or garbage and I would laugh when they came back a month later with a busted up machine and no protection plan.

It's sad but it's also not Best Buy.

As to what these stores did, I seriously doubt it was a company directive by any manager or anything and I can guarantee you it does not happen often. Staples is very much concerned about customer service. Stores that have lower CS ratings get slammed by corporate. The whole training program for associates hinges on servicing customers. Unfortunately the terms of employment hinge on selling "Extras" which puts pressure often on young people. It's sad if these young people did in fact lie to you. That's certainly not Staples policy and I can assure is a rarity.
Jimmy_Harrison on 2012-09-09:
I used to work for Staples back in the early 2000's during HS. It was great, and a good incentive program.

Last year, I decided to go back to earn some extra $$$. They did away with a lot of their commissions, and also had terrible pay. I should had refused, but figured something is better than nothing.

Staples completely forgot their concept. They are there to sell office supplies and equipment. They are not there to bully their customers. They excepted you to bully the customer and drain every possible cent out of them, rather than let them buy the laptop, and move on. Yes, some people need the additional items, but not always. It was pure torture. I only lasted there for 6 months the second time.

The managers as well as the district managers would constantly lie to you, and make you worthless.

They are trying to beat "Best Buy" well Circuit City went out of business, Best Buy is holding on, and I think if Staples keeps it up, they are next. Is Staples going to start selling fridges and microwaves and tv's?

Whenever I need something from Staples, I order online, so I don't have to run into the workers who are forced into bullying!

Their easy tech prices are a disgrace, and really rip the customers off and take advantage of them. Sure, you need to charge for your work, but not the way Staples does it.

They are trying to be a technology store when they are supposed to be an Office Supply Store! They should re-read their original concept!

I was really disappointing the second time I worked for them. I'm glad the article appeared in the NY Times, and that they change their attitude or they will be the next casualty of the "big box" retail stores.
Goldmane on 2012-09-11:
I reposted on my Facebook. Hope this goes viral, because I'm sick of stores pulling this bs.
leroi on 2012-10-06:
Bought my major-brand laptop at Walmart....whole transaction took less than 15 minutes.."Do you want the extended warranty? - No..." No problems, no support....handed them credit card, they handed me a box...Staples is doomed with their abusive nature!
Dumb Tacks on 2012-11-22:
I went through the harassment procedure (a/ka upsell, mental torture, brainwashing, dumbing down) at staples when I purchased 2 laptops this year. I refused the upsell but the stress and torture as a result was almost unbearable. I wanted to walk out and buy nothing but I decided to stand my ground no matter what the consequences are. This should be a rather simple transaction but Staples arrogance and greed make it totally aggravating. It's only a matter of time to when Staples goes out of business.
Joe V on 2012-12-11:
I experienced the same exact tactic by one sales mgr/associate called Ravie at staples in Brandon, FL. That idiot and Staples will never get my business for sure.
Current employee on 2012-12-29:
I currently work here and I find this very sad. I have seen this and the guy got fired. Although yes inventory is not always correct it is your job to double check if the item is currently there. I have had other stores send customers to me saying the other store didn't have the computer, come to find out the store had quite a few in stock just the customer didn't want the care plan. I am really sorry to hear about your experience, but like previously stated not all staples stores are the same not even all employees are the same. I have never pushed a sell on anyone. It's weird all the bad comments I've seen have all been from the east coast.
West Coaster on 2013-03-14:
Ha! I just experienced the same sort of treatment from my local Staples in Langley, BC. Canada.
I tried to purchase a clearance laptop but I eventually had to leave because the salesman refused to listen to my repeated requests of forgoing the extended warranty, Norton Antivirus, recovery disk and whatever else he was trying to shove down my throat. I was pretty upset when I left! I'm glad I stopped purchasing my printer ink from them over a year ago. I will never go back.
Anonymous on 2013-04-10:
I am also a current staples employee (staying anonymous so that this won't be connected to me)
and I've seen it happen when I worked as an Easy Tech and as Office Supplies. Its a terrible thing that the sale can be refused because of the lack of adding to the market basket(For those who don't know, this is the amount of items you can add on to a customer's computer purchase. From another computer, to paper......it all counts and we must hit a certain market basket goal each transaction). There have been times when I'd hear other Easy Tech associates and the managers complain when they were not getting anything else. Its sad when I go to get a laptop and the first question I hear from the manager is "are they getting anything with it?" Most of the times I won't discuss additional purchases until I know we have the laptop, but that's not good enough for the manager.

Also, I hear managers sometimes cheer if we send a customer to another store knowing that they will not get the plan. Its pathetic, but I personally blame upper management(GM, DM, RSM and anyone above). With these goals in place, its sometimes impossible to reach them. All the time I receive threats of being terminated if I don't get plans. I've been told that I am a good seller. To make things clear, I HATE IT. I have customers come back to see me because of my honesty. If you don't need a plan, a printer or other things then fine. It annoys the hell out of upper management, but I'll keep it real 100%. Currently looking to transfer back into Office Supplies because being an Easy Tech is not worth the stress.

Finals words. When a tech or even a cashier(Sometimes we pawn customers off to cashiers so that they can give you the selling pitch, its a dirty trick and it annoys the customer, trust me I know) is trying to sell you a plan, be aware that they are under watch from management. At least let us explain it to you and then say no. It still pisses off upper management, but they don't hate us as much if we explained it to you fully. We don't want to sell it, we have to sell it
Brandon on 2013-06-11:
I don't work at Staples but where I work they extended service plans are emphasized to some degree (more so depending on the department you work in).

I know your pain but you also have to put yourself in the salespersons shoes: they don't have a choice but to sell a certain percentage of their sales with protection plans. The fact that something is cheaper usually gives the salesperson hope that with the additional savings you can fit the extended coverage in your budget.

You bring up the point that Staples is turning away customers in this tight economy. It may be possible though that the company is close to break even on the laptop at that price (price you pay - price company pays to sell you laptop = profit/loss). By selling the plan they can recoup some of the losses they incur by selling such a low price and you get extended coverage if something were to go wrong. Everyone's hurting in this economy including these companies. What they did to you was unprofessional and wrong but remember, they're probably as offended at your choice to forgo the plan as you are with their choice to not provide the product.

I wouldn't have bought the warranty on the laptop... laptops are pretty safe nowadays. I'm just putting this out as some food for thought. Blame the company.
Haley on 2013-07-07:
I really do apologize for your experience at Staples. I work for the corporation. I have been a cashier for them more than a year now and I know about all the services we offer, I know we do not do that at our store. Considering I do work at one in California but we offer the protection plan, but we don't do that at all I guarantee you. I really do apologize for your bad experience with Staples.
current employee on 2013-07-12:
I used to work at office depot. Almost six years there. I quit because my manager threatened to fire me over me calling 911 for a really nice customer who was hit by a car in the cross walk in front of the store. His reasoning behind his tyrade, "it is not our responsibility to call for help! We are paid to sell!!" (I left out cursing). This was the final straw for me. You see, a few months prior, the district manager had a conference call with all 14 stores in his district. Every Tuesday each district has these "huddles" where the store and assistant managers get berated from 9am to 11 am. This call was VERY INTERSTING...
D.M.: The numbers for store number...... are pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. Unacceptable. Market baskets, we need more. PPP's 100% all the time. Keep a record of every employee who sold a technology item, follow them if the customer says "no" give support. The cashier is the last line of defense. Employees who do not sell plans regardless of reason will be unemployed. Other stores have tried this, maybe you struggling stores can use this tool....Because we have walkies with ear pieces...Do not bring out the item until the cashier asks for it, ask cashier if customer is getting any services or plan, if cashier says no, wait five minutes in the lock up area and tell the cashier the item is out of stock. .......End.....
I hated the job since they started that practice. But it ended quickly after the public outcry of this unethical "sales tool" was exposed. Yet it still happens. Pathetic, right? Let's go back to the beginning of my rant........
So I quit my job at Office Depot. Got a job at a Staples store. They use the same tactics when someone is buying 2 high priced sale items. But they will say they just have 1 available. We were trained to give customers a migrain headache if they resist the opportunity for protection of product. We will raise our voices to show how much we care that you buy the plan for your own good!! If you are just browsing, we will say hello.... Walk away... you will see us peering over at you.... Approach... Compliment your choice of computer... ask questions: Is this for you? For your kid? OK. How old is your kid? Is he going to use this for mostly school? Does he play video games? Music? You will need home and student... a case...USB drive...need a printer? No, OK. Listen, the most important purchase to make besides the computer is this protection plan. I've been through 2 computers in 3 years during school. Things happen. We cover what the manufacturer does not cover, and my own personal experience (change body language from happy to sad) I lost a lot of money. You will need anti virus. The free ones you get from your cable company does not work as well as one purchased...less features... you didn't know that?!!! Its true... well, easy tech can set you up with everything you need!..............
End result: come into a staples store for a $400.00 laptop. Get home 2 hours later after easy tech setup and $900.00 in the hole. Congrats!

Al on 2013-08-02:
I am in Canada and was a loyal Future Shop Customer, but started using Staples the last couple years because the service and knowledge of this store was vastly superior. I am greeted and asked what I am looking for and when I ask questions, they are answered fully and truthfully. They don't push the extended warranty. I bought a laptop 2 years ago, no extended warranty and I just bought one three weeks ago, it was a higher end one so I did. When the price dropped 17 days later, I went in and the gave me $200 dollars back. They didn't have to, as their price match return policy is only 2 weeks on laptops. I am very happy with this store in Coventry Hills Calgary. It is within walking distance and I don't go anywhere else. Awesome staff at this store and I'm sure they do well because of it.
joe on 2013-08-06:
For a company that treats the staff and customers like dirt. I woke up they trickyou into thinking ones getten a good deal. Go elsewhere costco target Amazon etc this company needs to go away!
pplrstoopid on 2013-08-21:
You people are amazing, I scoff at the dumb people that walk in my store and turn down a plan for anything tech side. I'm an easy tech expert in a staples, That just a down right dumb thing to do and I hope nothing but a dropped and broken PC so they can spend twice the amount on a new PC than it would for the plan. As for people talking about stock not being able to be found......the computers do NOT update right after the register sale, it does take at least a day for inventory to sync up to sales. Also we get something called a ESP percentage and if its anything below what they want, everyone gets the shit reemed into them or even fired. I would rather sell you nothing sending you to another store than for you to risk my job cause you lack brain cells. People need to use common sense (which no one has these days). Your spending 500 bucks on a laptop......something that is portable and can be dropped with someone simply bumping into you, or hell just a simple spill of a drink, or a lightning strike fries your hard drive and ram sticks and your graphics card/motherboard you name it, it makes sense to get a 200-240 buck replacement plan instead of another 500 dollars on a new one. There are so many things that can stop a computer in its tracks. Another thing is our plans are the tits......you come in a WE fix everything that is wrong starting from the day you bought your warranty, the only things that's are a 1 year extended warranty are items below 200 bucks which fall under categories such and printers/desktops and other minor electronics.....and that is ONLY ever with one year plans. If we can do it in store we send it to OUR factories to get further work done and if that doesn't work than you get your money back on the item. Esp with accidental coverage the only thing we don't cover is viruses cause that is user error. I don't get commission off these plans so whether you buy it or not I don't give a fuck, ill sell you the computer anyway and have a nice big smile when you return to buy a new one cause your other one broke. My last point ill throw out there is with our tech we literally make no money and when something is on sale we are ALWAYS losing money, so these plans are what help the company out of the hole right off the bat. I know this is an old topic but I needed my two cents thrown in.
bc on 2013-09-16:
where did you find the VP contact info?
Linden Moore on 2013-11-21:
I work for staples as an easy tech and the tech above is right the esp rate is something we have to achieve but that is no excuse to not sell a laptop and yes are plans are a lot better now that we go through square trade. and customer service is something I myself excel at. if anyone reads this go to the harrison staples store 1881 and ask for me and I ll show what it means to be patient ask questions and give you the full customer experience and represent staples the right way.
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Faulty Rebate (Again)
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FRAMINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS -- I recently purchased a $55 box of printing paper from Staples.com because they were having a deal where if you bought it that day you'd get a $35 Visa Pre-Paid card as a rebate. I bought the paper, printed a receipt from my online purchase and waited for my paper to arrive. Staples estimate was that it would take about a week to arrive at my home, though I was very surprised when it arrived a few days later. I then went to submit my rebate information with their “Easy” Rebate Center. The first thing they asked for when I got to their site was my rebate offer number. They listed three different places that you could find the number, namely, on the e-mail order confirmation I received after placing my order online, my printed receipt that I printed after making my online purchase, or on the packing slip that came with the shipment. I had already filed my receipt and didn’t want to have to go searching for it so I decided to look up the number in the confirmation e-mail. After scouring through the e-mail I could find no trace of the rebate number. I decided that I’d look on the packing slip that came with my box of paper. Again, I couldn’t find any rebate number. I pulled out my receipt that I had printed and luckily there was the rebate offer number. I entered the number and the necessary information and submitted the information.

A few days later I received an e-mail from their rebate center telling me that there was a problem with my rebate information. They claimed that the rebate number that I had entered didn’t exist in their system and that I must have either made a typo or that rebate offer didn’t exist. “Ok”, I thought, “I’m human, I make mistakes. I could have easily mistyped the number”. Upon further inspection I discovered that I had not mistyped the number, but that my rebate didn’t exist in their system. As could be expected, I was not happy. I attempted to chat with a customer service representative on their website, but their chat window has got bugs or something. I could read everything that the representative was typing to me, but I could not type anything to them in response. I was forced to write an e-mail and explained the situation. I received a response about a week later informing me that their system is on the fritz and that it has been sending out random “invalid” notices to people. The e-mail also mentioned that according to their records a rebate had been mailed February 3 and should arrive at my house in 7-10 business days. Today, ten business days later, I received a paper card in the mail with the following message on it:

“Dear Consumer,
Thank you for participating in the Multipurpose Paper Ream Case promotion. Unfortunately, we could not honor your request due to the following reason(s):
Invalid Purchase Date”

I am very disappointed with Staples and their rebate system. I remember many occasions, usually around Christmas time, when my father has attempted to buy things from Staples, both online and in store, that had rebate promotions with them. He was never successful at receiving one of those rebates. I guess I can say this for Staples, they are consistent. I for one am tired of dealing with such an unorganized and dishonest company. I have contacted their customer service again and am currently awaiting a response, but I will never buy anything from Staples again and would urge others to do the same; unless, of course, you enjoy getting cheated of your money, but that’s up to you.
     
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nikalseyn on 2014-02-19:
I don't know their return policy, but if you can I would return the box of paper to them and get my $55 back.
Paul on 2014-02-20:
I don't see how they cheated you out of your money. First, you still have the opportunity for this to be resolved. Second, you got what you paid for.
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An Example of Professional and Courteous Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
READING, MA 01867, MASSACHUSETTS -- My recent letter to Staples Corporate:

As you well known from the content of E-Mails recently sent to Staples CEO Ron Sargent, I had a most unpleasant (read: stressful) experience when I purchased the Altra Chadwick Collection (Desk, Hutch, Filing Cabinet) of office furniture from the Reading Staples Store. It was just one misstep after another. The phrase ‘a comedy of errors’ best describes the action on the part of Staples personnel. Constant dialogue between me and Staples staff along with a series of trips between my apartment in Burlington and the Reading store took the better part of a week before SANITY prevailed and I started to feel that finally we were getting somewhere and that CLOSURE was in sight.

Sanity arrived in the person of Lee, the Sales Manager in your Reading store, who took control of the situation. Staples is indeed lucky to have Lee in its employ. He is a man who literally ‘goes to the wall’ to ensure that the customer has a positive experience when shopping at Staples. He sensed my frustration, anger and dissatisfaction at all that had taken place. Furthermore, he was most reassuring when he said that everything would be taken care of. To wit he said: ‘Mr. Cohen, we are going to start all over again – TIME BEGINS NOW’.

At that point he cancelled the entire order, namely Order # 9244093081, and accordingly, credited my American Express Credit Card. He then proceeded to create a NEW ORDER (# 9244450315) which included charging me for the cost of assembling the furniture once it was delivered to my apartment. He said over and over again that he would literally track the Order and would keep me informed as to its ‘progress’.

I was given an Oct 4th delivery date. Two of the items namely the Chair and the Filing Cabinet arrived several days prior to that date. True to his word, Lee called my home to confirm the delivery of the Chair and Filing Cabinet. Furthermore, told me that when the balance of the Order (i.e. Desk and Hutch) arrived I should call Apollo Retail Specialists, the company that was going to assemble the items, and schedule a date and time when they could send someone to assemble my Altra Chadwick Collection.

Just as Lee had indicated, the Desk and Hutch were delivered on Oct 4th. I immediately called Apollo @(866)770-0022 to arrange for assembly and was told, in no uncertain terms, that they had to be PAID first before they could schedule an assembly date. I informed Apollo that Staples had charged me for the assembly. I gave them the Order’s Transaction # and said that it was my understanding that Apollo and Staples could work out the details regarding the remittance of payment to Apollo. I was then told (by Apollo) that’s not how they do business. At that point I sensed that it was an exercise in futility to try to reason with the Apollo representative. Accordingly, I ended the conversation and immediately called the Reading store and asked to speak with Lee.

After telling him of the situation with Apollo, he said ‘hold on’ I’ll get back to you. Within a matter of a few minutes Lee called me and told me to call National Assembly Service at (866)826-6622 which I did whereupon I started speaking with a very pleasant sounding woman by the name of Margaret. I provided her with Transaction # as well as the Item #’s of the various pieces in the Order. She then asked me if Tuesday, Oct 8th would be a convenient date for her to send a technician to assemble the items. I checked with my ‘Executive Secretary’ and was assured that Tuesday, Oct 8th was acceptable. The whole exchange with Margaret unlike that with Apollo was most cordial (and professional). I then called Lee and told him that an assembly date had been set. Furthermore, I thanked him for all of his efforts in helping to bring CLOSURE to this whole affair.

Postscript: I can not say enough about Lee. When all appeared to be lost, he 'stepped up to the plate' and provided courteous, professional service that provided a most satisfactory remediation of what had been a very stressful, non-professional handling of a customer's request for adjudication of (for lack of a better way of saying it) LOUSY, MIXED UP, UNCERTAIN SERVICE.
     
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andbran on 2013-10-16:
this goes to show you that there are people who still believe in providing great customer service
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Returns Fiasco
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I am submitting this complaint after having contacted Staples’ Office of the President team of customer relations representatives. I spoke twice with Jeffrey [snip] and was promised a call back from his supervisor Ryan [snip] which never materialized. My experience was with the Staples store in West Los Angeles on Santa Monica Boulevard. I purchased a Western Digital external hard drive at a different Staples location and within the 14 day return policy period (8 days) I brought the unopened drive to the Staples store, with my receipt, for return.

The cashier called over a store manager to approve the return. The store manager examined the packaging, which was never opened or even touched by me, and decided he needed to completely destroy the packaging and compare the serial number on the drive case to that on the packaging. When I questioned him on why he found it necessary to destroy the tamper-proofed packaging, he responded that it was policy. The examination of my product took several minutes and was done in plain view of other customers at one of the cashier stations in the front of the store. While the product was being examined by the store manager, I asked him what would happen if the serial numbers did not match as a result of an error made by the product manufacturer. His response was that Western Digital did not make mistakes, so that was impossible.

The store manager’s examination validated that the product serial numbers did match and the return was accepted. My complaint and concern stems from the very real possibility that something did not match through no fault of mine. The sealed product was now very much unsealed, I was humiliated in front of other customers by the actions of the store manager done in plain sight, and I was very angry that I was made to endure this waste of my time. If Staples cannot trust the tamperproof packaging of their manufacturers, they need to take that up with their vendors, not take it out on their customers. Telling me that it was not possible that a mistake in packaging could have been made by their vendor is just plain fantasy and I very much doubt that their vendors would support them in their statement that a mistake is impossible.

The office of the president customer relations representative assured me that he would: 1) forward my complaint on to both the district and regional managers, 2) follow up with me and share what corrective actions were taken and 3) work to make certain that other Staples’ customers were not subjected to the same treatment shown to me. I have no idea if item 1 was completed, but I waited 8 days to hear back from Mr. [snip] before calling him back for status. I told Mr. [snip] I would not be shopping at Staples until I was comfortable that my complaints were properly addressed.

This incident could have been much worse had there been a serial number mismatch, but I do not want to wait for that to happen to me. Staples needs to protect themselves from shrinkage and theft while at the same time respecting and valuing their customers and the customer experience. Staples chose only to worry about themselves in my experience paying absolutely no attention to their customer. I choose to give my patronage to businesses that value me as customer. I was concerned that the store manager might be a rogue employee so I reported my experience to the corporate office. What I discovered is that the treatment I received was acceptable all the way up the corporate ladder.

Bye, bye Staples and hello Office Depot, Office Max, Best Buy and the like.
     
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Old Timer on 2013-08-30:
It's great when an honest, real review on Staples makes it. Reading the paid fake reviews gets boring.

I think the situation above may have been a local problem with that manager. Ripping apart good packaging to make sure there is not a rock inside the box is pretty stupid in my book. When everyone could see the package was never opened.
trmn8r on 2013-08-31:
Imagine going on a website and seeing a review about Staples, where the customer is complaining that they bought a WD hard drive, but found a rock in the box. Complaints such as this against various retailers happen all the time.

You had no reason to be embarrassed - you did nothing wrong. All it required was a little patience. It couldn't have taken that long to do the check.

This store may have experienced a run of fraudulent returns. Normally, one would expect tamperproof guards to be enough. IMO, this doesn't rise to a level of something that warrants action at any level of Staples management.

As to the question of what would happen if something that didn't happen happened, that isn't possible to answer. The crux of the matter is should the tamper proof packaging be enough of an indicator the package is legit.
Nohandle on 2013-08-31:
A company shipping out a product never makes a mistake? Hogwash. Of course serial numbers need to match up but never say that XYZ company never makes a mistake. It happens more frequently than many realize. Why do companies have a receiving department? Other than inventory control receiving compares the PO to the bill of lading (if itemized) and then physically checks it in. Double work but there have been errors found when an entirely different product was in the box. That's right.

We have a member, Starlord, who tells the story of when he was in LP at I think a K-Mart. A man had bought a brand new vacuum in a shrink wrapped fresh from the factory box. He got home, opened the box and no vacuum, just a cinder block inside the box. The man was of course given another vacuum with no questions asked. There's too many crooks out there and honest shoppers pay the price.

I believe you were treated rudely and it could have been handled much better. Often a simple explanation works perfectly. A reason as to why serial numbers were being compared and you not being embarrassed in front of others. Yes, I would have been embarressed as well. Usually it's the honest folks who are embarrassed, the crooks dare you to say something to them.
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EasyTech Destroyed All of My Data
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- I had a slow computer and brought it to the Staples in Columbia, SC which is about 40 miles away. It took several weeks to get the computer back. Initially they said that they had an issue with 1 program on the computer and could not figure out how to put that program back on the computer, but later said they figured it out. I was told they reinstalled the OS. When I got it back there was still a problem. This time that the system would freeze if left on for more than a day or so and there were errors with some programs.
When I called and they did not reinstall the OS because of that program but tried to fix the problem anyway. I brought back. Again they said they found and fixed the problem but that the computer would have to be turned off every 2 days. I brought it back.

Now they said the only way to fix it was to reinstall the OS, which is what they told me was done the first time. The program that they could not figure out how to reinstall took me 1 email to Fujitsu to resolve. So I agreed. At one point I even told them that if it could not be fixed I would get a new computer and transfer the data to it,

When I got the computer back I found that they deleted ALL of my data. No back-up and reinstall. It was never hinted, implied, suggested that all of my data would be gone. Before they talked about backing everything up and reinstalling it. They said the data is gone that the reinstall deletes all data. Who wipes out all data? Even with cell phones the most first issue when people change phones is not losing data ie: phone numbers.

I called the Office of the President, [snip] and spoke to Jeffery [snip]. He said he would talk to upper management and get back to me. I explained that a major problem anytime I brought a computer in was poor communication from the EasyTech people. The tech guys do not even have the ability to send or receive emails. Accordingly, I asked, and he promised, that he would call me back that afternoon even if he did not have an answer. That afternoon came and went, but no call. The next day I left a message with Jeffrey and no call back. Today I left a message and no call back, but I did get an email from Jeffery. He looked into the matter and since he was not there for the conversations and Staples’ paperwork says that there is the risk of loss of some data, the case is closed. So much for discussing it with upper management. I emailed him back asking that he call me to discuss this and he replied through email that “would not be anything that Staples could address in terms of further resolution at this time.” He closed the case. No call from Jeffrey.

They hide behind “risk of loss of some data” but this was the deliberate deletion of all data. When they first mentioned the restore they said they would back up the data. They had the ability of creating a back-up but chose not to.

The customer service chat agent was of no help, but did give me their corporate office at 1-877-235-9088. I have left a message for Ryan [snip]. But, for now I am left with an old computer, no programs, no data, but an apology. Beware of EasyTech, unless you are willing to have all of your data lost. In general avoid Staples if you have any expectation of customer service, good communications and thought that they will make any effort to provide customer satisfaction or even discuss an amicable resolution. AVOID STAPLES AND EASYTECH. Remember, the only problem was a slow computer.

If they were an auto repair store it’s like bringing a car in for a tune-up and getting it back as a block of scrap metal. “Oops, sorry. We told you we were not responsible for providing quality work. Enjoy your car and come back and see us again.”
     
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trmn8r on 2013-06-14:
I disagree totally with your analogy. It is nothing like being returned a hunk of scrap metal. The main function of a car is transportation - if something major needs to be done, it could entail engine or drivetrain removal. Once repaired/reinstalled, you have a totally functional car, not a block of metal.

If you give your computer to someone for repair, it is safest to assume your data will be lost.

The tipoff was when they said the OS had to be reinstalled.
FoDaddy19 on 2013-06-14:
Sometimes the only option to fix a corrupted OS is to format the hard drive and reinstall the OS. It's a common practice, and is sometimes necessary to fix the problem. This is why it's important to take it upon yourself to back up your important data. Most places do offer a back-up service where they back up your data before the unit is sent out, but the service is extra and is not free. If you decline the backup service, then you're rolling the dice on whether or not your data will be on the computer when it returns.

Trmn8r is correct, whenever you hear someone mention that the OS is going to be reinstalled, there's a very good chance your hard drive will be erased, and if your computer has to be sent to a service depot is all but certain that the hard drive will be formatted.

It sounds like they first attempted an overlay or repair of the OS, but that didn't fix the problem so the only recourse was to format the hard drive and start from scratch. Which I mentioned before is sometimes necessary.
Weedwhacked on 2013-06-15:
"Who wipes out all data?"

Technicians who fix computers that have errors on them. At times this is the only way to fix a computer. You are responsible for backing up your data.
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Lied- No Consolation
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
BURLINGTON, IOWA -- I faxed the following to corporate- no response-

On Saturday Jan. 12th while returning home I decided to stop at a Staples in Burlington Iowa to see if they might have a Nexus 7 16gb tablet in stock. I spoke with the person in the computer department and he informed me that they were sold out. He did volunteer that they had a truck ‘come in’ and there might be some in that shipment. I asked him if he could check.

He went to a computer terminal and said yes they are in this shipment. I asked if it was possible that someone could retrieve a tablet from the shipment. He then called the manager and spoke with him. He explained that it is secured because of the value of the items on the pallet. And that once the seal is broken everything must be checked in which could take hours. I explained that I lived a one hour drive away and could return the following day on Sunday. He wrote down my name on a note requesting a tablet to be held for me until 3pm on Sunday.

On Sunday morning I called the store and spoke with someone else that knew of my noted request. I told him I would be driving to the store to purchase the tablet. He informed me that the pallet had not been opened yet but should be by the time I expected to arrive at 2pm on Sunday.

At about 2pm I go into the store and the customer service counter expecting to purchase the tablet. I was informed by the clerk that I had spoken with on the phone previously that they had not started unpacking the pallet. He then paged the manager on duty. I explained to her that I had been told the tablet would be available at that time.

She replied that ‘sometimes it takes days to unload the truck’ and showed no sympathy that I had just driven 60 miles to get there. She said that ‘no one should have told you that tablets are on the truck’ and that ‘they do not know what is in a shipment until they unpack it’.

I lost it! I told her it would be the last time I ever set foot in one of their stores and was sorry I had spent hundreds of dollars with them in the past.

I am a business owner. I purchased my business in 1989. I know what a bill of lading is. They know what is on that truck- every thumb tack. They would not be able to acquire insurance without knowing exactly what is on each shipment. There is no ‘truck’- it is just pallets in the warehouse. They would not tie up a truck for days ‘while they unload it.’ She insulted my intelligence. Then she insulted her staff by stating they should not have told me the item would be available. She offered no consolation and suggest I return to their store in 3 to 4 days to see if they have the item in stock.
     
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jktshff1 on 2013-02-10:
Good post, thanks
ok4now on 2013-02-10:
Next time shop Amazon for fast delivery and avoid this problem.
trmn8r on 2013-02-11:
This is a good reason to give Staples the heave-ho. There is clearly conficting information, and regardless of whose story is correct, these peoples' heads are not on top of their bodies where they belong.
JR in Orlando on 2013-02-11:
On Sunday morning the clerk at Staples said the pallet "should be" unloaded by that time. That is an estimate, a guess. If the OP has been in business for 20 years, surely he has made "estimates" as to when something would occur, only to see plans change.

Despite this being only an estimate that it would be unpacked by the time he arrived, the OP chose to drive 60 miles-risking it would not be unpacked. (Technically, the OP made a false statement to the manager when he told her "I had been told that the tablet would be available at that time." He had not-he had been told the pallet probably should be unpacked. )

The pallets on the truck are unloaded, the pallets are then unloaded into the store. The manager obvously meant that the pallets would take days to unload, and cross check against the what is on the shipping invoice. The fact the invoice says it should be there, does not mean it is in fact there. A business person with 20 years experience should know that one cannot be sure the product (or that exact model) is in the shipment, regardless of the shipping invoice, until it is actually and physically seen and counted. Therefore, it is best not to tell customers it is coming in a shipment, until it is actually unloaded and put in inventory.
Nohandle on 2013-02-11:
Sir, you purchased your business in 1989 and I expect know how to do every job there having done it before yourself. I know what a pallet is and in addition a Bill of Lading. In theory everything should work by clockwork but sometimes it doesn't. You should never have been assured your purchase was contained within the shipment until there had been an actual physical check and your purchase set aide with your name attached awaiting your pickup.

You certainly cannot go by a Bill of Lading or invoice to determine with absolute accuracy that item is enclosed. Most drivers will wait a max of 1 hour (no longer) before the freight bill must be signed verifying receipt of the merchandise. A receiving clerk will sign he received x number of cases on the pallet but cannot verify the contents until he has physically checked them in. Simply checking behind the one who packed it.

You should have been called and if it was inconvenient your order shipped to you direct at no extra charge. You should not have been told your purchase was there based on a Bill of Lading of what was expected. The employees appear to need some more retraining. Not very professional.
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Horrible customer service at copy and print station
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS -- I went into a Staples Store at the Route 59, Naperville, IL location and went directly to the copy and print service desk. There were 2 employees behind the counter working and not a single customer in line waiting on a service. So I went directly up to the desk, and waited patiently for someone to approach me and ask what they could help me with. However, the first thing that came out of anybody's mouth, was from the lady sitting behind the service desk working on a computer, and she told me that she was about to clock out so I needed to wait for the man in the back to help me. I wasn't even greeted with a polite hello. So I just said okay and waited for the man to finish up his cutting project.

The man came over to me after probably just a minute and asked if I was printing something out and if I had a file on a USB disk with me. And I said yes. And he asked me how many pages I needed to print, and I told him only 2. So he explained to me that I could use a computer they had set up for self assistance, and just plug my USB in and print directly from the computer. I thought this is great, because I only have 2 pieces of paper I need printed, and I am computer savvy, so this is a very convenient thing to have for people like me that just need to get in and get out, with a very small order. But once I plugged my USB into the computer, I saw that you charge 20 cents a minute for the convenience of using your computer. I think that is absolutely ridiculous to charge a customer to use a computer on top of what they have to pay to print, when Staples has people working at the print station that are meant to service customers for that exact need!

So I decided not to get charged for using the computer, when there is an employee working at Staples that can print my order, and there is not a single other customer in line. Well, then the man tells me that I am going to have to wait until he has finished up with his cutting project, and then he can help me. So he took time out of his cutting project to teach me about the computer and how to use it, and then goes directly back to his project. But he cannot take 2 more minutes out of his time to print the 2 pieces of paper, I, the customer, need printed?!? I am absolutely in shock that Staples runs their business like this. I have to wait for an employee that is paid to be in customer service to finish up his project, when he has his entire shift to cut paper, instead of help the one customer they have in the store. And my only other option is to pay additional to do it myself.

An employee that works in customer service is hired to help customers! Not to tell them they have to wait until they are finished up with their project. And another little anecdote...the lady that told me she was clocking out, was still working on the computer when I left.
     
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At Your Service on 2012-12-16:
To me, neither the customer being helped by the associate's cutting project or yourself is more important. It is possible that the cutting was being done for a client that was to return shortly, meaning he/she would have been there prior to you.

Offering a way for the customer to 'serve themselves' by using one of their computers seems reasonable and twenty cents per minute seems more than reasonable. I'm sure it keeps others from just playing on or using the computer for an unlimited amount of time. For example, how would you have felt if someone was using up computer time to just surf the net?
Some1 on 2013-01-24:
Due to complaints on pricing of the computer workstations and faxing Staples looked into their pricing structure on these items, now if you go to a Staples location computer time is now 25c per minute and faxing is now priced based on AT and T's local / long distance instead of in state / out of state (instead of any city in the state sending a fax 5 miles down the road could cost 50cents more because of att's system)
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Why I don't shop at Staples anymore
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA -- I am small business consultant and used to shop at Staples to pick up laptop, desktop, priters & accessories etc for my clients. I used to shop there so often (1 to 2 times a week) that most of the staff personally knew me. Then a "new" manager was assigned to the store and that's when the problems begin. I was at the Staples store at Potomac Yard, Alexandria VA and they had a system on Clearance on the Floor and I picked it up at proceeded to pay for it. As usual I was harassed for Extended warranty of $200 for $400 system. Common sense would dictate that it would absolutely make no sense to buy an extended warranty for the system at 50% of the cost. I just played along as I was used to the game and in the end refused to buy the warranty. I gave my rewards card number and the Asst Manager pulled out my company name and noticed that I had the word "Computer" in the company name. At that point she informed me that since I was a reseller she would not sell me the computer. I though she was joking as I had bought from her 100 times before. But she called the "new" manager and he agreed with her and gave me the number of the President Office at Staples (which is also the same BS customer service to placate irritated customer, no action is ever taken) to file a complaint but refused to sell me the system. I informed him that the store was in Crystal City, Virginia where more that 80% businesses are computer consultants selling to Federal Government, if he had these policies he would have no sales but the "new" manager would NOT budge. I walked out of the store empty handed and my purchases of $25K to 30K per year with Staples are now zero and I constantly encourage all my clients NOT to shop at Staples and buy their Toners and supplies online from Amazon at much cheaper prices and better customer service.

After reading the New York Times article dated Sep 9, 2012 about these same Staples practices, I felt vindicated and hopefully the Staples management will soon realize that it makes NO sense to walk a "paying" customer in order to sell an overpriced warranty BUT who can understand the Logic of the "SMART" marketing heads at corporate office.
     
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Rosie M Banks... Wooster on 2012-09-26:
That is why I buy most of my items online, I hate the checkout BS. That clearance item is bait I'll bet, I wonder how many times they have made excuses not to sell it until they got a warranty buyer? One of the reasons I don't shop at Sears for anything is the pressure at checkout. No thanks!



These places need to appreciate that you walked into their store in the first place. Because there is always Amazon.
FoDaddy19 on 2012-09-26:
Part of me (the part that pays taxes) is somewhat relieved that the federal government won't be paying $800-$1000 or whatever the OP charges them (if that's indeed the case) for a $400 computer. But I do agree that the Staples manager was in the wrong and more than likely was indeed to trying to hold out to bundle the computer the lucrative extended warranty.
CowboyFan on 2012-09-27:
The store was correct. Now that the OP knows the policy, he can just buy computers there without using his reward card. This has nothing to do with whether he bought the extended warranty.

I owned a booth in a flea market where I sold sports merchandise, NFL hats, license plates etc. One company had the exclusive franchise to make NFL hats, and required a $10,000 initial order--beyond my means. There are a number of this company's outlet stores in my area. I would buy 8 or 10 hats at a time in such a store and resell them for more at my booth (but still less than market price).

Several times, the store refused to sell any hats to me because they thought I was reselling them. They discounted the hats at the outlet stores for regular customers, not for another business to snatch them up and resell them for more. Nothing wrong with that.
Kahula35 on 2012-10-18:
Staples was correct in this scenario. Staples is contracted by the manufacturer's to sell to consumers. We have many re-sellers that come in to our stores and abuse coupons, rebates, and clearance to resell. We catch them from time to time and it usually creates a problem but it's in the contracts. Most likely the previous manager was letting it go and the new manager was sticking to the policy. Not uncommon.

As to a clearance computer it means Staples is selling the item most likely below cost. That's part of the deal and a big reason why they aren't supposed to sell to re-sellers. I had a guy trying to buy up the entire stock of a deeply clearanced projector once with the sole intention of re-selling and I flat out rejected him on the phone. He was livid but frankly its the policy and it had absolutely nothing to do with protection plans. Generally we sales staff are glad to be rid of Clearance items because they are almost impossible to sell extras on anyway because it just brings deal hunters in.

As it is most re-sellers get real creative in their purchases and they almost never use rewards. Some will spin all kinds of weird stories to cover up what they are doing and while we know we can't refuse them so long as they don't let us know what they are doing.

In the grand scheme of things Staples isn't going to really bend for you in that scenario because a Clearance computer really is just a loss for them. SOmeone who is not going to resell the item will buy it and I bet it was eventually sold without a plan on it.

The NYTimes article is a joke based on typical conspiracy thinking. While I am sure the pressures of basket selling drive some Staples employees to pull tricks it's not at all the norm. Many customers buy computers at Staples without plans. Yeah it sucks for the salesman but it's the way of life. 90% of consumers are cost consumers with no store loyalty anyway and we all know this. We take a shot at your business because that's our job but if you reject then that's it. Staples is actually downsizing it's retail operation anyway to focus online so all this "plan hysteria" really is just a smokescreen...
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Misleading information
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I purchased a new Dell computer(i580-1839NBC) from Staples store #357 on 1/30/12, and paid an additional $99.99 for the Premium PC Setup Package. I also at the same time purchased a Microsoft Office Home and Student package (3 PC) for $109.99( $149.99 minus 40 dollars off w/ computer purchase.) because the Easy Tech, David, informed me that I needed to purchase it to get Microsoft Office. I subsequently discovered that this computer came preloaded with Microsoft Office, and that I really only needed to purchase a product key. The difference between what I purchased and the product key is approximately 20-30 dollars. I contacted the store on 2/12/12 and asked Easy Tech David why he sold me the more expensive option. He informed me that "the difference is not significant." It's significant to me. I found his demeanor insulting and demeaning. I then spoke to the store manager, Jim, who informed me that I needed to return the whole desktop computer to the store and they would delete the software, and then refund me the difference. I don't consider that a viable option, and I suggested that I would return the CD software package, and offered to delete it myself off my computer. I said I would be willing then to accept store credit for the difference in price. He told me that that would "mess up his inventory". I know for a fact that he could do that if he wanted. Jim implied he was doing me a favor agreeing to the conditions of the refund. I told him that for me it would mean dragging a desktop computer with my files and personal information on it back to the store, leaving it, and depending on David to delete the Office Package. I also tried to explain to him that David was the one who had opened the Office package since he installed it, and that he should have known that Microsoft Office was preloaded before he opened it. He should know his inventory. And it's written right on the carton! I did not see that myself because once I had agreed to the Premium Setup package, store staff placed the carton behind the counter. I have already had issues with David previously regarding installing my wireless connection. The first night I bought the computer home, the computer would not recognize my wireless router. I called Staples, and talked to David since he had set up the wireless card. His response," I really don't know much about wireless". He did say that my router was obsolete. I informed him that it was two weeks old. Finally, after 2 hours with Verizon,(never heard anything about problems with their routers) and then 3 hours with Dell, they managed to reconfigure my computer remotely.(I can't say enough about their service, it's great, But I did have to use my software support time.) they hadn't heard of software problems with any Verizon router either. they did say that the Staples store tech should have been able to help me. So I really don't want David working on my new computer. I would be happy to simply return my unused 2 PC portion of my Microsoft Office package, and get a store credit for the difference, provided that I do not have to return my computer. I will simply eat the $99.99 I spent on the Premium PC Setup at Staples, which was wasted money. No help with my wireless problem, David simply installed a USB adapter for my wireless(I expected a PCI), and now I find out that Office was already loaded. If this is not resolved, I will never buy at Staples again, and will tell everyone I know about how they mislead their customers.
     
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Information on 2012-02-12:
If you purchase just the keycard, it is LOCKED to that PC. So if you replace that computer at any time, you CANNOT transfer the license to the new one. Microsoft will not allow you to. The associate should have better explained the differences. The extra $20 is worth the piece of mind of not spending another $79 when you replace your PC, in my opinion at least.
Kahula35 on 2012-02-23:
I am completely confused as to what this customers complaint is all about.

1. Very few computers ever come pre-loaded with MS Office installed anymore. Instead the software to INSTALL office is included but you still have to pay for a product key or the CD.

2. The numbers are off here. The difference in price for the product key card and the CD version of Office is $10. The difference in price is because the CD carries 3 product licenses (as the customer seems to be aware) the key card is good for only one license.

3. Once software is open it cannot be returned to any store. There is absolutely no way Microsoft or anyone can return unused portions of a license. It is feasibly impossible.

Even divulging into the wireless issues brings confusion. The Tech was tasked with setting up a computer which requires them to access the internet to complete many tasks. Once you take the computer home it is your responsibility to configure the computer to your own wireless or wired network. If you cannot do so then have a service tech help you. No computer can just magically connect to the internet when you bring it home.

It seems what the problem is that the tech did not assess your needs accurately in that you only needed one copy of Office. This is common as we Techs see the CD as a better value in that it can be installed multiple times over the keycard which is only 10 bucks cheaper. As to the wireless issue that is not the Techs fault. I have done dozens of setups and from time to time a customer does not know how to configure their wireless when getting home and calls me. Sometimes I will direct the customer to the manufacturer or to the service line if they cannot follow my directions over the phone because Easy Techs are not paid to be IT support staff over the phone.
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Delivery And Customer Service Disaster
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MEDINA, OHIO -- Last Wednesday, I purchased a desk (in-store) from Staples. The desk was not stocked at their store, but I paid and they told me it would be delivered by Friday. The associate who placed an online order for me neglected to mention that they used a third party delivery service and also neglected to mention the terms of delivery itself. Perhaps, I should have asked.

On Thursday, I received a call at 1:00 p.m. from their delivery service asking what they should do with the desk. I called them back at 3:00 p.m. and was told, "we will tell the driver that you're home." They then proceeded to hang up the phone. So, I thought, gee, maybe they'll deliver my desk! No such luck. I got a call at about 7:00 p.m. from Staples telling me that my order was delayed and that it would be delivered the following day. I stayed on the line to talk to a customer service person, who informed that I would need to be available from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for delivery and that they do not call ahead because the companies that they contract with aren't required to have cell phones.

I sat at home from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday and called customer service at 4:30 p.m. because I still did not have a desk. I expressed my distrust in their ability to deliver my desk and the customer service representative assured me that it would be thereby 5:00 p.m. In fact, she told me that the driver stopped by my home at 4:00 p.m. the previous day. Funny, because I was home and no one ever came. She apologized but said that it would be thereby 5:00 p.m.

I finally left my home at 5:02 p.m. without a desk. I got another automated call around 7:00 p.m. saying that my order was delayed but would come on Monday. It was at that time that I cancelled my order.

On Monday, a delivery driver left the desk on my doorstep and left me a voice mail message on my phone. I had to call him back and come back to pick up the desk because I cancelled the order. Apparently, no one told them. I called customer service again and spoke to a supervisor. She assured me that I would not be responsible for the package and that they driver should not have left it there. She acknowledged that he should not have just left the desk and that I did in fact cancel my order. The driver came back to pick up the package, well at least I assume it was the driver. He didn't knock on the door, a man came out with a dolly and loaded the desk into a brown unmarked van.

I thought everything was fine, until today (Wednesday) when another driver from the delivery company came to pick up my 11, yes, that's ELEVEN desks. I have no desk and certainly did not order eleven of them. So, back to calling customer service, again speaking to the same supervisor from Monday. She said that she would call the delivery company and tell them to stop coming to my home. I asked her about the eleven desks, she said I only ordered one. I told her I wanted to know when I would be refunded the amount and to make sure that I was only charged for one desk. It's now 4:36 p.m. and I haven't heard back from anyone.

The customer service people are polite but useless. The delivery company should have their contract revoked and I will never shop at Staples ever again. The situation is still not resolved and I'm pretty upset.

So, the "easy button" that they advertise is complete crap. There was nothing easy about my encounters with Staples.
     
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tnchuck100 on 2008-05-21:
Assuming you paid with a credit card, do not wait. Check your credit card status immediately. File a dispute if needed. Do not let it drag on. They may attempt to tell you it takes 7-10 business days for a refund. Then they will tell you it takes 2 billing cycles. Don't let them push you past the 60 day dispute limit.
Anonymous on 2008-05-21:
This is why I hate "farmed out" delivery services.If a company is going to offer delivery,it should be done in house,and not sub-contracted out
Dre05 on 2008-07-14:
Staples I believe has free delivery over $50.00 and or if they are out of stock do not charge a delivery fee. So you get what you pay for when it comes to delivery. Delivery dates and time are not guaranteed there either. Also instead of staying home all day to wait for it you can indicate on the order to have it left somewhere. IE: Garage or back door. No need to waste your day sitting around. I do think that the delivery drivers should have to carry cell phones in case of issues like this so they can communicate clearly with everyone. (Customers and Staples warehouse) As for 11 desks charged, contact your credit card company to see if that was actually the case.
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