COOS BAY, OREGON -- Staples offers what they call a "Rewards" program. It's not a rebate. When I turn in used printer cartridges they credit my account for $2.00 per cartridge but they insist that a customer wait 4 to six weeks to collect. I just made arrangements to collect my most recent rewards. My intent was to purchase a four-pack of the ink which I use. I checked online and it appeared that they had the large 4-packs for under $60.00. When I got to the store I couldn't find that product. Instead there were packs with one large cartridge and three small. That description was not as plain online.
They have what they call a "Product Concierge" at an e-mail address. I wrote to them and my e-mail bounced. I wrote to another e-mail address and it bounced also. I kept copies of the e-mails but don't think I should include them here.
CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA -- This is by far the best reward program of any store out there. I've been a reward member for about 2 years now and gotten at least $500 dollars in rewards and rebates in that time. Everything is easy about it. Just in the last 2 months I have redeemed about $60 in rewards. And make no mistake... I'm not a business. I'm not buying that much. This is simply for home office supplies and some computer needs... mouse, laptop case, no hardware... and mostly... a lot of ink for our printer. I also get credit for the ink cartridges I recycle there.
For all you dissatisfied reward users. Take a look at your settings for the account or check your spam settings... There has to be a problem... Aren't you getting the emails to notify when you have reward checks? Yesterday I just got email notifying me that I have 2 reward checks ready. I clicked open the email and printed the checks and I'm off to spend $38 at Staples. The Easy Rebates are awesome too... EASY! Enter 2 numbers on your receipt and you're done. Once, my husband threw away a receipt we needed and the store was able to look it up and give me full credit for the product I returned even though it was currently on sale.
I belong to so many other retail reward programs. Michaels Craft Store for example...even though my status has been upgraded to a gold member, I've yet to see a single benefit in the last 6 months of membership. Most of the others give you a week to use your rewards. With Staples I usually have 3 months... and if you let them expire in that time...you don't need ANY reward program. I LOVE STAPLES REWARDS PROGRAM!!!
As an employee of Staples, I get many questions about the rewards program. The main thing I wanted to state in this review is a new, mandatory piece of information NEEDED in order to receive checks. If you do NOT put an email address on your application, you will NOT receive the checks. They won't be mailing them out anymore, they will be emailing them out (so I've been told by management). We cannot update information in our computers at the store, but if you call the 800# or go online, you can.
Also, another important piece of info is your CURRENT phone number. This is ONLY used to look you up in the system. It is not sold for anything further. I was inputting applications in tonight, and even when its starred and highlighted saying it's mandatory, people STILL left the email space blank. PLEASE remember this information if you have not yet signed up for a Rewards card. Thank you. :)
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VIRGINIA -- Staples continually is making it harder (or less friendly) to do business with them. The current issue is that they have recently changed their policy on returning used ink cartridges for a $3.00 credit. Now, instead of getting an instant credit, you MUST sign up for their rewards card and the credit will be issued as a coupon go for use in the store at the end of the month. Except for the fine print... you can only turn in 3 cartridges at a time for a $9.00 total credit. They will only issue a coupon for amounts over $10.00. Any unpaid balance "expires" at the end of the year.
Now, with the fact that I turned in three today, and then have to sign up for it, it means that I most likely won't get any more "credit" between now and the end of the year - or in other words, they got the cartridges and will not have to pay me the money. Why even bother with this mess? That is why I never wanted to sign up for their silly card anyway. Besides this, every single time I ever go into use their copy shop, it ruins my day. There is always an issue... always. And no help either.
CROSSVILLE, TENNESSEE -- The store clerks don't know how to obtain rewards program status. I was in their computer, but "online" had no record of me, no rewards, nothing. Turned in 5 ink cartridges and they said it would show up immediately "online". Day later, nothing! VERY frustrating to use their website and it freezes up and stalls frequently. I am on cable internet with Staples i7 HP laptop. Hard to redeem points when you cannot obtain the coupons.
I have had a Staples Reward card for 10 years and given them many thousands of dollars of business. When I changed jobs they started giving my rewards to the business I left and said I could no longer have my Rewards account. This account was in my name, not the business name. Customer Service was very helpful - basically told me to "get over it" and left me on hold for an hour when I asked to speak with a supervisor.
When using coupons, gift cards, etc., buy EVERYTHING individually! Above all, do not fall for their "free" offers advertising your money back in rewards. Despite assurances (from both cashier & customer service), Staples deducted about 1/3 of my supposed "rewards," claiming that some convoluted formula I had OK'd years ago entitled them to do so.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I recently joined Staple's Cash Rewards program with the understanding that on a quarterly basis, I would receive a 'cash reward' based on a percentage of how much I spend during that respective quarter. The program itself is great. I spent enough within one day that I received a return in the hundreds. After receiving my first reward check I went to Staples and purchased an adapter to hook up my iPod to my car stereo. I was skeptical of the product. However, being it was a 'reward' purchase I thought 'who cares'.
Once I started using the product, I realized it was terrible for the price I paid. I packed it up and took it back to Staples to take advantage of their 'Easy Returns'. This is where my complaint begins. I went back to the same Staples and they accepted my return with no questions. However, when they tried to process my return, they kept receiving a message on their system saying it was denied. This happened a couple times before the manager was called. The manager looked confused and then explained to me that the system is saying I am attempting to return this product for the second time. I said that's impossible.
He then gave me a phone number and asked ME to call that number to clear it up. I then explained to him that maybe the system is confused because I purchased this product with my rewards check. He said 'No', that wouldn't cause an issue. So I pulled out MY cellphone and called the number provided to me by the manager. The company I called was a third party that handles rewards programs for several other companies. They informed me that the reason I am not able to return my product is because I used a rewards check and all purchases made with a rewards check cannot be returned OR exchanged.
At that point, I became so upset that my face turned so red that if you were to write 'EASY' on my face, I could have been mistaken for an EASY button. I was then told that my only option was to exchange the product for the same product (not much of an option). I grabbed my product back from the cashier in disgust while losing my respect for Staples and its 'reward' program. I was absolutely surprised at how quickly Staples was able to reject my return and let me walk out the door unsatisfied after spending thousands of dollars in just one day.