PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA -- I was in earlier today to pick up an order that I thought I had submitted online. Apparently it didn't go through and I had suspected that. I was so pleased and impressed with the salesperson who looked for the order and when she couldn't find it, went ahead and printed it for me - then and there. And after all that - no charge. It was only 5 pages and not a huge amount of money for either myself or the store but I just thought that it was a nice touch that has raised my opinion of Staples to a higher level.
Plus the other salesperson working there was busy, busy multi-tasking and dealing with several customers- I was dazzled just watching her. It occurs to me that many companies could learn much about customer service from the training at Staples. PS - I come from Canada, where we are supposed to be so nice - but the folks today could show some of our salespeople a thing or two.
COLORADO, COLORADO -- Online website: I submitted an order and 2 days later called to check on my order. They said the order was canceled from their side and never informed me and by that time the item was sold out. Terrible website and customer service. They are very bad with store pickup. I called a store to check if they have a specific laptop and they said yes and once I drove there turns out they never had it.
EASE WONDSOR, NEW JERSEY -- I was sold a service that did not deliver and that removed programs from my computer without consulting me. The result was that I could not do my work because all connections to servers were destroyed. I also was told to purchase the Staples anti-virus product which did not work. I had texts from cookies floating all over my screen no matter the program.
I tried to resolve the problem and was insulted by the tech who said that I had signed a paper saying that I accepted that things would go wrong. Wow! That is a real reason to return to Staples! Untrained, unsupported and no service! I paid more than $275 for this few hours of assessment and assurance.
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.
MEDINA, OHIO -- Saw an online price for an item and was informed it can be picked up in store as well. Got to store and item was priced $10 extra. Spoke with front staff and was told they would price match their own website and items? Like that's giving the customer a deal? Then was told there was a sale on the item for a buy 2 and get one free. So we bought 3. Took items to car and decided to go back in and get 3 more.
Was confronted by manager and was told the clerk made a mistake and that we got lucky. He would not honor the same deal again that we got less than 5 minutes earlier. I told him that was poor business practices and that it was dishonest. He didn't care and told me I was wrong. Still shaking head. That it was one or the other. The online price match, again with their own store, or the in store sale. Again, with their own merchandise???
Called corporate and was told the same thing. Not once did anyone apologize. Just assumed I was an idiot and that I did not read all the fine print, which I never saw. Nothing was printed about any of this. They just assume the customer will just go with it. I will NEVER spend another dime at Staples.
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 ** and was promised a call back from his supervisor ** 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: forward my complaint on to both the district and regional managers, follow up with me and share what corrective actions were taken and 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. ** before calling him back for status. I told Mr. ** 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.
READING, MA 01867, MASSACHUSETTS -- 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 **, the Sales Manager in your Reading store, who took control of the situation. Staples is indeed lucky to have ** 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 with he said: "Mr. **, we are going to start all over again." TIME BEGINS NOW.
At that point he cancelled the entire order, namely Order # **, and accordingly, credited my American Express Credit Card. He then proceeded to create a NEW ORDER (# **) 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, ** 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 ** 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 **. 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 ** 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 **. 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 ** unlike that with Apollo was most cordial (and professional). I then called ** 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 cannot say enough about **. 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.
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.
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, **, 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 ** 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, **, 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. ** 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 ** to delete the Office Package. I also tried to explain to him that ** 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 ** 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 ** 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 ** 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, ** 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.