Staples’ Purported New Image Submission Program

An anonymous Staples employee updates us with information about Staples’s new image conversion program, which likely stems from the kerfuffle that occurred when people thought Staples was charging a per-file ‘setup’ fee to print files from disks.

Our source writes:

I work in the Copy Center. We’ve only recently started accepting files via email, and are working on a web-based submission method. It’s no secret that our computer systems are severely crippled. We can only open files created in the Microsoft Office suite, .pdf files, or if there’s someone working who actually has a clue how a computer works, most basic image files (.jpg, .tif, etc.) Before now, if you had a file that we couldn’t accept, you were pretty much SOL. I don’t like turning away customers any more than anyone else, however since they seem not to want to invest any money in decent software or training the employees, it was probably for the best. Now things have changed. If someone has a file we can’t open we give the customers a CD. The disc contains a program that’s all Staples-ey and will apparently convert any file into a .pdf for you. With a big, honkin’ red watermark on it.

The watermark says something to the effect of “To remove this watermark, take your file to Staples for printing.” We have a program that strips the mark and lets us print the file. I just think it’s absurd in this day of viruses and adware and everything else slowing people’s computers down that Staples as a company thought it was a good idea to tell it’s customers that they’re too stupid to figure out how to convert their files on their own, and to put this foreign program on their computers to make a broken .pdf which can only be “fixed” by us. It’s insulting and I thought everyone here on teh internets should know about it.

Comments

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  1. Josh says:

    I would start handing this out to your customers, well maybe not since you would probably be given a Your fired Mousepad and sent on your way.

    Anyway this is a free program which allows you to select a printer and get a pdf as your end result. The printer is called something along the lines of PDFcreator.
    Link to sourceforge

    Hows that for an easy button?

  2. Paul D says:

    Macs can create PDFs from any document, right outta the box.

    …so I’ve heard.

    / not a Mac guy.

  3. Danilo says:

    Paul D is correct. PDF output is available from the Print dialog in any OS X app.

    It’s also possible to print to PDF from Windows, but you gotta grab some software first — either from Adobe or something like Josh recommends.

    As for Staples, what a bunch of dorks. God forbid they just hand their customers a free, useful tool.

  4. nweaver says:

    Yeup. Mac printer driver includes “write to PDF”.

    Better than a lot of the free Windows ones which don’t do as good a job.

  5. Vulcan says:

    OpenOffice has an “export to .pdf” function.

    And for those who just want to change image formats, it’s hard to beat IrfanView.