17 Confessions Of Staples Drones

14. Managers have coupons kept in the safe that they can use for dissatisfied customers. If you have a problem ask to speak to a manger and most of the time they will offer you some sort of discount on a product or a free service in the store.

13. Easy Tech’s are in every store to provide technical support for the customers. The fees are lower then Best Buy. Most techs are just Business Machines associates who have a little computer background. While I am a tech in a store, I wouldn’t trust some of the other techs in the chain. Deals can be had with Easy Tech service. An example would be you could get Norton 360 for 30 installed, or pay the 60 for it without the Easytech service.

12. Associates do not make commission, so there is no incentive for selling plans and attachments. The managers make HUGE bonuses (as there bonuses are tied to the profit margin). Most of the time a big sale (laptops, etc) will have a manager approach you before the sale hits the register if you leave without any attachments.

UPDATE: A current Staples supervisor writes, “Employees make quarterly bonuses if they meet sales and margin goals for every period during a quarter, which are payed out as 10-20 cents per hour worked during that time. It’s hardly commission, but there IS sales incentive. “

11. Associates cannot give you random coupons (mainly the $3 ink ones) due to the new lost prevention procedures in place. Every coupon is counted in the book before a shift starts. At the end of the shift the number of HP, Lexmark, and Dell cartridges are counted against the number of coupons offered.

10. Sales Associates are not able to offer any special discounts to you. However because the store gets judged on the number of service plans that are sold (total dollar amount) coupons do exist. An example is there was a $10 off a $60 shredder coupon. This coupon was only distributed in the stores, so customers did not know about the true use for the coupon. A common sales pitch would be, for this day only my manager has authorized me to give you a free service plan. When shopping at Staples remember that it has to be done by a coupon and you can ask to see the coupon before purchasing the item.

9. Staples does not offer rainchecks, so if the product is out of stock in the store, three options exist – order the product from Staples.com, find the product in another store, or substitute a similar item. I have seen items that are of better quality be substituted in for an out of stock item. All you have to do is ask a manager.

8. Stores are authorized to offer up to 15% off of the clearance price of an item in the store. Most stores will sell the product at cost. If you say that you want the warranty before the associate goes to speak to a manager about a discount, the discount will be larger. When you get up to the checkout just say you no longer want the warranty and pocket the extra savings.

7. The Copy and Print Center offers a 100% money back guarantee. Many stores, including my own, have covered up that guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the way the order was done, you simply need to state that you want it for free. The manager will most likely come over and stand firm (they will offer you 50% off or something similar) and you will receive the order for free. Staples will even reprint the order correctly without charging you.

6. Staples still has its guarantee that your ink will be in stock or you get $10 off. Most of the time the ink is able to arrive the next business day at your door, so customers don’t force the issue (or even know about it). Make sure that you are clear that you want your 10 dollars off the ink if you order it – sometimes the ink will magically appear.

5. Almost all printers in the store come with full ink/ toner. The few machines that don’t are the “low” end machines in a series. The HP Laserjet 1600 has starter inks while the 2600n has full toner. The box will make it clear if it has full or starter toner in them. All INK JET machines have full ink in them.

UPDATE: A current Staples supervisor writes, “most of the printers we sell come with the starter cartridges, not sure where s/he got the idea that they don’t (few manufacturers put this on their boxes at all) “

UPDATE: A current HP sales rep writes, ” all inkjet printers come with FULL cartridges. We no longer use starter cartridges. It says so right on the box the capacity of the cartridges included. Compare them with the separate retail cartridges, and you will see that they are the same. The author of the piece is correct when he/she mentions that the lower end lasers (1600 and 1018) do come with half-full starter toner cartridges.

Most retail employees have no idea that HP inkjets come with full cartridges. They just take the word of their superior and tell customers that the printers come with starters. They never take the time to verify what the printer comes with. Since the most, if not all, retail stores are ranked by their respective companies based on sales and/or margin, they tell customers that they’ll need to pick up extra ink since printers only come with starters, which is false in most cases.”

4. Machine sales are judges on a CIPS basic. Cable, Ink, Paper and a Service Plan. A great sale is a sale that has all of them. The warranties for the most part are a rip off. You need to call up a phone number and they will mail you a refurbished machine within a week or so. If they don’t want to do that they will send you the amount they can buy a used machine for (normally 1/3 of the buying price, or double the price of the warranty).

UPDATE:A current Staples supervisor writes, “We’re now actually judged by what’s called ASPs, where all electronics in the store have a metric that has qualifying attachments, not just CIPS on printers (in fact, we no longer use that term). The more attachments you sell, the better your percentage, and the better you look.”

UPDATE: The original Staples confessor replies, “While the CSIP System is no longer being used as a measure of success on selling printers, it is a good way of measuring the ASP that are published every Monday morning. Computers and other items also have attachments that associates are suppose to sell. The information about bonuses for the most part are correct. However for an associate to be able to get the high end of the scale the exit survey needs to be above a 90% (meaning every question received a 5, or a perfect score) which gives a 10cents bonus, and sales need to DOUBLE the budged sales for the store and the gross margin needs to be extremely high. The only time that I have seen a bonus above 1.00 an hour was during the back to school season.”

3. Sales tags are often outdated and Staples needs to honor whatever prices are on the shelves. Make sure you ask for the lower price if there is one.

2. Associates are not allowed to accept tips, but sometimes customers bring in gift baskets of goods for the copy center. Next time that customer needs an order it will be completed faster then other orders because all the associates know the customer. Make yourself known to the associates and they will treat you well.

1. Copy and Print Center associates have the ability to not charge you for a service. While they are not officially allowed to due this, many will do so.

- Anonymous

Is this “confession” legit? We don’t have any Staples insiders in our database to check, so current and former Staples associates, let us know what you think in the comments.

(Photo: Maulleigh)

UPDATE: Staples insider #2 adds these 3 more buying tips:

15. Extended warranties… they are designed so that the obligor must pay out the full value that you payed in the event that they do not fix or replace the printer you bought. I’ve mostly worked with the HP warranties, but they usually send a replacement “core” unit back that is essentially all parts of the printer except for your ink cartridges and a few outer cosmetic plastic pieces. Also, the EasyTechs are allowed to do HP warranty work (both HPs actual warranty, and the staples extended warranties).

UPDATE: The original Staples confessor writes, “With the extended warranties, they are outsourced to a company called Assurant. When they offer you a cash card for a machine they will go by the replacement value for a comparable machine at TODAYS value which is normally half of the actually cost of the machine. Numerous customers have come back into the store complaining about it, with little the store can actually do.”

16. Staples offers free delivery on all orders done through Staples.com over $50. Customers can use this to their advantage if they are buying bulky furniture or printers and the like. Staples associates can place “dot com” orders for you in the store so that you can pay as though you’ve bought the item in the store, and the shipment time is usually within two days on most products, but can be up to 7 business days on some furniture.

17. If you go to a store looking for a particular product and that store does not have it in stock, you can ask associates to check the SKU for quantity at other stores. If another store is shown to have it, managers have the option of doing a “save-the-sale” so that you actually purchase the item in the store you are currently in instead of having to drive out to the other store. This is much better than asking them to hold something! If you wish, the item can also be shipped to you, from the store, via UPS on Staples’ dime. You may ask to do this, but please note that the manager of the store with the product always has the option to refuse to do this if they want to keep the sale.

UPDATE: Yet another employee has a few more to add:

18. Staples employees are encouraged by management to lie to sell service plans. One very popular lie is that the staples extended service plan covers you from date of sale. This is wrong, the staples plan covers you after the manufacturer’s plan expires. So if you buy a two year plan, staples won’t help you for a year, you need to contact the manufacturer.

19. We also tell customers that our warranties cover accidental damage. Some employees even say that customers can literally roll printers down the stairs, and it will be covered if you say it’s an accident. This is NOT true.

20. We tell customers that service plans cover them all over the world, so if they are in Canada or England or Africa they can take it to any staples and have it replaced for free. The truth is, Staples is not in any other countries we are in, such as Canada, we use a different name and the warranty is not able to be used there. For the brighter customers who would question the world-wide coverage of the service plan, saying that staples is not in a place like Hungary or China, we would tell them that Staples will pay to have the defective unit shipped back to the USA, fixed, and we could send it back, free of charge. This is a total lie.

21. Employees will lie their heads off about laptop service plans too. We will tell customers that water-damage is covered, so if they drop it in a pool or spill coffee on their laptop, we will replace it. NOT TRUE. We also will tell customers that the laptop warranty covers batteries, so if the battery dies, we will replace it, free. This is a total lie. If you read the fine print in the pamphlets we have, it says it does not cover batteries.

22. It is totally 100% true that the CIPS program and the new ASP (I worked under both) did push the sales of attachments (cable, ink, paper). What the author of this article forgot to mention is how much money Staples makes off of USB cables. Staples will buy a 25-foot “gold” usb ” 2.0″ cable for $2.83/cents as of 2006. We charge $24.99. This is why we push cables. You can buy the same cable at Wal-Mart or Target or Kmart for under $10.

23. Staples employees also LIE to get you to buy cables! Some of the printers (Brother) come with a cable, and we will say it does not, unless a customer notices it on the box. We will also tell a customer that their old USB cable will not work because it is probably a USB 1.0 or 1.1 cable, incompatible w/ USB 2.0. THIS IS A BOLD-FACED LIE. USB CABLES ARE USB CABLES! There is no 1.1 1.0 or 2.0 cable, its only the components that have this, not the cables. I have single-handedly sold over 200 cables to unknowing customers. Managers force employees to say this, and they know its a lie too.

24. TIP: If you are shopping at Staples for a computer and would like to get a nice discount, find a floor model that is on “clearance”. Ask to buy it and demand 15% off. The manager has the ability to drop the price by 15% but will only do so when you buy a warranty, usually. Buy the warranty. Then leave the store and the next day drive back and bring in your receipt and ask them to return the warranty. You will get your money back and keep the 15% savings. You could also go to any other Staples store and return the warranty, so if you are uncomfortable going back to that store and seeing the same manager, go to another Staples in your area.

25. You may wonder why Staples employees will lie so much to get you to buy accessories and service plans. We are not paid on commission, we don’t even see a dime of any sale we make. The incentive most employees have to sell these things is so they do not get moved from electronics department to furniture or office supplies, which are much more boring. Managers WILL threaten to move you if you do not sell.

26. TIP: Staples stores will get hell if they receive negative feedback for a particular store. If you are dissatisfied with your experience at staples, or discover that you have been lied to, file a corporate complaint. Call 1-800-3STAPLE (1-800-378-2753) and tell them you want to file a corporate complaint against a store, and they will direct you to it. This will cause the person you report to, to send it in email to the offending store and this will cause chaos for a day or two. Do this enough and the manager will be replaced.

UPDATE: and another:

27. If you need business cards, and you want to order them from Staples, order them online. They go to the same 3rd party company, and instead of having to come back in and pick them up, they’ll come to your house instead. In fact, they recently changed the system to go paperless for us too, so it’s the same procedure for us to order the cards/stamps/etc in the store as it would be for a customer to do it from home.

28. Easy Techs will try to sell you everything they can, even though there’s not much incentive to do so. Plus, as previously mentioned, they aren’t specifically trained as computer techs. Mainly they’re catering to the “The drink holder got stuck” crowd.

29. Don’t send us emails. Half the time we don’t get them, and when we do they are the lowest priority jobs we have, since you’re not in our face telling us to get the job done. Often customers come in and expect their jobs to be finished when they’ve just emailed it an hour ago. This will never happen.

30. If you want your copies to look good, bring in a file. Preferably a PDF, but any MS Office file or graphic (.tif, .jpg, etc) file will be fine too. Make sure it’s the only thing on the thumbdrive/CD/floppy though. There’s nothing that makes us not want to work on your job than having to root around looking for your cryptically named file that’s buried in 30 subfolders. If you’re not giving us a pdf, don’t use strange fonts that nobody has. We don’t have them either.

31. They lock down our computer so that we can’t even right-click on things, and don’t have access to the C drive, or half the other things that the computer is supposed to do. So no, we can’t just install Print Shop Pro, or your crazy fonts, and No we can’t just let you connect your laptop to our network, and we can’t get on the internet except to check our own copy center email. I’ll give you a blank CD though or a floppy to transfer your file.

32. The Ship Center kiosk is designed so that customers can type their information in themselves, so please feel free to save us both the time when you want to ship something, don’t bother filling out the form, just type it into the kiosk, then call me over.

33. The managers are trained to pretty much bend over backwards to help customers. They can wheel and deal up to a certain percent, and sometimes they can even break that rule if the need be. Don’t be afraid to lean on them if you feel like you’re not being treated right.

34. The Express Cards that we all switched over to recently for Self-Serve copies can be used as cash cards in the store if you don’t spend all of what you put on there, but we can’t cash them out at a register.

35. Once you get a receipt for your transaction, we can’t help you if you forgot to hand us your rewards card. There’s a number on the back, call it and they’ll fix you right up.

36. Staples Rewards are pretty much a scam. It used to be that you got 20% back on any copy center purchase over $200 in a month. Now it’s only 10%. They changed that but didn’t tell anyone, except now it’s 10% back on everything in the copy center, so sometimes that works out better. All I know is that I see a lot fewer rewards checks these days since they switched the system.

37. Despite having a computerized quote system for copy orders, we still have to key in exactly what you got, so there’s some room for fudging, and depending on the specifics of your job there might be several ways of putting it into the computer. If you ask for a price, make sure to get the Copy Hold slip, that way you can come back and be assured the same price you were quoted. Plus, there are some things that we’re supposed to ring up that I just don’t bother with because I know for a fact that other chains don’t, like RIP fees, scanning fees for signature stamps, ringing for copies on colored paper when it belongs to the customer, etc.

Comments

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  1. linedpaper says:

    I used to work at Staples a long time ago. It seems a lot has changed. We used to get commission for service plans, as I was leaving they changed the format from commission to a “store bonus” type setup so even those in areas such as office supplies that don’t sell service plans could still get some money. We used to walk around with coupons all the time and throw on service plans even if the customer didn’t want it. One thing that is huge is accessories (as it always is). If you buy a usb cable, ink, and paper with your printer you can usually get hooked up with a better price. You can always return what you don’t need the next day. My manager used to always use the line “you wouldn’t use old spark plugs on a car would you? just the same you shouldn’t use an old usb cable on a new printer”. when i bought a printer for myself without a cable I just told him “i wouldn’t buy a car that didn’t come with spark plugs to begin with!”

  2. Chicago7 says:

    Somebody correct if I am wrong, but I don’t believe they have an option of not issuing rain checks in Illinois. I think it’s a law.

  3. kweee says:

    Staples does not offer rainchecks…

    Many states have laws that require stores to issue rainchecks in the event an advertised item is out of stock. It doesn’t matter if Staples offers them or not; they may still need to issue them.

  4. Ray Wert Jr says:

    I don’t know if the policy changed, but the policy was a full cash refund not a percentage on the service plans.

    Staples (like many other chains) do not provide service for those warranties, they just sell them. A lot of people think that if you buy a laptop and the screen goes out you take it back to the store. NO. You have to call the number and ship it out somewhere (usually relatively local, like same state or such), so the shipping costs aren’t astronomical.

    However, if you add in the cost of shipping to the plan, and the time you are without the device sometimes its just cheaper to buy another. Especially with computers. Some people keep them around and repair them for 6-7 years and thats just silly. Old RAM is such a rip off because its more rare.

    The managers are slime sometimes. I,and other associates, were frequently lied to. Not really surprising. Plus they pay next to nothing and expect the world. Customers should understand that associates can do little for you, and they probably hate their job just as much as you hate having issues with electronics, if not more.

  5. unknown3125 says:

    I used to work for Staples, I quit about a year ago but here are a few other things that i can add:

    Every month we would get a small stack of coupons for $20 off a $100 purchase to give to people who would use the staples.com kisok to order products, even though they say only for staples.com you can use them in the store also along with any other staples coupon that says that. If your in a store just ask someone at the customer service desk or in areas where the staples.com kisoks are if they have any. These coupons are sometime used to sell service plans.

    Another secret I have is how to get a free gift card from furniture protection plans even if the furniture isn’t broken. If you buy a plan on furniture costing $99 or less, they will not replace the furniture, they just mail you a gift card for the amount you paid for it on the receipt. If you call the phone number on the plan to claim that the furniture is broken, they will take your word for it, and won’t ask to see it or mail it somewhere to be inspected, they will just ask you to dispose of it. If your furniture is not broken then just tell the representative that it is broken in some way that is covered in the plan. Then a week later you should get the gift card that can be used to purchase anything in the store.

    I’m not sure if they changed their policy on the furniture plans but it was like that a year ago.

  6. Naval Patel says:

    I know that 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 14 are true. I use the Staples Copy and Print Center a lot – a few times a week. I’ve had instances where I’ve needed jobs done in under an hour so I e-mail it to them and they are done. I’ve never needed to take advantage of the 100% satisfaction.

  7. I have a friend who works at staples. I’ll contact him and see If I can get a response.

  8. homerjay says:

    I love Staples. I wish they’d sell everything else I want to buy because its always easy shopping there and the people are always helpful.

    It may just be my local store (Salem, NH) but it would be nice if its company wide. In fact, about 6 years or so ago I tried to return something there about two days after buying it and the MOD actually accused me of stealing the item and trying to return it with a bogus receipt. I complained up and down to corporate. Got a personal apology from the store manager and I never saw that guy in that store again.

  9. BII says:

    Is this “confession” legit? We don’t have any Staples insiders in our database to check, so current and former Staples associates, let us know what you think in the comments.


    wow, you have a list of insiders you can verify things with?

  10. balthisar says:

    How long do resalers figure they can keep banking on attachments? Isn’t that something only the clueless or first time buyers could ever possibly need? I’ve got more USB cables, FireWire cables, Centronics cables, mouses, pads, paper, all of that crap, than I even know what to do with. If I need a new laptop, there will be attachments sold. If I need a new desktop, no attachments. New printer? No friggin’ attachments. I feel bad for the sales reps that are graded on this nonsense metric.

  11. flashing12 says:

    sorry, I didn’t get a chance to read the article…I was out buying gift baskets

  12. Asvetic says:

    3. Sales tags are often outdated and Staples needs to honor whatever prices are on the shelves. Make sure you ask for the lower price if there is one.

    The morning sales associates for all departments are in charge of updating the day’s sales tags first thing upon arrival to the store (usually 6am). A printer is set up to print out these tags, which could easily be several hundred. The tags are print based on size and style only, not department. Sorting the tags and then distributing them to the departments takes time and extensive knowledge of the departments. Cashiers would usually do this after they set up their registers, because they have the most free time in the mornings.

    After the tags are distributed, it can take several hours based on the associates duties and distractions (customers, restocking, blocking and setting up sales points for that day). Because of this, some associates would just place a new tag over an existing old tag. A more diligent associate would remove the old tag, and adhere the new tag which has a sticker backing. Not every day is like this, but the majority are, especially before a heavy sales weekend.

    Staples will honor all prices and tags, but not always outright. Based on what the item is, if there are any other tags nearby that say other wise and considering the tags original print date, which is located on the tag.

  13. SeattleGuy says:

    I am a former Staples Sales manager. I left the company 4 months ago after passing a Microsoft Cert exam and getting a job in the technology sector.

    For the most part the confession above is true. Managers do keep a limited number of Customer Service coupons in the safe. The store is charged for their use (the value comes right off the bottom line) so they are used pretty much only when all other customer service options have been exhausted.

    The Easy Tech service, when used in conjunction with one of the frequent coupons, can be a good deal. Especially for virus and spyware removal. They have a guarantee that pretty much allows you to bring back your computer should anything go wrong in the following 30 days and get SIMILAR issues repaired for free. If you had virus removal done 15 days ago they are not going to fix a PC that no longer boots.

    The sales associate bonus is substantially more than 10 or 20 cents. When I left 4 months ago you could get as much as $2.10 and hour for every hour you worked the previous quarter. That can add up to a respectable chunk of change. But it’s not all based on sales, there is mystery shop, attachment selling (ASP as mentioned above) and other factors.

    With regards to rain-checks, Staples fulfills your order with either an on-line order, order it from another store for free delivery to you, give you a very special on-the-fly computer generated coupon , or give you a substitute. One of those four works for 99.999999% of the customers I’ve ever handled. If you put ‘While supplies last’ or other similar verbiage in your ad you don’t have to rain-check.

    HP ink jet printers USED to come with series G carts (starters) so what you are likely to hear is something like “Historically printers come with starter cartridges, Unless your already planning on coming here next week you might want to pick up another set today” And almost 100% of image film, plain paper fax machines come with a starter cartridge. That’s only good for ~20 pages.

    I found that Staples is committed to customer service. They believe that is the one, single thing in todays economy that sets them above the other two office supply chains. If you the customer has a true and real issue, any of the management staff that I knew here in the Greater Seattle Area (including myself) would have resolved it. Period.

  14. SeattleGuy says:

    @balthisar: The profit margin on electronics is incredibly slim and sometimes during a sale can actually be negative.
    Attachments are where a store makes the profit that the stockholders are looking for. It’s hard to make money without the attachments, so they are suggested with every sale. The best way to out maneuver the sales associate is to suggest extra ink or toner yourself. You will need it someday and most of them don’t expire or go bad if you keep them sealed. It’s hard to pressure you if you’re already buying something that you KNOW you don’t actually need today.

  15. Hayes says:

    I work for HP sales, and all inkjet printers come with FULL cartridges. We no longer use starter cartridges. It says so right on the box the capacity of the cartridges included. Compare them with the separate retail cartridges, and you will see that they are the same. The author of the piece is correct when he/she mentions that the lower end lasers (1600 and 1018) do come with half-full starter toner cartridges. Most retail employees have no idea that HP inkjets come with full cartridges. They just take the word of their superior and tell customers that the printers come with starters. They never take the time to verify what the printer comes with. Since the most, if not all, retail stores are ranked by their respective companies based on sales and/or margin, they tell customers that they’ll need to pick up extra ink since printers only come with starters, which is false in most cases.

  16. yg17 says:

    “Sales tags are often outdated and Staples needs to honor whatever prices are on the shelves. Make sure you ask for the lower price if there is one.”

    I must say, that is indeed true. I was in a Staples with my friend who was buying a Bluetooth headseat. It was originally like 60 bucks, but the tag said something like $15 off and then a $15 mail in rebate, making it 30. But, when we got to the register, it indeed came up 60. Turns out the tag was outdated. They gave him 30 bucks off right there. No messing with the rebate or any crap like that. I was impressed. It’s something every store should do, but most don’t.

  17. jcreedon says:

    13. EasyTechs are required to sign an ethics agreement and the tech work is either done at the customer service desk, or on counter located right out side the operations office, where managers often go in and out of. This helps in preventing a lot of the problems that have occurred with our “friends” over at Best Buy. (There are plenty of articles on Consumerist about this.)

    12. A more important note about the bonusing. Staples Associates also bonus on Customer Service, not just sales. At the register, some receipts are randomly printed with a survey, we only get rated out of the percentage of Customers that give us a five out of five. Our store for example is budgeted to get 75% of the people who take the survey to give us a five. If we make that for the quarter, we get an extra 10 cents per hour worked that quarter. From a consumer standpoint, this is a far cry better than any other retailer I know of. A lot of others only offer bonus or commission on sales. It makes good customer service just as much of a goal as sales.

    Other random notes:

    Getting on a Copy and Print Center associate’s good side:
    -Always (if possible) bring your document in as a digital copy. It makes it easier on everyone. Furthermore bring it in as a PDF. All documents that are not a PDF are charged a $2 conversion fee (though as mentioned in #1, this is not always charged). Any file not brought in as a PDF have to be converted to a PDF before we can print it. If there are any conversion problems, such as using a font we don’t have, and using an older version of Office, they are solely your responsibility. If you don’t have the ability to create PDFs, there are plenty of free software alternatives out there, but CPC associates will point you to either the EasyPrint software, which is freely downloadable from the Staples website and will convert a lot of formats into PDF (beware though, the PDFs a locked and watermarked, and can only be printed from a Staples store) or they will point you to http://www.staples.com/copyandprint where you can upload your files and they will be converted to a PDF and sent to the store directly for printing.
    -If you have a small number of copies to do, just do it on a Self-Serve machine. It’s cheaper (for B&W at least) and it will get done faster (the job queue is usually first come, first serve, and the “can you run it real quick for me, it’s only x copies” request will not work. CPC associates will put priority on a $200 order over a $5 order. Also Copy and Print centers semi-compete with others in the area. One of the numbers used is average order value. If you try and drop-off an order under $35~$45 (the number varies from store to store), they will redirect you the self serve machine to run it your self, or try to get you to use a more expensive paper, or add another service to try and increase the order value.

    Other CPC notes:
    -All stores have a CPC email address where you can email files to be printed, but the company is considering getting rid of the email and moving everything towards http://www.staples.com/copyandprint In general the website is a lot easier to use anyways.

    Other EasyTech notes:
    -EasyTechs are trained via CD. They may not be the best, but they are most likely going to be better than the computer-kid next door.
    -If you come in with some random problem for diagnosis, bring in the restore disks as well. If it ends up being an unfixable virus problem (which has been very common for me at least) EasyTechs are going to recommend a system restore, which is about a 60 dollar service, but it includes updating drivers and Windows (which is about an hours worth of work depending on how old the disks are and is an impossibility if you have dial-up at home), and Anti-Virus install if you bring in the disks for it. If it ends up not being the case, then we’ll recommend the best fix for the solution. I just recommend bringing them in to save you a second trip.
    -EasyTechs or Staples in general is not liable for ANY data-loss. So if some act of god happens (or a tech messes-up) you signed an agreement upon drop-off that does not make us liable for the loss.(Note:This has NEVER happened in the period of time I have worked at Staples, so I’m not sure what we do do if that happens. I think we will offer a refund, but that’s about it.) So back-up your data before coming in, or pay for the back-up service (which is a good idea anyways, because most people don’t back-up enough).

    It sounds like the person who wrote this originally has not worked for Staples in a while (current employees always provide a better picture for articles on this blog IMHO). Staples is constantly finding ways to provide the best customer service in our industry, while still making money (that is the point of a business after all). If you find something that could provide better customer service inform a manager or email corporate. If you are completely amazed by the customer service by a store or a particular employee, call or email the president’s office and that will really make their day. :)

  18. Thrust says:

    Staples is one of the few major retail chains I actually LIKE. They have never done wrong by me. VERY often I find mispriced items, they will honor the lowest marked price without hassle, often its a lower price in the computer already, they just didn’t take down the old sign. They tend to be cheaper than other places, and have a good variety and selection. My only beef is that you can NEVER reach anyone there by phone. Other than that, Kupo!

  19. jerseyjokeboy says:

    Here’s a tip for any of you out there who want to print hundreds of resumes/cover letters on all that fancy paper: If the wording varies from page to page, save everything as one Word/PDF document. Staples will charge you for each file they open in order to print your documents. If you have one resume and want 100 copies, then no prob there. But if you are printing many copies of different documents that can be combined and saved in one document, do that to save money (Thank you, nice Staple’s lady!)

  20. Hydrargyri says:

    This is my first comment! I’m a “worker drone” (tech) at one of the larger Staples in the country. I don’t know what its like at other Staples, but I’ve never seen a manager use a special coupon — but if you want to buy a damaged item, they’ll sometimes offer %10 off if you really want it (I’ve only seen this for cheap items to begin with, 10 or so dollars).

    Also, I have seen my manager offer (without any sort of request from the costumer) two single-packs of ink for the price of the double pack when the store was out of the double pack. Not exactly saving money, but it can save you another car drive to the next store.

    Lastly, if you call a store to ask for an item to be held for you, try to get the employee to physically see or hold the item. There’s a computer inventory system that’s very good, but sometimes faulty. If the employee only checked the computer, there is a chance that the item is actually not there when you drive.

  21. eli_b says:

    Any secrets about why a small pack of Post-it Notes is 6.99? I mean…c’mon. I don’t know about how it works in your locations, but in my area, the prices at the 3 Staples stores are as much as 1-2 dollars more expensive than anywhere else on almost any product.

  22. limagicman says:

    @ELI_B – Im not sure why postit notes would be more expensive in your particular store then in other local stores, but they tend to carry a hefty markup on this – about 100%, so that has to do with some of the increase cost to you.

    @Thrust – you can just hit 0 when you call the store which will avoid the options and get you connected with a cashier. The phones will jump after a min to 30 seconds so someone will pick up soon.

    @Seatleguy – you are 100% correct. We actually lose between 3 and 5 percent on every laptop sold, but make 97% on every warranty sold. EASY TECH services cary a 80% margin level.

    Staples expects each store to meet certain requirements. In my store they want the gross margin to be above 40% and sales to be about 7-10% greater then the previous year (which is about 40,000 a day). Scans are also done three times a week to make sure product is one the shelf. At any point and time corporate wants 80% of the product to be on the shelf.

    Service plans are expected to be sold on ~6% of eligible items in the store. Eligible items include USB Sticks, UPS Backups, some cables, hard drives, calculators, shredders and a few other items. We hope that many people will say yes as we want the bonus associated with meeting the sales goals.

    If anyone has other questions let me know and ill do my best to answer them as I am working @ Staples now and have worked in every department in the store in the past year.

  23. jetsetter says:

    i currently work at a brand new Staples store in NJ. i can attest that most of the above is true. While Staples isn’t the worst company in the world, theyre certainly not the best. Management will HOUND you to sell service plans and attachments if you work in the technology dept like i do. almost every time i request for a manager to open ‘lockup’ (where the ‘high-risk’ items are kept), they will often blurt out ‘make sure you get a plan with that’ or ‘try to get as many attachments as possible’. while my selling skills have certainly improved since i started i have been corrected on many occasions for my lack of aggressive selling techniques. these conversations on how to sell more, more, more typically go in one ear and out the other. my department manager is so intense on selling that customers go running whenever they see him as he will literally put items in your hands and tell you that you need them. this person preys on almost every clueless customer that he can find. our general manager sits in his office 8.5 out of 9 hrs a day and talks on the phone.. mostly personal conversations. he gets his kicks on giving orders, pushing associates to sell service plans (Staples commandment #1 if you havent already figured it out) and correcting people for coming in 5-6 minutes late. ive been written up on several occasions for coming in no later than the time it would take to run back to the bathroom and take a shit. ironically enough the managers are hardly on time unless they are opening the store that morning. in summary i will come right out and say that i think Staples is a pretty sleazy company. any emphasis on ‘making things easy’ is quickly offset by the horrendously over-priced merchandise ($42.98 for a wire crimping tool anyone?) and service plans that are straight up scams (‘can i interest you in an extended warranty on that new latop for 1/3rd the price of the laptop itself?’). if anyone reading has ever been coerced into buying an ‘Accidental damage’ service plan and you feel that you have been ripped off, go ahead and find a way to destroy the equipment sometime soon before the plan is scheduled to expire if you’re interested in recouping any money that we might have sucked out of you. the warranty services department will be forced in many cases to provide you with either a new piece of equipment or a gift card for the purchase price* of the item. i call this ‘counter exploitation’ and its the only way to play them at their own game.


    (*or thereabouts).


    if the Consumerist team would like to recruit me as a Staples insider i’d be more than willing to share with you what i know.


    - Anonymous in NJ

  24. factotum says:

    Why do I have to play all these games with regard to coupons, ext. warranties, and the like? Just give me a good, fair price without the rigmarole.

    With free shipping and no sales tax, Amazon is usually cheaper (for me) and, in a pinch, Costco has good values on paper, blank CD/DVDs, pens.

  25. sly100100 says:

    I live in a rural area and don’t have the option of the huge discount stores. I purchased an office chair at our local staples. When I got it home I put it together, and my wife (it was her chair) kept telling me it was crooked. Well I didn’t see anything wrong with it, and let it go. About 4 months later the chair broke. I hadn’t kept the receipt. But I decided to call staples and speak to the manager. I told him what happened and they took the chair back and gave me a new one no questions asked!

    I even bought an item once that was supposed to have a rebate, I sent in everything I was given and a few weeks later I received a latter telling me I sent the wrong rebate form in.

    I went to staples and talked to the manager who gave me the rebate money out of his own pocket!
    The funny part is about a month later I received the rebate check from the manufacturer LOL

    Staples is a heck of a lot better in customer service than best buy!

  26. unknown3125 says:

    One other thing i found out while working for staples is if you have one of their rewards card (like bestbuy reward zone, but free) you can get free shipping on any item even if your total order is below $50.

  27. daijin says:

    About the HP ink cartridges… the newer printers have 2 different sets of cartridges, typically lower price (higher cost per mL) and higher price (lower cost per mL). The new printers come with a set of the cheaper-to-buy catridges. Yes, they are full, but you will still get fewer prints from them than the “real” versions which are usually only a quarter more for twice as much ink.

  28. nevinyyral says:

    I remember when I used to work at Staples.

    #16- I used to remember that ALL Staples Reward card holders are entitled to FREE delivery, regardless of amount of purchase. Whenever there was an item that was out of stock at the store, I would sign the customer up for a card (which is free) and then order it at the Staples in store kiosk. If you enter the reward card number on the site, shipping is automatically taken off, if you forget scan your card at the cashier along with the printed receipt from the kiosk and shipping should come off. If not the code for free shipping should be SKU: 80611 or 999995.

    #17-When you call a store to ask for a product, you should have the SKU # ready. It is usually 6 digits but not always. On the Staples.com website it is usually referred to ask the “Item number” that sometimes includes a “-” with some other irrelevant numbers.

    An easier way to check if another store has a product in stock is by using the A/S 400 system. It listed the product inventory for all Staples stores. An experienced worker will know how to access the system. Take the information in the A/S 400 with a grain of salt as not all managers will write off damaged product instantly, thus creating an illusion that he has 2 of the product on the shelf when he really has 1 in damage and the default 1 on display. If it shows 3 or more, it is a good bet that product will be there. You can always then call after to hold the item, if you can get an associate on the phone in a timely manner.

    When you call stores, you will usually get the standard staples pre-recorded greeting. Press 0 to skip.

  29. mmmpizza says:

    I work in the staples copy and print center in a new store, and I can confirm that if you’re nice to us, we will do things as best as we can. if you’re snooty and rude, you’ll get charged for every little thing.

  30. staplessucks says:

    Working at Staples is fun, although, sometimes there are people who think the world revolves around them, like the other copy center assiociate revieled, if you’re nice, we’re willing to bend over backwords for some customers, if you’re rude you’re getting the special price =)

  31. pantherx says:

    I just quit working at Staples about a year ago in the Chicago area (new stores, etc.)

    A current Staples supervisor writes, “Employees make quarterly bonuses if they meet sales and margin goals for every period during a quarter, which are payed out as 10-20 cents per hour worked during that time. It’s hardly commission, but there IS sales incentive.”

    Yes, this is true but the bonuses are paltry compared to the work you have to put in to get them… also since they are TEAM bonuses it means that usually the one or two real salesmen on the team give up after a few months and leave to work somewhere else which leaves the college students and retirees that don’t care to sell these dumb plans. At least that’s the way it was in my store.

    11. Associates cannot give you random coupons (mainly the $3 ink ones) due to the new lost prevention procedures in place. Every coupon is counted in the book before a shift starts. At the end of the shift the number of HP, Lexmark, and Dell cartridges are counted against the number of coupons offered.

    Unless this is new, it doesn’t sound right… maybe my managers were lazy and never did this. I’m not sure. Although if you’re the kind of prick asking for free coupons, I’m not going to give them to you, and my boss never did that crap either.

    Too many people want something for nothing.

  32. pantherx says:

    Somebody correct if I am wrong, but I don’t believe they have an option of not issuing rain checks in Illinois. I think it’s a law.

    Since the product is availiable online or at another store, no raincheck is needed. The idea behind this is that we want your money now. You may not come back and give us your money later.

  33. empty_stapler says:

    I actually just quit working at Staples tonight so I’m feeling quite annoyed. Generally everything I read on here is true. From a Tech’s perspective we are graded by 3 things that I know of. 1)CSAT which is that stupid survey on the receipts. They don’t tell people what they use that for but I’m sure the 40 year old school teacher would give a 5 if she realized it would put an extra 10cents in my pocket for every hour I worked. Our manager would post our surveys in the lunch room and there were people giving 4s for things like the cashier not smiling. Its ridiculous. Its just another way for the company to make it look like they care about employees while not actually caring. 2)Attachments… this has been covered in here a lot already but ya. We are basically told to tell people that if they have a budget to look for stuff thats much less than what they are looking to spend so we can tack on all the junk they most likely don’t need to begin with.
    3)ESP/Damage Plan – first let me point out that we started our new accidental damage plan about a month ago(which I refused to sell and never promoted even when people asked about it) – but ya when that was introduced, the cost of all the ESPs went up and I doubt anybody really noticed… I know personally I was quoting people the wrong price on service plans for a couple weeks after it happened. While thats mostly my fault it should have been made clearer to employees that they had gone up so we weren’t misleading customers.
    But ya my feelings on ESPs… the replacement plans are the only ones that aren’t a ripoff… I know from experience that you can bring anything in at any time during that warranty, doesn’t have to be anything wrong with it and you’ll get the purchase price back. If you replace whatever it was(especially with IPods) keep in mind that ur warranty is terminated when they give you the store credit. But back to point, when stuff gets brought in on replacement plans we destroy it. It never gets tested. Nobody cares. It gives the sales people the opportunity to sell you another warranty which goes right back on that profit margin. For the store its like double dipping.
    Anything that is marked as a repair plan is generally a ripoff. I’ve seen cases where whatever it was the store just decides to buy the product out instead of fixing it. Problem with this is that they buy it back at “depreciated cost”. Honestly, I’ve never heard anyone say they were glad to get some money back so they could spend another few hundred dollars on a new laptop or whatever that they though would be fixed for the next 3 years. Oh and on that note, the buyout on a 4 year old laptop is bound to piss you off.

    And now for the reason I left. The bonuses the salaried employees get for my work. We have some management that won’t exactly follow you around the store hounding you for ESPs but there is one in particular that doesn’t care about anything but his bonus. If I miss a sale… no big deal. I miss an ESP on a laptop… the rest of my night, I’m his bitch. He makes it sound like I owe him something… I’m putting food on his table cause I want to do my job well. He makes it sound like he’s in it to help the company… 3 stories
    1) I had a friend come in and I sold him a laptop. I understood to begin with that he wasn’t going to get any attachments or service plans cause he didn’t have the money but I found him a good deal and gave it to him. Page manager to let me into lockup to grab the laptop. He asks me if I’ve got the ESP, so I tell him its one of my friends and he can’t afford it. Manager brings laptop out and proceeds to harass my friend for probably 5 minutes about picking another laptop so he can get a service plan before I told my friend to come back the next day when a different manager would be in.
    2) Guy comes in picks his laptop… tells me up front he’s not interested in service plans so I page the manager(actually a different manager, the GM) to get into lockup, he follows me in and asks me if I got the ESP. When I tell him no, he tells me to tell the customer we are out of stock. The guy ends up leaving with nothing.
    3) This one’s not quite as bad but for a company that apparently only cares about customer service… so one of the salaried salesman in my department goes to sell a laptop to guy that then tells him he is moving to Kenya and doesn’t want the service plan because obviously he won’t be able to use it… salesman then intentionally blows the sale… basically by telling him that there was something similar coming on sale the following week, which was a lie.

    Generally the only thing that is good about Staples in my experience is the people that work there… I think that for the most part we do want to help you but for the best service always wait until your checking out to tell the sales guy you don’t want the ESP.

  34. eli_b says:

    You sign in as ‘staples sucks’ but say working there is fun?

  35. empty_stapler says:

    @empty_stapler:
    I forgot to mention a few things…
    1) always look for price matches before you come into the store. The staples I work at is good about matching pretty much anybody. I’ve seen people save as much as a few hundred dollars on our sticker prices with a good match.
    2) never buy usb flash drives or memory cards(camera) that aren’t on sale. People are so shocked to see them on sale for 50% off… the truth is that the markups on them are so huge that at 50% off they are still making a profit. This is also a good example of where to look for price matches. Other stores always have flash memory in their flyers and I’ve seen stores like futureshop carry sales at much lower than what our sale price would be on the same item.
    3) Bundles are generally ripoffs unless you’re looking for exactly what is in the bundle. The advertised ones are basically giving you a mail-in rebate for a free printer(which you pay for in-store) the un-advertised ones that we have in our store are basically for desktops that are so cheap that we wouldn’t be able to sell anything else if we threw them on the floor or for laptops that have been marked down to the point that the store is no longer making a profit on the sale alone. The idea is that we force you to buy the hugest ESP plus a tech service plus another random item or 2. On a $300 desktop what the hell is the point of a 3 year service plan?! Its genius though. If I asked a group of random people how you sell a $300 desktop for $600 a guarantee you’d find at least 1 staples employee with their hand up. The secret with them(that not one employee will tell you) is that the bundles aren’t a deal at all. Everything in that bundle is cashed in at regular price. Its just a way to sell something that appears to be a good deal, but unless you were looking to buy exactly everything that came in the bundle, you’ve been had. The only thing I’ve never been clear about it if someone asks to buy a laptop in a clearance bundle without all the attachments if its legal for them to tell you they will only sell it in the bundle.

  36. empty_stapler says:

    @empty_stapler:
    oh and i f’ing hate when people call in asking for help… i am not tech support!

  37. jetsetter says:

    ^ agreed with everything you said empty_stapler. and yes i can more than relate to your last comment about people calling in: “i just bought Norton 360 and it’s telling me my virus definitions are out of date. I have a Dell by the way”. Go figure.

  38. empty_stapler says:

    true story… phone rings… i pick it up say my thing… person on the other end says, “I’m trying to burn a dvd of a movie i downloaded off the internets and it won’t play. Am I doing something wrong?” Its people like that that i hated dealing with. My response is basically to google it… I could spend 20 minutes trying to explain that the divx movie you downloaded wont play on ur 25$ dvd player, or i could go deal with someone who is actually in the store with cash money…

  39. TheFullStaples says:

    First of all, I’m a GM at my store. I have been a Inventory Associate, the Resident Tech (Pilot at the time), a Sales Manager, and am now a GM (not bad for 3 years haha).

    A few things to clear up.

    Coupons:
    -Yes, coupons are available in the safe; however, they are VERY rarely given out (or even remembered).
    -Staples is normally pretty good about honoring coupons. They are ALL up to the manager’s discretion (especially if it asks for manager access).
    -The $3 ink coupons will no longer be given out by anyone for “apology” coupons. They will only be used for their intended purpose since Loss Prevention is cracking down.

    Rebates:
    -Not to sure how it is in other stores, however, my store for the last 3 years has honored Easy Rebates (after investigation) in store if their was a problem with them.

    Warranties:
    -This is definitely different from store to store. When I became a GM, I thought to myself what would make my store different when it came to service plans. I started soon after replacing customer’s products or giving them giftcards IN-STORE when they brought back broken items. No turn-around time. Brand new item. Who can complain? Now, my entire district does this. Just make sure to save the receipt!

    -There is a large profit margin off of the warranties. In my area, however, it’s worth it.

    -When it comes to HP/Compaq “authorized repair centers.” Staples is an authorized repair center, however, their traveling technician (EMT) is the one who has to do the tech work. I used to be a Tech, so I was actually certified from HP/Compaq to do the work. The in-house (ERT) techs are 99% of the time, not authorized to do the work.

    -If an equal product can be matched (or if the customer is extremely disatisfied with the product), then a gift card will be given out for the PRICE the customer paid for it. Not the current value, but the actually price paid.

    -Never buy a 3 year warranty. Normally it is 2X the price – $5 for the 3 year warranty compared to the two year. Often they will ask you after your warranty expires, whether you want to renew 2 more years for the same price anyways.

    -Always go to the store FIRST if you want to cash in a warranty. Especially if it’s an HP machine (Staples gets full credit back) and you have the receipt.

    Copycenter:
    -The things said about copycenter are absolutely true; however, I’ll clear some things up. If an order is fairly big, you won’t be given VIP service (when it comes to turnaround time). The order will most likely need to be sent to the Hub (larger copycenter). Which normally takes between 2-3 days total (1 day to ship out, 1 day to work, 1 day to ship back).
    -If you email an order in, make sure to make a phone call so the person checks the email. Sometimes this can cause miscommunication issues, since the email doesn’t just “Pop up.”

    -Copycenter charges $2 to convert a file to a PDF. Often, it doesn’t need to be changed (unless it’s for the wideformat color printer). It really only needs to be changed when the file someone brings in isn’t a file recognized by the Copycenter computer (MPS).

    -For the quickest turnaround time (as said before), make sure you have the least # of files possible. Frequently, customers will come in with 50 different files (1 page each) and ask for it to be printed off. If all the files can be merged into one, then do so.

    -If you’re printing out pictures (and it’s not wideformat or another specialty size), go to CVS or walmart. Staples charges too much and you won’t get the quality you’re looking for.

    Toner:
    -Not all printers come with FULL TONER! All the HP (except the ones mentioned above) come with full toner/ink. Fax machines frequently don’t come with a full set (other than HP). The box will ALWAYS tell you whether or not it does. Brother is one that comes to mind off the bat. The inexpensive brother laser printers, don’t normally come with full toner cartridges.

    Store Transfers/Save the Sales:
    -These are NOT normally done. They will most likely never be done on furniture, clearance items, and very large items.

    -If you must travel to another store to get what you desire, then make sure the employee calls and the associate on the line does a PHYSICAL check and hold to make sure you get your item.

    Sales Tags:
    -Most of the time, sales tags that are outdated are indeed honored at the service desk. If their is a rebate, it will be taken off at the register.

    Customer Satisfaction (CSAT):
    -Customer satisfaction is often measured for the store via the receipt. On the top of the receipt it will offer a chance to win a $5000 shopping spree. You log onto the website, fill out the survey, then you’re entered. Associates bonus only if the CSAT score is above 70%.

    Mystery Shop:
    -Mystery shop used to be how the bonus’ were given out. That has changed since it’s only 1 customer’s opinion. The store is shopped once a month in every department.

    Associate Bonus:
    -The associates bonus off of the store margin. If they exceed budget and the customer satisfaction scores are above 70%, they will bonus every quarter.

    Specialist Bonus:
    -The specialists bonus off of the store as well as their department. Same rules apply.

    Manager Bonus:
    -Managers do not necessarily bonus “Huge.” It really depends on whether or not a store is high-volume/just opened up. They bonus twice a year.

    Bonus in general:
    -Everyone has a chance to bonus big at Staples, however, normally customer service is the key to doing so. The largest bonus check I’ve seen was for $3500 from Specialist (Department Supervisor). Regular associates I’ve seen bonus all the way up to $800.

    Ink:
    -If Staples is out of the twin pack of ink, ask for two singles for the price of the twin pack. I can almost guarantee you it will happen every time.

    PriceMatching:
    -Pricematching is done pretty easily. As long as it’s instock, within 50 miles, and not through rebates, it can be pricematched. When it comes to stores that have memberships (coscto), the Pricematch is at the manager’s discretion.

    Laptop/Display Machines:
    -Normally 10% is taken off for a display unit; HOWEVER, this is completely up to the manager’s discretion. Most likely, the nicer you are, the better your odds.

  40. mmmpizza says:

    @eli_b: working at staples is a blast.

  41. jetsetter says:

    so i just got ‘termed’ from my Staples today for ‘lateness’, although i can guarantee you the fact that since i’m not a pushy a**hole who lies to customers about starter cartridges, service plans and all the other dishonest tactics that Staples practices regularly played a major role in it as well. speaking of lateness if you are a manager in my store you are allowed to be late due to the fact that you salaried. the GM comes in at least a half hour late everyday and the excuse is that he lives far away. once in the building he along with the other managers can often be seen fielding personal phone calls, eating, smoking or staring at a computer monitor trying to conceive why the numbers are down. god forbid they actually assist a customer(“we’re managers, we don’t do that goddamnit!”). speaking of laziness and apathy i once had a customer write the company about how much i had helped her out in purchasing a printer and the GM’s response was that of curiousity whether or not this woman might have been my grandmother (this was told to me by my department lead). i received absolutely no recognition from management whatsoever for having a customer write to the company about my performance. in addition the “Employee Of The Month” plaque has not been updated for several months now. if that is not a discernible reflection on managements’ feelings toward the associates i don’t know what is. i’m actually glad to be out of that shithole and will be laughing when the day finally comes that everyone decides to favor Office Max instead. if i can have anything to do with it i will.

    Staples = That was SLeazy.


    - anonymous in NJ

  42. psycomustang says:

    I have worked for Staples for about one and a half years while we used to make nice monthly bonuses, at the start of this fiscal year they changed it to quarterly and raised the budgets goals to where we are only getting .10 an hour if we are lucky, which means right about a pay cut of 3000.00 per year. While that part stinks I HAVE NEVER BEEN ASKED by my manager or district manager to lie to make a sale nor to my knowledge has any of the other associates in my store have been asked to lie. At our store we realize that our business is built on the repeat customer and we try to take care of everyone accordingly. One thing I do know is that the store I work at we do try to uphold the proper ethics that are needed to do business in a community and survive. And one thing it is very hard to be fired from this company from what I have witnessed you, basically have to be caught stealing or have a physical confrontation.(I am not saying that is the case in all districts however). And no I am not a manager trying to make it sound right I am just a departmental lead voicing my experience’s.

  43. Pec says:

    I have been an office equipment associate and easy resident technician for 12 months. I have an associates degree in network security, and I hold the following Comptia certifications, Network+, both A+ 2003, and all 3 A+ 2007 certs, I am also MCDST certified.

    The comment on Easytech’s selling everything they can and things a client doesn’t need, doesn’t seem right to me.
    Staples Easytech is rather new, and the in-store services sales goal per week is down to $200, being shot down from the $500 goal set at Vista launch.

    I always think of the least expensive yet most effective option to help my customers.
    Often I find myself laughing at Staples’ very own non-sale prices on memory modules, and then offering to price match our competition, saving them alot of money, often that 110% difference can be 7 or 8 dollars. I even pull up their websites and print out the price for the 110% price match.

    The geek squad almost always tries to sell their $49 diagnostic, $59 generic operating system service, and $29 tuneup(which is just a pathetic script tweaking things like the reduction of recycling bin space use from 10% to 2%) no matter what measly thing may be the issue.(I worked for them for 6 months).

    At Staples, myself being the one with control over what I am charging for allows me to build trust with the customer, instead of charging rediculous feels like $50 to make sure a harddrive & memory isn’t bad, which will allow me to then charge $59 to make sure Windows isn’t damn-near corrupt from a kazaa takeover, prior to charging $29 to reinstall Microsoft office just because the start menu links were deleted and the poor computer-illiterate woman didn’t know what to do. (That was a scenario my ex-supervisor at best buy forced me to carry out, leading to me quitting due to how completely immoral that felt.)

    When I sell certain brand computers (cough, cough, HP) I offer to startup the computer, make sure everything works, and even do some optimzation under our free pc-tuneup sku. All the crap trialware, trial games, trial Norton, trial office (not to be mixed up with full version of MS works), there is so many unnecessary programs installed on computers these days. The only brand I have respect for anymore is Acer. Their empowering technology control software suite for notebooks, it’s useful for both inexperienced users and IT professionals alike.

    Anyway… yes I agree certain Staples locations have resident easytech’s that are not certified to be performing the work they may be doing, but they can always call their EMT supervisor to come in and complete the job (such as HP/Compaq certified warranty work).

    Concerning the comments about staples technical support & protection plans for laptops. Staples will cover damage from any country in the world. The owner just has to ship the computer from anywhere, and must be in at a location where it can be shipped(UPS) back to them. All the service centers are in the 48 states, but from what I’ve been hearing there will soon be some in western Europe and India. Staples will cover “reasonable” shipping costs. Meaning if you do overnight shipping FexEx from the middle of China to Ohio you may have a problem getting that $140 bill reimbursed.

    Concerning battery replacement on staples warranty. Staples TSPP do cover laptop batteries, they are not considered a consumable. The only problem is you have to ship the laptop to a service center for the battery to be verified as not holding a charge anymore.( If it’s an HP/Compaq battery you may be able to get a new one in the store) The same goes for cellular phones, PDAs, MP3 players, video cameras and even portable printers that use lithium-ion batteries. But, it should be noted, these service centers sometimes replace the batteries with off-brands such as Lenmar.

    If you are someone who likes to protect your investments with extended warranties or date of purchase coverages and you’re shopping at Staples, buy HP products. Staples stores get 100% credit back for all HP product returns(except computers older then 1 year). So, you buy that c5180 photosmart printer and spend $30 on a plan, bring it back a year and a half later and get a bran new one. Staples dont care, infact they will be happy, you may very well be convinced to buy another service plan on the new one. I had one guy do this 3 times with an HP 3600N everytime he ran out of toner. He laughed when we caught on and instead of swapping it out, offered to schedule someone to come out and repair it.

  44. SandmanET says:

    25. You may wonder why Staples employees will lie so much to get you to buy accessories and service plans. We are not paid on commission, we don’t even see a dime of any sale we make. The incentive most employees have to sell these things is so they do not get moved from electronics department to furniture or office supplies, which are much more boring. Managers WILL threaten to move you if you do not sell.

    Never once has any manager threatened to move me to OS or Furniture. They do try to push sales and when I wasn’t selling any on front end I was told I would never make the floor, well truth was I made Business Machines easily with selling little plans. I average 1-2 a week and have never been threatened. Also any staples shredder the product replacement plan actually lasts for two years instead of one so $5 to protect your $50 shredder for TWO years doesn’t seem so bad now does it?

    28. Easy Techs will try to sell you everything they can, even though there’s not much incentive to do so. Plus, as previously mentioned, they aren’t specifically trained as computer techs. Mainly they’re catering to the “The drink holder got stuck” crowd.

    While it is true we may not be hiring from big time universities with degrees our easy techs know a lot and if they do not they have the support of the local field tech as well as support from corporate. Our store’s easy tech knows more then most of the machines associates. Myself and another individual fill in for him as we know quite a bit ourselves. We will not push work you do not need, I have heard horror stories about geeksquad never one about Easy Tech.

    Also I am not tech support as much as I might like to help or even care. I have managers who do not like to see associates on the phone for long periods of time. I do have other duties beside being your free personal tech support. I have load and planograms to do. I have to fill product (especially ink), shoot a pull list, do signage, and various other duties not to mention help the customers who are in store and are planning on buying an item.

    ~ Current Staples Machines Associate

  45. Systemic says:

    I currently work for Staples. I hold the fake position of Furniture Lead. I call it fake because shortly after I gained the position Staples eliminated it. Either way I run the Furniture Department as well as working in Office Supplies, Front End and a little work in Business Machines.


    Protection Plans
    I can say for sure the comment about getting furniture for free through the protection plans is true. If you purchase the plan, then call the number and tell them that the piece of furniture is completely broken they will send you a gift card equaling the price you paid for it. One of my managers actually asked me to use this as a selling point on the plans.

    Shipping Fee Waived
    Another interesting point is that if you come to purchase an item in store and we are out of stock on it we will offer to order it for you from staples.com. If the item is not over $50.00 there will be a $7.95 shipping fee. However, since the item is out of stock the fee should be taken off. All you need to do is ask to get the free shipping.

    Managers Coupons
    The managers do have coupons in the safe which they can give to upset customers. Although in my store I know the procedure usually is that we won’t give the coupons out to customers who are being annoying. If you’re upset, yes they can give them out, but if you’re being rude they most certainly won’t, at least thats how it works in my store.


    Out of Stock Items
    If you ever go to a Staples and they are out of stock and you ask them to check to see if any other stores nearby have the item they will check the computer. That computer will tell you what the other store *should* have in stock. Never take that computer’s word. Always ask the associate to call the store and check to make sure it is in stock. We use an electronic system which keeps track of our merchandise and as all systems.. it is extremely inaccurate. Often times it will say a store has five items, when they in fact have none. Also if it is an item which has a floor model, such as a filing cabinet or a desk.. the computer will always say the store has at least 1. The floor model is counted in the stock, however unless the item is on clearance they will not sell you the floor model. So if the associate tells you they have one.. ask them if that means they only have the floor model. If the associate says no.. he/she is lying.

    Floor Models
    Following up on floor models.. when it comes to desks, filing cabinets.. etc we will not sell them to you unless they are on clearance. If it is a chair, I know in my store often times we will sell the floor model. A chair only takes a short time to build so it is no big deal.

    Assemblies
    When buying a chair assembly always check it when it is brought to you. A lot of associates will throw them around in the back room, not put on washers and lock nuts, tear the fabric or leather, not tighten the screws enough or even not put the screw covers on. This can be dangerous as well as make the chair visually unpleasing. Also always ask them for the paperwork. The information regarding your manufacturers warranty is included in the box when we assemble it and without that it will be difficult to get help from the manufacturer in the case that you need it.

    More Assembley
    If you’re purchasing a desk or another item which needs to be assembled we will not do it for you. We do have a company whose number we hand out for assemblies but their prices are insane, you are much better off finding someone else to assemble it for you.

  46. flatrabbit says:

    If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a rebate just swipe the tag while the item is on sale, come back later when the sale has ended and put the tag back up… when you cash out and the price is “wrong” ask to speak to the manager and tell him you’d like the price matched (they will give you an instant discount for the amount of the rebates).

    If you DO get a service plan with something like a laptop, water damage IS covered… you just have to let it dry first… it looks like a power surge ;)

    Staples has a rare and elusive 6′ USB cable that costs $20, just look all around the business machines area, it might be hidden.

  47. Pec says:

    @FLATRABBIT

    “If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a rebate just swipe the tag while the item is on sale, come back later when the sale has ended and put the tag back up… when you cash out and the price is “wrong” ask to speak to the manager and tell him you’d like the price matched (they will give you an instant discount for the amount of the rebates).”

    That is illegal, and I guarentee that if it is an item that costs more then $200 normal retail, the department specialist will know damn well what you are trying to pull. If you were caught doing that you better prepare to never shop at any retailer local to you again.

    I recommend just using price matches to get the best price at Staples, so then you can take advantage of the better parts of shopping at Staples, such as no restocking fee. Also keep in mind Staples Easy rebates are simple, and Staples associates will even submit the rebates on your behalf right in the store. Just ask.

    “If you DO get a service plan with something like a laptop, water damage IS covered… you just have to let it dry first… it looks like a power surge ;)”

    Wrong. Totally wrong.
    Water damage is not covered under the technical support and protection plan.

    And technically it is not covered under the technical support and protection plan PLUS (only “accidental damage”, such as dropping, is covered.) But in my experience, when water damage did occur, Staples will replace the laptop anyway.

    But what is very very important to note: Is is EASY for a computer technician to see if there was water damage to notebook computers. Inside the computers are small water absorbant stickers that turn red when they are drowned in water, and it does take a total soaking for them to turn red, not just condensation.

    It is the same water damage sensor you see inside a cell phone. Take for example: A Motorola RAZR has 4 of these sensors in it. Now just think of how many can be put inside a laptop.

  48. Pec says:

    For my previous post, since I’m guessing I cannot edit this i’d just like to add something:

    To recap what I said about the Staples technical support and protection plan “plus” about it not covering water damage, it does cover spills, as of about April 2007 and onward. The previous plan, before it was changed for 2007 didn’t.

  49. SandmanET says:

    You can’t sell a TSP Plus in MA tho

  50. Maybe says:

    Current Staples Associate. Trained for all departments & current IA.

    Ah, the tech support. One of the Assurance people was in our store recently to answer questions. If your item was originally under $300, they will send you YOUR ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE in the form of a cash card. They don’t want to pay for you to ship it back, and it doesn’t come into the store. And no, they don’t cover “I dropped my printer out the window” but they do cover “My printer doesn’t work.” Am I advising dishonesty? No, but if you’re that kind of person. Also they will always just send the cashcard for furniture.

    There are 3 different types of Service Plans. There is the PRP, which is for small electronics under $300. It covers little stuff, like flash drives, phones, scanners, Ipod accessories, mice, keyboards. That starts at the end of the shortest period of the manufacturer’s warranty (generally 90 days) and if the item breaks, call the 800 number and they send a cashcard. They don’t require it to be shipped back.

    Then there’s the TSP. For most consumer electronics (laptops, printers, digital cameras, MP3 players), it starts from the date of purchase. The manufacturer has the right to have first crack at fixing their own problems. IF the manufacturer will not help you, you THEN call Assurant’s 800 number. There are two different TSP’s, there’s the regular one and then laptops & cameras also have a special (more expensive) accidental coverage plan. That would cover things like dropping it in the pool or on cement. For certain items like digital projectors, LCD monitors, and copy machines, there is a 2 year extension which starts at the end of the manufacturer’s warranty. If you EVER have trouble with Assurant, call Staples directly.

    None of our printers currently come with USB cables! And MANY of the non-HP lasers come with starter cartridges. The Brother lasers come with starter cartridges, as do the Canons. The Brothers are, IMO, better machines anyways and on average cost less per page to print.

    In my store, my manager’s philosophy (and mine as well) for selling service and attachments is that we want the customer to be AWARE of these things that the printer or laptop or whatnot doesn’t come with. It’s OK if you say no–we just want to make sure that you are CHOOSING to pay for your own repairs, and that you are not FORCED to pay for your own repairs because I forgot to mention the plan. Same with a USB cable–would you really prefer to get home and realize that the cable for your last printer was proprietary or is a parallel and your new printer isn’t?

    I personally HAVE bought TSP’s (well you’d be stupid not to with a Lexmark…) and really wish I’d remembered to register it so I could’ve cashed in on it when the darn thing stopped printing 6 months later. I didn’t buy a PRP on my flash drive ’cause I got it on sale for $10 and the PRP’s $5.

    #29 – If you send an e-mail copy job, call us and tell us it’s there! We cannot sit in front of the computer for hours, and I don’t know how many customers come in 15 minutes later and think that their 200-color print job will be finished. There is nothing more frustrating than a customer who needs “just 2 pages” printed immediately after I just sent a 45 minute job to the machine.

    #30 – I am seeing fewer rewards checks but they are generally for a lot more $$. I used to see a lot of $4.83 and $9.36 checks; now I see $56.83 and $108.48. Most customers earn more money on ink/toner and paper (which you get 10% for) than they ever hoped for under the 2% structure.

    Easytechs – I don’t know how many people I personally have dealt with who had the neighbor kid or some other non-liscensed technician do work on their computer, only to either (a) steal their original Windows CD’s or (b) install a pirate version despite the customer being told they are paying for a proper copy of Windows! It is FAR better to deal with a company where you can go up the ladder than to hire the kid next door. My store’s easytech often does service at a fraction of the price because a new associate was misinformed about what exactly the PC Tuneup entails.

    Post Its are expensive because we’re trying to convert you to Staples Stickies. If you pay attention, you can get them for 50c off the clearance table. I have a massive collection of clearance Post Its. More than I will ever use in my lifetime.

    We do about half-a-dozen Save the Sales (one end or the other) a week. Very popular, but I’m sure it’s different in areas that Staples has more recently populated.

    My (current) managers have never threatened to move me to another department for not selling service. It might have to do with being one of the best salespeople in my store, but I’ve never seen anyone threatened for that. I did have a manager threaten to keep me at the store until I did sell one (this threat came 45 minutes before we closed) but that person has since been fired. Now that I’m the IA, I actually enjoy being NOT in business machines because I don’t have to keep up on all the technology. When in Business Machines I averaged 2 plans a shift. Without lying or repeating myself after the customer said “no.”

  51. HitchhikersGuidetoRetail says:

    I Am a current Business Machines Specialist, Easy Technician, and Key Holder at Staples. Here is some more information on the warranties for everyone.

    ———————————————————————————————–
    [-THE WARRANTY-]

    the warranties are actually not as much of a rip off as people believe.

    for example, the best features about the Extended Service Plan for laptops (and in my opinion, the only reason to actually buy one) is the fact that staples will replace your laptop screen ONCE if it breaks and the extended service will also cover Product failure coverage up to $1,000 caused by power surges occurring on or after date of purchase. Honestly, those are the only two benefits I see for the laptop Extended service Plans because [A] Replacing a laptop screen is usually double the cost of a laptop Extended Service and [B] having protection from surges allows you to use your home owners insurance to cover your big screen TV and other electronics that may have got damaged in the surge.

    Here is a link to access a PDF for the brochures of the Extended Service Plans we offer at Staples.
    -TSPP Stands for Technical Service Protection Plan
    -PRP Stands for Product Replacement Plan
    -FPP Stands for Furniture Protection Plan

  52. andrwmorph says:

    18. Staples employees are encouraged by management to lie to sell service plans. One very popular lie is that the staples extended service plan covers you from date of sale. This is wrong, the staples plan covers you after the manufacturer’s plan expires. So if you buy a two year plan, staples won’t help you for a year, you need to contact the manufacturer.

    There are two different plans that Staples offers. There is a product replacement plan (PRP) that will cover your low end electronic purchase for a year AFTER the manufacturer’s warranty. The other type of plan, which is used on all printers, computers, etc., is a TSP. A TSP covers the customer from date of purchase.

    19. We also tell customers that our warranties cover accidental damage. Some employees even say that customers can literally roll printers down the stairs, and it will be covered if you say it’s an accident. This is NOT true.

    There are standard service plans and accidental damage plans. The accidental damage plan is a lot more pricey but it should cover all damage. Accidental damage plans are only available for laptop PCs and cameras.

    20. We tell customers that service plans cover them all over the world, so if they are in Canada or England or Africa they can take it to any staples and have it replaced for free. The truth is, Staples is not in any other countries we are in, such as Canada, we use a different name and the warranty is not able to be used there. For the brighter customers who would question the world-wide coverage of the service plan, saying that staples is not in a place like Hungary or China, we would tell them that Staples will pay to have the defective unit shipped back to the USA, fixed, and we could send it back, free of charge. This is a total lie.

    All I know is that the TSP brochure advertises worldwide service for US residents.

    21. Employees will lie their heads off about laptop service plans too. We will tell customers that water-damage is covered, so if they drop it in a pool or spill coffee on their laptop, we will replace it. NOT TRUE. We also will tell customers that the laptop warranty covers batteries, so if the battery dies, we will replace it, free. This is a total lie. If you read the fine print in the pamphlets we have, it says it does not cover batteries.

    It depends on the employee. I personally will not lie to sell a plan. An accidental damage plan should cover water damage.

    22. It is totally 100% true that the CIPS program and the new ASP (I worked under both) did push the sales of attachments (cable, ink, paper). What the author of this article forgot to mention is how much money Staples makes off of USB cables. Staples will buy a 25-foot “gold” usb ” 2.0″ cable for $2.83/cents as of 2006. We charge $24.99. This is why we push cables. You can buy the same cable at Wal-Mart or Target or Kmart for under $10.

    The cables are a ripoff. $21 for a 6 foot, 25 for a 7′ “gold plated” cable, 30 for a 11, and 35 for a 15′

    23. Staples employees also LIE to get you to buy cables! Some of the printers (Brother) come with a cable, and we will say it does not, unless a customer notices it on the box. We will also tell a customer that their old USB cable will not work because it is probably a USB 1.0 or 1.1 cable, incompatible w/ USB 2.0. THIS IS A BOLD-FACED LIE. USB CABLES ARE USB CABLES! There is no 1.1 1.0 or 2.0 cable, its only the components that have this, not the cables. I have single-handedly sold over 200 cables to unknowing customers. Managers force employees to say this, and they know its a lie too.

    I have NEVER seen a printer with a cable in the box in the year that I have worked at Staples.

    24. TIP: If you are shopping at Staples for a computer and would like to get a nice discount, find a floor model that is on “clearance”. Ask to buy it and demand 15% off. The manager has the ability to drop the price by 15% but will only do so when you buy a warranty, usually. Buy the warranty. Then leave the store and the next day drive back and bring in your receipt and ask them to return the warranty. You will get your money back and keep the 15% savings. You could also go to any other Staples store and return the warranty, so if you are uncomfortable going back to that store and seeing the same manager, go to another Staples in your area.

    Up to 20% off actually.

    25. You may wonder why Staples employees will lie so much to get you to buy accessories and service plans. We are not paid on commission, we don’t even see a dime of any sale we make. The incentive most employees have to sell these things is so they do not get moved from electronics department to furniture or office supplies, which are much more boring. Managers WILL threaten to move you if you do not sell.

    This is true. You do not have to lie though. As long as you attempt to sell and get a few sales there is very little pressure.

    26. TIP: Staples stores will get hell if they receive negative feedback for a particular store. If you are dissatisfied with your experience at staples, or discover that you have been lied to, file a corporate complaint. Call 1-800-3STAPLE (1-800-378-2753) and tell them you want to file a corporate complaint against a store, and they will direct you to it. This will cause the person you report to, to send it in email to the offending store and this will cause chaos for a day or two. Do this enough and the manager will be replaced.

    The managers pretty much never get in trouble. The associate will take the heat for any complaint.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like some of you work/ed at really crappy stores. I have worked for a Staples in Canada for over three years and I can honestly say that my store doesn’t work like that. We try to be as honest and helpful as possible, even if we end up losing a sale. Also we have NO COUPONS in the safe! We bend over backward for customers who actually deserve it, the more you complain about ridiculous things the less we want to help you. We can’t be the only good store around!

  54. Anonymous says:

    As a current Sales Manager, I know that in my area, Sales Managers lie about the stock of an item that would be in lockup and only accessible to Sales Managers unless the technology item is moving out of the store with attachments. Usually the associates will get interrogated about what’s being sold with the technology item, before the Manager will be willing to actually go retrieve it. Different stores have different items locked up, but sometimes associates themselves, through loyalty to the company or pressure for loss of hours or loss of job, will outright lie and tell customers that the item is not in stock.

    A word of advice is to always have the item ordered online. If you absolutely must have it right then, ask the associate to do a SKU or item # check on the item to let you know which stores have it. Some stores will have a sense of comraderie to other stores and will either call the other store to let them know that a customer is coming unwilling to buy attachments or just tell you that no one currently has the item in stock.

    All Staples.com orders done through the store do not count against their sales metrics (ASP) so there is no pressure to attach to your sale there, even if the associate has to help you through the staples.com sale.

    Most managers will only do a save the sale either upon request (if they don’t feel like lying) or if the sale is a high margin one (attachments).

    Writing the company (via email or phone call) is the best way to get anything done in the customer’s favor, with Staples. If you were told an item was not in stock, made a trip to another store, did another SKU check on the original store and it DID in fact show to have a quantity greater than 1 in stock (floor display model, where applicable), chances are you were lied to by the store associates/managers and you should write to the company to let them know. Eventually action will be taken to rectify this.

    I never shop for big technology in a store; I do a lot of research online, go to the store to see it in action, and then order it online, because it’s just not wise to have someone fetch you an item when their job is on the line if you are not spending money in their favor. Base prices for items do not cover the cost of labor on the retailer’s part.

  55. Iskren Sabev says:

    If you sign an associate s book you know that this is confidential information and you must not share THIS ,it can cost your JOB !!! I this period of crisis ratter not lose it ,it hurt the pocket and other personal staff/car house !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Anonymous says:

    I have some good info, if you ask a associate or know someone that works there. Staples issues a weekly sign batch that has dirt cheap computer pricing for all clearance models a day before they become active. I got my computer that was priced for $649 for $280 by doing this.

    Hmm.. Staples associates and managers cannot stop you from stealing even if they see you doing it. You can set the alarm off walking out the door they cannot stop you if you keep walking. We are TOLD to let you steal and can be fired if we try to stop you.

    Technical Service plans are pieces of shit and we are pressured to make the sale. Ringing in and signing up rewards cards are a key part of being a associate and we are pressured to sign you up, sometimes even lying to you.

    If we are out of stock on a item and the customer is not buying any attachments than 9 times out of 10 we will not do a save the sale. The only time we will offer a save the sale is when the store is making good $$$ in attachments.

    Beware of tech associates, they are trained and encouraged to sell you single packs of ink (look at the HP 02 series) over combo packs even though it could save you $30.

    Associates are heavily pressured to sell Service Plans and Product Replacement plans. Beware.

    Most staples stores do not have cameras, go in look around if you don’t see any than they don’t have them.

    If you have the time and the energy head to the dumpster before trash day. Our inventory managers must “destroy everything” when in most cases they jsut toss them out. You can get free cables, DVDs, headphones, and GPS units.

    The security code on most staples laptop alarms systems are the store number. U can look that up on the staples website.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I’ve worked at Staples for three years. A lot of what’s said here is absolutely true, but a lot of it has exceptions in certain areas. I work in a Staples up north that has been pretty renowned for high customer service rates and the like. I for one like my managers and know that we have never been encouraged to lie to customers. Managers do bend over backwards when it comes to customer needs, but not all the time. I don’t think anyone has mentioned it, but you *cannot* return opened software, even within the 14 days after you bought it like typical returns in the electronics department. We can switch it out for the same product, but opened software is like an auto-prompt for the manager to walk over and make sure everything is okay (as typically, customers get very angry when we say we can’t return it). Be aware that we make exceptions to this generally REALLY rarely. “I didn’t like the software” NEVER cuts it. This counts for computer games too.

    Our Copy Center never charges $2 conversion fees.

    If your job was done wrong in the Copy Center, don’t yell or swear out the associates. Half the time, the person handing your job over didn’t even DO it; it might have been finished the night before and left under the counter to be picked up. Don’t yell at us. Tell us what we did wrong and we’ll do it over again, and yes, we will give it to you free. There are signs up in the Copy Center with the 100% satisfied guarantee; they should be rather hard to hide. In the past months Staples has issued some kinks in our jobtaking system for the copy center, including a need to talk the complete job over with you and/or get a proof out. If you like the proof, we have you sign it — and that is exactly what you get. If you don’t like it, you don’t get it redone because you approved the proof. Be wary of this.

    Staples associates are overworked and underpaid, but even considering this, we do a pretty good job taking care of our customers. Our managers are usually good people; talk to them if you have a complaint, not to the cashier (who can’t do anything but call over a manager). If you’re considering working there, think hard about it. Most new associates, from what I’ve seen, last about 2-3 months before quitting for whatever reason. Depending on your store, it’ll either suck or be fine, so if you get hired, at least give yourself enough time to decide which it is.

  58. dapolevaulter says:

    I don’t know how long it has been since you have been in staples…but most easytech’s including myself, If you bring in your computer or electronic we will call “assurant” our ESP (extended service plan) for you,the customer. We have a special number that takes directly to escalation AKA Immediate problem solvers, or level 2 support, if the associate is assertive like i am he basically tells them what he wants for the customer and doesn’t take no for an answer. They will get what the want…

    People say we screw them over with the ESP (service plans) but seriously the crap that gets manufactured and sent to retail stores in general will usually break with in 2 to 3 years. Plus the ESP that we sell allows or gives (at least our store) the ok touch and try to figure out whats wrong with your device. When people bring in Laptops 6 months old and say they need me to help them, I look it over quick and see if i can find a quick solution if not i ask if they purchased a service plan. If they didn’t, well thats the end of that, i give them the computer manufacturer’s customer service number and tell them to call them , tell them to have a good day and also mention that a diagnostic costs 69.99 and i can do that for them if they don’t want to spend 2hr talking to some guy in India, and go on to the next customer. If they bought the service plan I take in their computer call assurant if they tell me it is still under manufacturer’s warranty i call have the customer go to lunch or run some errand while i call the manufacturer for them.

    Basically at my store buying a service plan gives you complete and total domination of my time at work. And if i have a problem with the ESP provider i get there name and id# and my manager gives it to his boss who calls his contact manager at assurant and makes sure that this employee is trained better which usually means either termination or threat of termination.

    So basically of you live in near my store buy a service plan, me and my manager’s bend over back-wards in the name of customer service.

  59. kcasteel says:

    Hello,

    I have worked for Staples for alittle over 7 months and have just left the job a month ago. Most of these tips are still valid, and you should take advantage of as much as you can get.

    I was an Easy-Tech Sales man, worked copy center, register and sales support for the so called new BEST TECH sales model. The new model makes us dig deep get to know the person, and exploit everything you say to buy, and attach items. We are told to lie to customers, as long as we make sales the customer doesn’t matter, if you walk out, so what there will be someone else to buy the item. If you try to buy a computer without attachments good luck, most of the time we are not allow by the manager to sell the computer without something attached to it. No attachment we don;t have the computer and are encouraged to get you to shop else where rather then take a hit to out numbers.

    We have a new business consultant in every best tech store, the one in my store is a really nice guy, but uses that to take advantage of you, he will wear you down with needless talk and will not let up until you walk up to the register with an item in hand.

    This guy has told me many times that I’m only there to sell, not customer service. If you think we are being nice and helping you, think twice before you commit to buy, make sure its what you need not what they want to sell you. We DON’T get a thing for selling you items, other then hours, and keeping our jobs. You don’t sell $2500 a week in plans and tech you lose your job. That’s why we come on so strong.

    The items they will try to sell make sense, and look like a good deal, but most of the time they are not needed nor required to run your computer.

    Staples was the worst company I have worked for in my 15 years in retail, not because of the customers or the hard days, but because of ruthless sales tactics that make us feel a little worse about our selves at the end of the day.

  60. urnotme388 says:

    I’m not sure if this information is out of date or not but some of it is just wrong. As a staples employee I can honestly tell you that my coworkers and I have never been encouraged to lie. As for some of the price problems customers might have Staples does have a price match policy, bring in proof of the same item lower elsewhere ,like a web printout or flyer, Staples will match it, we even except other retailers coupons Our 100% satisfaction for customers isn’t a secret it’s writen on the back of every recipe, and it’s not just for the Copy center but for all Staples brand products, just bring it back, all Staples products are good for a lifetime. It is certainly not a Staples policy to lower prices if a service plan is bought or lie about coupons. Employees most certainlt are not told to lie to customers but are there to help sell you what you may need, bottom line they’re there to help you not only get what you want but make you the customer happy, so just talk to them in detail and they can help you find the best deal for what you need. If you want to know what you can do to save it’s as easy as asking an employee, after all it’s our goal to attract repeat customers, by making sure your happy with us you won’t go elsewhere right?!

  61. Danyalson says:

    From a Staples Associate

    I have been in almost every associate position at Staples. I have been an Electronics Associate, Office Supplies Associate, Resident Easy Tech, and am currently the supervisor of the Copy and Print Center, known as the CPC Expert.

    First I just wanted to say that many of the things you posted DO NOT apply to all stores. In our District (District 5) you would get fired for knowingly providing false information to customers. When I was in electronics, customers LOVED me, because they kinda felt like I was on their side, and I was. I was totally honest with them, and told them the items they needed and didn’t need. The CIPS you talked about, is an example. Most printers DO NOT come with a cable so that one was normally easy. Some printers do come with full cartridges, mostly HP printers, however many do not. I was always honest with customers about what they were getting, but most bought ink anyways because they knew they were going to run out. Suggesting optional “Photo Black” cartridges we’re a possibility as well. Paper was normally an easy well too. The Extended Service Plan was a bit harder sometimes. At my store I sold almost twice the number of plans than anyone else, but its because I was honest with customer. You have to realize WHY Staples pushes plans so much. I went around with a Scan Gun one day and was just curiously looking at the profit margin on items. I was Shocked to learn that on some computers and printers we make so little profit, that by the time the employee carries it to the front, the profit is eaten up by the labor involved to ring it up. I’m talking less than a dollar profit. On a PC or Printer sale, ALL the profit comes from attachment selling.

    When you said that plans do not start on Day of Purchase that is only partially true at best. The ESPs start on DAY ONE. Those are the ones that cover Computers, Printers, MP3 players and the like. Those start on day one and include 24/7 tech support for the term of the plan. They cover repair and replacement of your item. For items that might get accidentally damaged, like laptops, there are plans that can be purchased that WILL cover that. The plans that DO NOT start on day of purchase are PRP’s or Product Replace Plans. Those cover other electronics items like shredders, networking equipment, webcams, mice, keyboards, graphics cards etc. I had very little trouble selling those plans. And actually they are a pretty good deal. Most of those plans are less than 19.99 and some are less than $5. Well worth it when a year and a half from now your shredder stops working or your router goes out. I would always tell people “Statistically you’ll never need this plan but for $7.99 you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that if it goes out we’ll replace it.” For those a cash card is issued for the FULL price you paid for the item NEW.” Those do not start from day 1. They start when the manufacturers replacement warranty expires. This is different than a limited warranty. Often, products will have a 90 day replacement warranty that totally covers the item and THEN have a 6-month or 1-year LIMITED warranty that covers manufacturer defects only. What we tell people is, If you purchase this PRP you’ll be totally covered from day 1 for 2 years, which is true. A couple months of that 2 years is covered by the manufacturer and the rest is covered by us.

    My biggest peeve about your post is some of the things you suggest about the Copy Center. Yes, we DO offer a 100% product guarantee, but this is in place to insure that customer orders are done right the first time. This is not something that customers should abuse. We all know that NOTHING is truly perfect, and nit-picking an order to death just so you can get it for free is only benefiting you at others expense. Most people in the copy center make minimum wage and they have to answer to corporate about things like that. When you abuse the system to get something for free, remember that someone, somewhere has to pay for it; whether it be the company, which may eventually end the policy because of abuse, or whether it be me by loss of bonuses (which are not a lot and quite infrequent), or by loss of employment.

    Staples rewards ARE NOT A SCAM. This one really blows my mind. You sign up for a FREE rewards account, and then you get 10% back on all your ink, paper, and copy center purchases. It can really add up if you’re a frequent shopper at Staples, as many office buyers are. Its not uncommon at all for people to bring in $20-40 rewards checks. You can also bring in up to 10 ink cartridges a month for $2 each, 20 if you’re a premier member. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me. You can complain that we went down from 20% to 10% on copy center items all you want, but the truth is the company doesn’t HAVE to offer anything. We also have the Business Discount Program in the Copy Center now, so if you are planning on spending at least a $1,000 on print services we can sign you up for free, and you get additional savings. If you sign up not only do you get 10% back in rewards but you also get either 10% or 20% off instantly at the register. I think some people just like to complain.