If Staples Never Had Any Hard Drives In Stock, Were They Ever Really On Sale?

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Jordan had two glorious things happening to him at the same time. He had a $220 gift card to Staples, and the office-supply chain had Kingston solid State drives on sale for the wonderfully cheap price of $79.99. They were marked down from $199.99. He headed to his local store to take advantage of the deal, since Staples.com wouldn’t let him use the gift cards. At Staples, he learned that while his local store had the the item on display, they didn’t actually have them in stock. Now he’s questioning reality: was the item on sale last week or this week? Did the sale really ever exist? Was the lack of stock an accidental bait-and-switch move? (If it were an intentional one, they’d push the drives on customers for $200, or try to sell them a cheaper but inferior model.) Why won’t the web site accept gift cards?

He sent this letter to the Staples CEO and all of the executive addresses he could find. They haven’t responded yet.

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Jordan and on Saturday (10/6) I went to Staples.com to order 2 Kingston 128GB SSD hard drives as I have 2 failing drives and these would be perfect to replace them with. I was also going to order a few other items totaling around $300 but I could not use my $220 gift card online from what I could see. I then went to my local Staples in [redacted] and they had the drive on display, but not at the sale price of $79.99, instead it was full price. After talking with the some of the associates, they informed me the drive they had in-store was not the same. They offered to order the drive for me from the website, but was then informed it was out of stock. I then proceeded home and still having the Staples website up with the drive I wanted, I refreshed the page, and it was still allowing me to proceed with checkout as if I could still buy 2 of these drives, but only with my credit card. I then tried to see if I could order over the phone thinking maybe I could use a gift card that way The rep I talked with seemed confused, I actually questioned if I had dialed the right number as it sounded like he was on call and surprised by the phone call. So I gave up.

I then went to Staples the following day (Sunday 10/7, 12:30pm), and now they had the same deal in store that Staples.com had, marking the Kingston 128GB SSD hard drives down to $79.99. I grabbed 2 of the display boxes, did some more shopping and went to pay for them. I then waited for roughly 5 mins and they came back saying they could not find the drives in the store. They then got their store manager, Tanya, involved and she had said their system was showing 2 in stock. After more checking they informed me they were going to send an email to their district manager and see if there was any kind of replacement offer they could offer. They took my number down and called me about 3 hours later and informed me they could not do anything further. I asked if they could order one from another store in the district, but they told me they were out as well, and to try on Tuesday when the truck normally comes.

I called this morning (10/9) and after checking the associate told me they did not get any in, I asked about other stores, and he informed me he could not find any in any other stores. I then asked if there was maybe another truck yet this week coming, he said there was, but it did not seem like they would be getting any of the drives on that truck either. Now checking the Staples website, the drives are priced regularly at $209.

I guess I’m just disappointed that a sale item would not be in-stock at all for the duration of a sale in-store, nor would it be in-stock in the district. I can’t use my gift card to purchase the drives from any other location, other than a brick and mortar store, but they will not be getting them from what I’ve been told. Now I’m questioning if the sale was last week or this week. Online it was last week, but in store it’s this week? The store also had 6 empty display boxes out on the shelf which made it seem they had 6 drives in stock. I just want to buy these 2 drives at the sale price with my gift card; and am hoping that there is something you can do to make that happen.

I understand that items sellout quickly, but the store never had them to begin with, nor will they. It just seems odd that a sale item was never there to begin with and find it misleading and inconvenient; especially with a motto of “That was Easy”.

PS. I’ve attached a photo I took today (10/9) to show the sale price.

Thank you for your time,

Jason

We really, really hope that he hears back.