Office Depot Gives Man Runaround, Literally

Pure, unadulterated, Office Depot customer service failure:

    I’ve got a gem for you. It’s so bad it’s almost like a comedy routine, except instead of laughing, well- you can probably guess. I was polite and gave Office Depot the benefit of the doubt up until an hour ago, when neither Sales Manager or item turned up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the CEO’s e-mail and do the same thing that Vonage customer did, but poor customer service does deserve some recognition, don’t you agree?

Yes, it does, let’s hear all about being bounced between three Office Depots, being lied to, and hung up on, after the jump… Jeez, how hard is it to honor your company’s big fat stinking Sunday insert?

Here’s the letter David wrote Office Depot:

    “To Whom It May Concern,

    I am writing concerning a recent experience I had with several of your stores. If Office Depot has an unwritten policy encouraging grassroots publicity on their behalf, I can assure you that I will share my experience with all of my friends, family, and coworkers, among others.

    I saw your Office Depot Sunday insert for a LG external DVD burner (item 157-414). I went to the San Francisco store on 3rd and they said they were out, but that the store on Geary had two. I started walking there and called them; they said they too were out but that the store in Emeryville had two. So I called the store in Emeryville and the employee claimed to have 2 in inventory, 1 for sure, but that they don’t hold items. I rushed there after work and not only did they not have it, but according to Sales Manager Jacob Menjivar, they were both sold in the morning, and they do in fact hold items for customers, particularly for cases like mine. He apologized and said they would get a new shipment on Wednesday and to call him after 11 AM, which I did, in addition to checking the other stores. Not only was he not there, but a shipment was not received either. I called again today; again there was no shipment, and was hung up on after I asked to speak with Mr. Menjivar.

    I would understand if the item was simply sold out and discontinued from your product lines. However, the misdirection, indifference, and sheer incompetence of your employees is unbelievable. Again, I can assure you that I will share my experience with all of my friends, family, and coworkers, among others. No one should have to go through an experience like this.

    David S”

Second letter from Dave:

Hi Consumerist,

Looks like going up the chain of command works. CC’ing PR and community relations didn’t hurt, either.

—-Original Message Follows—-
From: “Tina-Sims-Brehaut-ODS02299”
Subject: Re; Office Depot Experience
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 19:36:17 -0400

Good Afternoon Mr. S

My name is Tina Sims-Brehaut and I am the Store Manager here at the Emeryville Office Depot. I do apologize for the lack of service given to you by my team. This is unacceptable by my standards and will not be tolerated.
I have the name’s) of the associates that you were working with and will personally have a conversation as to why you were not getting the service that we often speak upon. I understand the importance giving each customer undivided attention as well as accurate information.

If by chance you decide to give me and my team another opportunity to service you, please fell free to ask for me while in our Store or by phone. I would like to meet and or talk to you.

And if I could give you something comparable to the item that you were looking for, for the same price I will do so. Thank you for your time.


Tina Sims-Brehaut
510-547-9660 Phone
510-547-9665 Fax”

We advise David to get in touch with Tina and hope that she will offer both a discount and an apology. Good consumering, David!



Edit Your Comment

  1. ModerateSnark says:

    Maybe be she shoulda said “opportunity to serve you” rather than “service you.”

    But I nitpick.

  2. Paul D says:

    Nah. Being serviced is way better than being served.

  3. Drinker Nisti says:

    Whatever happened to rain checks?

  4. ExVee says:

    I was wondering that too. Not that the rain check would help if none of the stores apparently bothered to restock after the sale. Even so, the offer of the comparable product at the same price is a win in my book, and topped with an apology it would seem to me like a thoroughly positive resolution, only topped by having this not happen in the first place.

  5. ModerateSnark says:

    Paul D, I assume you speak from experience.

    Please give more details about how you were serviced by the team at Office Depot. Was it Tina and her team, or another team? How many “team members” got involved?

    Perhaps I lead a sheltered life, but I don’t recall ever being team serviced. What’s it like?

  6. AppTechie says:

    Wow…Snark is just getting snarky… :)

  7. ModerateSnark says:

    My intention is to be moderately snarky, which may be an oxymoron, but I like it that way.

    I am actually hoping I have provided a setup for Mr. D, and that he will have a good comeback…so to speak.

    Didn’t mean to impugn his interpretation of my earlier remark. He got it right, actually. But Tina did say that she “and my team” will offer the servicing. And if PD has found out that way is “way better,” I want to hear more! If there is security camera footage, I want to… Wait, cancel that. Keep your footage to yourself.

    I won’t make a habit of explaining myself, but I’m still new here (as a commenter, although I’ve been reading Consumerist since the beginning).

    And I intend to stick to the subject. Usually.

  8. gualm says:

    This is typical. I am in Pittsburgh and 2 weeks ago I tried to buy an Acer monitor that was on sale. I arrived at the store at 10:15 they open at 10 on Sunday and they did not have any. I did not see any customer in line with a monitor nor coming out with one. They also did not have any at any other store. He told me to check back on Wed. “Standard Script” and they should have more. I think they use this tactic to get you in the store knowing that they may have had only 1 item available from the beginning.

  9. Amy P says:

    As an Office Depot employee I’m sorry to say this is actually pretty typical. Ads are created by corporate sometimes months in advance, but most of the time they won’t ship extra units to the store before they go on sale. So if the store is out or almost out when the ad comes out then we’re SOL. The sales associates can’t order anymore of that product (we have an automatic reordering system), we don’t do rain checks, and we don’t know what’s coming in on our trucks until the day the truck comes. Plus our ability to hold an item on sale depends on how many we have in stock and how nice the store manager is feeling that day. Associates deal with this problem on an almost daily basis, especially in smaller stores where you keep lower stock of everything to begin with.