UPDATED: Office Bait-and-Switch Max

Update: I’m an idiot. I forgot to include her email, then didn’t check. Apologies, guys!

Susie’s eight months pregnant. She needs some decent back support. So she was excited when she got a coupon from OfficeMax, offering 30% off any order of $150 or more. She imagined long, languorous days in her office working from home, a homuncular Winston Churchill look-alike suckling at her teat as her spine was cushioned by cool, soft leather.

But OfficeMax nailed her with the old bait-and-switch. When she called to place the order, the 30% off coupon magically transformed into a $30 off coupon.

Susie’s pissed — she’s the wrong pregnant lawyer to piss off. Her email, after the jump.

See the coupon I received by mail and then the hell I just endured below…

“There is an online phone coupon valid thru 10/7 – 30% off your purchase of $150 or more – “to take advantage of this special offer, call: 1-800-OFFICEMAX and mention offer #107620310821 or shop online and enter this promo code on the shopping cart page: GHA2LOXLRS8BVNW8C”

I went to the site. Spent a whole lot of time – over three days – picking out two perfect home office chairs. One is for me (I’m 8 months pregnant and soon to be working from home more often) and one for my husband.

The site didn’t accept the promo code. So I called in the order. They said the coupon was valid. Phew!

So after 15 minutes of giving my details and setting up a “Office Max Customer ID #” – I was ready to order. Gave the 8 digit codes for the chairs. Had to hold for a long time as “the system is slow today.” I asked if they could call me back to let me know when the chairs would arrive. She tried again. Although the chairs are “in stock” I am told the chairs would take 14-21 business days to arrive. Fine, whatever. Let’s do it.

She calculates the price, but I notice the total seems high. She forgot the coupon. She recalculated the price with the coupon… it was still very high.

Why? Well she said the coupon was for $30 off – not, as the email said, for 30% off. She said, oh yes, that was a typo… the email they sent should have said $30.

I get peevy. I made it very clear it was not her fault, but that this is a bait and switch scam.


Edit Your Comment

  1. medalian1 says:

    I’d love to see a copy of that coupon, because I have NEVER seen a 30% off 150 @ officemax. It’s always 30 off 150, that’s the normal coupon. Maybe her pregnancy has made her delusional. The usual is 30 off 150 as see in the coupon request thread on one of my fav deal sites …


  2. LTS! says:

    How far do we have to jump to see the email? And I’ve never seen the 30% off either. That would be insane and certainly be the talk of the deal sites.

  3. Hawkins says:

    No e-mail? Dubious coupon? I smell conspiracy.

  4. Kluv says:

    Jumping… Jumping!

  5. RogueSophist says:

    I call bullshit.

  6. AcilletaM says:


  7. RumorsDaily says:

    I can only jump so far.

  8. Pregnant Shenanigans! The worst kind by far.

  9. Avery says:

    Still jumping…!

  10. Am I seeing double? I know I’m not drunk, but I don’t see an email, just double of what was said.


  11. Paul D says:

    Consumerist says “jump”.

    I say “how high?”.

  12. JackieTreehorn says:

    I can jump no more…I give up.

  13. AcilletaM says:

    Hey, promising a letter after the jump and then giving us nothing is bait and switch too!

  14. This is all my fault. I’m a total buffoon. Really sorry for not having noticed earlier, guys.

  15. RandomHookup says:

    Bad editor. And here we were blaming the newbies when it’s the grizzled vet all along.

  16. LTS! says:

    So, there was a typo on the email. Big deal this happens all the time. They told you that there was an error when you attempted to use the code. This is not any different than going to a store because of a great deal in an ad only to find a correction posted stating it was a misprint.

    End of game. The hormones are running wild.

    By the way.. why does it take 3 days to pick out a chair? I bought a car in less time.

  17. exkon says:

    It’s a valid mistake, but they should really tell you that its a priting mistake when you’re telling me the coupon code.

  18. That’s quite a jackass statement about the hormones, LTS!.

    In any case, you don’t get to go gathering up customers using one promotion only to end up giving them a very different one. Marketing should not and does not work that way. OfficeMax should be accountable and find a way to make this right for Susie.

    Say, there, Brownlee, is that the whole letter? Bit of an anti-climax. I like for someone to get screwed at the end of these, be they consumer or company.

  19. AcidReign says:

    …..I can understand the three-day chair-selecting thing. I want an office chair for my little electronics corner at home, too. I’ve been looking for several years. I’m still looking. I want: comfortable, but I still want to be able to type. No rattles, squeaks or nuts and bolts that fall out. Good casters. Seat should tilt back, but be lockable. Adjustable height. Decent, solid, adjustable arms; not the rattle-ey, plastic things Office Max sells. And finally each arm should be able to be easily retracted completely out of the way, so I can play my guitar while I surf. While I’m fantasizing, this theoretical chair should be made out of comfortable black fabric that cat hair would not stick to. I’d settle for leather, though.

    …..In the meantime, I’ll stick to an antique wooden chair (no arms) with a Bed, Bath and Beyond rubber-bottomed butt cushion.

    …..Yeah, the hormone thing was low. Very pre-Tina Fey-SNL. On the other hand, this is a NYC-based blog. Hopefully, we’ve all got pretty thick skins and don’t get our feelers hurt too easily!

    …..I’d like to see a scan of the coupon, too. I’ve got a friend that I’ve known for thirty years, who last week asked if I’d heard that Gene Simmons died. No, I hadn’t. Quick Google/news check. And this guy WOULD NOT BELIEVE that he was wrong. Just sayin. I’d like to see a copy of the coupon.

  20. Chairs are tough choices. I go with stock government equipment wooden desk chairs with casters. Something to take the pounding.

  21. tz says:

    If there is a typo, and they discover it, they should send a follow-up notification as soon as possible.

    Instead, after spending several minutes setting up an account, several more placing the order, then giving the code, the amount seems high, only then do they say it was a typo?

    It is pushing it a little, and I assume it was a 30% instead of $30 in the original, but OM should either preemptively should have corrected it or honor what they said.