Why I'm Never Shopping At Staples Again

To Whom It May Concern;

I just had one of the worst time consuming experiences at your store. This is in regards to the unit located at 1501 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, CA 90291.

On 12/16 I went in and purchased two items a digital picture frame and a gps system as Christmas gifts. I got home and tested both items. The digital picture frame (omnitech 11.3 inch frame) had a broken pixel so I needed to return it. I called the store and they said no problem, bring it back with the receipt…

Today 12/18 I left work at 3 PM so I could return this item. It is pouring rain and traffic was really congested. I went home (culver city) and picked up the frame and receipt and decided to go to the Staples on 8704 South Sepulveda Blvd. since it was close to my home and I didn’t want to drive too far in this rain and it being almost rush hour. Unfortunately they were out of stock of that frame, I inquired about the 7 inch and unfortunately was not on sale anymore so it would have cost only 10 less than the 11 inch frame that I purchased during a sale two days ago. So it was not worth it.

Inside that store I called the Lincoln blvd staples to make sure that they had one and that they could hold it for me. I reached a rep, got transferred, then transferred for a third time. I did not realize the store had such a confusing directory that staples own employees did not know who to transfer to. After a good solid 10 minutes I got an agent that said yes we do have it in stock and yes we will hold it.

Now it is getting close to 4:30 PM. I drive down there, and wait in the customer service line. When it is my turn I tell the agent my situation and she says hold on while she gets a replacement. She comes back empty handed, shrugs her shoulder and says I don’t know who told you we had one but we do not. There is a manager standing next to her, I believe his name was Jeremiah. He says nothing and just walks away. The girl assisting me asks some of the reps if anyone took the call, one guy said it was him but he said he asked someone and they told him yes, we did have them in stock. So they all just stood there, and not even a simple sorry.

In the meantime there are customers in line and other employees are running around, and joking. I witnessed one employee in a Staples shirt if he could assist this woman customer, he told her no he doesn’t work here anymore. That was completely ridiculous; it was obvious he was working. Mind you I was calm, and never got exasperated or angry the entire time. I understand what it is to be in customer service. But in my opinion it simply is a lack of caring for the customers or for their jobs.

Bottom Line:

* I am a small private business owner, as well as employed by one of the largest dot com companies, located in Pasadena. I am a Sr. Manager of workforce. I am in the customer service side of the business and want to emphasize this is no way to treat regular customers. I use Staples both personally and professionally and will cease doing any more business with Staples.

* On that one trip I spent 270.59 on the 16th.

* I also spent a good 2.5 hours essentially to end up with a refund because of the aforementioned situation.

* The customer service is laughable. The manager ran away when my situation was occurring. The agents there do not care, they are goofing around.

* I am also sending a copy to the better business bureau, my contact at the better business bureau and Ben Popken at The Consumerst.com



How annoying and typical. And my girlfriend makes fun of me for doing most of my shopping online. There’s nothing more annoying than calling and being told something is in stock and then it’s not when you get there. Talk about a time waster. You finally carve out a little slot of time to go pick something up and then something like what happened to John happens to you. Sheesh.

(Photo: Morton Fox)


Edit Your Comment

  1. chili_dog says:

    Proving once again that living and shopping in CA is a bad choice.

  2. BarryT says:

    I used to love around the corner from that Staples and they were the worst. I would travel further to other stores just to avoid them.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I can understand it when you call and some 17 year old who doesn’t feel like actually checking sock tells you that something is in stock.

    What I can’t understand is how companies that primarily sell consumer electronics have websites where it says an item is in stock, you can purchase it, then go to pick it up to just end up having it be out of stock.


  4. selectman says:


  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @BarryT: I’m not sure we are all interested in where you used to do your lovin’.

  6. qwickone says:

    While I appreciate the annoying-ness of the situation, that letter was long-winded. Sorry John, but I just don’t feel that sorry for you.

  7. qwickone says:

    @AlteredBeast: LOL!!

  8. realjen01 says:

    I think his grammar in that letter was a bad choice.

  9. Bladefist says:

    I’m gonna catch hell for this, but use an online discount store like tigerdirect or newegg. Shipping is fast, and after the price discount, it will be less or equal to the price of in-store.

  10. nealb says:

    That’s a bit over the top with the drama. Basically you were told over the phone there was something in stock. When you got there it wasn’t in stock, and nobody seemed to care. We’ve all been through that.

    At least the manager was nice enough to agree to replace it with just one dead pixel. A lot of electronic stores require numerous dead pixels before an LCD device is eligible for refund/exchange. Stop playing with gifts before you give them. The recipient can obviously exchange it hassle-free after Christmas.

    The manager couldn’t have waved his hand and made one appear. I guess saying sorry would have been nice. I really can’t see what you’re so mad about.

  11. parad0x360 says:

    This kind of thing happens all the time and while it does suck, never shopping at the store again makes no sense. In 3 weeks from now 90% of those people will have been fired and only the “good ones” will remain, and since there wont be a million people shopping a day they will have the time to spend with your needs.

    right now asking someone who makes $6 an hour and has been working in the store for 3 weeks to give you good service is downright crazy.

  12. ManicPanic says:

    @AlteredBeast: But here’s the biggest thing–I believe if he just gave the person on the phone the SKU they should have been able to look up if any were in stock on one of the computers. I know some places have a tough time with keeping their inventory up to date (Here’s lookin at you, Gap) but they probably could have just done that and not really had to waste any energy. During the holidays we used to have a register devoted to checking stock in case someone wanted something that wasn’t on the floor at a popular retailer.

  13. Amy Alkon says:

    That’s my local Staples store. It used to be great. In fact, I used to write the management thank you notes about a guy named Mark who worked in their copy center (I don’t JUST complain about things). This particular store has gotten so terrible lately — stuff out of stock, aisles clogged with huge rolling ladders and boxes of crap, and just dirty and dingy — that I wrote a letter once to, can’t recall, maybe the president of Staples about a year ago, then, because I’m a newspaper columnist, so they media people take my calls, I called and begged their media contact to have somebody do something about the place.

  14. Parting says:

    And I though I had to cut down on coffee… I understand you are cranky after such experience. However it’s not a shopping experience ”from your worst nightmare”. If you would order your LCD online, you’d have to ship it back. So it would take even longer. So contact customer service, get an apology, and get over it. Compared to Best Buy, Staple’s customer service is ”heavenly”.

  15. ffmariners says:

    @nealb: It doesn’t need to have x number of dead pixels if exchanged within the return period…

  16. just_paranoid says:

    if it was really just one broken pixel, i would have just lived with it. even if the place would have held it for him, thats a lot of effort to go through over one dead pixel. most people wouldn’t have even noticed. now if it was a row, or column of pixels, i could see that not working.

  17. rolla says:

    @chili_dog: no, just living in LA really. Its only LA that life sucks…hahaa

  18. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @chili_dog: Yes, because customer service everywhere is wonderful.

    Have to agree that if this was an actual nightmare, the manager would have taken back the LCD, handed him a snowglobe full of angry bees, broken the globe with a mallet, and disappeared in a flash of smoke.

    As it was, you wasted 2 hours because of lazy high school kids working minimum wage retail. Not the best customer service, but not the end of the world.

  19. MMD says:

    @just_paranoid: Really? You’d pay full price for defective merchandise and just live with it? If I noticed a broken pixel, that would be all I’d ever see!

  20. magus_melchior says:

    @ManicPanic: Given the total lack of concern in that particular Staples, they would’ve done anything to get the guy off the phone, including lie. Asking them to look up a SKU would’ve been counterproductive.

  21. just_paranoid says:

    doesn’t sound like its staples fault. they didn’t manufacture the frame, and it called holiday shopping season. first come, first serve. it sucks they told you they’d hold one but you should have gotten that persons name over the phone and wrote it down, (rookie mistake). and it wouldn’t have hurt to make sure it was the manager you were asking as far as the hold goes.

  22. Me - now with more humidity says:

    The Staples at LaCienega and 18th is much better.

  23. just_paranoid says:

    @MMD: my new psp had 4 dead pixels. i never noticed until someone like you held it and showed them to me. i then tried to point them out to others who were sure i was on crack and seeing things that weren’t there. so a broken pixel, on a cheap sale item isn’t going to be worth traveling 2 blocks in this insanity.

  24. crazyflanger says:

    I hate staples with a passion. When I was 19 I bought some RAM at a staples. I got home and it didn’t work. I tried to return it and some fat stupid manager wouldn’t take it back. His reasoning was that the ram manufacturer differed from what was on the case. I bought PNY RAM, but the ram I got had some other name on it. I asked if he was accusing me swapping ram and returing it and all his fat ass could say was.

    “I’m not accusing you, I just won’t take it back”.

    I don’t blame him for being suspiscious but he really didn’t give a crap. He looked at the first ram they had on the shelf and PNY was an actual PNY ram. I asked for the store and the district manager phone number and he wouldn’t give them to me. Later that day I came back with my dad…thinking he wasn’t taking me seriously because I was a teenager…apperently while I was gone, someone let fatty know that PNY ram had a whole bunch of different manufactures, and they sold a few that matched the one I tried to return. Fatty came over and appologized like no tommorow, but my dad really let him have it. Staples was 40 minutes drive and my dad was pissed.

    I guess I hate staples, but even more so I hate petty little managers who get a power trip off of being able to make a few decisions and boss around high schoolers.

    Normally I’m not a prick to customer service people, cuz I know there job is tuff, but since this guy basically called me a liar, I had no other option. My dad ended up speaking with the store manager and the next time I went into staples he had a regular red shirt on….not sure if that situation had anything to do with it. I walked by him and mumbled *fatass* under a cough….he didn’t acknowlage…but I’m pretty sure he heard me.

  25. hn333 says:

    Go cry me a river, no one cares.

  26. frowelishnu says:

    Wow, your last paragraph completely nullified your first three.
    If you’re going to be a dick you should put it first so that we know to skip over your comment.

  27. xl22k says:

    For a snafu like this where they still offered you a refund and didn’t hassle you too much, I don’t think it’s fair to hold it against the retailer.

    This time of the year is hectic and most people that work in the store are burned out and counting the days until Christmas. Not to mention half the people working there were probably holiday hires that will be gone in a month.

    Granted, you certainly should be upset and I would recommend that you call and ask to speak to the STORE MANAGER (ask for the store manager specifically to ensure you don’t get an assistant manager or supervisor). Generally the store managers will take your concern very seriously and address it.

    Good luck!

  28. Froggmann says:

    Someone is complaining about this? Oh geeze wake up and smell real life! So some snot nosed punk that doesn’t care about his job didn’t check stock for you. Boo-hoo. Ineptitude is everywhere deal with it. If your so enamored to cry over a manager that didn’t want to deal with another complaint or a punk that didn’t look then you have them find the item for you verify it’s location and go there. Oh and stop complaining about the rain it’s not like your gonna melt if it hits you.

  29. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I have a random story about bad customer service. It’s funny, so I thought ya’ll would enjoy it.

    When I was…hmm…14 or so, I bought the Doom collection for the PS1. This is back when PS1 games came in those tall cases (like DVDs). I bought it at a Toys R Us. The disc was apparently not pressed into the case correctly. It was scratched up by the holder within the case, and was a big mess. I went to TrU and the manager was at the returns desk. He refused to take back the game, stating that the side of the disc that is read is the side with the label printed on it, NOT the reflective side.

    My mind was blown that a 14 year old knows more about this new fangled CD technology than this store manager. So I insisted we walk over to the Playstation display, open up the display unit, and see how the games sit in relation to the lense. We do, he realizes his error, and appologizes.

    I get a replacement game, but that one is also loose in the case. Apparently there was a problem with the first patch or so of that game being packaged poorly.

  30. bubuli says:

    what the?! aren’t you just being a tad melodramatic about this whole thing? ooh…you called the store, and when you got there it’s out of stock. this happens everywhere, man. sorry, dude, i ain’t feeling you.

  31. Bloberry says:

    @crazyflanger: So what did the guy’s weight have to do with his level of customer service?

  32. Amy Alkon says:

    As it was, you wasted 2 hours because of lazy high school kids working minimum wage retail.

    They aren’t high school kids manning this store. It used to be really well-run. I literally begged their media guy and whatever higher-up I wrote a letter to to make it like it used to be.

    As for those criticizing the letter-writer, if I drive across town for an item, an item the store said they’d hold for me, I’d expect to have it there when I get there. It’s the most basic level of customer service.

    Unfortunate what’s become of that particular Staples.

  33. swalve says:

    Histrionic personality disorder?

  34. AnnieGetYourFun says:

    I experience this kind of irritation shopping on a regular basis. I’m going to start sending more stuff to you, Consumerist.

  35. Jordan Lund says:

    Well, yes, that’s way worse than the woman who got tased at Best Buy…


  36. Buran says:

    @nealb: In other words, it’s OK to lie to customers, in your universe.

  37. invaderzim says:

    … but it was raining!

  38. chili_dog says:

    Raising the ire of the CA crowd. An early Christmas present to me. :)

  39. Floobtronics says:

    Staples just plain sucks.

    A couple of months ago, we had some extra unexpected company coming over, leaving us in a chair shortage situation. Never fear, Staples is a mile down the road, I’ll pick up some folding chairs and we’ll be set. After walking around the store for 5 minutes, not a red shirt in sight, other than the one girl at the front register, I found a guy standing there, looking sort of up toward the ceiling with a blank stare on his face. His badge said “Manager”. Yikes, doesn’t bode well.

    He couldn’t understand why I thought it odd that Staples carries folding tables, but not folding chairs. Yes, folding chairs are a special order item. Fortunately, Office Depot, another couple of miles away away doesn’t share the views of Staples. Not only did they have chairs in stock, the guy carried them up to the register, and out to my car, without me asking.

    Yeah, I don’t shop at Staples any more either.

  40. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Time for a Whineken and some french cries

  41. backspinner says:

    too long.

  42. youbastid says:

    There’s a fatal flaw in every single one of these “Why I’m never shopping at [Staples/Best Buy/USAirways/Verizon/Comcast/99 Cent Store] ever again” letters. They have zero gravity. People that read this website will say “that blows, what a bunch of assholes, etc etc.” But then the next day, when shopping for their printer/HDTV/flight ticket/cell phone/Cable TV/mexican toothpaste they’ll happen upon the price at one of these destinations, and make a purchase because it’s the only option (or far cheaper than any other option). I’m also gonna go out on a limb and bet that most of the people that write these letters end up going back to these places eventually. Except maybe Comcast.

    If I kept my word every time I said I was never going to fly a particular airline again, I’d have no airlines left to fly on.

  43. belle TL says:

    It’s customer complaints like this that make me thankful that I worked in CopyMax during the Christmas season…and that includes my last stint during my senior year when I was asked out by two older men while I was working (who then took out my rejection of them on my coworkers) and trying to comfort a woman whose sister was murdered earlier that week (i.e. right after Christmas) as I tried to make the best copies I could of the dead woman’s picture.

  44. youbastid says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: I’ll just take a root tear float, thanks.

  45. timtheenchantor says:

    @AlteredBeast: I work at Staples and Staples DOES NOT Have a system that says you can pick it up at the store. Read the online order form and you’ll see that your zip is where products are SHIPPED to. They do not check availability. In stock merchandise online is for the online store only. In the stores, we can only check what Staples.com may have and what local stores have in stock. If it says we have one in stock and it is an electronics item – 90% of the time it will be a counted demo model that is not for sale.

    For everything else, there are bad apples store-wise. Here in Florida we have stores that are very close by and about maybe 2 out of 3 are really good stores. The last one is the bad apple and unfortunately makes a lot of mistakes. If employees are obviously not doing jobs, then you may have a point to that particular store. Try a different store or send a letter to the local office and it will be remedied. Staples seriously cares about customer service but if you do not voice your opinion and aren’t professional about it — neither will the people handling your request. Business goes both ways.

  46. Vinny says:

    I’ve been to that exact location many many many times and it’s a damn trainwreck. The store is a mess, the help is non existent, and the cashiers are semi-retarded.

    That one is a complete mess.

  47. Petrol42 says:

    Whats with all the people on here busting on John for having a bullshit time at Staples? John did everything right by calling a different Staples from the Staples he was at to see if they had the item in stock and some chump said yes. This kind of crap happens all the time, I know but it shouldn’t. It should be legal to punch these mofos in the face when this kind of shit happens. Its a big waste of time and time was what John was trying to save when he called the other Staples. To all the people who can’t sympathize with John, good for you and I hope all your stupid time is wasted by getting the run-around but there are people like me who do give a fuck about this kind of shit and we’re all tired of it. I wish going to a store was like shopping on the internet where I just had to click on a few things and I get my stuff without hearing a bunch of excuses from punkass employees.

  48. gman863 says:

    Any store (big-box or mom & pop) is only as good as the staff they hire. “You get what you pay for” is the main reason why customer service sucks.

    If a store wants employees who are smart and caring enough to solve customer problems, they need to pay a better wage than a job where customer service entails nothing more than asking “do you want fries with that?”

  49. brownpau says:

    He wouldn’t get that kind of treatment from his local Dunder-Mifflin office.

  50. MMD says:

    Then why are you reading Consumerist?

  51. floydianslip6 says:

    Even though John was having a horrible day, he was later pulled over by California Highway Patrol and given a starbuck’s gift card for being such a great driver in the tempest. Granted this did make him late for his date with the ‘ol word processor and the chai mocha latte took some of the wind out of his hate letter. But at the end of the day… I guess it’s a wonderful life after all!

  52. Hydrargyri says:

    Having worked at a Staples, (though not currently), I’ll share my view:

    If a perfect employee, be it one from Best Buy, Staples, Office Max, or whatever, checks a computer system for inventory, there is always a chance that that computer is wrong. From a personal experience I had, there was an in-demand piece of software on sale. Our computers kept on telling us we had 10. We didn’t have any, from what we could find (and believe me, we looked). So, if someone in a nearby store checked our computers, they would happily send a customer over to our place, where we would shrug our shoulders. We were also polite, and said sorry, and offered more reliable options (namely: order from the website, or we’ll call a store in person to double-check), but usually the damage was done.

    Ideally, an employee would check the stock itself, and he would physically take the product and place and label it. Or, if checking another store, call and ask a fellow employee to do that himself. However, this is the Christmas rush — no chance of that happening.

    Now, was it a computer error or just laziness? I don’t know. But I am suggesting that we don’t immediately assume it was laziness — my coworkers and I work rather damn hard.

    As for the “joking around” employees, you have to put yourself in their shoes. Doctors don’t cry when they tell a family that their relative has died for two major reasons: 1, they don’t know you all that well, and 2: they’ve probably seen 4 cases like that since Monday. Yes, both of those reasons are rather cold, but (to bring the analogy full circle) these employees have probably seen these inventory errors a dozen times at least since the start of the month. It would be great if they empathized, and they should have put out an effort, but frankly, you can’t expect them to be appropriately sorry. All in all, it was a minor mistake.

    (As a side note, I don’t intend to equate the death of someone with a retailer’s stocking mistake, it was for better or for worse the best analogy that I could think of)

  53. tk427 says:

    If you haven’t been to Staples in the last few years then don’t bother now. Here’s the script –

    you(to one of two redshirts leaning on display case):
    “Excuse me, could one of you guys unlock this so I can look at a camera?”

    redshirt #1:
    (rolls eyes, walks away)

    redshirt #2:
    (throws arms up)
    “Just great! There goes my break!”

  54. tk427 says:

    sorry I’ll get this formatting thing right one of these days

  55. ShadowFalls says:

    Just return it and take your money elsewhere. Plenty of stores are putting those on sale during the holidays.

  56. Miranda says:

    @brownpau: You are so money that you don’t even know you’re money.

    I used to like the Staples on Wickham Rd in Melbourne, FL. Never any problems there.

    John’s experience sucked, but I will always love Staples for that “romantic robot” commercial they had a few years back: “You can’t have her! I love her. Weeping, weeping!”

  57. HOP says:

    seems like we have a pretty good staples here in salisbury md..the clerks are pretty nice……i’ve taken things back with no hassle….i’ve never called up in advance to hold something for me tho….

  58. PinkBox says:

    I lived near that Staples too, haha…

  59. ogman says:

    Same thing happened to me at Lowes, and I had to drive 60 miles to be told that they did not have the item they said they had. The problem is that the computer is supposed to keep the inventory for them, but no one ever checks and maintains the system.

    Less convenience and more hassles for customers leads to increased profits for investors and higher salaries for CEO’s. Welcome to 21st century business.

  60. stavs says:

    How bout a beer buddy…perhaps a Wieneken? Staples didnt tell you to leave work early and they cant control the weather. Its not Staples fault that you didn’t want to drive in the rain.

    To quote detective Joe Friday, “Just the Facts Maam.”

  61. rg says:

    OK, so you leave work, go all the way home to get your item to return, then go to a different store than you had originally called. First of all, you wasted your own time there buddy. Why did you not take the item with you so you could stop on your way home to take care of this? Second, if they don’t have the dang thing, get your money back and go to Best Buy or some other place to get it! You’re so wrapped up in being the “victim” (a popular pasttime in CA) you can’t even figure this out for your self. The people that work in these stores are flunkies because management can’t afford to pay people with actual knowledge of their products. YOU have to be in charge here, if they don’t have what you want, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! And stop wasting time and gas running all over the dang place. Buy it on Amazon, if it’s broke or if you just plain don’t like it, return it to Amazon at no charge! Jesus I hate simpletons!

  62. milty45654 says:

    Yeah, he works for one of the largest dot com companies…he knows what customer service is about..

    “ok boys…we need more money in our pockets..let’s lay off 2000 americans and outsource our call center to India….then we can make our bonuses for the quarter”

    STFU…loser….we’ve all seen this happen. Someone made a mistake…oh well..live with it….the fact that there were kids playing in the store while you where there has no correlation to the fact that someone made a mistake.

  63. just_paranoid says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: def leppard sux! just got done watching joe dirt. lol. lets not forget the wah-burger.

  64. just_paranoid says:

    all this guy had to do was

    A) ask the MANAGER to hold it for him.

    B) write down the f-ing managers name.

    obviously just going in and saying you talked to somebody about holding an item for you during this time of year isn’t going to work. sorry that x-mas is like this but its nothing new. maybe you’d still shop there if they would have been looking out the window for you to pull in, gave you a v.i.p. to the front of the line, and had the item packaged in gold waiting in the safe in the back just for you.

    oh wait nevermind you wouldn’t shop there even then………damn rain! how dare anyone provide anything but the best of customer service during the rain!

  65. whiterose says:

    Gee, I can understand why the guy was upset. He took his time to make sure his gift was working, and time is something you don’t get back.

  66. timmus says:

    I’ve often wondered if you were standing inside of an office-supply big box store, would you be able to tell whether you were in an Office Depot, Office Max, or Staples without looking at printed signage? I’m not convinced that even customer service is distinguishable. I think the same demon from hell runs all three stores.

  67. timmus says:

    @milty45654 said: Yeah, he works for one of the largest dot com companies…he knows what customer service is about.. “ok boys…we need more money in our pockets..let’s lay off 2000 americans and outsource our call center to India….then we can make our bonuses for the quarter.”

    BRAVO. Well said. I’m willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt here, but yes, stating that you’re a customer-focused dotcom is going out on a limb and requires serious backup.

  68. VoxPopuli says:

    You should use this letter as the template for how NOT to write a letter to a company. It took two eye-roll-inducing paragraph to get to what the problem was, and by the time I got there I decided the guy is a whiny jerk who gets what he deserves.

    Seriously, no one cares if it was raining or if there was traffic. Most people call that “life.”

    I agree that these stores do have terrible customer service, but I don’t expect minimum-wage employees to go out of their way to help me. Let’s face it – if they were that motivated and organized, they wouldn’t be working at Staples.

    “Bottom line”: There’s a difference between being a smart consumer and thinking the world revolves around you.

  69. pureobscure says:

    Hey John, thanks for wasting three minutes of my life with your whining, long-winded letter. I kept reading, waiting for an experience that transcended “typical experience while shopping in the 21st Century.”

    Oh and the part about spending less than $300. Did you expect the CEO of Staples to personally call you back and get you to not take your “big bucks” to some other retailer?

    Bottom Line:

    You’re a tard.

  70. krisgpindel says:

    I love how everyone always complains about 17 or 18 year olds working at these techy/SOHO places, yet when you think about it, anyone over 25 wouldn’t work there. Simply because anyone over that age would not accept the pay that these kinds of stores give (aside from management). The fact is, the guy should have taken a name and asked for it to be held somewhere for him.

  71. deserthiker says:

    Talk about overreacting! I’m NEVER shopping at Staples because some kid making $7.50 an hour gave me the wrong information over the phone. Boo-fricking-hoo
    And the other employees didn’t rent their clothing and weep because of my plight. The horror! Next time , go buy your junk at Best Buy, Circuit City, Walmart, Sears, or any other store that carries the same stuff and see if they care more.

    I bought a frame at Bed, Bath and Beyond and I actually had to wait in a line to pay for it and the cashier didn’t even say sorry! Bastards! I’M NEVER SHOPPING THERE AGAIN!

  72. coren says:

    @rg: Yes, because just getting a refund will allow you to buy the item at a sale price! Sounds like you’re the one who doesn’t get it to me.

  73. jaewon223 says:

    Never had a problem with staples. Great store from my experience in NJ

  74. kostia says:

    It’s not hard to take the time to write professionally. Any recipient, whether they’re aware they’re doing it or not, will read a letter like this and give it less credence than one written with care and clarity. I wonder if the poster’s business correspondence looks like this; if so, it belies his focus on customer service. Even consumerist.com is spelled wrong!

  75. sibertater says:

    I’ve never been to Staples where someone actually asked to help me. If I go I always have to seek out help, they are just not that friendly. I think in order to work there, you have to be slightly socially retarded.

    I also have never asked for help and actually found someone who works in the department where I need it. It’s always, “That’s not my department, I’ll have to find someone.”

    I also don’t feel bad for John, it happens. I wouldn’t have bothered taking the time to even write…I would just stop going, like I did with Wal-Mart.

  76. ceriphim says:

    As someone who manages multiple retail stores for a living, and someone who doesn’t actually know the author nor have any motivation towards him personally either way, I can say: Deal with it.
    Yeah, it wasn’t a great experience. Were there ways it could have been improved? Sure, plenty. They could have snagged the physical item and wrote your name on it, etc.
    Were there reasons you set yourself up to fail? Lots. Your biggest mistake is a failure to understand what time of year it is, and I say that because you (A) tried to avoid inconveniencing yourself with traffic (B) attempted to shop over the phone (a personal pet peeve of mine during holiday, often we’ll simply turn of the ringer to make sure we give our in-store customers priority (C) took the responsibility for the hold upon yourself and didn’t get any specifics (going off of what you’ve written) (D) made value-judgments about others actions without knowing (are they helping other people or just dicking around?), and finally, (E) failed to acknowledge when you DID get good customer service (from the associate trying to help you, well, sounds like she tried).
    Try lowering your expectations and/or deflating the ego a bit. If I had a dollar for every person who’d ever told me they spent “literally hundreds” of dollars with the company I’d be independently wealthy…

  77. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @just_paranoid: Life’s a garden – dig it?

  78. Juxmodo says:

    Jeeze John, your grammar is horrible. It’s so horrible, that I’m glad you had a bad time with Staples.

  79. timtheenchantor says:

    @sibertater: Y’know, this is the internet and I probably won’t get anywhere with deadbeats like this but–

    “I think in order to work there, you have to be slightly socially retarded.”

    For you saying that, I would never help someone like you. People like YOU make dealing with customers a hassle. You know what? Business – like I have stated before so many times to people – goes both ways. You get respect where respect is due. If someone is not in the department and they can not help you, oh well? Ask politely to get someone to help you that knows more? I would rather have someone direct me to someone educated on the subject rather than waste my time. Wait, someone call the president – sibertater, is in the store!

    And forget about your attitude of what seems to be ‘deserving’ service by having every employee come to your feet (I am exaggerating your statements to prove my point). If you need help, head to the customer service desk. It is literally a couple feet from when you walk in and generally calling someone from a department you ask for (if you ask clearly) will come fairly quickly if they are not busy. Oh, and if they are — deal with it and wait patiently like everyone else or go somewhere where you can waste your dirty dollars elsewhere. I wash my hands of your statement.

  80. dualityshift says:

    It’s called a 14-day return policy. Basically, return it in that period for any reason (except abuse) for a full refund or exchange. 1 dead pixel, or 1000. You can even return it if you don’t like it.

  81. Rusted says:

    Yowza, “To Whom It May Concern”, is usually found on notes beside bodies. OK, so the guy had an issue. Still, he went out of his way to make it worse.

  82. firesign says:

    by most of the comments here, it is apparent that we have gotten so used to bad/non-exsistent customer service that it gets chalked up to “that’s life”, and attack anyone who bitches about it in any form for being a “tard”. how sad.

  83. themediatrix says:

    WTF? I can’t help but wonder if all these folks who expect to be treated like crap by a store are under 25 or something. Regardless of how John tells his story, his time was wasted by Staples because of their disorganization, lack of efficiency and poor attitude. At least John has enough self-respect to realize that.

  84. deserthiker says:


    I don’t think people here have accepted the fact that bad customer service happens but we don’t overreact to it. We calmly talk to someone in charge about the situation and expect a reasonable outcome.

    We don’t say “we’re NEVER going somewhere because of one bad experience”. If a culture of mediocrity exists within a company we simply shop somewhere else.

  85. harryhoody says:

    Why is this letter printed? Boring!

  86. Mario's Pants says:

    While we can all appreciate how bad the weather was, it’s not fair to whine about it in your complaint letter. If the weather was bright, warm and sunny would you have mentioned that? No. Next time, just say “Due to inclement weather I went to a store that’s closer to my work, first” or better yet, just say that “at the first Staples I went to (nearest to my work) there was no frame available”. I, too am impressed that they would agree to replace a screen with only one bad pixel. Though doth protest too much, methinks.

  87. BugMeNot2 says:

    This article sucks. Why did you waste your time writing it? You’re just like all the other horrible customers, blame someone else for your problems.

  88. BugMeNot2 says:

    “A couple of months ago, we had some extra unexpected company coming over, leaving us in a chair shortage situation. Never fear, Staples is a mile down the road, I’ll pick up some folding chairs and we’ll be set. After walking around the store for 5 minutes, not a red shirt in sight, other than the one girl at the front register, I found a guy standing there, looking sort of up toward the ceiling with a blank stare on his face. His badge said “Manager”. Yikes, doesn’t bode well.

    He couldn’t understand why I thought it odd that Staples carries folding tables, but not folding chairs. Yes, folding chairs are a special order item. Fortunately, Office Depot, another couple of miles away away doesn’t share the views of Staples. Not only did they have chairs in stock, the guy carried them up to the register, and out to my car, without me asking.

    Yeah, I don’t shop at Staples any more either. “

    Another dumb post.

    Yeah, I went to Food Lion to buy an HDTV because they sell HDTV cables. But I couldn’t find any HDTV’s. So I’ll never shop there again because I found one at Walmart and they loaded it for me.

  89. Mary says:

    It was repeated a million times when I worked in retail: it’s not in stock if it’s not IN YOUR HAND.

    We had only a handful of problems with situations like this happening, but it was more than enough. It’s just a basic fact of retail, the computer inventory is often wrong. Heck, the day after the store did a complete overnight inventory, scanned and counted every item in the store, and in theory corrected the computer so it was perfect?

    Still wrong. I found three things the next day that were wrong because of one thing or another.

  90. FessLove says:

    Maybe that manager who walked away went to the back to go wave his magic wand and make one magically appear?

  91. rasbach says:

    This guy really lays it on thick- “pounding rain, congested traffic” Then the ego comes out “I’m a Sr. Manager etc etc” who gives a fuck.

  92. SandmanET says:

    ok first off omnitechs are complete shit just refurbed pandigitals so I wouldn;t buy one to begin with

    now the manager or associates should have asked you if they can find another store that has one or see if it is available on staples.com (which most omnitechs weren’t)

    what morons associates need to start doing there jobs