Staples Offers PC Tune-Up Via Cold Call

Who hasn’t sat around bored and lonely, staring into a computer screen, wishing someone from a retailer would call with an annoying PC tune-up offer?

Eugene lived the dream because he was actually lucky enough to have received such a call. A blessed angel of mercy from Staples found it in her heart to dial him up and let him know his machine was due for a free once-over by a computer veterinarian:

Just wanted to pass along something that happened to me today.

I received a call from Staples saying that my name is on a list for a “free pc tune up.”

When I said I never did such a thing the woman said someone must have put my name on the list.

When I asked if she could tell me who it was that put my name on the list they said the name of my neighbor whom I help from time to time with his laptop.

Apparently Staples happily collects any info anyone is willing to give them and then call as if you yourself had signed up.

I asked that my name be removed from the list and the woman said they would not call again. Until someone writes my name down again I suppose?

With Eugene possibly off the list, that just frees Staples up to offer up its generous gift to you and I.


Edit Your Comment

  1. ShadowFalls says:

    Ya, I bet it is. It is their opportunity to sell you stuff you don’t need.

    • Griking says:

      Nobody puts a gun to your head and makes you pay for something you don’t think you need.

      • dpeters11 says:

        Nobody makes you pay for something you don’t think you need, but it’s much easier to get you pay for something you don’t need because they get you to think you do need it.

        • ShadowFalls says:

          Exactly as dpeters11 said. There are plenty of old folks who like the word “free”. Then they get talked into things they don’t need done. It is a common sales tactic to take advantage of the misinformed.

  2. mister_roboto says:

    “Is your PC running? Yes, well you better go….”

  3. gianspi says:

    How dare they call you up and try to make a sale, then politely remove you from their marketing list as requested. You should send an EECB and get the AG involved.

  4. jessjj347 says:

    I got something a month of so ago, and they gave pamphlets about PC tune-ups. I think they’re really trying to push them.

  5. greentech says:

    Wait… was the woman rude? Have they repeatedly called and harassed you? Did they claim it was free then actually charge you? Surely Phil forgot to put the rest of the story in the article – you know, where something completely unacceptable happened.

    FYI: I am “greentech” – green as in sympathetic to the environment, not green as in a Staples tech. I have better things to do than remove someone’s virus or install someone’s printer. (Ok, that last part was a lie – I have nothing better to do).

    • AstroPig7 says:

      You don’t think cold calls are unacceptable? You might have an uphill battle with that one.

      • greentech says:

        No, I’m not a fan of cold calls either. It does seem that the store at least tried to prevent it from happening – the list sounds like it was voluntary. At the same time, it also seems like they knew that the OP was not the one who signed up for the call. I can’t help but wonder if the neighbor said “oh, my neighbor would love this!” (yes, in which case the store should have said “send her in!” rather than a cold call).
        What I’m saying is this: Is that really such a huge deal? They were polite and resolved the situation quickly. We can nitpick like crazy every time any store makes a small flaw like this, but what good will it do? If this was a repeat issue or a bigger issue, then maybe it would deserve attention. Otherwise, why focus on this issue when it seems to be so small?

      • Griking says:

        He was signed up to receive the call. He should blame his neighbor, not Staples.

        And again, he told Staples to not call back and as far as we all know so far they haven’t.

        • Pax says:

          Staples lets Person A sign Person B up for something, and you don’t see a problem? Eugene’s neighbor couldn’t have put his name on that list, if Staples didn’t have their system set up to allow for that.

          • Beelzebub says:

            I’m a Staples Easy Tech.
            This is not Staples’ fault really, some Saturdays the stores have a “PC Tune-Up Event”, where that’s all the Techs are going to be doing from 9 to about 5, in my store. We tell people during the week about it, and if they want, we take their name, number, and a time slot that works for them. We never checked ID to see if that was really the person’s name/number (why would the customer sign up under someone else’s info?) On the Friday before the “event” the Techs would go down the list and call the customers, the kind of call OP received, and as you can tell, he wasn’t bothered again.

          • Griking says:

            The OP said to not call back and they haven’t.

            Get over it.

  6. APriusAndAGrill says:

    I just left an Easy Tech Expert position (think geek squad plus high pressure sales) at the hell hole some call staples. Each store gets a bonus of 45 mins of payroll for each pc tune up it does. my store did pc tune ups to people even when they did not want them. or we would just randomly ring them up, so we could all get 40+ hrs.

    oh and we basically defragged, ect…. stuff anyone can do. then told you that you had a virus and to by norton bc we get commission on that.

    • Beelzebub says:

      Current East Tech here:
      * “think geek squad plus high pressure sales”
      Your store sucked then, I have crappy PC sales numbers [great tech sales though] and all that happens to me is I get “coached” on how to offer software better, offer PC Set-ups better, etc.

      * “Each store gets a bonus of 45 mins of payroll for each pc tune up it does”
      Same with any other service, it’s not a bonus, it’s so you have enough hours to work on the amount of PCs. Let’s say a PC needs a System Restore, they say that takes 1 hour, the store gets one more hour of payroll the next week. Ever notice that after a slower week part-timers don’t have as many hours?

      * “my store did pc tune ups to people even when they did not want them. or we would just randomly ring them up”
      So, you stole computer from people and did PC Tune-Ups? That’s a police issue, not a Staples issue. And I hope you didn’t randomly ring up Tune-Ups after the new Work Order system used, that matches SKUs to work orders.

      * “stuff anyone can do. then told you that you had a virus and to by norton bc we get commission on that.”
      Some people don’t want to learn(and I’ve tried to teach a few. Never. Again. Not paid enough.) And it’s commission of $4(I think) into the associate fund (for a party, or a new microwave for the break room, nice dinner at a restaurant if you have enough) at the end of the fiscal year.

    • mhuckins says:

      You must be a terrible sales person.

      Norton is only commissionable when attached to a computer sale. Even then, it’s worth $5 and split between the department based on hours worked. After taxes I see maybe $0.45 from each Norton I sell in a computer market basket. Is it a big deal to sell Norton with a computer? Not really. Is it a big deal to have a customer buy any kind of anti-virus after performing a virus removal or seeing that they have no anti-malware? Kind of. Norton s the cheapest deal out of the door, and that is the only reason it sales so well.

  7. LaurelHS says:

    It’s funny that they do these cold calls, because when I actually ASKED Staples to fix my computer, they kept telling me it would be fixed the next day and then when I went there the next day, the guy said he hadn’t even looked at it yet. This went on for several days before they said they couldn’t fix it at all. It reminds me of how Bell Canada constantly calls me trying to sell me new services, which I don’t want, but when I actually want to talk to them and make a tech support call, it takes forever to get someone on the line. I have asked them to stop calling me with the promotional offers, but they keep doing it, and in Canada it is legal for a company to make such calls if you have a “business relationship” with them.

    I love how some people are only available when you don’t need them.

  8. Sorry4UrInconvenience says:

    WOW! That’s a bad article!

  9. keepher says:

    The SHOUTER must be running the company now.

  10. oldgraygeek says:

    All cold calls — to cell, VoIP, or landline; residence or business; “polling” or political calls; so-called charities… every possible reason for making the phone ring inside a home or business — should be banned, unless a person or company specifically opted IN, and IN WRITING.

    No “existing business relationship” loophole, just a BAN on all cold calls for any reason.
    Instead of a “Do Not Call” registry that is ignored, there whould be a “Do Call” registry… that would be blank on the day the law is enacted.

  11. Puddy Tat says:

    This would be like setting your PC on fire then having the clown holding a bucket of gasoline standing by to put it out…..

    This is the classic telemarketers line (someone must have wrote it down ) thats when I ask them to prove it or a visit to local national DNC list wasn’t purchased and they just picked up a phone book.

  12. giveUhell says:

    Stores are required/expected to achieve a goal of at least 20 tune-ups per week. Most stores are required to log a minimum of 100 contacts per week for tune-ups. If you shop at Staples expect someone to ask you for your info so they can add you to their call list. As APriusAndAGrill stated in his post, the store does earn additional payroll hours based on EasyTech sales. Big pressure placed on tune-ups.

  13. Leper says:

    Cold call computer “tune-ups” or “virus scans” are a growing scam industry and it seems stupid that Staples would set up a legitimate service that is similar.

  14. Griking says:

    So where’s the rest of the story? You know the part where you asked them to not call you again and yet they keep on calling. Oh, wait. You mean there IS no more story? You told them to not call you again and they so far haven’t?

    So what’s the problem again?

  15. dr_drift says:

    “Hello valued customer, this is Sheldon Levine…” XD

  16. cattrin says:

    As a staples et employee, I am sorry for all the needless shit we have to put you through :( bills, rent, etc… and when we’re told that we simply won’t be working there for much longer if we can’t add on a $100 plan or needless services, well till we can get out of retail it’s the best we can do.

    I assure you, its not an employee being an asshole. We’re good folk if you get to know us. Well… most of us. Corporate policy determines if we’re living in a cardboard box or not though. We try, we do. Most of us do give a damn, most us us will try to help. Most of us will circumvent our own rules if it means giving yo better service (we’re not licenced to use free tools for example, but if it fixes your stuff well we’ll do /everything/ we can, period.)

    Remember, hate the corporation, not the little guy forced to shill their shit

    • Bativac says:

      It sucks when you’re a low level employee of a giant corporation, and the paycheck forces you to toe the company line. I feel your pain my friend.

    • APriusAndAGrill says:

      If they are pressuring you this much, and it bothers you, ask to transfer to office supply or furniture. That is what I was going to do, then I just left.

  17. cattrin says:

    This is store specific? I know our hours are based on how much they spun one manager around before letting him throw darts at a board. (the others are awesome, but the one in charge of scheduling… a methed-up homeless man spun around blindfolded could do better. at everything.) Then again we don’t have many people to work with, most run while they still have the chance.

  18. danmac says:

    With Eugene possibly off the list, that just frees Staples up to offer up its generous gift to you and I.

    It’s you and me, not you and I.

  19. lumberg says:

    I used to work at Staples. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. They don’t a damn about making customers happy, they’re just interested in pushing services services services. They barely even pay any attention to office supplies anymore. They’re following the business model of the old CompUSA (before TigerDirect bought them).

  20. Rena says:

    I stopped shopping at Staples years ago because of their advertising. I guess they haven’t improved.

  21. mhuckins says:

    Staples is currently running their PC Tune Up for free. The way they are marketing it right now is by having customers “sign up” for appointments by leaving thier names/numbers next to the time they would like to come in.

    Whether or not the customer is the one who signs up for a time slot or not doesn’t matter. Hell, as an Expert at a Staples, I don’t give a rats ass about those appointment sheets. This associates manager probably had them call to remind customer of the appointment. The tech department still gets a $29.99 credit for each tune up even though the customer doesn’t pay for a thing. Upselling might be the whole reason it is free, but it is not the reason it is pushed so hard.

  22. DirtyDUB says:

    As an employee of Staples I would just like to say the following.
    1. We do have Free PC Tuneups which are 100% free. Its basic computer maintenance nothing more.
    You may think that they are useless but to our customers that can’t install ink cartridges on their own its a big help.
    Once the tuneup is complete, i.e defrag your hard drive run norton security scan, check security software is up to date, check for hardware exceptions, repair registery errors with windoctor, and physically vacum out your dirty PC, we then print out a report on our findings and make reccomendations. If you decline them, perfect we tell you the next tuneup date in 6 months and send you on your way.

    2. We do hold tune up event days where you can bring in your computer and have it worked on the same day while you wait. This option is mentioned to you at the registers by our cashiers.
    If the customer agree’s we have a book with timeslots and ask when you’d like to come in. The cashier doesn’t know if you are putting down your neighbors name, phone # or the phone # to a
    Scientology center. She is trying to get you out of the door quickly and efficently because now there are 4-5 people in line. 3-4 days before our events we call and remind the customers in the book about their appointment, on such date and at this time. This is most likely what happened in this case. It could be a practical joke or it could be a nosy neighbor thinking you are not skilled with your own computer..

    So in closing, Eugene if you are that offended that Staples called you maybe you should have a talk with your neigbor who presented so called information to a place of business in the first place.