Staples Makes Me Play Foolish Games To Get Advertised Deal

Jason is not a man. He’s a piece of iron. And that’s why he finally got Staples to honor an advertised computer discount program, despite several attempts by employees to derail him.

Kick back and enjoy Jason’s steady, self-assured victory march:

Two weeks ago, Staples ran an ad:

Recycle a Windows XP or Vista PC and get $100 off a new HP computer at Staples. Good 10/10/10 – 12/25/10. I printed the ad and since I had my eye on a HP netbook currently selling for $349 at Staples, I thought I’d see if they put it on sale between now and Christmas (especially for Black Friday).

I went to my local Staples and checked last weekend to make sure the deal was still good and that they had the netbook in stock. I talked to the customer service person who showed me the deal posted behind the register and she assured me it was valid until 12/25.

So Black Friday came and went and the netbook didn’t go on sale, so I decided to go ahead and get it. My wife is taking a trip to visit some friends next weekend and could definitely use the netbook during her travel.

I go to my local Staples again yesterday, and after being ignored by a bunch of completely idle employees, and watching the manager walk by me three times while I’m waiting at the computer counter, I finally catch his eye and tell them I’d like to buy a computer and I have a PC to recycle to get the $100 off the HP. Here’s how the conversation goes with both the manager and assistant manager:

Me: I’d like to take advantage of this offer.

Them: It expired two weeks ago. Sorry.

Me: I printed the offer from your website this morning. Here it is, see the date?

Them: You could have gotten that from anywhere, not

Me: OK, let me pull it up on my iPhone. Here it is on

Them: It expired two weeks ago

Me: No, it didn’t. See here where it says “offer good until 12/25/10”?
Them: Doesn’t matter. We’re not doing that any more.

Me: Well, I came here last week and they showed me you had the deal printed out and posted behind the register. See? It’s still there.

Them: What? This? Nope, it expired (crumpling it up and throwing it away).

Me: Okay. I want your name and the manager’s name. I’m going to call your corporate office.

After a corporate customer service rep assured Jason the deal was valid, he went to a different Staples location. Jason again:

The store manager there is MUCH nicer, but still insists the deal was expired two weeks ago. I tell him about the situation with the corporate office, and he calls *someone*, but not the corporate office (telling me they are closed on Sundays) and needs to wait for them to call back to confirm the deal. In the meantime, he goes over my recycle PC to make sure it is eligible. After awhile, he calls me over and tells me this:

Him: Okay, the deal was over two weeks ago. We emailed out vouchers for $100 for PCs that were recycled back then. We’re still honoring the vouchers until 12/25, but we can’t give out new ones.

Me: You realize this printout I’m showing you says “Receive $100 savings instantly in the store”, right?

Him: I see that, but I can only do what I’m told. Let me take your number and when they call me back I’ll let you know what I can do?

Jason headed to yet another Staples, continuing:

1. They don’t have the netbook I want in stock

2. She doesn’t believe the netbook is eligible for the recycle savings

No. 2 shocks me. I ask her why and she tells me:

J: Well, it’s not a computer – it’s a netbook.

Me: stunned, blank look on my face. This is easily the most stupid thing I’ve been told all weekend.

When I recover, I decide not to argue. She tells me it’s immaterial, because she doesn’t have one to give me, anyway.

So I leave empty handed again.

Finally, a manager from the second Staples called him and said he had the netbook Jason was looking for. At long last, Jason achieved ultimate victory.

What’s the hardest you’ve had to work to get a company to honor a deal?

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