Staples Recycles Laptop By Cracking Its Screen

When you trade in your old electronic device for “recycling” while buying a new one, does that device have to work? Staples offered a $100 rebate this holiday season to customers who sent in their old computers after purchasing a new one. “Recycling” is in quotes because computers traded in had to be running, and include the charger, so they were bound for re-use rather than recycling. That was no problem for George, though — he traded in a working computer. Only the screen was cracked when it reached the center, and he didn’t get the full rebate.

George writes:

I just had a horrible experience with the Staples $100 Holiday laptop recycle rebate (receipt ID [redacted]. When I was purchasing the new laptop in store I bought in my old laptop and the Staples rep turned it on and checked the manufacturing date to make sure it qualified.

I sent in a perfectly working laptop to the rebate center but I received an email stating that my rebate would be reduced by $30 because the screen was cracked. This is simply untrue. I called the outsourced rebate center only to be told that nothing could be done.

The worst part was when I called Staples Office of the President she accused me of sending in a damaged laptop. Her argument was that it wouldn’t make sense for me to recycle a working laptop (even though that’s what the $100 offer is explicitly for. I’ve never been spoken to with such an attitude and been accused of lying by a representative. I guess I won’t be shopping at Staples next holiday season.

In this case, it sounds like the executive customer service representative doesn’t even understand how the promotion works — only working laptops were accepted for the rebate program.

Lesson learned: photograph your electronics before sending them out so you have some proof of what was sent in.