Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Bad Experience With Office Depot Today

I love sharing my shopping adventures.  And more importantly telling you about how poor some customer service can be.  Recently, in one of my 'musing' blogs I complained about the stupidity of Office Depot's "10% off if you buy two of the same thing -- but it has to be the same color as well" policy.  Inane and insane to say the least.  Who needs two YELLOW tonor refills for their small business printer?  No one.  [You can read about that by clicking this link.]

But silly me, I went back today, to give them another chance.  Yesterday, because I assume I have an Office Depot reward card, I got an email that said, "40% off the purchase of a single item in the store -- excluding certain things (which they listed), but no reproductions or copies of the coupon and only one per household."  Good only last night (sorry, but I was busy) and today.  No problem.  No problem until I went to the store with my daughter (who is married and has her own reward card) and with two "legitimate" original printed (using one of their own HP printers no less) coupons -- no copies.

She wanted to buy their top-of-the line office chair and the only thing I could up with that I really needed was a big carton of photocopy or printer paper.  Well, we were okay with the paper as that was supplies, but the chair is supplies, so that won't qualify.  I'm sorry, but where does it say "on supplies only?"  It doesn't.  We have to do that because the whole coupon was a mistake.  Really?  What kind of mistake.  Well, (remember I'm in Canada), the U.S. sent it out to our Canadian customers and our bosses have decided that it will only be applied to supplies.  That's your problem, not mine.  I want this discount on this chair and I would it like it now.  Okay, if you insist.  And then finally, "I'll be so glad when this nightmare is over tomorrow."  Really, I needed to know that.  And this was from the store manager on duty.

Well, you'll have to have a "reward card" to qualify.  No, I don't.  Show me where it says I do?  It doesn't.  Then by law I don't.  You're right, if you insist.  Of course, I insist, but I'm not stupid -- I have to have a reward card and so does my daughter (her own account) and of course, we'll use it, because we also want the points that our purchases earn.  But the point, it doesn't say I have to have one.  You're right.

You know, sir, instead of giving me all this hassle, you should have said, "Ah, yes, these are American and they were sent to Canadians by mistake, but no problem, we'll honor them for whatever they grant you.   How can we help you?"    Now, that would have been a good shopping experience.  Instead, I will now be taking my business to any other place that sells me the same products and will only visit OFFice Depot when they have an apparent monopoly on something I need.  You see, if I don't do that, they will never learn to be any different towards other customers.

And, one more thing.  Why would a coupon like that only be meant to go out to Americans and not Canadians?  Is this just more evidence that we're second class up here?  I hope not, but it sure looks like.  (And in case you Americans don't know it -- our dollar is currently at par with yours and lately worth more than yours.)  Anyway, this is just another example of "lousy customer service" only this time on a grand national scale, not just with the single customer.  If you want to be International, especially between Canada and the U.S. -- know how to do it with class -- we have spies you know.

I hope Target, as it comes to replace Zeller's here in Canada, hears about this and learns some good lessons.What is the matter with people and stores today?  At least in North America?  Doesn't Office Depot realize I can walk down the street and go to Staples?  Or anywhere else for that matter.

Now I have a favor to ask of any of you faithful (and not so faithful) readers:  Please pass this on to anyone you know at Office Depot, Staples, and Target -- even anyone you know in retail.  Customer service really matters because without customers, they are and have nothing.

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