• Report: #1079950

Complaint Review: Staples

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  • Submitted: Wed, August 28, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, August 28, 2013

  • Reported By: return fiasco — Los Angeles California
Staples
10830 W. Santa Monical Blvd. Los Angeles, California USA

Staples Return Fiasco Los Angeles California

*Consumer Comment: Enlighten?

*Author of original report: Returns fiasco

*Consumer Comment: Sadly...

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I am submitting this complaint after having contacted Staples’ Office of the President team of customer relations representatives. I spoke twice with Jeffrey Palmer and was promised a call back from his supervisor Ryan Pimentel which never materialized. My experience was with the Staples store in West Los Angeles on Santa Monica Boulevard. I purchased a Western Digital external hard drive at a different Staples location and within the 14 day return policy period (8 days) I brought the unopened drive to the Staples store, with my receipt, for return. The cashier called over a store manager to approve the return. The store manager examined the packaging, which was never opened or even touched by me, and decided he needed to completely destroy the packaging and compare the serial number on the drive case to that on the packaging. When I questioned him on why he found it necessary to destroy the tamper-proofed packaging, he responded that it was policy. The examination of my product took several minutes and was done in plain view of other customers at one of the cashier stations in the front of the store. While the product was being examined by the store manager, I asked him what would happen if the serial numbers did not match as a result of an error made by the product manufacturer. His response was that Western Digital did not make mistakes, so that was impossible. The store manager’s examination validated that the product serial numbers did match and the return was accepted.

My complaint and concern stems from the very real possibility that something did not match through no fault of mine. The sealed product was now very much unsealed, I was humiliated in front of other customers by the actions of the store manager done in plain sight, and I was very angry that I was made to endure this waste of my time. If Staples cannot trust the tamperproof packaging of their manufacturers, they need to take that up with their vendors, not take it out on their customers. Telling me that is was not possible that a mistake in packaging could have been made by their vendor is just plain fantasy and I very much doubt that their vendors would support them in their statement that a mistake is impossible. The office of the president customer relations representative assured me that he would: 1) forward my complaint on to both the district and regional managers, 2) follow up with me and share what corrective actions were taken and 3) work to make certain that other Staples’ customers were not subjected to the same treatment shown to me. I have no idea if item 1 was completed, but I waited 8 days to hear back from Mr. Palmer before calling him back for status. I told Mr. Palmer I would not be shopping at Staples until I was comfortable that my complaints were properly addressed. This incident could have been much worse had there been a serial number mismatch, but I do not want to wait for that to happen to me.

Staples needs to protect themselves from shrinkage and theft while at the same time respecting and valuing their customers and the customer experience. Staples chose only to worry about themselves in my experience paying absolutely no attention to their customer. I choose to give my patronage to businesses that value me as customer. I was concerned that the store manager might be a rogue employee so I reported my experience to the corporate office. What I discovered is that the treatment I received was acceptable all the way up the corporate ladder. Bye, bye Staples and hello Office Depot, Office Max, Best Buy and the like.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/28/2013 04:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Staples/Los-Angeles-California-90025/Staples-Return-Fiasco-Los-Angeles-California-1079950. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Enlighten?

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

You seem to think that they are just doing this for no other reason than to cause you problems.  As I said there are some very resourceful people out there who will spend every waking hour trying to find ways to scam companies.  You can bet that Staples has been "burned" in the past in cases like this..how do I know.  Because I have personally seen it at other places in similar situations.

If you want to complain about the packaging not making the internal serial number and/or product visible without destrying the packaging..okay go right ahead.  I actually would agree with you on that.  But that is NOT the fault of Staples or any other store.  Perhaps your "RipOff" should be directed at Western Digital.

You still didn't say what you would have done if you bought that item and when you went to open it find that it had been switched.  Nor have you said exactly what sort of "follow-up" you are looking for.

Oh but to answer your scenario.   By default the manufacturer is going to be considered the one who is right.  But in the case of fraud from a customer it would most likley not be just a S/N discrepancy..it would be a totally different make/model as well that people switch out.  So IF in the unlikely case that the mfg just put the wrong unit in the box, it is probably still the same make/model and specs as the one that it "should" be.  This makes it a lot easier to claim that it is still valid and some mfg error. 

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#2 Author of original report

Returns fiasco

AUTHOR: return fiasco - ()

Please enlighten me as to what you think would have happened if the manufacturer had not placed a product with a matching serial number to the packaging in the box. Let me answer for you: I would have been given back a product that I did not want in a condition that no one else would have accepted.  Why didn't someone think to make the serial number on the product visable without destroying the packaging?

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#3 Consumer Comment

Sadly...

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 What happened to you is a sign of the times and just about Standard Operating Procedures..yes even at the other stores you mentioned.  It is actually fairly easy for a resourceful person to "fake" out a package and look like it has never been opened.  So even as you admit a store has to protect itself.   What would you do if you just happened to purchase the hard drive and open it only to find a different older(used) unit? 

In the end I can pretty much guarantee you that unless YOU made a scene no other customers even knew what was going on.  Then even by chance they did..by the time they left the store they already forgot about it.  Not only that but they gave you your refund, so except for a little bit of time you have lost nothing.

I am really curious what "follow up" do you want?  Do you want the person fired?  Do you want some sort of compensation?  Do you want them to just "trust" the customer that they didn't actually do a swap? 

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