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Staples Now Demoted to Emergency Use Only

Posted Sun November 4, 2007 12:00 pm, by robert p. written to Staples

Write a Letter to this Company

I needed a digital camera for my business. I chose Staples (Store Number: 0362) because I have a business credit account with them. However, I wanted them to match Circuit City's price. It was only $10 less.

I called in, to make sure I could do this. The person said to print the price and come on in. I finally made it in hours later. The manager on duty said that she could not match the price. On top of this, she blamed the employee for giving me incorrect information.

I argued for a a bit, and explained that it was a small amount and that I feel that the customer should be taken care of. The manager should have the ability to discount as they see fit. She explained again that it was their policy to not match the website price of circuit city.

Frustrated, I went across the street to Office Depot to see what they could do. I asked a salesman if they could match. He explained that since it was such a small amount, they wouldn't even worry about it. Office Depot wanted my business. In fact, the person that actually "did" the adjustment was just a regular cashier.

Sorry Staples, but you have been demoted to emergency use only. I will always seek out Office Depot first for my needs.

Staples, you need to make sure that your staff is on the same page. As well, you should not blame your own employees for their mistakes. Finally, your managers should be capable of satisfying the customer, regardless of the small loss of $10. It will translate to much more loss because I will no longer consider Staples my primary purchasing source.

It would be nice if Staples admitted that they made a mistake and I would like to have a clear definition of their actual policy.


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by duttycalls Posted Fri November 9, 2007 @ 8:01 PM

A policy such as this should never be left up to the manager to
fulfill or not. If its policy its policy and should be done
consitently not just when the manager/cashier feels like it.

And as for Office Depot I used to go there all the time because they
were polite, great helpers and always made sure I had what I
needed...too bad there are no more around our area.


I agree but I'm guessing you have never worked in retail by Adam W Sat November 10, 2007 @ 11:40 AM

by mary jo Posted Wed November 7, 2007 @ 9:47 AM

For those who keep harping on the "it was only 10 dollars. They should
have done it since it was such a small amount of money"...you are
missing the point.

Its the principle of the matter. Its their policy and they have NO
reason NOT to enforce it if they dont want to. I have more respect for
stores who enforce their policies than those who dont.

I worked too many years for managers who made their employees tell the
customers of the policies and when the customers got mad and the
manager got into it they went back on it and gave the customer what
they wanted, making their employees look like idiots. And when
inventory loss counts come back sky high, those same employees who
were made to look like fools because they TRIED to enfore the policies
are the same ones who get chewed out and blamed for the bad loss

If 10 dollars is SUCH a small amount then why did it matter in the
first place?

Those who are up in arms about the 10 dollars, how would you feel if
it was coming out of your paycheck? How would you feel if you couldnt
get a raise because your store manager was giving the store away and
your raise went to cover the bottom line? How is that 10 dollars
looking to you now? Dont think it doesnt happen or that this is an
exaggeration? I have seen it happen to the point where a company that
has been around for generations had to file bankruptcy and almost went
out of business.

And the customers, they all think the same way. Its just me. Its just
one person. Ignoring the policy for ME wont cause a problem. It wont
hurt anything. And every single customer that wants something feels
the exact same way.

In the long run, seperating the wheat from the chaff will give a store
a more stable customer base where they are actually making money
instead of losing it. If you no longer want to shop at this store
because of "the small loss of $10" then you are doing them a favor and
you will not be missed.

May the gods of retail bless the store managers who follow company
policy and refuse to bend to the demands of every person who walks
through the door.

Was this camera you were buying and trying to charge to a business
credit card actually FOR your business?


I think you're missing the point by Adam W Wed November 7, 2007 @ 6:57 PM

I agree with you by donno Wed November 7, 2007 @ 6:59 PM

I agree with you, too, MJ! by Quasi_Mondo Wed November 7, 2007 @ 7:38 PM

They will fail by Adam W Wed November 7, 2007 @ 9:50 PM

Absolutely. by calm Thu November 8, 2007 @ 11:26 AM

by SumnerMan Posted Tue November 6, 2007 @ 9:14 AM

I find it very hard to believe that this cashier actually had the
authority to price modify the item. If cashiers do then it's "open
season" pricing on any thing that store sells. If I were a manager of
that store that "regular cashier" would have a lot of explaining to


They do. by The New and Improved Brenda Tue November 6, 2007 @ 5:35 PM

I used to work for them too by Adam W Tue November 6, 2007 @ 5:54 PM

Well of course by The New and Improved Brenda Tue November 6, 2007 @ 9:08 PM

We agree on something Brenda! by Adam W Tue November 6, 2007 @ 10:15 PM

we do by Angelic Princess:) Thu November 8, 2007 @ 5:19 PM

by T. C. Posted Mon November 5, 2007 @ 3:14 PM

I can guarantee with out a doubt you did not tell staples you got the
price off the net. They agreed to price match a competetors price not
the net.


I did mention it by robert pina Mon November 5, 2007 @ 4:26 PM

belief by T. C. Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:32 PM

I am glad by robert pina Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:51 PM

by Melissa Savelloni Posted Mon November 5, 2007 @ 9:12 AM

I'm glad Office Depot was able to accomidate you. I would suggest also
writing them a thank you letter through planet feedback.

I agree that 10 dollars is quite a small amount to lose a customer
over. I worked in a similar store (circuit city) a few years back, and
I remember being permitted to price match up to a certain percentage
without a manager approval. (right before I left i think the policy
was changed so it could be completely different now.) I think this
just shows that staples doesnt "trust" their employees enough to make
small adjustments. (such as ten dollars)

On the other hand (just playing devils advocate) If circuit city had
the better price, why not just go there? I only say that because being
on the other side of that situation, many many people would bring in
ads that were obviously things we could not honor (such as rebates,
combos or online-only specials) and would get nasty at us for not
honoring these, and the other store was just around the corner.
Perhaps Staples had just had enough of this and cracked down on their

Either way, your letter is rational and free of unneeded emotion, so
kudos for that!


I agree by meet the folks Mon November 5, 2007 @ 10:40 AM

Good point, Melissa! by Not Taking The Bait Tracy Mon November 5, 2007 @ 12:14 PM

Thanks! by Melissa Savelloni Mon November 5, 2007 @ 1:08 PM

price match by T. C. Mon November 5, 2007 @ 3:10 PM

very true by robert pina Mon November 5, 2007 @ 4:36 PM

.. by swiss cheese please Tue November 6, 2007 @ 11:58 AM

I can understand that by Melissa Savelloni Tue November 6, 2007 @ 3:39 PM

by Harleycat Posted Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:20 AM

First we get letters about companies that don't have a clearcut policy
(KMart, Target) and then we get letters about companies that do (BOA,
Staples) and stick to it. Which is it folks?

Yes, it would have been nice if she did but you have no way of knowing
if she got reprimanded for doing it in the past. As you said, it's
not a lot of money.


by RowdyRetailer Posted Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:18 AM

You probably didnt state the price was an ONLINE price. You knew what
you were doing. Get a committment to a price match on the phone
without the whole story, then mention it was online when they searched
Office Depot's sale ad for the price.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

by robert pina Posted Mon November 5, 2007 @ 4:28 PM

I mentioned that it was an online price. This is why he asked me to
print it out and bring it in.

by Adam W Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 10:20 PM

I agree. It's a small amount of money. The manager should have just
done it.


It IS a small amount of money by joe bubby Mon November 5, 2007 @ 10:40 AM

agreed by T. C. Mon November 5, 2007 @ 3:19 PM

It's company POLICY to proce match! by Adam W Mon November 5, 2007 @ 4:52 PM

It is not company policy by The New and Improved Brenda Mon November 5, 2007 @ 5:18 PM

price match by T. C. Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:35 PM

It is not company policy to proce match, or to price match by Not Taking The Bait Tracy Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:38 PM

The Staples website contradicts itself. by Adam W Mon November 5, 2007 @ 10:32 PM

Yeah - and if everyone who found something cheaper for $10.00 by Not Taking The Bait Tracy Mon November 5, 2007 @ 11:16 PM

But Tracy by Harleycat Tue November 6, 2007 @ 11:32 AM

It cost them a lot more money to lose the customer to a competitor! by Adam W Tue November 6, 2007 @ 12:02 PM

Economics 101 by Adam D Tue November 6, 2007 @ 11:24 PM

WTF? by donno Wed November 7, 2007 @ 12:04 AM

Thanks Donno, maybe you can step off your high horse and give me a few more grammar lessons, it would be appreciated! by Adam D Wed November 7, 2007 @ 12:02 PM

I can't help you by Sweet Potato Fri November 9, 2007 @ 12:24 PM

Not necessarily.. by Harleycat Wed November 7, 2007 @ 11:36 AM

but by Angelic Princess:) Thu November 8, 2007 @ 6:26 PM
by robert pina Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 10:17 PM

If Staples does not match website prices that is fine with me. But
the employee should not have told me to print it out and come down to
the store for price matching. It was a waste of my time and theirs.

The reason I wanted to use Staples is because it was a business
purchase and I have a Commercial account there.

Office Depot helped me without a problem. They won't lose a sales
over a few dollars, which is a great way to do business.

Next time I want a price match I will go directly to Office Depot.


match by T. C. Mon November 5, 2007 @ 3:16 PM

by Angelic Princess:) Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 9:16 PM

Did you tell the person that answered the phone that it was an ONLINE
website price? I agree with a reply below.. I hate price matches.BUT
we recently changed the price match to 100%.. no more 110% u greedy
people! If $10 is such a small loss.. why didn't you just buy it there
still? You, yourself, said it was small!

by gb Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 8:05 PM

Under your theory, I shoudl be able to walk in there and demand $10
off of whatever I am buying becuase it is just a small loss and I may
go somewhere else.
I HATE price matching. It you can get it cheaper somewhere else, go to
that store!


That reminds me by BarbaraT Sun November 4, 2007 @ 8:47 PM

yeah! by joe bubby Sun November 4, 2007 @ 9:46 PM
by Cor H Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 5:31 PM

If the employee who made the mistake isn't responsible for their
mistake, who is? It seems like the OP is blaming the company. Human
beings who work for businesses are capable of many mistakes that have
nothing to do with the company for which they work.

Why don't we just say that each person is responsible for their own
mistakes? Unless the OP is concerned that he won't be able to blame
Staples for his own mistakes under this arrangement, perhaps?


she could have done SOMETHING by robert pina Sun November 4, 2007 @ 10:25 PM

Nope by RowdyRetailer Mon November 5, 2007 @ 9:08 AM

manager over the phone by robert pina Mon November 5, 2007 @ 8:45 PM

Re: manager over the phone by SumnerMan Tue November 6, 2007 @ 9:10 AM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 4:31 PM

I thought it was pretty common practice for price-matching to not
include website prices, since websites often sell merchandise cheaper
than the store.


by "Clete" Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 2:23 PM

Not only does Office Depot give this guy great service, but they also
sponsor a great NASCAR Team!!

Congratulations to 2007 Busch Grand Nation Champ - Carl Edwards!

Good luck to Carl as he runs the final three races of the Nextel Cup

Thanks to Office Depot for their involvement in such a great sport.

I always choose OD for my office supplies!!



nascar by T. C. Mon November 5, 2007 @ 3:20 PM

by The New and Improved Brenda Posted Sun November 4, 2007 @ 1:57 PM

Their policy is on the website.


Which items and services aren't available for price match?
We don't match our store prices to those on other companies' Web
sites. We don't price match our Staples® EasyTechSM services. We
don't price match our thirdparty providers' products and services
(e.g., custom printing), items sold on auction sites or at local or
special events (e.g., grand opening, anniversary, clearance or
liquidation sales). We don't price match taxes and typographical

Was this item the same price in the Circuit City store as on the


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