Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Staples Inc. Indicted

I bought the extended, 3-year, warranty for my Acer laptop, which is now 2.5 years old. As you know, it crashed the other day. I finally got a call today from their warranty people telling me that they can't (won't) fix my computer, but will give me the market value of the computer, which they calculate at $260. I paid them something around $800 dollars for it, I seem to remember. Fine. But what was the warranty for? Did they tell me when I purchased it that they would not replace the computer in such a case - no, they told that they would replace it no questions asked.

Thetheologyofdad asserts until the bitter end its right to say whatever it wants, irrespective of anything other than the moral law. Thus, you need to know, Staples, that your fiscal policies have real-world costs in terms of PR and costumer confidence. 

Whatever. Who has the power? They do. Do I have anything to bargain with? Hey, I will never shop at your store again! - an idle threat. Will I actually not ever shop there again? I shop there only because they provide a good/service I cannot get elsewhere more cheaply. I have no loyalty to them, they have none to me. If they provide a better price, will I stand on my aimless sense of vengeance and pass it by? Of course not. Who would I be hurting but myself?

On the other hand, if they proved to me that they cherished my business, I would be prepared to pay them something like customer loyalty. I wait for it from certain places, but it never comes. My best shopping experiences have been, surprisingly, with Speedy Muffler, two separate franchises - one in Dartmouth, N.S., and one in Mississauga, Ont. By the way, my experience with Canadian Tire's auto service has always been dreadfully bad.

So, yes, I will continue to shop at Staples when it offers something I can't get at Walmart, for instance. After all, I have a $260 dollar credit to spend there, but I will post this to say to Staples, you may have won this battle on paper, but what is this post costing you?

As for ripping off this customer, don't think that I can't hear you at your board meeting:


  1. I'm sure that many other "Acer" customers are "bitter".

    I'm sorry to hear that your computer crashed.

  2. didn't the same thing happen to erin and scott? i think they fought and got the full price - check with them.

  3. Hey, now, I just bought another Acer! They are just so much cheaper than anything else...

  4. We did have the same problem...and the rascals there even euthanized our computer after saying they couldn't fix it and to come pick it up. We arrived at the store and they handed us the hard drive telling us we needed to buy an external hard drive thingie if we wanted to get our data off it. Of course everyone passes the buck. They did finally give us a gift card for $700 to replace the computer (this is an older one we bought from them at least 4-5 years ago, not our current one), but as you say, who wants to buy from them again? Extended warranties do not seem to carry much value, especially when the fine-print seems to make so many possible problems unfixable.