Thursday, August 31, 2006

Warning: Office Depot just ripped me off for $235.00!
I do not want this to happen to you. Please do not shop at this store.
I bought my wireless setup from them, and had nothing but problems while trying to install the adapter software. The service packs which the error message said that I needed to install would not install. I took my computer in to Bonavista Computers and they advised me that there are nothing but problems with that combination of routers and adapters, that people are getting freeze-ups and blue screens and that they cannot run Windows. (Barbara W, does this sound like the issue you are having?). BC advised me what I should exchange this faulty setup for.
BUT GET THIS! The store manager at Office Depot, Pete Burns, refused to exchange my purchase, even though I had the receipt, because it was over two weeks old and the package had been opened and obviously used. He accused me of trying to pull one over on him.
Well, YES, it had been opened and used! We tried to install it, didn't we? Pete Burns was arrogant and rude and obviously trying to make up for his inadequacies with his pisant little power position of big bad store manager.
That son of a bitch owes me $235.00. He's going down.
I plan recoup my $235.00, if not in money, than in the satisfaction of either ensuring that Office Depot loses at least 100X that amount in business, or in seeing that arrogant little tyrant's ass get fired.
Here is my plan:
1) warn everybody about this, to ensure that this never happens to them. I am starting with you, dear friends, and hoping that you will warn your friends and loved ones.
2) contact Pete Burns today to get his supervisor's name and contact information, as I plan to file a complaint about him personally, as he did tell me that he had the discretion as to whether to exchange my purchase. But I have the feeling that he will be less than forthcoming.
3) file a complaint against this store manager with Office Depot's Corporate Headquarters and with their media relations department.
They may be interested in knowing that I have purchased a considerable amount of equipment, as well as office supplies, from them in the past, on behalf of my lab, and that I consider it my obligation to notify the Materials Management Department at the University of Calgary about this, as I am sure that the University will want to warn the several thousand people who make purchases on their behalf. The university does not deal with vendors who have such terrible customer service.
4) contact the manufacturers of D-link to see if they can do anything for me. At the very least, they may be interested in knowing what sort of organization they are dealing with when they chose to have distributors like Office Depot.
5) ask the advice of a neighbour who is an IT guy. I want to find out if he has ever run into this sort of situation, if I am being reasonable in my expectations of customer satisfaction. I think his IT associates may be interested in this as well.
Incidentally, I then bought the replacement system from Future Shop, for $70.00 less than I would have paid at Office Depot and was treated with respect and dignity by helpful and knowledgeable employees. I normally aspire to encourage diversity in the marketplace by purchasing at smaller stores, even if the price is higher, but, based on this experience, Future Shop has my business from now on.
Pete Burns, store manager and customer service representative of Office Depot, missed an opportunity to establish good will and spread good PR about his company when he ripped me off $235.00. There will be consequences. Nobody fucks with the zombie.


Ben Heller said...

Go get 'em Barbara, they deserve your fullest revenge for crap service. Fortunately we don't have "Office Despot" in the UK, but if we did then I would have boycotted them.

Pete Burns must have fell on hard times because as we know he used to be the singer with Goth/Punk band Bauhaus in the 80's.

One of their most popular singles was "A Kick In The Eye". Now there's a hint.

Deb said...

Good for you - I am so with you on this. I NEVER get ripped off because I do exactly what you're doing - you'll get your money back (and some - play those cards right. Tell them of how this has inconvenienced you and stressed you out. They owe you a refund PLUS at this point).

I once got my dishwasher replaced, totally free, after 6 years of had never been installed correctly and they didn't want to address it at the time. One day it leaked through the floor below and I refused to go down without a fight. I'm kind of notorious throughout my circle for winning these battles (I've had a few)...never say die if you feel (know) you're right.

Keep fighting for what is yours/right. Bring it Pete, it's on - I don't think you know what you're dealing with when you mess with a woman and her hard earned!!!

mellowlee said...

OMG GRRRRRRRRR! Shall I post this link on my Blawg?

Will said...

Well, I'll be boycotting Office Depot for sure. But then maybe just this dude is a real jackass and someone else from within the corporation will be a lot nicer. Obviously the dude has never had any customer service training. DOWN WITH HOME DEPOT!

Anonymous said...

Pete Murphy was in Bauhaus. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and 793797954 children.

Pete Burns is just a douche.

Karen said...

Amen sista! You go girl. I realized long ago that you have to speak up and let the people responsible know that you are not satisfied with the service/product. And there's always someone higher up that you can go to if you don't get the answer you're looking for.

I understand Pete's point about the product being opened (fairly standard for software) but if he bothered to try it out himself, he'd see that it wasn't working. There's no way to know if software is defective/damaged unless you open it. The policies that many of these stores have regarding opened software is a bit whacked. Sure, it prevents people from returning discs they may have copied illegally and then getting their money back. But it also means that people like you and I aren't able to return merchandise which doesn't perform as promised. Stick to your guns, go as high as you need to.

And I'll be joining you and our fellow bloggers in the boycott of Office Depot.

Allison said...

Shaking me head:
"he had the discretion as to whether to exchange my purchase" as Eva has so rightly put, what a douche!!!

Is Office Depot the same as Staples, but just a different name in differnt provinces? I've never seen one here in Ontario, but if I do in the future, I shall boycott.

I haven't had too many problems with my Dlink router, I got it from Future Shop, so here's hoping you don't have anymore trouble and that you get your money back.

Jas B said...

Never shopped at Office Depot. And now, never ever will.
Moreover, I don't think getting the wireless set up at home is that expensive....One should be able to do it with a wireless router and USB wireless adaptors(if your computers don't have the wireless network card). My brother gave me a wireless router and a USB wireless adaptor for my laptop and I was able to do it on my own. Office depot is just ripping people off...

hilary m. said...

Hmm. Perhaps they didn't accept your reciept because of that recent scamming thing. The people make fake barcodes so they can get the items for cheap, and then return the items for the full price. That's still a shitty deal.

My dad is the director of an IT Department, I can ask him what happens.

John Mutford said...

Office Depot rocks!

John Mutford said...

(Remind me to stay on your good side)

Anonymous said... now i've totally forgotten my blogger password...DAMMIT!!!

Anyways, it's me Mrs. Ritchie! And let me just say, Office Depot is SOOOO low end!! Hates them! As for Pete Burns..what a power tripping bastard! Dude, you are the manager of a quite obviously shitty Office Depot store! Pull your head outta your ass and realize just what an insignificant little dork you really are!!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thank you to everyone for your words of support! You are all so amazingly awesome it hurts!

I've not had a chance to further my plans or to follow any of your excellent advice so far, as today was INSANE with Eva's school registration stuff, but that is another story. Suffice it to say that she was in FULL IB for about 3 hours today, much to her horror (but it's all good now).

A kick in the eye, Ben - good thought, good thought, I was thinking a little lower, but whatever. I appreciate your words of support, sweetie.

You are my hero, Deb. If I find my resolve failing I will remember your successes. Thanks for sharing that tale - it will help bolster my confidence enormously.

Mel, I would be truly honoured if you would. That's the power of the internet - the ability to inform and rally people round. Thanks a bunch, hon.

You are absolutely right, Will. That's why I plan to complain about him personally and hopefully as a corporation, Office Depot will realise the downside of the negative advertising they are receiving from his actions. I appreciate your words of support more than you know, pal.

You've had the pleasure of meeting Mr Burns hahaha Mr Burns in person, Eva, so you are indeed qualified to classify him as a bag suitable only for the purposes of extreme feminine hygiene.

Karen, thank you - your support means so much to me. The weird thing is that this was not really software - well there was some installation software, but without the router and adapter, that would be pretty useless, I would assume.
Oddly enough, a couple of years ago I returned a Sims package (software) to Futureshop WITHOUT a receipt because it was faulty and they replaced it, no questions asked.

We have Staples here as well, Allison, so I'm assuming they are different companies. I'm glad your wireless is working well. I'm told that the problem lies primarily in the D-link USB adapter, so if you have a card-type adapter (installed) you should be great.
I am really happy to receive your words of support - thank you, gf.

I know that the same router and card-type adapter that I was going to buy to replace the troublesome system ended up being $70.00 less at Futureshop, Jas. Obviously being a huge company they can take advantage of volume purchasing, but I support them because they offer customer service. Thanks for your kind words of support, looking forward to griping to you in person next week. See you Wednesday!

I would be extremely interested to hear your dad's opinion on this Hilary. Perhaps this is standard practice in the computer supply industry, but somehow I doubt it. I would think that some sort of solution could be reached, one that would protect the company from fraud while still treating the customer fairly. Thanks for your sympathy. Please let me know what your dad thinks.

John, you are very wise not to get on my bad side. You know what they say about amiable people, once you piss them off enough, be prepared to see them up in the water tower with a deer rifle.

OMG Mrs Ritchie, that is totally what I wanted to say to him! Man, I wish you had been there. And I know that you know people who have experience with Office Depot, so you know of what you speak. Sounds like the place attracts people with big egos but small intellect.

mellowlee said...

It is done :) Fuck, that pisses me off. If you don't get any satisfaction from the fucktard, please give us his stores email or writing address so we can all write him a letter telling him how much he suck, and we hate him, and will never shop there, and that you shouldn't fuck with a Zombie or her friends!!!!!

Ben Heller said...

Eva - You're right. Pete Burns was the guy from Dead Or Alive. I always get their names confused.
Oh well, I wonder if he goes to work in his high heels.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks so much for the link, Mel. Tomorrow I start back on the warpath again (once again pushing your cd mixes to the back burner, I'm so sorry), and I'll keep you all informed on the battlefield news.

Man, that Eva doesn't cut anybody any slack, does she, Ben? Let me know if you need me to ground her or something.
I didn't notice Office Depot Pete Burns wearing any high heels, but then I don't think he has anywhere near the sassiness or fashion sense of his namesake.

mellowlee said...

oh geez, don't even worry about the cds Barbara :) The end of August has to be the most confusing time of year. I hate it. It is beeeaUteeful outside right now tho! I hope you are enjoying some of your time off. Stupid stupid Office Depot *bottom lip jutting out*

Alana Elliott said...

Finally, I made it to a comment page! My computer's been going haywire these past couple days, sorry I've been neglecting the "blawwwg clique".

Anyways, Office Depot is where I get a lot of my art supplies (good quality yet $ cheap sketch books), but man, I'll be taking my business elsewhere. After all that? Holy, I'd be raging! I'm with you on the boycott, Barbara!

And I'll throw this link into my sidebar too, as soon as my computer lets me back into my template. *sigh*

Allison said...

Alana - "blawwwg clique" haha

Sidebared it for ya too, the least I can do. Good luck on the path, give em hell!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Bless you for being so understanding, Mel. Come September, once things have returned to normal around here, I will gleefully put together my best mixes ever for you. Because you know they've got to be made with love.

Thanks so much for the support and the link, Alana, and for bypassing the cheap art supplies. You are a gem and I truly appreciate your support. I'll make it up to you, losing out on the cheap supplies...
So awful about your computer woes! There's nothing more frustrating!

Thanks for the linkage as well, Allison! It feels so great to have you guys watching my back!

Barbara said...

Well Barbara B. since you asked me. My sister saw the Dlink starter kit was on sale at Future Shop for around 70$.So she bought it and i paid her back. Not a bad price eh? I only needed to download one patch for the software. It seems happy now. *crosses her fingers*
Is Office Depot the same as Bureau En Gros?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You probably would have paid considerably more at Office Depot, Barbara W. I'm glad the patch is working for you - it didn't for me, but you've got a laptop, right, with wireless capability already factory installed?

I'm not familiar with Bureau en Gros.

Barbara said...

No I dont have a laptop. I can never get used to laptops. Mouseless things! I have a dell demention 2400 I bought it over 2 years ago I dont think it was set up for wireless back then.

WolfHeart RavenHorse said...

How stressful Martha Barb! That truly sucks! Being the computer geek of our household (and that is using the term loosely!), I set up our wireless system the way that Jas Bhambra did her's, so I don't quite understand the complete pain you are going through. I will back ya up though, Office Depot is in my bad books now!! I still have school shopping to do, and I won't be going there!

I hope you get your money back and more! You are right, Never, NEVER fuck with the Zombie!



Anonymous said...

It's Mrs. Ritchie again...Bureau en Gros is actually Staples... something I learned just the other day!! It's amazing the useless information you store in your brain and how much space you have to store it in isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Barbara - perfect timing in my visiting your blog but most unfortunate circumstances for you. I was going to go check out some of their prices on some hardware...


I'll go to the local mom 'n pop store now. I'd rather go refurbished than spend a singular penny on those greedy corporate corpses. I am SO sorry you had to go through such humiliation - please, like you said, you HAD TO TRY THE SHIT OUT. GOD I'M PISSED.

You come pull out track-ho's extensions, I'll shave Pete's nuts with a dull rusty Chinese cleaver.

Anonymous said...

Ok, that's it. Fuck Office Despot. Fuck Pete Burns.

Perhaps there is something that we can do. Maybe we should all consider a mass email to the Regional Manager, Director of Customer Service, CEO, etc.? Simply state that we each choose to not spend another dime (boycott is such a negative word…) at Office Depot until Barbara’s situation is resolved to her satisfaction. Might be good to let them know that we intend to share Barbara’s story with friends, associates, maybe the purchasing manager at work…

With your permission, Barbara, I’ll find some choice email addresses. I’d like to see some justice for you.

If we’re going to do this we’ll need the address of the store (phone would be good, too). What do you think, Barb?


Anonymous said...

btw, he's serious. he's on some kind of mission or something... Jer might have competition on the horizon. :)

karen said...

We don't have Office Depot but we do have Staples - I'm happy to never darken their doors again and glare at them every time I go past if that helps. I hate Pete Burns. There are too many Pete Burns' in this world. You must be mad as a bag of spiders. Go GOB!!!!

Neil said...

If we had an Office Depot around here I'd fuckin burn it down over this!

I hope you can get your money back, and maybe they should let you publicly flog that shit head piss ant manager.

Serah said...

Hello??? Pete ever heard of DEFECTIVE - I believe that term applies to him and his product.
I work retail and I'm a manager and I would never be able to get away with BS like this.
Go get em' Barbara.

We buy all our work office supplies from Grand N' Toy.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm a big fan of the mouse as well Barbara W. I always overshoot the goal with the little scolling ball thingys.

Bless you, Bev! Your support is such a sweet thing to me - thanks so much. You can probably get a better buy on school supplies elsewhere anyway, but I still really appreciate the change in plans for my sake.

Well I'll always remember that Staples is Bureau en Gros now, Mrs Ritchie! I'm good at the useless stuff, not so much at the other stuff...

Thank you Michelle. I can't tell you how much all this support means to me. I feel badly for influencing people's plans, but if it saves someone else from an experience like this, I am glad to be a pain in the ass.
You have the most delicious notions of revenge, my dear!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

GOB you are my hero! I shall name my first grandchild, GOB Zombie. Actually that's not bad.

I would be asolutely gobsmacked to have you get involved the way you suggested. I would owe you such a tremendous debt of gratitude, because that is going above and beyond the call of friendship, my friend.

Here is the Office Depot store information:

180 - 94th Avenue S.E.
Calgary, AB T2J 3G8
manager: Pete Burns

I will be looking for his supervisor's name and contact information today, and I did come across the Office Depot media relations email:

Bless you, my friend!

Michelle, I could just see if GOB and Jerry got together with a common goal - the world would never be safe for despots again.

You burn a building down for me, Neil? You are too sweet!
I love the idea of a public flogging. That is just good fun and a real community builder to boot.

I'm pretty sure that Office Depot is different from Staples, Kees, but I certainly appreciate your sentiment. Ben tells me he doesn't think there are Office Depots in the UK.
"There are too many Pete Burns in the world" - that sounds like a quote of the day to me, if I may?

Thanks, Sarah, your perspective as a retail manager is very valuable to me. I was actually wondering what your take would be. It's great to know that this is not standard procedure. I appreciate it.

Neil said...

Of course I'd burn down a building for you!

And I'd just leave a note at the scene that says:

"You know what this is for." and they'd be like... man... we should have just given Barbara her money back.

Mint Sharpie said...

O.o Zowie.

Dontcha just love jerks? If you manage to get this Burns guy cornered, I will be very glad to go vampire on him for you. Bet he tastes terrible, though. XP

I don't go to Office Depot anyway. Target, Staples, Best Buy and Walgreens all work just fine.

justacoolcat said...

Maybe OFfice Depot doesn't realize just how well Google indexes Blogger. Tell him to do a search on his name and OFfice Depot in a few weeks and see what he gets.

Then remind him future employers are likely to do the same thing.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh Neil, you have a way of always looking at the positive! But yes, Pete Burns is going to realise that we can either do this the easy way or the hard way. I'm prepared to do either.

Oh bless you, Minty, but I wouldn't want you to get any nasty taste in your mouth. No amount of mint mouthwash would help there. I sure do appreciate your support, though.

Justacoolcat, you are dead right - the power of the internet is really quite amazing. I've begun the formal complaint process, but it works much more slowly than the wildfire blaze that is the internet. Thanks so much for your support, man.

Dale said...

I do try and avoid them here Barbara for many reasons. Sorry for your experience with them.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hi Dale, welcome! Thanks for your commiseration. I'd love to hear the story of why you avoid OD, sometime.

Anonymous said...

Neil is too damn funny. It's his note that kills me, though. That rocks all worlds.

Formal complaints are like driftwood in the seas... they eventually reach terra firma. And they don't necessarily make much of a difference unless they come in with a storm, baby.

The Despot doesn't have a chance, they'll give you your money back eventually. What's really going to rock my hips is all the data they'll undoubtedly accumulate to plump up Pete's personnel file in a most negative fashion. He deserves it, that vile piece of arrogant wannabe trash.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hear you, Michelle, it's the vengence part that is really getting me pumped to be honest. I SAY I am doing it so nobody else can be ripped off by this dude...

Neil slays me too. I'd love to see the thank you notes that his mother made him write as a little kid. Can you just imagine?

Anonymous said...

Ok, let’s do this thing.

These are the links I have for Office Depot: – Investor Relations – Ditto – Media Relations – Community Relations – David Fannin, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. - Robert Brewer, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer.


Steve Odland – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Salary: $2.79 Million

Charles Brown – President of International Operations – Salary: $1.27 Million

Carl Rubin – President of North American Retail Division – Salary: $1.06 Million

‘Chelle had the awesome idea of cc’ing the competition:



Circuit City:

Don’t forget the Wall Street Journal:

Jason Fry - Assistant Managing Editor -

Dave Pettit - Deputy Managing Editor -

Press Release:

Post your letter to the editors of Wired. Click on the button at the top of the page marked “News Tip”.

Pardon me; I have a letter to write. My email will be waiting when the execs get back from the Labor Day Holiday. (Note: “Labor Day” is roughly translated as “Labour Day” in Canadian.)

By the way, I worked it out. $2.79 million per year works out to $1341.35 per hour.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Holy Dina, man! GOB, you are like Zorro or something! Or Robin Hood! One of those guys with swords and an enraged sense of justice!

You are also an amazing detective - salaries and all - sweeeet.

That is so much great information. Thank you! Because I did receive a response from Customer Care within a couple of hours, stating that a Senior Case Manager would be contacting me with 5 business days, I would like to give them the opportunity to rectify this before we loose the hounds of hell (which you so cleverly found emails for).

You are the greatest. I think Cat Power wrote an album about you.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, or as we call it here - Labour Day weekend.

phlegmfatale said...

Just when I thought Pete Burns couldn't do anything more socially offensive than "You spin me round" with Dead Or Alive! Give 'em hell, Barbara - what a jerk! I really hate when a business shows me how little they regard me as a customer.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

If only it had been THAT Pete Burns, PF, I could have seen the humour in it. Thanks for your encouragement. I shall not let you down.