Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Office Depot: The Continuing Saga

Well, it's obvious that nobody at Office Depot ever read the Customer Service Pocketbook.

Here, for your entertainment and enlightenment, is the latest installation of the long-running soap opera, Office Depot: The Land Where Nobody Cares.

October 4, 2006

Email sent to:>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>

On September 22, 2006, I sent the following email, indicating my dissatisfaction with the customer service which I have yet to receive from Office Depot. I originally purchased a wireless router and USB adapter with the reasonable assumption that they would be operative. They are not operative and were never installable by either myself or by the computer service company which I then hired.

As I have stated previously, it is immaterial that I attempted to exchange these faulty goods past a 14 day return period, as I have maintained the original receipt and the merchandise in their original packaging. It is unacceptable to me to be offered $150.00 CAD in exchange for the return of faulty merchandise, for which I paid $235.38 CAD. $150.00 CAD was the purchasing cost to Office Depot of this material; I fail to understand how returning this material to you for your cost, and allowing you to maintain your profit at my expense, is in any way an equitable business practice. It is unethical for Office Depot to insist that I be held responsible to absorb any portion of these costs for faulty merchandise. I have received no further contact from Office Depot on this matter, despite 12 days having passed since my last correspondence.

I have now contacted the Director of Materials Management at the University of Calgary about this matter. As an employee who makes numerous purchases on the University's behalf (including several in past years from Office Depot), I am obligated to alert my employers to this failure of customer service to ensure that no other employees find themselves victimized by these adversarial business practices.

As it is beginning to appear from the lack of correspondence, that Office Depot has no intention of rectifying this situation, I must now inform you that if I have not received a full refund for these goods within 7 days (October 11, 2006), I intend to contact various media in order to alert unsuspecting consumers of what they might expect if they make purchases from Office Depot.

I hope that we can avoid this.

Barbara Bruederlin

You may have noticed that I am continually expanding my Office Depot mailing list. This time I added three Public Relations people.
Hey, if you run across any Office Depot email addresses, feel free to forward them to me. I will put them to good use.


Allison said...

That was a very well crafted, calm email. I hope that they rectify this situation in the coming week. I can't believe that no is repsonding, pitiful.
If they don't, I think we've all seen the power of the interweb, and other media. I see a segment on the Hour ;P But lets hope it doesn't come to that.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Allison. I was getting pretty tired of the whole situation, but support from you guys makes it all fun again. Onward!

mellowlee said...

I did notice that the email list was getting longer. GOOD! Excellent email, and as Allison said, calm and rational. We are behind you 100%!!!

Karen said...

Barbara, you are the shit! Keep at them. The fact that they are not worried about the possibility of losing the university as a major customer is shocking. This has gotten ridiculous on their part. Seriously, they probably make tens of thousands of dollars every day and yet they're not willing to respond let alone return the cost of ONE purchase.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Mel. It must be my calm and rational German genes surfacing - they do come in handy (not quite Vulcan, but getting there).

Thanks, Karen, I love being the shit! They do not actually have a vendor contract with the University, so they don't actually do that much business with them, but nonetheless...
I'll be interested to see if they have any reaction to the media mention. Eva said they probably get 90 letters per day like mine, and you know, from what I've seen on the internet, she could be right. But that does not make THEM right!

Stephanie said...

seriously, these office depot updates are my favorite updates ever.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that the Office Depot corporate headquarters needs to burst asunder in a brilliant supernova of light.

Then spread like a virus to all the satellite stores.

& after all the crooked cronies & asskissers have died, the rest of us will zap them with reanimated hippie zombies.

Office Depot will become Office Despondent. They will fall. And our leader, the Bad Tempered Zombie, will eat 'em all.

Ben Heller said...

Warum nicht erklären Sie Krieg auf ihnen? Blitzkrieg nach schneller !

I think you're doing a good job Barbara, German bloodlines make you complain in a very ordered, logical and concise way.

Don't give up Frau Bruederlin.

Herr Heller

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well I shall keep updating then, Stephanie. Thanks.

Whoa, it's a little scary how you and Ben are thinking along the same lines there, Michelle! Although the visual images in your scenario are crazy powerful. And shucks, I am nobody's leader, but I am hungry, but I'd much rather have a bowl of oatmeal than some stinky old Office Despot lackey.

hahaha, Ben - Blitzkrieg macht schneller! It would indeed and it is a very tempting thought. I think it would pretty fun to be a tank commander.
Danke viele mals.

karen said...

Good grief. I absolutely cannot believe this. I genuinely thought they would cough up immediately, I continue to be shocked they're letting it drag on. Idiots. They are totally relying on you giving up but we won't let you! To the death!!!

Evelyne said...

After all those e-mails and phone call, they haven't done something? Keep going and add a lot more e-mails to that list, it should work!

Alana Elliott said...

Man, I love how lawyer-like you are about this, Barb. I don't know how you stay so rational, I could learn a thing or two about patience from you. I'm glad you're sticking with this, keep the lawyer-speak coming, justice will be served!! :P

Alana Elliott said...

Man, I love how lawyer-like you are about this, Barb. I don't know how you stay so rational, I could learn a thing or two about patience from you. I'm glad you're sticking with this, keep the lawyer-speak coming, justice will be served!! :P

Deb said...

Have you written (I mean with pen and paper) an actual letter?.....sometimes that really helps because it's pretty hard to forget something that keeps popping up on your desk. An email may just be on the back burner.

I don't know, personally, I seem to get a better response when I send a letter. I've just popped off an email to Rogers regarding a complaint I had with them and, although they promised me prompt attention - nothing. So I'm going to jot them a letter and see where it goes. Just a thought. Good for you for not backing off...I NEVER go away with these things and, the longer it goes, the more it plays in your favor. Hang in there! ;)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Kees, if I show signs of flagging, I'm counting on you to kick my ass to keep going.
And believe me, kicking my ass is a very popular sport.

I'm going to add every Office Depot email address I can lay my hands on, Evelyne.

hahaha lawyer-speak! I'm a lawyer in my own mind, Alana! I just need the proper clothes. Actually I'm part Vulcan.

That is a really good idea, Deb. I actually don't have emails for the President and the top global execs. But I can print off the entire string of correspondance and actually mail it to them. Thanks for the great plan!
And good luck with Rogers and whomever else deserves your wrath.

Deb said...

(gl...sometimes "paperwork" sticks around longer and gets in their way...forcing them to deal with it. It seems to work more effectively for me)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

excellent point, Deb, and I will give that a shot.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I don't have any Office Depot email addresses for you other than all of the email links they have on their site.

Very well done email though. Shows a sense of no-nonsense urgency without being vulgar and offensive. The sad thing is that unethical customer service behaviour amongst corporations of retail outlets is all too common in todays world. Even worse, it's so difficult for us as the consumer to get justice when we've been ripped off. I sincerely hope that by sticking it to the man that you get a slice of yours.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Jeff. I think I had most of those addresses, except for the real estate one. Real estate?
I'll just keep plugging away at this until they are sick to death of me and I have inflicted as much fiscal damage upon their bottom line as I can. And hopefully saved some other people from getting fucked.

Will said...

I was wondering what was happening here and it is all just very unfortunate. Maybe when you're a big powerhouse of a company you stop caring about individual customers. I, however, am a stickler for customer service.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Will! They just caved! I'm telling you first, but will share all the details later.

Will said...


Barbara Bruederlin said...