Monday, October 09, 2006

We are the champions, my friends!!!
We won! Office Depot has caved and offered me a full refund, albeit for a merchandise card, but I can live with that. (cue the Rocky theme music)
I can't tell you how much your support has meant to me during this skirmish. There have been times when I wanted to forget the whole thing, but knowing that you were backing me kept me motivated. I sincerely mean it when I say I could not have done this wthout you. Gotta love the power of the internetz (and more importantly, the wonderful caring people in front of those computers)
I had a disturbing dream last night, though, in which Charles E Brown, the global president of Office Depot, committed suicide. In the dream I was saddened of course at the loss of life and horrified at the possibility that my actions may in some small way have had some bearing on this. But on the other hand, part of me also felt omnipotent. I awoke feeling like Mecha Barbara Streisand. Do your dreams ever make you feel guilty?
So it looks like I'm going shopping. Anybody need anything from Office Depot?
And that raises another question - what am I going to buy? Obviously I will steer well clear of any kind of technology or anything that has the possibility of defects, as I am not going through another return procedure. At first I thought I'd just get blank cds and paper and stuff, but that's a pile of cds and paper, so I started looking at some things I do want to get eventually: a chair, lamps, or a laptop carrying case. (sorry no pics - Blogger don't allow today)
I should make some Victory cds and send them to those of you who are interested in getting one, as a small token of my thanks for your support. Yeah, I will. Shoot me an email if you'd like to get one.
What would you buy from an office supply store for $235.38?

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2006 8:24 PM
Subject: RE: Your Concerns with Office Depot
Dear Ms. Bruederlin,

In response to your email I would like to point out that the Office Depot return policy is clearly disclosed on the back of our sales receipt at the time of purchase. Mr. Collins' offer was made in the spirit of good faith in what he believed to be his best effort to work with you. I am sorry that you have not found our efforts to be satisfactory.

In our investigation of this matter it has been brought to our attention that the unit was not only returned outside of the period of time that we allow, but that it also appeared to our employees that it was not in resellable condition. With that being said, the behavior that you described our employee as having engaged in at that point does not represent the way in which Office Depot desires to treat our customers and for that I am truly sorry.

Office Depot's believes that our policies are extremely fair in light of our position in the marketplace as a low cost provider of goods and services. In order to maintain our every day low prices it is necessary to limit the period of time that we allow product to be returned, even with a receipt. However, we recognize that rules and policies should never stand in the way of taking care of a customer. Therefore, in the spirit of goodwill, I would be happy to extend an offer to return the product in exchange for an Office Depot Merchandise Card equal to the purchase price of the product. We believe that this offer is extremely fair, reasonable, and within the spirit of customer service. If you wish to accept this offer please let me know and I will ask Mr. Tim Collins to contact you directly to finalize the arrangements.


Casey J. Ahlbum
Sr. Customer Relations Manager
Executive Customer Relations
Office Depot, Inc.

----- Response -----
Dear Casey Ahlbum,

Thank you for your email and for your offer of an Office Depot Merchandise Card equal to the purchase price which I paid for the products in question. I am happy to be able to accept this offer and to accept the spirit in which it is made.

I should state that at all times I felt that Mr. Collins was sincere in his efforts to bring closure to this situation, and that he made his best attempt to work with the resources he had available at the time. I do appreciate his efforts and I appreciate the sensitivity with which he treated this situation. I also appreciate your fair offer of a full refund in return for the goods in question, as well as your apology for the past behaviour of an Office Depot employee, and I am happy to make this exchange.

I look forward to finalizing these arrangements with Mr. Collins.


Barbara Bruederlin

Here is Sarah Harmer's lovely song, The Ring, which goes a long way toward expressing my gratitude toward you all:


Allison said...

OK, I'm happy that they finally did something, however I think its bollocks that you have to spend the money in their store. However, if it means getting stuff you will eventually need, then its not a loss. So happy dance for you resumes :)

I'd probably spend the money on a bookcase, blank cds and start an even larger post-it collection than I've got now.

hilary m. said...

Congrats Barbara, I'm glad you finally got this settled. Hope you find good use of your merchandise card.

I personally love Office supply stores... I can spend hours at Staples looking at the useless but pretty things I could get. Metallic sharpies, high-tech white-out, cool looking mousepads, sparkly gel-pens, erasable pens, those notebook things you can write on and erase in the commercials!!

Karen said...

AMEN! Congratulations Barbara! A full cash refund would have been ideal but if you're happy with the merchandise card than that's just as good! I loved your response email in which you accepted their offer. Great to see you point out Mr. Collins' efforts to rectify the situation and that he wasn't an ass (unlike some of their other employees!).


WolfHeart RavenHorse said...

Girl you rock! I can't even imagine what you could buy for that....definately cd's, that's a biggie for you!

Have fun with it!!!!


mellowlee said...

YAY YAY F-ing YAAAAAAAY! I'm so happy for you! WOooT! Congrats!

I was laughing when I saw CDs on your list, caue my first thought was Hell ya, more cds Teeheee! j/k
I would love a victory cd! Maybe I should make one for you! :)

Barbara said...

Congrats on getting a conclusion.
It was a well fought battle justly won.

Jas Bhambra said...

Yay! :)
Yeah, I would stick to non-tecnology items, too!

Evelyne said...

Congrats! Hope you'll buy really cool stuff with that merchandise card! You won the fight:)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wow Allison, you must have a kick-ass post-it collection! I'd love to read a post about it sometime (no pun intended).
I'm pretty pleased to have this over and done, even if it does mean spending the money there. I'm actually really going to enjoy it!

High tech white-out, Hillary? Actually I like poking around in those stores as well, but I don't think I'll be buying too many of those neat gadgets. I'm leaning toward a chair and a whack of blank cds.

Thanks Karen! Tim Collins actually did try his best to rectify things and I thought that should be recognized. Good customer service should be rewarded, just as poor service should be punished.

Thanks Bev; it's going to be a blast - certainly no technology products though!

Woo a victory cd exchange, Mel! What a great plan, I can get behind that! It'd be interesting to see what two different people come up with.
I'm definitely putting you on the mailing list for the victory cd.

Thanks Barbara W! It was hard fought - harder than I thought it would be actually. Those guys put up quite a fight.

Yup, Jas, definitely nothing with any possibility of defects, that's for sure.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Evelyne! I think I should be able to find some neat stuff and it will be very satisfying.

Stephanie said...

OMG Congratulations!

now you have something to be thankful for!

Ben Heller said...

Well done Barbara ! A triumph to your tenacity !
I couldn't think of much to buy from Office Despot but one thing for sure you'll have the utmost pleasure presenting your card at the checkout. Pity they don't sell champagne.

Will said...

somebody give me a beat ...

office depot you was whack/
messed with the zombie and you got smacked/
best fire that manager whose like ricky gervais/
at least give him a lesson in customer service/
it was a trying time, took a couple a months/
but eventually, btz had you for lunch/
now i'm still wary of office depot/
cuz if my shit don't work, don't wanna deal with a creep-o/
but now you made it possible for barbara to buy some blank cd's/
to which i say, can i get a copy of the victory mix please/
no in conclusion, i gotta spread it around/
don't fuck with the zombie, cuz she will throw you down/
because you're not only dealing with her/
you're dealing with an army in the blogosphere

Alana said...

Oh my god, that's FANTASTIC, Barbara! Way to stick it to The Man! I'm so stoked for you, you get justice AND a shopping trip! Does it get any better than that??

It's so good to hear that YOU WON, with all that lawyer-speak and all. ;)

I don't know what you should spend the money on, although with all the mix CD's you're bound to be making for everyone, maybe you should consider an industrial sized case of blank CD's.

LMAO at Will's "beat", that's hilarious! And I'm with him, I'm down for a copy of the Victory Mix too! :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Stephanie - I am thankful all over the place, believe me, mostly for having people back me like they did.

I will be positively smirking when I slap that card down on the counter, Ben. It will be a truly ugly sight for sure.
Are you telling me you've never bought Office Depot brand champagne?

SWEET BABY JESUS, WILL!!! That was the most amazing thing I have ever read in my entire life!!!! You OWN the beat, man, and you completely amaze me!
I think you really need to record that and I'll put it on the victory cd, and then we'll sell copies in the Office Depot parking lot. You rule.

Isn't that great, Alana? Actually I'm not sure if I am referring to the win or to Will's rap. Both I guess.
I actually do buy industrial bins of blank cds, because if you think I make a lot of cds, you should check out my kid.
Putting you on the mailing list for a victory cd, except I need your address. Can you please email that to me?

Will said...

correction: "now in conclusion" as opposed to "no in conclusion." I can't spell, but I sure can rhyme. HOLLA!

Allison said...

Will that was genius!

Alana said...

LOL, holla.

Emailing you my address is officially next on my list of things to do today, Barb!

Maureen said...

you rock ;)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Rhyme you can, Will - there's no denying! You can rhyme circles around a rhyming bee champion.

It's offical, I think, Allison: Will is our offical rhyming genius (not to be confused with a dancing monkey).

Got it Alana - muchos gratious.

Thanks, Maureen (although perhaps you were talking to Will, in which case I totally agree).

John Mutford said...

Were you having problems with Office Depot or something?

Deb said...

YAY Barbara....chalk one up for the little guy. Closing chapters like this are always so gratifying, aren't they? Just to know that you followed through and got some kind of resolution must bring great satisfaction. And, if more people do this, eventually these people have to change their policies/practices to be more customer friendly.

I'm so cheeky I'd be tempted to purchase several items, one at a time, each day until the credit was all used up. But that's just sassy Deb and I'm sure you've expended enough energy on this one already.

Hhhmm, I don't know. Some organizational items are always handy to have. Blanks cd's. Or you could always have some nice, custom made Christmas cards done (oh, I'm thinking of Staples). I don't know, I'm such an impulse shopper I'd have to go with you.

Deb said...

(and, in the words of Russell Peters "I'LL have the t-shirts it Will. You rock)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Allow me to fill you in on any details you missed, John. Got a couple of days?

I'm hoping that in some small way this does help to bring about change in their customer relations, Deb. At the very least make it a bit easier for the next guy. And you SHOULD come shopping with me!

John Mutford said...

I'm kidding of course. I have been enjoying your consumer-rights escapade. Is it wrong that I'm hoping Walmart screws you over soon, just so I can see the shit hit the fan?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Don't even get me started on Walmart, John! I won't set foot in that store - small town business killers!

tydes said...

Barbara slays the mightly Office Depot goliath with her use of words, persistence and intellect. Today... Office Depot, tomorrow... THE WORLD!!!


Barbara Bruederlin said...

That is one fine evil dirty laugh you've got there, Jeff! Got any corporations you need taken down at the knees?

kees said...

Woohoo!!! Yay!!!! Well done. I am still peaved (on your behalf) with all the 'well you did return it outside the alloted time' bollocks. If you're gonna cave do it properly.

And Will - genius.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but I am happy for you anyways! Love to hear happy stories like this! If a prouct is defective, I don't know why they make such fusses over it!
So congrats on kicking ass!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Why thank you, Anonymous! And welcome! Feel free to come by anytime. It is gratifying when you hear stories where the little guy wins, isn't it?

tydes said...

In fact I do. I've got a naughty list that would rival Santa's.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

awesome! i came to your site to hear the latest because i just heard all this awful dirt on office depot this weekend and wanted to encourage the fight and you have already won...whoooo hooooo!

some of the things i'd buy would be blank cds, dvds, and sharpies. a whole rainbow of sharpies (sadly, this thought is getting me so excited that i'm pratically drooling....) and refills for my agenda, because i always like to pretend i'm getting organized.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Bring em on, Jeff! I'll smack those bitches down for you.

Hey thanks, 668! I have to admit I am pretty pumped about the way this thing has turned around.
I'm definitely with you on the blank cds. I don't use sharpies all that much, although I'd like to, but pretending I am getting organized, I hear you there, friend.

She's Crafty said...

Hurray, Hurray!! I told you that they'd kick down eventually!
Sign me up for a victory cd, any mix you make is bound to be fantabulous!

Colourful Sharpies...I heart!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You most certainly did tell me that they would cave, Serah! Right you were.
I am putting you on the victory cd list!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh but I need your address, Serah, please send me an email.