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Source tells Laptop Mag managers and sales people lie about notebook availability regularly

Most consumers have gone into a retail store looking for a product and only finding out after deciding to buy that the product is not in stock. At the same time most of us have been hounded by aggressive sales people trying to sell extended warranties and other services.

According to a source at Laptop Magazine, Office Depot associates and managers routinely lie to customers about stock levels. Laptop ran a story discussing an attempt to purchase a netbook in Office Depot and the extremely aggressive sales man trying to sell an extended warranty with the notebook and service add-ons.

Laptop reports that when the story ran it began to get email from readers about their experiences and received some emails from people identifying themselves as Office Depot employees. One reader claiming to be a manager at an Office Depot wrote, "At store level, OD puts too much pressure on sales consultants and managers to sell the PPPs (Product Protection Plans) & TDS (Tech Depot Services). I know of several stores in my market that will ‘feel out’ the customer to see if they are the type to purchase these services. If the customer lets on that they only want the computer and no services … then that store simply claims to be out of stock! We are required to sell 30% + on both of these services or we get PIP’d (Performance Improvement Process) (or Written up) and get ultimately fired."

Laptop was later contacted by a person going by the name Rich, who proved himself employed at Office Depot with a current check stub. Rich said, "I have witnessed lying about the availability of a notebook, and have been told to do so myself. Once I was talking to the customer and, while I am actually speaking, my manager comes on the radio and tells me to say it is out of stock if they aren’t getting anything with it. I always ignore him and sell it anyway because lying to the customer is flat-out wrong."

Rich went on to allege that Office Depot employees are expected to sell a quota of warranties and Tech Depot services and that the pressure is so high if a sales person feels the buyer isn't going to purchase add-on services they tell the shopper the product is out of stock.

Office Depot issued an official response to Laptop saying, "We certainly appreciate your bringing this situation to our attention. Our objective is to sell merchandise and to offer and recommend solutions to our customers, without regard to whether a customer purchases or does not purchase a service warranty or a software package. Office Depot has been recognized with numerous awards for our commitment to customer service, so please know that we take this issue very seriously and will take the necessary steps to ensure that we continue to enhance the customer experience and promote quality in our customer-related processes. With respect to your inquiry, we intend to look into the situation further, as part of our continuing commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction and consistent selling practices."

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Play them at their game.
By Mr Perfect on 3/11/2009 1:12:22 PM , Rating: 5
If this is true, and it sounds like it, then use this report to play them at their own game. Pretend to be interested in the service plan, and then decline it at the register after they've brought the merchandise out to you.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Brandon Hill on 3/11/2009 1:17:39 PM , Rating: 3
Good plan... but as someone said before, who buys laptops at Office Depot... probably the same people that get suckered into buying extended service plans :-)

I can only think of one time that I bought an extended service plan, and that was a $30 3-year SquareTrade warranty that I bought for a Syntax-Olevia 42" LCD TV I bought from Staples on clearance. Since it was a floor model, I didn't want to take any chances.

RE: Play them at their game.
By callmeroy on 3/11/2009 1:30:31 PM , Rating: 4
I'm with most of you about service plans are a joke to begin with -- three exceptions go like this:

1) Cars -- anyone who can't see the value in a warranty for a car is just silly.

2) High ticket items -- Does it make sense to pay $150 for a service plan for a product you only paid $500 for? Not really. But it does make sense to pay $150 for a service plan of a product you dropped $5,000 for.

3) Any high use / much needed items --- good examples would be washing machines or refrigerators (but still use rule 2 as a guide).

Finally, (i guess rule 3a) -- I personally tend to get service plans on items I know will cost a lot to repair or I have little knowledge in their repair (like cars and HVAC systems for example) --- but on the other hand if I am confident i can solve my own problems (like with computers) I'll have a greater chance of passing on the coverage.

It all comes down to weighing your feelings financially with odds of use. Some people have money -- those folks won't blink to get the best warranty any item offers. Other people, use a more reasoned and logical approach before they buy such a plan.

I'm one of the latter. If you couldn't tell. (BTW the only items I own right now that have coverage -- car and 'fridge)

RE: Play them at their game.
By d0gb0y on 3/11/2009 1:56:45 PM , Rating: 5
I must be silly because I think buying an extended warranty on a car is a joke. Extended warranties have a deductible. When you add the price of the deductible with the price of the extended warranty, you would have to have a pretty expensive repair to get your money's worth.

I used to think they were great, until I had to use it. It cut $30 off my bill after deductible. To bad the warranty cost more then the $30...

Now if you think you are going to have to replace your engine before you extended warranty is over, then you should be looking at a different car.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Icewind31 on 3/11/2009 3:13:56 PM , Rating: 4
The only time I've ever found the car extended warranty worth it is through Honda the manufacturer, not a third party because it's a no deductible thing (even for the included roadside service). Only because I average 20,000mi/yr and standard warranty is only 36000, however I get upped to 100,000mi w/ the extended.

The catch is, Honda (Corporate) sells the warranty at a baseline price, and it's up to the dealer to mark it up as they wish. Normally for a car like the civic, base price like around 900, sometimes you have dealers that charge 1600-2000 for the same warranty. And those same dealers are the ones that lie that you can't purchase it later, however if you call corporate Honda you can purchase it as long as you're still within the original warranty period (as long as it's been checked to make sure you haven't modded anything yet) from any dealer you wish.

So for me, it paid for me to shop around for the best price for my car, but always shop around for the best price for the Honda extended warranty. However if you're someone that averages less than 12,000mi/yr, then it's up in the air, I definitely know from the past silly stuff costs an arm and a leg from the dealer (like the cd player on the civics run around 1,200 from the dealer installed x_x).

That's also the case w/ Honda, I'm not sure if it is w/ any other car company.

RE: Play them at their game.
By sprockkets on 3/11/2009 4:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
$50-$100 deductible on a $1000 compressor + labor is worth it everytime. More and more parts are going hi tech too. My steering pump is around $800 since it is electro-hydralic.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Sazar on 3/11/2009 6:21:40 PM , Rating: 2

I purchased an extended warranty on my car. It cost me about $100 more to buy a 3 year warranty with $0 deductible. I have already been to the dealer for various and sundry items that I would never have bothered with before and in the grand scheme of things, have a $0 deductible has saved me well more than the $100 I would have spent.

It doesn't hurt to develop a good relationship with the services manager.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Manch on 3/11/2009 6:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the AF so the extended warranty for me is a good purchase. I bought my car thru AAFES, and the warranty is valid in Europe. That will save me a lot of money if the car needs repairs over there. While it's good for me I'm the exception to the rule. Most people are better off buying mechanical breakdown coverage as part of their insurance when there warranty goes out. Even then that still has its limitations. I paid 1500 extra for the warranty. That would be ate up quickly over in europe on labor alone, not to mention parts that have to come from the states. To me it was worth it.

The car manufacturers offer these extended warranties base on the mean time failure rate. About 20% of cars will have some kind of major failure before an extended warranty will end. So basically if you got the extended warranty odds are in their favor that things will break after your extended warranty has ran out. The extended warranties for car manufacturers is as lucrative as those "plans" they sell at BB, OD, or wherever.

RE: Play them at their game.
By tjr508 on 3/11/2009 10:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, its the same thing as even money or insurance on a blackjack. If it wasn't a dealer bet, they wouldn't offer it.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Samus on 3/11/2009 11:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
Depends what kind of car you're buying. When I bought my SVT Focus back in 2002, I knew it wouldn't be a reliable vehicle because of all the European technology. I paid $1300 for the warranty, and to date, have had nearly $10,000 dollars in components replaced under it, including a transmission and two clutch/flywheels. Even little things like the hydrolic engine mount, the dual-stage intake actuator, the rack & all adds up.

Sure, there's a deductible: 10%. Big deal. After all is said and done I've paid under $2000 to have a car completely maintained for 6 years. Considering the average annual cost of ownership is $800 for a vehicle, having a warranty is a no brainer.

By the way, I'm an automotive engineer. Maintaining my own vehicles is completely within my ability, but I'd rather spend my time on the Cobra or my old Capri, not my daily driver econobox.

RE: Play them at their game.
By talikarni on 3/12/2009 9:55:54 AM , Rating: 2
That is why I prefer classic GM vehicles with a carb. Little to no electronics and easy as can be to fix.

RE: Play them at their game.
By jnn4v on 3/12/2009 11:20:05 AM , Rating: 2
Did you just say that the only reason that a FORD is unreliable is because of European technology? So other Fords have wonderful reliability?

RE: Play them at their game.
By rcc on 3/12/2009 5:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
Mine have been.

It's all about personal experience. I have a good friend with newer Toyota. Maintenance is someone higher than it is on my T-Bird, which is currently 5 years older.

And yes, I've heard the opposite too.

RE: Play them at their game.
By JediJeb on 3/12/2009 5:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well my 96 F150 has 195k miles on it an all I have done is replace the water pump last fall. Can't say if European parts are reliable or not but seems he had a lot more repairs on his car with them.

RE: Play them at their game.
By ethies on 3/12/2009 3:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
Car warranties can go either way. Its like insurance. If you buy a plan that covers everything, including things you expect to have go wrong, the price is going to be high and you'll likely lose money. If you buy the catastrophic only, you'll most likely never use the plan unless something goes really wrong.

RE: Play them at their game.
By mattclary on 3/11/2009 2:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Soooooo.... basically everything but clock radios and irons? ;)

RE: Play them at their game.
By JasonMick on 3/11/2009 3:16:09 PM , Rating: 1
I know I'm going to get burned for saying this, but Best Buy used to have worthwhile service plans for laptops if you knew how to use it.

They used to "lemon" out any laptop that got more than 4 repairs over the life of its 3 year warranty. I merely took it in whenever it had minor hardware issues, and would invariably accumulate 5 within a year or two/when I wanted to upgrade.

Using this, I got 2 (!) brand new computers for FREE. Around the time my 3rd one got warrantied out (aka. I wanted an upgrade) they had changed their policy to a 2 yr. warranty and would only give you "equivalent value" for the laptop, so I only go $1,000 credit towards my latest purchase. However, in total I saved close to $4,800 thanks to taking full advantage of their warranties.

Not sure if anyone else did this?

RE: Play them at their game.
By TomZ on 3/11/2009 3:19:41 PM , Rating: 5
Scammer. I wonder if that falls into the category of "retail fraud."

RE: Play them at their game.
By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2009 3:27:55 PM , Rating: 5
It actually would fall under the purview of fraud laws. It would also fall under theft by deception.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Chernobyl68 on 3/11/2009 3:57:24 PM , Rating: 4
no worse that what best buy and office depot are doing to their customers and employees. Do unto others...

By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2009 5:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Would not disagree with that statement. However, two wrongs never make a right. They make might perhaps even the score a little, but why would anyone want to degrade themselves by stooping to the level of those being dishonest in the first place?

Personal honor and esteem seem to be ideals that are becoming lost on this world...

RE: Play them at their game.
By TomZ on 3/11/2009 4:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
Jason - you better not answer that next knock on your door, LOL!

RE: Play them at their game.
By MadMan007 on 3/11/2009 4:17:54 PM , Rating: 5

RE: Play them at their game.
By theapparition on 3/13/2009 11:20:12 AM , Rating: 2
Complete BS. No it would not.

It would only fall under fraud if it could be proved he deliberately caused the hardware malfunctions. Then it would be fraud.

However, using the terms of your warranty are not fraud. If multiple repairs are required, and that's what the warranty stated, then yes, he should be entitled to a new laptop.

Keep in mind......BB repair center also has to verify that a malfunction exists. If they can't verify it's working improperly, then it would be returned to him with no findings.
Personally, I would never intentionally try and work the system like this, but don't inject your personal views and go claiming fraud.

RE: Play them at their game.
By lexluthermiester on 3/15/2009 12:02:55 PM , Rating: 1
Complete BS. No it would not.

Please do run this article past someone in law enforcement.

but don't inject your personal views and go claiming fraud.

This is a public forum. Personal views are the whole point. But what we have above is akin to a confession. There has to be something fishy going on. I have a 6 year old laptop that has had only two issues, battery[it's six years old] and the CPU overheating, which was my fault. That's it. So for this guy to have 5 hardware "issues" in a year, laptop after laptop? Ya there is some fraud going on there. I'd bet my middle finger on it.

RE: Play them at their game.
By theapparition on 3/15/2009 6:33:28 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, but I don't see any evidence in Jason's statement that he caused the issues. He did state that they were minor, but he is under absoulutely no obligation to fix those issues. If he has a warranty, he is perfectly within his rights to bring the machine in for repair. The warranty company is also perfectly within thier rights to refuse repair on something that they feel isn't covered, which didn't happen in this case. They elected to repair his issues, at which a certain point he amased enough to qualify for a replacement. But once again, unless it can be proved that he was causing those issues, this is not fraud and no crime was committed. Passing this past law enforcement would not be necessary. They have better things to do than to waste time.

Personal views are fine, but you pretened to assume facts. I corrected you, which apparently, you didn't like. Too bad. But that facts are, no crime was commited. If Jason admitted in his original threat that he caused the hardware failures, then I'd agree with you, but that didn't happen. You just assumed. Assumptions are not valid evidence.

And once again, when will you internet posters realize that just because of your ONE experience with a product, it doesn't not make it true over millions of products. Lemon laws exist because when making large quantities of products, there are bound to be statistical anomalies. That's great you never had a problem with your ONE laptop. So I guess it's OK to now extrapolate that data across all laptop brands, CPU's, GPU's, etc. You see the folly.

I can point and say fraud all I want, but unless it can be proven, then it didn't happen. Period. End of story.

RE: Play them at their game.
By JasonMick on 3/16/2009 11:43:49 AM , Rating: 1
I'm no lawyer, but I'd completely disagree. Every hardware problem I encountered, was totally legitimate, from normal use. I never intentionally caused problems as you seem to imply. The warranty offered by Best Buy included provisions for replacement in the case of multiple hardware problems.

Best Buy's warranty certainly was advantageous to me, but I had to pay for it -- $250 to $300 with each machine. And my actions were entirely within its terms and I used it exactly how it was meant to be used -- for hardware repairs. I don't know if I just got a bad couple of computers, or if the laptops invariably have rough edges when it comes to hardware under heavy use, but every laptop I've has had several minor hardware problems within a couple years. I take good care of my units, but I do use them heavily and don't use additional external cooling (though I keep it in an average use setting like tabletops, etc.).

All I'm pointing out is that for people who heavily use xxxx appliance -- computers or otherwise -- a warranty is *sometimes* a smart buy. My one from Best Buy saved me a good chunk of change, though it came at the price of a good deal of hassle -- whenever I shipped away my computer to fix various hardware issues I was without my primary system.

RE: Play them at their game.
By MadMan007 on 3/11/2009 3:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
You're not sure if anyone else scammed the extended warranty? What were these 'minor hardware issues'?

And I'd say it's likely others did it since the terms were changed, meaning it became too expensive for BB.

RE: Play them at their game.
By MagicSquid on 3/12/2009 7:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
I used to work for Staples, which has a similar product service/replacement plan gimmick as Best Buy and Office Depot, and it was well known at least to us, the employees, how to work our way around the service plans to get free stuff. Of particular worth was the furniture plans. Since it cost so much to ship a large piece of furniture (and who wants someone else's used, beat up furniture anyway?) the general method of replacement was to simply send out the new furniture without verifying that the one you were having replaced was actually defunct.

So, yes, some other people certainly do this. (Not me though. I want to save my immortal soul from the burning pits of hell, unlike JasonMick. jk.)

What JasonMick did was actually not illegal or even all that bad. He simply used the service plan that he paid for. If there genuinely wasn't anything wrong with the computers, then he wouldn't have been able to take the thing in to have it fixed. He didn't say that he intentionally created the problems himself. He simply had it serviced for whatever minor problems it had. It's not his fault that they lemon out products with minor technical defects.

RE: Play them at their game.
By TomZ on 3/11/2009 3:18:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm with most of you about service plans are a joke to begin with -- three exceptions go like this
Sorry, but buying service plans even for these items is for suckers. Most of these items conform to the "bathtub curve" model of defects:

What this basically means is that you're going to see most of the defects at the beginning of life (infant mortalities) and end of life for the product (wear-out). Infant mortalities are always covered by the manufacturer's warranty, and wear-out typically occurs after the service plan expires.

So the "middle part" of the bathtub curve - the time where there are relatively few failures - is what you are paying for. This accounts for the reason that companies that sell these service contracts make such a large profit on them - at your expense of course.

Ever wonder why with most service plans you cannot continue to renew them? That's because they specifically want to avoid coverage during the product wear-out phase.

In most cases, it is far cheaper just to pay for service for the few failures that happen after warranty than to buy a service plan. Exceptions might be if the warranty is exceptionally cheap of if you absolutely must budget your total cost of ownership ahead of time.

My own opinion is that people buy the service plans because they fear that it will be too difficult or costly to find service after the warranty has expired. But for high ticket items, e.g., cars, expensive electronics, this is not really an issue in reality. After all, if a company is offering a service plan, then obviously the assumption is that someone is available to fix it, and surely you could pay for those same services later if needed.

At even a high cost for repairs, it will most times be far cheaper than coughing up hundreds or thousands of dollars up front, and most likely, you'll never even need to pay for service.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Oregonian2 on 3/11/2009 3:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
So why is the government in a fuss about health insurance seeing as how health insurance is just a form of extended warranty? Should one have health insurance at all?

RE: Play them at their game.
By TomZ on 3/11/2009 4:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
Insurance and service plans only look like the same kind of thing on the surface, but if you think about it, they are quite different.

For example, if my TV breaks, I doubt that its repair is going to ruin me financially. On the other hand, if I get very sick, I could run up massive medical bills. Insurance there makes sense.

But still, if you can afford the potential losses, and when you don't need the "averaging effect" of insurance, it's cheaper to "self-insure." After all, insurance companies typically make a tidy profit after they pay all their claims out.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kenenniah on 3/11/2009 4:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
After all, insurance companies typically make a tidy profit after they pay all their claims out.

Actually most of the time they don't. Most of the time insurance companies operate at a net premium loss. If paid premiums break even with claims paid, that's considered a very good result. It's a very common misconception. Actual profit is for the most part made from investments.

RE: Play them at their game.
By mindless1 on 3/11/2009 7:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
But by the same token, the individual could make investments with the money saved, we'd have to consider that somewhat of a constant except that an insurance company would tend to have a better team of financial advisers so the investments had less risk.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kenenniah on 3/12/2009 8:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
There's also scale of investments. When you have millions to invest there are a lot more options open to you. Some very good investments, bonds, and money market accounts require a minimum amount to invest that most people couldn't afford.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kenenniah on 3/11/2009 4:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
Health insurance isn't quite the same. A warranty covers the cost of a specific item, which obviously you could afford to buy originally (at least you think you could). The possible benefit of the warranty is specific. Your potential loss without a warranty is limited to the cost of buying a new item.

Health insurance has an unknown liability. You didn't "buy" your health, and there's no specific cost for a replacement if your health goes bad. The potential loss for someone without health insurance can be enormous.

That said, I don't agree that all extended plans are bad. For example I bought one with my furniture since it also covers things outside of manufacture defects. If I happen to stab a pen through the leather, it's still fixed for free. Aside from actual financial value, there is also the intangible benefit of peace of mind. I don't feel like I have to "baby" my furniture and not get full use of it. You still have to base it somewhat on cost versus expected value though.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Oregonian2 on 3/11/2009 8:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the scale of the liability AND cost of the extended warranty are both much higher with health insurance (my wife and I are together paying over $600 every month for our health extended warranty plan -- a bit more than a TV's plan). But they're still very similar to extended warranties.

You and others have argued about not knowing how much the "replacement" cost is. I've two comments about that. One is that one doesn't know how much it'll cost to fix the TV (or whatever) either. Then you say, "but you know the maximum -- because it's the value of the device new". Well, my second comment is that if you look at our health insurance plans (and probably any other plan as well), there is a total cap on what it will pay out over the insured's lifetime (even if one changes plans with them, it'll accumulate from the other policies over to the current one). There *is* a maximum for a human, and it's spelled out in the insurance policy.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kenenniah on 3/12/2009 8:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
The so called cap is only for certain services as outlined in your policy. Such as in mine only fertility treatments and hospice care have lifetime caps. There are some services that have yearly caps, but are mostly things like chemical dependency treatment. Now I don't know about all health insurance plans, but I can guarantee you mine does not have a specific total cap, just one for the services I mentioned.

I'm also spoiled in the cost of my health insurance. It's $25 a month for health, dental, and vision. Add a spouse and it goes to $80, or full family for $147. It probably helps that I work at an insurance company (although it's a property and casualty company) and the plan is self insured.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Oregonian2 on 3/13/2009 2:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Both my insurance and my wife's insurance (different Blue-Cross plans) have overall caps. Mine is $5 Million I think, and hers is $2 Million.

I'd be real surprised if yours doesn't have caps. Consider the business case of the insurance company for reasons it'd be there.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kenenniah on 3/13/2009 5:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Cut and paste directly from my online policy.....

Lifetime Maximum
Lifetime maximum is unlimited
Lifetime maximum for hospice respite is limited to 15 days inpatient/15 days outpatient

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kenenniah on 3/13/2009 5:47:43 PM , Rating: 2
As for understanding the insurance business, well you'd have to know me and my family lol. We have multiple actuaries including the head of the actuarial deparment, a chief operating officer, and me who switched from actuarial science to IT.

As for the limits, it all depends on what your company chooses to pay for and/or give you the options for. Unfortunately for most, that is one area that many companies started cutting back on long before the current economic situation. I'm just fortunate to work for one that still gives us cheap health care with great coverage, limits and deductibles.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Oregonian2 on 3/13/2009 9:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I really like yours!

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kenenniah on 3/14/2009 9:10:33 AM , Rating: 2
The part that does suck for me is I switched to IT because I found insurance and playing with numbers all day boring. Thanks to my family however I'm stuck listening to it a family gatherings all the time :P

RE: Play them at their game.
By mindless1 on 3/11/2009 7:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. If a person can invest their money as wisely as the service company can, the only way a service company can make a profit is if the goods, on average, cost less to repair than the cost of the plan.

There is one area where this can work to the advantage of a consumer, if the product is sufficiently new and untested tech to the extent that the plan was priced below the actual risk rate. For example, 25-odd years ago it might have been wise to get an extended automobile plan that covered the transmissions in the first generation of front wheel drive cars from many manufacturers.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Kerdal on 3/12/2009 6:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno... Sometimes it's worth it. I'm glad I paid the little extra for my last laptop (Dell XPS M1710), everything was fine for the first year (default warranty). During the 13th month, the RAM slots overheated and wouldn't be detected by the motherboard. (The laptop was idle on a wooden table with a large fan blowing on it) Ok that would've cost me the extended warranty. But it died 3 other times within 6 months and the last time was for a dead video card. A friend of mine had a similar issue but his warranty was expired... They wanted 900$ for a refurb video card with no warranty!

RE: Play them at their game.
By GodisanAtheist on 3/11/2009 4:34:50 PM , Rating: 3
4) When you're buying something for a woman *Raises Flame Shield*

My sister will destroy any electronics she comes in contact with. She's like a tiny EMP generator.

The laptop I bought her for college is in the course of 6 months on shaky ground. My girlfriend's laptop flat out died thanks to her insistence on keeping the vents blocked with blankets and the like.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Dreifort on 3/12/2009 10:03:28 AM , Rating: 2
to most ppl, extended service plans available from local retail outlets is more about convience than value.

Sure HP will cover your device the first yr and offer extended plans... but Best Buy gives the consumer the ability to drive 5-10 mins, drop off the broken device and either a) go home and let Best Buy worry about it or b) get a new product from Best Buy.

much less trouble than having to arrange your own free service from the manufacturer.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Bender 123 on 3/11/2009 1:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of people bought from Office Depot when I worked there in college...I remember the pressure to sell the PPPs and I would outright tell staff/managers that I refused to push them.

I was PIPed and given warnings, but the scary thing is that through not pushing them, I had an attach rate of over 50%...I guess pressure doesn't work as well as good old trust in your sales rep. By giving the pamphlet and walking away, I would sell more than than guys gang selling a grandma.

RE: Play them at their game.
By jjmcubed on 3/11/2009 8:50:08 PM , Rating: 3
Just purchased an extended warranty for my gaming mouse. For some reason, I've been going through them once every 8-12 months. My luck, the mouse will last 5 years! Oh, that would be horrible! :P

RE: Play them at their game.
By fishman on 3/12/2009 7:45:59 AM , Rating: 2
Five years ago, I bought a 50" rear projection LCD panasonic HDTV. I got a 5 year service plan for $400 - I only did it because it covered replacement bulbs. I ended up going through 3 bulbs, more than paying for the plan.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Nick5324 on 3/11/2009 1:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously they are following the lead of Best Buy by doing this. If this story is true about OD, then instead of "playing them at their own game", I would suggest just not shopping with them. If you pick out a laptop, and they are "out of stock" and/or they push their extended warranty more than once after you politely decline, just walk out and buy elsewhere.

If they are in fact taking a lead from BB, I would also suggest checking the laptop before you leave, make sure that the correct product is in the box and that it is in fact a new item.

RE: Play them at their game.
By LorKha on 3/11/2009 2:04:07 PM , Rating: 2
Remember! Don't hate the players! HATE THE GAME!

RE: Play them at their game.
By mindless1 on 3/11/2009 7:06:07 PM , Rating: 2
Hate the players, there will always be a new game but nobody is forced to play.

RE: Play them at their game.
By Hiawa23 on 3/12/2009 8:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
I bought 2 DVD recorders a couple of years ago from Best Buy, started having issues with both of them this year. Best Buy said they were not worth fixing, so they gave me all my money back in store credit, so I believe in extended warranties for electronics over a certain amount, & every device I bought an extended warranty for has more than paid for itself other the one I bought with my computer.

RE: Play them at their game.
By talikarni on 3/12/2009 11:32:30 AM , Rating: 2
I tried to buy a laptop there, I agreed to the extended warranty plans. They tried to get me to sign the agreements before paying money which I thought was a bit fishy (they had not brought it out yet) and ran into this exact problem. As soon as I said no, they were all of a sudden out of stock on the model I wanted (this was in the Tampa Bay area).

I had left the store empty handed and went to Newegg to get a much better laptop, with a much better extended warranty for much cheaper. That was a few years back and I have since sold that laptop but am in the market for another one... off to Newegg I go once again.

Yeah right
By DigitalFreak on 3/11/2009 1:08:29 PM , Rating: 5
With respect to your inquiry, we intend to look into the situation further, as part of our continuing commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction and consistent selling practices."

*cough* bullshit *cough*

RE: Yeah right
By Spivonious on 3/11/2009 1:17:58 PM , Rating: 3
I have a feeling this is more of a store manager decision than a corporate decision. Especially if corporate is putting pressure on the stores for the 30% service plans.

RE: Yeah right
By MadMan007 on 3/11/2009 1:29:52 PM , Rating: 5
It's probably store managers or even district managers that push the practice in a clear manner. However corporate management surely knows about it, even if just in a winkwink nodnod way, things like this are cannot be kept secret.

RE: Yeah right
By ayat101 on 3/12/2009 2:39:26 AM , Rating: 3
BUT it makes no sense for the top management to be pushing this. After all a store will make more profit if it sells a laptop sooner without an extended warranty (higher turnover), than if it does not sell the laptop at all or later. The only way this approach would make sense is if laptops were in high demand, or under-suppplied... otherwise they are losing money through this.

The only function of doing this is to produce high percentage figures for extended warranty sales vs laptop sales.

... OR am I missing something?

RE: Yeah right
By MagicSquid on 3/12/2009 8:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
I can't speak for Best Buy or Office Depot, but I used to work at Staples, and often times the weekly deals actually had little or even no markup on them, meaning that Staples made $0-$10 on them. We were expected to attach things like service plans, external mice, anti-virus plans, carrying cases, etc. in order to make any real margin of profit.

Of course, it's also possible that there's some secret-squirrel additional way Staples was making money that I'm not aware of (leasing floor space, amongst others), but the priceguns (which show the markup %, 6% being standard) often times displayed 0, and then would show the standard 6% when we'd bump their price on up when they went off of the special the following week.

So, it makes sense to not sell a laptop which makes $0 this week, when you can possibly sell it next week for a profit of $50-$100.

From my experience at Staples, notebook computers that are priced competitively are generally undersupplied. It varied from week to week, but we would often times have 2-3 of each model in the back, and maybe 4-10 of the weekly special. Sometimes as few as 2 or 3 though. We really had to make each of the weekly special laptops count when we sold them, otherwise it could really hurt our profit margins, and it would sometimes mean an angry call from the district manager.

RE: Yeah right
By kattanna on 3/11/2009 3:08:28 PM , Rating: 2
consistent selling practices

oh.. i dont doubt they will be reviewing that to find out why more of their sales people AREN'T following suit.

especially those Rich type people who refused to lie. im sure there is a full investigation as to who he is so they can make him "redundant"

By Suntan on 3/11/2009 1:10:15 PM , Rating: 1
People would actually buy a laptop from Office Depot?


RE: Really?
By stubeck on 3/11/2009 1:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Why not? If they have the best price who wouldn't want to.

RE: Really?
By Brandon Hill on 3/11/2009 1:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
I've rarely found Office Depot to have the best prices on anything technology related -- except for on Black Friday. And they always tack $100 or $200 rebates on their laptops.

RE: Really?
By TomZ on 3/11/2009 3:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I agree. I've come across some deals at Office Depot that looked pretty attractive, at least until I hit the web and find it cheaper at some place like Newegg or the like. B&M is great for impulse buys, but better deals are almost always found online.

RE: Really?
By nidomus on 3/11/2009 6:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
I've rarely found Office Depot to have the best prices on anything technology related -- except for on Black Friday. And they always tack $100 or $200 rebates on their laptops.

I'd have to agree. An Office Depot opened up in my area not too long ago, and are now undergoing a liquidation sale. I went in looking for a laptop case, and was looking at their prices on various items and noticed how insanely high they were, even for a "liquidation sale."

RE: Really?
By mmntech on 3/11/2009 3:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just about the best prices but also the service you get with your products.
I'm sorry for the OD staff if they'll loose their jobs but I'm not going to give into those kinds of high pressure sales tactics. More often that not, that kind of environment is just going to scare away customers. It's a bad business practise.

I remember CTV News's Consumer Alert doing a study into extended warranties and they found that they vary rarely pay off, even with big ticket items such as cars. They concluded that it's just throwing money down the drain.

RE: Really?
By Hiawa23 on 3/11/2009 1:32:31 PM , Rating: 2
People would actually buy a laptop from Office Depot?


why not if they have a sale or something going on & has the lowest price. If you feel the salesperson is putting too much pressure on you then politely say F U & go to another store. They can't force you to buy anything you don't want to. If they don't want your business then move on, they are already having quite a bit of financial troubles as it is in this economy.

Sounds like Bad Buy to me...
By Beenthere on 3/11/2009 1:23:41 PM , Rating: 1

Today it's OD that is caught. BB and others have been doing this crap for years. Multi-million dollar fines and jail time for the execs is the only cure for this fraud.

RE: Sounds like Bad Buy to me...
By Reflex on 3/11/2009 2:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Its not illegal, like any store they are under no obligation to do business with anyone. Its not fraud. They can bundle anything they want with anything else at will.

More realistically, simply not shopping there will send the message loud and clear.

RE: Sounds like Bad Buy to me...
By mindless1 on 3/11/2009 7:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
It is illegal. They can't advertise an in-stock product at a price, but not be willing to sell at that price, only at a higher price. IF they had only listed the product at the higher price with the bundled plans, THAT would be legal.

By lexluthermiester on 3/12/2009 5:38:31 AM , Rating: 1
like any store they are under no obligation to do business with anyone.

This is not true. Any store which opens it doors to the public must do business with said public. They may not discriminate as with who to, or not to, do business with. Unless they are a membership based company[ie Costco or Sams Club], they must allow anyone of the general public access to purchase their wares. They may require that folks be properly dressed[shoes, shirt and the like] and to behave themselves, but that's about it as far as limitations go.

A return to the gilded age.
By blowfish on 3/11/2009 4:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
This is one of the benefits of the US going back to "The Gilded Age" when employers had all the power. Capitalism red in tooth and claw, and pity the poor saps that have to work in those awful service sector jobs.

RE: A return to the gilded age.
By MadMan007 on 3/11/2009 5:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
Could you explain that a little more? Are you saying it's a benefit because it will lead to serious competition 'tooth and claw' style?

RE: A return to the gilded age.
By Fritzr on 3/11/2009 9:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
Methinks he forgot the <sarcasm></sarcasm> tags :P

makes sense
By livelouddiefast on 3/11/2009 1:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
i've work at the depot for 3.5 years. i also consider myself to have a moral obligation to not lie to people regardless of my disdain for them.

however, some people do use this tactic, as i bet they do at most major electronics retailers. it'd certainly get someone canned quick if they were somehow found out and agressively pursued, but it's very low risk and it keeps your ppp/tds dollars up. the higher percentage of attachments, the more commission you make on the ppp/tds. Too low, and there's no commision and the dm and store managers breath down your neck to get them. again, not unique to office depot, but sucky nonetheless.

maybe- make warranties/tds a good value to the customer by not marking them up 50%+, then more people would buy them and the company wouldn't be reaming customers for money and its employees for sales. is it a wonder od lost 1.5 billion last quarter?

RE: makes sense
By HaB1971 on 3/11/2009 2:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
I too sadly have worked at a B&M store of a large electronics retailer who has oh so wonderfully rolled over and died much to the delight of many, myself included. It was at the time just a job to pay the bills in a rural (Vermont) area with little in the way of decent employment opportunities.

This deniable policy is not shocking at all. They will deny they have ever pushed this garbage to anyone in the store while all the employees know it's a directive from upon high. Plausible Deniability I believe is the correct terminology.
It was laughable that any dressing down by a manager you could add the phrase "because I want my bonus" to the end of it just so that it made sense.

Warranties are there solely to bolster PMI (Profit Margin Index) so that the company can go to manufacturers and creditors and say "look we are making money so give us new products to sell... on credit of course and we'll pay you back... we promise... we won't file Chapter 11... really we won't"

I purchased Rockband2 for the Wii at the weekend (yeah I’m that sad... it's for the family.... ok I was singing...) at a BB and they tried to sell me a warranty on it. I declined after laughing loudly and took the product home. Upon opening there is a pink piece of paper inside that says if there is a hardware problem with the product DON'T take it back to the store. I thought that should have been on the outside of the box :-)

My buddy bought from Office Depot
By weskurtz0081 on 3/11/2009 1:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
He bought a "new" HP notebook from Office Depot because it was priced lower than the same model being sold at Best Buy and other retail stores. He took it home, turned it on, and found out that a Office 2007 Student edition disk was in the drive. And, it already had user account setup on it. So, he took it back to the Office Depot in Dover Delaware, the place he bought it, and they didn't have any other model. The manager acted like it was no big deal to sell it as new, and not open box or refurbed.

So, he took his business to Best Buy.

By weskurtz0081 on 3/11/2009 1:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
Correction, they didn't have anymore of that model.

Joke answer
By tastyratz on 3/11/2009 2:11:14 PM , Rating: 4
What a generic joke of an answer. That customer relations statement could be summed up into laymens terms as "we like customers. well call you later"
Am I the only one who doesnt get the impression that things will change from that, and it will more likely just be covered up more than stopped?

Here's why...
By mydogfarted on 3/11/2009 2:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
These plans are pure profit. Margins on laptops, and electronics in general, are very thin - often a "loss leader" to bring people into the store. A retailer may make $20 on the laptop itself, but then make money on the high markup items like bags, mice, software, cables and service plans. 90-95% of people NEVER use the service plan, so it is basically cash in the bank.

Telling a customer that they are out of stock because they don't want the plan is a douche move.

RE: Here's why...
By Dreifort on 3/12/2009 10:10:09 AM , Rating: 2
CompUSA employees used this practice on many occasions. When I would visit their stores as a vendor, they would tell me about the huge pressure they were getting form their district mgrs on attaching services.

They would intentionally get the customer to talk about his willingness to buy a service plan up front of the sale so they would know if this customer would get their full attn or be pushed off to someone else (if not told out of stock).

Some new employees would not quite catch on to and get confused from what they were hearing from mgment and what other employees were doing to push service attachments. These new employees would end up telling a customer they couldn't even purchase a computer if they didn't get a service plan...


circuit city scam
By anotherdude on 3/11/2009 6:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a Tosh laptop a year or so ago and I got the extended warranty because I was giving the Laptop too my semi-invalid Mother who was likely to drop it or spill something on it. The salesman also said I was entitled to a replacement battery after one year, no questions asked, just bring it in a get a fresh battery for free. I grilled him about it and he made it abundantly clear it was a no questions asked free trade in for the taking.

Well I tried that at the end of the year and they refused to give me a new battery - said it had to be defective and no longer hold a charge for more than about 5 minutes before they would give me a new battery.

Now I am wondering if the battery line wa a lie to entice a warranty sale.

RE: circuit city scam
By mindless1 on 3/11/2009 7:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
If it's not in writing, it never happened.

Please reword...
By CZroe on 3/12/2009 3:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
"Report: Office Depot Lies About Notebook Stock to Boost Extended Warranty Sales"

They don't lie about availability to boost warranty sales. The only way you could even think that is if you think they are telling customers "you'd better get the warranty because we don't have another like it to exchange for the same great deal if something is wrong." For one thing, extended warranties are for use at the END of your manufacturer's warranty and are considered "fulfilled" and no-longer in effect after the first claim, so such a scenario would have ruined the deal by sacrificing the cost of the warranty rather than claim manufacturer's warranty.

NO. I'll explain what is going on:
What they are doing is determining that a customer does not want to buy the warranty BEFORE going to "get" it for them, then returning with the loie about "no stock" so that a higher *percentage of their LOWER sales* include extended warranties. Assuming that all salesmen will ask/determine this first (for a direct comparison), the lie/trick itself does not increase, or "boost" extended warranty sales AT ALL like the headline implies. Rather, it increases the percentage of laptops sold with an extended warranty purely by depressing other sales. Assuming that supply otherwise meets demand, it's entirely counter-productive for the company and store management because it ONLY benefits the employee who, on commission/production/minimum-quota or not, has an expectation to meet in terms of warranties sold per laptop sold.

Obviously, this kind of situation exists when the quotas for overall laptop sales are low, easily met, or non-existant. Other sales employees are likely to deliberately keep overall sales expectations low in order to preserve the relative ease of obtaining a tight sales ratio with extended warranties, especially if they got off to a good start earlier in the period. With no stand-out numbers proving otherwise, management is likely to consider this as the norm and, rather than push for these attainable sales goals, will look to increse the more profitable sales of extended warranties.

Because the company has no interest at needlessly decreaseing overall laptop sales while keeping the same amount of extended warranty sales, it's stupid to point the finger at Office Depot corporate or management... unless you want to point out the idiots who create this sales environment that causes employees to do what's best for them instead of their company.

RE: Please reword...
By Belard on 3/24/2009 11:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
Good points.

It is rather stupid... so it seems that the sales managers are doing this to meet the company quotas. So in effect, they'd rather not get in trouble by not selling an extended warranty. But the company is stupid because they LOSE the sale with custom going elsewhere.

As someone who is knows a bit (not expert), these retail stores make the A LOT of money with the extended warranties. Without these, they'd most likely be out of business or selling the items at higher prices. Best Buy, which is the last major retail outlet (at least in my state) is suffering massive losses with the market today. Low sales = Low extended warranties.

Sure some repairs will be expensive and the warranty can save you lots of money. But most electonics don't fail that often... and when they do, it'll be 4-6 years later.

I rarely buy electronics with extended Warranties. But if I bought a $5000 TV, I'd spend $300 to cover it for 3+ years. Nowadays, those TVs are going for $1000... Maybe $100 is all I'd spend... if it was a DLP. If its LCD, no need to bother. I have LCDs that are 7+ years old. Unlike the old CRT and rear-projections TVs of the past, todays LCDs are rarely repairable with so few parts to fail.

Weekend OD Sales Rep here
By joba78 on 3/12/2009 9:01:53 AM , Rating: 3
I work at OD part-time on the weekends and this story is in fact true. The most successful sales rep employ this tactic in my store, along with other tactics. The pressure to sell PPP's and TDS's is so apparent that we have to now write in a notebook what was sold to a customer or why the customer did not purchase the extra services. I am not sure if this is a store level decision or district level. But it increases the sales pressure.

Also, if you purchase these warranties/services; make sure you are purchasing the correct warranty for your product. A former sales rep at my store would sell customers a $70 extended warranty on a $900 laptop when the actual cost of that warranty is $175! The problem occurs when/if the customer needs the warranty/repair, the OD warranty center will not honor it b/c it is the wrong SKU for the purchase amount. Imagine how angry a customer would be when the warranty they thought was legitimate is in fact not!

This former sales rep was the top performer in the store, but it was a false accolade. The tactics employed by the rep were held over from his former position at Best Buy. The remaining sales reps at OD are now cleaning up after the lies the former sales rep told. Management often has to reluctantly return plans the rep sold.

I offer the extended warranties but do not hassle a customer if he/she says no. And I do not purchase these warranties myself.

By rasmith260 on 3/11/2009 1:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason I ever go into stores like Office Depot or Best Buy is when it’s something I need immediately like ink for my printer. When it comes to something like buying a laptop then I usually go in just to see the product in person, so I can touch it and play around with it and make a judgment about its quality, then if I like it I’ll buy it online (usually someplace else, like Newegg, or somewhere cheaper). As for the salespeople, I just tell them I don’t have any money right now, I’m just looking for the future and they run like the plague and leave me alone.

enhance the customer experience
By mattclary on 3/11/2009 2:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
All the "enhancement" I need is a competitive price and not to to be lied to about availability.

Note to self: If looking to purchase an item, always indicate you want the extended warranty until you have the item at the register.

By Muggskhan on 3/11/2009 2:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
I have been an office manager at both of these chains and this is very much the case at Staple and O-Max. (I missed spelled these on purpose) They regularly hound employees to sell worthless extended warranty plans on everything or be coached (written up). Sales people regularly lie to customers about plans and service just to get them to buy these warranties and extended service plans. In my opinion Omax and Odepot will not weather this recession/depression so we will be reading about staples and Best purchase

OD is following CC
By AntiM on 3/11/2009 2:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
There are 2 ODs in my area. Both of them are rather rundown, poorly stocked, and poorly staffed. I wouldn't be surprised to hear about OD filing for bankruptcy in the near future.

By Ben on 3/11/2009 2:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
This is unbelievable.

Looks like OD is next to follow the likes of CompUSA down the drain.

Don't they realize if you treat your customers like crap, that word gets around?

By CalWorthing on 3/11/2009 2:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps another component in failures for the likes of CircuitC, CompUSA, and others. The pitch for extended warranties and service was avoided, and suffered as little possible when shopping. The local Stale's (p) has started pushing this at checkout and makes a visit less and less likely. Felt sorry for the employee having to recite the pitch.

Bottom line, most buying is via the 'Net & , NewEgg & Amazon.

Car dealers have done it for decades and the huge profits made on extra warranties documented by consumer groups.

By ZachDontScare on 3/11/2009 2:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
Wasnt this sort of thing the first step before Circuit City going under? Will we be seeing a big liquidation sale at Office Depot soon?

nothing new
By wickedwing on 3/11/2009 3:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
I worked at Orifice Depot for 8 years and got canned 7 years ago for not pushing these damn things on people. This is not a new trend.

How can anyone be..
By lexluthermiester on 3/11/2009 3:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
How can anyone be surprised by this? There are a lot of companies that are becoming increasingly aggressive in their sales tactics. They are getting more dishonest by the year and drawing ever closer to that line between shady and unlawful. And these companies wonder why the masses are turning to the internet to make their purchases?

Internet Retail = Pros ; Mostly easy to understand terms and expectations. Fair prices and return policies. Con ; Longer wait for item arrival and return/replacement for defectives.

Brick and Mortar Retail = Pros ; Item quickly in hand for use. Quicker[but not always easier] returns for defectives. Cons ; Pushy uninformed/uneducated sales staff who care more about their commissions than the line of crap they dish out to folks in need of their help. Higher prices.

Gee, lets think those over shall we?

Staples Canada (business depot) too
By DukeN on 3/11/2009 4:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
As a former Staples employee in Canada a few years back, I can attest to that practice. Managers in my store also hid items in the back that were priced higher than the competition so they did not have to "price match" then resulting in a lower selling price.

What were customers who wanted to buy a laptop or priced match a lower priced item told? It was out of stock.

I refused to participate in these shenanigans and as a result I was not as good a sales person in terms of %s and got pressured immensely from the management to push, push, push. I ended up leaving but the sales guys at most of these stores are just pushed to a ridiculous level to make their numbers.

Future Shop here in Canada (owned by Best Buy) is another retailer that indulges in douchebaggery often. For their boxing day sales (think Canada's black friday), they had a doorbuster notebook that they would not sell without a "service plan". This is something that was not advertised anywhere on the flyers, etc.

Moral of incoherent story: I bet at all franchises some employees tangle in this practice, even though the executives do not want them to.

Retail is dying
By bigboxes on 3/11/2009 6:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
And they wonder why we stop shopping at their stores. I do like to check out items in person sometimes, but it's usually while buying media products (CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, cases, etc.) It makes me laugh watching those salesmen hawk around you when you get near the high-dollar commission items. Try to get them to assist you in finding an on-sale item like DVD-Rs and good luck! I was with a friend (who needs a new pc/laptop) and the salesman went out of his way to inform me that the laptop had DDR3 memory. He didn't know I was a PC tech that wasn't impressed with spec talk.

I always decline any extended warranty. The reason retailers sell them (including car dealers) is that they make money off of it. It's that simple. As far as ink goes, I get mine from SwiftInk.

Digg This
By jodhas on 3/11/2009 7:45:09 PM , Rating: 2

Digg it so others will know about this issue. Personally, I had this done to me just a couple weeks ago when I tried to get them fetch me an Acer Netbook they had.

By bifffoley on 3/11/2009 8:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
Where I work, We are under pressure to sell gift cards (verbal warning, write up, so long sucka! if you don't) So, the easy way to skirt the issue was to buy a gift card before we make any employee purchases, then use the card on the purchase. Problem solved. High pressure sales leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Quality will sell w/o the hoopla. The sooner Office Depot or the late CCity figure that out, the better. What was Office Depot trading at today???

Horrible reporting...
By ucisilentbob on 3/11/2009 8:44:44 PM , Rating: 2
It is not company directive to not sell to a customer if they don't get the extended warranty. With how open "Rich" is being I'm sure that he could have produced a Company Memo actually outlining that we are being told to do so. This "they told me to do it" has no way of being substantiated. Great journalism. . . *sarcastic slow clap*

I wouldn't be surprised if he was the one making the conscious choice not to sell so he can keep his commissions up. His comments are far from what the company has been telling us to do as a whole.

Call for inventory first
By teckytech9 on 3/12/2009 12:22:16 AM , Rating: 2
or look in the Sunday fliers and see what the minimum store inventories are for said item. Time, gas and energy could be wasted if the item is not in stock upon arrival. Take names like Joe and Jane and the current stock quantities on hand before venturing out.

It's no secret that Office Depot competitors try hard to sell these extended warranties at the checkout counter. I have answered them with a simple, "No thank you" or "I know your trying very hard to sell this extended warranty but I will decline." Sometimes the process repeats again and again.

I have purchased from Office Depot before. I know at least one quantity of said item will be available, the last one on display (called ahead of time).

The extended warranty becomes a moot point till I get to the checkout counter. Sure, I'll take the extended warranty for FREE if they offer it. How much is the extended warranty? Could it be cheaper? Is the price negotiable?

It's no surprise that Office Depot needs to resort to deceitful tactics in order to sell more of these warranties. Consumer are smarter, know prices ahead of time and saving much more.

By blueboy09 on 3/15/2009 4:26:28 AM , Rating: 2
I personally used to work at a B&M store a few years back, and while some of the things such as attachment rates were a BIG issue we were never threatened with a pink slip at all. However, we were under constant pressure to sell as many extended warranties as we could as we were nationally ranked as well as district ranked on the overall store's performance for that day. Was stressed out by the daily grading they did that I finally quit that job and moved on elsewhere. Only until just reading these posts did i find out they started focusing on the customer's wishes due to the reduced buying from the recession. Its important that the customer's needs are brought out, since noody that i know doesn't want a pushy salesperson what they need or don't need. Respect of the customer is what gets you a sale and a product in a satisfied customer's hand, IMO.

Worked at OfficeMax
By AvalonWynter on 3/24/2009 11:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
Though when I worked at Max we never told people the laptops and computers were out of stock, however there was a lot of pressure from Corporate to sell the warranties, the new tech help system and to also make sure they purchased computer peripherals along with this. They even sent out daily reports that showed the top stores and those stores on the lower end of the list would have to get onto conference calls and explain why numbers were low. So I know that the response from Office Depot was a load of .........
You get the point. Its the same type of thing.

Sales people tell lies?
By iFX on 3/11/09, Rating: 0
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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