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Locked: [STAPLES] The Cartridge Incident

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  • Nov 11th, 2009 9:49 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2009
28 posts

[STAPLES] The Cartridge Incident

For the lack of a better thread title...just wrote what came to my mind. But I thought I'd share this with all of you to raise awareness and just be careful in such cases.

None of my current printers were working under Windows 7 (no official driver support). I needed to print something urgently. Normally I always shop online, but I wanted the printer right away. Figured I'd get the cheapest ink jet printer I can. Went to STAPLES and got one immediately for $50. The salesperson said if it doesn't work under Win 7 (he guaranteed that it would, I didn't have time to do any research), they'll do a refund. I come back...set it all up, put in the cartridges etc. The printer doesn't work. It was near closing time so I decided to go the next day to return it.

I pack up everything in its package the way I got it, just that the cartridges were still inside the printer in their slots (not in their little separate boxes its initially in). Go to the Customer Services/Returns/Refund counter. The woman at the counter told me someone in charge of the Hardware would be here to inspect it before they do a refund, as per their policy. I said fine. The guy comes...and inspects the printer at the counter at the back (just behind the woman so his back is facing me now). I didn't keep an eye on him all the time, as there were other customers waiting in the line so the woman told me to step aside and wait. The guy turns around and asks me about the cartridges. Says "where are the cartridges". I respond, "What do you mean? They're in their slots. I never took em out after I put em in." He says "We can't refund it without the cartridges. They're not in here". And walks away.

Im standing there clueless and shocked...as I packed the printer myself. How the hell did the cartridges just disappear? It was a weekend so the store closes early. I was told I'll have to come back tomorrow. I figured its possible someone else in my house took em out or fiddled with the printer. I rush back home, check everywhere, ask everyone...and as expected, no one had any idea about the cartridges. They don't even know how to operate these things but I thought I'd eliminate all doubts.

At this point I'm thinking the guy inspecting the printer could've taken em out. I rush back to the store immediately. The manager is standing at the door as a couple of other people are closing. I tell him I need to speak with the person who inspected my printer. He tells me everybody left, theres no one in the store. BIG FAT LIAR! The same guy was walking RIGHT behind him. He saw me at the door and flinched. Gave the most guiltiest look you could imagine. Like "Oh ***** he's back". That was my biggest cue. I had no doubt that he didn't take it out (unless proven otherwise). I tell the manager the cartridges are missing so I need to talk to him, hes right behind you. The manager gets all offended. From there on his tone and the way he handled things was extremely rude.

Manager: "Are you accusing him of stealing? Thats crazy"
ME: "Im not accusing anyone, I wana ask him about the cartridges. Maybe he put them aside and forgot about them. Now they're gone. I checked back at home and I don't have them. I packed the printer myself and they were there".
Manager: "I don't know where they went but he didn't take them"
ME: "How can you be so sure?"
Manager: "Why would he?"
ME: "Why would I keep the cartridges and return the printer?"
Manager: "I don't know"
ME: "Well then you can't speak for him either."
Manager: "Look, I have to defend him. I trust him. He didn't do it. I can't help you today. Come back tomorrow"
ME: "What do you mean you have to defend him? Shouldn't you be resolving this with an unbiased view? You trust him. I don't. I don't know him. Your conclusion is based on 'trust'. You're defending someone and taking sides without looking into the matter deeply. And you lied when you said every worker had left."
Manager: "OK. Its ludicrous for you to suggest that he took it out, but as a gesture, come back tomorrow I'll refund the printer"
ME: "NO. Its not. Anythings possible. I won't accept the refund before finding out what happened here. The printer is technically mine and this can be filed under theft. And for a person being accused, hes standing awfully quiet and not offended."
Manager (to the hardware guy): "Do you know where the cartridges are?"
The hardware guy: "No."
Manager: "There, he doesn't have it."
ME: "You expect me to take his word? There are cameras all over the place. There are many ways of knowing what happened"
Manager: "Fine! Fine! We'll take a look at the tapes tomorrow, but if it shows that he didn't take em out, I won't be doing a refund."
ME: "Fair enough."

I went there today. Went straight to the manager.

Manager: "Yeah shes checking the serveillance footage."
ME: "Okay."
Manager: "Do you have the receipt? I can refund the printer right here"
ME: "Wait. What? If the footage shows that the guy didn't take the cartridges, I'll gladly take the printer back like we agreed upon last night. I don't want a refund in that case."
A woman from the management walks up to us. Tells us the security camera doesn't show anything from an angle which would suggest that he did or did not take the cartridges. She was there last night as well but didn't say a word then.
Manager: "The footage doesn't tell us anything. I can't do anything else to help you out."
ME: "Can I take a look at the footage?" [I don't think its possible... but the camera was right on TOP of the Return counter and I found it hard to believe that it wouldn't show up in the footage]
Manager: "We can't allow that. But I can give you a refund."

I didn't see this going anywhere. Maybe I should've taken matters to their head office. The manager never had a neutral stand in this from the get go. Instead of creating a scene, I took the refund and came back. So why did he offer me a refund right away? Before even knowing what the woman, who checked the videos apparently, had to say about it?

Apologies if the post got boring or too long. I just had to let it out. I have no doubts about this and I know what happened. Can't believe the guy is still working there. But yeah....sticking up for someone without any substantial proof or willingness to accept both sides of the story all seems too fishy to me. Who knows what they are upto over there. I won't be shopping at STAPLES again. Atleast, not at the same branch.
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81 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 22, 2005
3286 posts
41 upvotes
Ottawa
why would he make such a brazen theft like that? he works in the store - he could steal anything he wants much more discreetly?!

anyways, you got your money back and from your account it seems the manager was pretty easy going about it...
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2009
28 posts
To save a sale perhaps?

Manager was anything but easy going. He was rude, stubborn and failed to follow all this logically. Don't you find his actions weird? Refunding the printer without even waiting to see what the security footage suggests? (Even if someone was indeed checking it)...specifically when we ended the conversation on the same note the previous night.

He offered a refund the first time around as well, but not without indirectly accusing me of stealing. I wanted to know what the hell happened to the cartridges. It wasn't just about a $50 refund.
Deal Guru
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Jun 27, 2004
11663 posts
1382 upvotes
Vancouver.bc.ca
I'm surprised they would offer a full refund when the ink cartridge is opened.

Do you even need to insert the cartridges in order to determine if it will work in Windows 7 (or any OS)?
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2009
28 posts
How do you expect it to print something if the cartridge isn't loaded?

If they think I purposely took the cartridges out and was returning an empty printer, why would he accept a refund then? Pretty sure the manager knew something went wrong on their part and being so stubborn, wasn't willing to accept publicly that anything could go wrong under his 'management'.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 25, 2004
5655 posts
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New Westminster
necrokiller wrote:
Nov 9th, 2009 6:36 pm
why would he accept a refund then?
In lots of store, the managers have lots of discretion on extending their refund policies

and many consider it better "customer service" if they refund a demanding/aggressive/problematic (to them) customer.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2009
28 posts
CheapScotsman wrote:
Nov 9th, 2009 6:44 pm
In lots of store, the managers have lots of discretion on extending their refund policies

and many consider it better "customer service" if they refund a demanding/aggressive/problematic (to them) customer.
I wonder if you people even bothered to read the post. Suggesting that its a possibilty that I would keep the cartridges and his worker wouldn't ever do it since hes so 'trustworthy', isn't really a sign of a manager who's willing to resolve a matter based on logic or further investigation.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 25, 2004
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New Westminster
necrokiller wrote:
Nov 9th, 2009 6:45 pm
I wonder if you people even bothered to read the post.
I read your entire post from top to bottom. I know that you strongly suspect that the employee yanked your cartridges, YOU have no proof. The store might have (but told you they didn't) ....

and I answered your specific question ... why would they give you a refund?

To them, you are a demanding customer, they want to please you and, to them, giving you a refund (when the cartridges are missing) is the best they are willing (capable?) of doing.
Deal Guru
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Mar 14, 2005
12589 posts
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City of Vancouver
The Staples employee is a liar and immoral, and the Staples manager is stupid and defensive. Everyone there does what they do because they are lazy and do not have any integrity about doing things the right way. It's not like there are any consequences. They probably steal stock, too. As far as I am concerned, management is supposed to lead by example. If they don't think there is a problem, then things will continue the same forever. The only way to avoid this crap is to avoid shopping at Staples unless they are giving stuff away for free.
De gustibus non est disputandum
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2009
28 posts
CheapScotsman wrote:
Nov 9th, 2009 6:49 pm
I read your entire post from top to bottom. I know that you strongly suspect that the employee yanked your cartridges, YOU have no proof. The store might have (but told you they didn't) ....
So what did they find? (if anything) Yes, I have no solid proof. But as one customer to another, the look the employee passed alone was ENOUGH for me to know that he was lying. Thats no proof, but sometimes you just KNOW it and that is why I wanted them to take a look at the surveillance tapes, and agreed that if I was wrong, I'll keep the printer with me.

It was agreed upon, and I repeated it the next day when I went, that I will NOT accept a refund if indeed I am wrong. Needless to say initially the manager stressed on this part alot too when I brought it up. It just doesn't compute, for them to create such a mess of this matter based on 'blind faith in their employee' and then make a refund thinking I'm trying to pull of a scam.

Mr Becks here seems to see through this matter. There was no reason for the manager to get so defensive for something his employee did.
Deal Guru
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Oct 14, 2003
14224 posts
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Once again another thread accusing store staff of something they have absolutely no proof of. :rolleyes:

You sound like a nut-job.
Science
is the new
rock 'n'
roll.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2009
28 posts
Ojam wrote:
Nov 9th, 2009 6:55 pm
Once again another thread accusing store staff of something they have absolutely no proof of. :rolleyes:

You sound like a nut-job.
They didn't exactly have a proof that he didn't do it either. So shut it Mr. Logic.
Deal Expert
May 17, 2008
15134 posts
158 upvotes
Why would you expect the manager to be neutral in this? He obviously doesn't want to believe he hired people to work in his store who would steal random stuff like that. I would always expect my manager to defend me against allegations like that. He would look into it himself afterward if he believed it was a legitimate concern, but publicly you need to maintain confidence in your employees.

Anyways, he likely offered the refund to get you out of his hair. The printer would cost the store about $25 if they are selling it for $50. It is not worth their time to spend lots of time dealing with you. I would be willing to bet that nobody looked at security tapes over this, since it really isn't worth it to them to do so.

Your claim really makes no sense. Why would he steal your printer cartridges? The ones that come with new printers are usually dinky sample sized ones anyways.

Be happy you got what you wanted.
Deal Guru
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Mar 14, 2005
12589 posts
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City of Vancouver
People here seem to be thinking that there's no reason for an employee to pull such a stupid stunt, because it's so obvious. Well, my friend went to a food court restaurant for lunch and they didn't give her credit card back. Then, that employee tested out the card later at the restaurant to see if it was cancelled, and proceeded to go to a mall on a spending spree. There were cameras at the mall capturing everything. Why the heck would someone pull something like this? They are stupid and lazy, yet the owner of the restaurant doesn't care (employee quit) and the cops didn't care, either. NO ONE CARES, so people pull this *****. WELCOME TO RETAIL.
De gustibus non est disputandum
Deal Addict
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Mar 29, 2006
1712 posts
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Toronto
Don't be surprised that the manager did not publicly alienate his employee. You had no proof. People try to run scams on them every day.

You should have been more thorough with checking the printer while and after the associate was checking it. Eliminate all doubt that they are not in the machine or box. Did you leave the printer there when you left the first time? If so, that was a mistake as well. Anything could happen to it.

Even if they found the associate was stealing, they don't have to tell you. They certainly wouldn't give you proof that their employee stole. They will handle the situation on their own (i.e. firing). They issued you a refund. Case closed.

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