Office Depot Lie to Customers About Laptop Stock

Looking to buy a laptop sometime soon?  Well, unless you're interested in bundling your purchase with a protection plan, you may want to avoid shopping at Office Depot.

According to a recent article published by Laptop Magazine, Office Depot associates routinely lie about their available stock when dealing with customers that are uninterested in extras like Protect Protection Plans (or PPPs for short) and Tech Depot Services (TDS). Due to the competitive nature of computer sales, Office Depot like many other brick and mortar stores rely on service and accessory based sales to make any sort of significant profit.  As such, both management and salesmen seek to move the extras with every purchase.

The article includes several reader confirmations of the art of moving PPPs and TDSs. A Chris H. is quoted in the article stating "Not only do [we] sales people depend on the extra cash we earn from add-ons, if we do not sell them and make a quota, we get the shaft from our bosses and their bosses and their bosses," implying that the salesmen themselves rely on the movement of the service plans in order to make extra income. 

Another reader identified as Rich comments "Basically they drill it in your head that if you don’t sell PPPs, you’re gonna get fired. It’s gotten so bad to the point where the managers are starting to find loopholes in the system. They would rather sell one laptop with a PPP than ten laptops with nothing. They don’t care."

According to the article, even upper management faces diciplinary action if quotas are not met, perhaps revealing that the primary source of the problem begins at the top and simply rolls downhill. One thing is for sure though, with business practices invovling deception, Office Depot is sure to lose respect and business as the public becomes aware of such behavior. 

  • edwilson
    This practice has been going on for MANY YEARS in retail. One major player who just went under used to have the same attitude and policies. Look where it lead them. I have worked in several retail stores where you made more on the "paper" than the "product"
  • IronRyan21
    Circuit City did the same thing. Where are there now?
  • _aurel_
    Those perks that employees get for selling warranties and add-ons arn't really that great, either. When I was a CompUSA employee, you would get less then 5% of the cut for a warranty. Imagine selling a Warranty that cost the customer $500, and seeing less then $20 on your paycheck because it was taxed 20%.

    Big companies likese these don't give a shit about their employees, not one bit, and they think that a crappy spiff with the added incentive to be fired is enough to motivate employees and drive sales higher? It does the opposite, and makes customers resent them even more. I hope Office Depot is next in line on the chopping block.
  • jsloan
    wow, best buy do and compu usa did the same thing, you would walk in to the store ask for it, we don't have it, it comes later in the week, ect. walk around get another sales person, sure we have it, it's in the back, we are saving it for our preferred customers, ourselves, ect... if you beg / pay enough they walk out back and get you a copy. they usually have stuff that runs out or is limitedly available for their friends...
  • SAL-e
    I had to deal with this problem several times. One day at BestBuy, the salesman was pushing extra warranty by "advertising" that the notebook, that I was interested, is giving all kinds of problems and how expensive is to repair it would be. Finally, I ask him: "Why I want to buy a notebook that is so bad!?" As you can guess, I did not purchase it.
  • scook9
    Microcenter did this exact same thing. Sales associates get 10% of plans sold, only 1.5% of the main item though. And if you never sell plans, the management gets all over your ass complaining about THEIR "ratings." Dont believe me, try buying an Intel Core i7 920 for the 229.99 sale price they got right now, good luck if you dont "Attach" to the sale. I work there and still had to web order one for in store pick up to get out the store with it. When I worked there, my manager told me to tell customers that they had to buy something else (motherboard and/or memory) with the cpu). Only if the customer got especially uppity would they allow me to sell the processor to them, and even then the manager told me that it will hurt my "rating."

    Was some serious bullshit.
  • tolltier
    Yeah this happens and when you find a good deal at a place they are always out of stock because employees hide the merch and then buy it themselves before it even hits the floor. Seen this at Wally World a ton around Xmas time with those super cheap laptops. granted I wouldn't purchase something so cheap but still.
  • outacontrolpimp
    Wow great review, ill make sure i never shop there again, hope everyone tells their frends
  • rooket
    Circuit City never forced me to buy a service plan on any product I ever purchased at their store. They were even so nice to give me the old sale price on the last CRT TV I bought after the sale was over and they let me keep the rebate as well. Circuit City was a good store. Hope you haters enjoy dealing with Worst Buy.
  • mdillenbeck
    If you really suspect they'll lie about having the product, use the same hardball negotiation tactic - lie about interest in the add-ons. Then say you need to get a couple of other things and meet at the register. Don't forget to grab an item from another department. Once at the register, say "oh yeah, I changed my mind - I want just the laptop without the add-ons, and I guess I'll wait to buy this too."

    Your only other options are to walk away from the negotiation or have a higher-up come over and restart your negotiation.

    Me? I never was refused an item because of a service plan, but I have often been thwarted by employees "reserving" items for one another so I didn't have a chance to buy it.