Paul to OfficeMax: drop dead

Here’s my sad OfficeMax story.


Mr. Michael Feuer
CEO
OfficeMax
3605 Warrensville Center Rd
Shaker Heights OH 44122
January 28, 2003
Enclosure: worthless coupon
Dear Mr. Feuer:
I am in receipt of your form letter and coupons. Let me tell you about my last OfficeMax visit.
On November 2, 2002, I had finally decided to replace my trusty Kyocera Smartphone. The Smartphone is an integrated cellphone and Palm Pilot PDA, so that meant I?d need two devices. I had planned on purchasing a SonyEricsson T68i and a Palm Tungsten T. At the time I finally made this decision, I happened to be near your store at Spring Meadows Place in Holland, OH; since it?s close to a Circuit City, I thought I could pop in, buy the Tungsten T and a Bluetooth SDIO card, and then drop by Circuit City to buy the phone.
I arrived with my wife and three sons. She and the two boys headed off to pick up some signage that she needed; the baby and I stayed at the front counter where the PDAs were. Two of the ?knowledgeable and energetic sales associates? mentioned in your letter were manning the front counter; another was working the cash register to the left. I waited for approximately ten minutes while these three took care of other customers, including some who arrived after me and went through the register lane. During that time, no one acknowledged my presence or even made eye contact.
After about twelve minutes, my son began to fuss?picking up, no doubt, on his father?s nonverbal expressions of aggravation and impatience. This was sufficient to get one of the front counter staff to make eye contact, but not sufficient to get her to stop chatting up her friend at the register and come to help me. I ostentatiously fondled the display Palm m515, in the hope that someone would see I was a Real Customer with money to spend. Alas, after another four or five minutes, I got fed up and left. (Of course, it didn’t help that your store had the Tungsten brochure but no display unit (maybe a little more gadget lust would have made me stick around long enough to attract a salesperson’s attention.) Net sales to you: a big, fat $0 instead of the $650, minimum, I came in to spend ($499 for the T, plus $129 for the Bluetooth card, plus, most likely, a carrying case and other assorted crapola.)
As a result of this sorry excuse for customer service, I?ve been doing all my business with Staples. They sold me about $1500 in office furniture last month, along with an $800 HP multifunction printer and a big batch of supplies for it. I use their web site when necessary, but I prefer the local store. It’s a bit further away than yours is, but their employees really are “knowledgeable” and “energetic”, and they deliver the “prompt, courteous and professional care” that you can only assure me of.
So, here are the coupons. I am returning them to you because I would rather eat a bug than ever set foot in an OfficeMax store again.
Sincerely,
Paul Robichaux

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