Online services should work: A rant about Staples Online

Today I spent the day in the library collecting resources for my research. I saved everything to my jump drive and thought I’d go to an office store after the library to get the articles printed (the library cost $.15 a page and the office store is $.05). I looked at the websites for Office Max and Staples and chose Staples because it looked like it was cheaper and it was on my way home from the library. I registered for an account and the site crashed. I tried again a few times and go no where so I thought I’d do it when I got home and pick it up on my way back to the library tomorrow.

I was able to log in when I got home and I started to upload my files (one at a time because I’m on a Mac with Firefox – they have a tool for Windows users which I assume allows for multiple uploads). So I uploaded my 30+ files one at a time only to have the site crash on me 1/2 way through. The second time around I used the ‘Save My Job’ button (which only worked sometimes). Let’s jump ahead 1.5 hours. I’m ready to go on to the next option (yes it took that long because of site crashes, slowness and stupid design). Now it’s time for me to pick my print options.

I choose B&W and Duplex and the site says – fat chance and crashes again – and again – and again – and again this time in Safari – and again – this time on hubby’s computer in IE. I come back to my computer and Firefox and try again – no luck. I go back into Safari and low and behold I got the site to accept my selection of B&W and duplex only to find out that it takes 24 hours for an online printing request to be completed!!!!! If I want it by 12pm tomorrow 15 hours from now I have to order it Rush – but 12pm is no use to me – I need it tomorrow morning so I can read it at the library instead of waiting a whole extra day.

The moral of the story is this – do not offer your patrons/customers and online service that does not work – and always show the terms up front so that they know what they’re getting into before they dedicate 3+ hours to making your stupid tool work!!!!

My review of Staples Online Copy & Print Center – Zero Stars. And tomorrow I’ll be heading to Office Max to get my pages printed in person.

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  1. Better yet, patronize your library… they need the revenue!

  2. Heh, guess you should have just stuck with the library in this case, eh!? Just kidding! 🙂 Wow that sounds ultra frustrating and terrible!!!!!

  3. Susan, I’m sorry, but when I have to print hundreds of pages I need to find the most affordable option. Also, there was no way I was going to print hundreds of pages to a jet printer 😉

  4. If it’s hundreds of pages, shouldn’t you reconsider what really needs to be printed? Do you really need to use that much dead tree? However, if you do need that many pages, at what point does the scale tip to more economical to have spent 3 hours of your time to save $0.10 a page?

    I do see your point though. Staples obviously just wants to look good, and isn’t dedicated to actually providing services for their would-be customers. They should be called out on this.

  5. I’ve never had a good experience at Staples and stopped using them a few years ago. The worst thing I saw was a line of people building up at the copy center waiting for someone to wait on them. The first person in line finally gave up and left. A manager finally showed up a few minutes later without apology. The second person in line mentioned the first person leaving. The manager replied “oh well, we have lots of other customers.”

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