My Office Depot Customer Experience

Chair selfie!

Saturday, March 24th

I go to my local Office Depot to pick up a new desk chair. I sit in a bunch of chairs, find one that gives me the support I need, make my purchase, and head home. The young employee from which I requested help practically rolled his eyes at me throughout the whole process, especially when he had to stand on the ladder to get the box off the shelf. You can imagine the look on his face when it was time to lug the box to my car.

I suggested that I borrow their dolley and roll it out myself to spare this fella the work, because clearly he was busy.

They said they can’t let me do that, so the same employee was given the task of walking with me through the parking lot. I tried to spark up a fun conversation about how I will have to carry this up 3 flights of stairs when I get home and that I’m a giant klutz, so it’s going to be entertaining for my neighbors. I couldn’t even get a smirk! When he dropped the box off about 6 feet from my car and left, I laughed. Then I sniffed my armpits. Nope, all fresh there, so it wasn’t because I was stinky.

I must just be the most annoying customer on the planet!

I try to build the chair at home. Emphasis on the “try” part. I should have paid the $18.99 to have Office Depot build it but I was slightly terrified of their team leaving out a screw or something to cause it to fall apart once I sit upon the seat.

The instructions were not the best, as instructions typically are for building furniture. I had to get help from my boyfriend.

He made a comment about the seat cushion and if it was facing the right way. I pointed to the instruction booklet and according to the drawing, it appeared it was.

He ends up building the rest of the chair.

Sitting on the chair sucks, however. The back was way too bendy. I could not rest my back upright at all. I just dumped $100 on a chair that sucks. I figured I’d give it a week to see if it improves.

Friday, March 30th

I’ve had enough. The entire week, my back has been in pain from this chair. I can’t even fathom sitting in it another minute. Office Depot has a 14 day return policy. I lug the chair down 3 flights of stairs, into my car and hit the road back to the store.

I walk in with the chair rolling across the ground. It is breezy outside, and I my sunglasses are still on my face. I imagine I look like a crazy person at this point.

The cashier, another young man, stares at me as if I just landed in my UFO. Or, that he just hasn’t ever seen a woman with windblown hair and sunglasses pushing a desk chair into the store. 

I tell him that this chair I bought last week isn’t working out and I’d like to get a new chair. He says, “Okay, go grab which chair you’d like.”

He does not look at the chair I brought in nor does he ask specifically what I don’t like about it.

I look at him and say that I’m going to need help because the boxes are heavy. He nods, talks through his headset and points to the back of the store.

I wander around, sitting in chairs and trying to find something that will work. I hear a voice. “Looking for a chair today?”

I see an employee sitting at an office desk toward the other side of the display. I tell him my story about the chair and he offers me some suggestions. He’s a friendly guy with the name Patrick on his name tag. He then asks me more about my chair and what I didn’t like about it.

He comes up front with me to look at the chair.

One look at it and he says, “Hmmm no, that’s not right. Something is wrong here.”

He spins the chair around and says, “The seat cushion is on backward. That’s why it’s not working right. Here, I can fix this.”

He rolls the chair to the back of the store, grabs a power drill and begins to works his magic.

He did not make me feel stupid for building this wrong. Sure, he laughed a bit, but it put me at ease knowing that the laughter was about the overall situation, not at my inability to read instructions.

He took me step by step through what needed to change, fixed it right up and had me sit down. THIS was the chair I wanted after all!

Considering I was doing all of this on my lunch break, I had minimal time. Patrick came to the rescue, listened to my concerns and solved the problem.

In fact, I was so happy for his help that I asked him for a hug, to which he said, “Sure!”

All in all, it was a great learning situation. While Office Depot has some improvement with their other employees, Patrick was a rockstar and they are lucky to have him as a part of their team.

Jenny Dempsey is the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. With over a decade of customer service experience, Jenny has been recognized through social media channels as a thought leader. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. When she's not singing to customers, she is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, guiding clients and businesses toward a culture of self-care over at JennyDempseyWellness.com.

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