Over the past nine months or so of blogging, I have sang the praises of a few local businesses. Although sometimes the tone of my blogs can be negative, or it sounds like I am whining, I don't like to call out specific businesses for petty stuff (slow waitress service, a product that is not on time, etc). Experts can Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah about how customer service should be, but the reality is that some times things just don't work out right. Does it make one happy? Usually not, but it also isn't a reason to write about a business that basically says to stay away.
But now and again, a business might do something to blatantly turn away a customer - as if to say "we don't want or need your business" - that needs to be addressed.
Office Max on Hwy 100 & National, you have moved to the top of my naughty list. I will avoid you like the plague, and probably will mostly avoid other Office Max franchise stores.
Office Max - like Staples and Office Depot - wants your used inkjet cartridges. They will credit $3 off of a purchase when you bring one in. Office Max will let you return five cartridges (for a $15 credit per day), while Staples and Office Depot will let you use three cartridges (for a $9 credit per day) on each transaction.
(Side note - before I go on with my Office Max problem, I need to make it clear that these stores are not doing some wonderful tree hugging act of environmental responsibility. These stores take the cartridges, clean them, refill them, and sell them under a private label. In effect, these three corporations are buying their raw materials from the consumer for $3 a pop.)
So I have a number of used inkjet cartridges, and I take them into Office Max and Office Depot with regularity. I use the store credit to offset the cost of a new cartridge. Sounds OK so far, right? Apparently, Office Max has decided that I am too regular of a customer, and has begun refusing my cartridges. Last week (and to be fair, this happened to My-Sugar-Na and not to me, although I am sure that the Office Max store manager knows that we are married) they decided that each cartridge has to pass some sort of "elecrical test". They take the cartridges over to a machine, press some buttons, and magically, every single cartridge failed the test and were not accepted for credit.
I have been to numerous branches of Office Max and Office Depot, and have never gone through such a thing. I felt horrible for my wife, embarrased for her, and furious at how they decided to get back at me (why, I am not sure) by screwing with her. That same day, we took the "rejected" cartridges to the Office Max on 27th & Loomis, and the cashier accepted them with a smile on her face.
I don't know (nor do I really care) what is motiviation the West Allis Office Max to decide not to honor their corporate promotion, but I am taking it personally and I will remember this every time I drive past any Office Max (and keep driving to an Office Depot).
As the Osmonds once sung, "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl". While true, if you come across a bad apple, wouldn't you look really, really, really closely at the whole bunch? And might you choose a different bunch anyway?
Office Max on Hwy 100 & National, you are the first members of the (Sponsor's Name Here) Naughty Business Club.