Staples reminds me why I rarely visit brick and mortar stores anymore.

2018, Oct 28    

I decided to visit a Staples store to buy a case of paper for my laser printer. I haven’t been to one of their stores for years and now I’m remembering why I never go.

First things first, I was searching for non-Staples based paper which of course isn’t as simple to find as they obviously want to push their own brand hard. Upon searching the paper aisle I found my brand in reams only, no case. The back wall was of course full of multiple skids of Staples branded paper. I look way up on the stacking shelf and see a case of my preferred brand with no easy way to access it. I look around and see no employees. There is a copy centre in this store with multiple employees so I walk over and ask for someone to be sent over to get this case off the shelf. The employee calls on the phone for someone to come over and help.

Sauntering back over to the paper aisle I wait for around 5 minutes until I realize that nobody is coming. Since nobody seems to be coming I walk back over to the copy centre and speak with the same employee saying that nobody is coming over to help. She then asks if I had asked for someone to be sent over. I look at her annoyed and said that I just talked to you five minutes ago and watched you call somebody for my issue. She then proceeds to ask again if I’m sure I spoke with her.

I can’t say I’ve ever seen that before. I’d like to think I have better things to do then to mess with Staples employees.

Approximately five minutes later somebody shows up and I ask for the case of paper on the upper shelf. He comes back with one of those rolling warehouse ladders and proceeds to grab the case. There is only a single case. The case is open and missing one ream. At that point I simply take a ream off the shelf and throw it in the case to complete a five ream package to a case. I would normally have walked out at this point but I figured I’ve wasted enough time so I might as well finish this.

I inquire what the price is from the clerk who helped me as it’s not on the case or on any of the tabs in the aisle. He doesn’t know. Ask the checkout clerk to scan it for you.

I proceed over to the checkout line. There are two lines; first one contains around 15 people and the second contains one. This is also on a Sunday afternoon. I never knew this many people shopped at Staples on a Sunday.

I stand behind a woman with two items while I hold this case of paper weighing around 30 pounds. I am standing there for around 5-10 minutes waiting for her to checkout her two items. I end up muttering to myself that I’ve never been in a lineup so slow in my life. 2 minutes pass and the woman turns around and states that I should just drop the paper on the ground if you don’t want to hold it.

I finally end up being able to dump the case on checkout table. The clerk scans the barcode and I see on her screen that the system doesn’t recognize the code. She proceeds to scan the barcode another 5-10 times and does this for around 30 seconds. I then see her looking up the item on the Staples webpage for approximately a minute. An enquiry by me asking if there was a problem is met with an affirmative no. Eventually she finds the price and I checkout of the store.

Now I know that I’ll never bother with that again. I’ll simply order what I need online from a different company.