As a business (Nine Four) we have used Staples to purchase office supplies on a regular basis for the past couple of years. The last time I used the Staples website to place an order I noticed that the total for my goods was a little higher than I expected, I reviewed the basket again and noticed that a line had been added with the label ‘OrderCare’ and a small additional sum, between 2 and 3 pounds if I remember rightly.
What is ‘OrderCare’ you may wonder… here’s what Staples say on their website:
Staples OrderCare is a premium service which allows you to return unwanted items to us anytime within 12 months of purchase, for whatever reason.
and a little later on the same page:
- If you are returning unwanted items between 3 and 12 months since your order, that are not in a resaleable condition, we reserve the right to charge a minimum restocking fee of Â£15 or 20% of the itemâ€™s selling price.
So basically Staples are (without first asking) charging all online customers (not sure if this also applies to phone and mail orders) a small additional sum for a service which they have not opted in to and that will in 99% of cases be of zero use above and beyond what is already offered in the basic returns service.
Now consider that I’m a scrooge and that as the business owner I look for every opportunity possible to reduce costs where suitable. In the vast majority of cases the individual ordering stationary will be an employee who does not really care if they are charged an additional small nominal sum (how do they calculate it!).
Add to all of the above that there is no way to have ‘OrderCare’ default to off on your account, you have to turn it off every time you make an order and this involves navigating to a pop-up window and checking a box to opt out rather than just giving the user the check box on the basket screen itself.
Imagine how much cash Staples are making every day out of businesses that are totally unaware of the fact that they are paying an additional charge for something they did not ask for.
I’ve taken our business elsewhere, perhaps you should do the same. Viking Direct also offer a similar ‘extended warranty’ service but as you would expect, it defaults to off and can be set at an account level. Good job.