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Broken Promises

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Michael Swimm Drowning in Staples Complaints

December 14th 2012

Staples Superstore

Michael Swimm wants to do a good job. He's the special executive troubleshooter in the office of the Staples president. But he is so swamped with complaints, he can't return all the phone calls needed to resolve the unhappiness of angry Staples customers.

Those complaints increased when the office supply superstore told its customers that it would service computers and other hi-tech gear--even items it never sold. In other words, Staples would compete with the Geek Squad. Staples called its failed effort "EasyTech." Unhappily, it was never easy. The program recently ended in a tsunami of broken promises, unreturned calls, and now a completely failure that has left thousands of customers stranded. Staples Customer Service won't even answer customers who ask what happened to their service guarantees and incomplete work projects.

In one all too typical case, a Washington, D.C. small business hired the over-sold and over-hyped EasyTech team to analyse and repair a RAID, that is, a Redundant Array of Independent Drives.

RAIDs are comprised of mirrored drives that act as a fail safe system ensuring that even if one hard drive goes down, the duplicate retains the data. But the two must be perfectly synchronized. Getting them synchronized and keeping them synchronizing is daunting to the average user, but an easy task but a skilled tech. The Washington, D.C. corporate customer trusted Staples.

When the RAID customer's call was escalated to Michael Swimm in the Office of the President, the only reply message was that he was too busy to return the call. That was days ago. Swimm is still struggling to get through his stack--and the "urgent" status on RAID case is now weeks old. At this point, for hapless EasyTech customers it is a case of sink or Swimm.

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