Consumer Rant: OfficeMax versus Office Depot

(This will be an occasional series, usually posted on weekends when site traffic is down anyway. The series is intended to torture corporations who know that many potential customers who google the business name will run across feedback like this.)

On Friday at about 11 a.m. I stopped by the OfficeMax at Capitol Plaza in Austin. I needed some new phone equipment for my office. When I found the equipment I needed, I located the box with the matching model numbers, but found that the picture on the box didn’t match the actual display model.

I looked around the store, and saw no employees who could assist me. In fact I saw no one at all – the store was completely deserted. I waited for a couple of minutes, thinking that someone would soon appear from somewhere. After giving up on that, I walked to the front of the store, and asked one of the cashiers if there was somebody who could help me. She talked into her walkie-talkie, and said some one would be with me in a moment, in the phone area of the store.

So I walked back to that area of the store, and waited. And waited. And waited. After another five minutes passed, I gave up, and on my way out, I told the cashier, not quietly, that nobody ever came to assist me, so instead I would be going to Office Depot. She just stared. I appreciated that she had paused her social chatting with another employee long enough for the stare.

After lunch I went to Office Depot, near Highland Mall. An employee greeted me at the door and asked if she could help me find something. I asked her to point me to the phone equipment, which she did. After a moment of looking at my options, another employee asked if he could answer any questions, then stayed with me until I made my choice.

Score one for Office Depot. The folks at OfficeMax couldn’t have cared less. Here’s the OfficeMax award:



6 Responses to Consumer Rant: OfficeMax versus Office Depot

  1. John February 1, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    This post should be required reading for all prospective big-box (and even small-box) employees. I remember waiting on a long line at a Home Depot while holding a 50-pound sack of concrete. Two employees appeared to be grab-assing around while only the self-serve checkout was open. I asked the ass-grabbers why they didn’t open up a real checkout line and one of them said everyone was real busy. So I dropped the sack on the floor and told them that when they weren’t quite so busy, the could sweep up the mess. I can’t say I’m proud of that response, but … oh hell, I’m a little proud of it.

  2. cactusflinthead February 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    The last time I went to go buy clothes I drove to Cross Plains, way hell and gone on the other side of the world because I knew the old man and his family would meet me at the door and stick with me until I had everything I wanted and then some.
    I didn’t give a shit if I had to pay an extra two dollars a pair if it meant I didn’t have to ask four mouth-breathers if they had my size in stock. I bought a fifty dollar hat just because it was there and it fit. I didn’t need it, but it was such a fine experience of a task I dread that I was an easy mark.
    Customer service cannot overrated and is a dying skill in the work place.

  3. Anonymous February 2, 2009 at 2:27 am #

    Seriously, I mean really. The assumptions provided in the previous comments by the consumers who blog on with the belief that it is in the best interest of the employees, management or shareholders to provide customer service in this time of economic rebalancing provide a glimpse into how far this thing with the deal can go.


  4. Anonymous February 2, 2009 at 2:30 am #

    Please provide picture of hat.

    Thank you

  5. cactusflinthead February 2, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    Allrighty Anon, the hat is on the blog.

  6. Anonymous March 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    it just depends on the store, i work at an office max, and we are rated 2nd best OMX (office max) store in the country. we greet our customers right when they walk in, and we help them until they leave the store, its quite difficult to assist more than 5 customers when there are only 4 people working one shift. Cashier ( which MUST stay at the cash register), Impress associate/supervisor (which MUST stay in impress), ONE manager on duty, and ONE sales associate. so as you see every associate has there duty, trust me when i say office max will be putting office depot OUT OF BUSINESS. There numbers has dropped enormously, they are currently in debt. now office max is the 2nd best office supply store (next to staples, which is basically impossible to put out of business…).

Leave a Reply