According to Laptop magazine, Office Depot associates and managers routinely lie to customers about stock levels in order to increase the sales of their extended warranty services.
Laptop magazine received several emails from Office Depot customers as well as others who identified themselves as Office Depot employees. An email from a claimed Office Depot manager read as follows: "At store level, OD puts too much pressure on sales consultants and managers to sell the PPPs (Product Protection Plans) & TDS (Tech Depot Services). I know of several stores in my market that will 'feel out' the customer to see if they are the type to purchase these services. If the customer lets on that they only want the computer and no services ... then that store simply claims to be out of stock! We are required to sell 30% + on both of these services or we get PIP'd (Performance Improvement Process) (or Written up) and get ultimately fired."
Laptop magazine was then contacted by a person called Rich, who proved himself to be and Office Depot employee by showing a current check stub. Rich explained that he has "witnessed lying about the availability of a notebook, and have been told to do so myself. Once I was talking to the customer and, while I am actually speaking, my manager comes on the radio and tells me to say it is out of stock if they aren't getting anything with it. I always ignore him and sell it anyway because lying to the customer is flat-out wrong."
Office Depot issued an official response to Laptop magazine saying, "We certainly appreciate your bringing this situation to our attention. Our objective is to sell merchandise and to offer and recommend solutions to our customers, without regard to whether a customer purchases or does not purchase a service warranty or a software package. Office Depot has been recognized with numerous awards for our commitment to customer service, so please know that we take this issue very seriously and will take the necessary steps to ensure that we continue to enhance the customer experience and promote quality in our customer-related processes. With respect to your inquiry, we intend to look into the situation further, as part of our continuing commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction and consistent selling practices."