Guest Post: Lessons on Listening

Say it Rah-shay By Nov 27, 2013 20 Comments
My friend and co-worker Abbe is back with an incredible story about being heard. 
guest blogger

I’m old. I’ve been around the block and back. I know how the world works and I’ve seen and heard about injustices to the little guy from major corporations. People complain. Big Business does NOT listen. But today, I found out that is not always the case.

I’ll explain by way of two emails:
I sent this first one to the Ron Sargent, CEO of Staples, on Sunday, November 24
Dear Mr. Sargent:

Today it was my intention to purchase a laptop at Staples in South Philadelphia on Columbus Blvd. Instead, I was so disgusted with the customer service,I bought the same machine on Amazon.
Let me explain.Today when saw a laptop I thought I would like to try, it was locked and needed an Admin password. When I asked for help with this, I was told it couldn’t be done.
Well, I don’t want to buy a computer without first ‘test driving.’ And I said, very nicely,’ if I can’t try it, I’ll go elsewhere.’ He misunderstood what I was trying to convey, then finally realized and admitted he was unaware that the password was not entered. He entered it. Okay, fine and good.
After a few minutes on the computer, I decided to buy the machine. I told the same computer salesman. He then asked me if I would like to buy Anti-Virus  software. I explained that I didn’t need any as my friend who fixes computers for a living, will install it for me. He didn’t take no for an answer telling me that Staples is losing money on this machine, implying it was my obligation to buy.
Again, I told him I was not interested and that I just wanted to buy it. Again, he said, ‘Well, I have to tell you about the Anti-Virus software.’ When I told him I didn’t want to hear it, I just want to buy this laptop, he would not let it go.
That’s when I told him I was going elsewhere. I liked this Staples store. I usually shop there, but no more. Was it really necessary to lose a sale because I didn’t want to hear about the software? I just wanted to let you know why I won’t be shopping at Staples again!
Best wishes,
Abbe Klebanoff
I also included my phone number and address.
This is the second email I sent: 
Dear Mr. Sargent:

Approximately 2 hours ago, I emailed you to report why “I quit” Staples. About an hour after that, I received a call from Jeff Grejdus, Southeastern PA and Northern Delaware District Manager for your company. He apologized for what happened telling me that Staples takes customer complaints very seriously and was very unhappy with the lack of service I received.
I really appreciated the apology! Then he did something extraordinary; he offered me the same computer FREE! Seriously! I decided right then to take him up on the offer and to donate the computer I purchased from Amazon to the public library I work for as budgets are very tight!
I was a loyal customer before this happened and will continue to be a loyal customer of Staples! Thanks so very much for your unbelievable quick response (on a Sunday).
Best wishes,
Abbe Klebanoff
The lesson: sometimes, the little guy wins one and sometimes Big Corporations go above and beyond. Thanks Staples, you had me when Jeff called and said “Hello.”

I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Glad stores to hear of stores that take customer service seriuosly. Go @Staples!

  2. Glad to hear there are stores that take cusotmer service seriously. Go Staples

  3. Terry says:

    Well good for you for you. We need more companies that take customer service serious. There are just to many places to go to buy the same product for them not to take us seriously and treat us like we are the Customer.

  4. If only you had that customer service from the very beginning. I’ve had awesome customer service from a few companies as well. I remember ordering a chair and table set for my daughter. When we opened the box a few months later when she would have been able to use it, the screws were missing. I contacted the company and they had stopped making that particular one. Instead they sent me a brand new replacement and a little something extra. I love companies that go above and beyond for their customers.

  5. Guess sometimes the bog guys really do listen! I have always loved Staples and glad to hear that if there is a problem they will listen and respond.

  6. Michele says:

    I guess that some of the big guys really do believe in excellent customer service. I am really glad to know that Staples is one of them since I shop there often!

  7. That is awesome. I love to hear when a company takes CS seriously. I have dealt with my fair share of companies that could have cared less.

  8. Wow! I was expecting to hear a bad ending to this story. Go Staples!

  9. Maria S Sinclair says:

    That is fantastic!! Not just because of the free computer but because he listened!! Kudos to Staples big office guys!!

  10. I love Staples. While your experience was not a good one, they went so far above to make up for it. I already thought highly of them, I am impressed. I also hate when people try to sell me things I do not want, I repair computers for a living and hate when they tell me what software I need and when I tell them what I do they act like I am clueless (not staples, other stores)

  11. Maria Lopez-Castro says:

    It's good to know that they did the right thing and exercised good customer service. I had a similar situation this past year and they also behaved very well with me.

  12. It is good to hear that some big companies are listening to what the consumer has to say. And a big thumbs up to you for the donation. Everyone ended up winning here.

  13. I did something similar to this long ago, and it really is a great feeling.

  14. Onica Cupido says:

    I love it when a brand customer service really provides service and works. Good for them. Glad they took your concern seriously an acted on it.

  15. Marielle Altenor says:

    that's rare lol but it makes me less wary of the "big man" that's wonderful of you to give the extra laptop away to your local library.

  16. Melanie says:

    Wow! I am so glad you wrote them. Companies really should be listening to their customers after all we ARE the ones they are in business for. If they can’t make us happy or listen they will be without sales. It’s simple, I wish more companies listened to customers.

  17. Yay! So glad you were treated right. What a grand gesture in your part. Surely the library was overjoyed!

  18. Teddy Out Ready says:

    Glad you finally received a deserved service, sometime it is only into one bad person not the whole company, hope they learn from that and offer the best service all the time in the future.

  19. Ashley Gill says:

    oh my gosh! What a cool thing for Staples to do for you! I have sent in a correspondence with a company due to a bad situation and have received a dime in the mail once. long story, but yours ended WAY better!

  20. Wow, I'm glad the story ended well! Good for them!

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