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October 1, 2018

Staples.com Quietly Drops Price Matching

Filed under: Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:08 am

A little over a year ago, Staples was sold to a private equity firm. And since then, shoppers have been treated to some unpleasant new policies.

For years and years, consumers could buy reams of paper for a dollar or a full case for $9.99 after rebate. No more. Rebates have been discontinued and paper is no longer a giveaway item there.

Consumers have also complained that they can no longer earn rewards for online purchases at Staples.com.

And in mid-September, Staples.com implemented another anti-consumer change — it will no longer match prices. There was no big announcement of the change, but rather just a subtle change to the fine print on its website, noticed by reader David B.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Staples NO match policy

Ten days earlier, however, Staples.com did match prices, as it has done for years.

Staples matches prices

We asked the PR folks at the company why Staples.com no longer matches prices, why they don’t publish the store price matching policy on their website so shoppers can see it before going to the store, and what are the full details of their in-store price matching policy.

This was their entire barebones answer:

Thanks for reaching out. We are still price matching, 110% in- store at Staples retail locations.

Come on, Staples, you owe customers a better explanation than that.

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4 Comments »

  1. Staples seems to think that by increasing prices and taking away benefits, they will increase their revenue. Wrong! They will drive even more people to Amazon.

    Comment by HMC — October 1, 2018 @ 7:05 pm
  2. Uh, you’re owned by private equity. It’s all about EBIDTA. Screw the customer. Cut costs and raise EBITDA so we can sell it for a profit.

    That’s the 100% focus of PE.

    Comment by Michael — October 1, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
  3. “Come on, Staples, you owe customers a better explanation than that.”

    No they don’t. They changed policies. Why should they have to explain it to customers? Businesses make changes all the time. Price changes, what they stock… they don’t need to explain the reason to customers.

    If they advertised one thing and then changed the policy, MousePrint would have something to complain about. You normally do find deceptive things.. nothing deceptive here.

    I wish staples good luck. Trying to compete on price is a very tough game. Maybe they’re trying to compete on service.

    Edgar replies: Robert, when Walmart was planning to discontinue its price match policy in stores, they put up big signs at registers alerting customers to the coming change. When some credit cards were changing or discontinuing their price matching policy, they sent notices to customers. As far as I know, Staples.com did nothing to alert customers to their price match elimination other than to make an inconspicuous change to one answer in their FAQs. That’s sneaky. You are correct however, that they did not need to give a business reason for the change, but better notice to customers would have been appropriate.

    Comment by Robert — October 1, 2018 @ 9:17 pm
  4. I am not an expert, but reading between the lines of the new “policy” (or lack thereof), it sounds to me like a more selective application of the policy. I wonder if they added franchised stores recently who do not abide by the policy. That would explain the remove of a formal policy from the website but also explain the response that the 110% price match continues.

    Comment by Joe — October 2, 2018 @ 10:10 pm

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