I do not know why I continue to hope against hope that the Office Depot near me will get its act together. There’s an Office Max across the freeway, just a short distance away, but I don’t like fighting the traffic to get an extra half mile down the road. So I keep banging my head against a concrete wall. I vowed to never shop there again when they would not accept my American Express card without first seeing my ID. “It’s for your security, sir.” “It’s a violation of your merchant agreement.” And I left a sizable purchase on the counter and left in a huff, even after the manager on duty informed me that it was “corporate policy”. I carry my American Express card so that I do not have to be bothered with silly inconveniences such as corporate policy.
Fast forward to this past Friday. My venerable laser printer, an HP 1100A, is on its last legs. I have adored this printer. I’ve had it for years and it has served me very well. It reliably makes razor sharp prints at a decent speed and cost. It has a kind of built in copier that lets me make a single copy in rather short order. But it has no built in networking, it uses a mini-Centronics plug that is a pain in the posterior, and has some parts that are wearing out that will cost more to fix than I care to spend. So I have been hunting for a new printer for the home network. It had to be, of course, network ready, a laser printer (I cannot stand ink jet), color capable, equipped with built in duplexing, reasonably fast, possessed of a small foot print and reliable. Oh, and it had to be under $500. As for everything but the price, the HP CP2025dn fit the bill perfectly. Now, though prices are starting to crash. I found the brand new printer at Amazon for $438.50. That’s a whole lot cheaper than the original retail of $861.87. That was a shipped price, which I thought was pretty good. Thinking that I might be willing to sacrifice a few bucks for being able to get it now, I went over to the Office Depot site to see what they wanted for the beast. The website had the printer listed at $529.99 minus an instant rebate of $50. That brought it to $479.99. I had a $15 off coupon and my sales tax exemption certificate (I would be using this for business, etc.), so I was down to about $465 and was going to see if they would price match a whopping $26.49 (I would be helping out with the $15 coupon). I got there and the printer was marked at $499.99; no sale, no rebate, no nothing. I asked for the manager and asked if she would be willing to price match the Amazon price, which I had printed out. I got laughed at and told that “we do not match Internet pricing”. I pointed out that their price match policy specifically mentions Internet competitors (I had printed this out, too) and was given a curt “that’s not what it means”.
So then I asked her why the printer was not priced the same as the Office Depot website price and was given some BS about how some file must not have downloaded properly and that there was nothing that could be done. Fine. “Would you price match your own price?” “No. I don’t know how to do that.” I went home and did what I should have done in the first place: I ordered it from Amazon. Point, click, spend.