I have purchased several technology products from Staples in the last few years, and each sale has included a hard pitch for the Staples service contract. I usually don't buy the contracts, but I fell for the pitch when I purchased my HP Photosmart Premium printer in August 2009. A couple of previous inkjets had died not long after the warranty expired, so the contract seemed appealing. What also applealed was the the salesperson's claim that if the printer died, I could bring it to any Staples store, and if it couldn't be quickly repaired, it would be replaced. So I purchased a 3 year warranty.
Fast Forward to November 2010, just 3 months out of warranty. The printer stopped printing black text. I bought a new cartridge, cleaned the heads, ran the diagnostics, etc. Nothing wrong, except it wouldn't print. No problem, I packed it into the car and headed to Staples. This would be "EASY"!
Imagine my surprise when the store manager said they would have nothing to do with the printer. Call the 800 number, he said. Staples stores have no facilities for repairing printers and it's not their responsibiity to take them back.
So, from my car in the parking lot, I called the 800 number. After 45 minutes and conversations with 2 support reps, both of whom I had to give ALL of my contact information as well as the printer information, I was given an RMA number and told I would receive an advance-shipped printer in 7-10 days. I was also told that the replacement printer would have a 90 day warranty, after which Staples' obligations were over.
That's interesting, because the contract brochure clearly states that it is a Repair or Replace contract. Only if the item can't be repaired, will it be replaced to fulfill the obligation. I was never given the option to repair.
So after a week, I still haven't received the replacement printer. Of course, I had to buy a new printer in the meantime with my business requirements and two students in the house.
And I learned a valuable lesson - be careful with service contracts, and be especially careful buying from Staples.