Last night, CBS 2 Los Angeles's David Goldstein aired a follow-up to his recent hidden-camera investigation into Office Depot's deceptive sales practices. In the follow-up, Goldstein interviews Ed Kurkurian, the former manager of an Office Depot store in La Crescenta, California who was fired by the company after sales associates in his store were caught on tape lying about notebook stock to an undercover reporter posing as a customer.
In Goldstein's original report, which aired March 16, he sent two reporters into the La Crescenta Office Depot. The first refused to buy an extended warranty and was told that the notebook he wanted was out of stock. The second reporter arrived five minutes later, offered to buy an warranty on the same notebook, and it was broughtht right out to her.
In the new video, Kurkurian tells Goldstein that lying about notebook stock was an order from his district manager. He says the district manager told him to:
Go ask questions and ask if they want a warranty. If customer doesn't want a warranty, go in back and pretend like you're looking for computer and come back and say no. We're out of stock.
If you've been reading laptopmag.com in the past few weeks, you know that we were covering the story of Office Depot sales associates lying about notebook stock before the original CBS report aired on March 16th. Goldstein even interviewed us for his follow-up (I'm in in for about 10 seconds). In addition to lying to customers about whether a notebook is in stock, we've also heard that changing price tags on clearance notebooks is common practice at some Office Depots, and we talked to a senior FTC official who confirmed that lying to customers is illegal under federal law.
We continue to follow this story and look into deceptive practices at Office Depot and at its competitors. If you have worked at any retail chain (not just Office Depot) and witnessed someone lying, lied yourself, or were advised to lie about what’s in stock, please drop us a line at email@example.com.