Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
Not resolved

Office Depot ran a two-page ad in the paper on Sunday, 23Mar08 listing a number of items on sale for the week of 23Mar08 thru 29Mar09. I went to the Katy Office Depot store (435 South Fry Road) Monday afternoon, 24Mar08 to purchase several of the advertised items.

Close examination of all of the fine print did not indicate "limited quantities" or no rainchecks for an advertised Motorola Bluetooth Headset for $4.99 after a $35 mail-in rebate. The item was not in stock and upon speaking with the store's manager, Mr. Richard Deupree, I learned that Office Depot does not issue rain checks for any advertised item that was not available for sale during the sales event. If the item was not there, the customer was out of luck.

He stated that the "no raincheck" answer was a corporate policy that he could not change. He was not aware of the Texas Deception Trade Practice requirement that stores must provide adequate supplies of advertised products or provide other means of solution such as item substitution or a raincheck for future purchased when the item is back in stock. He stated that if this was Texas law that Office Depot was not a Texas corporation and other laws would apply. Again the solution was not in his "pay grade" as he reiterated.

I believe that Office Depot is using false advertising to drive store traffic with the full intent of not honoring published sales prices. Things would be Ok if they had stated "no rainchecks" or "limited quantities". They did not do so, thus they are in violation of Texas Deceptive Trade Practices. This is particularly troublesome with Office Depot's corporate policy of "no rainchecks".

This appears to be outright fraud and false advertising.

Monetary Loss: $40.

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Office Depot's ads always have a disclaimer on the bottom of the ad. If it's not on the front, or any pages in between, it's always going to be on the back of the page.

OD's policy is also anti-raincheck, because the company operates on a first-come-first-serve basis. If the item sells out before the end of the sale period: sorry, no deal for you; also, being sold out on the first day of the sale doesn't mean "omg deception".

Example? Sunday morning, store opens, you have three people waiting outside before the store opens. The store has 6 of these on hand. The three customers buy one, so now there's three left.

An hour passes by and another customer, another hour another customer, another hour the last one is sold. On-Hands are not taken into consideration because it's simply wayyyyy too much to keep track of inventory-wise when you have 1000+ stores.

To counter this the company prints a disclaimer: "Quantities limited in certain areas/stores" or w/e it says. This is because some stores may be out of stock before the sale actually begins. This usually means the store won't get any until a few days later.

"BUT I WON'T BE IN TOWN THAT DAY!!" Sorry, stuff happens.

Ads do drive traffic into the store, but not for deceptive purposes. If you were a merchant looking to make money, you'd simply use the advertisements as a means of presenting your other stock. Peoples' natural paranoia is what turns it into a sudden "deceptive practice" fiscade.

I actually feel sorry for the manager.


Office Depots ads due state that there is no rainchecks, read the fine print on the bottom of the ad. Also I agree it would only fall under the Deceptive trade practice if there were none in stock at opening on Sunday morning. The company does not have control over how many rebates the manufacture will honor, so as far as limits go buy all you want but you wont get the 4.99 rebate price

Media, Pennsylvania, United States #16440

No! Fraud would be if they never had it in stock at all or never intended to.

If it was such a good deal then why didn't you get it Sunday morning when they opened their doors. Lazy :cry

Lenina, Luhans'ka Oblast', Ukraine #14535

If you read the back of the ad, there is a statement on the bottom that explains that quanities are limited. However, there are ALWAYS sub's for the item.

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