Tuesday, October 13, 2009


For several hours I have been going back and forth with OfficeMax and the manufacturers of a scanner I purchased from them. Matt, one of our editors who's proficient in digital imaging, had planned to come over tonight to work on scanning images that will be used in the film. What a battle has ensued with OfficeMax, instead.

Here's what happened (as briefly as it can be told):
  • Bought a scanner in March 2009 for digitizing archived footage from Vietnam
  • Set up the scanner last week for use by Matt to digitize the large number of images
  • Realized that the scanner was not working properly (added a weird green light to each image)
  • Called the manufacturer to find out if it could be fixed, or needed replacing
  • Called the local OfficeMax store to find out about returning the item, and was told they have a 14-day return policy, don't carry the scanner in the store anymore, and I have to talk to the manufacturer
  • Talked to the manufacturer call center rep, who was very helpful, and confirmed that they could replace it but I have to pay the shipping fee
  • Angry that I couldn't return it locally and would have to pay for shipping it, I called the OfficeMax customer service center; was told about the 14-day return policy again and that I would have to talk with the manufacturer
  • Escalated my call to a supervisor who was incredibly rude, told me there was no one else that could help, and then proceeded to disconnect our call after telling me she was going to hang up on me. (Is that their policy? To hang up on customers instead of helping them?)
  • Called again, spoke with two people, and then finally left my name and number for another supervisor (after about an hour of waiting, explaining and talking)
  • Finally received a return call from a supervisor who is supposedly going to help me get a new scanner.
These are the little things you never see on film, aren't they? The little battles you fight in the attempt to wage war in finishing a feature-length film. And they are never seen on film, because they're insignificant if the final result is achieved. The behind-the-scenes ordeal for simply getting a scanner that works is of little importance if we have a final film with digitized original photos from Vietnam.

I am appalled that OfficeMax has a customer service representative who blatantly hangs up the phone instead of transferring the call to someone who can provide assistance. What started as a simple and very straightforward matter has become an inordinate waste of time and resources for both of us.

A 14-day return policy has now damaged OfficeMax's reputation and brand for me. It has caused an unbelievable amount of inconvenience, when I simply wanted to return a faulty product they sold me. The matter could have been resolved so quickly, too! All I wanted was someone to return the money I spent on the faulty scanner, or help cover the cost of shipping it to the manufacturer.

They are supposedly calling me back tomorrow morning with an update. I'll keep you posted. In the mean time, does anyone have a scanner we might borrow?