Are Office Depot workers pushing unnecessary computer fixes?

November 18th, 2016

CBS News is reporting that
Office Depot is under fire for services that a former employee believes take advantage of unsuspecting customers.

The retailer says it helps about 6,000 customers per week with its free PC health checks, and that it does not condone any of the alleged conduct that was uncovered. But CBS affiliate KIRO-TV’s undercover cameras showed how employees used the service to sell customers expensive computer repairs that weren’t there, reports KIRO’s Jesse Jones.

Office Depot’s technicians repeatedly told customers their computers were infected.

“It’s got malware symptoms in there,” one said.

They said they could fix them — for a hefty fee.

“It actually looks like it’s $180 right now,” the technician estimated.

The only problem? All the PC’s were brand new and fresh out of the box. The computer security firm IOActive also gave them a clean bill of health.

“We found no symptoms of malware on these computers when we operated them,” said Will Longman, IOActive VP of Information Technology and Security.

Office Depot employee Shane Barnett said his bosses ignored his repeated warnings and were more concerned about sales and quotas.

“I hate the program. I hate it,” Barnett said.

“I refused to do it. They’re like, ‘You have to hit these numbers.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not going to make things up so you can hit your numbers. I’m not going to do it,’” he added.

Barnett said his hours at Office Depot have been cut since he began speaking up more than two years ago. The company declined an on camera interview, but a spokesperson said: “We intend to fully review the assertions and take appropriate action.”
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