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This one to the left is probably NOT what you are thinking of. But we think its a cool chair picture. And if your chair ever gets like this, it's probably time to consider buying a new chair anyway!
We love the Office here, for a variety of reasons that if you've seen the show you're most likely familiar with. Great writing, acting, and above all, ironically deadpan office comedy. It's great.
The last episode of the latest season, aired 12/4/08, hit close to home for us. Titled "The Surplus" it essentially focused around a budget surplus and what to do with it - 95% of the office battling to get new ergonomic office chairs, and 2 other people wanting a new copier. It seemed that the only person on the show who didn't know what the value in new chairs is was the boss. (He even pronounced "ergonomically" erglonomically, or some disasterous version of the word!) It was funny, but true to the point that chairs are very much overlooked...
Anyways, we have an "older" copier here at Sitbetter...And man, do those copies sometimes suck! That said, at least it drives a complaint only when it is used, as opposed to a really uncomfortable, old office chair - they can be horrible and complaint worthy every minute spent on it.
Do I recommend buying chairs over a copier? Not if we sold copiers too! On a serious note, though, all I am saying to take from the episode and this post is you cannot overlook the seating in the office. You can always use carbon paper to make copies - can't exactly have employees be productive sitting on a crappy office chair.
How much is your rear end/back worth to you? I mean, have you seen the furniture they have in those stores? Cheap, and cheaper. It's not that they import a whole lot of their own brands directly from China (not necessarily a bad thing, but quality control becomes an issue given the almost guaranteed lack of QC). Many companies source products or have manufacturing facilities in the OG Chinatown, but they either have strict QC standards, assemble chairs here, or have been working with certain factories for a long time, and would have the QC down pat...O.D. and Staples source from whomever gives them the best price.
Yes, you can get some good quality chairs there, but from what I've experienced and from what I've read, but do you really expect to get the service you deserve if something happens to the chair?
Aside from quality concerns, you cannot realistically expect great service because they are not specialists in office furniture of any kind. Help finding pens and paper and the like? Really good and thorough. Not so much for office furniture.
I am not necessarily hating on these companies - they always are reliable for good prices on office supplies - but chairs aren't supplies. You shouldn't have to be buying them as much as you buy pens and paper.
Look, I go to these office supply stores for office supplies - I do not consider office chairs part of the office supplies, however. They are more like, well, furniture. Completely different. Just like you cannot bulk together marketing and accounting functions of a company, you can't bulk together pens and desks (even though it makes sense they would be, given that one is used on the other). It's a whole different ballgame, and the expertise in the furniture field makes all the difference.
They sell other brands, such as Boss, that we sell. Those are good brands. I am just leary and weary of the own brand chairs that they have, for the QC reasons mentioned before. I have read horror stories on blogs throughout the internet of the bad customer service and quality of these chairs bought at OD and Staples, am I sure there are many more. Here are some blogs about this stuff: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop Blog, specifically one post about an OD/Staples own brand import (Swinton Trading Co.) that went horribly wrong - sort of a reunion point for people that over 2 years have had the same issue! Or this one, mainly ranting about service: Lockergnome Blog. So really, it is about going to people who know for whatever you need. That is basically what I am advocating.
Ultimately though, we can blame these companies all we want, but we as consumers gotta be aware of what they can and can't provide for us. Understand the risk you take if you buy an office chair there.
I once bought an Office Depot Chair. Lasted all of 1 month. I was young, naive, and full of hope. Now, we know better, thus we help you sit better. If you got some helpful insight, bad experiences, good experiences, whatever experiences regarding furniture and these companies, lets hear it.