Rep. Suzan DelBene is joining Sen. Maria Cantwell in a call for a Federal Trade Commission investigation of Office Depot after our undercover investigation revealed the big box retailer was charging customers for costly, unnecessary computer repairs.
“People need to have trusted vendors that they can go to, to help protect their devices,” said Representative DelBene. “First I think we need the FTC to investigate to understand what has happened so that we understand what needs to be done so things like this don’t happen in the future.”
During our investigation we took six brand new computers to Office Depots in Washington and Oregon where the retailer performed its free PC Health Check scan. In four out of the six cases, we were told the computers has symptoms of malware but our computer experts say the devices are clean.
Whistleblower and Office Depot employee Shane Barnett said the issues we uncovered were well known by management.
After our report, Office Depot not only suspended the use of the PC Tune Up. Recently we learned the company also stopped most of its tech repairs for all 1,800 stores.
Former manager Tommie Hopkins said the company needs to take time to help its techs.
“We have zero training on diagnosing what’s actually wrong with the machine,” said Hopkins.
I’ve also been told by multiple sources that managers in some stores have taken and destroyed the techs cards that offer the free checks.
In a statement the company says- “Office Depot in no way condones any of the conduct that has been alleged in media reports. We have commenced a full review of the assertions and will take appropriate action.”
“This isn’t just about trust it’s about following the law and potentially about people breaking the law and misusing that trust,” said Representative DelBene.