Monday, October 12, 2009

Is Office Depot simply stupid, or evil too?

I ate at Burger King recently, and the placemat on my tray featured NASCAR racer Tony Stewart, who is sponsored by (among others) Burger King and Office Depot.  It even included a coupon for $10 off a qualifying purchase of $30 or more at Office Depot (shown here).

Hawaii residents know that although Hilo has its own OfficeMax, the nearest Office Depot is over 200 miles away, in Honolulu. But I shouldn't hold this against Burger King or Office Depot - I presume they at least checked to make sure there was a store somewhere in the state, and it's not their fault if going 2 counties away like that requires spending a hundred bucks or so to fly there, right?

But the question of "stupid or evil?" goes deeper than that.  You can't really read the small print in this picture, since I used my phone, but here's what it reads:

Valid in-store only. Must present the original coupon to cashier at time of purchase. Photocopies/reproductions not valid. Coupon cannot be used as a credit card payment. No cash value. Not valid for purchases 1) made in Office Depot outlet/clearance stores; 2) by contract customers with Store Purchasing or Procurement Cards; 3) of Gift Cards; 4) of any technology or consumer electronic products and accessories or media and software products, 5) of postage stamps; 6) of product protection plans; 7) of HP ink and toner; or 8) of wireless, satellite, internet, technology, installation, mailing, shipping or third-party services.  Coupon is good for one-time use only, is not transferrable, not for resale or auction and cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. We reserve the right to limit quantities sold to each customer. Limit 1 coupon per household/business. Void where prohibited. Coupon expires 10/31/09.

So I have until the end of this month to buy tickets, fly 200 miles, find $30 or more worth of stuff that isn't technology (sorry, no stone implements or pointy sticks allowed!), save my $10, and fly back (oh, it had better be stuff I can take on a plane.)  Woo, excitement!

And I had better not think of "transferring" this coupon to anyone else, because Burger King's creepy "King" guy is doubtless following me (he's that kind of creepy, am I right?) to make sure I don't give it to anyone else.

Actually, if someone does shop at Office Depot for profoundly uncool stuff, I think I might be able to fool that King guy by mailing the coupon... unless they're watching my mail, too...


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