We wanted to make sure that the blogosphere and our customers have the most accurate information about the company. Below I have included some information from our Vice President of Business Services, Rob Schlacter which should help your readers. I'd like to ask if you can post our enclosed comments."
$2.49 Raster Image Processing Service Charge Ensures First Generation Digital Output; Virus Scanning Claim Is Inaccurate
I understand how customers can be upset by inaccurate information. Let me clarify. At Staples, our commitment is to deliver quality work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The $2.49 charge is a "Raster Image Processing" fee; it is not a virus scanning fee. This is used industry wide and retailers often charge it as an additional fee or include it in the overall printout cost.
As we have added expanded media acceptance to our service capability, many customers bring multiple file types using different software applications. The Raster Image Processing process is a part of Staples Copy and Print Centers production standards, ensuring first generation, high quality output to our digital copiers. As technology improves and the industry implements new processes, we will continue to evaluate our service level fees just as we do our everyday retail pricing.
We also understand that customers are getting more tech-savvy. So, stay tuned on how Staples can provide easier solutions like a free file conversion software package coming soon to stores next spring.
Thank you for your continued patronage at Staples. Feel free to reach out to any store manager with questions or email@example.com
Vice President of Business Services, Staples Inc.
Reader comment: Anonymous says: "I am a Staples Copy Center Expert (means I run the copy department at my store). That 'raster image processing' thing consists of conversion to Adobe PDF, nothing more, nothing less. My managers seem to be under the impression that doing this will preserve the customer's original fonts and formatting, because I can't explain to them that that would only work if the customer converted the file to PDF on THEIR end. I usually represent the fee as being for 'setup,' because - in all fairness - our print drivers are really, really complicated; you can't just hit Ctrl+P and get what you want. I think $2.49 is a bit on the outlandishly high side - I'd be in favor of lowering it to $.99 or something - but I don't make the rules. We don't even have a virus scanning program *available to us* on the computer - I think it auto-scans, but the computers are so locked-down that we can't actively scan anything, as that program is not made available for us lowly employees to even *open*, much less operate. I have no idea what the person who said it was a 'virus scanning fee' was smoking."
Reader comment: Fishcake says: "It's nice to know the fee is not for virus scanning. If the fee is for file format conversion, the obvious question for Staples is: why don't you tell your customers what format to save their files as, so they can avoid a huge fee? You could even include specific parameters. Not everybody will want to bother, but those of us with acrobat or whatever are already paying for the ability to save our works in many different formats. At least give us a reduced fee."
Reader comment: Nate MC says: "I was using Staples almost weekly because the woman at the copy center was very cute and she never mentioned a fee. A month later I had a different person help me out and he didn't even tell me about the fee until he made the copies. I was able to get him to waive it and he said that some people don't charge for it and it was optional. I made a point to tell him that it's a pretty big fee to sometimes have to pay and sometimes not based on who is working, but it was the last time I ever used them to make my copies.
"I always saved my documents as a PDF to help them out as I used to work in a press related industry and understand the importance of correct file formats. FedEx Kinkos & OfficeMax have never charged me a fee for bringing them PDFs on disk.
"Vote with your wallets, if you stop using them they will stop charging the fee."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.