Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dear Staples


Dear Staples,
I am so disappointed that I was not able to resolve my issue with you today. I have spoken to several of your customer service representatives in different departments and my last call today was with a representative within the office of the president of Staples. I am contacting you regarding your new policy for your back to school shopping limits for teachers. First, I am thankful that you posted your policy early. As teachers we plan for the new school year well in advance. Back to school shopping has always been a very fun time for teachers to get the necessary materials for the coming school year. For some of us, back to school shopping is a huge tradition and we meet and carpool with our teacher friends to grab the latest deals. It's much like those Black Friday days in November.

I understand that now a teacher will not be able to go in your store and purchase a class set of your Extreme Deals at the Extreme Deal price. What I understand is that after I reach my limit of five, I will be paying regular price. I also understand that you will send me the difference back in Staples Rewards for those items above the Extreme Deal price. So let's break it down so we all are clear.

2011 TEACHER POLICY:
25 packages of loose leaf binder paper = $2.50
2012 TEACHER POLICY:

limit of 5 = 50 cents
regular price - $1.99 X 20 packages = $39.80
$39.80 + .50 = $40.30
Take this example further. I know this year I will be buying Spirals for Math Notebooks.  

2011 TEACHER POLICY:
25 spirals = $2.50
2012 TEACHER POLICY:

limit of 5 = 50 cents
regular price - $1.99 X 20 spirals = $39.80
$39.80 + .50 = $40.30
  
And I almost forgot. I have to have Science Notebooks too.

2011 TEACHER POLICY:

2012 TEACHER POLICY:

limit of 5 = 50 cents
regular price - $1.99 X 20 spirals = $39.80
$39.80 + .50 = $40.30
Are you beginning to see the difference?
$40.30 - $2.50 = $37.80
 
And I would love to have some spirals for my writing center. On second hand, I have paid $120.90 and all I have is a class set of paper, spirals for Math Notebooks, and spirals for Science Notebooks. How can I afford class sets of folders, pencils, map pencils, markers and so on? The truth is with an Extreme Deal like this... I can't. Oh my, what about crayons, watercolors and glue?
 
Let me explain a little further. Many teachers get very little school supplies when school starts. One reason is that the families that we service can't afford school supplies. As a teacher we assume this responsibility. We shop for Extreme Deals because we have no choice. We need supplies for the children in our classroom. Simply stated, we need basic materials to TEACH. A reward check does us no good if we have to spend hundreds of dollars to prepare for our school year and you are sending it to us at a later date. We do not need to go back to school shopping in November. We NEED the supplies before the children walk in the door.
 
Your cutomer service representative today told me to make a choice and shop elsewhere for my Extreme Deals. I will admit I was a little shocked that YOUR customer service representative suggested that. I have always been a loyal customer and that is why I called today and every other day this week. I wanted to be sure you understood how this new change in policy would not benefit a teacher at all. I honestly thought nobody realized this. Instead of just shopping at your local competetors, I wanted to let you know and see if somebody would listen and perhaps just consider a change.
 
PS
Staples if you are listening, I will be sending you a letter addressed to:
The Office of the President of Staples
C/O The President
500 Staples Dr.
Framingham, Massachusetts
01702
And I will call to follow up
1-800-338-0252 X4
 
 

88 comments:

Ms. Abraham said...

Awesome letter... and so true. I do not have a local Staple so use Office Depot. They too have begun limiting the number of things you can purchase on sale... without any other offer to rebate teachers, that I know of. Last year I needed to make six different trips to get a class set of folders .... :-(

Deb said...

WOW! No idea about this new policy! My college age daughter used to work at Staples...I'm glad she doesn't anymore!

Kim Ricketts said...

Thank you for posting this!! I am also a teacher and my classroom survives off Back to school shopping! I buy everything over summer during the extreme deals! It breaks my heart that they are not allowing teachers to take advantage of these deals.

Kim
Kindergarten Teacher

Michele said...

Good for you!! I am so glad that you made the phone calls and are sending the letter! I think that the way you broke it down should make them see how much more it will cost us (of course they are probably happy about that) and they should want to help us! Thanks for taking the time to try and resolve this issue...I guess we will all need to find a store that will help us stretch our dollar!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that local businesses know the amount of money that teachers spend on school supplies. I also spend money on snacks. I drive a 12 year old car so that I can afford to buy snacks and school supplies for my class.

Haley said...

I think that's terrible. It's bad enough we can't get our own students to buy their personal supplies and we have to get them, but to have a LIMIT on how much I can buy? It would make no difference if I bought the same 25 notebooks at once instead of going through the line 5 different times! It would be nice to have a company support teachers when they wouldn't have had their company without someone teaching them in the first place!! Maybe teachers should not shop at Staples...then see how precious their money is to them!

Haley
Following Optimism in 2nd Grade

Susan said...

I don't think anybody realizes how much money teachers spend out of their own pockets. Very disappointing.

biask said...

Good for you!!! I have been to Staples once for Back to School shopping and it was a horrible experience... Upon stepping in the doors, one of the managers refused to allow me to purchase any items because "I had already been there that day." Mind you, this was the first time I had ever stepped into the store, my mom had received a sales paper and we decided to make the 50 minute drive to check it out. I too called and spoke with several people and I received a similar response to "shop elsewhere." I have yet to return to a Staples and my friends also now "shop elsewhere."

Michelle said...

I am pinning this and sharing it on facebook. Thank you for all of your hard work with this!

Mrs. Shelton said...

Thanks for posting and letting us know. We too have an Office Depot and they have limits as well. Stinks that everyone doesn't appreciate teachers and how much of our own money we spend! :(

Sarah
Kindergarten Korner

Lisa said...

Staples here in Vancouver, Canada has had a limit 6 (I think?) policy for awhile. They offer teachers a 10% discount instead. The tax alone is 12% so it's not an actual incentive. I've always felt it was a clear message to teachers to not shop there for supplies but to hear an employee actually voice those words is outrageous!!! good for you for getting your voice heard.

Mrsmac2632 said...

Your letter is awesome. I'm in Texas and this was the policy for us last year. Staples has lost my business.

Renee Stewart said...

AWESOME letter!!!!! I am a teacher in a low socio economic school in Texas. This is how I have supplied my classroom with materials not brought in by my studnets!!!!
I would love to reprint your letter and Staples info on my FB page if you are willing!!!
Please reply with your permission to post!!
Thanks for your efforts for all teachers!!!
Renee Stewart
1st Grade Teacher
Carver Elementary
Greenville Texas
Stewartr@greenvillesid.com

Mrs. Davis said...

I am appalled that they told you to shop elsewhere! I can assure, I will spend 10 cents more per notebook and get as many as I want at Walmart or Target!

Kim
Carried Away in Kindergarten

Heather aka HoJo said...

Wow - they actually told you to shop the competition. I don't think they realize just how much power the teacher blogging community has. Thank you for contacting them and for keeping us all informed!

2 Crazy Texas Teachers said...

Holy Moly! Well said! Like you, I get excited when the sales start. I definitely enjoy it more than Black Friday. It is a shame that they don't really get it. They also don't realize how much business teachers give them.

On a side note, did you get out of dancing yesterday? You didn't ask me to share my crutch so I assume you found another way around the dancing session! ;-) I hope you had a productive work day(s).

Tamara
2crazytexasteachers.blogspot.com

Mrs. King said...

Thanks for this post. I won't be shopping at staples.

danae said...

Staples is really making a HUGE mistake! I am not going to be buying my supplies at Staples this year, and I know that I am not alone. I have also voiced my opinions by phone call, e-mail, and on the facebook page. I believe, Staples has asked employees to "stand up" and try to dispell the anger because I am seeing more and more staples employees writing back (instead of corporate or a higher up). The problem is that some of these sales people are rude and not helping the cause. It makes me more upset dealing with a high-schooler or early 20-year-old asking me "why it's a big deal" or "be happy with what you get". It makes me want to call their stores directly and make a personal complaint about them. UHG! Its an ungly situation all around.

I don't understand why we can't get the 25 limit promotion like last year if we use our card. I know that CVS and Winn Dixie have cards as well and track your purchases. WHy can't Staples track our purchases so shoes when we have reached our limit for that particular deal. Their argument (that I get from the rude employees) is that teachers were ABUSING the deal and going in more than once. Tracking purchase on the card would solve that problem. Oh, and how about showing proof about teacher employment. I didn't have to show ONE thing to prove I was a teacher to sign up for the card. The company is handing them out like candy to just anybody and then have the nerve to complain that they are being ABUSED......

Ok, I'm jumping off my soap box now :)

Ms. Patterson said...

Love it

The people who make decisions about teachers should really be REQUIRED to walk in the footsteps of teachers

They are going to lose alot of there customers

Can't wait to see what the policy will look like once they figure out THAT THIS ONE did not work

Pocket Full of Kinders

Shuna P

Laura said...

I would go somewhere with price matching (maybe Walmart?). They only have the low prices to lure you into the store to buy other things. They are not concerned if you do not shop there. Take their ad and try to get the same prices!

Lisa R. said...

Now that's sad! Obviously the Staples corporation does not care about or respect teachers at all. That's okay...I will be shopping for my classroom supplies at Office Depot where they don't limit my quantities on sale priced items because they appreciate teachers! Shame on Staples!
Lisa
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Mrs. Dwyer said...

Wow! I believe there will be a lot of teachers shopping elsewhere this summer! ~very disappointing.

Suzanne Sweeney said...

UNBELIEVABLE that they told you to shop elsewhere. I will certainly watch the sale ads for other stores. Sad that in this economy they do not want to help out teachers - don't they realize that we can promote their store to our parents and coworkers. GOOD FOR YOU writing this letter-you go girl!

2 Crazy Texas Teachers said...

Here is the scoop: last year at job alike training in August, I attended one of your sessions. Your cute blog header was on your computer and I remember turning to you and saying "Oh my gosh! You are Little Miss Kindergarten!" I had blog stalked you forever and love what you post! So, I've known who you were for a while now. I've tried not to be an obvious stalker but after seeing you yesterday I just had to say something.

Heidi said...

I hope Staples is reading this and all the comments. I love summer reading and the Staples flyer was the hottest thing I could get my hands on in the past. Support the children Staples! Everyone loves a business that cares about their customers. Show a little heart, or you may lose a lot of customers!!

dpowers92 said...

We all need to send a letter to that same address, and we need to encourage everyone we know to send one. Fine, I will take your ad and skip to WalMart and have them price match. Believe me, Staples, when I say I'm taking a crowd of folks with me when I go!!

ndmuggle said...

Target has awesome deals… I wonder if this was already a policy in CA as I have always found that Target was FAR cheaper than Office Depot or Staples. I don't think that many people outside the teaching profession realize just how many teachers there are or how connected they are becoming.

Miss Parsons said...

Oh Booooooo! They were my favorite store and many of my friends would shop there for their extreme deals and more. They will lose all of my teacher friend's business now! Sad. I love that store. :( Thanks for the address and phone number!!!

Anonymous said...

This is very disappointing. It was bad enough last year when Staples did not publicize their "Back-to-School-Teacher-Day" the way they had in the past. I called the local store to get the date, was given the wrong date, and when I showed up on the date and time they told me, they would not honor my coupons. Now, they are limiting quantities??? Sorry, Staples, you have lost my business to your competitors.

Anonymous said...

Well stated! I called to confirm the same thing last month when I found out, the clerk didn't even know about the change. I feel all companies should allow teachers to buy class sets. I always have to buy more mid year at full price.
CJ

Keri said...

Thank you for letting us all know. I live in Canada and have just sent an email to our local Staples to see what they have to say. I will be sure to pass along all information to my fellow teachers, administrators, family members etc. It's funny...I guess that they've "forgotten" how much money gets spent the rest of the year on printers, computers, office supplies, paper etc...

Anonymous said...

I Am so impressed that you would take your time and write this wonderful letter. I also use their discount to purchase class sets. I work at a title I school and have students who cannot afford to buy supplies. I will be shopping in another store if they do not change their policy. I recommend telling the president to also look at all of your comments below your letter. Thanks for trying to help under funded teachers who are trying to make a difference in our next generation!

Mrs. Gosla said...

Thanks for spelling this out for all of us. I did get their e-mail about the policy change, but was so wrapped up in end of the year paperwork and projects, I didn't think too much about it. It's a horrible new policy. Thanks for being our voice. Like Kerri, I will email our local store to see what they have to say. Unless it's resolved, I won't be making any trips to Staples for back to school shopping. They will be losing a lot of business from me because I always by other stuff that's not on sale.

Michelle Rist said...

Glad to know Staples supports hard working teachers and kids in need . I am very disappointed in the policy change. I guess another chain will get my hard earned money and the chance to help kids. I'm not a huge fan of big corporation but at least Wal-Mart let's me buy for all 25 of my students.

Guess it's not as "Easy" as they claim to shop there.

Alyson said...

So sad that I have to have my daughter (8), son (2) husband, mother and father come with me so that I can get a class set of what I need. So many places don't have very good Customer Service. Perfect example by them telling you to go some wheres else instead of you shopping with them.

Jackie P. said...

Thank you for posting this! I have been going to Staples to get a few class sets of the Extreme Deals the last couple years. However, I will not buy any school supplies from them this year. I will gladly take my business to Wal-Mart and Walgreens. They are happy to see my business and don't care the amount of each item I purchase for one low, low price. :-)

Anonymous said...

I also do not understand why they can't just track it with the rewards card. But I do understand both sides because I know of some teachers who would get the 25 limit, then send their husband in with their rewards card to get another 25. As far as them telling you to shop somewhere else...what did you expect them to say? And I'm sure staples probably won't change it because they were probably losing money from these sales anyway since they make zero profit, so maybe they're looking at it like "so what if they shop at other stores" Idk. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought of doing a petition on change.org?

Mrs. Doring =) said...

Thanks for sharing, and way to stand up and say something! I don't know about anything else, but in my town, Walmart has better service, better selection, and better prices than Staples. Good luck school shopping everyone!

Ms. Morales said...

Thanks for sharing! With this change, they have lost my business. The "shop elsewhere" comment did it for me. That's horrible.

Sarah Brixey said...

I just want to say thank you for posting this. I'm not a teacher yet, but I'm working towards a degree in Elementary Education. When I go school shopping in a couple of months...I will NOT be going to Staple's!! I don't think I can in good conscience shop at a store that treats teachers like this.

Camille said...

Thank you for sharing this! Your letter is outstanding: strong, articulate, and logical. Well done!
Camille
An Open Door

A Teacher's Life said...

Ms. Abraham, I use Office Depot as well. However, last year, I spoke with the store manager so that I could get higher quantities of the extreme bargains. I shop there a lot, so they were willing to ring separate transactions during one day. I spend a least a few hundred, so I don't think they were willing to quibble and lose my business. We don't have Staples here, but I am appalled by their new policy. Bravo to you for standing up to such an unfair policy. Clearly, their logic is flawed in this endeavor or they are merely intending to alienate a large portion of their constituency. Let's hope the customer service person was acting on their own versus store policy. Fight the good fight...

Sarah said...

Thank you for posting this! I had no idea this was their policy! It's so hard to get supplies at a reasonable price anywhere anymore and as a Special Education Resource teacher, I not only buy my own supplies for my classroom, but I have to buy everything for my students because if they come in with any supplies they go to their classroom, not to my room so I really count on good deals. I reposted this on facebook and made sure to tag Staples in it as I hope everyone else does. It's surprising how just doing that will send a message to the company!

beth said...

Thanks for the information. Going elsewhere, Staples!

Meredith said...

Well done! I'm with you!

ToTEachTheirOwn said...

If we get this out and around to enough teachers, Staples will be kicking themselves for ripping the rug out from under their most loyal customers. This is exactly the kind of thing I am going to be trying to get people to realize on my new blog. People do not realize teachers do not get endless funds for teaching supplies, and that in low income area schools... Half of our kids don't come with a single item! How can we be good teachers without supplies? How can we be great teachers without money to purchase other odds and ends when we're too busy spending all of our pay check on the basic items we need to run a successful classroom?!

I will NOT be going to Staples.

Tracy Rios said...

I won't be shopping at Staples either this year. It had been my FAVORITE store to buy school supplies. I'll have to go to Walmart and Target.

Anonymous said...

Well that makes one less trip to all the Staples! Great letter! Too bad our students will suffer!

Anonymous said...

Put this on Twitter! @staples use the hashtag #teachers Get the word out to all educators! Maybe they will change their policy as their is still time.

Anonymous said...

Hope Walmart doesn't do this! We will be in big trouble!

Mrs. Wehling said...

Well written, I hope you send it to them!

Anonymous said...

Obviously you have no idea why the policy has changed because it needed to be done. Stop thinking of only yourself because this policy will help many who failed to take advantage of the former policy because of you "innocent" school teachers whom grossly abused it.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? All of you teachers think that the Staples company OWES you their loss-leader Back-to-School deals in unlimited quantities? Do you know what a loss-leader is, or have any idea the man-hours and logistics it takes to keep a big box retail store fully stocked and operating during the busy periods that you yourselves compare to Black Friday?

Admit that you enjoyed the sales when they produced tremendous savings. But now your sense of entitlement (to those savings) is combining with your martyr complex (that you must spend your own money on your students supplies) to put Staples in a bad PR position. I say, cut Staples some slack. They're a business trying to make a buck on very narrow margins. It isn't heir job to step in and fix the problems with teachers' inadequate pay, or address your school systems' (obviously) incompetent purchasing methods.

Because the truth is that your school districts could negotiate "Extreme Discount" savings with school supplies distributors, easily, and much more economically than any retail chain store can. Examine the reasons why your school districts can't/wont do this. Explore alternatives, like wholesale purchasing through your unions, or a charitable school supplies drive through your PTA.

Finally, teach responsibility to these parents by *requiring* that students be supplied for their projects, and start giving Fs for any assignments left incomplete due to lack of supplies. The first few Fs could be "warning shots", and could be erased after supplies are provided. Have a conversation with parents whose kids remain unsupplied, and tell them to ask grandma, grandpa, uncle, and auntie for help getting school supplies. Direct them to Staples during Extreme Discount times, and to social services and church agencies that can help out. If there are still a couple of kids who can't get supplies after all that, you need to get the school counselor and the principal involved. Seriously. Addressing the systemic reasons that some or most of your kids can't come to class prepared with school supplies is their job, not yours.

Or rather, it *was* your job, when it only cost you 45-50 bucks a year, and landing all those savings was a fun outing for you and your colleagues. But now it costs more, and instead of getting all up on a cross in front of Staples, you need to try something new. Good luck.

Shelly said...

I agree with the above post. I have always loved going to Staples for their great teacher deals. However, it is NOT Staples job to supply classrooms. The "Supply List" is the parents' responsibility. I refuse to keep spending my money for my students. Why should parents buy supplies when they have learned the teachers will buy them? If I don't get the materials I need/want this year then I'll have to learn to do without. A big thank you Staples for all the help and support you have given teachers in the past.

mrsjanellebush said...

Well I for one will not shop at Staples anymore for anything! I usually buy my supplies at Wal-mart anyway. You cannot make a student buy the supplies in a State funded school. You can just hope that most of them will. Last year I only had about 9 students buy all the supplies on my supply list and had 2 students donate room fund money. I had the buy the rest out of pocket. Shame on Staples for doing this. It is also a shame that a few bad apples have to ruin it for the rest of the teachers. I think that a limit of 25 is a great deal. What in the world could a teacher do with a limit of 5? It will be a waste of time to even go to Staples. As for the above posters supporting Staples you must work for them or you wouldn't have posted such a rude comment. Teaching is a job that the majority of us do because we love it. It sure isn't for the money. Any deal that I can find when it comes to teaching supplies I will take. I will not have my students do without the supplies that they need bacause their families can't afford it. Shame on you Staples!!!!!! You don't have to worry about ever getting this teacher's business again.

a Brooklyn teacher said...

I have always purchased many of the supplies necessary for my classroom at Staples. At my local store, the staff even gave out the corporate address for us to write to.

At this particular Staples, the employees are kind, helpful and courteous. One employee would even tell me which items were the 'Extreme Deals' for the next week. so I could plan. An employee at another nearby Staples coordinates a plethora of give-aways and raffles from local merchants for Teacher Appreciation Day.

I teach in an urban, very high poverty area. We do not get a single cent to purchase supplies for our room. We do get a few supplies from time to time like a package of construction paper or a box of pencils, but not nearly enough for everything we are asked to do.

I also have students who live with their families in the local homeless shelter. Sometimes they are able to purchase one or two items on a list, but not everything. I cannot fathom saying to a five year old "no, you cannot color this picture because you did not bring in a box of crayons." You cannot hold kindergarteners responsible for their families' behavior.

I will be writing to Staples corporate, and urge all of my fellow teachers to do the same. Let's hope that they will consider changing or amending this new policy!

Anonymous said...

You can go around the store and give money to people to buy the deals for you. I did that and stood at the door with a big sack for them to put in the purchases. Many bought it for me and gave the money back.

Anonymous said...

I order a lot of supplies & materials from Quill.com. Our school gets a discount & next day delivery is usually standard. Just get your school's acct. Number for the discount.

Patti Barker said...

I am your newest follower...I found you after you posted in Top Teachers on Facebook (gotta love Google..I typed in Dear Staples and you were the second entry!!). Anonymous got my blood boiling this morning....I get frustrated that parents don't bring in supplies but i am fortunate that our state/district gives us $250 for supplies each year, plus we have a fully stocked supply closet at our school and my principal has never say no (knock on wood) to any request for supplies, technology, etc. I have asked for. On another note, I was shocked to walk into Wal-Mart yesterday and not see them putting up their school supply displays...usually they are up by the first of July... probably after the holiday!

Patti
Tales from a 4th (and 5th) Grade Teacher

rkj032003 said...

As a kindergarten teacher myself I know how much I spend personally each year on my students to assure that they are equipped with all the tools that they need to be successful. Kudos to you for bringing this issue to light to many who may not have been aware. P.S. as a single mom of 2, I made sure that my children had what they needed for school each year, it may not have been the highest quality products that money could buy, but it was my responsibility to prepare them for school, not their teachers. Being a teacher myself, I know how much money is allotted to us by our districts to purchase classroom supplies and I also so know how much more we have to purchase on our own that we are not reimbursed for.

Lisa@Totally Writing said...

Thank you so much for bringing this to light. You are so right about how the teachers absorb the costs and te Extreme Deals are only beneficial if we can purchase a class set. Otherwise, it's not worth it. I will wait for the Target/Walmart sales and stock up there.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Walmart here I come!

Anonymous said...

As a first grade teacher, I look forward to the summer deals for classroom supplies. I 'm glad I know now before I begin shopping.
It 's obvious anonymous above has never stood in front of a classroom of 30 plus first graders and nearly 75% of the students don 't have school supplies. If these parents can't put food on the table or have running water, then the last thing they are worried about is school supplies. I would love to know when educators in this country became the enemy.

Jennifer Jean said...

I'm kind of in the middle... I don't know how much Staples makes or loses by having these deals. I'm sure the deals are at a loss hoping that customers will spend money elsewhere in the store. It was great that they did allow us to get more than the limit. Last year the manager at my store wouldn't let us get more than the limit, so I actually thought they made this change then. I guess it was a store by store decision. If it is a financial issues with Staples, I think that they should give teachers a larger limit, but maybe not unlimited. I have had issues getting deals (staples and many other places and items) because of others getting all of them and many get more than they need because it's a good deal. I also feel that the sales shouldn't start so soon before school starts. I know this wouldn't work for a national chain because of so many districts starting all different times. My husband isn't able to contact his students in the summer to tell them what they need while all the good sales are going on. Many times his class list isn't complete until the week before school starts. This is the same for our school too. Actually, many parents don't even enroll their child until orientation the Thurs before we start.

Our district doesn't allow us to make our own supply list. We have to go by a specific limited list and can't even tell parents we would need anything else even if they ask. So...anything else we have to buy. We get $100 for anything we need in the classroom all year. It doesn't go far.

I doubt I'll boycott staples, but I sure will be going in more than once to get larger amounts of the deal I need.

It was very rude of them to tell you to go somewhere else. That was uncalled for. If that's what they want then it looks like that's what they are getting. I imagine that employee should/would get scolded for that comment.

Kathleen said...

Oh no! This is awful. I hadn't heard about the change. Thank you for making us aware...I guess I will have to find other stores to shop.

Danielle said...

While I understand the frustration that some teachers have with not being able to receive the discounts that Staples used to provide, one thing that people need to realize is that Staples was under no obligation to provide deals. They own/operate a business. In this tough economic recession, a lot of businesses have had to cut back their philanthropy. Instead of faulting Staples, find more creative ways to save money. Badmouthing a store because they didn't tell you what you wanted to hear, doesn't make you right. Besides, just think of how many teachers took advantage of the sales by driving around to different Staples or going back multiple days, or having friends and family purchase for them. If you want companies like Staples to think favorably of teachers, and to offer specials - then be respectful and THANKFUL for that they do provide. Nobody owes you anything. It's not Staples fault that your schools or parents don't provide funding or supplies.

Mrs. C said...

I did not bad mouth Staples. Please read the letter. I asked if they would consider a change and I got no reply. I never said or thought Staples owed me a thing. I have been very creative in providing for my class and I will continue to do so in the future. I appreciate your comments.

It's a Small World said...

Those of you who are public school and/or charter school teachers, why are you not writing proposals to Donorschoose.org?
Additionally,it is not the personal responsibility of every classroom teacher to supply the tools needed for his/her classroom. That is the responsibility of the administration and parents.
We are teachers and don't have a store on the side to supply tools for learning.
I am a teacher and I do buy some materials and supplies for my students which are for extra projects that I choose to do.
As long as school districts know that teachers will spend their own money, there is no incentive for them to step up to the plate

Anonymous said...

I'm a teacher and I think we should be thankful that we got the deals for as long as we did! We can't be upset with a company for not giving away their goods anymore... You are going to make them regret every giving discounts. Now you are trying to get everyone to turn against Staples!? They have been so good to us over the years!! You are making all teachers look like crying brats.

Mrs. C said...

Dear friend, you did not leave contact information or even your name. Considering what you wrote I do not think you understood the letter. They did not giveaway anything...we paid for it. They offered the discount and we followed the rules fair and square. I am not trying to do anything to Staples. I JUST wanted to see if they understood how their change would impact a classroom teacher. Yes, they have been good and like my letter stated I have been a loyal customer. I have not made a teacher look like a crying brat. I would not use that term about another teacher. I love my job and I love the teaching community you see here. I hope you have used the freebies that I have provided free of charge. I hope you have gained some insight from all the wonderful teachers that share their thoughts here too. Just like we teach our kinder kids...we are a family and we stick together. I wish you the best year and that is truly from the bottom of my heart.

The Teachers Wife said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you and find it completely immature and irresponsible for a corporate company like Staples to post something like that specifically targeting teachers. I have been MORE than happy to show my support for your blog through my Surviving a Teacher's Salary fan page!

Value Minded Wife said...

You and the others may want to come check out Staples FB page. https://www.facebook.com/staples - Some of us are questioning them about this policy and while they are answering other customers about other things, so far we haven't gotten any response from them about this... So we are raising a ruckus! Please come post if you are a teacher or support teachers.

Tam Ro said...

No disrespect but... WTF WERE YOU TEACHERS DOING BEFORE THE DEAL EVEN WAS CREATED? Yaw are acting like this has been a tradition forever. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Like many others I teach at a low-income school and buy many supplies for my classroom. I shop at whatever store is giving me the best deal and is convenient and sometimes they impose the limits on teachers and sometimes they will let me buy a class set at the greatly reduced price. I always ask before I start my shopping so I have no surprises at the checkout. However, I have found several "work arounds" to their limits.

For the penny folders I have asked the people in line behind me if they mind adding them to what they bought and I give them the nickel or dime so that I get more at the sale price. I have no problem bringing my husband or friend with me and each of us check out with the limit. Lastly, I will go through the line, check out with the limit on each item, put the bags in my car and go back and repeat until I have what I need.

Mrs. C said...

Sorry friend but it is disrespectful for you to use those terms...

Shelly said...

No, I am not affiliated with Staples. Every parent should be able to afford penny folders, dime spirals, and all the other great deals that float around not only at Staples but also Walmart and Kmart. Even if they can't I have always seen donation areas set up and many of these donations find there way to my school. Some of these parents need to make school supplies a priority. Don't get me wrong because I have always rushed to Staples to supply my classroom and will be disappointed if I can't get the sames deals this year. But once again I don't think it is fair to "bash" Staples.

Shelly said...

I couldn't agree more!

Miss Mary said...

The negative posts I've read must have come from Virginia. Education is not a priority here, and because of budget cuts, four schools were closed in our city. Our city has drop boxes for back to school, but for CLOTHING, not school supplies. The idea that teachers should "scavange" for supplies from Social Services, churches, DonorsChoose.org, etc. is ludicrous. If all of the negative posters will go back and read Mrs. C's original letter, you will see that the letter WAS RESPECTFUL, WAS THANKFUL, and certainly not "bashing" Staples. In our state, it's all political. Teachers, write to your elected officials, put them on the spot in town hall meetings, write letters to the editor to your newspaper and their blogs. Lastly, VOTE for people who put education as a top priority. Check out how they voted on educational issues.

Traci G said...

I wish a class set for me was only 25. I teach 150 kids (middle school language arts) and was counting on the one cent pocket folders for this year. I need at least 2 per student in addition to all of the other supplies. Given my office supply "habit" (the first step is admitting you have a problem!), I am a loyal and overly-frequent customer at Staples. As teachers, we are creative folk and I know I/we can make do, but I'd love to see the old policy reinstated. Thank you for your blog spelling out to the corporate decision-makers exactly what the new policy means for teachers.

Anonymous said...

Anon at July 2, 2012 10:37 PM couldn't have said it any better. You're all making teachers look so bad. Your effort is wasted on the WRONG campaign! You should be writing letters to the government requesting more money be budgeted for education, not trying to make a business look bad for running a business. Staples doesn't owe us anything...be happy with the sales they're giving and stop complaining!

Anonymous said...

I just posted about the money Staples has lost in the past 2 days...but I miscalculated. It isn't 16,000 stores, it's 1600 stores, so the number is almost 700,000 not 7 million. If you could please erase that comment on this one, I'd appreciate it. But, $700,000 is still a lot of money!

Dawn said...

Here is a petition to sign regarding the change (if you want): https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/keep-2011-s-extended-limits-on-extreme-deals-teacher-policy-do-not-change-to-2012-policy-for-staples-rewards-check?utm_campaign=share_button_mobile&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

I agree that schools/districts/states should provide more funding for supplies. We can't require parents to purchase materials - some choose not to, some can't afford to purchase. Extra funding won't happen anytime soon in AZ. If you halfway pay attention to national news, you know how conservative voters are in our state.

Speaking as a teacher, I appreciated Staples offering sets of 25 of extreme deals for teachers. I typically have at least 30 students - last year it was 34 - so 25 gets me close, but doesn't make a class set for me. Not to mention the students moving in and out of the school during the year. I typically use at least 40 of each item every year. Some years I am lucky and have lots of student and parent donations - others, not so much.

Because Staples was so good to me with the extreme deals, I would then shop there throughout the year when I needed other supplies, too. The company didn't make money off of my extreme deal purchases, but they sure did the rest of the year, to the tune of hundreds of dollars.

Now if I can't get my back scratched by them, I won't be scratching their backs, either. I will purchase my supplies primarily at Target, catching CVS and Walgreen's deals as I can.

Oh - and the person who suggested DonorsChoose.org? Great idea. However, I have posted three projects there, and only one has been funded. Simply posting a request doesn't make it so. Just a thought.

I hope every teacher has a successful summer shopping, preparing, and planning for the new year! Our kids start back August 6 here in AZ, so our summer is quickly drawing to a close.

Great letter, Miss Kindergarten!

Camile said...

This makes me crazy! What about high school teachers? I have about 250 students a year (8 periods). How on Earth could I afford to buy anything without those deals?! Shame on Staples and great letter!!

Anonymous said...

I just bought spiral notebooks (70 pgs. each) at Walmart for 17 cents each - no limits...

Amber said...

I can't believe the number of teachers here who seem to think it is Staples' RESPONSBILITY to give them the penny deals. I am a teacher as well, and yes, I'm disappointed that they've tightened their reigns, but I'm dealing with it. Like others have said, shop elsewhere. We live in a capitalistic society, where independent stores and businesses are free to decide how much to charge for their goods and services. No one is forcing you to shop there.

Mrs. C said...

Oh Amber nobody is upset. We all have had so much fun shopping for school supplies and getting ready for the new school year. We have all shopped here, there and everywhere! Have a great school year!

Junhee Kim said...

I went to Staples yesterday without knowing about this new policy! I was very shocked, and now I am wondering how on earth I would get all the supplies without spending hundreds of dollars. =( I really appreciate that you wrote this letter. Hopefully, they'll do something about it.

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