It Is Staples "Policy" To Rip You Off With Bogus "File Conversion" Fees

I just got back from Staples where I was faced with one of the worst examples of bogus fees I’ve ever seen. The ruse: If you have them print ANY file that is not in PDF form, they add on a $2 “Conversion Fee”, even if no file conversion takes place. It would be bad enough if they charged a fee for something that takes a single mouse click and costs them absolutely nothing, but this is ridiculous

Full details and story after the jump…

A few days ago, I went to the Staples at 184th St and Broadway in Upper Manhattan in order to to print a simple JPEG file. The copy/print area employee gave me a price that seemed a bit high with absolutely no explanation. I asked for details on the price, and she said that they were adding a $2 “Conversion Fee” because the file was not a PDF. I told her that you don’t need to convert it to a PDF, as JPEGS are perfectly capable of being printed on their own. Even worse–She didn’t actually DO any conversion. She merely printed the JPEG from some photo program. She said there was nothing she could do, and that it was company policy. I ask to speak to the manager. He acknowledged my complaint and waives the fee.

Fast forward to today. I go to the same Staples for a routine print-and-fax. This time, the files I needed to print were Word (.doc) files. Unfortunately, I failed to pay proper attention, and didn’t realize that they had once again slapped on a “Conversion Fee” until I had left the store and looked at the receipt (see photo above.)

The problems with this are obvious:

1) No conversion is needed to print any of these files

2) No conversion actually took place to print any these files.

3) They do not tell you about this fee, rather tell you what the cost is and ask you to pay. If you don’t look at your receipt, you don’t know you are getting charged for it.

4) Even if my first two points were not true, converting files costs nothing.

In short, always look at your receipt, and never trust Staples.