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OfficeMax MaxAssurance Replacement Watch, Day 9

Note from Chris: I’m not usually this bitter… but I’m taking no small pleasure in the fact that this blog is the first Google hit on the search for “OfficeMax Replacement Plan”. Don’t know that my complaints will result in anything, but I’m going to document the arduous process.

Today is the ninth day since I started the process rolling to try to get my dead Palm Tungsten E replaced under the “MaxAssurance” plan I purchased from OfficeMax. Still no pre-paid mailing label. How long can it take to send a mailing label? If this is indicative of the way the whole process will go, I fully expect to be without my PDA for about 6 weeks, which to me is just unacceptable for a “replacement plan”.

A few choice quotes from the OfficeMax website:

Electronics MaxAssurance Extended Warranty

With the Electronics MaxAssurance Plan brought to you by OfficeMax, you can enhance the manufacturer’s warranty on your purchases of electronics.

Electronics MaxAssurance features include:

* One-year service plan beginning as soon as the manufacturer’s labor warranty expires
* Coverage on parts and labor
* Renewable and transferable coverage
* Power surge protection
* Replacement program for all products under $400
* Repair program–products over $400 will be repaired by an authorized service provider

Protecting your purchase is a worry-free way to enjoy your electronics for just pennies a day.

Electronics MaxAssurance benefits also include:

* No deductible–no unexpected future costs
* Toll-free, 24-hour product helpline–referrals to qualified service providers
* Normal wear and tear coverage is included
* “No-Lemon” Policy–if your product requires more than three repairs, it will be replaced

Best Service
With the MaxAssurance Plan, a nationwide network of service providers, as well as dedicated customer service representatives, are at your service. Product experts are ready to provide instant troubleshooting, information and reliable service when you need it most.

The parts that crack me up the most are “No deductible–no unexpected future costs” and “Product experts are ready to provide instant troubleshooting, information and reliable service when you need it most.”

Yeah, if “no unexpected future costs” means “you’ll have to put out at least another $50 to get a replacement” and “product experts” are call-center workers working from a really short script…

Side note: I’ve seen the return process done really well; when I got a bad item from, I called and they asked for my e-mail address; they sent me a link to get a pre-paid UPS label online, and I had it that same evening and shipped the stuff the next day. That’s how it should be done.


  1. We were very impressed with Apple’s return process when we had to get Adriene’s iPod replaced because the headphone jack was defective.

    Some companies do occassionally get it right!

  2. Yeah, it can be done right… hoping that this situation will turn out better than it’s started… but not holding my breath. 🙂

  3. Jim Warren Jim Warren

    Don’t feel bad. OfficeMax’s “MaxAssurance” program is just as abusive and misleading regarding other shoddy OfficeMax crap, as it apparently is regarding OfficeMax electronics.

    E.g., I purchased an OfficeMax “executive office chair,” less than three years ago. But for much of a year now, it’s level-setting mechanism has failed almost daily.

    Finally recalling that I had purchased OfficeMax’s so-called MaxAssurance “plan” after being assured by the OfficeMax clerk – and the big print in their propaganda brochure – that “If your product fails, we will arrange to
    have it repaired and pay the bills …”

    SILLY me! I actually believed what the brochure and the clerk said. But what the big print (and verbal assurances) give, the fine print (and it’s VERY fine!) takes away:

    Seems that the only things they cover on chairs is if a caster breaks or an upholstery seam separates! The MaxAssurance phone-drone even told me that what USUALLY fails on OfficeMax chairs, is their hydraulic level mechanism! Which she hastened to state was NOT covered.

    Needless to say, I will NEVER do business with either of these scam operators again!

  4. Dave Dave

    I too was told that the MaxAssurance only covered “only things they cover on chairs is if a caster breaks or an upholstery seam separates”

    Checking Office Max website:
    What is Covered:
    For Furniture and Chairs: This Contract covers parts, material and labor costs resulting from a Breakdown of the
    Product caused by defects in workmanship and/or materials, including those experienced during normal wear and
    tear to include the following enhanced coverage: (1) Case goods —Structural defects to frames, cases, seat and
    back construction; dovetail construction; shelving and legs such as warpage, frame breakage or separation of
    frame components; hinges, mechanisms, and metal hardware;, lifting, cracking, peeling, tarnishing or pitting of
    veneers, laminate, other wood, lacquer, engraved photo finish or solid brass furniture; breakage of casters, wheels,
    buttons, drawer pull/guides and other moving parts (2) Finishes – Lifting, cracking, peeling or scaling of solid
    woods, laminated finishes and veneer; (3) Fabrics — Seam separation and loss of latex backing to fabrics and
    vinyl; (4) Cushions — Excessive loss of foam, latex and spring resiliency of backs and cushions; (5) Frames –
    Structural defects, warping, cracking and breaking to frames and legs; (6) Leather – Seam separation, lifting and
    peeling of topcoat finish; (7) Mechanisms to include all moving parts; (8) Lifting and peeling of topcoat finish; (9)
    Upholstery — Seam separation, loss of latex backing to fabrics and vinyl; and (10) Casters. We will repair the
    Product, or reimburse You with an OfficeMax gift card for authorized repairs to or replacement of the Product, at
    Our discretion, when required due to a Breakdown which is not covered under any other warranty or service
    contract. On-site service is provided for the full term of this Contract. Non-original manufacturer’s

    I hope they will cover my $300 leather chair –

  5. George George

    I betcha a small claims court would likely rule in your favor.
    You can file in the county where the chair was purchased, the cost to do that is rather minimal, and I’m pretty sure MaxAssurance would not fair well.

    Interesting, though – I was told their policies had recently changed (within the last few months). Seems to me a trier of fact would likely rule policies cannot be changed once committed to at the transaction of original purchase…

  6. Evetty Evetty

    Hi Chris,

    I accidently broke my camera on Friday and filed a claim online with MaxAssurance and printed my label in seconds.

    I have purchased many electronics and the MaxAssurance on all. I also registered all my products online so it is easy to file a claim when necessary.

    Good Luck =)

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  9. James James

    The Max Assurance plan has had it’s problems in the past, but it is not something that OfficeMax controls. The company that actually runs the insurance plan is called NEW; it is the same company that does the insurance for DirecTV and a few other places. In our store, we have had so many problems with NEW that we just replace the products in-store for customers that have issues. And yes, we cover everything that is supposed to be covered: accidental damage, normal wear and tear, anything. In one instance that occurred recently, a customer was moving after having a printer for 2 years. The printer fell out of their vehicle and shattered (literally). They brought in as much as they could of it, with their MaxAssurance receipt, and we replaced it for them with a brand new (and significantly better) printer that cost the same amount they originally paid for the old one. I know our store is a little different than most, but that is the way we feel it should be.

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