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Office Depot suspends 'PC Health Checks' after FOX25 investigation

by: Eric Rasmussen Updated:

BOSTON - Office Depot has suspended its PC Health Checks throughout its chain, pending a review, following a FOX25 Investigation with its sister station in Seattle.

Earlier this week, FOX25 Investigates had three brand new computers go through the PC Health Check at Office Max, which is the same company as Office Depot. In two locations technicians said our laptops showed signs of poor performance and recommended a fix between $149-$199. One location found no problems with the computer.

Our sister station, KIRO-TV, also had six brand new computers go through the free scan at Office Depot stores in Washington and Oregon. In four stores, they were told the computers had symptoms of malware and needed repairs. Tests on two computers revealed no issues.

Former Office Depot employee turned whistleblower Shane Barnett said the company pushed each employee to meet sales goals for tech services and each tech’s goals are posted in the break room.

“The program itself is mandatory.  It's not an option to not run the program. You have to run it on every machine that comes in the building,” he told KIRO-TV.

As a result, Office Depot has suspended its PC Health Checks. They released the following statement: 

“Office Depot in no way condones any of the conduct that has been alleged in the reports. We have commenced a full review of the assertions and will take appropriate action. Office Depot is committed to providing the best possible service to our customers, and we are suspending the PC tune-up services throughout our retail chain pending our review.”

In addition, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting the agency open an investigation into what she called “exploitative behavior.”

You can read the letter here.

RELATED: FOX25 Investigates: Are office retailers charging for unnecessary computer fixes?