Another one bites the dust: Office Depot’s $3.4M Compliance Mistake

Read about Office Depot agreeing to pay 34 million dollars in civil penalties. 

“Office Depot sold about 150,000 Quantum chairs nationwide between May 2006 and August 2009, for about $350 each, and about 1.4 million Gibson chairs nationwide between 2003 and 2012, for about $40 each.

In addition to paying the $3.4 million civil penalty, Office Depot has agreed that the company has, and shall maintain, a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act and a related system of internal controls and procedures.  The compliance program must include written standards and policies designed to convey information obtained from sources such as complaints, parts requests, and incident reports to personnel responsible for CPSC compliance.  The compliance program also must address:

  • confidential employee reporting of compliance concerns to a senior manager;
  • effective communication of compliance policies and procedures, including training;
  • senior management responsibility for, and general board oversight of, compliance; and
  • requirements for record retention.”

As with the Black & Decker case, the penalties are severe, the fix is simple – keep track of customer complaints, and when in doubt, report, report, report!

A best in class compliance program scrubs product safety complaints from all over the web – from your website, from Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Amazon – Google Crawler can help you set this up, or I can help with the setup. However it’s done, keeping track of customer complaints is step 1, then there is the corrective action and reporting process. As can be clearly seen, the penalties for noncompliance can be severe.

About the Author
I got my first job at Amazon because of my German language skills from my Master’s in History. Take that, people who said I’d never get a good job with my liberal arts degree! I soon learned that I’m not good at taking orders and started my MBA coursework at Seattle University.

I worked at Amazon for 8 years, as a liaison for law enforcement in Fraud/Transaction Risk, a quality and compliance manager in Product Compliance for Amazon Brands and imports globally, and lastly, managing hardware for Website Availability. I love the flexibility that working for clients on Amazon rather than for Amazon affords me.

In my not significant free time, I do fiber crafts such as spinning, crocheting, and embroidery, and I have been in a community band since 2009, playing French Horn, Trombone, or Euphonium depending on the band’s needs that season.

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