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Survey Of Tech Service Experts Reports 80 Percent Of Consumers Wait For Disaster To Strike Before Seeking Computer Maintenance

Cockroaches, Bees’ Nests and 3,000 Viruses (on one computer!) Among the Unique Cases Seen by Staples EasyTechs

Monday, June 29, 2009 9:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Most drivers are not experts when it comes to what’s happening under the hood of their car, and consumers should really think about their PCs in a similar way"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new survey of certified technology experts at Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world’s largest office products company, reveals that when it comes to computer maintenance, consumers are waiting for disaster to strike. While most people are mindful of routine oil changes to help keep their car running smoothly, the survey of Staples EasyTechs, the second largest national technology service provider, reports that more than 80 percent of customers do not follow a regular maintenance schedule for their computer. At the same time, Staples EasyTechs responded that the majority of work they do involves reactive repairs that could have been prevented, saving costs and computer down-time.

“As consumers spend more time online and doing work on their computer, we recommend regular preventative maintenance every 3-6 months, depending on the age and usage of the computer,” said Bob MacDonald, vice president of technology services at Staples. “Computer purchases are a significant investment, but our EasyTechs see firsthand that many customers do not take the proper steps towards safeguarding their purchase.”

Simple proactive steps such as security upgrades, software installations and tune-ups were reported to be seen far less often by Staples EasyTechs than virus-related repairs and computer crashes.

“Most drivers are not experts when it comes to what’s happening under the hood of their car, and consumers should really think about their PCs in a similar way,” said MacDonald. “Staples EasyTechs provide support ranging from tune-ups to virus removal to repairs.”

When it comes to memorable discoveries, Staples EasyTechs reported finding everything from families of cockroaches to a bees’ nest during routine computer maintenance. One EasyTech saw a personal record of 3,000+ viruses on one computer, and another reported finding so much dust in a machine that it filled the EasyTech’s hand-held vacuum.

Staples EasyTechs provide a wide range of PC installation, repair, and maintenance services. With 2,000 technicians located in its retail stores, Staples EasyTech is available to meet the technology services needs of consumers, home offices and small business. Customers can take advantage of Staples’ 50 percent off all in-store tech services now through July 4.

While Staples EasyTech service provides a range of tech services, consumers can follow some simple steps at home to keep their computer running smoothly:

  1. Have an antivirus solution and keep it up to date. Only one-third of EasyTechs surveyed reported that most customers have current antivirus software.
  2. Use Windows Disk Cleanup to safely remove any temporary files from your hard drive.
  3. Store computers in a well-ventilated area and be sure to clean out any dust or dirt that has accumulated inside the computer case.
  4. Defragment your hard drive on a regular basis. Using the Windows Disk Defragmenter utility keeps the files on your hard drive organized and accessible for Windows to help improve your performance and speed.
  5. Check for Windows Updates. Periodically visit Windows Update to download any security patches and drivers that are available for your computer.
  6. Back up digital files, music and photos on an external hard drive. More than 85 percent of EasyTechs reported that few or none of their customers properly back up their data.

The survey of 105 Staples EasyTechs was conducted from June 8-12, 2009.

For additional information on Staples EasyTech services and store locations visit www.staples.com/techservices.

About Staples

Staples, the world’s largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2008 sales of $23 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples serves businesses of all sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express, one of the world’s leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.

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Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Mark Crowley, 508-253-0767
Mark.Crowley@staples.com
or
Taylor
Christine Gonsior, 212-714-5718
cgonsior@taylorpr.com

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