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BAIT AND SWITCH SCAM!!!
Posted by on
I purchased a video camera online at the official Circuit City website. Unit arrived but would not load tapes. The error code the unit display was listed in the manual as one the consumer must contact a JVC service provider about. I called customer service number on the shipping package, spoke about the error code, and established that the unit needed to be returned. I was told I would have to wait three days for a shipping label to arrive and to use that to ship the unit back. For faster resolution, I could take it to a local store. This seemed like a good plan and we happily plotted to drive an hour or so to a store later that day.

Nearest store is Decatur, 58 miles, hence the need to have ordered online in the first place. Second closest is Fairview Heights, which is easier to drive to. Called this store and was told it is no longer in stock and has been discontinued. After calls to all stores within 150 miles, we learned it is DISCONTINUED and will not be restocked anywhere. So the product I bought less than a week ago online is already not carried in stores and not available for exchange anywhwere in this state or neighboring ones. That information was not available at my time of purchased online, nor told to me on my first customer service call.

Not yet discouraged, I called the Fairview Heights store and asked for a refund if I can't get an immediate exchange, and was told there would be a 15% RESTOCKING FEE for open items returned for refund. I understand that is store policy, but this item is defective and not currently in stock and not going to be restocked since it has been discontinued and isn't functioning properly. So I pay them to restock what, exactly? I was told this was policy; if the box is open, we forfeit 15%. They ship me a bad product, charge me for the shipping of this bad product, I spend the gas money to drive it to the store for refund because exchange is not possible, and they keep 15%?

When I asked the person if this sounds fair, to buy online and lose 15% plus shipping plus gas, he said that if I wanted the full refund, I could drive to their store and buy a more expensive camcorder with the full "in-store credit" for the returned unit! Ship a faulty product to a consumer, and when the consumer shows up at a store with a unit bought less than a week ago, the choices are to spend more to get a more expensive camcorder that works, or face losing 15% of your money for nothing if you want a refund. Isn't that a twisted bait and switch??

This was not satisfactory to me, as I will not only be out the original express shipping costs, but gas to drive the 118 miles round trip and more money for a unit I didn't order in the first place. And even if I did make the drive, I now cannot have my full money back for services and goods NOT provided to me by this company, I can only have a percentage back. I asked to speak with a supervisor to see if this was truly happening.

I was being transferred to the manager and then disconnected, so I called back. I was subsequently made to repeat the problem 8 more times to 8 different people, most of whom did not understand why I didn't want to come to the store and lose 15% and gas money for being shipped a bad product, like it was my fault. They all said if the product was open, I had to pay the 15% restocking fee for the broken, discontinued item, no exceptions. I cannot recoup the express shipping fees which I paid in good faith for what I thought was a quality product delivered in a timely manner. I lose 15% plus shipping because they deliver a bad product? And no one seems to understand my problem with this? I asked to speak with a supervisor in charge.

The 9th person I spoke with only gave a first name, which I stated on an earlier form, and said he was not required to give a last name. I was told that shipping it back to them and waiting for them to ship a replacement would be the only way to get that unit replaced without monetary loss on my part, but I would have to wait three days for their shipping label to arrive, and they would not ship a replacement until they received my product. This was a solid solution, with one exception. I asked if this was tracked shipping to guarantee that they receive my product, and was told it is NOT. SO WHAT IS TO PROTECT ME FROM FURTHER LOSS DUE TO THEIR MISTAKES AND NEGLIGENCE?

Because trust with this company is now a HUGE issue, since they have had my money for a week and do not seem to care that I do not have in hand a working product, and still have no idea when I will get a working product. I asked if I could get a FULL monetary refund instead of product replacement if I shipped the defective item right back to them. I was told they STILL keep 15% restocking fee for all open items. Ship me a bad product AND don't have to provide a full refund because I opened the box to see if it worked? Unbelievable. I asked if he had a supervisor and he said he "did not". Also unbelievable.

I asked what I needed to do to return the product with proof of receipt to protect myself from further loss so I could at least get my product and be done with this rotten service. I was told that for additional charges to my credit card AT MY FURTHER expense, I could ship the item with tracking for my own peace of mind. And I will.

So I am now:
1) Paying shipping fees x2 for a product that should only have been shipped once.
2) Eventually receiving a product I would not have purchased in the first place if I knew it was being discontinued and IMPOSSIBLE to exchange in any store within 150 miles less than one week after I purchased it. (No one said "it will be in stock next week, or next month". They said "discontinued" and "out of stock and will not be in stock". The website did not say this at all. It said "sale".)
3) The fact that they can legally keep 15% to sell a person a defective product, then charge us upon return to "restock" something broken and discontinued and "not going to be in stock"...how is that even remotely legal or honest business practice? Charge me more because they sold me a bad unit?? That's exactly what they did!

What is to keep them from continuing to sell and ship a percentage of defective products and keeping 15% under the guise of restocking fees? They are taking our money for nothing, and not providing the goods as promised. How can they restock an item that is broken and discontinued, anyway?


My point is that I paid for a product that does not function and to get one that does, they are making me pay even more when it is their error, their mistake. They tried to get me to buy a more expensive product and forget this one, saying I could buy a product of equal or greater value and knowing there were no models of equal value, which is good salesmanship but rotten customer service and not good business ethics. I wonder how many people fell for this trick and shelled out an additional $75 to $120.

And the question on a larger scale is this: WHO OR WHAT is to stop them from knowingly shipping or selling and reselling a percentage of their defective products, raking in the 15% of that because no one knows the product is defective unless you open the box (because they only give full refund on unopened items), and taking our money for nothing????

This is an unfair business practice to charge 15% on all opened items, even defective ones. We do not know its defective unless we open it. Tracked return shipping should be provided AT THEIR EXPENSE, not mine, when the product is not available in stores anymore and they ship the consumer a defective unit.

Online sales should clearly state that a unit is being discontinued, WHEN it is being discontinued, and should clearly state when online items will not be available for in store exchange if the unit is defective so the buyer can make an educated decision regarding level of service in case of unfortunate scenarios such at this one.

So my complaint is that they took my money and haven't provided a product, won't provide one unless I ship the defective one back, won't pay for tracked shipping which in this case would be more than prudent, can't give me an exchange in any store within 150 miles unless I buy a more expensive unit, and want to keep 15% restocking fee to restock a product that has been discontinued if I want my money back instead of waiting indefinitely for an untracked camcorder to show up by mail. How can it be legal to ship a defective product and then keep 15% when people try to get a refund for the defective unit because we opened the box????
The exchange promise is useless when there are no units available for exchange so soon after purchase, making in-store credit translate into the classic bait and switch.

Warn everyone: buyers beware at Circuit City online!
     
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Anonymous on 12/30/2006:
Beware at Circuit City in general. I consider JVC consumer camcorders to be much inferior to Sony and Panasonic. With that in mind, If I were you I'd upgrade and get full credit, like they offered. They are definitely in the wrong on this, but since its a JVC, you may want to take my advice and get a Sony or Panasonic. It may cost a bit more, but sounds like you'll get full refund on your defective one and then you'll end up with a better camcorder. Let us know what you do.
tnchuck100 on 12/30/2006:
They cannot legally keep a re-stocking fee on a defective product. They are simply relying on the fact that the customer will not take them to court over it. However, many of the store managers probably really do believe it is legal.

If you take them to small claims court you will probably get your full refund with shipping and court costs. It's a hassle but that is how you can recover.
Extended Warranty on 12/30/2006:
I don't think Circuit City would imply a company wide return policy if it was illegal. It states there is a restocking fee if don't exchange it for the exact same one. If that can't be provided, an exchange for a different one should be made. The buyer's mistake? Buying from Circuit City. Should have bought it from Best Buy.
Anonymous on 12/30/2006:
Extended, I think you missed the fact that it was defective AND discontinued. If you can't refund the full amount under those circumsances, you don't deserve to be in business.
rhondam718732 on 01/02/2007:
FIGHT THIS
Furko on 10/03/2007:
"They cannot legally keep a re-stocking fee on a defective product. They are simply relying on the fact that the customer will not take them to court over it. However, many of the store managers probably really do believe it is legal. If you take them to small claims court you will probably get your full refund with shipping and court costs. It's a hassle but that is how you can recover."

No way. I went through the same thing on Oct. 2nd with two Gateway 22-inch monitors (read on my3cents under Furko's posting, under "GATEWAY.")

Yes, my monitors were defective, and yes, they charged me a 15% restocking fee after only having the things in my possession for 3 short days. But -- I did not fight it. In fact, I was happy that I got back 85% of what I had paid for the damned wretched things.

I also knew the Circuit City return policy beforehand -- 15% restocking fee will be charged. I assume the poster did not know this when he ordered his camcorder -- big mistake!! The 15% fee is for ALL RETURNS in which case the box has been opened. Makes no difference to Circuit City or anyone else whether the wretched thing worked or did not work. I knew that up front, so I did not make a federal grand jury case about the 15% when I returned the wwretched, useless things.

In my case, they were ready to exhange the two Gateways with two "fres" ones. "No, thanks," I told them. Because if those did not work, something I was by then sure they would not, I would have had to pay restocking fees on the second set of monitors as well!!

Buy whatever you can from OFFICEMAX, STAPLES, OFFICE DEPOT, or WALMART -- there are no restocking fees charged there. C.C. and BESTBUY live happily these days off of their 15% restocking fees.
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Repairing MY HP Laptop
Posted by on
NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Circuit City Advantage Protection Resolution Team
1-888-342-6641

Case Number # 8125527

On May 2, 2006 I bought a HP Pavilion Notebook PC DV8210US, CSP Plan, Cannon Printer MP500, Webroot Installation Software, Microsoft Office Software, 2. Kingston Technologies 512 MB Ram, from Circuit City, In Nashua New Hampshire, this was after many months of researching for items I would need for my home office.

My laptop was working great until August 16th when the screen went black. When I couldn’t recover any documents or software, the light came on and was trying to read the driver but nothing worked.

On August 17th after work, I drove back to Circuit City in Nashua New Hampshire about 40 miles away, to give the store my laptop to send out for repairs, since I had bought the protection plan. I was advised I needed to go home and call CC Advantage Protection Plan, so I drove home called and after speaking with a customer service representative I was advised to call HP since this laptop was still warranty under the manufactor.

Upon talking to HP Customer Service, I was advised a box would come to my attention which took a couple days to arrive. I then shipped my laptop to HP and waited to hear from a represantive, finally after calling many times, HP advised me that there had been a liquid spill on the laptop (even though I never spilled anything on the computer) HP wanted $ 698.00 to repair the computer, at such time I asked HP to send the laptop back to my attention, which took some time. But finally my laptop was returned to me. I then called to CC Advantage Protection Plan, since I had bought additional protection coverage at the time of purchase.

When calling CC Advantage Protection Plan on September 13th, I spoke to a lovely lady name Lorraine x 4261 who was very helpful, gave me case # 8062650. I was requested to wait for another box which finally came to me days later. Lorraine advised me that my laptop would be shipped out to a third party services provider called Nexicore, in Simi Valley California, she told me there would be instructions in the box of what items Nexicore would need to do repairs to my laptop.

Upon receiving the box from Nexicore there was a laptop repair return instruction sheet please (see attached), in this letter, never did it state to take out my memory rams chips that had been installed at the time of purchase, nor did it advise me that if the laptop could not be repaired that it would be destroyed, and not returned to me. I also made them aware that HP had told me about the spill damage and to show me proof that there was no spill damage. I knew that the whole time that I’ve owned this laptop that I never ever had any beverages near it. I was then told when Nexicore takes the laptop apart they would take pictures to document the problems with the laptop.

I was advice via Circuit City Advantage Protection web page that my laptop had been received by Nexicore, and was being fixed and then had been fixed and was on it way back to me. When my computer never arrived I called CC Advantage Protection Plan, and they advised me the computer could not be fixed even though the web site said it was being sent to me.

On September 26th after talking to Customer Services Representative
Erin advised me that the laptop was unable to be repaired and that two
Replacement option was being suggested, A. a Refursed, Gateway computer with a slower Processor or option B a gift card for the value of 849.99 lower than my original price of my HP laptop. I told Erin to get a better offer.

On September 26th again later in the day, I called and spoke to a man named David, who told me that another offer had been made of a gift card for $ 1099.99 I asked that he request my memory ram be returned to my attention since the computer could not be repaired, and that I be emailed with any picture of the laptop when it was opened up to show that Nexicore had found liquid damage. (Since I never spilled any liquid on the laptop.) David advised me he would email Nexicore to ask for both of these items and I would be emailed in the next two days with a responds.

On September 29th I called CC Advantage Protection Plan again since I never received an email from anyone or a phone call.
I was then advised by Vinu that the case number had changed to
8119300 and that no memory had been recovered and that my laptop had already been destroyed and no pictures had been taken. I told him I wanted restitution for the memory ram since I had paid $ 65.00 each
That I would want another CC gift card sent to me for $ 130.00 plus I wanted my new laptop covered by the original protection plan.
That I had paid $ 400.00 for a 4 year protection plan, and only had my original laptop for less than 4 months. He advised me this was not possible.

Then I asked to speak with his supervisor Erin, who told me that
The ram was considered an upgrade and upgrades where not covered under the protection plan policy, does not state this to be true. I advised Erin I would want restitution for my memory and that I had never been advised to remove the ram from the computer prior to shipping it to Nexicore. He then advised me he authorized Nexicore to destroy my laptop without permission from myself, and didn’t care that I still had legally owed the laptop.

He advises me CC Advantage Protection Plan had the authorization to advise a 3rd party to destroy or fix a computer, without asking for my permission. Where then I hung up on Erin. I was so upset with his manner.

On October 5th, I received a call from CC Advantage Protection Plan telling me they had another offer, and I called back to find out from Representative Scott that a gift card for $ 1099.99 was not sent to my attention and a new case number had been give 8125527 and that they wanted to offer me another option of a Refurnished Acer, and not give me my memory rams back or a gift card for the memory ram or have my protection plan policy be cared over to a new computer.

I asked that Scott have a member of the replacement team contact me.
No one ever contacted me.

On October 11th I received another call from CC Advantage Protection Plan telling me they had another offer, and I called back to find out from Representative, David, who advised me they had another option of a refurnished HP Pavilion DV8225 NR notebook,

But that there was no mention in the offer of caring over my protection plan to a new computer.


As you can see I have been trying to get this resolved for over 2 months,
I have had many different customer services reprensative who state that they will call me back and never do, state they will email me and never do.

I am sick of talking to people who don’t have the authorization.

Please at this point I am very upset with Circuit City as a whole and would like my money back that is the following;

$ 1099.99 for the laptop,
$ 129.98 for the memory ram,
$ 399.99 for CS plan.

A total of $ 1,629.96.

If I do not hear from your company bye October 30th I will be contacting
Help me Hank, a local news station who helps customers with complains and the Better Business Bureau.


Sincerely,



Kiresten Kesting


Since faxing this letter to CC Advantage Protection Plan I was called bye a represenative who advised me I could and would only be able to receive a reburnished computer value worth $ 790.00 or a gift card value worth $ 790.00 and that nothing else would be replaced.






     
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tander on 10/27/2006:
Get your story on TV, have Hank help you get your total purchase price back for that latop. I have heard several times of these companies blaming it on spills, when it's not true.
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Rebate Woes-Buyer Beware
Posted by on
CEDAR HILL, TEXAS -- While Christmas shopping at Circuit City, I observed a display sign that stated Logitech Webcam Deluxe (normally $79.99) was on sale for $9.99 each. What a bargan!

I scooped up 3 for gifts and headed for the cash register. At the check-out, the total was over $180! I asked for the manager and pointed out the display sign that clearly said nothing about rebate. The manager stood firm and I would have to pay the actual sale price of $59.99 and get the rebate.

After thinking it over, I decided to buy the webcams anyway since it would still be a bargain. I went back to the register and purched 3 webcams. Additionally, I questioned the representative about limits to the rebate since I was getting 3. She called over the customer service manager to answer my question. The manager assured me I could get a rebate on all 3, but would need separate receipts, so she refunded my card and charged each webcam separately.

I completed the rebates and immediately sent them in with everything needed. Last week I found one rebate was being processed, but the others were showing invalid. I called the rebate line and was told there was a limit of 1 per product type. After I told the representative what I was told at the store, he spoke to his supervisor (and since I was a valued customer), agreed to pay the other two rebates. I specifically asked him if they were refunding all 3 webcams and I was told yes. Well, OK.

Today I receive an email that only 2 rebates are in process. I called the rebate line again and I'm told there are only 2 rebates and I should consider myself lucky because the 2nd one was actually invalid due to the product limit. And by the way, they have no record of the 3rd rebate request. I pointed out the name of the person I spoke with last week and that he assured me I would receive 3 rebates. The representative stated she only showed 2 requests and suggested I call Circuit City to call in my 3rd rebate. I suggested she transfer me to the person I spoke with last week since he recognized I had 3 rebates last week. I was told, they are not allowed to transfer callers. I asked for a supervisor and after holding 20 minutes, received the same lame responses from him.

I feel Circuit City purposely misled me by offering a phony sale. Why would any business leave out important information such as a rebate and product limits from a sale display sign? It should have read "$9.99 after rebate, Limit-one rebate per product type". There is a big difference between tax on $180 and $30.00 as well.

What's worse, I went out of my way to check on limitations and was given misinformation. Who is going to stand at a check out and read that 2 foot long receipt with the rebate wherefore's and whereas'. Now it will be my word against a receipt that states, in writing, rebate product limits.

I would recommend using a different store altogether for your electronic needs, but if you chose to shop at Circuit City, buyer beware of sales. The bargain displayed might not be as good as you thought.
     
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Buddy01 on 12/30/2008:
Didn't it state a limit on the rebate form?
help4u@circuitcity.com on 12/30/2008:
I am sorry to hear about the problems that you had with your recent rebate submissions and would like to assist you in getting this resolved. If you would like my assistance please feel free to contact me at help4u@circuitcity.com. In the email please make sure to include the ticket number from your purchase receipt.
Ponie on 12/30/2008:
'Who is going to stand at a check out and read that 2 foot long receipt with the rebate wherefore's and whereas'.' I will--to be sure I understand what the terms are. Doing so I don't have to ask for exceptions or make pleading phone calls.
BokiBean on 12/30/2008:
What a scam! Here at this house we have stopped buying anything with a "promised" rebate, because they invariably can't or won't process them due to some lame technicality.

Sorry for your troubles, but this is kind of what I expect when rebates are involved, and customer service seems to be more the exception than the norm these days.
Chief Marshall on 12/30/2008:
Light at the end of the tunnel!
As a follow up to my previous note...it's true there is a stated limit near the bottom of the rebate form-the rebate form is also the receipt. It was handed to me after the purchase and after I asked the important questions. It would have been nice if there had been rebate information around the display or someplace I could see it, besides the check-out receipt. You should also be able to trust the manager's word.

In this case, I called the manager of this particular store and initially, it sounded like I was just going to have to chalk it up to "lesson learned", but in the end, he gave me a discount that worked out to my liking. I am grateful that it worked out for me, but I will probably steer clear of rebates in the future. This could have gone really different, so I have to say thanks to Circuit City for making it right!

Ponie on 12/31/2008:
Chief, I'm glad your situation was resolved. I've made it a practice to never make a purchase based on receiving a rebate. If one happens to be offered on something I pick up, that's gravy for me. Never had a problem on a rebate, except once. Received a card that told me I didn't qualify. Now, this wasn't the reason for the purchase, but applied for it anyway. I called the 800 number shown on the card--loaded for bear. When I stated my case (politely) I was put on hold for a moment. When the person returned, he told me my rebate would be put in the mail and I later received it. Maybe you should make your purchases in the future with the same thing in mind. Also, I've noticed most of these things say only one rebate per address or something similar. I may be a bit cynical, but unless it's in writing, I don't trust anything a salesman promises--even a manager. Glad it worked out for you.
Anonymous on 12/31/2008:
Good advice and suggestions, Ponie.
pixielily on 01/18/2009:
I am still waiting for my rebate for this exact deal. I only bought one webcam, so I shouldn't have any problems that way. I'm worried though that them going out of business will make it so that I don't get it. It's been just about 8 weeks though since I sent it in, so I'm starting to wonder. It was an impulse buy, and I had no idea about the rebate until after I checked out since there wasn't any information advertised for the rebate. But I hope it does come because I sure could use that cash right now.
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Very Unfair Customer Service, Resolution
Posted by on
PHOENIX / TUCSON, ARIZONA -- I had to post this online, I've never done this before but I want to share with the world how bad this company really is.

I purchased a laptop back in January not an overly expensive one around $740. I had issues with it when I returned home with it, the display would not come on, I called and they offered a 'free exchange' - I got home with that one, around 3 days later the laptop failed to come on for me, I checked everything, I returned it they looked it over and said it was a faulty motherboard, again they exchanged it.

They offered me yet another free exchange for the same model although it was an open box, it was a returned item, the same day. I said no and asked my other options, 'you can upgrade by paying the difference' - OK well if that's my only option, sure I can do that (they were friendly, and I figured you get what you pay for).

Not the case, several months pass, and my new 9339us laptop fails, the HDD went out, the integrated webcam stopped working (I never new it was failing until I tried to conference with family back home in the United Kingdom) and the battery lasted about 4 minutes on a full charge, when I fist got this upgrade it lasted about 2.5 hrs.

I called CC and had a total call time since last weds of 8 hours (mostly hold time), then they told me to fax my receipts in, I waited a further 2 days and they told me the laptop was a recall from HP back in June, I was shocked, neither company contacted it's buyers. They offered me yet another FREE EXCHANGE although it wasn't free, they liquidized all the Circuit City stores in the Phoenix Metro Valley about 2 weeks ago and my closest store from my house was Tucson (140 miles) or Yuma (160 miles). I agreed to drive down to Tucson where I did the exchange for an equal machine. 6 hours $50 gas later I returned home and found that the wireless and Ethernet card didn't work. I contacted HP and they told me this model was manufactured back in Feb 2007 and was a recalled machine, the said it was CC that had to fix the issue as this machine was 190 days out of warranty anyhow. (How if it was purchased in Jan?), also I come to find the system is a complete downgrade, slower processor, shared ram on the video card and half the memory and HDD space.

I spoke to CC customer care and they put me onto a supervisor her name was Tocorro, she said she is the only supervisor in escalated called department and told me the only resolution was to drive to Tucson again and get an exchange for the same machine (which they no longer carry it was a recall) or one of lesser value, or I can pay for an upgrade OR get a credit for the one I currently have (I found this one was priced on CC website in the past for $600, that's not what I originally paid).

I explained to her that driving 12 hours and spending $100 in gas money wasn't fair because their company had to close every store (20 I believe) in the valley where I live. I said you should honor the upgrade or exchange for matching specs on my machine, she said 'exchange for the same model, we don't carry it anymore or get one that's worth less money or get your money back as a 'Store Credit' - this is beyond me, store credit, it's 6hours away and I don't shop online, when I want something I like to go pick it up.

So because of the mishap of them downgrading me, they offer me the downgraded value in refund by way of 'store credit' and of course $100 in gas for me to be able to receive that so make my first purchase of $740 now become a $500 credit for fuel charge to myself and a downgraded system.

I asked to speak to someone above her and she said 'she is the end of the line in corporate' - where do I go now?
     
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madconsumer on 12/10/2008:
since they are closing, they no longer offer accurate technical services.

great review.

very helpful.
AZCraven on 12/10/2008:
What could the BBB do for me? Can they do anything? I've never done any of this before but that's a good chunk of money for me, especially with the economy as it it. I'm still on the phone now trying to get a refund which I will have to drive 6hrs total to receive but they will only offer me a store credit.
Anonymous on 12/11/2008:
It seems that CC was doing what they could for you by exchanging the laptop or offering a store credit.
Have you ever tried to contact the manufacturer about the problems?
help4u@circuitcity.com on 12/11/2008:
I am sorry to hear about the problems that you have had with your HP laptop purchase and would like to assist you in getting this issue resolved. If you would like my assistance please feel free to email me at help4u@circuitcity.com.
AZCraven on 12/11/2008:
Robf I did contact HP and they told me that CC were the ones required to change the laptop out as it was a recalled model for some time and they should have contacted me which they never did.

A store credit would honestly be great if all the stores weren't 150+ miles from my house, I don't like buying online, once again I'm still without a functioning laptop right now which means I can't do anything productive right now.
FarfalleAlfredo on 12/29/2008:
AZ, definitely contact the BBB. I did that a few years ago about a Gateway laptop that I purchased from the company that they refused to repair under warranty. I documented everything on a blog here: http://nogateway.blogspot.com/ It will take a while, but eventually you should get something.
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Circuit City Has The Worst Customer Service Ever!
Posted by on
After reading other reviews for Circuit City on this site I know I'm screwed, they will never do what is right. On August 28, 2008 I finally received the $150.00 in rewards points certificates that I had been waiting 6 weeks for. I went to the South Oklahoma City store (I-240) to purchase the Panasonic camera that we had researched and decided on. Although it was in stock 6 weeks earlier when we ordered our rewards certificates, it was now only available at Circuit City.com. We went home, got on the site and saw that the silver model we wanted was out of stock and had been discontinued. It was still advertised at a special price of $215.00. The black model had also been discontinued but was still available, however the price for it was $265.00. Exact same camera, different color $50.00 more.

I checked competitors sites and most had both in stock with no difference in price. Panasonic and Circuit City's sites showed the same suggested retail for both cameras. I was now irritated that I would have to spend $50.00 more for the purchase, but I noticed that there was a free $100.00 printer included after mail in rebate. This helped to calm me as we needed a printer anyway. We decided to order the camera and printer. I decided to call in the order to the 800 number as I normally get better service ordering from a "human". I called began placing the order, and when we got to the payment portion of the call I told the "helpful, friendly product advisor" that I had rewards certificates to redeem. He must have been new, or just didn't want to mess with them because he told me that I could only redeem those in-store or on Circuit City.com myself. Again, I'm miffed. This is becoming an all day event. I hung up went back to the website and began placing my order.

When I completed the order I realized that I had left the printer off. I immediately (within 5 minutes) called the 800 number again and explained what had happened. The customer service person apologized, told me that the "friendly, helpful..." person should have placed my order, that rewards certificates can in fact be redeemed by phone. However, "the system" would not allow her to correct the problem. Since the rewards certificates are "one-time" use only, if she cancelled the order I placed and placed a new order with the printer on it I would lose my $150.00. So my options were 1). To not receive the free printer that was advertised with my camera and supposedly a $100.00 value or 2). Lose my $150.00 in rewards certificates.

All of this would not have happened if the "friendly, helpful..." person would have placed the order for me as he should have done. The customer service department is a joke. They blame everything on "the system" and it doesn't matter that it was their phone representative that caused the problem in the first place. I wish that I had read the reviews on Circuit City or checked with the BBB before doing business with them. I have already cut up their credit card and I will never again buy anything, not even a battery from them.
Resolution Update 09/03/2008:
Wow, I on't beleive it! A week later and my problem is resolved. I finally resorted to contacting my local store (I-240) and spoke with Ashley in customer service. I explained my problem to her only once and she understood! Not only did she understand what was wrong, she knew how to fix it. She took my number, said she would call me back and to my amazement she did! Within about 5 minutes! She said everything was taken care of, all I would need to do would be to come in the store and pay for the printer and pick it up. When I arrived there was no wait, no hassle, no rude employees. She had pulled up my original on-line order, added the printer, printed me a receipt which had both the camera and printer on it and had my rebate form ready for me! Her manager Marty was also there and was friendly and helpful. On top of fixing my existing problem, I had found a Sears ad for the same camera for $20.00 less, Marty credited 110% of the difference back to my card. After all I had went through with the 800 number I was amazed at how easy the fix was in the store and how nice the people were that I dealt with. I didn't realize that they would be so eager to help with a problem from an on-line purchase. CC should have these two employees conducting training classes on how to treat customers. They may have saved one here.
     
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thensider on 08/29/2008:
IF you cancel the order, your rewards certificates should be re-issued, although I am not sure they will be reissued in time for you to take advantage of the offer...
OSUFAN on 08/29/2008:
No. They refuse to re-issue or apply my points to a new, corrected order. They referred me to the fine print on the certificate which read "Each certificate is one-time use only". I was told repeatedly by 3 different customer service reps that if I cancelled the order I would lose the $150.00 of points that I had applied to the purchase.
JoeyBelle on 08/29/2008:
Then they should have "added" the printer to that order when you first called back...I order online all the time for many vendors. And all of them can "add" to an order if its within a few hours..
hisbaby78 on 09/02/2008:
At least you got your rewards certificates. I received mine at least 1 month after they expired. When I called they said I should have given them forwarding information for my mail and they refused to believe I didn't get them in time or to reissue them--the kicker-- I never moved!!
OSUFAN on 09/03/2008:
Wow, I on't believe it! A week later and my problem is resolved. I finally resorted to contacting my local store (I-240) and spoke with Ashley in customer service. I explained my problem to her only once and she understood! Not only did she understand what was wrong, she knew how to fix it. She took my number, said she would call me back and to my amazement she did! Within about 5 minutes! She said everything was taken care of, all I would need to do would be to come in the store and pay for the printer and pick it up. When I arrived there was no wait, no hassle, no rude employees. She had pulled up my original on-line order, added the printer, printed me a receipt which had both the camera and printer on it and had my rebate form ready for me! Her manager Marty was also there and was friendly and helpful. On top of fixing my existing problem, I had found a Sears ad for the same camera for $20.00 less, Marty credited 110% of the difference back to my card. After all I had gone through with the 800 number I was amazed at how easy the fix was in the store and how nice the people were that I dealt with. I didn't realize that they would be so eager to help with a problem from an on-line purchase. CC should have these two employees conducting training classes on how to treat customers. They may have saved one here.
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Extended Warranty Is A Joke
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37886, TENNESSEE -- I have been trying to get my HP slimline fixed since May 3,2008. It is now Aug. 12, 2008 and I still do not have a computer. I took the computer to a local Circuit City store like I was told. They said they would call when it was fixed, no call, so I called 2 weeks later. It was fixed, come and pick it up. I get home plug it in and nothing. So, I call the 1-888 number and told to never take it to the store always call them. We troubleshoot and nothing. Someone will be calling and set up a time for a tech. to come to my house. I wait for 2 more weeks no one calls.

I call again, someone will call tomorrow. Again no call, I call & finally get someone to my house and they "fix it". It works 2 days and dies again. I call same ordeal and finally about a month later, a tech. shows up replaces mother board and power supply,but leaves my house with it not connecting to the internet under my extreme protest. It hooked to the internet before. I was told my modem was bad. I bought a new modem, but still unable to hook to the internet. Call again, I'm told we're going to ship you a "new" computer and it will arrive in 7-10 business days. 3 weeks later I'm calling once again! Finally someone tells me that computer is on back order, but we will send you a computer with 3mb of memory, but it will cost you $20.

I say no, and he says they will charge it to the warranty company. Mid July I receive the computer and pull it out of the box and notice 9 deep scratches down the side. I can deal with that and I plug it in. Turn the computer on and it takes for ever to load a page. I try everything and it's still slower than Christmas. I call once again!!! Then I'm told that it is actually 1mb and it will be slow until I bring it to the store and pay to have them upgrade it. Unacceptable!!! I enlist my father to help because maybe they will listen to a man better than a woman.

I'm willing to try anything. No luck he is still waiting for a phone call from a supervisor he talked with 3 weeks ago. I called again today and was told to take it to the store, after I was told not to and they would fix it and if they could not fix it they would ship it off and repair it. It is just a coincidence that if it is shipped off it could take 2-3 weeks to repair it and my "no-hassle" warranty runs out in 3 weeks. I also find out that one of the 4 supervisors I spoke with said I had agreed with the offer of gift card towards a purchase of a new computer from Circuit City. No agreement was ever made and there is no way I will ever step foot in a Circuit City store again!!!
     
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Do Not Buy Anything At Circuit City
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TIGARD, OREGON -- This complaint is so similar to the one titled "My Big Purchase Experience With Circuit City - Warranty and Product/Service Quality", that I thought I had already made my post. After reading this, I hope you think twice before buying anything from Circuit City.

We purchased a 52" Sharp Aquos TV from the Tigard, OR Circuit City store at the end of January. We took the TV home, set it up and turned it on, only to find that there was no image, but instead were several cracks radiating from a central point. We packed the TV back up and took it back to the store to exchange that very same day. When we get there, service manager Andrew Torres, says he will take a look at it, but adds that if it has point of impact damage, it basically isn't their fault. Once his people unpack, set up the TV and turn it on, Andrew says the damage has point of impact damage. There are absolutely no marks on the screen, but he says it is point of impact damage; he is not saying that we did it, but he can't or won't take it back. To get us out of the store, he tells us that he will call the corporate offices in the morning, see what they say and get right back to us.

Do you think we heard from him the next day or anyone else from Circuit City? No. We tried to call Andrew at Circuit City that same day, but are told that he has left. We ask for the General Manager and are told that Travis is busy and will have to call us back. Did either call us back? No, in fact, to date, we have not heard from one person at Circuit City. We registered a complaint with the Circuit City Customer Service hotline and the BBB. The next day, I register a dispute with American Express.

After 4 1/2 months, American Express says that Circuit City refuses to issue the credit and that AE's contractual agreement with Circuit City does not allow AE to issue a credit. Now, here's the good part. Circuit City's Chargeback department refuses the credit for the following reasons:

"The customer did not request that Circuit City deliver, nor install, the TV. The customer left the Circuit City store with the TV that was contained in the factory sealed box." AND "The store manager, spoke to the customer approximately two weeks after the purchase was made (no previous contact was made by the customer). The customer was trying to return the TV at that time, stating that it was damaged. The manager noted significant damage to the TV that was consistent with dropping or falling. (Why would they customer wait two weeks to report such significant damage?) The type of damage noted would have been noticed immediately upon physically lifting the TV in the factory sealed box. There was no report by the store, or the customer, that would indicate there was a problem with box containing the TV when the customer left the store with it."

Not only does Circuit City not abide by their Return Guarantee printed on the receipt (says nothing about warranty being void if product is not delivered and set-up by Circuit City), but they fabricated lies to justify their position. I repeat, we tried to return this TV the very same day that it was purchased, and NO ONE from Circuit City, including a Nathan Smith, has ever tried to contact us regarding this situation. In addition, I wrote a customer complaint letter to Circuit City president, Philip Schoonover, in April and have yet to receive a reply.

As I said before, this incident is almost identical to the "My Big Purchase Experience With Circuit City - Warranty and Product/Service Quality" post. It is now clear that it is Circuit City's policy, from the top down, to get your money any way that they can, to not stand by their return guarantee policy and that they are training their personnel to follow this policy.

This is the slimmiest business that I have ever purchased something from. Do yourself a favor and take your business elsewhere.
     
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My Missing Laptop
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MIDLOTHIAN, VIRGINIA -- his shows you the tag that was on the laptop, HP says this is not their tagOn May 8, 2008 I took my lovely HP 2310 in to the Circuit City in Midlothian VA as we had been having major issues with it and it was still within the 1 yr warranty. I spoke with the guys at Firedog desk and they told me to leave it with them and they would send it to HP, so I gave them all pertinent info and left the store with my receipt. 2 weeks later, no word... I try to call and speak with the most rude Service Desk rep named Monique who has NO phone etiquette and would put me on hold then when I wouldn't hang up she would terminate my call. I live 1 hour from the store so finally after 3 weeks of no answers I go to store, still no answer, I go back June 7th to be told yes my laptop is there. HURRAY.... but wait I have to speak to a manager to get it????? WTH? So I wait, for 1 hr before John A comes strolling along to tell me that I had exchanged my laptop at VaCenter Commons store??? Once again WTH as I have not been to VCC in over 10 years, always shop Midlothian. After 30 minutes of arguing with me and me telling him he better have proof I picked up this pc he says well actually it is up in my office (why didn't he say this to begin with, why the misrepresentation).

He brings PC down, it is filthy full of smudges, has a tag on it, but is not in a box. I tell him I need to see service order showing what work was done, he says HP does not do this..(BS as I asked HP and they do) anyway laptop still not working, so I leave it once again on June 8th....I have been away on business, come back still no messages so I call to see if my laptop is finally ready and guess what? It is missing AGAIN and everyone has a different story to tell. This time I talk to Mike the manager and he gives me the whole bit of pc being picked up in May at VCC, I say we already went through this on June 7th, if laptop exchanged at VCC in May how did you have it in store on June 7th and how did you send it out again. Of course no answers.

Am I upset, yes I am as I have been 2 months now almost getting the runaround and my pc is MIA. HP does not have it, nor have they EVER had it. What does it take to get some answers from these people as this is ridiculous! The associates at this store are beyond rude. You can not get assistance via phone, then when you go to store you have to wait an hr to get a managers response, then you are lied to by management even. This same Monique at SD was rude to my son when he tried to buy a Wii game, they showed 2 in system but she refused to go to the back to even look for them. I have always made my electronics purchases at CC, in fact just bought a 52" Plasma TV from them. As of this point they will no longer be getting my business, I am done and I am sending my credit card back to them. In this day and age of high prices there has to be something that makes a difference and that something is CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SATISFACTION and I have neither been served nor satisfied. It does not good to send an email to corporate either as you get the same non answers.

Shame on CC and let the buyer beware, because there is no service after the sale.... My laptop is still missing and no one has the answers, except for me to wait. Well, I have waited since May 8th how much more time do they need?????
     
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madconsumer on 06/25/2008:
if ya had all this trouble the first time, why leave it there a second time?

cut your loss, and find a local service tech.
Anonymous on 06/25/2008:
I'm not quite sure why you wouldn't be sending a less than year old computer back to HP. From what I understand, it isn't CC's problem until you buy an extended warranty with them. As is, you'd better get you computer back from them before they go out of business. All the CC stores around me are gone.
green_eyed_kitten on 07/29/2008:
The unsuspecting public assumes their computers are being serviced by well educated computer experts. However, as an employee I can assure you that is not the case. I have been advised by a store manager that Circuit City is not interested in college degrees or experience but in how well the potential hiree interviews. It is too bad for the public that they pay hoards of money for services that my 8 year old can and has been able to provide. Good luck to you!
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Employee's Lack Of Informing And Lack Of Product Knowledge
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MISHAWAKA, INDIANA -- Two year's ago, I purchased an Acer Aspire laptop from Circuit City. After a month or so, I started having overheating issues. The fan wouldn't start running when it needed to. If you blew air into the side, I would "jump start" the fan, then it would cool. I did not purchase the protection plan, because knowing computers, most of the manufacturer's defects are going to happen right away, and would be covered under the store's warranty. I contacted them with this issue, and they said that because I didn't have the protection plan, I would have to send it in for repair. I am a DJ, and use the computer to play my music. I can not afford to be without the computer. I took it apart, and cleaned the fan myself, and put it back together. It worked fine for a few days, then the issues came back. After repeating this several times, I fried it while putting it back together, my mistake. I do not expect anything out of them for this.

Having learned, I went back to Circuit City, and purchased a Compaq Presario, only this time, I bought the protection plan that was offered to me. Yesterday, June 19th, one year later, I dropped my laptop, and cracked the LCD. Knowing that I purchased to protection plan, and thinking it was covered, I called Circuit City, only to find out there is nothing they can do. They could only replace it if I had purchased the Accidental Protection Plan. "What accidental plan???" I knew nothing of this, as the employee did not offer it to me. He offered a plan that cost me $150, and I figured I was golden. As it turns out, I guess I should have asked him if there was another, more expensive plan, but who does that? You hear $150, and the computer was $750, you figure you got the best plan, wrong!

I should mention the lack of product knowledge here. My example is this. Two months ago, I walked into the same Circuit City store, and wanted to buy a desktop for my office. I wanted to purchase Microsoft Office Professional as well. The only copies of Office Pro they had in store were upgrades. I asked him if I needed to buy the full version, or if the upgrade would work. He didn't know. With this, I went down the street to Best Buy. On our way out, my friend looked at me and said, "How does it feel to know more about the product, than the guy selling it to you?" When we got to Best Buy, I was pleased to hear from their computer sales guy, that I only needed to purchase the upgrade, saving me $180.

I have bought several desktops in the past from Circuit City, and I purchased a Nikon Digital SLR from them as well. Never again.

I talked to the store manager, and there was nothing they could do. I called the corporate number, explained my story to the person who answered my call. They called the store to see if they could do anything, still nothing. She transferred me to her manager, and she could do nothing. The only thing they offered to do, was sent it out, so I could pay for it to get repaired. Knowing that I could not be without a computer, she might as well have saved her breath on that offer.

It boils down to, now I am going to have to go buy a new laptop, and hope that Best Buy offers me an accidental coverage, protection plan, as I will not step foot in a Circuit City store again. You would think knowing that I'm in the market for a new laptop, they could have offered me a $5 coupon, nope, not even that.

Customer service, bah!


     
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Anonymous on 06/20/2008:
You can fault CC for not better explaining plan coverage, but you have to fault yourself as well. You signed on to a plan w/o knowing the limits of coverage. It's not reasonable to expect CC to step up and replace the screen free at this point. I've read of folks having pretty good luck ordering replacement screens from EBay and doing it themselves. Don't think it's a hard job...you might save some $$ that way.
1 More Unsatisfied Customer on 06/21/2008:
You're right, I do fault myself, somewhat. I can't say one way or the other that the employee did, or did not tell me that the plan I purchased covered everything. I've read several reviews on here about people buying the protection plan, and then going through all kinds of hassle getting it fixed. I'm not expecting anything free, do I think I deserve, yes. I know that I would have purchased the best coverage plan offered to me, knowing how much movement the laptop would see. They make so much money off these plans that do not get used, or honored, I don't feel bad expecting something out of it.

But you're right, before I pay them anything, I'll buy a screen off eBay and replace it myself. The only bad thing is that it will probably void the remaining year of my plan.
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Some Employees Have Bad Attitudes
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Here's one way a customer can buy a product, be satisfied with that product but never buy from that company again. It's all in the details...

We purchased a big screen TV from Circuit City. I was not present at the time. My wife told them we wanted to take advantage of their free financing offer. She was given a credit application which she filled out, however her only form of "credit ID" was a major bank card with my name on it. She had grabbed my card by mistake and forgotten her others. "No problem" they said, "just come back with your husband and we'll transfer the balance to your new account". What is so interesting is that in spite of their not wanting to accept this card as a credit reference at the service counter they had no problem charging this large purchase to the same card without even checking her ID at the register.

I only mention this because a few days later when we drove the long distance to this store, their CS Manager told me "well, they could have just done this then...". (The "they" he was referring to was the same exact customer service counter where my wife had been standing two days earlier and "they" were now wasting MY time!!!) We went ahead and got the CC Credit Card anyway and they credited the bank card and charged the purchase to the CC Card and gave us the term of free financing as advertised. This would have been acceptable until the same CS Manager tried to charge a different total using the excuse that one of the items was no longer on sale. At this point, I became more annoyed than I already was when he told me "they could have just done this then". The man began to argue with me and was basically a poop head about the whole thing. He had a BAD ATTITUDE.

I stood there as the temperature behind that counter fell to sub-zero and the bad attitude tried to intimidate me and told me that I "would have been OK until I opened my mouth". EXCUSE ME - OPENED MY MOUTH??? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??? Now I was angry. OK, hang in, it gets worse. The manager on duty came over and was even more rude and unprofessional and after trying to explain this to him he told me he could absolutely care less if I ever came back. He just stood there and gave me a smart little grin that did a good job of telling me how he really felt about me. Now mind you, there has been no profanity or name calling or anything done in any way than any other customer would have handled this situation.

At this point, they got a what for from me. I am a reasonable guy but I am not going to tolerate insubordination from a retail employee. These guys needed to be reminded that the customer is still the one paying their salary. If they are that unhappy, then leave and get a different job, but don't take your frustrations out on a good customer. I am not even going to complain to the company about this because it is that company that hired these bozos and the old apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. So just forget it.

These two employees, these unprofessional MORONS have cost the company thousands from me and I'm sure 100's of thousands if they make it a habit to treat customers as poorly as they treated us that day.

The other question here is why did they allow the situation to form in the first place. My wife can buy whatever she wants (within reason) without my name, why did they even make it an issue. Then, why was she allowed to charge the purchase on that same card with my name on it??? (by the way, that was HER account, she just grabbed the card with my name on it - they could have seen that on the credit report.) But no, Circuit City is too mechanized, too automated, too impersonal to offer customized service to its clients. If they don't wake up they may go the way of many other retailers who used to be household names but now are just forgotten memories in the sea of bad customer service.

I'll tell you, they've taken GREAT CARE of us at BEST BUY. NEVER a problem. Awesome customer service and NO HASSLES, so far.

You be the judge, it's a free market. Shop where you want. But beware the MORONS behind the counter. Remember, it takes years to build a customer - and seconds to lose one.
     
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bubbagump on 04/18/2008:
I do some work with Circuit City, and I know that a major focus right now is improving customer service. Change takes some time, but in the meantime, if you have a particular complaint, don’t hesitate to contact send an email to this address: consumer_affairs@circuitcity.com. You should receive a response pretty quickly.
tehbacon on 08/19/2008:
I posted up something myself tonight about the absolute worst service you can imagine from CC. I'm so serious about my post I even included my PERSONAL cell phone number to hear from ANYONE who has had as bad an experience.
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