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This Is A Huge Rip Off. I Still Have A Broken T.V.
By -

2 years ago, my husband and I bought a 26" Polaroid LCD HDTV from Circuit City for $1399.99. Having worked for some of their competitors, I was a believer in the extended repair or replace warranties, so we bought the 3 year Circuit City Advantage Protection plan for around $300.00. We felt like a repair or replace guarantee was a good investment because we aren't rich and we wanted to make sure we had a back-up should the T.V. fail in the first 3 years of ownership.

Fast forward to December 2007, and we start having problems with the t.v. It would make this horrible popping noise when you would turn it on and the start-up Polaroid logo would flash in and out. It was quite ironic, since the week it went we had received our renewal to remind us that our warranty was expiring in May 2008 and to give us the option to renew for another 1-3 years.

Well, I called up the Advantage line to get my repair claim started, and also clarifying with the woman that we would have the T.V. replaced in a timely manner if it couldn't be fixed and that it was going to be fixed in a timely manner and she said “Oh, yes. Absolutely. We'll have your t.v. taken care of in about a week.” We called them right before Christmas, so the soonest they could get the repair guy, of course due to the holidays was Dec. 31st, which wasn't a problems since we were going to be out of town.

On Dec. 31st the repair guy shows up during the allotted window they said they'd be there to look at the T.V. He informs us after watching the behavior of the television, that it was the power supply going out and that they were going to have to order it, and so since we still had some functionality to our T.V. (Only one we own) he would leave it and come pick it up once he found out if he was going to be able to get the part. He also informed us that rarely were they able to get the parts for Polaroid, so then, most likely to expect the T.V. to be replaced.

2 days later, the T.V. won't turn on at all. Now we have NO T.V. So I call up the T.V. contracting company that was going to be fixing the T.V. and they come and pick it up the next day. Now, since it is the weekend of BCS championship, in Baton Rouge, we were told to wait and call for an update on the T.V. the day after the game. So on January 8th, I call the repair shop to find out the status of the repair, and I am informed by the repair shop that the part is on back order and it will be 10-14 days before they get it!

Now at this time hearing that news, I'm not happy at all. He tells me that he will call me back later that day with an update. Well, later that day he calls up with a correction (Just like the guy who picked up the t.v. originally told us). The part is unavailable, and there is no compatible aftermarket part available that would work with Polaroid and that they have notified the Circuit City warranty people.

So I call Circuit City Advantage and I'm informed that they can't authorize a replacement, and they direct me to Consumer Relations. Well the first girl I talk to says that she cannot Authorize a replacement until they first refer it to their "TECHNICAL" department because they have to try to get the part first for the repair company. Then ask, "Well, how on earth do you think that you can get the part if the repair company can get the part? Just replace my t.v. and be done with it! It's been 2 weeks since the T.V. quit working properly, and I want a functioning T.V.!"

She tells me there is nothing she can do until their technical department looks into it and to call back the next day. So I call back the next day and I get this jerk of a guy who answers and I give all my information AGAIN to him and explain what is going on.

He proceeds to tell me that they are going to proceed with the repair and that they were going to obtain the part and that they were not going to issue a replacement. I told the guy that this was our only T.V. We spent $1300 on it, and that I could get a bigger, better T.V. for less today, and what on earth was the problem with replacing it since they cost less today, than 2 years earlier!

Well he then offers me a $100 rental reimbursement, so that we can go "RENT" a T.V. for a few weeks, while we wait on the part and the repair. That really angered me, because 1, renting a T.V. would be more than any $100, and 2 we'd have to pay out of pocket and then mail the invoice to them, and then it would be 6-8 weeks before we actually saw any reimbursement. I told the guy, "Absolutely not. I want my T.V. replaced - the part is unavailable." He said he was not going to authorize the replacement.

I then demanded to speak to his supervisor. He coldly says, "I am the supervisor. There is no one higher than me to speak to." I said, “You have to have a boss. You aren't the owner of the company", and he again repeats the same line! (I later found online, someone else who had issues with this plan, got fed the same line I did!) I hang up the phone infuriated - that was on Wednesday, January 9th.

Well then on Thursday, January 10th, we come home to find a "Sorry We Missed You! Please call us!" flier on our door from the T.V. service company. It was too late to call them that evening, so I called them on Friday, January 11th. They inform me that they were trying to return my T.V. Well that left me and my husband with the impression that our T.V. had been fixed and they arranged to drop it off with me for today (Saturday Jan. 12th).

Well this morning when they delivered the T.V., the gentleman who brings it back inform us that they did not repair the t.v. and that the power supply is no longer made by Polaroid and that we need to get it replaced. So we load the T.V. up in the car and head to our local Circuit City to get a replacement T.V. (or so we thought).

We get to the store, and I'm getting angrier by the minute, because as we loaded the T.V. in the car, my husband noticed that the control buttons (like the power and volume) on the side of the unit are not there - just the holes where they had been, and that screws are missing. (Yeah, we know the t.v. is broken, but still, return it in the condition you took it in, is the principle there.) We get to the store and ask to speak to the manager. Well we are informed that the store manager isn't in and that we need to speak with the T.V. Sales Supervisor.

So we go over and wait for about 15 minutes because the store was very busy. Well, we finally get the supervisor, and explain to him what is going on, and that we want our T.V. replaced. He asks us if we have a claim number from Corporate. I informed him that calling today did us no good because we got nowhere, and that they were telling us one thing and the repair people were telling us something else and that we are fed up. The T.V. hasn't been working properly now for a month and we want it replaced - like it said "No Hassle repair or replacement."

He then goes to the back and disappears for a long time and then comes back and gives me the same phone number I already have - where the jerk told me there was no one higher than him to speak to. The supervisor says he "understands" my frustration but he has to have a claim number from the warranty people to replace it with the T.V. the warranty people pick out.

That really got me, and I said, “Wait. What? You mean they are going to tell me what T.V. to get? No, I want a T.V. that cost the same price that we paid 2 years ago, that's equal value!” He said, well he can't do anything because he needs the claim number. By this point, I'm getting louder and louder and saying that this has turned out to be the largest ripoff, and the biggest hassle, and he kept say, “You'll have to call them, and this takes time.”

By that point I'm so angry, I tell him that we will NEVER buy anything from their company ever again, and that we were going to get online and post this experience everywhere we could and tell everyone about what a scam and HASSLE, this NO HASSLE warranty turned out to be. Then as I was walking away, there was an older couple look at a T.V. and I loudly said to them, "Don't let them talk you into their Advantage Protection Plan on a T.V. if you buy one here. It's a ripoff and we're now a month without a working T.V. and we still haven't gotten this resolved!"

The older gentleman's eyes got really wide and said, "Are you serious?" And I said "Yes!" and stormed out of the store. So Monday I'll be calling these jerks demanding my claim number and the right for $1399.99 value on a replacement at Circuit City and I WILL NEVER BUY FROM THEM AGAIN. THEIR EXTENDED WARRANTY IS A BIG FRAUD AND SCAM!!

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My Nightmare
By -

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA -- I purchased a new HP desktop package from Circuit City in Norman, OK on a Thursday night. When I went online, I was unable to access any Microsoft or MSN website, as well as CNET. I tried unsuccessfully to resolve the problem through HP. I called the store on Saturday and they hung up on me after leaving me on hold several minutes.

On Sunday, I called back and a firedog tech told me to bring the cpu in and they would try to fix it, but they might have to charge me for the work. When I took it in, I explained I didn't feel I should be charged anything for a defective computer I'd owned less than 48 hrs. About 4 hrs later, the tech called and said they'd fixed the problem. I drove back to the store, where I asked to see the unit in operation and allowing access to those websites. I was told that wasn't possible since they were then running diagnostics on another computer.

I took the cpu home, hooked it up and nothing was fixed. I called the store back and after two tries, got a manager and said since they didn't fix it in the store, I wanted the tech to come and fix it in my home. The manager said that would cost me $90, to which I objected. The manager was rude and said he'd never heard of a problem like I was describing (it was clear he didn't believe me), but if I was unhappy, they would exchange the computer. However, I had misgivings if my HP was a lemon, that the next one I got would be as well.

On Monday, I solicited advice from several knowledgeable people and that evening I tried all of their suggestions to no avail. I also called my isp when someone mentioned they might have a firewall that was causing the problem (they don't). By Tuesday morning, I was so thoroughly disgusted that I called the bank to see if the check I wrote the store had come in yet. It hadn't and I immediately stopped payment. Then I carefully reboxed the CPU, monitor, printer, and battery back-up and drove back to the store.

When I pushed the loaded cart to customer service, I told the person there that I was returning everything and I wanted a receipt showing it was returned. The woman was very brusque and rude and told me I would have to pay a 15 percent restocking fee. I told her quite plainly that they were crazy if they thought I was going to pay them more than 120 dollars to take a defective system off my hands.

I also told her I had stopped payment on the check. She snatched my original sales receipt and disappeared to the back of the store. She was gone several minutes and was even ruder when she returned, saying I should not have stopped payment and that I had no choice regarding the restock fee. I answered that of course I had a choice and my choice was not to pay them anything.

I pointed out I was returning everything I purchased and they didn't owe my anything since I stopped payment on the check. Then I reached out, took my original sales receipt out of her hand and turned to walk away. When the customer service rep. screamed at me, "You can't leave!", I said "Watch me." and kept walking. I definitely will never do business with this company again. And I am now starting to research my state's lemon law!

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Circuit City Store Warranty
By -

94568, CALIFORNIA -- I am posting this ordeal that I am going through not only for the benefit of those customers who are debating on whether to get Circuit City store warranty, but also wanted to end the year with an altruistic act of letting the Circuit city management know that their warranty service and the customer service needs major overhaul.

We purchased a Sony Wega 42" TV and I guess intimidated by its sheer size and the tactful sales-talk by the Store rep we fell in the warranty trap. This happened in year 2003 during Christmas time. Anyway we got this 4 year warranty which came with lot promises like TV will be replaced if not repairable, Home service, etc.

Everything went on well till last month Nov 2007, when I started to smell something burning inside the TV. We called the service number and a local technician was at our place in a weeks time. I had the TV shut off unplugged as we have 2 little kids (3 yrs old and 7 month old). Technician is at my place on a working day at 10 a.m. and as knowledge as he was; he immediately isolated the problem to the light and some heat sensor not working properly.

I was told that the plastic around the light is all burnt and it is replaceable with no guarantee that it will not start burning right away. I called Circuit City customer service and they tell me that they are contracted with GE for all warranty services. I walked to local Circuit city store with a hope that I could talk to someone into either getting the Heat Sensor replaced in the TV or getting a replacement TV.

As surprising as it was Store manager feigned totally powerless and glorified their corporate office as the saviors of the victims like me. I called the new number (3rd different number) that I got from her and explained my situation that this repair was taking more than a month and I dont have a TV at home when my entire family is here visiting us for holidays, also I was wary of having the 42" TV at home with a very high chance of it turning into nice hot fireplace, esp with my 2 little kids around.

Except going through the regular regiment of taking my order number etc and reading me the policy details, this conversation went no further. With the extra power this so called corporate office execs had I was granted Christmas gift, reimbursement for a rental TV to the extent of $50 a week. I was happy with this hidden negotiation skill that I had. I asked my wife to shop around for a rental TV with $50/wk budget.

This morning after all the homework that she has done, my wife realized that it would cost at least $175/wk to get a working TV on rent. So we call back Circuit city to tell them that $50/wk is not getting us any TV on rent not even for a day. This time we had a close encounter with supervisor on the phone and she politely told us that she cannot help us anymore than $50/wk.

While this is going on, All-Video our local repair company, says that the parts it needs to fix our TV are not available in the market and Circuit City is scouting the entire country and all its partners to see if anyone has any leftovers for them to use. We are frustrated and my older daughter thinks Santa is going to get her our TV back on Christmas. Customer service at Circuit city needs more training and power to make decisions. Store manager at Dublin stores was rude and told me that Circuit city is not responsible for any store warranties as they have been contracted to GE.

When we called corporate office the self proclaimed supervisor advised us to shift our TV in the master bedroom to living room and it is not a big deal. I hope this is not what they are trained on. I hope this saga does not continue for long and will come to some logical ending soon. Sorry for venting out my frustration.

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Customer Service and Results
By -

MINNESOTA -- I purchased 2 TVs on 11/25. One for myself and one for my brother. My TV was delivered a week earlier than anticipated. If you check the tracking of my brother's TV it is still sitting in the warehouse and under activity it states "Package data transmitted to FedEx." I first called FedEX and they said that Circuit City just transmitted them the information but did not release the TV.

I then called the CUSTOMER SERVICE HELPLESS DESK on 11/28 and was told that it was sitting in their warehouse and would be released right away. This gentleman told me to call back in 24 hours and they would have updated information for me. When I called back on 11/29 I was told by a young lady that I had to wait 14 days before they could claim it was lost and start searching for it.

I told her that the person who I talked to on the day before said it was in the warehouse, she said that they have no way of telling if it is sitting there or not. She said that she opened a case for it (1st case). I then sent an email to customer support on 12/4 and they sent me a response back that they would open another case (2nd case). That is the last time I heard from that person.

12/11 called Customer NO Help again and talked with another person and they said they found it at the Warehouse, and would start reshipment so she opened another case (3rd case). She also told me that another Case Manager would be calling me back shortly to verify information. NEVER HEARD BACK FROM CASE MANAGER. On 12/14 I sent an email back to the person that opened the 2nd case asking what was going on with this case. I heard back from a different person on 12/21 asking me if I had received my TV yet.

This was attached to the email on 12/14. 12/19 Called CUSTOMER NO HELP AGAIN and talked to another person and she said she was going to transfer me to a Manager but all she did is sent me right back to the menu that would connect to the HELPLESS DESK. I called back again and got another woman. I told her what my problem was and got disconnected. I called back again and was talking to a gentleman and had to be put on hold, I waited 1/2 hour and hung up. I called the Corporate Office and asked to speak to the Customer Support Manager and guess what happened I was connected to the CUSTOMER NO HELP DESK.

I talked with a woman their and had to tell my story again. She checked and she told me the 3rd case was never opened on 12/11. This person said she was going to start reshipment procedures and needed to open another case (4th case). She said I would hear back from another case manager within the next 48 hours to verify information that brings me to today 12/22. I called CUSTOMER NO HELP AND said I was supposed to hear from a Case Manager within 48 hours and had not. This person put me on hold and came back, said that the case had been opened and I would get a call from a Case Manager in 2 - 3 Business days.

THIS 800 NUMBER WILL NEVER HELP YOU SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM. ALL THEY CAN DO IS OPEN CASES and never resolve your problem. I guess they don't have managers because every time I ask to speak to one they won't transfer and there are no numbers listed on the website except the 800 customer no help. So it didn't help to order the TV a month before Christmas because it still did not come on time.

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Dear Circuit City
By -

CARY, ILLINOIS -- I am writing to you for several different reasons but most of all as a favor to you and your company and to help you see some major problems you are having on the level of customer service. I will tell you my story which is not overly horrible but bad enough to make we want to write to you and let you know from a customer point of view what is wrong with your customer service area. To make things easier I will just list the things that have happened and then maybe you can take it from there and do with the information what you will.

In February 2006 my husband and I decided that we would spend some of our tax return to update our television and thought we would see what kind of offers Circuit City had as we had never been to your store before (we were tried and true Best Buy people after all). We bought our 32" Magnavox TV from your store located in Crystal Lake, IL. on 2/24/06.

It was one of your floor models but because it was a flat panel and in our price range we took it, but just in case also bought the Advantage plan for an extra $259.99 for three years. We wanted to be sure that if anything happened, we wouldn't have to scrape money together to fix it. About three weeks ago (October 13th) we called to have a service tech come out and look at our television because we were experiencing a loud popping sound and the volume was turning on and off intermittently (and has since stopped working all together). We were told a tech would be there on Tuesday October 16th.

On Monday the 15th we received a phone call stating that one of your service techs was out due to a back problem and could they please rearrange our day to Thursday instead. Being that my husband also works in the service industry I was sympathetic and agreed that Thursday would be just fine. Thursday arrives and our technician ** arrives to take a look. ** was not an overly friendly guy but I was still glad to see him. (We had been without our TV for almost a week at this point... Did I mention I have two kids?)

I told ** our troubles and he proceeded to make connections from my DVD player to all the many ports on my television each time asking me again if I had been getting any volume out of each port. I told ** several times that no, we were not getting any volume… out of any port.

** called Magnavox who was trying to help him do some kind of reset and while he was on the phone I told him I was going to put my infant niece down for a nap and I would be right back. I was gone about 40 seconds when I heard a very LOUD and quite obnoxious "HELLO?" coming from my living room. I quickly got my niece down and ran out of there just assuming he forgot in that 40 seconds that I was putting my niece down to sleep. He wanted to ask me again for a second time if that was the original remote control that he had in his hand. I assured him a second time that it was.

At this time he and Magnavox must have been flummoxed because he just up and told me I needed a part and he would be back in 7 to 10 working days. I thought to myself "he must be pretty good to realize I need a "part" and not even have to OPEN the TV up for inspection!"

I also thought to myself that 7 to 10 working days was an awfully long time to wait for a parts shipment from such a huge company as Magnavox but what do I know? Upon leaving, ** my surly TV tech turns to me and says "You know, you really should make your service call appointments for the beginning of the week." I thought he was joking. He was not.

I explained to him that my appointment WAS made for the beginning of the week and that I was called by you guys to switch because of an employee injury. He looked at his vast pieces of papers on his handy dandy clip board, looked up at me and says "Well that stinks… I don't know why they did that" and turned and left without even saying so much as a goodbye. Needless to say I was not very fond of ** and called City Advantage to tell them not to send him back.

The girl I spoke with told me she had no way of knowing who was sent to my house (Really?? There are really no records of what person gets sent to another person's home??? That can't be very safe!) but would make a note of my unhappiness towards this man's insulting manners.

Now comes the best part. Another seven working days pass by before ** calls me to tell me he would be there between 9am and 11am on Monday the 29th. Monday the 29th is a very busy day for me as I have a daughter to get to school, a quickie doctor check-up at 8:15 and a field trip with my preschool son and his class at 9:45. Since I was not given a choice of time frames I arrange for my cousin to come to my house at 9:00. I managed to get back from my doctor at 9:03 am. My cousin (a 24 year old college student) was late.

In that three minutes, I lost out on my time slot until THURSDAY. It turns out my good friend ** showed up at my home at 8:57am and when there was no answer high tailed it outta there for apparently a very far away location because it was just IMPOSSIBLE for him to return later in the day. I have to admit - I was not very nice to the poor girl that answered the phone after I waited 15 or so minutes for her to answer (are you aware that your customers average wait time for a rep to pick up is somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes… I am dead serious and not exaggerating one bit).

In all fairness, she wasn't exactly the sweetest thing either. She refused to help me out even a little bit. She told me she could not call the rep because he was busy. We ended the conversation with her promise that she would leave a message for ** and have him call me. Silly me to think ** would really care about my situation.

I tried calling back on my cell phone on my way to my son's field trip but by the time I actually got a rep to answer I was there already (a 25 minute trip) and had to hang up quickly with her promise that she would leave another message for **. I got home about 1:00 pm and called a third time - this time talking to **. ** is a very nice boy and tried to explain the best he could why I could not get a rep there sooner and upon asking for a manager kindly told me that it would take one to two days for a supervisor to call.

I thought to myself "Wow, he must really know how busy those supervisors are if he can tell me right off the bat that they have a wait time to actually service their customer!" Also - I am convinced that none of your reps have children and don't know what it is like NOT to have a TV around for even a small portion of the day.

This is where I leave it to you, Circuit City Corporate Offices. I am now waiting for three phone calls. ** the service tech, Mr. ** the call center supervisor and ** from the Crystal Lake store (because apparently the supervisors at the store level are also way too busy to talk to me). I leave it in your good hands to deal with because after all this is not my problem, but YOURS.

In today's world vast quantities of information are put out there on the web in seconds. Consumers no longer have to wait for word of mouth to reach the attention of the business in question; we have only to click a few buttons on our computers. Guess what I will be doing after printing my letter to you? I sure hope you can fix your "customer service" (or lack thereof) problems and hope my letter will help you in any effort you put forth. I won't be holding my breath for a return phone call and I most certainly will not be returning to Circuit City.

Resolution Update 11/01/2007:

We recieved two phone calls from Viola at Circuit Advantage and she gave us the option to replace the TV which we opted not to do because we did not want our warranty to become void. Our pal Pete came back on Thursday and was much more tolerable. He fixed our sound and was out the door and hopefully that is the end of it. I never heard from the store manager.

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"Warranty" Is Not Worth the Paper It's Printed On
By -

My husband and I bought a new Sony notebook from Circuit City in March 2006 and were offered their Advantage Protection Plan extended warranty. In trying to determine the “advantage” to purchasing additional coverage, we asked specifically about drops and spills, as we have young children, and were told in no uncertain terms that both would be covered. When my husband's old laptop started having power issues a few months later, we purchased a second Vaio notebook and Advantage Protection Plan.

Fast forward to April of 2007, when my notebook power adapter stopped working. We contacted City Assure, the department (subsidiary?) concerned with warranty repairs, and were told that we would be sent a return box and label to send the notebook to an authorized repair center, as Sony demands their notebooks be repaired in a “clean room”, thus making in-store repair impossible. The computer was sent to the repair center and returned to us filthy, but working.

In July, my husband's developed a problem with a sticking key, or a keyboard that “thought” it had a sticking key. Again, we were sent a box and return label. My husband described the problem in lengthy detail, including steps taken to correct it. A week later, the notebook was returned “repaired”. However, when he turned it on, there was no operating system; they had replaced a “defective” hard drive and are, evidently, not responsible for software, including operating systems.

Since notebooks are no longer packaged with OS disks, we contacted Sony, who sent us the necessary software. Once the OS was loaded, it became quite apparent that the repair center (Nexcor) had never addressed the keyboard problem for which we had sent the computer for repair. Whether they bothered to read the description of the problem at all is a question unto itself. The notebook was once again sent to Nexcor and returned this time with a new keyboard.

On September 28th, I left home for the morning and returned to find that my notebook would not power on at all. In attempting to find a cause for this – as it was left in an empty house, on a solid, flat surface, plugged into a surge protector – we made the secondary discovery that the power adapter (the one that had been replaced in April) appeared to be broken. I contacted City Assure once more and explained the problem. The rep immediately seized upon the “accidental/incidental damage” I was describing with the broken piece, claiming that such damage is NOT covered under the warranty. He then told me that I need to back my data up.

Since the notebook will not power on, I inquired as to how he thought I should go about that and the answer was to bring the laptop to a Circuit City store and they would open it, remove the hard drive, and back it up (for a fee). When I inquired as to whether this would void the warranty, I was told to take it to a “third party” to have it opened. When I inquired about the warranty again, I was told that data was my responsibility.

My notebook left my home ten days ago, with explicit instructions as to what could and could not be “repaired” (because they are “unable” to return parts removed), and today I received a call explaining that my notebook cannot be repaired because there is “evidence of liquid spill” inside. It has NEVER been spilled on/in.

Further, on the CityAssure.com FAQs, there is a whole paragraph about spills/accidents being covered under the City Advantage Protection Plus plan. We have been instructed that we did not purchase the “plus” plan, only the regular plan. There was one plan offered, questioned, and purchased. There is no detailed information in the warranty folder we were given, just phone numbers and ads for additional software/services available.

As far as I am concerned, we were not only lied to at the beginning, but the service companies contracted by Circuit City are given carte blanche to do and claim anything they want and consumers are placed in a position of having to prove a negative after the fact to dispute their claims. Given the volumes of horrible reviews, dreadful BBB ratings and the downright surly attitude of their “professional” staff, I doubt Circuit City even notices complaints like this. Unfortunately, all we have left is small claims court or class action suits to get any relief at all.

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Is This a Co-Winky Dinky or a Possible Set Up?
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MACON, GEORGIA -- I live in Macon, Georgia and we unfortunately, have a Circuit City here. I've had a really bad experience at Circuit City, a bad enough experience in which I had decided if it got any worse. I would call the police for harassment, intimidation, and threats upon my person. They did work on my car and damaged the interior panels of the dash. I contacted and met the manager. I met with him and the person who did the installation. The manager was clearly racist in the way he spoke to this employee who was of a different race than his own.

I wasn't happy with the person who did the installation and damaged my car, but I don't care who you are, or who what race anyone is, that person did not deserve to be spoken to like a dog as this manager did to him! The manager then turned on me with the same tone of voice. This is supposedly a senior manager of Circuit City! I did notice that he did not speak to members of his own race with the same degrading tone of voice. These facts I would gladly testify before a court of law. Clearly, the guy who had installed this on my car had made a few mistakes, but even more clearly he was being run-down and discriminated because he was of a different race than his manager.

I don't do that. I don't go for that. I don't approve of that in any way, shape, or form. Now, this manager was abusive, degrading, vulgar and in many ways trying to be threatening. He had his "muscle" surrounding him, that is, his fellow "associates." I looked up Circuit City's stock and found their corporate telephone number. I called it and told them this guy is irrational, unpredictable, and possibly violent which was all true. They took this very seriously. So, I have to give credit to the upper levels of CC, once you can find them.

The REAL corporate headquarters is in Richmond, Virginia. I called them at 9:30 A.M. eastern time today, they called me back an hour later for additional information regarding the ticket number and I gave the lady my cellphone number as I had to leave the house. Atlanta called me five hours later and asked when would be a good time for me to go to the Macon store to have these corrections made. I gave him the time I could be out there the soonest. No problem he said. End of conversation.

When I arrive at the store, at the appointed time, there is no one behind the service desk, which I find as odd and wait. If you've ever been to Circuit City you'll notice a mirror behind on the wall which is more than likely a two-way mirror and the private office of the manager. No one came out for over five minutes. Either Richmond or Atlanta saw fit for the manager not to be at home at this time.

I'm waiting for someone to help me and a couple come up behind me and the woman mentions she'd heard Circuit City was going out of business. The man with her exclaims rather surprised, and with bad acting, "Going out of business!" He continues about how he can't believe that. I say nothing. Now, this is what the manager of the store had claimed I'd said to him. Yet, because he ran his mouth so much and wouldn't let me finish a sentence, I couldn't complete my statement. Maybe I should mention that the service desk is where they have most of their security cameras.

Later, when the repairs on the car are done, another employee approaches the one helping me and makes the statement "I'm tired of your attitude." I hear this and simply listen. These are all complaints that I had made to the main corporate office in Richmond a few hours earlier. The manager did have an attitude that I felt he should have checked at the door and had no place in the corporate world. Coincidence or potential setup? I really hate to think Circuit City is trying to discredit people like this, but the accusations are very serious: A violent, out of control manager.

What's the odds of someone walking up to the service counter and then less than a minute two, other people come up and mention that supposedly the store or chain is going out of business, a statement that the manager claims I made? Was it hoping that I would put in my 2 cents worth in front of their security cameras? I was there to have repairs done on my car and not stand on a soap box. It may very well be just chance, or given the nature of this manager, a desperate attempt at revenge? Have you ever encountered such as this at Circuit City or any other reputable business? If they were playing such a game, I didn't play back.

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CC Wouldn't Honor Ad Saying
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EDIT: I called a local Circuit City to verify that they are capable of processing new Vonage signups. THEY ARE. So the new ad is valid. Hi... I have a question regarding a "cancelled" offer from 2 weeks back. CCity was running a promotion for a $300 gift card within-store signup for Vonage. I went and tried to sign-up (several times), and like many, I too was refused the offer during the week that it ran. Everyone I talked to from the store clerk to the store manager to the 1-800 number rep to a person that supposedly resolved complaints all said, and I quote... "Vonage is bankrupt," so they couldn't honor the promotion.

Most of us knew that was not true, and despite pressing them on the issue, I got absolutely nowhere (even telling them how to do it by phone). Now I get my weekly circular in the paper, and although they aren't offering the $300 promotion, they are offering a $50 promotion of some sort.

I'm about to blow my stack and would like to know how to pursue this. If "Vonage is bankrupt," then why are they running this ad? If they are running this ad, and if they are honoring it, should they not be required to honor the $300 promotion they cancelled in mid-week due to the "bankruptcy" nonsense? How should I approach the manager about this? Or do I just need to bypass him and call 1-800 again?

I was resolved to the fact that Circuit City and Vonage were splitting their ties at least. Now this ad appears. It seems to me that Vonage cancelled the $300 deal in mid-week more than likely because they were swamped with offers and it was simply more than they expected.

I'm not one of those yelling "bait and switch" or whatever. But in light of this new development, it seems to me that they did pull something crooked. I mean I've heard of them pulling items off shelves and hiding them in the back to cut their losses on the come-on ads they run. I also understand they protect themselves by putting "limited to stock on hand" or whatever in their disclaimers. But in this case, it was a service and not a product per se. They couldn't run out, they couldn't hide it.

So I think they came up with the next best thing they could... Saying they couldn't fulfill the offer due to bankruptcy and such. Now it appears they obviously know this is not true because they are running an all new promotion. Shouldn't they be forced to honor that $300 gift card promotion since they obviously lied? Thanks.

PS. I documented this every step of way. I also have a copy of an internal memo from them saying the promotion WAS valid and giving step by step directions how to process it by phone. They deny such a document exists despite faxing it to them. They just kept claiming there was nothing they could do because "Vonage was bankrupt!" Yet they are now running this new promotion. Wouldn't this classify as fraud of some sort by CC? I mean either fraud in not honoring the original $300 promotion OR fraud as in frauding their customers now offering something from a company that is "bankrupt" if that was true? Smells fishy at best to me.

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Advertisement
Return Gone Wrong.
By -

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA -- The morning of Black Friday I went to the Alexandria, VA Circuit City and bought a 32" television, Gusdorf television stand, and a few other items that -- upon checkout -- I could cover under a year's warranty. I had to spend the next 7 months in military barracks attending training, so there was no point or logic in opening the television and the stand until reaching my first duty station and apartment. The two boxes sat in my parents' basement from 26 November to 6 July.

Got to my duty station and apartment in New Bern, North Carolina. I opened the television and it was in beautiful condition. Opened the Gusdorf stand and the top of three panels was cracked in two, others were scratched. I assembled the parts that weren't broken, believing there was nothing I could do since we were outside the standard 30 days.

My next trip back to Virginia, I stopped by Circuit City with a copy of my receipt where one of the managers, Mandi, confirmed the stand was not covered in the warranty. I asked if anything could be done, explaining that upon 30 days of me physically inspecting my merchandise I came to report the problem. She printed a copy of the receipt, filled out some information including her contact number and store number, and said that if I gave the info to a Circuit City closer to my new home, it could be verified and I could get store credit.

Went to Jacksonville, NC's CC, they would not. After a phone call to the Alexandria store, they returned to tell me original merchandise had to be returned to the store of purchase and they would not deal with it. I couldn't see them make this phone call; they had gone around the corner to make it. I'm not exactly comfortable enough to walk around the corner and ensure that employee is living up to their word.

I returned to the Alexandria store. Mandi was not in and I was passed along to Abe, whose immediate "Well of course they're not going to take the busted merchandise" not only conflicted with his peer's statement but also came out condescending. I explained that the Gusdorf contact information I had was ineffective and that I had gone to two different customer services to try to resolve the issue. He disappeared around a corner to call Mandi and returned a small time later saying she had no memory of our meeting and he opposed the idea. He asked for the stand, I said it was disassembled completely and in my car.

While slight, he sighed exaggeratedly and rolled his eyes. Going through the computer he found he had more models of the stand and said he would exchange it for a new one. We explained we didn't want a new stand because we didn't trust the particle board out of which the stands were made. His co-manager Mandi had said store credit and Jacksonville had said the same. Abe refused and said he shouldn't even offer an exchange, but would, as if it got us anywhere. I clarified to him we did not trust the model and only wanted store credit. He would only offer the exchange. This transaction was pointless, and I left.

I understand I was outside of the initial 30 days. You're trained not to expect special treatment in the military; the civilian world is no different. But with my circumstances (being unable to open for 7 months) I thought I presented a valid reason. I spoke to two different managers in different stores, both gave me a similar answer, and I assumed it was company policy that I could get the store credit, even only for a $50 stand.

Abe's unwillingness (and poor attitude) showed me a disappointing side of Circuit City; one that has left me completely turned off from the establishment. I hope in the future the company can maintain better relations with their customers than my experience.

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Inside Look
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RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- This is a review from a former manager of Circuit City. I am providing information here to help dispel some myths about the store, warranties, returns, and the powers of management so that consumers can be better informed when purchasing, and can understand what they are entitled to.

Returns - 30 days for most products. All purchases technically require a receipt, but most purchases over $100 or those that were ordered will remain in our database, which we can search through (although this can take an immense amount of time). Anything under $100 we CANNOT return (meaning the computer physical will not let us do it), although certain circumstances may allow a no-history return to be done (this is the decision of management and will cost the store a good deal of money). TV's, computers, cameras, camcorders, and a few other "big ticket" items have a 14 day return policy and are subject to a 15% restocking fee.

You MIGHT be able to get around this in the first 2 weeks if you have a defective item, wish to trade up to a better item, or have another extenuating circumstance. If the item breaks BEFORE the 14 weeks, but you will not have an oppurtunity to return it, CALL THE STORE and have them "comment" your receipt in the computers of your situation. We do not make exceptions if it was a gift that wasn't opened until 31 days after purchase. Labor is absolutely non-refundable. Only very rare circumstances will cause us to return labor.

Commission - Contrary to popular belief, employees are NOT commission based. HOWEVER, their raises, promotions, and chances of remaining with the store are based on sales performance, so they might as well be as far as the consumer is concerned. Everyone is tracked according to warranties sold, accessories, and other categories

Profit Margin- Circuit city does not make money on the $400 computer you bought on sale. Most of the time, we lost money. Most customers who buy a lot of stuff, but no accessories or warranties (where we make the majority of our money) are not going to be considered as important. So the argument "I buy lots of stuff at Circuit City, you should treat me special", does not apply in most cases. Chances are, we have made no money from you unless you buy warranty/accessories/firedog installations.

Warranties - You have 14 days from time of purchase to add a warranty to most items. These can be useful, but be warned. TV's are repaired through 3rd party companies, usually different for every store (so do not judge the value of a warranty from store with the value of another). Computers can be repaired at the store by Firedog technicians (Only AFTER the manufacturers warranty has expired however, unless it is an HP or Compaq). In-Home service on computers is provided by a 3rd party company. Warranties can be extended later past their original limit, but you must purchase at least the smallest one within 14 days of purchase.

Accidental warranties will cover accidental damage, but NOT ACTS OF NATURE or THEFT. Ask for details on the warranty, employees can provide you with a thick brochure on policies. Computers will most certainly be wiped clean of data when you send them off. I hope this helps out future consumers to the chain.

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Circuit City Rating:
199 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Circuit City
9950 Mayland Dr.
Richmond, VA 23233
804-527-4000 (ph)
804-527-4164 (fax)
www.circuitcity.com
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