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Extended Warranties And Circuit City
By -

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND -- I purchased my Panasonic 52" DLP from Circuit City in Baltimore, MD three years ago. At the time this puppy was just short of three grand so when the salesman offered an extended warranty that would cover ALL repairs in-house for just 600 bucks I thought this was a bargain.

In retrospect not only was the warranty a rip-off, their "highly trained and professional" customer service department should be boiled in oil for what happened when an issue did arise. A call was made to me by a member of CC's sales staff just prior to my warranty expiring. During that conversion I reported to him that I had a dead pixel on the set and would like to place a warranty repair request.

To his credit he provided me with a service ticket number and said I would be contacted on Monday by a company called B&K Electronics of Towson, MD. to a setup an appointment. I asked that they contact me on my cellphone and provided the number.

Monday came and went and no was received. I came home Monday night to find that the call had been placed to my home number. I attempted to contact the above company directly and was unable to get a call through having been disconnected twice, put on hold twice and being left on hold three additional times.

On Wednesday I was finally able to get through but was told their appointment software was "down!!" Finally an appointment was scheduled on Friday for the following Friday. They refused to provided a more clearly defined appt time other than "some time between 9 and 5".

My wife took a day off from work to accommodate their lack of service and as you might expect the service people appeared after 4 PM. The service person walked in and as reported saw the dead pixel on my screen and said, "The TV needs a new projection chip to correct the problem, we'll have to make another appt to come pick up the TV." I don't claim to be a rocket scientist but if a customer reports a dead pixel the repair company should know right away that this isn't a home repairable issue.

I called Circuit City's consumer warranty line and was told that they need to pick the TV on a second trip, (forcing either myself or my wife to take yet another day to accommodate an issue that they should have realized was going to need a pickup right way) was my problem not Circuit City's.

I tried to explain that between the wife and I the cost of having to take what would now be a total of three days to accommodate an issue that should have been addressed and the TV taken in on the first trip was not their problem. I requested to speak to a supervisor and was told that I was speaking to the highest person in the food chain and was refused a higher authority to speak with to address my issues of time and professional service expectations.

I have to say that having spent what I did on the TV and the warranty I would have expected professionalism and a level of courtesy consummate with the cost. What I was confronted with a surely, unprofessional, rude phone rep who had no interest in seeing that was taken care of or my issues addressed in a timely and professional manner.

Why should I be subjected to the loss of three vacation days and the money this represents after having already spent 600 dollars on their extended warranty. The total of which by the way would amount to 300 dollars less than the purchase price of a new unit.

As a toy junkie and first adopter of new technologies I can promise you that I will no longer do business with Circuit City having been treated in such a manner. I could have purchased the TV for less at Best Buy or on-line but opted to purchase from Circuit City after working with a salesman there who seemed genuine and interested in my needs.

What I've discovered is that what they show you before the money is extricated from your wallet and what they will do to you as a consumer after the fact are two different different subjects. As a household our annual income is 8X the national average (do the math) and my wife and I have no children. I love my electronics and with no kids between me and the toys I buy what I want when I want it. Circuit City you have lost a customer who over the last 5 years has spent well in excess of nine grand on computers (2), laptops (2) three printers, surround sound amp, the TV, not to mention countless DVD's, CD's etc., etc., etc.

Before you purchase a major appliance of any kind at CC do yourself a favor and consider not buying it from a company who has no interest in supporting the warranty they claim will provide you within-home bumper to bumper coverage. Their promises come with a hidden cost of YOUR time and money in the form of poor service and a total disregard for the time we as consumers have to spend working to get the time off they demand of you to provide their idea of service. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll be spending my money at Best Buy in the future.

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Circuit City Online Ordering & Customer Service
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CIRCUITCITY.COM -- I want to add to group of people that have found out that Circuit City (CC) customer service is terrible. They are terrible and you shouldn't waste your time and money calling them. If you're going to order and have a problem with the order, they'll take your money and you'll have to wait a month before they can cancel your order and return your money.

CC customer service CAN'T TELL YOU ANY MORE THAN WHAT YOU SEE ON THE WEBSITE. Also, they can't even access the FedEx website to realize there is a problem and fix it. I told them the package hasn't shipped since FedEx says "Package data transmitted to FedEx".

CC customer service ranks among the most worthless group I've ever dealt with. I'm surprised CC pays them to tell you the same thing you can find in the online order status page. I have to admit, I didn't expect this type of problem, or I would have used Amazon.com. So, unless you are 100% sure you'll get your order from CC, go to Amazon.com.

I ordered a package more than a week ago, and it showed up at FedEX as "Package data transmitted to FedEx". It has been sitting at that status for the last week. I figured CC, being a consumer electronic chain and being in an electronic era, I could call their customer service and have them contact the warehouse to check their dock for my package, but all the customer service people could say repeatedly is the item shipped and they cut me off and sent me to FedEx.

I talked to a very nice FedEx rep who clearly stated the package had not been picked up by FedEx, only that the data was transmitted to request pickup. So, I called CC customer service again (irate), and I explained to the next customer service person that the previous person was not helpful and I need them to contact the warehouse in Florida to have them check for the package since it is still sitting on their warehouse dock. I supposed another possibility is CC is lying and took my money and don't have the product.

CC doesn't appear to want to fix problems or keep customers, otherwise they'd have the ability to contact their warehouses to check for packages that FedEx clearly says they haven't received from CC. Also, other companies I've worked with will contact the carrier directly, not just blindly saying like a broken record "The order shipped, our system says the order shipped, our system says the order shipped, etc." I normally won't take time to write reviews, but my experience has been so bad and so frustrating, I had to take the time.

The moral of the story, order from Amazon.com, since it the last ten years that I've ordered from Amazon, I haven't had a single problem. This is my first order from CC, and I already have a problem. If CC was willing to work with it and take the time to contact their warehouse to find the package and actually give it to FedEx, I wouldn't have a problem, but they are telling me I have to wait a month to see if the package comes.

Then, after a month, they can reship or cancel the order, since they can't claim the package as lost until a month after the ship date. I'm not sure why anyone in their right mind would have CC "re-ship" an order since they'd be facing the possibility of waiting another month to cancel the order again.

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Customer Service
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NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA -- Circuit City has fallen to number 2 behind Best Buy and here is one of the main reason why, customer service. First allow me to say I have been a long time customer of theirs - my dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, and stove all from them along with my phones, televisions, VCR, DVD and surround sounds. Last year alone I went to their Newport News store and purchased a big screen Sony ($4,300.00), surround sound, two cameras and the new DVD player around ten thousand dollars ($10,000). In June I purchased a HP desktop along with the extended warranty plan.

Being severely disabled I do not work and a computer is essential for me to maintain a contact with the outside world. Almost immediately I had problems and even though I was computer literate I could not resolve the problems. I contacted the store and was told to contact HP's customer service; calling India I found HP's customer service consisted of me restoring the computer to an earlier time. I would explain it had been screwed up from the beginning therefore there was not a good restore point.

I was told by HP'™s India representative that if I did not want to listen they could not help me. This went on for two months when they decided I should do a €œSystem Recovery erasing the hard drive and reinstalling the programs. We did this 6 times with HP's customer service walking me through the procedure, I read them the statement that the one should not reformat the hard drive more than three times and again was told that if I did not want to listen they could not help me.

After reformatting the machine nine times HP had me return the computer to them. This is now August and the computer had never worked. I received the unit back in November only to find it still did not work, but now HP says they found the unit worked and as such it was no longer their problem but Circuit City's. I called Circuit City back and was told they could not refund the unit as I had it too long, I explained I had tried to return it after the first few days and was told I had to contact HP.

Circuit City now told me to contact Microsoft who charged me fifty-nine dollars ($59.00) that ended up being two occasions at a cost of one hundred and eighteen dollars ($118.00) which did not resolve the problem. I went back to the store and was told they had done everything, what did I want?

I explained a computer that worked and was told that their manager Melissa would be in touch; instead a Jason called me and explained they could for a fee have their Fire Dog (customer service) look at it. At this point I wrote their CEO Philip J. Schoonover and store manager Sherita; I never heard from Ms. ** but a Justin from the executive office contacted me stating he had spoken to the store and that the memory had been found to be bad and they were replacing the unit.

Being disabled I asked someone to pick it up and when they attempted to do that the store said they never been told to replace the unit and were going to look at it themselves and would call me within a week. Three weeks later I called and was told they had run a diagnosis program and that the Media Center was corrupt and they had downloaded a new one and the unit was OK. Having the unit picked up, I soon found out the problems were still there and had the unit returned to the store. I then attempted to contact Mr. ** and Ms. **, neither ever called me back.

Later when speaking to Mrs. ** I was told they found that one of the hard drives were corrupt (I notice this when HP returned the unit) and they were going to do a recovery. This was number eleven (11). I read her the statement that one should not reformat the hard drive more than three times, and I was to pick up the unit in a few days. In the meantime the executive offices had called due to my complaining. Mr. ** did not return my calls and instructed me to speak with a Cheryl.

When I spoke to her she told me she would speak to Mr. ** who finally called telling me the store was replacing the unit. When I had someone go to the store again Ms. ** stated no one from the executive office had ever contacted them.

Another party from the executive Office did call the party, picking up the unit the last time and authorized a refund. She had them speak to the sales staff who said they now had the computer repaired would I please try it and if I had any more trouble they would be happy to refund the cost of the computer and extended warranty. Yes, you are correct the unit did not work and when I called the store I was now told they did not know who the sales associate was and that they had done me a favor by trying to fix it. I asked what I was supposed to do now and was told MS. ** or ** would call me back and that was three days ago.

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False Advertisement
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TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA -- The following says it all... I am EXTREMELY angered by the false advertisement and unwillingness to honor what you tell your customers. This will be the last purchase I make from Circuit City. I purchased the 42" Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV for $1499.99 on Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. There was also an offer for a free Sharp Aquos Blu-Ray player, instantly with purchase. I also signed up for DirecTV and according to the advertisement, new subscribers receive $300 off the purchase of ANY HDTV $999 and up. I had waited for 2 hours before a sales person could take my order. He was apparently the only one working that area at the time.

He had some trouble with the register as I made my DirecTV order, and I didn't even receive a printout regarding that order. Then by the time I was finally finished with the purchase, I was informed that they did not have anymore of the TV's in stock, but they could order one for me. That was fine, so I went home, with the free blu-ray player. When I got home, I noticed that the $300 off of the TV did not show up on the receipt. Therefore, I returned to the store on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008, to ask for the offer to be applied.

I had proof of the order on my receipt. Then I was told that I could not receive both the blu-ray player offer and the DirecTV offer. I could have one of the other. This was not explained to me at the time of purchase. In fact, the guy who sold the TV to me was under the impression that I could get both offers. At this point I returned home to call the Customer Service number (1-800-843-2489) to get resolution.

After 3 or 4 calls, I was finally transferred to the Corporate headquarters in the US. I was told by a customer service rep on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008, that I would receive both of these offers and I would receive a call back in 24 to 72 hours. I did not receive a call back, so I called back.

Now, I am told that I can not receive the $300 offer, and the Blu-Ray offer. NOWHERE is it stated, ONLINE, or in the store, that these offers cannot be combined. I want a copy of the recording of all of my calls to the Circuit City Customer Service number (1-800-843-2489). Why? Because the calls are recorded for quality assurance, and I was told one thing on Tuesday 1/15/2008, and another tonight (1/21/2008).

The customer service rep I spoke with tonight sent me an email stating the following... "Thank you for contacting www.circuitcity.com. While we are glad to offer rebates, coupons, and our Unbeatable Price Guarantee, our guidelines require that only one of these special discounts be honored per purchase. We are unable to offer multiple discounts such as rebates, price adjustments, and coupons, on one purchase. When matching the price of a local competitor, we offer our customers their choice of the competitor'€™s offering and price OR our offer and price, but not both.

Customers may not take advantage of the price match and then add in additional discounts or terms offered by Circuit City Stores (for example, an additional 10% off coupon). This is sometimes called 'stacking' offers, and is not a service that Circuit City can offer. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we thank you for shopping with us."

Like I told her, this was not a price match, rebates, price adjustments, nor coupons. It was two offers made by Circuit City, and not a competitor's offers. If it was only stated online, or in the store that the DirecTV and Blu-Ray offer could not be combined, all of this could have been avoided. Instead, I was told two different things by the corporate customer service center. I do not consider this issue resolved. If someone that can resolve this issue would like to contact me, my contact information should be listed in the case log of which the reference number ** is associated with. If it is not, simply respond to this email with a call back number, and I certainly give you a call back.

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Lousy Customer Service
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LAKEVILLE, MINNESOTA -- I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the service I received for purchasing a service. The poor customer service I received throughout the process starting with wrong information, poor guidance in purchasing product, delay in processing refund, unexpected expense and feeling that I did not get what I paid for has left a bad taste in my mouth. This is the last time I will ever shop or recommend any of my friends to shop at Circuit City. I will stick to Best Buy because in all the years that I have shopped there, I have never had a experience as close as this.

On Jan 1, 2008, your website was advertising a $279.99 deal to wall mount a TV and the mounting kit was advertised as being included in this price. I called your customer support line to verify with your representative if this price indeed did include the wall mount and she confirmed. I actually made the effort to read her the code being displayed on the web page which was FDH VALUEWALL32. I went ahead and ordered the installation package and followed that up with a phone call to schedule the installation.

At the point of scheduling the installation I again asked the representative to verify if I did not have to buy the mounting kit and I was told again that it was included in the price. The day before the scheduled installation date, Kim from firedog called to confirm the appointment and asked me if I had all the hardware in place. I told her I was under the impression that I did not have to purchase the hardware as it was included in the price I paid. She told me her company does not provide hardware and that I need to call Circuit City.

On Jan 3, 2008, I called Circuit City customer support and explained my situation. The lady that helped me told me that I needed to click one extra link in order to get to the deal that included the free wall mount. She walked me through canceling my order and transferred me to another representative. This new person could not find the advertised product. I spent more than 15 minutes trying to explain to him that I could still see the promotion online. He ended up purchasing another installation package that brought the total to $303.83.

At this time I had had it with incompetence and was ready to accept the new price. However, when I tried checking out by myself online, my total came to $283. I again directed the representative to the Circuit City website and walked him through the process and eventually we were on the same page. For the second time, he cancelled the $303.83 order and told me the refund was in process.

As if the worst is not over, the service technician showed up at my house at 8 o'clock in the morning when my appointment was between 11 am - 1 pm. Luckily, my sister was still home and therefore able to let him in. Was that another mix-up with the scheduling? After the ordeal I went through to just make a purchase I am frustrated to point that am getting the idea that customer service is not in the Circuit City vocabulary. On top of that, the service technician informs me that I need to pay an extra $169 because the TV was going to be mounted on top of a fireplace. How come no one asked this question at all when I was purchasing the installation?

According to the technician, this is part of the routine question I was supposed to be asked. Although the package that I paid for included mounting and concealing the wires, all I got out of all the hassle I went through was just mounting and wires dangling on my wall and a note saying I need to pay $169 if I want my wires concealed. My cousin Bobby could have done that for free and the most I would have paid was at most $70 for the mounting kit.

Come Jan 15, 2008, my credit card charges me a finance charge on $700+ worth of transactions of which only one is valid. I call Circuit City again to check on the status of my refund. After all, the email notifications said the refund was being processed. This time I talk to Sierra and she tells me that my refund had not been processed and she went ahead and initiated the process. And now I have to wait another 5-7 business days before I can get my money back. If this is what people go through just to get service, it is quite unfortunate that a company that prides itself in providing exemplary customer service can fail at such a minute task. Dissatisfied customer.

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This Is A Huge Rip Off. I Still Have A Broken T.V.
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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
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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
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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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Circuit City
9950 Mayland Dr.
Richmond, VA 23233
804-527-4000 (ph)
804-527-4164 (fax)
www.circuitcity.com
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