RIVER EDGE, NEW JERSEY -- This email was sent to John Sullivan, CFO of FYE:
As EVP, Treasurer and CFO of a major corporation I am sure you would like to know that the employees of your various entities are treating your customers with the highest level of customer service possible. I am writing to you about my experience at your FYE Store # 572 located at 91 Route 4 East in River Edge, NJ. Just so that you know this is not some imagined experience, the timestamp on the receipt is 4:29PM ET, transaction # 66439, store # 00572, register 001
At 4:15PM or so my wife and I along with our 8 year old and 8 month old boys walked into your store to buy 2 music DVDs to give as a birthday gift to a family member. As does happen from time to time, our oldest needed to use the bathroom. My wife turned kindly to one of your customer service representatives who worked on the floor of your store and asked "is there a rest room he can use?" The woman replied "No, we do not have a bathroom." I was out of earshot from this conversation and my wife told me what had happened. Obviously being a public store I found this rather difficult to believe, so I went up to the same individual and this is pretty much the conversation I had with her:
Me: "Hi, I was wondering if my son could use the bathroom, he really needs to go"
Her: "No, we have no bathroom here."
Me: "Wait a minute, you mean to tell me there is no bathroom in this ENTIRE store?"
Her: "That's right, no bathroom here --- you can go use the one next door at Ethan Allan Furniture."
Me: "OK, that is fine -- but I have one question: if you need to go to the bathroom during the day what do you do?"
Her: "We all live nearby so we just go home" (BTW, I am not kidding about this -- she actually said this)
Me: "Ummm, you really expect me to believe that?"
Her: "It is not my job to care about what you believe or not -- there is no bathroom for you to use"
OK, fine. Obviously I am pissed off at having a conversation with someone who seems to think I have the intelligence of a twig, so I go up to the front register to buy my DVD's. The guy rings me up and next to him is the store manager. So, I ask her the same thing (and keep in mind the woman I had the conversation previously with was about 10 feet away):
Me: "Look, you cannot tell me there is no bathroom in this store"
Manager: "Yes, there is a bathroom in the back but it is next to our inventory so as a policy we do not let anyone back there because of the possibility of theft"
Me: "Oh, so in other words your employee flat out just lied to me"
Before another word is spoken, she manages to come toward the desk and interrupts with:
Her: "Look, this is what we are told to tell people"
Me: "So, you are comfortable with just lying to people? All you needed to tell me was the truth and we would have been fine with it"
Her: "Like I said, there is no bathroom for you to use"
Me: "No, what you said was there was no bathroom in the entire store. Why would you lie to me about something so trivial?"
Her: "I don't have time to argue with you"
Back to the store manager at the front desk
Manager: "We do not like to tell people about the bathroom being in back"
Manager: "I really don't know - but I apologize for misleading you"
Me: "Look, I have no problem with not having a bathroom being available -- I just have a problem with your employee's BS attitude -- and why are you apologizing since it was her (pointing to the woman) who cannot seem to tell me the truth about something as simple as whether there is a bathroom in the store"
It is then that the cashier now chimes in -- "You know, we do not have to sell these items to you since you are cursing", to which I replied "Really, and what WILL I ever do with myself if I do not buy these items?"
Now, I 100% admit to saying the above statement -- and I also admit to telling the first woman that lying in front of my children is a wonderful power of example for her to display and that if it were a measuring stick for parenting capabilites that she would be a lock for Mother of the Year -- I guess my frustration was just at a point where I had to say something.
My whole point of contacting you is this --- I do not like to be lied to, and I certainly do not like that when my child needs to use the bathroom that he is told he cannot and that we need to go to another store next door to use it. With all of the security and theft prevention in today's society, what exactly did she think we would do back there? I was in shorts and a polo shirt -- it is not like I could stuff DVD's in my pants and walk out without being noticed!
I run a division of a mortgage company, and I am appalled at the level of service I received at your company. And just to let you know -- aside from never having any reason to go into your store again I wanted to make you aware of the fact that I give out gift certificates each year to clients, employees, etc for various things as a thank you and/or token of appreciation. Usually this is about 100-150 people at an average of $100 each. I am sure if you do the math you can figure out that this equates to $10,000-$15,000 that will 100% not even come close to being within 20 miles of your store.........ever.
I am being kind when I say your employee service levels have a lot of room for improvement.
OK so first Off I go to the fye store figuring, I should purchase some music instead of just listen on youtube, so I get to fye and first off they don't even have what I want in stock. Whatever I was down to buy some music, so I purchased a cd on focus a educational cd (which I could have listened to for free any day on youtube for free!) after buying the CD the music gave me a headace, didn't make me focus, made me upset. So 2 days later I went back to FYE to do either in store credit or money back I still had the receipt, know what they said "I'm sorry due to a copyright law you can only buy back" FOR A DOLLAR! or 1.25 in store credit! now apparently this is printed on the receipt, but seruisly folks I have a IQ of 138 and I don't make it a point to read the DECENTFULL receipt after my purchase to make sure I'm not getting screwed over. I feel gyped and NOW I KNOW WHY PEOPLE DON't BUY music at FYE. Because if it's crap you CAN'T return it, your stuck with crap! At least when you listen on youtube (which has EVERYTHING!) you don't get stuck with crap. SO if your not familiar with the music at FYE DON'T PURCHASE IT! Don't take the risk, make 100% sure you are going to love the music before you even think, "oh that's cool maybe I will try it out" guess what! the manager will come out and give you some BS line like read the receipt, and then offer you a BUCK on a brand new 2 day old CD. VERY UPSETTING. From now on I'm going to shop online and do my research before I even risk buying music. If this is a NORM, this is why the CD industry is going down the tube with BS laws like this that if you buy something and want to try out a new artist you never heard of, if he sucks, your stuck with his BS for life! oh you can always get 1.25 in store credit and waste like money if you want, to try something out. Sorry FYE and whatever CD company sells cd's, This is the first time I TRIED something and wanted to return it, and this is very dissatifieng and left a very bad taste in my mouth. I dunno about other stuff but anything else you don't like you can take back and say "that crap was a dud I want my money back" but apparently with music YOU CAN'T! what a joke. artists just want there money and know what I ain't paying anymore Till I've heard EVERY SINGLE SONG on the CD FIRST! Buyer beware, If you want to support your musicians and buy there music, be sure of what your getting because FYE will stick it to you and then treat you like a piece of dirt and do nothing for you, and then make you feel stupid and read a receipt stating there company policy! SORRY but when I go out to eat I don't even worry about the label saying FOOD MAY GIVE YOU FOOD POISIONING, or when I buy sound equipment I don't read the receipt that says "HOPE you like the way it sounds cuase you can't return it!" OR when you buy a car "if this breaks down on you your stuck with it!" NO when you go eat if your not happy with it, guess what REFUND! Sound equipment if it's not exactly what you wanted guess what REFUND!, car that breaks down GUESS WHAT REFUND or REPAIR for FREE!............... apparently either FYE or the music industry has no common sense, which is #1 why I won't be shopping at FYE anymore and #2 will NEVER give a artist I don't know a chance! Because right now I'm stuck with music I wouldn't even give away as a gift, I mines as well throw that Want to be music down the trash where it belongs!
Never get the VIP Backstage Pass. The number they gave me in the packet was wrong and did not allow me to access the online content, then when it told me to try again later it still did not work. So I forget about it for a month and then realize they are charging my account when I didn't even activate the account online, so I decide to cancel it. I call online and they have the guy trying to convince me that it is a bad idea to cancel, I practically have to convince the man that I am serious of this. Then he cops attitude with me, even though I am saying please and thank you around every bend in attempts to be polite and this guy is acting like I am some moron just because I didn't have my member number on me and made him look me up with my last name and address... big chip in his cup I guess. He ends by giving me this huge reference code that I thought he said (I say I thought because his English was broken and I could barely understand what he was saying half the time) was for me to cancel the account with and before I have anymore questions he hangs up on me. So I call back asking what am I supposed to do with this number and a lady this time also acts like I am some idiot and says its a reference code for future reference. I am like why would I need this at all, could you give me some examples. She acts like its such a simple concept that she can't even give me a strait answer, just keeps repeating herself, "its for future reference." I don't need to be treated like a retard, its logical that when given a long number like that I would want to know what I might need it for, otherwise I can throw it out. But no, no explanation. This company is a joke! Not only did they take my money but they didn't even bother to make it look like it wasn't a scam. Such a horrible experience.
BOYNTON BEACH, FLORIDA -- OK, I have never written a customer complaint on any store in my whole life. I was just so appalled today by the manager in an FYE store in Boynton Beach Mall in Florida. Here is my experience....
I have about 30-40 DVD's I do not watch, nor want. I was walking through the mall about a week ago and heard an FYE employee tell a customer they buy back your old DVD's for cash!! I thought this sounded like a great idea, so I went home, packed up all my old DVD's and planned ongoing back to the mall the following weekend to return them for cash!! You know how a little cash here and there can help in times like this....
Today, Sunday, March 1, 2009, I loaded the DVD's in my car and started driving towards the mall. I figured I'd better give the store a call to make sure they still were buying back used DVD's. I didn't want to get all the way there and be turned around.
A manager picked up the phone and when I asked him, his response was exactly "YES, we sure do!" re: buying back DVD's. I said, "Great, I'll be there in about 10 mins. I get to the store 10 minutes later lugging a duffel bag of DVD's. I approach the front counter where a male employee asks if he can help me. I said, "Hi, I have some DVD's I'm hoping you can look through so you can buy them back." His response...."No, we just bought back a few video games and we have no more money left".
I said, well sir, I JUST called here 10 minutes ago to MAKE SURE, beforehand, that you would buy back my DVD's. I drove all the way here, and lugged this huge bag of DVD's through the mall because someone told me on the phone that they did buy them back." So he goes to get the manager (the one who answered my phone call). The manager says, "NOPE, just bought some video games and ran out of money. You asked me on the phone if we bought back DVD's, which I replied, We sure do!!, but you never asked on the phone if we had cash to buy them back!!!!"
I was absolutely STUNNED at this managers reply. The manager of a retail store is supposed to EXCEL at customer service and make the customer feel comfortable and take care of their needs to the best of their abilities.
I think this man was very smart with his remarks, also very sarcastic. I finally spoke up, "Sir, I'm sorry I don't know your exact FYE policy, I just called you and you told me you would buy them back...I didn't know I then had to ask if you would for cash." So the man said, come over here and ill give you store credit. I did not want store credit so I politely asked the manager when I should come back, later on in the afternoon? or later on in the week? All I wanted to know is when they would have cash buy backs.
The manager replied. "I don't know. Come back when we have cash." I thought that was so incredibly rude to say to someone instead of apologizing and telling me a better time to come back. I knew that I was going to have to come back, I was not too upset about that fact. I was so upset because the manager, instead of apologizing and telling me a better time to come back, was rude and sarcastic to a customer who never sold back their DVD's before and didn't know the policy.
That man had a very feminine voice and was probably lived a very miserable life. I will never shop at that FYE again. I will tell my family, friends, and employees to make sure they never use the FYE in Boynton Beach Mall
Tomorrow, I am going to the FYE at the Boca Raton mall. I am anxious to see how the employees and manager treat me there. Hopefully, I have a much better experience.
ESCONDIDO, CALIFORNIA -- OK so I bought my daughter an mp3 player at FYE formally known as Wherehouse music yesterday. It was not very expensive only 19.99 but she's only 9 years old and it was intended to be a "starter" for her. To see how she does with it before spending more.
Anyway, I get it home and fill it with mp3's and whaddya know it doesn't work! Now I'm not trying to be a know it all or whatever but I know my way around a computer very well. I have an ipod and am very aware of different media formats and the differences between them. So when it says it only plays mp3's and wma formats I know what that means.
This dumb thing would only play about 12 of the 40 songs I put in it. Mind you those same songs played fine on my computer. It wouldn't power on or off correctly either. So I said the heck with this thing I'm taking it back!
I figured you get what you pay for is really true in some cases so I would spend a little more and exchange it for a nicer one.
Well, before I even have it out of the bag the guy starts telling me how they won't take electronics back and that I have to send it to the manufacturer for a refund or replacement. I was shocked! First of all why would I even want a replacement? It was junk also I just bought the darn thing YESTERDAY! Actually less than 24 hrs ago! And I was willing to do an exchange and spend MORE MONEY!
He tells me how the policy is written on the receipt and that if I didn't purchase the "extended" warranty on it then they can't take it back. He tells me that I need to "read the receipt to find out what to do". I told him that at the time of purchase I was NOT offered any type of extended warranty and that none of this was mentioned to me at all. If it had been I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.
I don't get this at all. This to me is bad business for many reasons.
First if a company sells a product to a customer and that product is defective why should the customer have to suffer further inconvenience by going through the whole process of sending if to the manufacturer and most likely waiting weeks for a refund or replacment? Especially in the case of a gift. My daughter is 9 and she was very disappointed.
In the past you would take it back to the store and they would send it back to the manufacturer themselves. Now they are pushing that responibility on the customer saying "we don't care if we sold you something that doesn't work talk to the poeple who made it" It seems the customer is becoming less and less important these days. Companies care more about profits than they do the level of service they are providing to their customers. I know for a fact that if I bought a pair of name brand shoes at JC Penny say Vans for example and the next day I noticed a hole due to faulty stitching they would not tell me to send them back to Vans for a refund or replacement. It's ludicrous.
Second, it seems to me that in order to make an extra buck the store trys to sell you these extended warranties and will only take electronics back if you have purchased one. Otherwise your forced to send it back to the manufacturer. To me that's crooked. Most of these "extended warranties" have tons of limitations and fine print so you have to really read, read, read them!
Third, it sends a huge "we don't give a damn about you" message to the customer that I heard loud and clear today!
Fourth, if this is going to be the policy then it should be posted in BIG LETTERS right next to the products it applies to!
I was told to "read the receipt to find the policy" but I had to PURCHASE the item to get the receipt. How ridiculous is that?!
If I had been informed before I purchased it that in the instance it's defective I would not be permitted to return it to the store I never would have taken that gamble.
In the end the manager took it back and only because I was going to be spending more money. If I would have wanted my money back I would have been out of luck. And my daughter would have been without her new mp3 player.
I am so disgusted. I will never shop there again for electronics. Ever! In fact I don't think that I will even be buying cd's from them either. Walmart is cheaper anyway.
Thankfully the new mp3 player works great and my daughter is thrilled with it but I am left feeling very disappointed at what is becoming of the retail world these days.
So just FYI ( ha ha lol ) don't buy electronics from FYE unless you are willing to send them back to the manufacturer and wait weeks for a replacement when you open them and they don't work.
BEAVERTON, OREGON -- FYE sells used and new DVDs higher than new DVDs at retail stores. For example, you can buy brand new Disney animation DVDs for 19.99 at most stores, but with FYE, it sells 24 to 40 dollars for used or new ones. I am not talking about Blu-Ray, but DVD!
On Saturday, December 12th, I went over to FYE to sell lots of my DVDs. Keep in mind, some DVDs were brand new which I never used for some reason. FYE offered to buy them ranging from 10 cents to dollar.
The bottom of this, I only was offered 19 dollars for 38 DVDs for store credit or 15 dollars in cash. I decided to drop this action and deal with Craiglist instead.
I bet that FYE will buy my new HBO OZ boxset (Seasons 1 to 6) for 6 dollars which it will resell at much much higher price. I only used OZ once and is in an excellent condition. In fact, I bought it for 225 dollars two years ago.
Ratatouille, a blu ray disc, is selling for 35 dollars at FYE. I can get that for 16 dollars at Costco or 24 dollars at many retail stores. It is just an example for how FYE is ripping off people with higher prices.
I am praying that FYE will be going out of the business and encouraging people not to shop there.
KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA, PENNSYLVANIA -- Today I went to FYE to unload some old CDS and DVDs that I had dug out of my garage. I'm heading overseas shortly, and figured that I'd try to get a few bucks back on them immediately, rather than go through Craig's List or eBay.
The FYE I went to was in King of Prussia, PA, the largest mall on the east coast. I went in, and the employee behind the desk didn't greet me. I said, "Could I trade these in?" to which he responded, "No."
Let me make it clear that I can take a joke. His demeanor was such, though, that I thought he may have been serious; at no point afterwards did he laugh, grin, or do anything that would indicate that he was a nice guy. If I hadn't been CERTAIN that FYE accepts trade-ins I would have turned around and walked away. But I stayed, and he began to process the order.
As I'm sure they do with everyone, he proceeded to open each DVD and CD case to check to see if it was damaged. The first one he checked apparently wasn't up to standard, but he didn't tell me that. Instead, he kind of tossed it like a frisbee in my direction, managing to keep it on the counter between us. I still wasn't sure if he was giving it back to me or not--he didn't say anything--but I started to get the message when he put the next CD in a new pile closer to him.
By the end of the transaction, I had a CD and two DVDs in "my" pile, and he had the rest in "his." I think he didn't accept one of the DVDs because it still had a Blockbuster tag on it (I must've forgotten to take it back years ago and didn't notice the label before bringing it in), but that is only speculation, though, since he still wouldn't say anything. I'm also left to presume that he didn't accept my Violent Femmes CD because it was really old, because I know it's still in perfect condition. He didn't tell me.
Finally, he asked me if I wanted cash or credit. After I took the cash, he didn't say goodbye or anything. I didn't expect him to, by that point.
With eBay, iTunes, and other ways of buying music, I would THINK that retail stores like this would try to put their best foot forward to try to keep customers. And while I realize that the guy who handled my transaction was only an employee, it would be nice if FYE had an easy way of sending them feedback through their website; yet, that isn't the case. So forget it, FYE. I didn't do much business with you over the past few years because of all the new alternatives to buying music, but today's events have solidified me as a non-consumer for the rest of my life.
Signed up for the VIP club but declined, repeatedly, to get magazines, however, a month later I have to spend over an hour on the phone cancelling the four random magazines they signed me up for. Almost one hundred dollars of product I do not want, and not only did not ask for I SAID NO.
When I tried to complain at the store, I was told by the manager, that since I didn't have my receipt he wouldn't help me.
TYSONS CORNER, VIRGINIA -- I had a very interesting and disappointing experience, to say the least, at a local FYE store in Tysons Corner Center, FYE #0100. A friend pre-ordered an XBOX 360 system in Sept 2005, and when time came for FYE to deliver in Holiday Season 2005, they not only failed miserably at providing the system, but also failed to provide clear policies, instructions, and requirement prior to and after the order.
In mid-December, a roller coaster of more confusion and vagueness: store manager was unwilling to cancel the order and/or refund the money, suggesting a $100 should be paid before he can refund the $50 deposit! and insisting on a two (2) game purchase he NEVER mentioned even when specifically asked about it at the time or pre-order. He then changes his statements about the unit not being available until February 2006 and on the same day promises the system will be available the next week. In the end, on December 16th, the transaction goes completely sour, the arrogant manager gets even more bumptious and bullheaded, finally kicking us out of the store when he couldn't handle a legitimate claim.
From this, we created a website and wrote a letter which was sent to FYE corp.
You can read the letter that was sent and comment on this here: