Circuit City Complaint - False In-store Promotions re: Rebates at Circuit City
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA -- Beware of false promotions regarding rebates at Circuit City.
On December 22nd, I purchased a Model R15 DirecTV receiver and PVR at the Circuit City store in Palo Alto California. The in-store signage advertised the product at $99.99 with a $100.00 manufacturer's rebate. I asked the store clerk whether this was correct, since the rebate was $0.01 more than the purchase price (not including sales tax), and he assured me it was correct, confirmed that it applied to the Model R15 receiver which was what the sign by the merchandise also said, and that the reason that DirecTV was willing to rebate the entire purchase price was that I would have to sign up for DirecTV service, which is a monthly fee.
When the sales clerk was ringing up my sale, he said he had some difficulty with the printer in the store, and that he could not get the rebate form to print out. He gave me a Circuit City web site that he said I could go to, and showed me a link on the site to "rebates" where he said I could print out the rebate form at home. On December 29th, I went to the website to print out the rebate form to send in for the rebate. The Circuit City website does have a link to a page where you can print out rebate forms, but there was no form for the Model R15 receiver that I had purchased.
I called the store 5 times that day, from ~11am to 5 pm. On the first three such calls, after explaining the situation, I was cut off and left with adead phone line. On the 4th call, I asked for the store manager, and was told he was out of the store, and would be back in an hour. I called back the 5th time, at 4:17pm (more than an hour and a half after the previous call) and was told again the store manager was not in, and would be back in an hour. I told the person of my previous calls, and asked to talk to the head of the electronics department. After a few more transfers, I finally got someone named Tevita in "Loss Prevention" who said they would take my name and address and would mail me the rebate form. By three weeks later, on January 19th, I had received nothing in the mail and called the Circuit City store again, explained the situation and asked for the manager. First I was told that he was not in. Then I asked for the head of the electronics department again, and was told he was in a meeting with the store manager.
Since a rebate doesn't cost the store anything (the manufacturer pays the rebate), the only logical reason that the Circuit City store would be giving me such a run-around is that there is no rebate on the Model R15 -- they just ran the bogus promotion in the store to get me to buy it.
This false promotion is consistent with the false advertising that others have reported re: Circuit City. BEWARE! Reputable retailers do not behave like this. These illegal tactics are probably signs that Circuit City is probably in desperate financial condition and may do anything to snare your money.