Customer Pries Rebate From Circuit City’s Clutches

A Circuit City customer bought a HP monitor with the promise of a $50 rebate. He was unable to redeem his rebate and Circuit City told him the monitor didn’t qualify. The customer recorded the call.

He recorded the call, made in Colorado, a one-party consent state, and uploaded it to YouTube. A slideshow of Colorado scenery plays in the background.

It only takes Jjorey1 two hours and twenty-six minutes (distilled down to a ten minute video), but finally he gets a CIrcuit City supervisor to call HP, find out that the monitor is listed in Circuit City’s database but not HP’s, and have Circuit City send him a $50 gift card.

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  1. homerjay says:

    Well I certainly hope he doesn’t celebrate prematurely. Just because she SAYS she’s sending him a gift card doesn’t mean he’s going to get one. Luckily he’s backed up by his recording to ensure honest service.

  2. He says:

    But a gift card is not a rebate. He still got screwed a little.

  3. DeeJayQueue says:

    the moral of the story is:
    Don’t buy anything based on the price after rebate. This kind of BS is par for the course, actually he had a rather pleasant experience compared to some that I’ve had over rebates in the past. The word byzantine was invented solely to describe the manner in which you have to try to redeem them.

    He may get his $50 gift card but he’ll have to spend it at circuit city, which means they’ve screwed him over and then ensured his loyalty. It’s sad when big business takes its cues from “pimps up ho’s down”

  4. TedOnion says:

    Lesson #19b from this call: Before you call a company, be sure you know what it is that you want, and make sure that you are entitled to it. Then, don’t talk to anyone at the company unless they are able to give you what you want.

    I agree that he is entitled to not a gift card, but a check. If he had demanded a check, then he may have had to go another 6 hours on the phone.

    Yes, customer service agents are trained to give you just enough satisfaction that you leave them alone while minimizing the cost to their company.

    Good job to circuit city for making its mistake right. Boo on circuit city for not doing it right away when CC realized it was its mistake.

  5. The_Truth says:

    Holy crap, did anyone else see the double headed dual end deer?

  6. Mr. Moto says:

    Kudos to the caller for staying so calm. I could never have done that.

  7. AaronM says:

    The CSR for CC should have tried to transfer him to the supervisor more quickly instead of simply repeating “I am not authorized.”

    I’m glad this wasn’t another Vincent Ferrari (although they’re just so fun to listen to!). Congrats to both parties for being civil, congrats to the customer for being tenacious, and congrats to Circuit City for fixing their mistake (eventually).

  8. homerjay says:

    Oh I don’t know that congrats are in order for CC. I think they just realized that it was going to cost them more than $20 to keep wasting their time on this guy and they wanted him to go away.

    If he wasn’t making so much sense (like most people would) they probably would have been more persistant, but he kept coming at them with more arguements that show he is right. Most people would have gotten angry and yelled for a couple minutes and then just hung up.

  9. Solo says:

    I hoped he called from work on work time, in some kind of evil double dipping fashion…

    $50/1.5 = $33.33 per hour. But that’s how own money in the first place. So it’s a matter to know if spending 1.5 hours of his life for those $50 was worth it. I say yes.

    As for staying calm, it is the utmost importance to have a slow, clear and determined voice. The slower you speak, detaching the words if you have to, (don’t abuse it, this is very powerful) the more the CSR is drawn to listen to you. CSR usually have a quota od calls to fill, if you slow them down, they are more likely to listen to you and give you what you want.

    They deal with millions of frustrated people on the phone, one after the other. Your call is not important to us, believe me, your anguish is not going to touch them, this part of the CSR is totally numb.

    I always win with CSR that way. Patient, polite, determined. They listen to me, I get what I want, everybody wins.

  10. bex00 says:

    Christmas 2004 – Circuit City screwed me out of a $300 rebate with the same bait and switch scam. They advertised a pc and monitor bundle a couple of days before Christmas Day on their website. I coughed up the full price, picked up in-store and the link to the rebate from the webpage led to an error page. Supervisors and managers in-store tried to help me find the rebate but had no success and told me they couldn’t authorize the rebate. I phoned Circuit City instead and spoke with numerous CSRs and eventually reached a supervisor in their corporate office. I got to someone that told me they didn’t have a supervisor. They admitted it was a website error, and that it was mistake at their end but refused to give me any of my money back. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and sent them a printout of a screenshot of the relevant CC webpage advertising the rebate and copies of all the receipts and everything. A long time later I got a reply telling me that Circuit City refused my request for the rebate ammount. I filed a disagreement but never heard anything more. I never got the money but I was right damnit. I returned the monitor and managed to get some of my money back that way – but the pc was a christmas gift and I ran out of shopping time, so returning it was unfortunately not an option. I don’t shop at Circuit City anymore. I wish I had taped my phonecalls and posted to youtube. Congrats to the guy that got his money.

  11. paperdoll says:

    I am very impressed with how polite, persistent, and patient the caller was. The call gives a look into the maturity of this individual. I really hope that he receives the $50.oo as was requested.

  12. paperdoll says:

    I was extremely impressed with the patience, politeness , and persistence the caller demonstrated. It shows maturity and intelligence. I really hope that the caller gets the $50.00 as was requested.