Returning A Defective Home Theater To Circuit City Makes You Bang Your Head Against A Wall

“On November 29th, 2007, I purchased a Phillips HTS3544 HTIB (Home Theater in-a-box) online at circuit city.com for $197.47. This included the extra that I paid for expedited 3-day shipping. Done. I thought with the weekend coming up I would receive it around December 3rd-4th. And thats when the problems started rolling on it. The first problem was that the circuit city warehouse didn’t even notify FedEx until December 4th, and I didn’t receive the item until December 7th (which is 3-day on FedEx’s part). Okay, fine, I think Ill just call and have the extra charges refunded. But no way did I know this would spiral into what it has become.”

Once unpacked, I proceed to wire everything up and, after all that work, plug the receiver in. Hmm… no red standby light… no fan… no nothing. I try another outlet… great… I got a defective unit. Okay, thats fine, things happen, I’m sure Circuit City’s customer service will work things out with me. Not.

I called the customer service number, went through the usual prompts, and was put on hold… for 10min… 20…30…40…50…1hr… someone picks up. Okay, I’m tired of waiting but now I can get this resolved. I explain what has happened, and “I’m sorry… you have to talk to the returns department, please hold”. Son of.. no, no, just wait.

10…20…30…1hr…and an hour and a half rolls by and someone picks up. I explain the situation and the fact I’ve been on hold for over 2hrs cumulative now… they take all my information and..

“I’m sorry sir, but this item is an online-only offer, so it will have to be returned via fed ex express. The charges for this will be $60.43 and there will be a 15% restocking fee; your balance to return the item is $87.42; would you like to use your previous payment method to fund this?” –WHAT!? I’m speechless…. you can’t be serious. First… the product CAME LATE and DEFECTIVE. Second… ME pay for the shipping charges? No way. I try and get things resolved… no go. They wont budge. I then request a supervisor and get this response: “I’m sorry sir, but my supervisor is going to tell you the same thing; this is our policy and we cannot change it for you. Your account has been noted.” I demand a supervisor a second time. “Sir, a supervisor is not going to change this.” Deny me a supervisor once? Wrong. 2 times? Now I’M getting severely upset. I demand a third time. “Sir, I’m sorry but I cannot do that. Your account has been noted, have a good night.” Click. What… hung up on!? Now I’m furious.

I call the number again…hold for over an hour again.. I get another rep… and I demand a supervisor immediately… “Sir, what is the issue you are having? I am sure that i can assist you with it and a supervisor will not need to be contacted.” What is wrong with this company? Why do they deny supervisors? I request again… deny… again… deny…again…and deny. I finally am outraged and demand a supervisor and FINALLY, they tell me they will transfer me. Hold again… 30min…45…1hr… “Hello, I’m a supervisor what is the issue?” Finally.. I explain… and… “I’m sorry…but this is our policy and we cannot change it”. You have got to be kidding me. I request their corporate office and she gives me another 1-800 number. She hangs up, without saying anything more.

By this time, I have spent almost 5hrs on the phone cumulative and it is very late and I am irate to say the least. I head to bed and call corporate tomorrow; surely this has to be a bad luck thing.

Tomorrow comes and I call the corporate office… within holding for 5min someone picks up… amazing… no hold? Maybe this is a good thing. I speak to a lady and plead my case. She apologizes for everything that has happened and agrees to expedite shipping of a new product for me and says she has to verify some information and puts me on hold for about 5minutes. Good,things will get fixed. She comes back on the line… “I’m sorry sir but we cannot ship this product 3-day for you and you will have to pay the shipping to us to return in and we will ship you a new one in 14-21 days.” WHAT!?!?! I explain this request is outrageous and question if I am able to do ANYTHING through a store location. She informs me that I, in fact, CAN return it to a store and have a new one shipped to me. Amazing the lack of communication here, isn’t it? Good, I say I will do that and the conversation ends.

I call up my local store and ask for a supervisor and get one. I explain the situation that I have been going through and the supervisor understands and I head to the store. I return the item to them and they set up the new shipment… but there is still an issue. Remember how I paid for 3day? They refuse to honor that for this new shipment… by this time I’m so done with this company I just tell them to ship it to me and be done with it. I get the receipt and shipping info and leave.

December 10th comes.. and I have a package? Whats this? 2 days? Amazing. I finally think this process is over… but no, it’s not. I open the package and this time, before unwrapping ANYTHING, I plug the receiver in, laughing, thinking there is no way I could possibly get a SECOND one that doesn’t work. … no…red light… no fan… no…nothing. You have to be kidding me. ANOTHER defective unit. I immediately call the store and explain what happened and at this time, I am infuriated. They understand and want to ship ANOTHER one to me.. but by this time this is not going to work. I demand that the supervisor find a comparable product that they can exchange IN STORE TONIGHT for me. She agrees and finds me a Panasonic 5 Disc HTIB with the same features, minus and plus a few. Good, I bring the product in, exchange it, bring the new item home, plug the receiver in and… IT WORKS! We’re done!

Now… lets recap… I received two defective products… wasted over 7hrs of my time via phone and driving to locations, was told contrasting information on return policies, and was told I would have to furnish shipping for a defective product? During the phone conversations with their 1-800 #, I had to struggle to understand EVERY rep I had, INCLUDING the supervisors, I assume due to outsourcing. I then FINALLY get the product exchanged and.. IT DOESN’T WORK! I get a comparable product after having to cohort the supervisor into this and finally, I have a working product, 2 weeks of waiting and 7hrs of phone conversations PLUS having to drive to and from a store location TWICE and I wound up with a product that I didn’t want but suffices. Now, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t just get a refund and go elsewhere? $125 of the purchase was on gift cards I bought at a local store for the fuel perks prior to shopping… burned on my part for that. The moral of this story? I will NEVER shop at this company again and I will make sure my family does the same. I have contacted the BBB regarding this but I don’t expect to have a reply. Take your business elsewhere… often-times, an ad price you see here can be matched somewhere else that will actually give you something called Customer Service.

What a nightmare, made all the more frustrating because the store could have instantly exchanged the unit, rather than made you wait for two weeks—for another defective unit. We like to simultaneously pursue multiple avenues when dealing with thickety customer service issues. If a CSR tells you to wait two weeks, call the store and ask for faster response, or to provide an alternate resolution. Just because customer service agents are bound to a handbook, doesn’t mean you can’t try to outflank them.

(Photo: alaspoorwho)

Comments

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  1. phospholipid says:

    why circuit city? why do people buy from this place! next time try newegg sir, not only do they accept returns [all of mine, even a day or two past warranty], they pay for shipping back to them! seriously! check it out

  2. biggeek says:

    I go to BestBuy or Circuit Shitty to check out the physical product…Then go home and order from NewEgg or ZipZoomFly.

    Newegg product comments by their customers are voluminous and can be quite helpful to browse through.

  3. yg17 says:

    @phospholipid: I still buy from Circuit City because I have never had a single problem with them. Now Best Buy, on the other hand…..

  4. blkhrt1 says:

    Too bad circuit city probably used the product in their home first, spilled beer or crack on it, and then sent it to your home. YAY RED!

  5. no.no.notorious says:

    @blkhrt1: LOL

  6. accessmemorex says:

    He did exactly what he should have, He started small and worked his way up while also looking for other avenues to persue his request, He probably if fought it out a bit longer could have gotten a working receiver, remember to always remain patient when working with these people, “sometimes a little aggressive”, Always keep your options open, never take no for an answer, FINAL THOUGHTS, retailers are designed to make money not to lost it, navigating through this labyrinth is a particularly difficult task, All stored have these in effect to wear down your resistance, take a break while fighting and dont give up or take the “good enough bet”, In fact after a while I would start charging them for my time and there defective product, BEST OF LUCK, POST CONSUMIST

  7. Copper says:

    In response to the question about why they don’t want to speak to a supervisor…because that’s what they’re supposed to do. CSRs are supposed to circumvent the request to be transferred. Yes it’s annoying, no it won’t stop. Just keep asking.

    Two defective items…that sucks.

  8. flamincheney says:

    When will stores realize that often providing good customer service the first time saves them more than it would have cost to in labor to facilate several phone bank CSR’s, a phone bank Sup, and store level emplyees and management twice. No wonder why these companies are falling so fast.

  9. The Big O says:

    Man, that sucks. I’m sorry you had to deal with all that. Hopefully your Christmas holiday fared better than your experience with CC. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, well, I hope whatever you did was better than what you had to deal with at CC.

  10. Freedomboy says:

    Good post, this is why I think this site and the growing green product review sites are the new front porch of America, for tech and plain shopping items at a minimum, some peace of mind and more we can hope.

    Thanks, Happy New Year.

  11. Televiper says:

    I get the impression that the worst place to shop online is at a brick and mortar retailer’s website. It really seems that the online operation is something half-assed and thrown together just to provide the option.

  12. TexasScout says:

    When are you people going to learn not to buy from this POS! They don’t care about there OWN people, why would they care about you? I hope they go bankrupt just because of what they did to there many loyal employees. DIAF Cirshit Shitty.

  13. Unnamed Source says:

    @Televiper: I agree. It seems like the customer service is always outsourced to some place that (at a minimum) a) uses a script, b) cannot deviate from that script, and c) will never transfer you to a supervisor. Makes one wonder if they aren’t punished for transfers or something stupid like that.

  14. Outside of the bullshit with the phone customer service reps (and the executive customer service), one has to applaud the in-store supervisors for taking care of the issue for this guy. I imagine it could have gone worse…

    But this is also why I almost always buy online, except for those gift cards and stuff I want immediately (games and whatnot)…

  15. cabedrgn says:

    @BIGGEEK: I know this is off topic a little but I’ve also had amazing experiences at newegg. Even when it was bad, it was still great. I ordered a combo-deal server hw and memory, I didn’t pay attention and the memory in the combo deal wasn’t compatible. I called, they wanted me to return all or nothing (but I needed the server operational asap). I relented and kept the memory since it was only like $60.00, they RMA’d the additional memory I bought that wasn’t part of the combo deal so it wasn’t a total loss. I left a small comment on the survey website thing they use stating that my experience was a 4.5, I was a little upset about the memory but it was ultimately my fault for not paying attention.

    Next day, I get a call from the service manager, a $100 refund (keep in mind, the cost of the memory was only like $60.00, if that) and got to keep the memory, even after I told him I had no problems returning it.

    While this is an example of above and beyond, this is also why newegg just plain rocks.

    I remember the days when circuit city wasn’t that bad (except for the whole DIVX thing), its amazing how bad customer service has gotten and how much its ‘accepted’ anymore. I saw an incident at CC a week or two ago browsing; this guy was trying to return a defective tomtom, the clerk (who looked like he didn’t even want to be there) said something along the lines of ‘sorry, but if we didn’t install it, how do we know that you didn’t break it,’ the guy just accepted it and walked out of the store with this beat look on his face. I felt sorry for the guy, I doubt he even knew that CC doesn’t actually install tomtoms.

  16. sven.kirk says:

    OK. You spent five hours on hold cumulatively BEFORE considering about calling corporate? That’s your own stupidity.

  17. StevieD says:

    @Copper:

    Right on. CSR’s are suppose to handle customer inquiries and IF possible take care of the customer’s problem. IF the CSR is unable to directly take care of the problem or provide the correct answer, then CSR is to act as the point of the contact between the customer and the business.

    In other words… no passing the buck to the supervisor.

    Customer’s don’t like being told no, so the customer’s natural inclination is to ask for a second opinion (aka the supervisor). Unfortunately (or fortunately depending upon one’s opinion) a negative answer is often the best and correct answer.

  18. watwat45678 says:

    Maybe if you had ran screaming the minute you saw the name “Philips”, you never would have had this issue.

  19. flashing12 says:

    I guess it amazes me that in this day and age consumers don’t understand how fulfillment works. These stores should put in big bold print “this item does not come from xyz store, it ships from a different company”. Although this situation was handled ridiculously badly, it is no surprise that return shipping is paid by the consume…this is standard for most manufacturers. Generally if you read the fine print it will tell you that returns are subject to the manufacturers policies.

  20. kublaconsumer says:

    If a local store is available, why not return the thing to the store right off the bat? I would have never called a customer service number since I would have expected exactly what he got.

  21. humphrmi says:

    OT but I see a lot of people suggesting Newegg, I’ve never dealt with them – so far I buy camera stuff from small (but fairly priced) shops I trust, and big-ticket items like TV’s and so forth from Amazon. I haven’t been disappointed (yet) but what’s the hubub about Newegg? Are they super-great with CS?

  22. pearlythepirate says:

    Well this customer has been getting burned enough, but this scenario still raises the question of why customers do not simply do their own research. The Circuit City’s website return policy clearly states that they would refund the shipping costs if they find the product to be defective. ([tinyurl.com])

    Sigh…

  23. pengie says:

    @humphrmi: Newegg is wonderful. To pitch in my own example, my boyfriend bought a heatsink/fan combo for a processor he’d been given, only to find out when the product arrived that it was the wrong socket. He can’t make it fit, so he called them up and asked for an RMA. They said “sorry about that, our product page wasn’t very clear,” refunded him his $20 with no RMA necessary, and suggested a new one for him. I was pretty impressed.

  24. pengie says:

    @pengie: Er, asked to return it (expecting to pay a restocking fee), not RMA it. I fail at words.

  25. tbeans says:

    the weird thing is that the prduct this guy bought should not have a restocking fee. Only 14 day return items have restocking fee…So I do not know where this restocking fee came in to play. furthermore it clearly states on the website that items ordered online can be returned to a CC store. And if it was defective and u wanted to mail it back, CC can send u a prepaid shipping label. Once CC gets the merchandise back they mail out the exchange.

  26. 5h17h34d says:

    @biggeek: Also tons of shills commenting there.

  27. lightaugust says:

    Yeah, we’ve all been there, which is probably how we go to Consumerist in the first place… so our sympathies on the frustration. But do you have to do the “And I couldn’t understand them either?” Not to be the feel gooder, but that’s got what to do with customer service? It’s like saying “and they were fat, too!” and just makes my sympathy for you go right out the window.

  28. Landru says:

    @lightaugust:

    Sorry, but having staff able to be understood on the telephone has a lot to do with customer service.

    They need to be able assess the problem and clearly communicate solutions. Not communicating clearly helps no one.

  29. KogeLiz says:

    oh man, that totally blows.
    i’m glad the situation was resolved.
    is there anyway to find email address or phone numbers for the higher-ups in corp.?

  30. WolfDemon says:

    I personally have never had a problem with circuit city

  31. Dibbler says:

    Ummmm… Why don’t you just call the credit card company and have them give you a credit? I wouldn’t go through any of that crap and you should have just let them worry about getting their crap back from you.

  32. goodkitty says:

    @biggeek: I go to BestBuy or Circuit Shitty to check out the physical product…Then go home and order from NewEgg or ZipZoomFly.”

    Which is partly why they try to cut every corner they can. I try not to go into a store and waste their time if I’m not at least partially interested in buying something there. It just always seems like the ethical thing to do.

    Newegg is fantastic, but they will occasionally goof your order in my experience. Still, it’s worth every penny, even if they cost a dollar or two more than some ‘awesomemegacomputerz.com’ site. However, they’ve gotten almost a bit evil with price adjustments and flat shipping per item (which means paying more for shipping if you’re ordering a lot of smaller stuff).

  33. @phospholipid: @12-inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: @pengie:
    I wish I could claim as good of an experience with NewEgg. I ordered something from them for a gift, changed my mind and wanted to return it–I didn’t like a 15% restocking fee, but figured it was better than nothing, then found out the item (a Wii game, in perfect condition, still wrapped in plastic) is not eligible for return. It didn’t say this anywhere in the purchasing process, and on the receipt only says that they’ve extended their return periods for holiday shopping, making it appear that the item IS eligible for return. No exceptions, and I’m not even being given a reason. Now I’m stuck with a game I don’t want. I ordered a few things from Circuit City.com, picked them up in store, and returned them with no problem other than a longer line than usual at the counter. Any suggestions for dealing with them? I’d heard great things, but am not impressed.

  34. dogmatixx says:

    I’m going to second Dibbler on this one. After your initial problem where they told you they wouldn’t refund you for the defective unit, you should have cut your losses and reported it to your credit card company. Then the burden would have been on Circuit City to proved that they didn’t send you a non-working item, and you’d get your whole amount back.

    I bought an HDTV from the Philips outlet, and it didn’t work well. I had it repaired under warranty, but it broke again, and the factory authorized repair shop said it really couldn’t be fixed. When Philips offered to have me return the sixty pound TV to them at my expense and they would *maybe* replace it, I decided to initiate a chargeback with American Express. I got my money back, kept the broken TV, and Philips never challenged it. Don’t waste your time fighting with CSRs.

  35. levenhopper says:

    I LOVE fuel perks. Off topic I know, but they’re awesome.

    For every $50 you spend at Giant Eagle grocery stores, you get 10 cents off a gallon of gas at Giant Eagle’s gas chain (GetGo). The discount is valid for one fill up (up to 30 gallons of gas, but must be purchased at one time).

    Since I’m spending the money anyways, I might as well get a rebate for it!

  36. edrebber says:

    The item didn’t conform to the sales agreement. The buyer is entitled to reject the shipment. Title to the item reverts back to the shipper, Circuit City. Circuit City is obligated to notify the carrier to inspect the item.

    If the carrier determines the damage was caused by improper handling during shipping, then the carrier takes the item and pays the claim to circuit city. If the carrier determines the item was damaged because it wasn’t packed properly the carrier sends the item back to Circuit City.

    Either way, Circuit City owes the buyer a complete refund. Circuit City’s policy directly contradicts the law stated in the Uniform Commercial Code. The buyer should contact their state’s Attorney General office and let them know of this illegal policy.

    The policy is idiotic, because FedEx is obligated to either pay the claim or return the item to Circuit City at no extra charge. The buyer should contact their credit card company to dispute the charge and let them know that the shipment is rejected because it doesn’t conform to the sales agreement and Circuit City refuses to file the insurance claim with the carrier.

  37. ecwis says:

    @phospholipid: Newegg pays for shipping back to them? Their website certainly says something else…

    “Does Newegg.com pay the return shipping cost for defective merchandise?

    No, Newegg.com does not pay the return shipping cost for defective merchandise…”

    [www.newegg.com]

  38. MommaJ says:

    @lightaugust:
    “But do you have to do the ‘And I couldn’t understand them either?” Not to be the feel gooder, but that’s got what to do with customer service?’” I’d say it has everything to do with customer service. A unhappy customer calling from the US has already been ill-served by the company and deserves to speak with a CSR whose English is fluent and clear, not cope with tortured grammar, limited vocabulary and/or an impenetrable accent.

  39. rolla says:

    yeah, that was BS about telling you that you cant return it to the store. Could have avoided the whole wait time on the phone thing. Like another poster said, i only go to BB or CC to check out a product and buy online when ready; especially on big ticket items…since you usually dont have to pay sales tax online.

  40. humphrmi says:

    @levenhopper: You’re not just OT, you’re a Shill. Can levenhopper be banned?

  41. Ray308win says:

    Now, I work for Circuit City and I have to say, that is just disappointing. Personally, I know how hard 1-800-THE-CITY is to deal with (And no, they don’t treat us any better than customers. Honestly. They even deny us to speak with a Supervisor as well. It’s ridiculous.) It really is a faster route to call your local store. We tend to put a lot more effort into making sure you’re satisfied.
    Of course, on occassion you will come across that “Bad Apple” store. Best choice if that happens is to just try again at another store (As frustrating as that can get.)

  42. spryte says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a company charging the customer to send back a defective product, that’s totally unacceptable. And the whole thing about refusing to ship the replacement via 3-day…I know a lot of these companies are losing money, but can they really not afford to fork over a few extra bucks for expedited shipping?

    Having read Consumerist for a while now, these stories don’t really surprise me anymore, but it’s still so disheartening.

  43. scottlarock says:

    I never pay shipping back to newegg, but then again I order 3-5 times a month from them (for the past 4-5 years). They have always been stellar. Once they shipped me some logitech speakers with the tube from the subwoofer not attached on the inside. I called them, they told me to keep the speakers and they sent me another set (with the SAME problem). I just opened the subwoofer, fixed the problem in both and was good to go! 2 for 1 ;)

  44. warf0x0r says:

    There would be no restocking fee if you are exchanging, only returning.

    That being said restocking fee’s are total bullshit. Never buy a product at a store that has a restocking fee.

  45. rikkus256 says:

    BBB is completely useless. They have no legal authority and most big companies just ignore them. Instead, file complaint to those who actually have power: like FTC (Federal Trade Commission ftc.com) or your state attorney general’s office.

  46. HOP says:

    i have always had good luck with cc…..i can see tho signs that they maybe going south….i was there yesterday to buy a memory card, and when i went to check out it seems the return counter person was also checking out customers….twas quite a line and a wait to buy the item……

  47. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @5h17h34d: Yes NewEgg must suck because you think so. That’s why there’s all these stories on Consumerist about them sucking.
    And you and @humphrmi are so good at identifying ‘shills’…
    Also, how is a post about gift cards off-topic? Did you read the original post or are you just trolling through the comments?
    I must be a shill too, as I’m not complaining enough?

  48. Electroqueen says:

    Shoot. The only things I buy from Circuit City are on sale DVDs, Blank CDs, and games. I never go there any other time.
    Any big electronic items, I’ll just hit up the local mom and pop, or PC Richard’s and Son as a last resort.

  49. swedub says:

    Personally, I have recently come to prefer Circuit City. About two years ago I helped my Mom buy a laptop. When I get home and turn it on it had one dead pixel. My mom wasn’t anywhere near as annoyed by it as I was. So I insisted on bringing it back for a new one. I get to the return counter, I explain it somewhat dumbed down terms “there is a dot on the screen that won’t go away and it’s really annoying”. She checks the contents to make sure everything is there and takes in into the back room. Within 5 minutes I had a brand new laptop which when turned on was just like it should be. They were a lot more liberal then most manufacturers own dead pixel policies.

  50. RobertRakshys says:

    Unbelievable. No wonder Circuity City is edging towards bankruptcy, losing money and the stock is in the toilet! BOYCOTT CIRCUIT CITY – that’s the only lesson anyone should take from this. Don’t give business to stores with horrible customer service along with this restocking fee garbage. That’s the best way to deal with them. Let them go out of business and be replaced by better quality companies and management.

  51. guymandude says:

    I have no sympathy for you people. How much advanced notice did you have that Circuit City is run by incompetent morons and that you shouldn’t be buying ANYTHING from them? Stop hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. Is it some kind of surprise that it hertz when you hit yourself in the head with a hammer?

  52. pigeonpenelope says:

    I hate Circuit City. I bought a car stereo from them and it will be the last thing I do buy from them. The customer service was crap. The installation took a lot longer than they said it would. I have a feeling I didn’t get all the parts (like a face case). Ok, they tell me that new stereos these days don’t come with a face case. Honestly, I’m not much of an electronics person anyway. The car stereo I bought was replacing my old car’s stock radio/cassette player that quit working. So no face case, but the stereo I bought doesn’t come with a manual? What? After the installation, I went in and asked if they have the type of cord I would need to hook my ipod up to the output thing (yeah I don’t do electronics) and they were rather confused until one guy goes “oh yeah its over here” and they point to a $40 crappy cable. (I probably should mention at this point that I was with a friend who knows electronics quite well after selling the high end ones for the rich folks in the area for years before quitting and working at my work place. He told me not to buy the cable if it was more than 9.00) I didn’t buy it and went to Target and bought the same type of cable for 4.00.

    Granted my situation isn’t nearly as infuriating as the poor entertainment center guy’s experience but I have been convinced they’re nicknamed Circuit Shitty for a good reason. I prefer brick and mortar shopping because I like instant gratification but I will be shopping elsewhere from here on out.

  53. Trick says:

    Circuit City is bleeding money. They are the next CompUSA and will rip off anyone they can until they go down…

  54. ArntorFTL says:

    There is a reason that Circuit City just got pounded by the Wall Street analysts earlier this week. They are losing money hand over fist and being sorely mismanaged. We all know that there probably won’t be a Circuit City anymore if they keep treating what few customers they have left like this.

  55. cordeduroi says:

    Scary! Circuit City was dancing some very tempting/seemingly-good deals (seriously) on theater systems in the past weeks. I wonder how many countless others got the same treatment?

    If a retail/web hybrid can’t give you the same deal off-the-shelf as they do online, they _intend_ to rip you off, imo.

    I can imagine the meeting in which they birthed the “online only” deals idea: “We need a way of pushing merchandise without any of the pesky policies or guarantees that have made us the major retailer that we now are…” Then they all sang a celebratory round of Rawhide and called it a day.

  56. yetiwisdom says:

    @dogmatixx: I can’t believe how patient this guy was. Like dogmatixx, I would have gone to my Credit Card company for chargeback as soon as CC said I’d have to pay for shipment back.

  57. bravo says:

    @humphrmi: Dealing with Newegg will give you faith in the world again. They are awesome. I ordered some gear from them for a PC that I was building and I found that one of the fans that came with the computer case was broken. I called newegg and a real live person here in America who had knowledge of the product I bought told me that they were now out of stock of the case I bought but that he’d take care of it, click. Two days later I find a replacement fan that newegg had drop-shipped direct from the manufacturer. Simply awesome service when issues arise, and their prices rule.

  58. goller321 says:

    Side note… among ALL the various reasons not to shop BB or shortCircuit City… every time I go into one of their newer stores, the fumes overwhelm me, I get dizzy and develop a horrible headache. I used to shop CC online to avoid going into the stores… after the exec pay crap and the mass firings for making obscene amounts of money (upwards of $15/hr… gasp!) I decided to stop shopping them all together. This only reinforces that.

  59. coren says:

    @sven.kirk: No, he did it exactly right. Nevermind that at least half of that time on hold was from what, one call? You don’t pitch a fit and use executive service if your first try doesn’t work, otherwise that goes down the shitter too.

  60. coren says:

    on the topic of newegg: Here’s another feelgood story. When Paypal (this is how I understand it) screwed the pooch on the 20 percent back promotion, not only did Newegg give everyone within 3 hours of the shutdown who didn’t qualify that 20 percent back [consumerist.com] but on their forums they were giving away stuff to anyone who even said they had been affected by the deal, no proof necessary (not sure how that turned out)

  61. SecureLocation says:

    CC is basically out of business but the body remains in an upright position for the moment. I wouldn’t go near one of their stores if thy were giving stuff away. They are pathetic–no inventory, brain dead employees, the smell of decay in the air. Best Buy ain’t a lot better but their stores seem like heaven compared to your average CC.

  62. jbohanon says:

    I went inside a Circuit City to do Christmas shopping. They’re merchandise selection was pathetic. Probably 20% what Best Buy has. The majority of people who were in the store were waiting in line, and I walked around the CD section five times, trying to find someone to help me (who knew, they don’t have a jazz/blues section), before walking out.

    Now if we could just get Best Buy to start picking up the telephone when you call them…

  63. Outtacontext says:

    This is the type of [anti] customer service I’ve come to expect from places like Circuit City so you can image how shocked I was when this happened to me a couple of weeks ago:

    One Friday night my 12 year old Sony CRT TV died. I immediately did my research for a flatscreen replacement and checked online prices for a base price. I decided with a large purchase of an LCD TV that I should buy local, just in case I had to return it.

    I first contacted a local non-chain shop (trying to avoid BB and CC if I could) but they steered me to models I knew had gotten bad reviews. My next choice was Best Buy but they didn’t carry the model I wanted. So I had to go to Circuit City (even though I’d vowed never to enter that place after they fired all of their experienced workers).

    I brought in my list of online prices (which were about $120 less than CC’s). But they would only bargain if I could show them a bricks and mortar lower price. So I bought the TV for their advertised $900. But they told me they had a 30 day price guarantee if I could find a lower price.

    Two days later I got an email from CC (unrelated to my purchase) stating that I could get 10% off just about any purchase (including my just purchased TV) if I ordered online with an in-store pickup.

    I immediately called CC to see if I could get that 10% off. The initial woman I spoke to said this was an online offer only (meaning, forget it). I countered by saying I could return the TV I had bought just two days before and then order it online as per the email. She said “Yes, you could.” When I told her that was crazy she put me on hold while she spoke to the manger. Five minutes later she came back and told me to come in with my receipt and the email offer to speak to the manager. I got her name and the manager’s name (important to do).

    I was a bit nervous as I entered the store. As you know these things can “go south” when you’re dealing with people just as the guy in this sad story did. When I approached her with my documentation and asked for the 10% off she immediately said “No problem! I’d want a refund too.” I was totally blown away as she handed me my $94 refund.

    Perhaps this was a CC anomaly. But the manager deserves a pat on the back for acting rationally and focusing on good service to the customer. Something we all deserve.

  64. AlphaWolf says:

    The lesson here seems to be to avoid the CC 1-800 number at all costs and go local.

    I have not personally had any bad experiences at Circuit City, but I tend to buy small items under $25 and they do not require any sales help.

    Although the day is coming soon when I will give in to the LCD/Plasma frenzy. So I may feel differently if I have a problem on a $1,500 set and they do not make it right.

  65. mthrndr says:

    who the FUCK shops at circuit city?

  66. Machete_Bear says:

    Yet another reason to not pay for super-fast delivery. If you can’t wait at least 5 days for an item, you shouldn’t be shopping online.

  67. ShadowFalls says:

    @phospholipid:

    Newegg does not pay shipping back to them unless the product arrives DOA. If it dies after 7 days of receipt, then you have to pay return shipping. Newegg policy, but at least one that protects them and still thinks of the customer.

    @mthrndr:

    I do, I don’t get much though, generally sale items or things I can get there conveniently. I haven’t had bad experiences with Circuit City, not really anyways. Other stores can tick me off at times, one bad part of Circuit City is their employees know nothing of what their stock is and are too lazy to find out.

  68. babaki says:

    on hold for 5 hours? come on bro, no need to exaggerate. if you stayed on hold for an hour, more than once, then you are just plain stupid. and regarding your shipping. you paid for 3 day shipping. orders aren’t necessarily shipped the second you click the order button. its 3 day shipping from when the order is shipped.

  69. JDBarrington says:

    Yeah… between the multipule days of calls between the call centers and the stores and supervisors? Yeah, I was. To be honest, I had no idea that the Consumerist actually posted this, I just ran across it and was kind of amazed. haha But yes, you wouldn’t believe how badly this company treated the situation. If they would have opted to remedy it on my first call w/o me waiting for ages to talk to someone UNDERSTANDABLE, I would have agreed to return it to the store and have them ship a new one back out and be done with it. I eventually got that done but after having to fight with the company for it. As for the credit card thing, the ONLY reason I didnt simply get a refund was because, being the genius that I am, I decided to buy gift cards for $125 of the amount at a local retailer (hey, gas points at Giant Eagle rock when gas costs an arm and a leg) so I could not get that refunded. I did, however, call my bank and have them reverse the additional charges for all the crap the company put me through, which was approved no questions asked.Its funny too, I know a lot of you say NewEgg is awesome and I agree, I shop there all the time and use them as a vendor for my local PC repair company, as well as ZipZoomFly. If you guys dont know of them, 3btech.net is a very good, smaller retailer I use as well. As for this situation, I understand that there are issues and such and there are certain things that have to be done before a resolution can be defined, hell, Im a service tech for TWC locally, so I know how pissed people get when stuff doesnt go right, but talking to people you cant understand and being on hold for ages and then getting ANOTHER broken one? Yeah, It gets to ya. Thanks for all the comments on my situation though, glad to see that Consumerist got the story out.

  70. JDBarrington says:

    @Outtacontext: Thats good to hear, Im sure that my situation was just a case of getting every person that doesnt give a damn about their job, which would be just my luck. :) Once Im done fuming over this and the holiday season, I may try and shop at a CC store again, but their website? Yeah, never.