Circuit City Firedog Charges $40 To 'Fix' Computer You Just Bought

Update: Circuit City says the repair should have been free. Here’s their response. Travis writes that a friend of his just bought a new computer from Circuit City, and after turning down all of the Firedog’s “it won’t work unless you also buy this” offers, he noticed a $40 fee on his receipt. Turns out the associate claims he had to flash the computer’s BIOS or Vista wouldn’t work. Travis writes, “Regardless of the fact that Vista booted up just fine with out the update, he was more disturbed with the fact that Circuit City would sell him a computer that they knew didn’t work, or so they say.” So does Circuit City sell computers that don’t work without a preliminary repair, or do they lie in order to generate extra fees?

A colleague of mine recently purchased a new Acer desktop for his dad from Circuit City in Lancaster, PA. After the checkout process he noticed a $40 charge from Firedog on his receipt. When he questioned the Circuit City employee about the charge, she replied “Firedog had to fix the computer by updating the bios.”

He had seen an advertisement in a local newspaper for a desktop that he felt was a good buy. He knew that his dad was still using an aging desktop and thought this system would be perfect for the kind of tasks his dad uses the computer for. So he drove 30 minutes to pick up the system to give his dad later that evening. When he got to Circuit City, he quickly picked it out proceeded to an employee to purchase system. The first thing out of the sales associates mouth were, “You’ll need to upgrade the system if you plan on using it for anything beyond surfing the web.”.

A little history about my friend, he is the new systems purchaser for the company we work for. He knows about hardware and software and what they are capable of doing. He is NOT an inexperienced buyer when it comes to computers.

So he turned down the video card upgrade, the hard drive upgrade and memory upgrade that the sales associated recommended he would need. Of course all of these upgrades were services that Firedog could perform for a fee. He told the sales associate, “Look, I know what I’m buying and this is all I need.”. After convincing the sales associate of this, they finally started the check out process. So he slides his credit card through and signs for the purchase. The sales associate hands him his receipt and he is on his way to his dad’s with his new computer. Until, after a quick scan of the receipt, he notices a $40 charge from Firedog. He turns right around and asks the sales associate what the line item was for. The sales associate replies that Firedog needed to setup Windows Vista and flash the bios for the computer to work.

What?

To which he replies, “So you setup Vista, which was working just fine in order to update the bios?”. Yes, says the sales associate. Regardless of the fact that Vista booted up just fine with out the update, he was more disturbed with the fact that Circuit City would sell him a computer that they knew didn’t work or so they say. Unfortunately, he was short on time and did not press the issue in the store. Later the next day he sent off an email to the Firedog supervisor for the store explaining his disappointment in the nickel and dime charge.

Back to school shoppers beware!!!

Travis, your friend shouldn’t stop with the Firedog supervisor of the store. He should contact Circuit City’s executive level and let them know that you specially refused any additional “help” from this Firedog associate, only to have him meddle with your purchase without your consent and then charge you for it. They owe your friend a $40 refund.

Comments

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  1. cotr says:

    I have acer… damn good and cheap.

    My dentist had something like this happen to her… they gave her free software but charged her an ass load for installation… of AV software. $40 i think. then they did everything else totally wrong to include keep the CC proxy in the system after turning it over. needless to say, when she got done with my cleaning i pretended to be her son and bit out the firedogs.

  2. rekoil says:

    Don’t bother with CC, take it straight to your credit card company.

  3. kingmanic says:

    Certain outlets should be avoided to get computers. Circuit city. Best buy. Future shop. You are just paying Mac prices for Compaq Quality and Comcast service.

  4. Marshfield says:

    Just like a new car. You can’t get out of the dealership without paying a few hundred for “Dealer prep”.

  5. jswilson64 says:

    Why didn’t he just walk it right over to the returns desk? What a load of crap!! Of course, I’d expect a load of crap if I bought a.) an Acer and b.) from Circuit City.

  6. mabus says:

    am i the only one that thinks firedog should be euthanized after needlessly mauling customers in their wallets?

  7. Cheapy-Jmel says:

    Oh, that’s nothing… I went in a few weeks back to jump on a deal I found on fatwallet. An acer laptop for 399 after rebate. The guy at CC tells me that the systems are “preopped” and that it will be 40 bucks on top of the 580 for the system (before rebate). I said uh, no sir, I do not wish to have your “pre op” service, i will go to another cc if you can’t sell me this laptop advertised at this price.

    Guy says, sorry… as I’m about to walk away though, he finally says “oh, let me see if we have some in the back that havent been optimized yet”… magically he comes out of the back with a fresh laptop and says “oh its the last one, lucky you!”

    After paying, and scrutinizing my receipt, I contacted corporate who apologized profusely, and contacted the regional manager and the manager of the local store. Outside of that, they did nothing. They did say that the practice was not supported by them, and that they’d pass that info on down.

    The local manager calls me back though, and basically tells me that this is standard practice… that they “remove all the junk” that the manufacturer puts on before you buy it… I asked him how acer felt about cc pissing on the agreement that acer probably has with these software vendors, and he didn’t have much to say.

    In the end, he told me that its purely optional to have the systems “optimized” but that they do the service to about 50% of them as soon as they come in. This didn’t jive with what corporate said, but I have a feeling this is becoming the norm at cc…

  8. springboks says:

    … Geek Squad (Best Buy’s FireDog equivalent) does the same thing.

  9. fonetek says:

    I’m convinced that Best Buy and Circuit City hire used car salesmen for their sales staff and computer school dropouts for FirePuppy. When you people learn that these places are not full of technology… they are filled with overpriced, nonexistent customer service and horrible warranty techology!!!!! Shame on people for reading the consumerist and STILL shopping at these places.

  10. The Stork says:

    Some sales manager/department sup needs to lose their job. There’s legitimate business in computer service, but these tricks are just slimy.

    I always felt bad enough charging $30 for RAM install, even though for the average joe who knows nothing about computers could use the service just out of the fear they had of wrecking their computer (even if $10-$15 was probably a more honest fee). I don’t understand how their underpaid associates can live with themselves pulling this crap.

  11. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    Return it and take your business elsewhere. Escalate the issue to corporate. Don’t let them get off the hook for this!

  12. Given that so many computers sold by places like Circuit City, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. are underpowered for Vista, at least in terms of RAM, I wouldn’t be surprised by a memory upgrade being suggested if the user was intending to do more than browse websites. When I see these computers on sale at places, running Vista and only coming stocked with 512MB of RAM, I fear for the people that actually buy them and find them practically non-functional in a matter of months (had to deal with a relative’s computer that suffered from this exact problem).

    But, all that aside, charging a random $40 for a BS service? It’s crap like that which has made me stop going to Circuit City completely. Last thing I think I bought there was a WD MyBook 1TB external drive on Black Friday last year.

  13. Skybolt says:

    Sometimes I don’t read so good. When was Circuit City able to do this upgrade? The guy walked into the store, found the PC, walked to the sales associate, and then made the purchase. Where is the part where Firedog opens the box, pulls out all the gear, sets up the hardware, sets up the OS, flashes the BIOS, repackages everything, and hands it back to the customer?

    Or did all of this happen before the customer got to the store, and Circuit City just taped it back up and stuck it back on the shelf? I don’t get it. How did the customer know Vista was working with the BIOS upgrade if thing thing was still in the box?

  14. Jon Mason says:

    @edicius: You have a point about RAM upgrades being a pretty good idea for a lot of systems – however, this shopper clearly knew what he wanted and didn’t want the upgrades etc. I’m a server hardware engineer and just felt so annoyed the 2 times in the last 5 years I’ve bought personal computers when they try and tell you you NEED antivirus etc. or ask “so what are you planning on using the PC for?”. If I ask for advice, please give it. If I don’t then please just find the product I asked for, ring it up for the advertised price and let me leave.

    If this story had happened to me I would have walked right back to the counter and demanded either a) You refund the bogus charge or b) I return the entire purchase.

  15. grayskies says:

    ok. so I work for CC as a firedog tech. On these specific acer desktops we were instructed to open and upgrade the bios by our district firedog managers. there was not supposed to be any fee to the customer for this as it was Acer’s mess up and we wanted to make sure that the customer was satisfied. who ever charged you for this was obviously a scumbag.

    this was not instructed by corporate. stuff like this makes people who try to be honest and fair in retail look so terrible just by association.

    please bring it back to the store and demand a refund. if you are denied by the store, call the CC cool line 800 number (it is posted by customer service). they will fix the problem for you.

  16. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    @edicius: Exactly.

    Why do people continue to buy computers from CircusCity, WorstBuy, Wallsmart? Because they DON’T KNOW BETTER.

    BB and CC won’t sell a system they can’t markup, upgrade, fix, repair, warranty or accessorize. Therefore whatever they sell will need resources they “also” happen to offer.
    I’d not be surprised if the buyer for CC, BB and Walmart doesn’t dictate to the vendor what they will sell, when, and return process. “We have n-amount of stores. You want us to move your item, it needs to be paired down, for us to make extra margins”.

    Why do you think their systems have so much crapware, and different model number variations than the manufacturer other version?

    And what consumer PC doesn’t come with Vista installed?
    ( I know you can get Vista w/ XP Pro back-installed for $50 from Dell or HP Business…)

    The buyer needs to go back and get his $40 back. Sounds like he figured it out and has remorse.

  17. PresidentSquirrel says:

    I had a relative that worked for CC. She told me they were encouraged to tack on bogus charges like these when they thought they could get away with it. Watch your receipts.

  18. rpm773 says:

    I saw something like this done at Best Buy at least 8 years ago…perhaps before they brought in the Geek Squad. The cashier asked the lady in front of me buying a new-in-box PC if she like to pay to have the tech support dept check it out for viruses.

    She said “No thanks, if it doesn’t work we’ll just return it”, to which I audibly laughed. She looked at me and I said “Good for you, toots”.

    Ok, the “toots” part didn’t happen. But that began my hate-affair with Best Buy. And I see Circuit City as a poor man’s Best Buy.

  19. grayskies says:

    @masonreloaded: dude, that’s what they are trained to do. Most people who go into a retail store are looking for someone to help them out as they aren’t informed enough to make their purchase online or through other means. Retail sales is a dinosaur, some people really like being helped out by sales people.

    Since most sales people aren’t commissioned anymore (cc has not been for 5 years at least), most sales people just like to do what they are told by management so they can get their $8.75 an hour and then go home without incident. Sure it might be annoying some times, but if you’re polite and explain it to them without getting indignant, most will let you be on your way.

  20. jswilson64 says:

    @SigmundTheSeaMonster: “I’d not be surprised if the buyer for CC, BB and Walmart doesn’t dictate to the vendor what they will sell, when, and return process. “

    That’s exactly what happens. The 800-lb gorillas tell their suppliers what they’ll sell in their stores, and if the supplier won’t supply it, they’ll go to a competitor. So you get the crap the big box stores sell.

  21. DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    Take Amtrak!

    Oops, wrong thread.

  22. grayskies says:

    @PresidentSquirrel: maybe by a scummy manager but never at a corporate level. stuff like that happening in our store will get you fired in an instant. that’s called theft.

  23. WisconsinDadof2 says:

    It is unfortunate that the purchase was ‘short on time’, if it were me, I was in a hurry, and they didn’t immediately refund the $40, I would have returned the computer.

    Also, I know I check my receipt before I sign it, $40 is a pretty big discrepancy, even if it is a relatively large purchase.

  24. CRSpartan01 says:

    Unfortunately, most people probably don’t even catch that. I’m sure to Circuit City, the payoff of charging customers this bogus fee completely outweighs any risk of doing so.

  25. DrJimmy says:

    What’s going to happen to these poor salecritters when Circuit City follows CompUSA over the horizon?

  26. grayskies says:

    The model effected by the problem is the ACA AX1200U1520A. IF you currently own one, go to the Acer website (terrible, I know) and download the current BIOS for it. The error can cause Vista not to boot and sporadic problems with the NIC.

  27. Bush2008 says:

    @SigmundTheSeaMonster: Markup? Hahahaaha. The moment you said “markup” and “computers” in one sentence, you lost all credibility. You know all those laptops in the ad commonly run -20% gross margin, right? Tell me, friend, why does a computer that you would buy directly from the vendor come with the same software that comes from a retailer? You have no clue what you’re talking about.

    Also, the other dude was right. Acer had firedog update the bios. I think it was an ethernet problem, but I can’t remember. It was supposed to be free, though. Someone didn’t get the memo.

  28. sketchy says:

    I haven’t bought an assembled system in many years, they are absolutely for suckers.

    I also don’t believe that anyone who knows how to assemble their own computer would set foot in any CC, BB, or FS and even if they did that they would even entertain a salesperson for half a second if they were pushing any kind of unnecessary upgrade. All these people who claim to be a ‘Network Manager’ or ‘Procurement Specialist’ and insist on shopping at those s-holes are blowing as much smoke as the salespeople pushing installation fees for software or upselling 4GB of ram on an XP box (if you don’t know why that’s funny, you’re cursed to continue paying $45 to have free AV software installed).

    Free AV @ Trend Micro…Firedog, more like Firefraud.

  29. Kurt's Krap says:

    It’s stories like this that make me oh so happy I went to the Apple store and walked out with a MacBook in like 20 minutes with no hassle, no extra charges, etc. (short of trying to get me to add on .Mac).

  30. The_IT_Crone says:

    @DePaulBlueDemon: Most places that sell computers won’t take back an opened computer without an open-box charge. I think that’s one of the reasons for the $40 service- they have to “open” the box to do it.

  31. The Stork says:

    @The_IT_Crone: Open box fees can be waived for such issues, though. When I was with CC we would retape boxes after we installed software for a customer, and if he/she returned the unit unopened there wouldn’t be a restocking fee; how fair is it to penalize the customer when all they wanted to do was buy more stuff from us, yet we take away their ability to return? (We wouldn’t refund the labor costs of the installs, but that was a separate issue.)

  32. Geekybiker says:

    @sketchy: You realize that 3gb is only for application space, right? XP can *use* the full 4gb, but the last gb is reserved for system use. Now if they were trying to upsell over 4gb…..

  33. thisisnotkathy says:

    @sketchy: eh, that’s fine if you want a desktop. I don’t know how well assembling my laptop would go :-p I actually got my computer there a few years ago because best buy happened to have exactly what I wanted and a sale made it comparable to online prices. It’s not hard to see the appeal though, no one likes to pick out their system and then wait a week for it to show up :(

  34. privateer says:

    This looks like a job for JIM BABB, CIRCUIT CITY PR FLAK!

  35. @sketchy:

    You mean my 8GB of RAM was a bad idea?

    XP Pro 64 bit can access more than 4GB.

    BTW, 8GB on Vista 64, at the moment I am encoding a video and sucking 7GB.

  36. scrtyfrk says:

    Precisely yesterday, a friend bought a laptop online at Best Buy. When he went to pick it up at the store, he was told he still owed $40 for the copy Trend Micro Antivirus they installed. He refused to pay for something he didn’t order and was told that it had to be removed but that he had to come back in an hour for his computer. He said he couldn’t wait for it and that he wanted his money back for the entire purchase. The sales guy told him that it was ok and he could take the software but to not tell anyone.

  37. admiral_stabbin says:

    I feel like there’s a major portion of the story missing here. I may be slow, but, I think I missed the part where the computer was unpackaged, hooked up to KVMD, and the BIOS was updated. Is that purported to have happened before he bought this “new” computer? If that’s what happened, then, I’m mortified. One the major points of logo certification on systems is to avoid this type of scam.

    I guess I’m glad we don’t have a Circuit City in my metro.

  38. describe_one says:

    With a nickname like “Jerkit City,” you can only imagine the types of services they performed on that computer for $40 before you bought it.

    Might want to double check the files and make sure they didn’t spyware you to be served with their ads.

  39. Quatre707 says:

    All of these BS services that Firedog sells are offered to be performed for free at Staples.

  40. shufflemoomin says:

    Excuse my ignorance but this guy KNEW the price of the system as he’d specifically seen it advertised. How was he able to be charged $40 more without him noticing?

  41. Brossman says:

    I went to school with some of the guys that work at circuit city, and I can fully believe they lied to generate more money.

  42. InThrees says:

    I think the manufacturer of the computer would be interested to know that CC was claiming this machine was in need of fixing.

  43. midwestkel says:

    I was at Circuit City the other day, trying to get a price for some head phones when I saw a sales man with a couple and they were talking to the person at FireDog making sure what was covered in the service plan and the FireDog guy was saying its all in the small print what he was saying that was covered and the couple was like show us and the FireDog person couldnt find where the BS coming out of his mouth was in the fine print.

  44. hustler says:

    I like how all these letters have crap like “my friend is not just a techy, he’s an xyz for a 123!”

    I’m fairly certain that the average interweb junkie is more deft with computer knowledge than a random assortment of titles. How about “my friend surfs the internet all day, every day, and spends at least 3-hours per day on consumerist. He has nothing better to do with his time than be prepared for crap like this.”

    I think that’s far more intimidating that saying someone writes script garbage all day.

  45. sven.kirk says:

    This story stinks!

    You (your colleague) “know(s) about hardware and software and what they are capable of doing. He is NOT an unexperienced buyer when it comes to computers.”

    Ok. With that being said, I would assume that he would be more knowledgeable by double checking PRIOR TO PAYING (of letting anybody else).

  46. strife1012 says:

    Hey Circuit City is at $1.70 we are dying slowly. Cut the Jugular.

    Do you expect anything less? I work there and don’t like it.

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    The associate claims he had to flash the computer’s BIOS…
    Just so I have this straight: Windows computers won’t work unless you strip naked and shake your junk at it?!
    I’m sort of impressed while being repulsed, all at the same time.

  48. econobiker says:

    Did they also put paint sealant on the pc case and fabric protectant on its mouse pad???

  49. joellevand says:

    I like how one store doing one shady thing is part of the systemic problem with Circuit City, yet Fry’s is touted as God Almighty, and if there is a problem with Fry’s (as has been recently) then it’s a local incident, and Fry’s is still God.

    The Double Think is so impressive, I may shit myself.

  50. jp7570 says:

    Once again, CC proves why they will never survive the retail marketplace. I had a similar problem with an HP printer in 2006.

    I bought it at a nearby CC, took it home and set it up per the HP instructions. But the printer was faulty and failed to initialize. Of course, the only way to know this was to open the box and to attempt to setup the printer.

    I took it back to CC but they had no other models in stock. I asked for a refund, since the purchase was barely 24 hours old. The manager charged me a 15% restocking fee because the box was opened! (And of course, the box had to be opened to determine that the printer was faulty.)

    I protested the fee (around $70), saying it shouldn’t apply to factory defective merchandise. That, obviously, went nowhere. And since I paid by check, I couldn’t even dispute the charge by credit card.

    I mailed a description of the problem to the CEO, Senior VP and every director in the CC Richmond HQ, including letters to every board member. (One board member actually responded and was very helpful, but ultimately ineffective.)

    After 3 months of back-and-forth correspondence, CC eventually issued me a gift card in the amount of the restocking fee. Upon receipt of the card, imagine my surprise when I used it and the casher told me the gift card number had never been authorized! It took almost a month to get that problem resolved.

    Bottom line: Stay away from CC. They are a dying chain and everyone knows it. Even Blockbuster, who was considering an acquisition of CC, walked away from the deal when they got a look at their financials.

  51. dragonfire81 says:

    I have no fancy titles but I DO know my computers, that’s probably why my friends like to take me along with them when the buy systems.

    That’s good advice for ANYONE: Get a tech saavy, non biased friend or someone you know to help you with the purchase. They will make sure you don’t get screwed over.

  52. The problem with this situation is simple. Free money for CC. Although this situation makes CC look bad, that’s okay. The majority of people that this happens to, don’t even know it happend. A smaller majority know it happend, and they complain enough to get a refund. The smallest majority complains, gets a refund, tells others, posts online, calls to corporate. The small majority that actually effects CC’s rep is overrulled by the large majority that gets ripped off.

    This goes well beyond CC. Every big retail store does this. Managers don’t go out there and tell their sales associates to rip people off. Managers pressure the associates by making sales goals that are messured to your piers. There is always someone willing to work harder for their sale. Even if CC doesn’t pay commision I’m sure they offer some sort of “scorecard” for associates to view there sales, and lets face it….people on the bottom will be fired, while people on top need to one up each other to maintain their status. Eventually they will need to do things that are unethical, or atleast shady.

    This situation gets much much worse when sale incentives and commision are thrown in the mix. Rather then paying an employee based on their performance, they pay their employee based on their performance in relation to their piers. I work in the mortgage industry and I see it all the time. I really think that the sales associates are in part to blame for our bad housing market….I know. While they can’t tell an applicant to “lie about your income since you don’t make enough” ….they can say “We won’t check your income” which leads to inflated income, bad credit and AH F**K it, I hate companys all together.

  53. Geekybiker says:

    @joellevand: Fry’s repacking returned merchandise and selling as new is systematics. Fry’s tacking on useless unasked for “service” charges not so much. Not to mention fry’s actually has a reasonable selection of computer hardware at often pretty cometitive prices. Where CC and BB have junk systems at MSRP.

  54. Byzantine says:

    Firedog and Geek Squad are ripoffs, plain and simple. They exist to service people who really don’t know anything about computers at all, but could learn some simple things easily.

    For example, I’ve seen these places offer a computer “clean up” or something service for around 40 bucks. You know what they do? They scan your computer for adware and viruses! Everyone can do that for free! Yeesh.

  55. sketchy says:

    @Geekybiker: Maybe, but the gain is minimal. It’s like buying a Ferrari to get groceries in.

    @Corporate-Shill: So you’re encoding video and I should be impressed or surprised that it’s sucking 7GB? I’ll send you a PS file that will lock up your system entirely, what’s your point? p.s. 16GB of RAM on a 64 bit platform won’t help you burn a DVD if you can’t find any drivers…

    @thisisnotkathy: I would still never buy (or send) someone to those places. You’re better off buying online and not getting the whole warranty song and dance and still end up sending the thing away if it needs service. If you really have no computer and NEED one right now, I would check your local stores rather than the biggies, same deals, better service. At this point I would strongly suggest buying a used laptop rather than new, much less expensive and nearly as good as bleeding edge.

  56. sketchy says:

    @Byzantine: Exactly. Trend Micro FTW!

  57. cametall says:

    Did they add the $40 to the sales price or did they reduce the PC’s price by $40 and tack on the installation? (meaning you weren’t charged extra)

    Managers at the Circuit City I used to work at would do that to make their installation service numbers look better.

    It’s also possible the manager has told employees if they sell the bargain PCs, that they must charge extra for whatever service.

    We had to do that on some cheap Acers once. Basically we “had” to set up the PC in store so we could charge you an extra $30. It was a tacked on fee too, not shown on the price tag.

    If a customer complained, only then were we not to charge them.

    This was over 2 years ago, when I quit. So yeah, this crappy company has some shady practices.

  58. DH405 says:

    Screw CC corporate. They’ll just promote the guy.

    This needs to be taken to the press and whatever consumer affairs organization their state has.

  59. floraposte says:

    Seems to me that if they did it to a computer before he bought it and without his consent, they didn’t fix his computer, they fixed theirs. Which they’re free to do, but they can’t then charge the customer for their decision.

  60. @sketchy:

    I keep hearing the driver drivel, but every piece of hardware I connect to the computer has a driver compatible with Vista 64. Every item. So where is this great shortage of drivers?

    Oh, I know. I have a printer that predates Win95. Still using it for a Win98 system that I have in my workshop. There were no drivers for the printer for use with XP or Linux, and guess what, there ain’t no drivers for the printer to use on Vista either.

  61. @SMSDHubbard:

    You darn right they will promote the guy. That is how every company works.

  62. Coles_Law says:

    @shufflemoomin: the tax was probably more than $40-if he didn’t estimate the price with tax in his head, he may have just assumed that’s why it was more expensive.

  63. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    you got off easy. Wait until the computer if full of adware and they charge you $300 to clean and reinstall everything.

    ouch!

  64. williehorton says:

    I’ve bought computers at CC & BB… sometimes, the sale prices (if you can get them) are worth the hassle. I always tell the clerk “if you cut the tape on the box, no sale.”

    One time, I was at BB picking up two laptops for a customer, and a clerk was telling the young woman ahead of me that they had to open up her Sony Vaio because, if they didn’t, she would be unable to return it if it was defective or broken in the box. I quietly told the guy with the two laptops, “I’ll make you a deal: you spare me the sales pitch for ‘customizing’ these, and I won’t tell that woman you’re lying to her and violating the law.”

  65. allthoseships says:

    @joellevand: i briefly worked at a CC in Richmond, VA, right across the street from Corporate Headquarters. this is normal practice in every CC in the area.

  66. Drewtal says:

    I bought an Acer laptop from Circuit City last month. The salesguy asked if I wanted to pay $40 for Firedog’s system optimization which consisted of uninstalling all the stock crapware and trialware. I declined.

  67. hardtoremember says:

    I would have returned it right then and there. That has got to be illegal. He did not order the service and it was not disclosed before the transaction.

  68. 2719 says:

    @Kurt’s Krap

    Apple makes money on every computer they sell. So you already paid premium. But in the PC world there are these things called ‘sales’ and ‘promotions’. If you’re lucky and know what you want, you can get a really good deal. Sure sales people will try to add stuff but simply refuse and pay attention to the total on your receipt.

  69. snowburnt says:

    Chargeback just the $40, let the credit card company’s lawyers handle it.

    the problem with returning it is the $40 may be regarded as a service rendered any they may not refund it under that premise.

  70. snowburnt says:

    @2719: Apple is a hardware company selling an operating system.

    PCs are like custom bikes, but MUCH simpler. Go to newegg.com, even if you don’t want to put it together yourself you can get a great deal on a good or great desktop with minimal effort rather than arguing with a salesman.

  71. Bush2008 says:

    @InThrees: You could always, oh, I don’t know, read the thread? Acer requested firedog help with this. It was an Acer-Circuit City deal.

    I find all of this pretty ridiculous. You have to understand that while YOU might not pay someone $30 to install software, there are some people absolutely terrified/ignorant of computers. Do you know how many people leave all those trial programs popping up every restart on their machine, simply because they don’t know how to prevent them from popping up, or if they’re safe to remove?

    It’s very, very foolish to deem something a rip-off simply because you have the experience in the field. Not everyone has the same level of experience or knowledge, and that’s okay.

  72. kalikidtx says:

    I think the best way for all these people who have been charged these bogus fees from Firedog/Circuit City need to file a class action. Make CC send hundreds of thousands of refund checks!

  73. Mr_Mantastic says:

    You left because you were low on time? I would have raised so much hell in there they would have refunded me the money just to get me outta there. That’s so ridiculous. The comment about dealer’s fees when buying a car is perfect. CC is GARBAGE!

  74. jfrovich says:

    This is such a scam
    if they have a return policy, return the comptuer and buy it else where

  75. RichasB says:

    @grayskies: I work as a Firedog tech as well and can back you up. I’ve done two of these BIOS updates for the the Acer slim desktop and both times were free of charge. The Bios update only takes about 5 minutes at the most, so seeing how we charge $29.99 for thirty minutes of labor, if they were going to charge him he should have paid only 4.99, and not 39.99.

    This is a case of a bad employee (who’s being pressured by bonus driven managers).

  76. Dyscord says:

    Common sense would dictate that if the motherboard needs a bios update or else the operation system might not run, Acer would recall all the models not sold. I dunno, it’s kinda shitty that you would be at the mercy of a sales tech who probably doesn’t know what they’re doing when you buy a brand new computer.

    I hate stuff like Firedog and Geek Squad. Even Dell’s home installation “service”. You pay out the ass for something that’s a simple fix. And in dells case, you’re paying around $150 for 5 minutes of work.

  77. IngreXCo says:

    I do remember getting the memo about that acer computer, all of them were to be flashed and no additional charge was to be included.

    What he was charged for was the system optimization. it runs 40 bucks and I guess makes the computer run faster. I work at CC in the tv department but hear about the computer stuff all the time and think about how stupid it is. Cheaper computers come preoptimized now and if you downright don’t want it, the computer must be specially ordered. The reason they do it is because if circuitcity or bestbuy or anyone for that matter sells a sale computer by itself its an automatic 50-100 dollar loss… accessories services and other various bullshit is where the money comes back. If you dont want stuff they have to order the computer and nine out of ten times the customer caves in or doesn’t want it and it is no longer us not selling a computer because there are no attachments, its the customer not wanting it because we don’t have it in stock.

    circuitcity is shady as fuck and will probably not be around next year. i work in the home entertainment department and loved my job until the managment started looking for reasons to fire me. i am very much hated in my store because i don’t lie to customers and call the higher ups out on bullshit. i do however, have the highest sales and the most repeat business because i respect my customers and get them what they want, not what i need to sell them.

    Why rape someone with a bunch of stuff they don’t want only to never have repeat business.

  78. RvLeshrac says:

    Hint: If you don’t need the service, don’t pay for it.

    But don’t say that the store is ripping people off. All service centers, from Mom & Pop electronics shops to dealer auto shops, charge a market-bearing price for their services.

    If you charge to little, people think that you’re going to do a terrible job or, in the best case, you get so much work that you can’t complete any of it in a timely manner.

    If you charge too much, people say you’re “ripping them off.”

    The short of it is that people pay because they can’t do the work themselves. If *you* can do the work and you think that people are being “ripped off,” the question is really “why aren’t you offering your services for less?”

  79. RvLeshrac says:

    (the above in no way is a justification for *actually* ripping people off, as in the OP. But these articles always seem to degenerate into bashing the store[s] for providing a service and then having the *gall* to want to be paid for it.)

  80. Inglix_the_Mad says:

    @Marshfield:

    Bullsh*t. I went to get my mom a computer at Best Buy, and they tried the same sh*t. I literally looked at the kid and said, “get your manager it’s important.” So the kid got another, slightly higher ranked, flunky. I looked that this girl and asked:

    “This computer is 400$, right?”
    Yes, but…
    “That’s all I need. In fact if you open the box I’ll demand you get me an unopened one.”
    Sir you’re being…
    “I’m buying a computer, new in box, unless you don’t want me to.”
    Well there’s…
    “Listen, whatever her nametag said, it’s nothing personal. The trick is that I work with computers for a living and probably know more about field-stripping the damn things that every person working in your tech department added together by virtue of that experience. Now I just want to pay for the computer, go home, and get it setup for my grandma.”
    We can set it up…
    “Shhh. That’s not what I want to hear.”
    We’ll get one for you right away sir, but we’re not liable.
    “The manufacturer can handle the warranty, I’ll just bug our rep if they hassle me.”

    So I got a nice cheap computer for my grandmother, email will probably be the most taxing thing done on it, and got out without paying 1 penny extra (other than tax). So it can be done, just demand it unopened in the box. Don’t accept any of their bullsh*t answers, push them on the sale. They’re used to being the ones applying pressure, spin it around on THEM.

  81. eh_remraf says:

    That was probably the small slimline Acer desktop that company wide we were told to run a FD Quickstart and update the Bios so that the onboard ethernet would function properly. These computer’s were considered “Pre Ops” meaning the labor was already done and customers can pay for the labor and pick them up then and there. The quickstart itself is 40 bucks of labor and consists of setting up vista with a user, installing the windows updates, and turning unnecessary start up items through msconfig.. This charge should not have been forced on the customer. If the customer didn’t want it they should of just eaten the cost of the labor. I don’t see why other stores have such a problem with this concept.

  82. OlympiaBaucis says:

    Okay guys, I’m a Firedog In-Store PC Tech, and I have a few things to say here.

    1. F**K you to the associate who ripped the guy off. You scum are the reason people think so low of the company (aside from the other things CC has done to harm their reputation).

    2. Circuit City’s corporate office does not give a flying f**k about any complaints customers, or even associates have. If what you are doing is bringing in more money to the company, they will not even bother to listen/read the complaints a second time.

    3. The guy who bought the computer should just go back to the store and return the whole thing. As a Firedog Tech who tries to do the right thing for customers, I apologize on behalf of all Firedog techs who actually try to do the right thing for customers, and at my store there are 3 of us who do so.

    4. If anyone wants the corporate office phone number, to call and complain, the number is 1-800-251-2665.

    5. You cannot judge all stores by the events that occur at one store.

    6. Even though this happened well before I started working for Circuit City, the biggest mistake this company made was firing their knowledgeable sales staff, to replace them with young people who don’t even know much about technology. And removing commission was an even bigger mistake. At least if these sales associates now received commission, they would do their job better and actually give a shit about this company.

    Anyways, I hope that no future problems like this occur with jack@$$ salesmen trying to rip off good people.

  83. gatewaytoheaven says:

    I’ve encountered situations where my fellow associates will tack on an additional charge for an unneeded item/installation because the customer was not aware of what they actually needed for their primary purchase (i.e. computer). It’s a bit disappointing really. These are generally good people that can’t survive if they only sell computers. The accessory and installation business is where the margin lies. Unfortunately, it’s also causing many of our good salesmen to become used car salesmen.

  84. snowburnt says:

    @Inglix_the_Mad: I would have bought one through your rep…

  85. bitplayer says:

    I work tech support sometimes and people don’t know how to uninstall software, type something into the address bar of IE or even turn their computer off. Let these people pay the money so they can leave me alonoe.

  86. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    @Dyscord:

    Yes, exactly. Acer should have recalled the buggy computers and fixed it themselves.

  87. Inglix_the_Mad says:

    @snowburnt:

    My rep is a jerk, I was bluffing.

  88. mrcoolguy says:

    In February, I bought a laptop from Best Buy. It was advertised for $549.

    When I went to the store, I knew I was going to have problems when the sales associate said, “We’re running low on inventory. Oh, you need the antivirus package right?”

    I told him I’d consider it (just because I didn’t want him to say the were out of stock if I refused antivirus). He came back out with a laptop that didn’t have antivirus installed but had a tape on the box that said a “system optimization” of some sorts had been done by GS. He told me that I could only buy the laptop with the service already performed.

    Needless to say, I was disturbed that I would have to buy a new laptop that they opened and fiddled with. I told him I came to buy a NEW laptop and not a used one. I complained to the manager and he gave me the laptop at the ad price.

    It blew me away that these jerkoffs open brand new computers and preinstall crap without first asking customers.

  89. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    @Inglix_the_Mad:
    When you have a bad sales rep, it is often because of inexperience and/or arrogance by the sales rep. One of which you used to be, one of which you are now.
    When you get bad customer service when you go for a return, it is often because inexperience and/or BS. Both of which you are full of now. If you had any experience with retail, you wouldn’t pull that kind of crap on a little girl making 1/3 of what you do for looking down your nose at her. Do you kick puppies too if they get in your way? Anytime anyone encounters bitter salespeople or jaded customer service, it is because of Inglix here.
    Backpeddle if you want now, but what salespeople do works 90% of the time for 90% of the transactions. If somebody doesn’t strive for a little better, then they might be a jerk. But you abused a girl for lack of being blessed by your vast knowledge of all things electronics. Shame on her for her lack of your god-like powers.
    Sheesh!

  90. thinner77 says:

    like Kurt said, go to an Apple Store, purchase a lovely Mac anything, decline the Mobile Me (formerly .Mac) and enjoy your fabulous computer!

    i’ve had Circuit Chitty treat me badly when i purchased a DVD player online, to have it never arrive…yet i had to dispute the charge! with my credit card co… (successful).
    and hassle with a Verizon phone upgrade inside a Circuit Chitty store…an arrogant, rude “employee”…while returning a malfunctioning “new” phone.

    That was the “last straw”.

    i will perform a happy dance when they finally hit bottom and fail completely.
    Q: why is that taking soooo long?

  91. Dyscord says:

    @mrsultana:

    I think the thing is that if your deny something, then it should be left at that, instead of pushing the customer with empty threats like “Oh it might break without the warranty” or “We can set it up for you because chances are you’re too stupid to do it yourself.”

    I understand that a lot of people can’t set up a computer, either because of age or lack of basic color comprehension, but if someone says that they can do it themselves, it should be left at that.

  92. brianary says:

    One of many good reasons not to make large purchases in a hurry.

  93. kabuk1 says:

    My elderly father got suckered into this same BS about 4 years ago when he bought a new desktop. The Geek Squad told him he NEEDED Norton and NEEDED a $30 spyware scanner. And of course, knowing next to nothing about computers, he handed it over & let them do their stuff. That tacked on a few hundred bucks to the bill. When I heard about it I was livid. So was he when I told him I could’ve gotten him better, FREE equivalents of the programs they charged him for, and I wouldn’t have charged him labor since I’m his daughter. He now comes to me for computer advice.

    It makes me so mad when stuff like this happens, especially to old people. My dad grew up in an era where it was perfectly reasonable to trust everything salespeople told you, because back in the 40′s & 50′s you COULD. Sadly, many people never break out of that thinking & get ripped off for it. I’ve given my parents strict orders- DO NOT go computer shopping without me, EVER AGAIN!!!

  94. danieldavis says:

    That’s why I buy Mac. Everywhere else is just a ripoff.

  95. chartrule says:

    if you go to purchase something at a store – there is no reason for the box to have been opened for any reason by the store – unless it was to put one of the products on display

    unless your buying a pc that was the on display unit for a discount ask for unopened box

  96. Inglix_the_Mad says:

    @mrsultana:

    Not going to backpedal one bit. If you WON’T stop hassling me (and the third time is the charm mate) to get your extra “service” then you’re asking for a 1/2 ton bucket of attitude. At that point I’m going to ask you to get your manager (usually just a supervisor, not a manager per se) and am going to ask those very pointed questions and I’m going to cut off every response other than something similar to “Yes, sir” (and I, to this day, use Sir and Ma’am, military family), “of course”, “Absolutely”, et al. I’m not going to tolerate any more because your floor sales has already went through my good-will.

    Personally, the customer isn’t always right. I’ve seen it a thousand times myself where the customer was a complete idiot. You do NOT, however, attempt to keep selling the same bullsh*t to them after they’ve said “no” more than once.

    My grandfather ran a lawnmower / snowblower / small engine repair shop, and that’s where I learned how to sell / fix things mate. He NEVER tried to sell someone more than they needed. He’d get the rough dimensions of their lawn, what the cut was like, their physical wants and show them a lawnmower that would work for it. Sometimes you got someone that wanted something waayyy over the top for their needs. After informing them that their current situation didn’t require X, if they wanted it, their business. Sometimes you got someone that wanted far too little (read: cheap to the point of their own detriment) but after warning them ONCE my grandfather figured he did his duty by pointing out two or three good reasons why X wouldn’t meet their needs. He’d sell it to them.

    He ran that business from when I was a tot until he retired from the mill and had customers that had moved 50-250 miles away but came back to buy from him. Why? He never bullsh*tted them. He gave you his God’s honest recommendation based on his experience (and the three times I saw him wrong, took back the old one, full refund, and sold them a model up) with the things.

    That’s how you sell to people. For 10 years after he closed the dang place, he had people pulling into his driveway wanting to buy a new piece of equipment from him. That’s how you generate customer loyalty, good service. There’s precious little of it nowadays.

    So go ahead and make your pronouncements about me, but I don’t tolerate bad service. I won’t tolerate their bullsh*t because I was taught that’s not how you sell.

  97. HogwartsAlum says:

    Our CC must be the only good one left, because I bought 1) both my iPods, 2)my car stereo (installed), 3) my 37″ widescreen LCD and surround sound system and 4) my Toshiba Satellite laptop, upon which I am typing this now, at that store.

    I haven’t had any problems with anything. The sales guy did try to sell me a warranty on the sound system, which I refused and he didn’t pressure me. I paid a chunk for Firedog to come set up my wireless, but that’s only because I’ve never used it before and didn’t know what to do. It was worth it to me. The TV sales guy actually steered me toward a larger TV that was LESS money than the one I was drooling over, so with the sound system I spent less overall. He saved me about $100.

    It’s too bad this happened to the OP. It does suck that you can’t trust salespeople anymore; I’m only 43 and I can remember when you could. I love CC but I watch them; if they try to screw me, there are other places here I can go instead. Until that happens, I guess I will keep shopping there.

  98. Corbin123 says:

    @RvLeshrac: While some people might want to pay $30 for the service of removing the crap software that comes with the computer, it is still disingenuous at best. I remember the time before firedog/geek squad when the stores were touting this as a service. Now, while they at least recognize that it is a bunch of software no one wants, they are CHARGING to remove it? Charging to remove the crap that was pre-loaded on your computer? Why not just throw some virus on the hard drive while you are at it, or break some ram modules, and then charge for fixing that before you even open your new computer. It’s a scam even if people are willing to pay for it. If they are finally recognizing that most of the non-essential software that comes with a new computer is making your computer non-optimized then the least they can do is just NOT PUT IT ON IN THE FIRST PLACE. This wouldn’t fly when dealing with any other product (imagine if a car dealer tried to charge you $40 for removing the banana that came in the end of your muffler).

    • RvLeshrac says:

      @Corbin123:

      Only if they’re the ones manufacturing the machines.

      Best Buy/Circuit City/et al can’t be held responsible for the *manufacturer* doing things you don’t like.

  99. BrianScipio says:

    I’m a firedog tech and i just wanted to comment on this issue. Acer notified
    us about a bios issue with their slimline pc’s that would prevent them from
    starting windows or having intermittent ethernet issues(we had 4 comptuers
    returned before we figured it out). It was decided with acer’s authorization
    that firedog would open these computers up and run the flash upgrade. In
    addition Circuit City higher ups decided that we’d do an optimization on the
    computer as well since the computer was already booted up into windows. The
    optimization basically consists of cleaning out Acer’s junkware and shutting
    down unneeded services, for this we charge $40, believe it or not a lot of
    customers actually appreciate it when its explained to them. Since that
    entire series of computers was affected they were all marked up that way,
    there’s no way to ring it up unless you add in the $40. Obviously this
    wasn’t explained correctly by the salesperson and/or the firedog technician.

    AJ

    • RvLeshrac says:

      @BrianScipio:

      Which is not legal. You cannot advertise a price and then refuse to sell the product for that price – if you’ve modified your entire inventory of a product so that the customer can’t purchase the product without the added “service fee,” you have to change your advertised pricing to reflect that, else sell the modified product for the advertised price.

  100. kleenex88h says:

    I helped someone with their computer after Geek Squad quoted $200 to replace a power supply. Drives me crazy that people actually let the Geek Squad thouch their computers. I gues now I’ll have to put Firedogs on the list, too.

  101. jimjones124 says:

    Actually acers had a huge recall because their bios had a problem with them. I bought my computer from circuitcity. They called me up, asked me to bring back my acer so that they could do the bios upgrade, FOR FREE.

    There are still some stores that do look out for the customer.

    As far as changing the powerupply in a computer, circuitcity charges $40. They changed mine. ( i am not very computer savy) and i really don’t want to bother my friends computer work.

  102. Sorshha says:

    Its called an ” FD QUICKSTART”… if this guy thinks hes alone, hes crazy. Thats totally normal. Sometimes they clean up your start up and do the initial set up for you before you bought it and just add on the labor. These are called ” Pre Ops(Pre optimized)”

    Silly customer… everyone knows geek squad and firedog are just taught to ram you in the …. yeah

  103. smartpegnow says:

    Circuit City: NEVER NEVER NEVER!!–45 mins of aggravation and 4 reps + supervisor to return an unopened laptop (and free printer)–all still in sealed boxes and never even removed from CC’s shopping bags!! Found preferred model at Staples next day–and ret’d orig to CC after 1 day.–I wouldn’t accept a free pen from them–as if they gave one! Staples. by the way, has always provided professional svc, stands by their products, and will take back electronics w-in 14 days–opened or not. No I don’t work for Staples but shop there often and have gotten some terrific deals.
    I don’t bother to look elsewhere.

  104. dragonfire81 says:

    @Inglix_the_Mad: At one of the jobs I had there was a policy, heavily enforced by management, that sales reps could not stop offering add-ons until the customer said No THREE times.

    It wasn’t a popular policy, but our corporate office put it in place and managers and reps alike could take a lot of shit or even get fired if it was not followed.

    I wouldn’t doubt other places have similar dumb procedures.

  105. SacraBos says:

    @sketchy: I agree. The last several systems I bought were just parts. Cheap case, motherboard, memory, random hard drive I wasn’t using, etc. Usually much less than a pre-built system. Built me a quadcore server with 3 TB of disk for about $800. Couldn’t get anything near that from CC/BB. Last boxed PC I bought was a Dell Optima with a faulty capacitor problem, which is now a boat anchor since Dell won’t deal with it. My first and last Dell.

  106. wricgent says:

    Colin Brechbill: I just bought a Gateway Monitor from them and when i unpacked it at home it looked used, but appeared ok, but would not turn on. I went to return it and they insisted i had broke it, but i had it for less the 3 hours, they refused to exchange it and made me send it to the vendor. i am out the money and still no monitor.
    BBW: Colin Brechbill

  107. jswilson64 says:

    @joellevand: Your post might make sense, if there were some mention of Fry’s in this thread before your own…

  108. Meathamper says:

    “Fix” Firedog’s revenue or your computer?

  109. SacraBos says:

    @joellevand: @jswilson64: Fry’s has it’s faults, but fraudulent “repairs” generally isn’t one of them. Know what you want, avoid the aggressive commission seekers (trying to get credit for sales on items you selected and picked up yourself, right…), don’t get open-box items, and keep track of their sales. Follow those simple rules, and Fry’s is pretty much the place to get your geek fix at reasonable prices from individual components to full built systems.

  110. Ishbar says:

    Like most “consumerists” you jump to conclusions, don’t ask questions (the right ones) and fail to troubleshoot the source. While Firedog is not entirely in the right on this scenario the consumer isn’t either. The service they are selling doesn’t “Flash the bios” It’s called a quickstart.

    [www.circuitcity.com]

    All associates must who sell the said product must offer the “Quickstart” service at a minimum. (There are other tiers) Some overstock computers have this feature done which is called “Pre Optimization.” The only reason this kind of stuff passes is by word of mouth because some ignorant customer comes in to buy a $499 sale laptop at the end of the sale period only to find all that’s left is several of these “Pre Optimized” versions. Many will instantly claim “Bait and Switch” No. This is not the case, sales are clearly labeled as FCFS. They get pissed, storm out, bitch to their friend, they miscontrew the story on the internet, it leaks to sites like this and snowballs from there. People never read the fine print. I can’t tell you how much I hate it when people fail to look in to things. If it’s “Too good to be true” IT PROBABLY IS! Seriously guys. Do yourself a favor and act your age. I digress though, whoever said that is flashes the Bios is an idiot or just trying to make their numbers look better and should be delt with justly. & They’re supposed to state that the product has this charge! It’s no different than going to the package store, buying cigarettes and them adding a lighter to the ticket. Oh well, it’s not like this will ever stop. It happens in everywhere…but mostly in High School. Not retail chains. Grow up people.

  111. ivanthemute says:

    @Trai_Dep: Instant win in the thread.

    To everyone else, Firedog and GeekSquad and the like do have their places. I know tons about software, but hardware is a different story. If you give me a stick of ram, I can install it (provided you gave me the right kind. I don’t know the difference between DDR and DDR2.) HDD? I can install it but I don’t know how to tell if a machine can handle SATA. Give me a pile of parts and the manuals, and I’ll slap it together. But I couldn’t pick out the parts. For this, I’d use Firedog or GeekSquad. Software issues? Fuckoff!

  112. Parting says:

    Good for you. Only you can get the same level of service at Costco or several small local computer shops. For the same price.

    Plus Costco extends manufacturer’s warranty for free for an EXTRA year.

    So you don’t have to shell out 3-4K for a Mac to get good customer service.

  113. stezton says:

    I can’t help but find it disturbing that they would take a computer out of the box and mess with it. If I bought a new computer that is just what I would want: a new computer still factory sealed in the box and not touched by their amateur hands!

  114. HiEllie says:

    Acer=crap. We’ve had 2 acers completely crap out. Sent it back 3 times. Acer makes you pay to ship it to them, and then ships it back still broken. This is after you spend 2 hours on hold with them.

  115. cerbie says:

    @Dyscord: no, common sense tells you not to buy an Acer, because they can be just that shoddy.

    @The_IT_Crone: when it was opened for an unwanted, unrequested service? Um, no. That seems like a good way to royally piss off a customer.

    @Sorshha: if they sneak it in, I would honestly relish the time they spent, denial to pay for the service, denial to pay for an open box item, and the demand for a proper sale of a new sealed box :). Given that my first desktop was made of leftovers from my father upgrading other people’s PCs, and having never owned a prebuilt PC, I likely won’t give myself the chance.

    @sketchy: you speak truth (I don’t get the 4GB RAM bit, though–I’ve come within hundreds of MB of using my available 3.6GB). My last entry to CC was for a wireless NIC. I got it, I plugged it in, it worked (it actually tells you it’s an Atheros on the box!). I think that covers me for another year or so.

    @InThrees: No, they knew it. They probably knew it before CC ordered a single unit, too. Acer does not have a rosy history when it comes to quality.

    @Corporate-Shill: It’s just like Linux or Mac. The people with esoteric crap whine, or someone decides to jump on a sale without spending 30 seconds to run a Google search, and it is the fault of the OS. If you are capable of installing the OS yourself, chances are you are miles above that level of idiocy. I’ve been reading and hearing it since I was gaming on NT4 with plug and play cards.

    @Bush2008: yes, it’s OK to be ignorant. It is not OK to scam a customer, which appears to be what happened.

    @Victo: or, you know, a $1k Mac…

  116. StanleyStanley says:

    CC makes very little money on PCs. The profit is in the crappy extended warrantees (50-60% goes to pure retailer profit, and only 25% to repairing the pc, so you are betting against yourself. And you can bet that somehow software is involved in most problems, sorry that isn’t covered. And if eg a key breaks on a notebook (they are fragile), unless you bought their ‘plus plan’ for about 50% more money, it isn’t covered. It is worse then dealing with a car dealer.
    BTW, the percentage profit numbers came from a Business Week article (I’m in a Business mgt major pgm at college) about 2006, so this is good data.
    Same thing with firedog. Their whole goal is to sell you services, where about 3/4 of the cost (my guess here) is pure gross profit. And yup, if you buy the optimization deal they open the box, and poof goes your chance of returning it within the two week window without a restocking fee. Most people have friends who are geeks, their own AIT mgr at work etc can help, etc with setup. And AVG free is great antivirus software, and the best solution to viruses also is to use Mozilla firefox, (free also on the web) as a browser, and ignore microsofts piece of sh.t internet explorer, which is still full of holes.

    I get this from some of my friends from school who work at circuit city. I don’t know a lot about best buy, except some scattered info that says that they will high pressure you and scam you even worse then CC, but this is not solid info.

    Make a scene and keep beating the issue up the chain in the store till they decide you are worth more quiet then screaming and being a victim of the threaded fastener.

    And much of the software most people need can be purchased at colleges for much less money, usually without having to prove you are a student.

  117. ArchibaldJobonee says:

    I believe what the purchaser was trying to convey was that “IF” they flashed the BIOS, the operating system had to be working to do that. If the OS was working, then why the need to flash the BIOS?!