David went to Circuit City yesterday to buy a copy of the new Guitar Hero game, which, according to our extensive research, is currently on sale at Circuit City. Unfortunately, the employees at this particular store refused to sell him the game, then lied about its release date, so that they wouldn’t have to correct an error in their computer system. Why were they so reluctant to fix the mistake? Because the game was priced at $10,000 in the system, and to mark it down to its actual price would “look bad.”
David launched an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) on Circuit City and CC’d us. Let’s listen in:
I came to Circuit City hoping to purchase Guitar Hero: World Tour Complete Band Set for my wife’s birthday. I had tried several other stores before coming to Circuit City, but all were sold out. When I arrived and asked an associate if they had the complete band set in stock, I was pleased to learn that they had one left. However, when they attempted to ring the item up, instead of the $189.99 list price, the item rang up at $10,000.00. We all had a good laugh at this as the associate went for a manager to clear up the error.
The manager looked at the price and told me that that normally happens when an item is marked unavailable because the item was not yet at its release date. Of course, this game was released last Tuesday, Oct. 28, and the manager and various sales associates told me that they had already sold a ton of them. After speaking to his supervisor on the phone (I believe it was a district manager), I was told that they could do a price adjustment to the correct price, but since that would throw off some numbers, would it be all right with me if they set the item available online, where the price is correct, and just pay for it on the web with immediate “in-store” pickup? I was happy to do whatever was needed, and did not mind helping, so I said sure.
Unfortunately, for the next 45 minutes I waited as the employee trying to make this happen ran back and forth from computer to computer trying to get the inventory and the website to match up. Finally, as I had been in the store over an hour at that point, I asked that the manager just do the price adjustment and let me buy the game. He got back on the phone with the district or regional manager, and I was the told that the Guitar Hero: World Tour Complete Band Set was not supposed to be released until NEXT Tuesday, so they could not sell it to me. This is untrue. Multiple CC employees told me that they had sold many of the sets earlier in the week. Also, here is a small list of stores and sites selling the set as of RIGHT NOW:
–CIRCUIT CITY (At multiple stores, according to the website)
When I told the manager this was not true and that the manager had in fact earlier offered to simply price adjust the price, the truth emerged. The district manager told the store manager that a price adjustment that large would make their numbers look really bad, so they could not do it. The “It hasn’t been released yet” line was just that, a lie to tell me so I would leave. This is unacceptable.
This is what I would like from Circuit City:
1. An explanation why Circuit City’s internal variance numbers are more important than a customer trying to spend several hundred dollars at your store, and why I was lied to.
2. An acknowledgment that the item I was trying to buy was in fact available, and that I should have been allowed to purchase it.
3. A phone call from the District Manager, Regional Manager, or higher up at corporate to explain 1. and 2. to me.
Finally, one personal observation…perhaps it is customer service like this that is forcing you to close 155 of your stores?
David has an update and a happy ending!
I wanted to give you an update for my Circuit City issue. This morning I got a phone call from the District Manager for the Memphis stores and surrounding areas, Michael. He was “mortified” and had investigated the issue with the store in question as well as the asset manager that the store called. He went over what happened with me and addressed all my points. Apparently, there was a company-wide glitch that goofed up the price for my item. He apologized profusely during our 15 minute conversation, and though I did not ask for it, he gave me the complete band set for free. I just got back from Circuit City, and the game was waiting for me there. So, Circuit City, or at least Michael, really went over and above to address my issue.