WCVB TV in Boston has an interview with two Circuit City liquidation customers who are out $1,100 after they bought a Samsung LCD TV from Circuit City’s liquidation sale — only to find out that it was totally shattered. When they tried to return it — Circuit City’s liquidator told them the merchandise was sold “as is” and cannot be returned for any reason. WCVB TV says there’s a sign in one store telling customers not to open the merchandise, and another that allows customer to check their merchandise only after they’ve paid for it. Is this ethical?
Team 5 Investigates discovered that while consumers are warned about final sales, they have no way of knowing if what they’re buying is bad. In the Natick store, inspections are allowed only after a customer pays, and in Somerville, one sign says “Check your purchase,” but another sign says, “Don’t Open The Merchandise.”
In Minnesota, we found a similar story. A family paid $1,500 for a TV at the Circuit City liquidation sale — and claim that they were prevented from opening the box to make sure the TV wasn’t damaged. The TV was, of course, totally shattered. When the local Fox affiliate tried to investigate, they say they were “kicked out” of the store.
Meanwhile, back in Boston, the customers told reporters that they were going to try to get their credit card company to help them — but honestly, we’re not optimistic. All sales are final in a liquidation sale. That’s only one of the many reasons you should avoid them.
UPDATE: For those of you asking why state laws don’t apply here, it’s because federal bankruptcy laws are in play.