More Insider Tips When Buying From Radioshack

There’s clearly no love lost between D. and D’s former employer, RadioShack. A little over a year ago, D. sent us some insider tips on what to watch out for when you shop at RS. Now here comes a follow-up, with more information on cell phone sales tricks, warranty pitches, and used merchandise.

If you recall, I wrote a confessions regarding RadioShack’s sales practices back in 2008. I feel an update is now in order. It may also have something to do with me going to college soon and no longer needing a job that requires deceiving the customer daily to pay the bills—but I digress.

Should you go to RadioShack for a purchase, here’s some tips to remember.

#1 — ALWAYS, ALWAYS, open the box and check the merchandise in store if possible.

RadioShack stores sell returned merchandise all the time. Sometimes it’s cordless phones that have sold and come back to the store 4 times, or it’s an antenna that’s missing a remote (not that the staff will tell you), or it’s a cell phone that a manager wants sold.

The main reason RadioShack hocks used merchandise as new is due to how the returned merchandise is sent to the RS refurb center. The returning store receives no credit if the product is damaged or missing an included part. Sending in distressed merchandise results in the loss being charged against the manager’s quarterly bonus—so a situation exists where store management has incentive to resell used products as new.

So, open the box and test the product in store before leaving. Be sure to check the bubble-packed product for taped corners or stapled ends.

#2 — Cell phone deals.

RadioShack has a price match policy for its corporate stores. Here’s the fine print, so when the manager/salesman tries to dodge the rebate you’ll be ready.

The actual ad must be present,and on paper. No photocopies or duplicates.

No mail in rebates can apply, although instant ones do.

Don’t be afraid to bring in several favorable ads. You can only use one per phone, but this way if one flier is disqualified you can still use “the backup.”

The way modern phone programming works, there’s no reason why the cell phone you just bought shouldn’t be making calls before you leave the store. While it’s normal for data programs to take longer to work, if your new phone isn’t making calls before you leave, ask why. Don’t buy the salesman’s stock line of 1-4 hours provisioning time. Phones I sold that didn’t work the day I sold them generally stayed broken until the customers returned them the next day.

Sometimes there are network outages, but confirm this by asking for the store’s Sprint/ATT demo to see.

#3 — Keep the receipt.

RS’s customer research system sucks. Plain and simple. Unless you bought a service plan (and I sure hope you didn’t fall for that hustle) or agreed to sign up for email registry with a name and address, the ticket is essentially lost after 90 days. Plan accordingly when filing the receipt.


And here’s some new sales hustles to watch for:

RSAP card

You don’t want a credit card with a 23% APR, do ya? And no, it’s really not free for 90 days or a year with purchase-that lovely APR is still charged against the balance,and if you’re one millisecond past 90 days or a year all that accrued interest charged over that timeframe is added to the balance.

Personal Data

A lot of stores are catching heat for not meeting credit metrics, so any request for your name, drivers license, or SS# should be qeuried immediately. Some stores have lied and ran customers credit info illegally to keep corporate off their back,so be aware.

E-mail capture

Pretty harmless, just make sure you use a spam box so you can get the occasional coupon for $10 off a purchase over $40.

Wireless Pitches

DO NOT HAND OVER YOUR PHONE. Headquarters was getting real crafty teaching psychology via a method about asking a question about your cell phone battery, and using that to twist the conversation into a cell phone discussion. If an associate asks about how your cordless phone,or cell phone battery works make it clear right there you’re not buying a phone from them. That’ll kill the pitch, and the look on the salesman’s face will be well worth the trip to the Rat Shack.

Service Plans

Very simple. MFR warranty on everything in the store usually lasts a year except on Apple products. It’s not smart to pay RadioShack an extra $3.99+ for something that came with the product. Even headphones are better off replaced at the mfr level than at RadioShack, because all the store does is send the broken product to.. drum roll please… the MFR! All the service plan pays for is the right to use RS’s glacially slow repair process.

DTV Antennas

Before going into the shack to buy an antenna, verify whether your old antenna works well first with the box. I’ve found that the indoor antennae sold by the shack with ‘amplifiers’ and ‘multi-gain’ switches suck so badly a set of 1982 era rabbit ears get better reception. Steer clear of indoor antennae period, and search elsewhere if your current set are broken. Outdoor antennae have worked a lot better, but again make sure to have your current set re-aimed to your DTV broadcast antennae in whatever major city is near you before spending $$ on new equipment.


Last tip—if you’re buying a big-ticket item, be sure to ask for the store’s district office direct line. If something goes sideways and the manager won’t fix the situation, asking for it then will tip the manager off that you mean business, so they’ll obviously play damage control—which won’t be in your favor. So request the number at the counter before there’s a problem, and if you run into problems call it directly. This will catch the moronic store staff off-guard, so there will be no time for lies or damage control on the part of the store staff.

This should help save some Consumerist readers any headaches on dealing with the rat shack. I’m glad that after more than a year I’m finally free of the joint.

We asked D. how you can identify whether a store is corporate owned or not:

Check the top of the receipt. A corporate store will have a store number printed at the top in 01-6XXX format,although the 6 can be a different number too. Products sold from corporate stores can be returned/exchanged at franchise side locations,and vice versa.

RELATED
“6 Confessions Of A Former RadioShack Employee”
(Photo: strangelv)

Comments

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  1. militarydave says:

    are the enercell or alkaline batteries used? i sure hope not. they usually have that tiny little lithum battery that cant be found elsewhere.

    -dave

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @militarydave: If you need tiny batteries I suggest checking out dealextreme.com they have the cheapest prices on watch batteries and its good especially if you need a lot of them. You will pay less for 20 batteries than you will for one at RS or Target/Walmart. I order batteries from them all the time and they are good.

      • militarydave says:

        @Outrun1986: Outrun thanks for the tip! i usually need small batteries for my tactical flashlights, lasers, infareds, cameras, etc. i paid $14 at radioshack for 2 batteries that i couldn’t find anywhere else.

        thanks again!

        -dave

        • Outrun1986 says:

          @militarydave: I collect tamagotchi’s and honestly I wouldn’t be able to afford to collect them if it wasn’t for buying CR2032 batteries from DX.

          You might find a couple dead cells in every bunch but the price more than makes up for it.

          I have also found common-sized watch batteries at big lots or the dollar store for very cheap.

          • militarydave says:

            @Outrun1986: Wow Tamogotchi’s!!! yeah i remember those. we called them Giga pets I think. I lost a girlfriend once cuz i didnt feed the stupid electric dog and she got pissed. of course i was in like 5th grade and could careless. haha! thanks for the flashback~!

            -dave

          • redkamel says:

            @Outrun1986: @militarydave: Did someone who uses tactical military equipment just thank a tamagotchi collector for a battery tip?

            Only on the internet!

            • Outrun1986 says:

              @redkamel: For the person who asked you can buy the C-size battery holder at various websites, and just put your own rechargeable batteries in it. Just make sure your not mixing the cells.

              I usually get around 3-4 dead cells from a DX package (we are talking a bulk package of 20 batteries here though), the batteries that came on cards have been perfect. Even with a few dead cells you are still getting a lot more energy then buying a pack of 2 energizer cells at retail for 5$. They did improve their packaging a bit on the bulk pack of 20 CR2032′s though so that helps out. If your using them for important things you might want to test the cells with a meter before using them.

          • amandakerik says:

            @Outrun1986: Ah Tamagotchis… I remember those too. I used to buy the batteries for them from my dollar store – often getting 8 for a buck (or more for a buck). Then again, up here in Canada we LOVE our dollar stores so they tend to have some really good stuff (big plastic planters, frameless picture frames, gardening supplies, food, etc.)

            • Outrun1986 says:

              @amandakerik: The thing is even if you have 1 or 2 tamagotchi’s they will eat your batteries alive. If you have kids these days you probably have tamagotchi’s. The ones these days take a CR2032 and sometimes depending on the version you have it only lasts like 2-3 weeks. You are encouraged to raise many generations of tamagotchi on a single toy (and connect them with other toys hence the need for multiples), so you can see where the battery sucking comes into play.

              I buy most of my tama’s at yard sales and I can assure you most of them are dumped into the 25 cent bin as soon as the battery it comes with dies. Once parents learn how much a battery costs at a retail store for them. Thankfully its much cheaper on DX for batteries, but that is a little known fact most parents don’t know.

      • perruptor says:

        @Outrun1986: I stopped buying batteries from DX after a card of them turned out to have 80% dead ones. It doesn’t matter how cheap they are if they don’t work.

        Is Radio Shack still selling AA rechargeables inside a C-size shell?

        • Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

          @perruptor:
          Costco is now selling NiMH AA rechargeables with sleeves for both C & D cells.
          I think they’re made by Sanyo.

          • philpem says:

            @Greasy Thumb Guzik: I suspect you’re thinking of the Sanyo “Eneloop” hybrid-NiMH rechargeables. Which are, incidentally, pretty darn sweet.

            Seriously, any rechargeable I can leave in my camera flash for six months and still have it work when I come to use it is “pretty darn sweet” by me.

        • militarydave says:

          @perruptor: so you wouldn’t recommend purchasing from DX?

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            @militarydave: depends on what you are buying. i’ve never had a problem with non electronics, both brands of camera NB4L batteries for my powershot have been fine, and the solar battery pack is great – but a couple of adaptors have been useless on arrival. but not worth dealing with at around $1 each

    • krispykrink says:

      @militarydave: Sometimes. If the package is taped or stapled together, it’s been used.

      Countless times my old manager would take a return for an item that the purchaser also bought battery’s for it. The battery’s would be in the product if the packaging for the battery’s was also returned, he would stuff them back in, tape or staple it and put it back on the rack. There’s no telling how much charge is left in them, but, he’d go ahead and sell them new again.

    • chilled says:

      @militarydave: Thanks for the tips on batteries,everyone…

  2. robdew2 says:

    Nothing radio shack sells is worth having to be this defensive. Shop elsewhere.

    • cuchanu says:

      @robdew2: True but many of these tips apply to other places as well.

    • muddgirl says:

      @robdew2: There is LITERALLY no other brick and mortar store that sells simple electronics equipment (at ridiculously marked-up prices). I was in there this weekend buying posts for banana plugs and a clip to hold a 9V battery. Sure, I could have gotten them online, but then I wouldn’t have nearly-instant gratification.

      Of course, I find it really easy to blow off the salespeople.

      • subtlefrog says:

        @muddgirl: And if you actually go in knowing you need posts for banana plugs, etc., or anything of the simple electronics equipment ilk, you’re much better off blowing off the sales people 99% of the time. I’ve gone in asking just to be pointed to where audio parts were (I can find the pieces, thank you) and they dragged me to the wrong part of the store and proceeded to spend several minutes handing me the wrong parts, despite me protesting that I knew what I needed and that wasn’t it.

        On the other hand, at least he was trying to help. Most of the time, I get completely ignored.

      • rorschachex says:

        @muddgirl: Yep, sometimes you need resistors, capacitors and some wire ASAP to finish a project and RS is the only place that has the stuff. Although, I still find it hilarious when the RS staff tries to sell something to me when I walk in the store, the moment I open up the electronics shelves they walk away.

        Although I still find it a little odd that they don’t sell inductors, I don’t remember if they even sell the iron cores to make them yourself.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @robdew2: i don’t think that’s fair. i picked up a real nice casio point-&-click digital camera (ex-z 29) for $100 on clearance this weekend. you can’t find a better deal elsewhere.

      & contrary to what the tips say, i put it on my RSAP w/ no interest for 3 mos. WOOHOO!

      • salvatorecondegni says:

        @mac-phisto: Clearance =/= sale. I found a wireless router at staples last year for $30 bucks ON SALE. And I’ve never seen this model for the same price since. Where I work, when something goes on clearance (or discontinued), it’s half off and yeah, it’s a pretty good deal… but you won’t see it anymore.

        • mac-phisto says:

          @salvatorecondegni: i didn’t say clearance was a sale – i was just responding to the post that said nothing they sell is worth shopping there for.

          their clearance deals are actually one of the main reasons i go into radioshack. they often mark items waaaay down – frequently below cost & usually well before other retailers b/c of their sales model & the board’s obsession with keeping product inventory down (& cash reserves up).

          that camera i bought is easily $150 elsewhere. anyway you slice it, saving $50 is a pretty good reason to shop somewhere.

  3. Pibbs says:

    Tip #1 on shopping at Radio Shack: Don’t.

  4. Outrun1986 says:

    I have found some deals at RatShack, they have had some killer video game deals like DS games for 10$ (good ones too). However they stopped carrying video games. I used the store locator on their website to find out which stores local to me stocked those cheap video games. If I buy something at Radio shack I always use the store locator and know what I am buying and what it is for before I walk into the store.

    I would love to see their reaction when I tell them that I have a cheap 5 year old cell phone that is used only for emergencies because I refuse to pay big bucks to the cell phone companies for a service that I will hardly use. I am perfectly satisfied with the phone I have and wouldn’t consider another until this one breaks.

  5. cuchanu says:

    Out of all these tips, the one that is really important is to make sure your item is open and new… I worked there and she’s right. If they return a $500 cell phone that’s missing a stylus they only receive $0.01 credit for it. Needless to say the managers don’t like getting fuc’d with no Vaseline and they just wont do it.

    The real thing is that they are supposed to inspect the merchandise prior to allowing a return. But most people don’t do this properly. So if you buy something and take it home only to find that it’s missing something, the chances are you’ll get somebody who doesn’t care, but if you get somebody who thinks Radioshack’s $18 are more important than your $18, than returning/exchanging the item could be a little more of a headache.

    • barty says:

      @cuchanu: That suckks. When I used to work there, the store only got docked the amount of the missing item.

      RS started going downhill when they started moving away from what made them popular and started to try to compete with Best Buy and Circuit City, albeit in a smaller package. Instead of using the electronic components, connectors, and other neat little stuff that couldn’t be had anywhere else to draw people into the store, they just became another “me too” electronics store and lost much of its charm.

      • wyldmuse says:

        @barty: That’s exactly when we stopped shopping there, too. It used to be a goldmine of hard-to-find parts, and we depended on their stock regularly. They’ve completely forgotten why they were called ‘Radio Shack’ in the first place.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think #1 on the list is reason enough to never shop at Radio Shack. Given their ridiculous markup, and shady sales practices, I have no idea how Radio Shack has managed to stay in business.

  7. MinervaAutolycus says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever bought any big-ticket items at Radio Shack, but it’s my go-to place when I need an AC adaptor or other tech device. they’re usually pretty good about getting me the right one, even if the package has been opened before.

  8. shepd says:

    There’s no such thing as an amplifier that can improve a signal. All it can do is make it louder, and usually inject some noise into it as well. The only useful purpose for an amplifier is to ensure the signal level reaching your TV is high enough for it to lock on. That limits it’s purpose to two things: Increasing the signal level before a long run of cable so when it reaches your TV it can be picked up, or increasing the signal so when you split it your TV is getting enough.

    And that’s it. Period.

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      @shepd: Actually the Channel Master outdoor amplifiers did work quite well in amplifying just signals and not increasing noise.

  9. fantomesq says:

    Which Apple products that Radio Shack sells don’t carry 1-year warranty also? All major product lines come with 1-year out of the box. I think Radio Shack only sells iPods, if anything, which are definitely 1 year warranty.

  10. RobertBaron says:

    “Even the name ‘RadioShack’-can you imagine two less appealing words placed next to one another?” Day said. “What is that, some kind of World War II terminology? Are ham radio operators still around, even? Aren’t we in the digital age?”

    “I’d like to capitalize on the store’s strong points, but I honestly don’t know what they are,” Day said. “Every location is full of bizarre adapters, random chargers, and old boom boxes, and some sales guy is constantly hovering over you. It’s like walking into your grandpa’s basement. You always expect to see something cool, but it never delivers.”

    -The Onion

    • krista says:

      @RobertBaron: Hey, I have a Ham Radio license (actually an Amateur Radio Technician license), not that I own any equipment or anything. There are plenty of Hams still around. If you have the right equipment, you can even talk to an astronaut on the Space Shuttle.

      And during a natural disaster like an earthquake or Hurricane, the Hams can be the main source of information transfer, including for the police and other emergency personnel.

      And Radio Shack is full of great little parts that Ham Radio geeks love! I sometimes wander in just to browse the parts section, trying to dream up things to make with all those thingies and whatchamacallits.

      (and yes, I do see that this is a quote from the always hilarious Onion)

      • Dawnrazor says:

        @krista: I’m going to sit for the General Class exam next week!

        Ham Radio is a great hobby with wonderful potential for learning a LOT about electronics and communications.

        If (god forbid) there ever IS a major nuclear conflict, all of you smug folks who have no use for good old fashioned radio in the “digital age” will be rethinking your positions when the EMP destroys significant quantities of semiconductor-based electronics (internet, ipods, computers, cell phones, digital TV-all disabled). This is why the Russians/Soviets never abandoned vacuum tube technology.

    • LastError says:

      @RobertBaron: Hell yes amateur radio operators are still around.

      And yes, we’ve gone digital: I just got my first digital D-Star radio a couple weeks ago and it kicks butt.

      I would never, ever ever set foot in a Radio Shack though. I know enough about electronics and the like to know better than shop there, and that’s the RS paradox.

      People who know enough to need the stuff RS sells -wire, cable, parts, antennas, etc- know better than to actually buy it there. They shop at HRO or Gigaparts or Digikey or whatever.

      People who have no idea what they are doing, people who would be better off at Best Buy or the electronics section at *mart, don’t belong at RS either.

      So the only people who do belong shopping at RS are… people too uneducated and uninformed to manage a trip to *mart. That’s a helluva business model. Damn.

  11. Trey Mahaffey says:

    one more tip that i either didnt see or i missed…

    # dont go to radio shack for something that you can get elsewhere.

  12. pop top says:

    Calling the place RatShack is offensive to rats.

  13. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I’ve never understood the Consumerist’s generally negative attitude toward Radio Shack. I have had consistently good experiences with Radio Shack. The salespeople have always gone above and beyond with me, and have been very familiar with the products they sell, and the technology. About making sure I’m buying an item that hasn’t been previously returned–Walmart has cornered the market on that practice as far as my experiences go.

    • Skaperen says:

      @razremytuxbuddy: I always take my grain of salt with me when I shop at any corporate or franchise store. That includes/included Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowes, Radio Shack, Sears, Target, Walmart … or any other.

    • craptastico says:

      @razremytuxbuddy: maybe your radioshack is better than most. where i used to live in CT i had a great radio shack full of knowledgable sales people that didn’t mind when you returned a widget b/c it was the wrong one, even when you were only dealing with $1-2 stuff. I’m in NJ now and the RS near me is horrible. you feel like you’re constantly being upsold, and the salesmen are shameless about it.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @razremytuxbuddy: there’s a store near me that’s awful, understaffed and no one there has any idea what’s going on – ever.
      and three miles away is one that’s got a fantastic manager, the salespeople don’t look at me like i’m speaking gibberish when i ask if they have something specific and they’ve never tried to push any sales on me.
      as with anything, there’s always an exception to the rule – the hard part is figuring out what is the rule and what is the exception when you only see a few examples

  14. Adrienne Willis says:

    “Personal Data

    A lot of stores are catching heat for not meeting credit metrics, so any request for your name, drivers license, or SS# should be qeuried immediately. Some stores have lied and ran customers credit info illegally to keep corporate off their back,so be aware.”

    Can someone please explain the above; what are credit metrics and why would they run your ss#?

    • Skaperen says:

      @Adrienne Willis: My guess is that a “credit metric” is a quota the store is expected to achieve for a number of credit card applications.

      Just never give your DLN or SSN. I don’t even give my name or address (though I know a couple of the sales people at my nearest RS store from elsewhere).

      • Adrienne Willis says:

        @Skaperen: wow, isnt that illegal? And for what reason would they need your ss# or DL # unless you are doing a return (even then your ss# should never be required or even asked for)?

        • mac-phisto says:

          @Adrienne Willis: yes, it is illegal, which is why the OP is saying DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR SSN OR DL#, or at least know that if you give them that information, they are running your credit.

          also, you shouldn’t need a DL# to make a return. you do, however need to provide your name & address (per the return policy listed on the back of the receipt). if you don’t want them sending you fliers, give them a fake address.

          • Adrienne Willis says:

            @mac-phisto: I always use my work address (never the suite number) and a fake telephone number. How would I get out of showing my DL for making a return (at any store)? It seems like alot of these places it is policy; can I use the line that it was just stolen or I dont have one? Suggestions?

            • mac-phisto says:

              @Adrienne Willis: i don’t ever remember RS asking for DL for returns – i know they don’t require it (just name & address & the credit card it was purchased on if it was a credit transaction).

              other stores (BBY, the defunct CC, etc.) often require it b/c they put you on a “return watchlist”. if you’re a problem returner, they blacklist you from returning anything in the future. that’s one thing i always liked about RS – they definitely don’t have that policy.

              if queried for a DL at RS, simply state you don’t have it with you. you shouldn’t have a problem. other stores that require it for a return will probably not process your return without it.

  15. RWEmerson says:

    The shame of Radio Shack is that they could be one of the nation’s leading companies if they just used their head once in a while. They really offer an important service in providing a place to buy small electronics supplies in a non-big-box environment.

    But in their effort to save every penny they make going to a Radio Shack a sour experience at times. They need to hire happier, more content staff (this means corporate needs to treat the staff better), stop trying using every method short of water-boarding to get my personal data, try not to sell subpar stuff, and just take advantage of their particular niche.

    • Anonymous says:

      @RWEmerson: They aren’t going to treat the staff any better as long as J.D. is running the show. Radio Shack is trying what didn’t work for Circuit City; forcing out the tenured staff by way of poor pay, lack of incentives, etc. so they can hire new people who don’t know anything and pay them less. That’s what a turnaround “artist” does. Would you be happy being forced to take dozens of certifications only to be paid minimum wage? No wonder the people don’t seem happy when you shop there.

  16. rugman11 says:

    To be fair, and having worked at RadioShack, the vast majority of stuff that gets returned has absolutely nothing wrong with it. Most of the time the people just didn’t need it or couldn’t afford it and brought it back. So yes, if someone returned a cordless phone that they had for a week and then returned because the color didn’t match their end table, I repackaged it and sold it again because there was nothing wrong with it. Cell phones were different, my store would send back all returned phones (assuming they were returned in good condition with all parts) because we could generally get full credit for them.

    As for the points about pitching phones, warranties, and credit cards: they work on commission. They get paid to sell that stuff. My paycheck was directly affected by the number of warranties, phones, family plans, data plans, and accessories I sold. So yeah, I pushed them (though not hard). Just tell the employee “no” and they’ll usually let it go. The only warranty I ever truly recommended was the cell phone warranty, because the mfr warranty only lasts one year and if your phone breaks between that time and when you’re up for your two-year renewal, you’re SOL, unless you want to drop $200 + normal cost on a new phone. Plus, the RadioShack warranty would replace your battery for free, without needing proof that it was dead. So you could get a $50-$80 backup battery basically for free.

    As for opening your merchandise, you should really do that for any sizable purchase, no matter where you shop.

    • krista says:

      @rugman11: “Plus, the RadioShack warranty would replace your battery for free, without needing proof that it was dead. So you could get a $50-$80 backup battery basically for free.”

      My Dad is a very frugal person who never buys extended warranties, and even self-insures his cars (he doesn’t carry collision). But he loved that Radio Shack cell phone warranty with the free batteries. He thought it was a very good deal.

  17. Zclyh3 says:

    Just don’t shop at Radio Shack. Never had good prices to begin with.

    • Skaperen says:

      @Zclyh3: I have no problem shopping at RS. I just know not to listen to the sales people. I go there when I know exactly what I want. The only time I have to ask them anything is when they’ve re-organized the store and I ask where it is. They’ve even learned not to bother asking me if I need batteries. They quit asking me for my phone and address a few years ago. On occasion I still have a problem with a new salesperson.

    • Canino says:

      @Zclyh3: The last time I was in a RS, I was looking for an adapter to plug a 12v auto plug into the wall. RS wanted $35 for one. I told the guy they were crazy. I bought it online for $3.99.

      • barty says:

        @Canino: The sad thing is, those adapters used to be no more than about $10. Whomever is in charge of their procurement these days needs to get their head checked. Most of their AC adapters and DC car adapters were a third of the price they are today when I worked there 10 or so years ago. There were certain models that you couldn’t hardly keep in stock because RS was the FIRST place people went to get that stuff because 1)It was generally in stock and 2)It was reasonably priced.

        Now I just order such items online unless I have to have it right now. Their convenience premium has gotten so ridiculous that I can’t justify paying 60-70% more there than what it can be had for online.

        • Zclyh3 says:

          @barty:

          This is true. Most of the stuff I normally get at Radio Shack (car alarm remote batteries, AC to 12v adapters) I just get them on eBay because they are so much cheaper.

          If RS seriously wanted to compete, they really need to lower their prices because I use to shop there. With the prevalence of eBay and other low discount online shops, I have no need to shop at RS.

  18. DaynaRT says:

    #4 Never listen to the salespeople.

    My mom insists on shopping at Radio Shack. She bought a speaker/dock for her 2ndGen iPod touch there; she was assured it would charge the touch, rather than just allow audio playback. I knew immediately from the price she paid that it was an older model and it would NOT charge her touch. I told her not to bother opening it and to just take it back.

    She took it back to the store unopened, where they once again told her it would definitely charge her iPod and there was no such thing as a 2ndGen touch anyways. By this time I’m fed up with the salesscum (and with her for continuing to go there). I unbox the thing, dock the iPod, and, oh look, the ‘no charge’ error window pops up.

    This time she gets her money back and I go along to ask why uninformed bozos are pushing products on people. They still insisted there’s no 2ndGen iPod touch. Idiots.

    • Skaperen says:

      @DaynaRT: Of course there is no such thing as a 2ndGen iPod touch, to them, if they aren’t selling one right there in their own store. Yes, they are idiots.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Up until very recently I worked for radio shack for a good many years. I always tired to be straighta nd honest with all my customers on items that were returned. Certain things like head phones batteries things like that once returned I would scrap if I could.

    Cell Phones, yeah I would ask how your cell phone is holding up or who you have. If the customer didn’t want to discuss it at that time I just simply said “Well when you are ready to think about it or want more information. Come back and See me I’ll get you taken care of.” A lot of the times that worked out really well, I would have folks come back when they were ready or I would send them out the door with some information to consider.

    Service Plans, yeah that is really something that make sense some times but most of the time dosn’t. On small items like head phones, remotes stuff like that it dosn’t make sense anymore. When I first started they was something called instore replacement on those. It was great you bought a pair of 30 dollar head phones spent 3-5 bucks on a one year plan you came in the store we did some paper work and sent you out the door with a new pair. Now with the gift card thing on the little things it dosn’t make sense. Though on things like cordless phones cell phones anything with rechargable batteries included the warrenty covers replacing those batteries. It can worth it when some batteries we started to charge to near 20 bucks the service plans included the replaced once per year.

    Over all I just want to say not every employee at Radio shack is out to rip you off. I never was but then again I remember the days when it was about customer service not how many emails or how many service plans someone sold.

  20. takes_so_little says:

    Tip #1: Shop at Newegg or Monoprice.

  21. Anonymous says:

    As a kid I always hated RadioShack… I was a geek who always had money to spend, but the sales people would ignore me until I went and brought my mother back in…

    They also tend to be higher priced for the commodity-type things.. Sure, there are things you can only find there… but otherwise I’ll shop anywhere else.

  22. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    WOW, who is this guy D.? Brett Favre?

    He is going to great lengths to screw his former employer, a la Favre.

  23. Skaperen says:

    Given the low noise level of today’s radio frequency transistors found in televisions and digital converters, it is rare when an antenna amplifier will help. This is especially so with digital. An amplifier will amplify both noise and signal. Cheaper amplifiers will intermodulate the various noises and signals and generate even more noise.

    An antenna amplifier WILL help when the antenna is quite some distance away from the receiver/tuner/TV using it. That is a signal boost to overcome the signal loss in the antenna cable.

    The primary way to improve a TV signal, especially digital, is a more directional antenna. This kind of antenna receives more signal the direction of the station, and rejects signals in other directions. A directional antenna works by being electrically and physically larger. An indoor set top antenna can only be directional on a limited basis and mostly on the UHF band. The best directional antennas are so large they must be used outside. But if you have indoor space for them (for example a wall that happens to face in the direction of the station for a flat antenna, or an attic that can hold a long boom antenna) they should still work OK (as long as there is not too much metal in the way).

    Don’t fall for those direction adjustable indoor antennas. They can in fact adjust the direction, but it’s actually done at a loss of signal by using capacitors and inductors.

    In some cases, the receiver/converter/TV is so bad (junk) that an amplifier really will help. But a better unit might be a better option. When buying a new digital TV with any expectation of using it with an antenna, insist on seeing how well it works on a real antenna.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Skaperen: hanging directional antennas upside-down from the eaves in the attic is one of the coolest tricks i learned when i worked there (i thought, anyway).

      just keep in mind that construction material (such as flashing) could degrade the signal.

  24. DHT says:

    “Radio Shack – You’ve got questions, we’ve got blank stares.”

    • Bruce says:

      @DHT: “Radio Shack – You’ve got questions, we’ve got slack jawed, drooling blank stares.”

      There, fixed that for ya.

  25. sharkzfanz says:

    As I worked at Radioshack 7 Years from associate to manager I can confirm these are mostly true… A few clarifications though:

    One the RSAP card charging interest if your a second late. PLEASE keep in mind every other store card does that as well.

    Price matching is the same as most stores. Most stores will honor instant discounts but not mail in.

    The part about re boxing and selling used items is 100% ture!!! Check everything in a box before buying it!!!!

    Apple items sold at RS do have a 1 year to to clarify. Service plans are worth it on certain things just make sure you understand. Most radioshack brand items are 90 days warranty. So a 1 year plan for $2.99 is not bad…..

    Personal data… If your being asked for SS, drivers ect your getting either a credit card or cell phone… You need to give that data anywhere you go…

  26. Trencher93 says:

    should be qeuried immediately – how do you do that?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Radio Shack used to make a very good indoor DTV antenna called the double bowtie antenna. Unfortunately, they’ve stopped making it and now only sell crap DTV antennas. I have no idea why.

  28. Biggbrother says:

    I stopped going to Radio Shack for the most part about 5 years ago. I got tired of going into the store and not being able to determine the price of anything because the prices weren’t placed on the shelf by the employees. Then finding an employee who was not too busy chatting with someone else was impossible.

    Not to mention that they are always out of stock of “regular” versions of things, but usually have plenty of “Gold-plated” premium versions that are ridiculously overpriced.

    I have gone there to pick up a random cable if I couldn’t find it at Walmart and I needed it badly. But that’s maybe 2-3 times in the last 5 years.

  29. Mark Pelletier says:

    I worked at “The Shack” for a while and can also confirm what D says in this post. Used stuff sold as new ALL over Radio Shack. I was motivated by D’s first post after my Radio Shack experience and posted a detailed blog about it at : [mjayp99.blogspot.com]

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Mark Pelletier: yep. felt a little nauseous there as i read your blog. i’m gonna have nightmares; i know it.

      i quit back when they started doing the whole weekly reset bullshit (though that wasn’t the main reason). i was spending less & less time with customers (which is what i enjoyed & what made me money) & almost all my time moving crap to the other side of the store only to move it back 2 days later.

      & the worst part – my DM barking that all resets had to be exactly like the planogram. then you print that out & a 4-foot section would have 8 products you don’t have yet, 4 you ran out of 3 weeks ago, 3 blank spots that said NO PICTURE AVAILABLE & had a sku that didn’t correspond to anything on the system, & you’d have a pile of related products that weren’t even addressed by the new floorplan.

      i swear, if they fired all the idiot middle-managers, that place would actually be a pretty enjoyable place to work/shop. instead, it’s the closest thing to B&M MLM that i can think of.

  30. ds says:

    I love that usage of “Rat Shack” is still going strong, even since my mischievous 2600 days. (Never did get that crystal for my dialer, kind of glad I didn’t after seeing Kevin)

  31. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Their old cell-phone sales technique was, whenever you purchase anything (even a battery) they would ask you

    “What type of cell phone do you have” (to introduce the pitch)

    and my reply was always

    “The one that my office bought and pays for, thank you”

  32. I Love New Jersey says:

    The easiest option is not to shop at Radio Shack at all.

  33. clementine says:

    I recently bought a radio at Radio Shack. I just wanted something to listen to NPR, etc. on my walk to and from work. I’m happy with what I got but I still can’t believe the weird experience I had when I bought it. I went in and asked for a radio and they tried to upsell me to an Ipod. I wasn’t interested and just asked where the Walkman style radios were. They had no idea. I eventually found one but well, really – if you work at a store with RADIO in the name, you should know where the radios are. And not be surprised when someone asks for one. JMO.

    • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

      @clementine:

      That’s almost as funny as the time I was at Staples, and found a nice electric stapler in the “clearance” bin for a good price.

      I asked the sales guy which staples I would need for this device, and he said they don’t carry them.

      Really? Staples? You don’t have these staples at your store, called Staples?

      :-)

  34. sharkzfanz says:

    Radioshack is great for certain things but i prefer bestbuy even though I worked at RS for that 7 years.

  35. Scuba Steve says:

    Is it just me, or is everything Bold?

  36. framitz says:

    I use Radio Shack for small purchases of parts and such. I’ve never been hassled by the sales staff.
    I usually know exactly what I’m looking for when I go in the store and that’s exactly what I leave with, if anything.

  37. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned but if something on the register doesn’t ring up right and the sign on the shelf says less, they have to give it to you for the shelf price plus give the difference back. The store I went to was CLUELESS, even though it was written in a sign taped to the counter.

  38. temporaryerror says:

    One thing that seems prevalent when working at RS is the “radioshack rentals”, people that will buy things like GPS’s or radar detectors, PA speakers, use them for a week or less and then return them. Also, at my store, my mgr kept all the cheap cables in the stockroom and told us to say that we were out of them and only had the gold series cables in stock. (I still sold the cheap ones)
    Finally, those button cell batteries that they sell for 5-6 dollars cost the store on average about a quarter.
    There is a anti radioshack website that is always a fun read… if you interested, google will show you the way.

  39. dwb says:

    Thank you, D. This information will be very helpful to some of us.

  40. Anonymous says:

    unless they have changed the way they number the franchise stores (or I have have forgotten since my time at one), franchises are given a number similar to 22-Axxx where the A is an alpha representing a region and the xxx are randomly assigned numerals. (I think the 22 designated US franchises while other prefixes were for international.)

    also dealer/franchise stores are (or were) supposed to have all signage, advertisements, receipts, etc. displaying their true business name and store number. The RS sign above the door will likely have in the corner somewhere the word dealer (it’s hard to notice where it’s usually tiny in comparison with the brand name)

    as for the other signage, etc. there should read something like “Joe’s Electronics, an authorized RadioShack Dealer” or “Radioshack Franchise Store owned and operated by Joe’s Electronics”

    another good way to tell if you’re in a franchise is if you see something that you know RS doesn’t sell, say sewing machines. Franchises are allowed and encouraged to sell other merchandise so long as it’s not something that undercuts RS sales.

    it’s also very likely that the new ridiculously under-priced toy seen in the flyer won’t be available at a franchise.

    while RS keeps franchises stocked with certain core items, other items are available at discretion of the owner/manager/whoever-places-the-orders. so, the franchisee might not want to order in that $300 GPS on sale for $70 ’cause it still costs the store $200.

  41. Bill Taub says:

    I got my wife at Radio Shack- we were both working there. Oh, the stories….

    That said, she worked out ok… so sometimes you can get what you need and it will work fine… but don’t expect it to be cost-effective…

  42. Psychosocial says:

    I have an even better idea – Avoid Radio Shack completely! Last thing I bought from them was a police scanner. Of course, it was used and returned once before. I got an exchange for a new one and never went back again.

  43. donovanr says:

    Thank you for actual advice and tips and not the usual whining that these employee tip things usually are.
    But I would agree with a previous commenter. Tip #1 don’t shop at Radio Shack, or The Source as it is known in Canada.

  44. H3ion says:

    Does anyone else find it unusual that a consumer needs a manual to shop at a particular store?

  45. capkincaid says:

    I’ve worked for RS for nearly 13 years. The paycheck I get from them puts food on my family’s plates and keeps a roof over my head. I don’t appreciate these blanket comments about how all RS employees are ignorant and not customer orentated. I always open a box to verify its content before selling it and do my best within reason to keep my customers happy. If you don’t like your local RS store come and shop at mine.

  46. elainei1 says:

    Radio Shack got it’s name from a couple WWI Navy Radio men. The Radio room was called “The Shack” & on the deck of the ships. After WWI they started a business repairing small appliances. They had connections were to get the parts from all over the world. The store evolved, then later sold the buiness to Mr. Tandy (fkn Tandy Leather).

    I was an RS manager – I hated to try to push stuff down customers throats and like any where you shop have to be aware of what your buying, these are SALES PEOLE not CASHIERS/STOCK PEOPLE. They only get paid when they “sell” you something. He did give some good advice – but it is still buyer beware – do research and ask questions. Not all warrenties are bad.

    A store with good employees will open the box for you to inspect the product before you ask. If a product was returned it was supposed to have a sticker on it showing it was returned and the mfg warrenty was doubled. RS backed the 2nd warrenty – which mostly was just total product replacement. The Sony head phones I like, I can buy at Walmart for $5.00 less. I go thru 3 to 4 pair a year. Walmart doesnt have an extended warrenty – RS warrenty is 4.99 – just by spending the $10.00 more I acutally save about $40 to 60.00(walmart price).

    I havent worked there for 3 years but I do still have my 27″ RCA TV, COMPAC computer, HP camera & printer, Panasonic phone, car stero & speakers and other products. All were clearence items (no one could beat the prices) & they still work great.

  47. frogman31680 says:

    as an employee I understand that there are stores that pride themselves on service, others that could give a damn less about the customers.

    At my location, we have done everything in our power, try to be as helpful, and we attempt to go above and beyond for every customer that come in.

    Yet, we have 2 stores that are in about 20 miles from us that we hear customers complain about constantly.

    This is the same as best buy, walmart, target, etc…

    Same Sh*t different company. I feel like the person that the consumerist is trusting with this information is going about it wrong. This person sounds like he was upset at the company and is trying to get revenge on them any way he can.

    Yeah, we may not be the best at everything, but as many have stated on here…. Try finding even some of the things we sell at walmart. That is what I like. Everyday I hear customers say “you probably don’t have this but I need…..” and 90% walk out with exactly what they are looking for.

    I take pride in my work. I don’t rip people off. I give people what they ask for and need. Nothing more.

    Take whatever this guys says and do what you will. I read this and laugh.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I have shopped at RS for those weird connectors badly needed before a gig or something strange that is impossible to find at a local shop, and YES the employees were alway nerdy, annoying, and really made me hate the experience. I don’t understand how they are still around. I’m betting we see them shrink even more within the next year or so.

  49. JohnQPublic says:

    I’m a long-time satisfied customer of RS. Every time I’ve needed a stereo component, such as a double-cassette player or CD player for a gift or for myself, RS has come through. They’ve often been the only bricks-and-mortar store that carried these components when others had discontinued them. And these items were always reasonably priced. Sorry if this is a positive note, because negative comments are so much more compelling.

  50. johndeleon0 says:

    As a former part-time RatShack employee I can attest to this that’s why I finally quit. Employees are paid very little, their only enticement to earn more money is guess what – extended warranties and cellular phones. I left because our District Manager was putting so much pressure on our Store Manager to bring up cellular and extended warranty sales at any costs. RatShack does sell returned items and yeah, we usually didn’t care if it was missing something because if we took it back our manager would get angry because it was a loss to her.

    Any thing that has the RadioShack brand has at least a 60 to 70 percent price increase.

    I wouldn’t buy anything there, at least nothing too high priced.

  51. Anonymous says:

    “Products sold from corporate stores can be returned/exchanged at franchise side locations,and vice versa.”

    As another former RS employee, this isn’t totally accurate. Franchise stores only have to sell a certain % of RS merchandise, the rest can be whatever they choose. If you buy something from a franchise store and return/swap at a corporate, the product must specifically by RS. Otherwise you could return a fishing lure from Joe’s Bait and Electronics to a corp. store and they’d be stuck with it.

    Just a minor detail.

  52. nycdesigner says:

    I almost went to work for RS when I was a teen. Mom drove me down to the Detroit-area regional HQ for a test. I scored poorly because I didn’t get the sales mentality of the ABCs: Always Be Closing!

    One question was something like if a customer couldn’t decide between two clock radios what should you do? The correct answer is to sell them both, and offer a return on the unwanted one…in hopes they’ll never bother returning, and gift it or something.

    I really wanted to work there because at the time they were flush with electronic kits and a large parts inventory.

    But now, for sure, they are worse than Best Buy, and more than retail pricing. A frickin’ watch battery is a minimum of $6, but a grocery store will sell it for $3. They really gouge you, and it’s always a negative experience.

  53. LastError says:

    Hear hear.

    Audio or video cables, HDMI anything, wires, plugs, some small parts, video game cables and controllers and any kind of accessory for anything, Monoprice is the place. Go there first for anything. If Monoprice doesn’t have it, THEN go elsewhere. Yes the prices are real.

    For actual electronic devices -try Newegg or Amazon or maybe Buy.com Be aware that Amazon and Buy both offer items sold by independent stores or shops.

    eBay is also a good resource. I have noticed an increasing number of the Amazon and Buy “shops” are also running eBay stores and many of the emails or invoices I get now have preprinted store IDs for each. Same stuff being sold three different places. So buy from the one with the least hassle or fees.

    Lastly, check out your neighborhood dollar stores. Sometimes some of them have the odd audio or video item or small accessory. Cellphone holders, speaker wire, telephone jacks and wires, some other things. It may not be top tier stuff but it might be what you need.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I purchased a computer from RS several years ago in Delaware. I had a reason to open the computer case to do some trouble shooting, and I noticed the fan blades were covered with dust. I called the store to complain, and sales rep said to bring it back. The interesting thing was that they didn’t even ask me a question at the store. They just accepted the computer.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I work in Sprint’s Advanced Tech department, and this right here is why I get so many customers who have Blackberries that won’t provision for the life of me.

    I’m over there thinking. OMG. These are brand new phones. What the hell is wrong! Whenever, in fact that aren’t brand new. They are refurbs that are effed up to begin with and the customer is just not informed about it.

    Ridiculous. luckily, a wipe and reprogram is usually enough to fix them. But still. The customer shouldn’t have to pay full price for a phone that has to have numerous troubleshooting steps performed on it *to* make it work.

    I was shocked that the Blackberry I got from Radio Shack works as good as it does. Provisioned in 5 mins (did it myself, in my car) Apparently, I did get a new one.

  56. RadioShackCustomerCare says:

    An earlier post misrepresented RadioShack’s policies and procedures.

    RadioShack does not resell merchandise that is customizable, such as wireless phones. If an activated handset is returned to RadioShack, that handset is returned to the wireless carrier . . . not to the shelf.

    RadioShack is moving toward instant rebates because it is more customer friendly. We have heard from our customers that they prefer instant rebates rather than mail-in rebates.

    The activation of wireless handsets typically requires less than thirty minutes, however, it is dependent upon the wireless carrier’s activation system. Occasionally, activations can require several hours due to peak times of high demand on the carrier’s activation system or to authenticate an account in order to fulfill the customer’s request to port their existing telephone number from one carrier to another.

    RadioShack associates strive to enhance the in-store shopping experience by listening to our customers, offering advice and helping them choose the best technology to meet their personal needs. Any suggestion that our associates would act in a way that disregards our customers’ best interests is disturbing to us because it does not accurately reflect our culture.

    RadioShack Customer Care

    • dfx says:

      @undefined: @RadioShackCustomerCare:

      Wow, can you still not get it right? Wireless activation takes 30 seconds absolute maximum (we’re talking behind concrete walls with 1 bar of reception) and 50% signal loss. Not 30 minutes. Yes folks, less than 30 seconds. It takes just as long as it does to go from “no signal” to registered to a tower, if you go from one coverage area to the next. I have (and have friends who have previously or still work for) AT&T, Sprint, Tmobile, US cellular, and Verizon. There is no activation worldwide that has a time delay intentional or accidental in activating a phone.

      The only reason there is a delay is because activation sends your IMEI and a bunch of data, and so if a ton of phones are activated at once you can saturate the note. Think of it like DDOS’ing the data of a node. As an example of how this can happen, look back on the Iphone activation fiasco where nodes went down and people couldn’t activate, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      @undefined: @RadioShackCustomerCare: I’m not sure about their current policy, but as of June 2005 this was not true. At the time Radio Shack was still selling Verizon and I was employed at a store in upstate SC. As the direction of my manger, i would regularly take Verizon (and Sprint) phones which had been returned within the 3 day policy and clean them up for resale. This included using the master-reset feature and clearing the phonebook and text messages. This was only done with phones in like-new condition, any damaged ones were sent to the repair center.

      Whenever a customer would ask to purchase a phone we were required to pull any returned phones first before opening an un-opened new phone box. So that the customer would not notice, we would always open phone boxes in the back and start programming them as we walked back to the customer on the sales floor.

  57. Cocoa Vanilla says:

    @RadioShackCustomerCare: You heard from your customers that they prefer instant rebates versus mail-in rebates? Your customers had to tell you they hate mail-in rebates in order for you to realize that? LOL, Einstein.

  58. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    @RadioShackCustomerCare:

    The activation of wireless handsets typically requires less than thirty minutes, however, it is dependent upon the wireless carrier’s activation system. Occasionally, activations can require several hours due to peak times of high demand on the carrier’s activation system or to authenticate an account in order to fulfill the customer’s request to port their existing telephone number from one carrier to another.

    This, I can verify. Often times outgoing calls would start right away while incoming calls would ring to the old handset. Etc.

    This is much less true with AT&T where the call is routed to the smart card and not the phone itself.

    RadioShack does not resell merchandise that is customizable, such as wireless phones. If an activated handset is returned to RadioShack, that handset is returned to the wireless carrier . . . not to the shelf.

    As a former Radio Shack employee, I can tell you that you had better retrain your managers (from regional down) about this. I was working for the Mentor, OH store (I believe it was 01-4242), and we routinely had items returned either from our store or from stores in the district because they were clearly used. The most ignoble case I can recall is when an MP3 player was sold loaded with songs. The store manager then asked me to take it home, clear the songs, and bring it back the next day. He okayed this with the regional manager before doing it.

    @Cocoa Vanilla: Hey, jerk, how about you not lessen what RadioShackCustomerCare is here to do, assuming that they are here for more than just empty marketing speak. Way to make an impression.

  59. sharkzfanz says:

    What RadioShackCustomerCare said was 110% true!!!

    Yes managers need to be retrained but the company policy is to send to RMAC (Manufacturer) or the repair center. I worked their for 7years and managed 2 stores before leaving.

    Activations do take hours sometimes if the system is saturated. Although the norm is seconds it can take time. It does not come down to the signal on the phone as one person said above it is the activation system and can take longer if porting.

    An experience at one store or one activation is not the norm.

  60. VvsK says:

    @RadioShackCustomerCare: @WiglyWorm: Maybe because it is nothing more than just empty marketing speak. Let me, a customer who has purchased products from them, tell you: LOTS of merchandise goes straight back on the shelf. I don’t care what the policy is, or what corporate wants their stores to do, it is an undeniable fact (with my own experiences as proof) that a ton of merchandise that is returned CAN AND WILL end up back on that shelf, to go to the next suck-I mean, customer. I can’t tell you how many items I’ve purchased from them that had clear signs of previous use. Radioshack can say all they want, it’s what ACTUALLY HAPPENS that matters, and Radioshack doesn’t do anything besides talk.

  61. Alex Komarov says:

    RadioShack is not in chapter 13 yet?

  62. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    @VvsK: And not once was there a denial of reselling returned items (a policy that is not at all exclusive to RS. I’ve had clearly used items sold to me from RS, Best Buy, Target, and many other places.

    Let’s face facts, a good amount of returns (especially with tech items) are actually rentals, or the user just plain can’t figure it out. Nothing is wrong with the product, and there’s no good reason to send it back to the manufacturer.

    What RS did say is that “customizable” items (presumedly items that have internal memory, etc) are supposed to be sent back. As a side note, I can tell you that RS policy is to *clearly* note with a sticker on the package that the item is open box, and has been taken out of the store. Further, when you see that sticker, it points out (on the sticker itself) that you are entitled to a free doubling of the duration of the manufacturer’s warranty.

    Out of all the stores I can guarantee you use the practice of selling returns as new, radio shack is the only one I’ve ever seen that informs you of such.

    So, rather than spit on the guy who comes and says “yeah, that sucks, but let me also clear some things up”, how about we tell him where their policies are falling short and need to be addressed?

    Oh, that’s right, you’re not here to be constructive, you’re here to rage against some vague definition of “the man” with a lot of heady rhetoric and no real substance.

  63. trujunglist says:

    @WiglyWorm:

    Their posts fly straight in the face of REALITY and LOGIC. I don’t like being lied to, especially by a company, and the disregard for truth is just complete bullshit. Do they think that lying to us about what happened, even though there is proof, will make things better? How about “Sorry, this is not our policy, and we’re talking to the manager at the store to correct the issue.” rather than “Umm, what? These are not the droids you’re looking for…”
    To quote you “Not once was there a denial of reselling returned items” Umm, yes, they’re denying that this phone, a returned item, was resold. All evidence says that this item was returned. “Supposed to be sent back” well great… we all know that didn’t happen. Can we get some up front honesty rather than marketing run around?
    That shit is downright insulting, so honestly, fuck Radio Shack. I don’t like being treated like I’m a fucking idiot.

  64. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    @trujunglist: I dunno, maybe I’m not cynical enough to not give them a shot. Maybe I’m biased from having worked from them (a job i hated btw), but it seems to me if a company says “these are very much against our culture” maybe we should give ‘em a little bit and see if they retrain/let go of some employees.

    Of course, part of the problem with Radioshack is that they put too much value into being a good sales person. Yes that’s valuable. But they only way to be a manager is to be a good salesperson. The only way to get regional is to be a good salesperson. There is nowhere for good leaders in the lower rungs of the organization, or good planners, or people who are knowledgable about the products. Only good sellers.

  65. wvFrugan says:

    @RadioShackCustomerCare:

    “RadioShack is moving toward instant rebates because it is more customer friendly. We have heard from our customers that they prefer instant rebates rather than mail-in rebates.”

    You do know that this is a consumer website right? Not the typical customer sheeple your stores rely on to stay in business. You are a disingenuous FRAUD & your bullshit will get you called out here. What a stupid statement you make. Do you even believe the crap you spout? I hope RS implodes under the weight of its own crap after reading this: it will eventually, you can only pull this crap so much. I still remember being forced to provide a phone number years ago to buy a 9-volt battery, only to have RS violate my privacy by cross-referencing my phone # to my home address & assualting me with mailings. You all must be a thick-headed bunch, it only took a decade to figure out people hated RS for that, and RS is now just realizng people hate mail-in rebates. You need to find a better PR school.

    • Anonymous says:

      @wvFrugan: Wow. Apparently every person who has had a bad experience at RS thinks the internet is the best place to register their complaints. How about just calling Customer Care? There is no “call center” anymore; call Customer Care and you will be directed to the District Office of the store you are calling about. Try doing that with any of the “big-box” retailers.

      As for the whole “used product” debate, yes, RS does take returns; it’s a part of doing business. Some are because of “rent-a-shacks”, some are because people don’t understand how to read the manual and don’t want help trying to use the product, and sometimes it’s just not the right product for the consumer. If it’s broke RS sends it back or tosses it out. If it’s in working order it gets resold. Yes, there is supposed to be a “Premium Warranty” sticker put on each of those products. Does it happen every time? No, but it’s supposed to. I can’t speak for any store other than the ones I’ve run, but my staff and I use those disclaimers religiously.

      Now, before I get flamed instantly for being a “defensive employee”, I want to make something very clear; I’ve been around for over a decade with RS and have seen everything previously described in this thread. I’m actually on my way out the door, but not because I believe RS is a bad company, but because they have no clue how to treat, promote, pay, or reward their employees. Next time you go into a RS, keep this in mind;

      The guy that greets you is there to sell you something. Chances are he’s probably had to take a couple dozen certifications just go get to the position of being able to help you (I’ve taken close to 100 myself). He doesn’t work for Walmart which means he wasn’t changing oil yesterday and today is trying to sell you a TV. While not all employees are created equal (which is a point that I think seems to be lost on some of you, claiming RS is a bad company because of one experience you had) but in general RS employees are much more knowledgable than the guy standing around playing video games all day at Walmart. However, RS employees are paid minimum wage plus small incentives to sell certain products. They don’t get raises EVER so they only way they make anything extra is by actually selling you something. If you don’t want to be sold something, go to Walmart. MOST people shop at RS because our associates in general are knowledgeable and friendly. They do however get a lot less friendly when they say “Hi” and the first words out of your mouth are “Just looking.” If someone says hello to you, the proper thing to do is return the greeting. Working retail has made me a better customer as well. I personally think everyone should be required to work a year of retail to learn how to be better customers.
      When the associate tries to pitch you on something, it’s done for 1 of 2 reasons, or both; either they’ve been told to do it “or else” or they truly believe it’s something you’d like/need. I don’t care what consumer reports says about extended warranties; I buy them myself. RS’s are about the most awesome there are; in general if your product breaks you get a gift card for it to buy whatever you want. How awesome is that? Sure, you can utilize the manufacturer’s warranty, but in general you have to pay to ship the product to them and pay for them to ship you a replacement. The price of a RS Replacement Plan is usually less than that, plus if the first product broke, do you really want the same product again or would you like the chance to purchase something different?

      Repeat after me: RADIO SHACK DOES NOT SELL “USED” WIRELESS PHONES. RS does offer Refurbished Sprint phones in some locations, but those are clearly marked and discounted as such.

      Bottom line, RS is a good company and in general it’s employees’ hearts are in the right places. Just like you do every day you go to work; they’re there to make a buck. If half of the people on here complaining had even the slightest idea how much RS employees are required to know/learn they’d think twice before blasting them on the internet. Yes, there are some bad apples; every company has them. Unfortunately for RS the most rotten apples of them all are the ones that are the source of most of it’s problems; those who have offices in Ft. Worth.

  66. Justifan says:

    beware if the seller when getting a product from the back comes walking out while opening the package claiming they are just “checking” to see if its ok.

    i got sold a used product that way, i took it back, it didn’t feel right from the start.

  67. Anonymous says:

    @RadioShackCustomerCare I bought a “new” AT & T (may have been Verizon – can’t remember) phone at the Radio Shack on Montague St, Brooklyn Heights in late December, 2005. I soon realized it had a picture on it – saved in the photo album – of a couple standing in front of a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. After I returned from my Christmas holiday, I went to return what was obviously a used phone and was told that Radio Shack no longer had a contract with whatever service provider it was (AT & T or Verizon) and that, essentially, I was screwed.

    So yes, you do sell used phones. And yes, you have forever lost a customer in me and – hopefully – whomever I’ve told this story to over the past four years and whomever I will tell this story to until your sorry store is finally out of business.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Just a note, the “how to tell if a store is corporate or not” is wrong.

    Corporate stores are 01-xxxx (any four digit number). Franchise stores have letters in the “store number” and start with 22- (such as 22-Bxxx or 22-Jxxx)

    Corporate offices are 01-0xxx, so 01-0375 would be a district office, loss prevention office, or similar.40-xxxx locations are repair centers. The “sprint kiosks” in malls are radioshack owned (and are 01-xxxx stores), as are the cellphone stores in Sams Clubs (I don’t know what they are).

    While most folks working at RS stores know that they own the SC kiosks and sprint kiosks, that’s usually the extent. There’s zero communication between the kiosks and the stores, and while technically possible to return a kiosk item to a RS store, they’re likely to simply refuse to do so.