Aaron visited Sears to pick up a new Craftsman snowblower he bought for 10% off on Sears.com, but the store only had one floor model in stock. Aaron agreed to take the unit after staff assured him that it came with a warranty, manuals, and all the things normally bundled with new snowblowers. Of course, Sears couldn’t find either the manual or the keys. A salesman promised that “Ray from Lawn & Garden” would mail the key whenever he returned, an offer Aaron refused. The salesman then offered a key from another snowblower, promising “the keys are basically universal.” That key didn’t work because, as a different associate later discovered, the unit was missing its electric start socket.
Last week we wrote about a Circuit City customer who was charged $40 without warning for “repairs” to a brand new computer. We received several explanations from Circuit City insiders, both in the comments and through email, that the repair was mandatory—Acer and Circuit City had agreed that instead of pulling the PCs, the retailer’s Firedog techs would flash the BIOS in-store upon purchase. What was unclear was how or why this would fall under the Firedog “Quickstart” service, which is optional and includes things like removing shortcuts from your desktop and setting up your background. (Seriously, check it out here.) Yesterday we received the following interesting email from Circuit City HQ.
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?