Robert’s recent experience with his local Blockbuster just underscores how ill-equipped the rental chain is to compete against Netflix and new-star-on-the-block Redbox. Whether Robert has caught them deliberately throttling his account, or he’s just the victim of a poorly implemented system, it’s not the kind of customer experience you should have to settle for anymore.
CircuitCity.com is back, and it looks eerily familiar. The zombie website is now controlled by Systemax, the same folks who own Tiger Direct. Though the new site may look similar to the old, no doubt part of Systemax’s goal to keep alive a “proud brand that America has grown to count on,” it isn’t nearly as consumer-friendly as we would like…
Tony bought a Tempur-Pedic mattress from healthyback.com last December, and they sent him two pillows as a “free gift.” Tony didn’t want the pillows, but HealthyBack refused to take them back, and assured him they were part of a promotion.
Luis dropped his busted LG EnV in the mail at the end of last year and tracked its progress as FedEx delivered the package to Verizon. Verizon, apparently unfamiliar with tracking numbers, doesn’t believe that Luis ever returned the phone, and insists that they’re owed a $320 replacement fee. Luis disputed the charge, but rather than investigate his claim, Verizon decided it would be easier to suspend his service. Now they want Luis—a customer of seven years who pays over $350 across six phone lines each month—to pay another $15 to reconnect the service they should never have disconnected in the first place. He writes:
Here’s another “I bought a box of rocks!” story, only this time there’s proof that the victim wasn’t pulling a dirty trick on Walmart. Instead, it was someone before her who bought and then returned a Nintendo DS, only they swapped out the unit with rocks before making the return.
Instead of getting his money back, one Radio Shack customer got a sock in the jaw when he tried to return something. According to the police report, the employee wouldn’t let the customer return the item. When the customer asked to speak to a manager – kapow! And you thought the worst thing you had to worry about was if you kept your receipt!
Lillian bought what she thought was a new phone from an eBay seller with a lot of great feedback. The longer she has it, though, the more evidence she finds that it’s probably not new. Sometimes buying electronics off of eBay is like slowly peeling an onion.
Regular readers of the site already know this, but we will tell you again anyway — in a liquidation “all sales are final” means just that. You will not get an exchange if your item is defective. Period. You lose. Good day, sir!
The Walmart in Norman, Oklahoma refused to accept bike returns until a district manager, acting on a reader tip, reminded the store that they were violating company policy. Reader Keia tried to return the “shoddily constructed,” “dangerous piece of garbage” for a bike that Walmart sold him, but an employee, backed by the store manager, explained that since Walmart could repair the bike, their return policy didn’t apply. That didn’t sound right, so Keia went over their heads…
Michael is happy to report that he got a really great resolution from Best Buy, who had sold his grandma a broken camera as new and then accused them of breaking it themselves. The shots of Best Buy employees Michael found on the camera, and the repugnant attitude he encountered when they tried to return it and disinterest when he complained to corporate multiple times, only made the story that much juicier. After Micheal’s story went up on Consumerist and hit Digg, Best Buy contacted him. Here’s what they did to make nice:
Did you know Guitar Center, Musician’s Friend, and “a few other online music retailers” all share the same centralized distribution center? That’s the explanation a Musician’s Friend CSR gave Mitch when he tried to solve the mystery of the dented, twisted-neck, not-even-from-the-right-store Fender Telecaster. It looks like Guitar Center shipped him another company’s returned item. That’s bad enough, but now Guitar Center says they won’t make good on his order because it’s beyond the 30 day return period. Hey, Guitar Center: What return period? Mitch never got the product he ordered in the first place.
Update: Musician’s Friend has responded with an apology.
Benny wanted to return a baby gift worth $19.98, but Macy’s refused to offer more $2.50. Benny didn’t have a gift receipt so Macy’s understandably refused to give him more than the product’s lowest advertised price—but when Benny tracked the item down on the shelf, it was selling for $19.98. When he asked where the product was selling for $2.50, he was told: “its not, the managers put in the lowest selling price, thats Macy’s policy!”
Dave bought his mother a Samsung digital photo frame for Christmas—Christmas a year ago, and it stopped working after just a few weeks. Since then, Dave has tried regular customer service and executive customer service, he’s waited on hold for up to 2 hours at a time, and he’s waited patiently for RMAs that are promised but never sent. Now it looks like he’s throwing in the towel: “I no longer have the time or energy to waste with them.” You win this battle, Samsung! But you do realize that Dave—a small business owner who has made large Samsung purchases in the past—will never buy another one of your products, right?
Returning something to Circuit City? All sales are final during the liquidation, but if you bought it between January 1st and the 16th, you have a 14-day return window. However, if you bought it before January 1st, the original 30-day policy still applies. Your cashier might not know this, though, and try to deny the return. That’s what happened to Jason today when he tried to return a hard drive.