No Love at the Radio Shack; Store Closings and Resume Fakeries

400-700 Radio Shack stores will close this year, announced Radio Shack
s besieged CEO Dave Edmonson on Friday. The company operates 7,000 stores, all of which need your zip code to sell you batteries.

2005 earnings were substantially below Wall Street expectations.

It came to light last week that the CEO may have lied on his resume about having a degree. He claimed two, one in psychology and one in theology, from an unaccredited Bible school. The school has never offered a degree in psychology. He said the other degree burned in a garage fire, perhaps while attempting unaccredited rituals.

The Radio Shack board initially said it would stand by Edmonson. Wednesday the board announced plans to hire a law firm to investigate the matter.

Investigate or cover up?

We once needed to convert RCA video signal to S-Video and they tried to sell us a whole honkin’ multi-channel video switch apparatchik. Thing was, the S-Video and RCA were on the same side. After pointing out there was no way to route the signal like they described, they finally produced the necessary $25 double-mouthed video connector.

While the resume flap is disappointing, is Radio Shack and its lackadaisical customer service even frickin’ relevant anymore?

RadioShack to close 400 to 700 stores [MSNBC] (Thanks to Jeff!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hawkins says:

    Fiddlesticks! The level of customer service at most Radio Shack stores is amazingly high, considering the kind of A/V Club nerds that they tend to hire. I love Radio Shack.

    Yes, I know you can get all that stuff online, but what if you’re not astute enough to call it a 3.5mm stereo connector, and need to describe it to a human as “the plug on the end of my iPod headphones”?

  2. CMPalmer says:

    That’s sad – I was a big fan of Radio Shack back when they sold electronic kits and lots of DIY stuff. Now, the concentrate of overpriced consumer electronics, cell phones, and cheap RC stuff at Christmastime.

    “Radio Shack. You have questions, we have blank stares”

  3. Paul D says:

    Whenever a company hires a law firm to “investigate” their own malfeasance, you can bet your sweet tushie that what they’re really “investigating” is how best to spin and cover up the story.

  4. Danilo says:

    Gee, it’s not profitable to sell absurdly low-quality consumer electronics at ridiculous markup in an ugly store the size of a broom closet while running years of TV ad campaigns that completely fail to hit the mark?

    I never woulda thought!

  5. AcidReign says:

    …..They used to make pretty durable, if average-sounding stereo gear. I’ve got a Realistic TR883 8-track recorder that still works, and a Lab-260 belt-drive turntable. These days, it’s mainly a place you run when you need a widget adapter or cable or something. No way would I buy a new system from them!

    …..I always tell the eager salespeople “I’m just looking.” That backs them off, but you can tell that they’re unhappy your not looking at the expensive stuff in the front of the store! I can read the labels on the parts myself, and not get sold more than I need.

  6. drsmith says:

    “can I help you?”

    “can I help you?”

    “can I help you?”

    “can I help you?”

    “can I help you?”

    … At least that many times *every* time I go into one of their stores. The manager of one of the stores couldn’t understand why I responded rudely the 27th time I was asked in 5 minutes! If I need you, I’ll ask you – otherwise leave me alone.

    As for the zip code, give them one from a different state than the one your in. If in NY, give them 90210 or just make one up on the spot.

  7. Kornkob says:

    I find that the service widely varies store to store. Some places you get solid, compent help willing to admit when they don’t know an answer and will help you find it and other places they live to get you out the door with whatever piece of crap they can sell you.

    Personally, I’d rather be asked ‘can I help you’ by each and every employee in the place than be patently ignored till I chase someone down and set something heavy on their chest to get them to sit still for a second. I’ve seen both behaviors at Radio shacks. I far prefer knowing they are there to help when I don’t need it than the reverse.