Really Annoying Circuit City Trip Results In Lost Time And Rebate

Chris writes:

Subject: Store # 3160 – Problem at Checkout

To whom it may concern,

I have just returned from a disappointing and offensive stint at the checkout counter this evening at the Circuit City in Albany NY. I would like to point out that I am a frequent customer, and have made several large purchases, including a HDTV and laptop, including my more frequent visits for DVDs, etc. Tonight, I stopped in for a 50 foot phone cord. I could’ve gone to the Walmart next door, but I also wanted to check out the selection of cordless phones, specifically the Uniden DECT phones.

I found my cord, at a price of $9.99, which would’ve been a bit less expensive at Walmart, but I was running late for dinner. I was pleased to find the Uniden phone I wanted, with a $10 rebate to boot. Along with this, I swept past the PC games and picked up Age of Empires. Why so much detail? Let me continue…

I went to checkout. And this is where the problems and my lengthy checkout story begins.

The young lady at check out was obviously new, but there were no other registers open. She was struggling with the customer in front of me for a few minutes, calling out across the store for assistance, using the phone to call for unanswered help, before someone finally wandered over to help.

When it was my turn, the phone cord, already price higher than I wanted to spend for standard cord, rang up at $11.99. I pointed out that it was $9.99 on the tag back in the phone section.

The check out person asked for assistance from an older gentlemen, to check the price. He went back into the phone section… and we waited. The line started to grow.

The gentlemen returned, and said he couldn’t find anything labeled $9.99 in the back, and asked me to leave the line and point it out. So, I left my place in line and went to help.

At the phone section, I pointed out the $9.99 price for 50 feet of phone cord.

“Oh, that’s for the thin cord,” he said.

I pointed out where the cord was… and where the thin cord was actually located. And, that the 100 foot cord was actually priced at $11.99.

That was also wrong. Actually, all the GE phone cord seemed to be in the wrong place in the rack. As I was running late, and no longer had time to go to Walmart next door, I decided to just buy the cord as is.

I went back to the line which had grown at the single register that was open. When I finally made it to the second spot in line, the person in front of me had issues with their checkout. So, we waited. The line behind me grew.

Eventually, a person was called over to assist the checker with the issue. Then, this new person, a presumed to be a manager, said to the line, “Next over here…” The people behind me scattered to the newly opened register. Really, this new person could have said to me, the next person in line, “Sir, you can come over here…” But, no.

The person in front of me finally completed their purchase, and it was my turn. The pricey phone cord went through. So did my phone. Then, it came time to ring in my game.




The checker was trying to scan in the bar code from the top of the game case, where the plastic seal was crimped. Boop.

Meanwhile, on the front of the case was the clearly labeled price, with a bar code under it.


She asked the new checker, who I had presumed to be a manager, for assistance.



Boop. Boop. Boop.

It wasn’t ringing in. Come on now, this is Age of Empires, a Microsoft game. This should be in the system.

The presumed manager attempted to enter the UPC code manually. And failed. She tried again. Failed.

Then, she called over a new person. Another manager? A real manager?

Three people were now trying to check me out. The young man this time put in the UPC code, with the letters “UPC” in front of it.

“Don’t you know how to do this?” he asked the ladies.


Sigh. He left, and the original young lady booped in the rest of my purchases. The total came to $180.32. I handed over two $100 bills.

No, the troubles were not over.

She entered my payment into the system. The computer wanted my phone number.

“I don’t give my phone number,” I said. “Thanks”

She asked the young man for help. “He doesn’t want to give his phone number… what do I do?”

He looked at the screen – she had typed in only $100 paid. He corrected it to $200, and asked for my phone number.

“I’m paying cash – why do I need to give a phone number?” I said. The line of people behind me were agreeing with me also.

“Your purchase is over $100, so we need your phone number.” he said.

“I don’t give my phone number.” I said.

He entered a phone number into the system.

“Your name is Edgardo Diaz, is that okay?”

“Fine.” Little did I know this would come back to haunt me… and the lengthy receipt spit out of the register.

At the car, I had sneakying suspicion. Remember the Rebate offer for my phone? That’s right, apparently Edgardo Diaz from Caguas, PR (Puerto Rico?) is going to get my $10. Had I KNOWN or BEEN INFORMED that my number was needed for the rebate form, I would have given it. But, no, I was told it was because my purchase was over $100.

I think you can understand why, after arriving late to dinner, I’m still irritated by this fiasco. And, why I’m going to think twice before heading back to Circuit City for my next purchase. With Walmart next door, and Best Buy across the street, it isn’t too difficult to be swayed.

I would hope that crossing out Mr. Diaz’s info on the rebate form isn’t going to void my rebate, and my $10 comes to me. I hope you can rectify this situation, and look into the service issues at this store.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

C D (not Edgardo Diaz)

(name removed)

Purchase info:
Store # 3160, Albany NY
December 1, 2007
Ticket: 316002031017″

Guess that’s what happens when you fire everyone who knew what they were doing. Hey, it worked wonders for Home Depot, why not try it with home electronics?

(Photo: Larry Tomlinson)