Two Months Later, Circuit City Still Hasn't Refunded Customer His $338

Bobby’s brother canceled an order the day after placing it, and everyone he’s spoken with at Circuit City seems to agree that they owe him a prompt refund on his cash. But that all happened on March 7th and 8th, so why is Circuit City still saying the check is in the mail? Are they waiting to get their stimulus check first?

My brother and father have been having many difficulties with getting a refund from our local Spring Hill Circuit City.
On March 7th, 2008 my brother went up to your store to purchase a Sony Camcorder. A sales associate helped him locate a model that he liked. The sales associate went into the back after writing down the model number and whatnot. He came back and said that they were out of stock but could order it today and have it overnighted to my parents house the next day. My brother agreed and placed the order.
Later that night, my brother got curious and went on the Circuit City website to investigate the specs on the camcorder he just ordered. To his surprise, what he ordered was not a camcorder but a regular digital camera. He woke up early and canceled the order. The person on the phone said that it would take a week for the refund to come in the mail and refunded $25.00 to his debit card.
A week went by and no check. My brother proceeded to call Circuit city and few times and it was the same store. About 2 weeks after the original order, my brother went up the the local Spring Hill store. He talked to a sales associate and was assured the problems would be fixed. About a week after this, which brings us into April. My brother ran into the original sale associate that had placed the mistaken order. She tried to fix what was going on what was unable to so she called over the store manager, Casey Warner.
She was very nice and would look into it. She even offered to take it out of a draw and give the refund right there but needed to talk to corporate first. About a week later, she called my father and said the check would be in the mail soon. That was three weeks ago. My father and brother have talked to Casey a few times since and steadily she have gotten an attitude and has become hostile to us.
Circuit City owes my brother $338.00


Edit Your Comment

  1. Lucky225 says:

    Yay! Perhaps they can come out and calibrate your TV for free

  2. @Lucky225: No, they’ll just give him about 3 monster cable products and call it even.

  3. jaycha2 says:

    OK something very similar happened to me in Dec’07. I ordered an external hard drive online from CC. But later found a better deal at Staples, so ended up purchasing it at AS per the website, if the CC web order is not picked up within 14 days the amount is refunded back to your account….Right….but Not in my case. As it was the holidays I completely forgot about it, than in Jan end I noticed my Credit Card statement without the refund. When I called CC, they didn’t have my order in the record!!! but they were really nice and suggested me to file a chargeback , which I promptly did.After couple of months CC refunded the money to my Credit Card………So Watch out guys!

  4. Copper says:

    What I want to know is why they could refund $25 to your debit card, but not the rest.

  5. In cases like this you should always contact your bank after 2 or 3 weeks go by. Worst case the bank says no so what do you have to lose.

  6. ShirtGuyDom says:

    Circuit City opted for the much cheaper “Snail Mail.” Basically, you pay 30 cents, and the mailman tapes the piece of mail to a snail and sets it on its way.

    It’s a highly experimental mail system, of course, but post office is still waiting for the results.

  7. dragonfire81 says:

    I remember at my call center that when a a refund was clearly owed, we just said a check had been issued and would be received within 10 business days, regardless of the situation was.

  8. Coelacanth says:


  9. cliffordmanning says:

    “To his surprise, what he ordered was not a camcorder but a regular digital camera.”

    Huh, what? How does this happen? Please don’t shop alone…ever again.

  10. yaboyread says:

    cliffordmanning , here’s more facts that was left out

    ok, im not an idiot, i went into circuit city, i seen a sony camcorder i liked, i told the sales rep thats the one i wanted he look at the model number under the cam corder, but the model number was wwrong, it was for a sony digital camera, the sales rep didnt catch the mistakes that some lazy worker did, so when he went back, he found out their were really no more of that digital camera from tha model number he took off the label that was under the cam corder that i wanted. so than he gave that model number to the lady at the front desk which she order me the wrong camera, i didnt mix up a digital camera and a camcorder, if that was the case, i dont derserve my money back. lol

  11. tcp100 says:

    @COELACANTH: A chargeback would be nice, but apparently he used his debit card, not a credit card.

    Please, when will people learn that credit cards are not evil, and making large purchases with debit cards are an all around dumb idea?

    You can stop a check, you can dispute a card, but you can’t stop and can rarely easily reverse a debit transaction.

    People, please, stop paying for transactions with debit cards! They do not offer the protections of credit cards!

    If he had used a credit card, he could have simply disputed it, saying he never received the goods and told CC to take it up with the card.

    Alas, even now, after 60 days you can’t dispute. It’s up to Circuit City now.

  12. Pylon83 says:

    I believe so long as the transaction is run as “Credit” and your debit card has the Visa/MC logo on it, you have the same protection. I have a “debit” Card that I use for everything, but I ALWAYS run it as credit. I’ve had to initiate chargebacks a couple of times, and have never had a problem.

  13. tcp100 says:

    @Pylon83: True, but if that were the case, I don’t see why they’d be mailing him a check – they’d be posting the charge back to his credit (debit) card.

    By the fact they’re even talking about mailing a corporate check, it tells me that he probably used a PIN-based debit transaction, which I think is just bad news when buying something like electronics.

    Back at best buy in when I worked there in the mid 90s I know they did “like for like” for all returns. Check/debit got you a check back from corporate – which took up to 4 weeks.

    I’ve never heard of a return even considering a check refund from a credit card; in fact it may even be against merchant agreements, because techincally that’s a conversion to cash. So just intuiton tells me he used a pin-debit transaction.

    If he did do it as a credit transaction, and they did a partial refund but are refunding the rest by check – something is missing from the story.

  14. Pylon83 says:

    I’m not denying your conclusion, in fact, I agree with it. I was simply making a broad point, as to prevent any confusion. I NEVER use my card with the PIN, unless I need $20 for something and am buying a candy bar at Walgreens. Most stores have it automatically pop up as true Debit, because it’s cheaper for them to process. Most suckers (my lovely wife included) are too lazy to hit “Cancel” and then select “Credit”, like I do.

  15. @Pylon83: I believe so long as the transaction is run as “Credit” and your debit card has the Visa/MC logo on it, you have the same protection.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this is accurate. Apparently, the Visa/MC logo is a mere convenience. It is NOT the same as a credit card. I’ve tried to “chargeback” incorrect charges to no avail.

  16. Pylon83 says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee (AKA!): Perhaps it depends on the bank, but I’ve done it more than once with Bank of America with no problems at all. They treat it just like a chargeback with Amex.

  17. petrarch1608 says:

    one of the better benefits of having a credit card is avoiding scenarios like this.

  18. BrentNewland says:

    Get your rebate by any means necessary (small claims court perhaps?) and shop at Office Depot. Or NewEgg

  19. @ShirtGuyDom: I think I shot coffee out of my nose HAHAHA!

    Although experimental, it still doesn’t mean it can’t be EXPENSIVE… raise the price to $.41, and I’ll consider your futuristic approach.

  20. blackmage439 says:

    Don’t shop at Circuit Sh**ty. Period. Their prices, selection, and staff are completely insulting to even that of Best Buy. Honestly, the first thing you see when you walk in the door is a display for Monster Cables. Disgusting.

  21. t-r0y says:

    @tcp100: Amen!

  22. t-r0y says:

    @Pylon83: I just don’t see ANY GOOD REASON to have a debit card! Can you explain this to me? Is there an up side?

    Maybe you should get your ‘Lovely Wife’ (a lazy sucker, as you say) a card that acts like a credit card only.

  23. AaronZ says:

    There’s some law out there that says if a store charges you and doesn’t send your order within 30 days of charging, they’ve broken the law.

    I learned this a while ago when I worked for a dot-com retailer. It would seen CC broke this law by holding your money and never sending a product (which he could have brought into the store for a return.)

  24. SkokieGuy says:

    @ShirtGuyDom: @verucalise:

    You can also purchase a Forever Snail which guarantees no future rate increases.

  25. rbf2000 says:

    From my experience as an ex-CC employee, once an order being shipped is placed, it’s impossible to cancel it. They would have to wait for the unit to be delivered and then do a return on it.

    For cash sales there is no need to do a mail-refund. Only checks. As long as there is enough money in the registers, they can do the refund.

    If a sale is done as a debit (pin number entered), you can receive cash back instead of having it refunded to your account.

    Mail-refunds were the bane of my existence when I worked at CC. They go to the default address on the receipt, which would be the parent’s address. Try checking with them. Also, when you do a mail refund for a check, it doesn’t get sent out until a week after the two week clearing period for the check, and then they send it as slowly as possible, so you can count on another week of transit time.

    Also, mail-refunds, while entered in the store, are handled through corporate, and it can be extremely frustrating for a store associate to get the mail-refund people to get off their asses and actually do something.

    I would definitely call the corporate number and get them to fix it for you, instead of hassling the store for something that is out of their hands.

  26. rbf2000 says:

    @jaycha2: The refund for orders over 14 days is a manual process. It requires somebody to go to the back, sort through all of the un-picked up items, research them (to make sure that somebody didn’t give them one from off the floor and just forgot to “release” it in the system) before doing the refund.

    At the store I used to work at, we did this about every other month or so.

  27. originalread says:

    My brother used cash and gift cards to purchase the camera. He used his debit card to pay for it to be overnighted.

    I left it out of the story, but the CC associate who originally ordered the camera wrote the model number down wrong from the display.

    Oh, and Bobby is the one having the problems. I, Andrew, wrote the email.

  28. XTC46 says:

    if he paid witha debit card, it should be electronically refunded. The reason you get a check back when you pay cash/check is becasue of the time it takes to process the check, and to trasnfer the cash from the store to corporate. electronic trasfers are much faster. this should have been refunded immediately.