Circuit City 24 Minute Guarantee Means Whatever Rob, The Supervisor, Says It Means

Reader Dustin is upset with Circuit City because they tried to tell him that their 24 minute guarantee meant he had to be waiting at the store for more than 24 minutes. After Dustin explained that the 24 minute guarantee was supposed to mean that the item would be pulled from the back within 24 minutes of his confirmation email, the supervisor said that Dustin ” would have had to come in within 24 minutes to qualify.” We’re pretty sure that’s not how it works, because Circuit City’s policy specifically says that’s not how the guarantee works.

Here’s the guarantee:

We guarantee your order of $25 or more will be ready for pickup at your selected store within 24 minutes of the timestamp on your confirmation email. If it’s not, we’ll give you a $24 Circuit City gift card.

Dustin writes (to Circuit City):

Executive Customer Service,

Today I decided to purchase a printer for my girlfriend and decided to shop with Circuit City and use the in-store pickup. I have used the in-store pickup before and I’ve never had a problem. One of the reasons I used you guys was because of your 24 minute guarantee.

I placed the order at 11:00am and went to the store around 12:30pm. After waiting in line for a while I gave the person behind the counter my printed receipt and drivers license and credit card. I had all of this stuff because I read your policy online.

She checked and the printer had not been pulled yet. Then she attempted to look for the printer. After these attempts were unsuccessful she call on her walkie-talkie and had someone pull the order. Realizing that my order was not ready in 24 minutes I asked for my gift card.

She turned to the supervisor (Rob) who looked at me and asked, “Have you been waiting for 24 minutes?”. To which I said, “No”. He then began to explain that because I hadn’t waited 24 minutes that the policy didn’t apply. Then he told me that I placed the order 1 1/2 hours before and that I would have had to come in within 24 minutes to qualify. Essentially implying that I didn’t need the order in 24 minutes.

I won’t bother and argue why this goes completely against what your policy states, because I’m sure you understand that at this point. If an order isn’t pulled in 24 minutes, then it isn’t ready in 24 minutes.

I would like my $24 gift card that I am entitled to. I guess I’m just really upset because I feel like I was cheated. And I feel like if I didn’t know about websites like The Consumerist ( I wouldn’t know how to fight this.

I am also forwarding this email to The Consumerist because I feel like it is information the readers should have.

This Complaint Has Been Resolved


Edit Your Comment

  1. HalOfBorg says:

    CC execs should send him TWO cards and have the Supervisor deliver them in person.

    Unless it is all the fault of the OP for shopping at CC (JK).

  2. Bagels says:

    Personally I’m glad someone is pursuing this strongly. It seems every company from pizza delivery to infomercials offers some kind of guarantee and much like rebates I think they count on people not holding them to it. Just lip service. And clearly this person wasn’t there with a stopwatch waiting for the time to hit 24 minutes and 1 second, he was there an hour and a half later and they STILL didn’t have it!

  3. Scuba Steve says:

    We will always get this kind of behavior simply because the people that get promoted to these positions do not care.

    And honestly, I don’t think “doing a good job as the supervisor of a CC” was on my list of asperations, ever.

  4. mblackburn says:

    I had a similar issue, and I was there in 28 minutes and the order wasn’t pulled. After some stalling I did walk out with my giftcard.

    I think they were just upset that it was completely dead in the store, and I didn’t have to “wait” while they went and got it from the floor. However, that was not the policy.

  5. Anijake says:

    This just happened to me, but I waited 3 days to pickup my order, and when I got to the store I had to wait a 1/2 hour before they realized they did not even have the product in stock! In the past I would get a phone call telling me so I did not waist my time. But not this time so I wasted my time and gas money going to the store a about 10 miles away.

    Did I get a gift card? No! because my item was under $25. I argued that since one of there employees did not do there job by calling me, and they admitted to me that it was someones job to do so, I should still get some compensation. But to no avail.

  6. alfista says:

    I ordered two identical items from CC for my kids, about an hour before the store closed, using the website and knowing that I would be fairly close to the B&M store the next morning. I received confirmation and everything. When I got to the store, I was informed they only had one of the two items in stock. I asked if that meant I would qualify for the 24 minute guarantee, since they had about 90 minutes to get my order ready, and I was told no, that they hadn’t yet been open for 24 minutes. The manager did not seem bright enough to understand my position on the issue. Calls to the corporate office did nothing so now they get none of my business having wasted a significant amount of my time. It’ll be fun to watch them go out of business – there are much better online options with quick delivery timeframes.

  7. chrylis says:

    @Scuba Steve: Being the manager of a store (even Circuit City) is a respectable job. There are many worse things you could aspire to… such as doing a lousy job as the supervisor of a Circuit City.

  8. DashTheHand says:

    I blame The Consumerist for not having Circuit City in their Worst Company in America poll after having several nominations.

  9. HarrisonRHW says:

    I had the same issue once before. I ordered a pair of Bose bookshelf speakers, to go pickup at the nearest location to me, a store about 30 minutes away. I placed the order, got the confirmation e-mail and headed out. I got there, all the employees were talking to each other, not really concerned about me, I walked up and asked for my speakers. All they had available was the wire I ordered to go along with it. After they dispatched someone to pick the item, it was about another 15 minutes before I got it, so I asked for my $24. The employee said it was a bulk item, and they would not honor it. The box is light (about 20lbs max) and is 1’x1’x2′, easily could have fit on their empty shelf behind the count. I asked for the manager and he also gave me the “well it is not 24 minutes because I said so” type of response. I was not in the mood to fight, so I left with my items.

  10. freejazz38 says:

    Please, letters to the “executives” at Circuit Shitty go to the same pathetic rep. who answers BB complaints. You will receive a canned “form” response telling you how much they “value your business” and THAT’S IT. CC could NOT CARE LESS about it’s customers. The managers are the only ones WORSE than the regular employees, because they are REAL morons who can’t get better jobs and have chosen to be lifers there. The chain is a JOKE.

  11. ARPRINCE says:

    I think they should rename the store to SHORT-CIRCUIT CITY!

  12. freejazz38 says:

    You know what’s ALSO fun at Circuit Shitty? Try looking for a particular item while in the store, usually a sale item that you don’t see on the shelves. Then ask one of the morons, I mean employees it they have it in stock. They’ll say “no” because to actually check would mean they would have to stop BS’ing with their friends and checking out the “neat stuff” and do some work. THEN, go online and choose the same item for in-store pickup at the same store. WAALAA There it is! This has happened to me on several occaisions. nope, won’t miss it when these clowns, along with Bleckbuster goes under

  13. Fist-o™ says:

    i seem to recall a consumerist how-to on how to quote people? I mean, I know how to do the @whoever thing, but how to make the blockquote?

  14. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Fist-o: like this:

    < blockquote> quoted text here </blockquote>

  15. Aphex242 says:

    Yeah I have never had problems with CC’s online ordering until last time, when the item I purchased was not in stock despite the email telling me to go pick it up.

    They did at least give me a gift card though, still a pain in the ass, frankly.

  16. grayskies says:

    there’s no reason not to give him his gift card as it cost’s the store nothing from it’s budget (it all comes from CC corporate coffers). usually when people get shitty and demand something instead of being nice is when people become uncooperative.

  17. Fist-o™ says:


    like this

    Thanks! couldn’t have been any easier.

  18. HOP says:

    i was going to purchase a new desktop at cc….i wanted windows xp …they said the units no longer come with xp, but i could have xp installed for $350.00 extra….

  19. Fist-o™ says:


  20. thesabre says:

    Wow, their policy online actually says:

    “What if I can’t get to the store in 24 minutes?

    Don’t worry-we’re ready when you are. While we guarantee that your order will be ready in 24 minutes, we will hold your item securely for 14 days. After that time, it will be returned to inventory and your money will be refunded.”

    It sounds to me like the manager was just an idiot. You definitely deserve the gift card.

  21. Eoghann says:

    I was denied the $24 gift card after having the manager tell me “There’s been a glitch in the system. That doesn’t apply when there’s a glitch in the system.” I kept asking for the manager to help me understand how it didn’t apply to this “glitch” by showing me the actual policy. He explained that the understanding the policy was MY obligation as it had been prepared by “professionals” who “take this stuff seriously.” I almost figured that it was worth the $24 to be entertained in such a manner, as this was totally laughable. I finally got my item, then proceeded to return it, requiring the manager approval. I just smiled and shook my head.

    When I got home, I called their corporate offices to talk to someone about the experience. While on hold I heard, “your call may be recorded for training purposes.” When I got to speak to a representative, I said, “To ensure compliance with your posted policies, this conversation may be recorded.” They immediately hung up on me. I wish I’d actually recorded it.

    I have friends who work at their corporate offices in various capacities. When we talk about this stuff, they don’t appear surprised.

  22. DashTheHand says:

    And I yelled I said “What do you want from us monsta!?” An the monsta bent down an said “I need about tree fiddy.”

  23. balthisar says:

    In store pickup is about the only time I shop at Circuit City. Hopefully their fowling up isn’t going to be systematic.

  24. If they actually took 26 or even 30 minutes, I wouldn’t complain. But when they had almost two hours to print an order and pick it up off the shelf and sit it behind the service desk and couldn’t get it done, that’s just absurd. And then the manager gives a bunch of BS… This is why CC is going under.

  25. TM says:

    You should have called corporate right on the spot. When I did, I explained the situation and I had a GC mailed to me within a week. The store by me always pulls this crap with the 24-minute guarantee. I’ve seen it explained at least this many different ways by various employees and sales reps:

    1. You must be IN the store for 24 minutes.
    2. You have to wait on line for 24 minutes.
    3. It has to be within 24 minutes of being placed.
    4. It doesn’t apply if the store is busy, or if there is a line.
    5. Having the item “ready” can mean anything from it’s sitting behind me, it’s in the back room, it’s out on the shelves, or “I couldn’t find it for ten minutes, but eventually dug it out”.

  26. darksunfox says:

    Why wouldn’t they give him the gift card because they *might* have made a mistake? I’ve had other stores give me gift cards for stuff that’s out of their control before. Circuit City can afford to lose $24 gift cards a lot more than they can afford to lose more customers.

  27. macinjosh says:

    I’ve never tried CC but I’ve used BB’s a few times. You get an email when your order is ready for pickup, and they have a minute from when you present your ID and confirmation to get your stuff (a bit longer for big items).

    And y’know, I don’t care if they go over that minute as long as it’s not an unreasonable wait.

  28. @TinyBug: I find it funny that this only works on Consumerist. No other Gawker Media sites allow this. Watsupwitdat?

  29. @DashTheHand: Coffee out of my nose. Enough said.

  30. @HOP: $350.00? Jeez, they giving you XP Pro with another 4 licenses? What does this version of XP do that others don’t? If it doesn’t make me pancakes in the morning, it ain’t worth it.

  31. dragonfire81 says:

    That “supervisor” was probably just a senior employee with little real power in disguise. I would start by taking this up with the store manager.

    You were likely dealing with someone who didn’t know the policy very well or someone who was trying everything he could to not have to give you that gift card, as I suspect Circuit City does not appreciate having to give out gift cards because its associates didn’t get the items ready in time.

    My best is your order was forgotten about and the Supervisor’s bogus explanation was just an attempt to cover it up.

  32. rbf2000 says:

    The store is clearly mistaken here, which can probably be attributed to their recent in-store restructuring where they got rid of most managers and promoted “senior” staff to “supervisors.”

    I worked at CC when they first instituted this policy. They actually found that if they gave out the gift cards willingly customers would be more likely to come back and spend even more money, instead of being upset and boycotting the store.

    In fact, there was an instance where my manager told me to give a gift card to a customer that didn’t deserve it at all – his order was pulled and waiting for him, but the combination of me having to walk back to the staging area where we kept all of the “go gets” and him coming in within the 24 minutes, waiting in line for 5 minutes, apparently made it so that we didn’t have his order ready in the 24 minutes allotted.

    Of course, the policy doesn’t include time waiting in line, but we gave the guy the gift card anyway.

    Ironically, the manager that told me to give the customer the gift card is now in jail for stealing over $100,000 worth of merchandise from Circuit City.

  33. zsmasher says:

    I had an experience with them where I ordered something in the morning, spent the day at the zoo with my family and then stopped by to pick it up. After checking for the order they came to me and said that someone had already picked up the item. They obviously didn’t check ID or billing because it was not me and after nearly 45 minutes, the manager authorized them to release the item to me. Now since they did not have it ready when I got there, I asked about the gift card and they told me it didn’t qualify because the item was available within 24 minutes from the order its just that they gave it to the wrong person. When I pressed the issue they actually said I was lucky because usually they don’t release items in this situation. I told them they would have either released the item or the money that I had already paid. The person actually was pushing my bag towards me to try to get me out of the way as I was debating with them what the term “available” meant because it certainly wasn’t “available” and I had to stand there while they tried to figure out what happened. Unfortunately, I just decided not to shop there in the future rather than writing a letter.

  34. Sidecutter says:

    @ARPRINCE: Too long. Just go with Circuit Chitty.

  35. CC has boned me several times on this garbage. I just stopped going to my local one for pick ups and now go to one that’s just a little farther away where the service is MUCH better.

    There was actually one time when I went to the local CC and after having waiting probably close to half an hour, they came to the conclusion that, apparently, the item I had ordered wasn’t REALLY in stock and transferred my order to the other store that allegedly had it in stock. And then they gave me a $24 gift card, sounding like they were reading a script in a low monotone while doing it.

    Thankfully, the other CC *did* have my item. And they were polite and quick there.

  36. yzerman says:

    why cc why? I like you guys better than the hastle of bb but why do you have to do things like this?

  37. bleh says:

    Why is it that retail managers can’t comprehend simple English sentences?

    I am so sick of managers being unable to understand simple coupons and promotions.

    Corporations need to force their employees to pass basic reading comprehension tests at least yearly to keep their jobs.

  38. xphilter says:

    @DashTheHand: Maybe the consumerist has a rule where the company has to have more than a 1% of being in business next year…

  39. quipdigital says:

    Hi all, Dustin here. No news from CC yet, but something I forgot to add to the email. After they called to have my order pulled and refused my gift card they actually sent me to Merchandise Pickup.

    I’m not sure if all CC’s have a Merchandise Pickup area, but it was a sort-of separate area from the main store (the door I walked through locked behind me). Then a guy wearing a safety harness entered after a few minutes with my printer.

    The point? The item clearly wasn’t ready.

  40. mariospants says:

    I don’t know… the manager kind of has a point. What if the product had been pulled and then after an hour someone put it back for safe-keeping? They guy came in 1.5 hours after he ordered the product. There must be a policy on this: is there a special place they hold these orders if the person doesn’t show up in a reasonable time?

    Anyway, the way CC has set up their system (and the way the manager enforces it) if you showed up at 23.5 minutes after ordering you’d get your $24 gift card every single time.

  41. myfigurefemale says:

    @ mariospants: When you pick something up you have to go to customer service and they have it in a storeroom behind the desk where they keep all the 24 minute pickup stuff. so it should never be “put back for safekeeping” as it’s already in a safe place. the policy says you have 14 days to pick it up, period. so if you come in 13 days later, it should be ready or you get the giftcard.

  42. mariospants says:

    @thesabre: “Wow, their policy online actually says:

    “What if I can’t get to the store in 24 minutes?

    Don’t worry-we’re ready when you are. While we guarantee that your order will be ready in 24 minutes, we will hold your item securely for 14 days. After that time, it will be returned to inventory and your money will be refunded.”

    It sounds to me like the manager was just an idiot. You definitely deserve the gift card.”

    I stand corrected.

  43. stuny says:

    News Bulletin: Nuns and Orphans killed in tragic crash as Circuit City customer speeds maniacally to reach store in 24 minutes to pick up his Monster Cables. The murderer claims “The manager told me I had to.”

  44. TheDude06 says:

    I have no idea why their commission based sales staff wouldnt snappily fill a web order………

  45. RetailGuy83 says:

    @Papa Midnight: Windows XP Pro Retail 299.99, $50 to install it and find drivers even though the manufactuer is only supporting vista. Totally reasonable.

  46. Propaniac says:

    A guarantee that you wouldn’t have to stand around in the store more than 24 minutes to receive an item that you’ve already bought would be a pretty crappy guarantee.

  47. rbf2000 says:

    @TheDude06: Circuit City employees haven’t received commission in almost a decade…

  48. RetailGuy83 says:

    @TheDude06: Sales staff at cc not on commission.

    Warehouse staff pulls the orders.

    Probably got busy and forgot, happens to everyone from time to time.

    Manager still in the wrong here.

  49. rbf2000 says:

    @rbf2000: That may be overstating it – they still had commission in 2002, so six years, which doesn’t really round up to “almost a decade”.

  50. Craig says:

    Complaining about a Circuit City shopping experience is like complaining about injuring yourself while running with scissors.

  51. Gawkmike says:

    This exact experience happened to me several months ago but I didn’t escalate like Dustin. Good job, Dustin…

  52. My experience with this was similar — I was at the store 20 minutes after placing the order (based on the TIMESTAMP on my email) and waited 5 minutes (perusing the aisles) to give them fair time to get my order — Then when I went to the counter to pick it up, they had to first pull it from the shelves – took another ten minutes, but the manager pulled the “24 minutes from when you give your confirmation & creditcard/id to the cashier” bullshit.

    One call to CC customer service, and they mailed me a shiny $24 gift card. I hope they also educated the manager.

    Another time, I ordered a “Guitar Hero II” wireless guitar (standalone) — The order was, in fact, pulled and ready for me within the 24 minute time frame. However, they pulled a USED guitar (VERY clearly was a customer return – the box was rattling, and the guitar was just sitting in the box, cord unraveled, no plastic insulation or packaging of any kind) and I refused to take it — I told them I wanted what I paid for — A NEW GUITAR. They had to re-pull, and I wound up spending 45 minutes in the store. They didn’t want to give me a $24 gift card, but after talking to the manager, they finally did.

    And it worked in their benefit — I returned to the store a few weeks later and bought more items, using the $24 toward my purchase (and a whole lot more!)

    Sometimes they really need to pay attention to the “big picture”

  53. edenj says:

    Wow! And I almost ordered something at Circuit City recently when I saw this offer (ended up buying a different product from Amazon). Anyway, now I’ll be certain to NEVER use this service myself.

  54. fjordtjie says:

    everybody always says not to shop at best buy or circuit city, but my question is, where am i supposed to go? i live in WI, and i can’t think of anywhere else, other than the internet, to purchase electronics. seriously though, there isn’t much else than walmart.

    anyone know where else to go?

  55. spookyjon says:

    When Wii Fit came out, I didn’t go looking for it until about 1:00 P.M. Target was sold out, but my gf really wanted a copy so I went back home and checked stocks online. All Best Buys were sold out. Two Circuit City stores showed that it was in stock, but unavailable for the in-store pickup thing.

    I went on out there (Store #840 in Raleigh, NC), about a 20 minute drive, to find that they had no copies. I mentioned that their web site had said they had some in stock 20 minutes prior, and he (very unsurely) said that they must have just sold the very last copy. Yeah, right.

    I get home, decide to check the site again, and not only does it still say it’s in stock, but is available for 24 minute pickup at that and three other stores in town. I was pretty pissed off, what with the 40-minute round trip drive with gas at $3.85 a gallon, so I called up the store and voiced my complaints.

    The person I talked to told me that, contrary to what I had been told in store, that not only had Wii Fit sold out within an hour of the store’s opening, but that it was sold out in every single Circuit City store in the surrounding area. I asked about being able to buy it online for in store pickup, and she said that it simply wasn’t available anywhere nearby.

    SWEET! Free $24 gift certs for me! I placed an online order right then, not for the original store but for one much closer (which had earlier shown out of stock but now allowed me to purchase online for pick-up). I drove over there, going in at exactly the 24 minute mark, ready to get my free gift card…

    And there was my Wii Fit waiting for me at Customer Service. I still have no idea what the hell happened that day, but I can tell you for sure that I enjoy watching my girlfriend do the hula hoop game so I don’t really care.

  56. TheDude06 says:

    well i’ll be damned. CC employees havent been on commission since 2003. I didnt think it had been that long since i was in one, but apparently so!

  57. Scuba Steve says:

    @fjordtjie: Online?

    I don’t know, sometimes the crappy service and horrible prices maybe the best in town.

    But usually only if there’s no one else.

  58. BlazerUnit says:

    @freejazz38: Take it from someone who has worked in retail: That is the fastest way to tick someone off, especially if you’re a stocker working for a discount or grocery store.

    Ask where something is. Go ahead, you have a right to good help. But when it is proven that none is available on the sale floor, go ahead and take the associate at his word. If you really want to be lied to, ask him or her to “check in the back”, i.e. the stock room. Most of the time there’s a good reason there’s none on the floor yet, and you’ve just invited said associate to take a 5-minute break on your time.

  59. spookyjon says:

    @BlazerUnit: Just about a month ago I asked somebody to check for Mario Kart in the back and they got one, so it’s not always because they’re sold out.

  60. freejazz38 says:

    @BlazerUnit: Huh? What are you talking about. A. Am I REALLY worried about ticking off A Circuit Shitty moron? B. I’m sorry if I offended the minimum wage peabrains of the world, that they have to interrupt their conversation with the other peabrains about how they illegally downloaded music last night to do their JOBS

  61. CapitalC says:

    For a measly $24 they could have kept a customer and kept this story off Consumerist. :p

  62. TorrentFreak says:


    I worked retail and I’d hear smart asses like you all the time thinking they know more than me. Just because it shows up in a computer doesn’t mean its in the store. There are a lot of reasons why they might not have an item that shows up in the system. Returns are the main reason. Some of it is employee theft. Some are defective. They aren’t lieing to you, they are just giving you an answer you don’t want to hear.

    And what someone said before is right, when I was in retail sales, if you asked me to check the back and make sure, I went to the back and had a cig.

  63. knyghtryda says:

    From Circuity City website:

    What happens if my order is not ready in 24 minutes?

    We guarantee your order of $25 or more will be ready for pickup at your selected store within 24 minutes of the timestamp on your confirmation email. If it’s not, we’ll give you a $24 Circuit City gift card.

    Does the time I spend waiting in line count toward the 24 minutes?

    No. We guarantee your purchase will be ready for you to pick up in 24 minutes, but the guarantee excludes time spent waiting in line.

    What if I can’t get to the store in 24 minutes?

    Don’t worry-we’re ready when you are. While we guarantee that your order will be ready in 24 minutes, we will hold your item securely for 14 days. After that time, it will be returned to inventory and your money will be refunded.

    I didn’t have a problem getting my $25 card. I placed an order in the morning, went to pick up that evening, only to find they didn’t have any in stock (that probably took CC a good 20 minutes to figure out). Talked to the manager and he rang me up with the $25 card.

  64. puyro {who was banned for "junk comments" what? says:

    The way I do it is, if you come to my register and your item is not pulled in 24 minutes of your time stamp (which actually gives about 10-12 minutes for the store to pull your item) you get the $24 dollar gift card. By pulled, I mean behind customer service on the shelves with your ticket on it. I do not count though, big TVs, home theater systems, and a few other things, because we specifically keep those in the warehouse until you come in the store. The reason being that they don’t fit behind customer service, and putting them by the door (the only other place we have room) is just asking someone to pull up to the front, grab your 2000 dollar TV, and drive off with it. Yes, it has happened.
    Now if your item actually is out of stock, we have 10-12 minutes to find your item, and if we don’t find it, we refund the purchase and call to let you know. And no, you don’t get a gift card in that situation.

    And I’m glad to be one of those stores that doesn’t have anything “in the back” except for TVs, PCs, and signage.

    So, yeah you should have gotten a gift card, and I would have had no problem giving you one.

    And about the Wii Fit situation, my store showed “in stock” online for THREE days after it came out, when we had sold out in an hour and a half. And I called Corporate, the web site, and our Service desk and no one knew how to fix it. Soooo frustrating.

  65. sleepydumbdude says:

    I’ve been dicked around by the offer too. I came to pick up a computer I bought. Waited for 45 minutes and the reason they told me I couldn’t have the gift card. “sorry, the order number was read wrong so the person was looking for the wrong item in the back” soo that isn’t my problem. W/e I didn’t have time to argue of 20 something bucks but just cut my loses and won’t buy anymore big ticket items through them.

  66. LosersHaveCreditCardDebt says:

    I thought Circuit City was on death’s doorstep?

  67. Consumer007 says:

    OP – Please let us know the specific location and we’ll call up or email and give them hell. I’ll post their contact info for the rest of the readers here, along with operations manager and district manager contacts.

    But good for you for doing the executive route.

    District managers are fun. They are usually very responsive to consumers and like going down to stores and rattling everyone’s retail cages on your behalf. He he.

  68. I had the same problem when this promotion was unveiled. Despite having the policy in writing, the manager refused to honor it and I had to call corporate to get the gift card. Circuit City has either done nothing to educate their employees on the promotion, or more likely, have incentives in place that “punish” them for giving too many of these out.

    Therefore, they promise a promotion which they know consumers are going to have a hard time getting. Stupid.

  69. goodkitty says:

    I don’t understand all the “reading comprehension” comments here. Who really thinks that these kinds of cases are due in majority to lack of comprehension of store policies? These are retail managers overseeing a lot of merchandise. Even if they are illiterate they still know the ropes. They are managers *because* they have been able to pull the store’s numbers up in the short term, by shortchanging customers and playing stupid tricks like this. Don’t think Corporate isn’t keeping track of which stores are costing them more in gift cards for screw-ups. I’m sure this is all a CYA thing, not a “I can’t read” thing.

  70. halo969 says:

    @DashTheHand: LMAO!

    Seriously, I hope Circuit City does not go out of business because I wouldn’t shop at Best Buy if you paid me. CC may not be perfect but Best Buy is evil. I still don’t get how they manage to have so much more business when they treat their customers like shit.

  71. Novaload says:

    Haven’t been back to CC yet, but a couple of years ago we went to pick up an item. We were directed to wait around back, because it was a larger item. So we were outside in the cold, gave up waited in the car. Saw other impatient, wretched souls waiting. I rang the bell again and was told by an arrogant young jackass I needed to wait. Still nothing, 15 minutes later–other people had been waiting longer. Arrogant jackass returns and tells me I need to “be seated in my car.” I ask jackass if he is perhaps a cop giving me an order? He slams door. I go in main part with long-suffering spouse and, quite loudly, demand to see the manager. Jackass drifts in, sensing trouble. Other cashiers are smiling–after all if he’s such a jackass to customers, you can imagine how he treats lowly coworkers. He says no manager is available, I demand he call one. Another employee does this for me. Yeah, they gave me the purchase with a $50 refund on a $350 item but I’ll never get that time back. A friend told me jackass departed –or was departed–shortly thereafter.

  72. btrotta says:

    In January I went to CC to pick up an item I had ordered online. I got there right at the 23.5 minute mark and walked up to the desk where they put the picked orders and, much to my dismay, my order was sitting there, ready to be handed over to me.

    When I expressed my disappointment that I would not be getting a gift card to the girl behind the counter she confided that management takes a very dim view on any employee who works the pick up desk and has to give out a gift card. She said that if you give away too many cards it is a fireable offense.

    That would seem to explain the B.S. that many on here have run into when trying to claim their gift cards — the employees are bending the rules to save their jobs.

  73. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    “Seriously, I hope Circuit City does not go out of business because I wouldn’t shop at Best Buy if you paid me. CC may not be perfect but Best Buy is evil.”

    “I didn’t have time to argue of 20 something bucks but just cut my loses and won’t buy anymore big ticket items through them.”

    “This exact experience happened to me several months ago but I didn’t escalate like Dustin”

    “I asked for the manager and he also gave me the “well it is not 24 minutes because I said so” type of response. I was not in the mood to fight, so I left with my items.

    “CC has boned me several times on this garbage. I just stopped going to my local one for pick ups and now go to one that’s just a little farther away where the service is MUCH better.”

    It is sheeple like this that will cause CC to not only stay in business, but also to continue to provide this horribly low level of customer service.

    On the do-you-have-any-in-the-back note, back when I worked at Home Depot, a customer motioned to a small out of stock item and asked me if we had any more in the back.

    Cust: Do you have any more of these in the back?
    Me: Um, we don’t have a “back.”
    Cust: What do you mean? Where do you keep all your stuff?
    Me: On the shelves.
    Cust: Well, where do you keep your extra stuff?
    Me: On the higher shelves.
    Cust: [Looks dumbfounded] Oh…

    Yeah, it says “Home Improvement Warehouse” on the front of the building for a reason. The salesfloor IS the warehouse. That’s where we keep our stuff.

  74. portus says:

    I love it. The best part is that people at Circuit City who may be reading this, are thinking — haha – “YOU FOOLs, these gift cards will be as valuable as Sharper Image gift cards soon. Muhuhaha” ;-)

  75. S-the-K says:

    And the C-level executives wonder why their company is in the toilet?

  76. bizzz says:


    exactly. These managers know the policy down to the last syllable. It’s all about metrics. The manager who hands out gift cards willy nilly to any old joe sixpack off the street will soon find themselves transferred to CC in siberia. If the manager can get even 20% of the customers eligible for the giftcard to doubt what they think the policy is, they probably meet their metrics, and get to keep their job.

    They do the same thing at sears with their 5 minute or $5 guarantee. Back when I actually shopped there, they never met the 5 minute pickup guarantee, yet somehow I magically never got my $5 gift card. The last time I was actually going to get it, but I told them to forget about it because I wasn’t going to set foot in a Sears ever again.

  77. Difdi says:

    I wonder…since it’s a guarantee, can they be sued, say, in small claims court if they don’t follow through? Might be fun, to go to a store where you KNOW they will fail to meet the deadline and WILL try to refuse you a gift card, to already have the small claims court papers filed…and when they refuse, serve them. Can you just imagine the look on the manager’s face?

  78. eeyore.conspiracy says:


    Unless there’s some sneaky fine print somewhere, you likely could legitimately sue in small claims court. The $24 gift card promise is essentially a liquidated damages contract provision.

  79. smartykat says:

    I ordered some portable iPod speakers online for pickup at a nearby CC because (1) I could use the 15% online coupon, making them a great deal, and (2) I wanted to use the speakers the next day and didn’t want to wait for them to be shipped from an online retailer (at a cheaper price).

    After I arrived at CC, I waited in line at the register for less than 5 minutes, then waited in the pickup area for about 20 minutes, after which I was told that they didn’t have the speakers. The person helping me said that the computer said they had one set in stock, but that they couldn’t find it. They did have the speakers at 2 stores farther away. I said okay, because I wanted the speakers to help make cleaning out my closet over the weekend a little less painful.

    I asked for the $24 gift card because my order wasn’t ready in 24 minutes. The manager reserved the speakers for me at a different store, gave my the $24 gift card, and thanked me for being so nice. I was pissed because the speakers weren’t there, but pitching a fit wouldn’t have made them materialize and would have just put me and the manager in a bad mood. I don’t know whether I’ll purchase something online for in-store pickup again, but I will go back to spend the gift card.