Circuit City Says Rogue Firedog Was Wrong, Refunds $40 'Repair' Fee

Last week we wrote about a Circuit City customer who was charged $40 without warning for “repairs” to a brand new computer. We received several explanations from Circuit City insiders, both in the comments and through email, that the repair was mandatory—Acer and Circuit City had agreed that instead of pulling the PCs, the retailer’s Firedog techs would flash the BIOS in-store upon purchase. What was unclear was how or why this would fall under the Firedog “Quickstart” service, which is optional and includes things like removing shortcuts from your desktop and setting up your background. (Seriously, check it out here.) Yesterday we received the following interesting email from Circuit City HQ.

Jim at Circuit City’s consumer affairs division wrote,

I have some follow-up information on this matter to share with you.

Thanks to your Web posting, we have been able to determine that a few employees at one of our stores incorrectly charged a customer for work that our firedog techs did on the computer that he purchased. The manufacturer notified us that the PC in question did need a repair and we coordinated the repairs with the manufacturer. The customer should NOT have been charged.

We have reached out to the affected customer to apologize to him for any inconvenience and to make sure a refund is provided. We have also taken steps to ensure that our associates are aware of company policies on this issue.

I hope this information is helpful,

Frankly, we were suspicious that Circuit City was taking advantage of the faulty PC inventory to make a little extra money, so we’re happy to see the company step up and correct this oversight so quickly.