Circuit City's "Advantage Protection Plan" Doesn't Live Up To The Sales Pitch

A reader signing off as “Sucker” wants to let the world know that Circuit City’s extended warranties/replacement plans aren’t living up to the sales pitch. When he bought his XBOX 360, the salesperson assured “Sucker” that if the XBOX broke (as they tend to) that instead of having to wait around for a replacement — he could get a refund in the form of a gift card. He accepted. Guess what didn’t happen?

Last year in August I bought an Xbox 360 Core unit for $279.99 along with a $99.99 Advantage Protection Plus Plan (the extra good plan, I was told) to replace one Xbox that already three-ringed. Anyhow, the sales representative told me that with this protection plan instead of getting my Xbox fixed (should it ever break) they would just give me a gift card worth the original purchase price. He also gave me a pamphlet that said that backed up his claim in writing. I caved and bought it.

So the day finally came when my Xbox broke this summer. Not wanting/needing to wait around on my giftcard, I went out and purchased a new Xbox. I let my broken Xbox hang around for a little while until today I finally got around to registering for a replacement. While filing the claim, Circuit City’s website said that all Xboxes would be replaced with “remanufactured units.” That was not what I paid for. I didn’t need an extra Xbox.

Before filing the claim I gave customer service a ring. As soon as I mentioned the discrepancy they became somewhat hostile. They must have had this issue many times before. I was told, “Look, I’m not going to argue with you, I’m just telling you; This is how it is.” I asked to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor told me that the terms and conditions can change at any time and that they were changed mid-July of this year. I told her that in the documentation that I was given it doesn’t say that the terms could change. She asked if there was anything else she could help me with, and then the call was over.

It really seems like some part of this is illegal, but I’m not a lawyer. I guess I know why they call it a “plan” instead of a “contract” these days. Just wanted to let people not to believe the warranties, even when it’s in writing.

Even if this doesn’t get posted, thanks for listening.

Like they say, only suckers buy extended warranties.


Though this is clearly less convenient than getting a gift card, if you charged the warranty, you could ask your credit card company to get involved. See if they can help you out. Also, there’s nothing stopping you from getting your (extra) XBOX repaired by Microsoft. They have a 3 year warranty for that red ring problem.

And, of course, you could always take Circuit City to small claims court. It’s fun and educational!

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