Circuit City Sells Counterfeit Camera For $1134.99, Customer Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Circuit City sold Ronald a fake camera for $1134.99, and now they’re holding the fake and his money hostage. The camera was no Kodak disposable, but a Nikon D90 Digital SLR. When he opened the box at home, inside was a D50 covered with crappy D90 stickers and affixed with a fake serial plate. Circuit City should give him his money back or a new D90. Why should Ronald be punished for Circuit City’s inability to maintain control over their supply chain? He shouldn’t. He should file a chargeback with his credit card company. Ronald’s letter of complaint to Circuit City’s consumer affairs group (, inside…

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to convey my displeasure concerning an ongoing, completely unsatisfactory retail experience with Circuit City. Yesterday, October 28, 2008, I purchased a Nikon D90 Digital SLR camera at store number 854 for $1021.49 ($1134.99 -10% coupon) plus Maryland state sales tax. It was sold as new and unopened. Upon unboxing later that evening, I discovered the camera was in fact counterfeit. A lesser model, the D50, had been altered to appear to be a D90. Crude D90 stickers covered the model badging and a false serial plate was placed on the underside. A number of accessories were also missing and the included product information was entirely Spanish. (If needed, I can provide all serial numbers attributed to the box and its contents and photos to support my statements)

I contacted the store via telephone early this morning and explained my findings to the Floor Leader, Charles. He was immediately suspicious of me and first and foremost explained that I should not expect an immediate refund or exchange, and that they needed the camera to “investigate.” I visited the store this afternoon to return the camera and review my options with Charles. Charles again stated he would not refund or exchange the counterfeit camera and stated loss prevention was going to investigate, and that I would be contacted in 24-48 hours. He was not open to, nor would he discuss any alternatives. The Manager on duty made no attempt to address the situation. The Floor Leader simply ran back and forth between me and the manager conveying next steps and my options.

I returned to the store later in the afternoon on October 30, 2008 to take pictures of the counterfeit camera for my reference and to obtain a record from the store stating they were in possession of the merchandise. The gentleman I worked with earlier in the morning, Charles, was “on his way out the door” and would not see me. The Manager on duty would not see me either. The CSA Supervisor stated he was the Manager and would help me. The record I obtained from the store to state they are in possession of the counterfeit camera was a handwritten note and initials on the bottom of my receipt. This is simply unbelievable for a major retail chain. I was told “Nikon was tracking the serial numbers.” I frankly do not understand why I am being held “hostage” in this matter. The fact that Circuit City has somehow allowed counterfeit/altered products into its supply chain is not the consumers’ problem, yet, the consumer is being held at fault for this issue. The store and it’s staff have from my perspective, labeled me guilty until proven innocent.

The customer service staff made no effort to apologize for my inconvenience ( I live 30 miles from the store, and I’m facing four to five trips to take care of this) or for the sheer embarrassment of a major specialty retail outlet selling customers counterfeit merchandise. I am deeply disappointed in Circuit City’s handling of this situation thus far.

In the end, I sit here writing this account with no faith in the company or it’s store employees, no camera, and Circuit City holding approximately $1100 of my funds.

I hope to expedite the handling of this issue and pass along my observations of store personnel and vague policies that continue to damage the reputation of your company.


Ronald P.

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