You may remember TigerDirect, a consumer electronics seller that has a website and once had stores across the country. They’re probably best known for acquiring the brands and assets of CompUSA and Circuit City when both chains filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. Now competitor PCM has purchased the TigerDirect brand, and appears to be winding down its consumer-facing business… including abruptly doing away with returns. Any returns.
The new owner is PCM, a company once known as PCMall, which operates that site and also MacMall. The sale happened about five weeks ago, and the final handover of the company and all of its assets (yes, that includes customer lists) will happen by February 2016. PCM opted to hire around 400 TigerDirect employees, mostly salespeople, and about 500 people were laid off as a result of the sale.
Earlier this year, the brothers who founded TigerDirect pleaded guilty to bribery charges. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused them of accepting bribes from vendors for ensuring that companies who paid the brothers got TigerDirect’s business. They’re currently serving sentences in federal prison, and hadn’t worked for the company since 2011.
That’s all very interesting, but what about the TigerDirect return policy? It’s not clear when the company made the change to their site, but the policy officially changed as the clock hit midnight on Christmas. The December 22 version of the page saved on the Internet Archive has a full return policy available, but now that’s changed to “all sales final,” much like a liquidation sale.
Only there’s no indication on the site that there’s anything going on other than a regular old after-Christmas sale. Here’s a sample item page, which doesn’t say that the sale will be final.
We can’t accuse TigerDirect of not telling their customers about the change, though, since there is a warning at the top of the page when you go to check out. However, you have to provide your payment and shipping details to get to this screen.
We contacted the new TigerDirect overlords at PCM to ask them about the abrupt change, but they haven’t yet responded. We will update this post when they do.
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