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Friday, September 28, 2007

Notary for Consumers Purchasing Extended Constracts at Electronic Stores?

Here'a an idea that I think is worthy of consideration. Why not have a notary meet you at Best Buy, Circuit City, or other site of a salesman offering an extended contract policy to go along with your electronic purchase?

I don't typically purchase extended warranties myself. However, I have gotten them on electronic items that are high risk for damage, such as GPS navigators and laptops. GPS navigators seem to die frequently. Laptops are just high risk for dropping, keys falling off, etc. Well, the contracts seem to make sense.

My GPS from Best Buy did well with the extended warranty from Best Buy. The unit died several times and each time Best Buy replaced it without issue. I was happy I had the warranty and now have much better unit than I started out with.

However, a recent difficulty with Circuit City has taught me the level of dishonesty of Circuit City and the salesman I worked with. I was told that the enormously expensive extended warranty would cover the laptop from all malfunctions and perils. In addition, if something did happen to the laptop, I would have a new unit within a couple of days. Not so. In fact, it's not possible to get a repair within several days. A Circuit City warranty dictates that the laptop must "mailed" out after one must wait several days just to have a box "mailed" to their residence. Then, after the unit is sent, one must wait several weeks to hear anything. Although, the unit was shutting off without warning, it may have had to do with the fan, Circuit City is stating that it is the software and they probably won't be able to do anything with it. Software causing the unit to overheat and turnoff? That's new.

In doing research on Circuit City, it appears that they do this practice with everyone and there are many unhappy customers to be found around on the internet. Websites such as Consumer Affairs. com, My3Cents.com, RipOffReport.com highlight the details of customer experiences that are hair raising. It is a wonder that they are still in business. I know that I wouldn't purchase a battery from them in the future.

But I was thinking. If one found it absolutely necessary to purchase from them, I would highly recommend scheduling a notary to stop by to take a sworn statement from the store manager or salesman with regard to their warranty. The customer can write down what the store is saying in terms of the coverage and how the warranty works, and the notary can notarize the store manager's statement that the document is true. This type of notarization is a "Jurat". I guess this can work for automobiles and other high risk items. I think it's an idea worth considering these days with so many sales persons just saying anything to make a sale, and companies being so uncaring about the consumer.

If the store manager refuses to make a statement regarding how the warranty works, then there's is your information....they are not being truthful. And when you
"mail" your laptop out, you may feel like you'll never see it again. If you find this to be too much effort, I would then just consider patronizing a local store, such as PC Club, that repairs their computers and laptops right in the store, you can speak to them while looking in their eyes, and usually get your unit back in short time.

So if you are considering purchasing from Circuit City in Thousand Oaks, and are interested in getting the bottom line on paper with the sales manager or sales person, give My Mobile Notary a call to get their statement notarized. I would be honored to participate in a consumer protection effort. If the item is less than $5,000, you can utilize the small claims court in Simi Valley with the document if things don't work out the way the store claims they will.

Just a thought.

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