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Monday, October 8, 2007

Thousand Oaks Circuit City has got to be the worst company we have ever encountered

I didn't want to use this blog for a complaint board, however I am considering the following as a community service message with the sincerest integrity.

I mistakenly purchased a laptop from the Thousand Oaks Circuit City store last year. I also mistakenly purchased their City Advantage Warranty. It was the most expensive warranty I have ever purchased. $500. In fact, I don't usually purchase warranties at all. But for an expensive laptop, I thought it was worth taking the warranty.

I have had nothing but problems with Circuit City, the laptop, and their warranty. There is no way to contact the corporate office. They shield themselves quite well from consumers as all calls are routed to Manila Philippines. When asking the folks in the Philippines for their corporate contact, they simply state, "I do not have the means to contact the corporate office and can not share that with you". Interestingly, the Circuit City in Thousand Oaks, where the laptop was purchased also states that they have no means to contact corporate. I am wondering what they do if their paycheck is missing? Oh well....maybe next month.

The laptop in question repeatedly shuts off without warning. It could be after 5 minutes or 2 hours. The keys either fall off, or when pressed, type multiple unwanted letters through out the document. This necessitates a second round of proof reading to fix all the errors.

Did I say this is the second time in one year that this has happened? Did I also say, this is the second laptop doing the same things? The first was returned the second week of service. Although this one is a year old, it has now been gone for repair a total of 2.5 months, so I guess it is less than a year in service.

The "store director" of the Thousand Oaks Circuit City informs me that there is nothing he can do to assist me. He states that warranty service is handled separately although the purchase is made through Circuit City. Warranty calls always go to either Manila or India. The warranty company is Assurant Solutions, although Circuit City calls it their City Advantage warranty. Although I have a warranty in hand, Assurant seems to change what is covered at each phone call. Kinda like random statements. Although the replacement laptop is supposed to be provided for repeated problems, replacement is at their discretion and arbitrary. Of course there is no way to contact Circuit City corporate. I did get the email of their legal counsel, however a similarly rude and unhelpful response was found there as well.

So, it seems that with Circuit City, one has no other recourse other than small claims court. I have done extensive research on Circuit City on the internet and found many similarly frustrated customers, as well as numerous lawsuits., and no one is able to contact corporate. One would wonder why they are so protectively shielded from consumer contact?

We have all had dissatisfaction with cell phone carriers, but somehow we move on. Perhaps changing carriers and grumble about our experiences along the way. However I have never encountered such rude, sales hungry no matter what they have to say to get the sale, and purely worthless warranty as with Circuit City. It has been that bad as to warrant this community service message to our local clients toward the aim of consumer empowerment.

Throughout the last view years, I have noticed PC Club on Thousand Oaks Blvd to be outstanding in service. They build computers and laptops and also service them onsite. There is no need to call some distant person in Manila or India that cares little about consumer needs as they will never have to speak with that person again. I guess this speaks a lot about supporting local businesses and old fashioned service.

In this world of "big boxes" and phone voice menus, old fashioned values and service is getting to be harder to find and something we are slowly letting go of. How sad. It's like walking into a stinky room and not noticing the smell after a while, we acquiesce. I encourage readers to do a google search on "complaints Circuit City". This is something that this writer should have done before entering the Thousand Oaks Circuit City store. Choose wisely before giving your money to Circuit City. They are on the receiving end of a lot of bad feedback and they don't seem to care. In check the companies financials, they also make the bulk of their money from their warranty sales. This was found recently by an independent rating firm that is unrelated to the Wall Street houses that may have conflict of interests in rating Fortune 500 companies. Circuit City is also the owner of Car Max. Glad I didn't purchase a car from them.

The bottom line of this laptop story is that the warranty company sent the laptop to Nexicor in Simi Valley for repair. Nexicor said the laptop needed the fan "dusted" off and now after a one hour test, it is working fine. Funny they didn't notice any "dust" in the Thousand Oaks Circuit City when they opened the laptop several weeks before. The Thousand Oaks Circuit City store said that the laptop was shutting down in their presence when testing it for several days. But then the warranty company didn't observe that. Now after a mere dusting after the second trip to a repair facility, it suddenly working? But then I wouldn't know this as Nexicor sent the laptop to the wrong address through DHL over a week ago and the laptop is now lost. They currently indicate that they can't help me with locating it as I have should now be working with DHL for a resolution. That's funny, didn't Circuit City get the money for the laptop? At this point, I have not had the laptop in my possession for over a month and everyone of the above business claims it is not their responsibility.

When you consider purchasing consumer electronics, I would highly recommend working with a local business that can provide service locally in our own community. Since we have purchased one computer from PC Club that has never needed either software or hardware support, I would highly recommend them, plus they are right there when you need them. Their corporate office is in City of Industry, however repairs are accomplished at the Thousand Oaks Blvd location.

If you are similarly situated as myself with a Circuit City matter, I would welcome your comments and contact. Perhaps a class action suit with respect to their warranty service is needed. If companies continue to get away with this type of bad behavior they are still around to take advantage of the next community member.


Anonymous said...

Circuit City corporate phone number is: 804-527-4000. Go get 'em.

Anonymous said...

I complete despise Circuit City. I had a car stereo installed in my 17 year olds car and they mutilated his dash in the process. They admit responsibility. Wray Mazda says it will take $2800 to replace dash, but their insurance company says I have to have an estimator come look at the car as well.
I didn't make the damage, yet I am the one who is having to spend my time and my gas getting a resolve. I called the "care" center, yeah right, just to be able to talk to someone higher up and express my displeasure over this entire process only to speak to a call center rep who refused to give out that info. I will NEVER shop in Circuit City again and will tell every human being the same thing. Maybe in 10 years it will have an effect on their business. Probably not, but telling people will be the small bit of satisfaction I get from this entire process!