• Report:  #2639

Complaint Review: Circuit City Stores Inc. - Burnsville Minnesota

Reported By:
- Prior Lake, MN,
Tue, July 11, 2000

Circuit City Stores Inc.
14141 Aldrich Ave Burnsville, 55337 Minnesota, U.S.A.
Computer Stores
Tell us has your experience with this business or person been good? What's this?
On January 3rd I purchased two CTX laptop computers from the Circuit City store in Burnsville, MN. I purchased these as an open box buy at a discounted price. Because of the risk involved I decided to buy the extended warranty at a cost of 100 dollars. The salesperson, Jay Sivasailam, assured me that in the event something went wrong it would be covered for 4 years under this plan. He also told me that the fact the computer was sold as an open box had no effect on the warranty status. The sales receipt also states that all warranties still apply.

After taking the computers home I discovered the Hard Drive on one of the machines was malfunctioning. I had a computer programmer look at it and he told me that it needed to be replaced. That night I contacted my sales person Jay and informed him of the problem, he said to go ahead and bring it in but that it was 8:50pm and the store would be closing at 9. He also said he would be off the following day and to bring it in any time after that so he could resolve the problem personally. Three days later I took the computer back to the store to get service. I contacted the store periodically, each time they told me it was waiting for service. After 2 weeks I pointed out that the warranty stated that if they could not repair or replace the damaged hardware that a loaner should be issued. On 1/16/200 the store manager, Eric, hesitantly complied and issued an older IBM laptop to me.

The store was not attempting to repair the computer but replace it, and since the model had been discontinued they could not issue a new one. The first replacement was also an open box or returned item and it had the same problem the first one did. The second replacement had a badly burned out screen, which made it unusable. After I turned down these computers the store manager told me he could not repair the computer because CTX was out of business and they were not authorized to work on them. I found that CTX was not out of business, but had only discontinued their line of laptops. However they were still honoring their one-year manufacturer warranty. When I contacted CTX they told me that open box buys were not covered under their warranty. This is important because Circuit City has repeatedly told me that all warranties would still apply and that the extended warranty becomes effective when the manufacturer's expires.

In Circuit City's warranty literature it states that if a piece of hardware is not repairable that they would replace it with a model with similar features and functionality. I took our case to the district manager who refused to resolve our problem. I stated to the store manager that I expected a repaired laptop or a model similar in functionality as their warranty states. Later I spoke to the service manager who told me that our laptop had been sold and that they would contact me on what they were going to do. I waited some time and finally received a message from an employee named Ann saying that our laptop had been repaired and all I needed to do was to bring the loaner in. I did not bring the laptop in but I called to verify this. The store then changed its story saying that it was in fact not fixed but repeated to me that it had been sold. After waiting more time I received a letter from Circuit City threatening to take legal action if we did not return the loaner IBM laptop.

By June I decided to take my case to the corporate offices. I thought we had an agreement with a customer service rep, Tasha, for the laptop to be replaced. However after consulting with the store manager she told me that nothing could be done. I then spoke to a supervisor named Sharisse Davis who stated that the reason they could not repair the laptop was because they were not authorized to do so. She also affirmed the reason for not replacing the model with a one with similar features and functionality is because the price difference between what we paid and the price in what a replacement would disqualify it from being comparable features and functionality as stated in the warranty.

It is now July, and the service manager Earl has told me he is going to call the police if I don't return the loaner. I believe that I am not being treated fairly by this company. My goal here is simply to have the company live up to its promises, stand by its written and implied warranties, and repair or replace my laptop.

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