I went into Circuit City on Labor Day, 9/4/00 to purchase a computer. I asked the salesperson (D. D. Westin, according to my receipt) for the best value on a computer. I was directed to the HP6730 and told that if I bought the package of computer, monitor, and printer, that I would be eligible for a total of $405 in rebates - $305 from Hewlett Packard, and $100 from Circuit City. This transpired in less than 5 minutes.
I was then advised that they did not have the tower at the Roseville store, but that they did have it at the Bloomington store and I could pick it up there. I paid for my entire purchase, $979.76, and left the store.
The next day I went to the Bloomington store to pick up my computer. I saw the salespeople looking and whispering to one another and then a manager was called back. No one could find my computer. I waited for OVER AN HOUR before anyone finally came and told me that a mistake had been made and that they were out of stock. I was told they were on special order and I could either order one or return the items. Considering there was little apology and an "oh, well" attitude, even after leaving me standing and wasting a good part of my day, I decided to purchase my tower elsewhere. I was told it was Roseville's fault for not calling and verifying that the stock was in fact there.
Another one of my co-workers also needed a computer, so I told her about the deal also and we called the Bloomington store and they stated they had the computers in stock. We went to the store on 9/14/00. The extra $100 rebate from Circuit City no longer applied (it was only for the holiday), but according to the salesman (S.H. Sadeghi) the others did. I asked specifically if there was a limit on this rebate because if I put the computer on my credit card, I could get airmiles for it, and was advised NO. The forms I received that printed out at the store say nothing about a limit on the number of rebates one can apply for. So I charged the computer and my co-worker paid me back, less the amount of rebates I would receive.
About a week ago I received a $150 rebate from HP. I called and emailed to determine where the rest of my rebate was. I was told that a 2nd check for $50 had been mailed, but that this was the extent of the rebates I qualify for. I was advised the bundle rebate is all I qualify for and that the rebates CANNOT be combined. I then inquired about the 2nd rebate I sent for and was informed that the rebates ARE ONE PER HOUSEHOLD.
The sale of these items were seriously misrepresented to me and my co-workers, and had we known the true and correct terms of these rebates, we probably would have chosen other items. Speaking for myself, my decision was based almost entirely on the total amount of rebates that were offered, according to the Circuit City salespeople. In addition, the rebate forms printed out at the store were not accurate and neglected to inform me as a consumer of several important facts that there was a limit of one rebate per household, and that the rebate offers were not combinable. I have reviewed these forms and indeed, they omit these important conditions!
The sales associates should be very familiar with the rebates being offered and be able to speak knowledgably about the offers. In fact, on the rebate form it states Please see your sales associate regarding qualifying models or for additional information. This indicates they should be giving correct information. Therefore, I strongly feel that:
1) Circuit City should be held responsible for giving out incorrect rebate forms; and
2) Circuit City should be held responsible for misleading consumers about the ultimate price of an item and the rebates that apply.