In Sunday's (12/10/00) Charlotte, NC newspaper I found in Circuit City's weekly circular ad a 400-watt Sony receiver being sold as a package with 5 Jensen speakers and 50-watt subwoofer for $299 (the ad listed this price as a $100 savings).
I drove several miles to the store just to check out this deal only to find this package was not on display. When I asked a salesman he asked around and led me to an Aiwa receiver displayed with the Jensen speaker package and with a store-typed disclaimer stating that the ad had been misprinted and the system was actually on sale for $399. The salesman showed me the Sony receiver from the ad and stated that combined with the Jensen speakers the price would be $399. I spoke to a manager named Carlos who disagreed with my complaint that this was not only bad business but also illegal. He stated that the corporate office had misprinted the ad and that there was no way to circulate a retraction. He also stated that there was a sign on the front of the store informing customers about the mistake. I found this to be untrue as I left the store disgruntled, empty-handed, and an ex-Circuit City customer!
I had planned to buy that system and a CD Writer that evening but after feeling duped I spent my $700+ elsewhere. I don't know if I actually have any legal recourse in this matter since those ads are always printed with a BS disclaimer saying that prices may vary in different areas. I doubt I would go to the trouble of pursuing it legally anyway, but I would like to know if what this store did is legal. Even if it is I want others to know that those ads are not to be trusted...and to my surprise Circuit City has turned out to be as integrity-lacking in its business practices as Best Buy and the other major electronics peddlers. Circuit City has lost me as a customer.
Charlotte, North Carolina
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