• Report: #2758

Complaint Review: Circuit City

  • Submitted: Wed, July 26, 2000
  • Updated: Fri, July 28, 2000

  • Reported By:Hoffman Estates IL
Circuit City
Carpentersville, Illinois U.S.A.

Thinking of buying an appliance at Circuit City? Read this and you'll think again.

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May 1999 I purchased a Maytag Refrigerator at Circuit City Carpentersville IL. I was specifically looking for the Refrigerator that was rated "Number One" by Consumer's Report, and was sold an "out of box" Maytag MTB2156BEW for a price of about 780 dollars. I was told (twice) by the salesman that I was "mistaken" that the Model I was seeking didn't exist, i.e. that the crankshelf was available only in a side by side.

I didn't want the extended warranty, but it was "thrown in" as part of the deal. I asked twice why this refrigerator was out of box, and was told that "The salesman pressed the wrong color code button" and "It didn't fit in the spot." I was asked to look over the refrigerator and signed a paper stating I agreed to accept any dents and scratches (NONE)...and was given a carbon of the agreement.

First the delivery people "forgot to put it on the truck" and delivery was delayed. I was given a credit for the delay.

When the refrigerator arrived,June 1 1999, with the deliverymen parking in front of a fire hydrant, blocking two driveways, though I had the driveway clear. They were "in a hurry." After they left I discovered all sorts of parts inside, including a *cracked vent plate* that was not cracked in the store. I could not install the part, because the refrigerator was not "leveled" and the clamps also had been cracked on the vent. The day after delivery, I discovered a very small label, size of a file folder label on the side of the freezer door which stated "Display 4/16/98"...therefore, this refrigerator had been "on the floor" over a year when I purchased it, though I was assured it was simply a matter of the salesman had simply pressed the wrong color code button. This refirgerator was also not "new" but was instead a 1998 model.

The original sheet I signed in the store which said "I agree to accept" ...the above dents and scratches (which were none when I inspected the refrigerator) had two "added" circled areas, the vent plate, and the left rear area...added in ball point (my signature and all other information had been in black felt tip. Clearly, the document had been "altered" after I signed it, to indicate I had "accepted" the two areas which were damaged sometime during delivery.

Complaints to the Carpentersville store that I was sold a refrigerator that was over a year old, and that had damage I had not agreed to accept didn't get anywhere...other than I could give them more money, and get a new one. Mid June of 1999 I was told to come into the store and I could get a replacement vent plate. I went in, and they didn't have this part, and I was told I couldn't "claim" it, (even though they had altered the document after I signed it).

I'm disabled on fixed income, and after several contacts couldnt "deal with" them anymore at the store.

A year later, May 2000 I had several indications something was "wrong" with the refrigerator. Ice cream that had obviously turned to soup and was refrozen with ice crystals, deli meat that turned slimey/smelly, within a day, etc, but I had a serious family medical crisis to deal with and didn't have time to worry about the refrigerator.

By June 2000 while I was out of town, my daughter noted that all the food in the freezer had gone bad, and water was on the floor in front of the refrigerator. She was not able to reach me out of town, and called Maytag, not knowing I had the "Extended Warranty" from Circuit City that was to cover repairs. Maytag repair came June 15 and replaced a defrost timer. By June 19, again, the new freezer full of food had again gone bad....and yet another refrigerator/freezer of food had to be thrown out. This time, Circuit City Repair was called (covered by their Extended Warranty). By June 22 the Circuit City Repairman "Gary" came, and stated the reason(s) for the two refrigerator failure in the previous week were 1) When it gets hot, this happens a lot. and 2) You have to move the refrigerator out from the wall, use a screwdriver and "clean" it ...how often? Every three months. I told him it wasn't "hot"..and he asked when the two prior freezer failure were: "Monday"...He said "It was hot Monday...I said no, it wasn't. Gary showed me his sun-burned knees to prove to me it had been "hot" Monday. The highs the two days were 75 and 77 degrees. He removed a *very* small amt of dust from the back of the refrigerator. I phoned the tech back within 45 minutes and read to him the Maytag manual that stated the back of the refrigerator never needed cleaning, and had a sealed conderser. He said "I didn't know that."

The refrigerator was cycling, seeming to cool and then heat again...we had a thermometer inside by now, after throwing out all the food twice in a week.

By June 24 yet another Circuit City Repair Tech came, and he diagnosed a bad defroster and likely would also need another timer (to replace the one put in June 15). He stated it was not safe to keep any food in the refrigerator, and said there was a wiring defect. It was "heating and cooling at the same time." This Technician Matt, didn't "Fix" it, after he saw the previous repairs, and said I'd get a replacement refrigerator, due to the "Lemon Law."

Meantime, I had written and faxed and called all over...including the Corporate OFfices of Circuit City in Richmond Virginia. I also informed Corporate Maytag offices in Newton Iowa and Cleveland Tennessee of the problems.

By June 27, after spending most of the previous ten days writing, faxing, throwing out food, getting bags of ice to try to keep a small amount of food cold, it appeared I was making progress! I was told that finally a replacement refrigerator had been approved and I would get reimbursed for two food losses!
I went with my daughter to Circuit City Carpentersville, and Jennifer Lowe said "I have everything ready"...She said I could take the same model Maytag or look at a Whirlpool. I said the same refrigerator would be fine. She gave me 400 cash for the two food losses and told me my replacement refrigerator would be delivered June 29 at zero balance. I shook hands with her, and was anticiapting having a working refrigerator within two days.

The next morning June 28 I got a call from Marilyn Pandor of the Circuit City Corporate offices in Richmond, telling me that to get the replacement refrigerator I would have to pay an additional 370 dollars, and I asked if she had read what the warranty said. (It states that after 3 complaints, or repairs, a replacement with a comparble model will be given.). She stated that the 370 was forthcoming, because there was a "price difference to be made"...and that I had selected a model that was "different completely"...I asked HOW was the MTB2156BEW different from the MTB2156DEW and she said simply "Different completely." I could either pay another 370 dollars to get the same refrigerator, or else take a "store credit."

I was not pleased, to say the least. I said I would phone her back, and did, leaving a message that the receipt I had recieved June 27 stated that I would have delivery of the replacement refrigerator June 29 at zero balance, and if it were not delivered, it would be a breach of contract and I would take appropriate action.

Circuit City was "aware" I didn't have a refrigerator to use for food, since June 24, if not before.

By July 12 Maytag repairman came (not Circuit City) and he replaced a defroster. He stated that he didn't know why the first Maytag repairman didn't "catch this" back on June 15. He also was amazed that Circuit City Repair had not at least "gotten it up and running" when they discovered a wire short circut on June 24.

The wire leading to the defroster was *burned* and cracked...I have the part. I asked why that happened, and was told it was "the design"...they should "seal them up better"...and "it happens". Though the refrigerator cooled down to 37 degrees by that afternoon, by the next day, to keep the temperature down to a safe level, I was again forced to fill the freezer with store bought bags of ice.

I have filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office with the following complaints:
Deceptive business practice and or misleading representation of product, alteration of agreement on acceptance of condition of merchanidse, after my signature was on document, breach of extended warranty contract (now five complaints, and still no replacement), breach of contract to deliver replacement refrigerator June 29, unqualified Circuit City repair tech, inconvenience to customer, potential health hazard exposure by not repairing refrigerator when needed, and, I would also like to pursue Finanacial Exploitation of the Diabled, based upon the fact that Circuit City wanted another 370 from me to replace with the *same* refrigerator.

I have a letter from Maytag Corporate offices stating that the tow refrigerators are the same, with a few *very* minor differences, and there has been *no* price change between the two models.

The extended warranty was placed on the original receipt as about 100 charge, and the salesman said he had to "deduct" it from the cost of the refrigerator making it look like the refrigerator cost 100 less. I still paid well over 700 on the refrigerator (I believe it was about 785 entered on my Visa).

The refrigerator is cooling, but only with the help of bags of ice, if I would like the luxury of trying to maintain a temperature of 40 degrees or less in the refrigerator.

The bags of ice I've gone through, you wouldnt believe, while I was using ice chests and even now, to try to maintain the fridge temperature.

This is the story of what happens when you buy a refrigerator with extended warranty:"We'll fix it or replace it"

A friend told me that he heard on yesterday's TV news that Circuit City would no longer be selling appliances (only electronics) by the end of the year. Last week a major TV show, Dateline I believe had an expose on "Computer Repair Rip-offs" and of all the stores, Circuit City rated the worst on repair rip-offs. ...Anyone know of a class action suit against Circuit City?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/26/2000 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Circuit-City/Carpentersville-Illinois-60194-1251/Thinking-of-buying-an-appliance-at-Circuit-City-Read-this-and-youll-think-again-2758. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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