• Report: #305567

Complaint Review: Circuit City

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  • Submitted: Sat, February 02, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, April 02, 2008

  • Reported By:Allentown Pennsylvania
Circuit City
9954 Mayland Drive Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.

Circuit City Who ever heard of a 14 day return policy? Why is the policy on the BACK of the receipt? Richmond Virginia

*UPDATE Employee: Response to Nikki, RE: Holiday Return Policy

*UPDATE Employee: Response to Nikki, RE: Holiday Return Policy

*UPDATE Employee: Response to Nikki, RE: Holiday Return Policy

*Consumer Comment: Happened to me to.

*Consumer Comment: Understanding the "WHY"

*UPDATE Employee: 14 Days on Electronics is Common Practice

*Consumer Comment: Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

*Consumer Comment: Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

*Consumer Comment: Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

*Consumer Comment: Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

*Consumer Comment: Not a Rip Off

*Consumer Comment: Not a Rip Off

*Consumer Comment: Not a Rip Off

*Consumer Comment: Not a Rip Off

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On December 18th, my husband bought our son a digital camera for Christmas. Our son, however, is really not interested in the camera or photography, but he did not return the camera right away because he did not want to hurt his dad's feelings and because he did not want to have to hassle with the post-Christmas retail crowds. He finally made the decision in mid-January to exchange the camera for audio equipment, but Circuit City refused to take the camera back or even give him store credit because it is their policy to only take returns for 14 days after the purchase of digital cameras and computers. (For Christmas gifts, they extended the window to January 8 -- whoopee!) I tried to argue with the store manager that two weeks is an unreasonable time frame, but the store manager was rude and clearly had never heard of empathizing with customers and trying to make an unhappy customer feel less unhappy. He just couldn't care less.

According to him, 14 days is the industry standard and I should have seen the policy on the back of the receipt. What?! Why on earth would I look at the BACK of the receipt? If the information is important, it should be on the front, not the back.

I then called corporate Customer Service who, after half an hour, told me the same thing. Then they made the situation worse by telling me that they had provided a resolution, and even if I didn't like that resolution, it was nevertheless resolved.

Next, I called Best Buy and found out that if we had bought the camera there, we could have returned it until the end of January. And K-mart's policy is even more generous: 90 days.

I'm going to send a certified return-receipt-requested letter to Circuit City's CEO and see if he is willing to stand by his bad policy. My guess is that he will. After all, the policy had to have been handed down from the top.

Martha
Allentown, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/02/2008 04:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Circuit-City/Richmond-Virginia-23233/Circuit-City-Who-ever-heard-of-a-14-day-return-policy-Why-is-the-policy-on-the-BACK-of-th-305567. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 14Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Response to Nikki, RE: Holiday Return Policy

AUTHOR: Lauren - (U.S.A.)

You mentioned that your attempt to return your purchase from Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) was rejected on December 20, 2007, and the reason for the rejection was that the Holiday Return Policy did not cover purchases made in November. In fact, the Holiday Return Policy begins on Black Friday, so any purchases made after Thanksgiving would be returnable until 30 days after Christmas (unless a 14 day return policy applies to that item, then it would be returnable until 14 days after Christmas.)

Just wanted to clear that up :)
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Response to Nikki, RE: Holiday Return Policy

AUTHOR: Lauren - (U.S.A.)

You mentioned that your attempt to return your purchase from Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) was rejected on December 20, 2007, and the reason for the rejection was that the Holiday Return Policy did not cover purchases made in November. In fact, the Holiday Return Policy begins on Black Friday, so any purchases made after Thanksgiving would be returnable until 30 days after Christmas (unless a 14 day return policy applies to that item, then it would be returnable until 14 days after Christmas.)

Just wanted to clear that up :)
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Response to Nikki, RE: Holiday Return Policy

AUTHOR: Lauren - (U.S.A.)

You mentioned that your attempt to return your purchase from Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) was rejected on December 20, 2007, and the reason for the rejection was that the Holiday Return Policy did not cover purchases made in November. In fact, the Holiday Return Policy begins on Black Friday, so any purchases made after Thanksgiving would be returnable until 30 days after Christmas (unless a 14 day return policy applies to that item, then it would be returnable until 14 days after Christmas.)

Just wanted to clear that up :)
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#4 Consumer Comment

Happened to me to.

AUTHOR: Nikki - (U.S.A.)

I went there on the Friday after Thanksgiving and bought Christmas presents (I know, crazy me). Found out around December 20th that my brother already had what I bought him. I couldn't return it because it was after the 14 day return policy and was told the special extension for returning Christmas gifts didn't count because I made the purchase in November. Not really fair since the biggest Christmas shopping day is supposedly the day after Thanksgiving.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Understanding the "WHY"

AUTHOR: Mmy - (U.S.A.)

Martha,

After reading your statement, it is very unfortunate you had a bad experience with this retailer. But I believe that if maybe you (and customers in general) understood "WHY" these policies are put in place by retailers, situations such as your own could be avoided.

One must first understand the relationship between a retailer and manufactures. Manufactures are continuously developing new way of improving their products, trying to make it better for the consumer, which in turn forces them to start producing new models (forcing them to stop producing older ones).
Because technology is continuously changing, it forces companies to sell through old product once that new product hit's the shelf. Hence, why companies such as Best Buy and Circuit City establish return policies.

Now I'm not stating that a digital camera's shelf life is 14 days. That definitely is not what I'm implying.
It basically a guideline established by an organization in order to control its inventory levels and financial stability. After all, isn't that why these retailers are here profitability. Margins are high on new models and older models have little to no margin.

Hopefully now you have a better understanding as to why your product wasn't returned. It sounds like the company was just following their company guide lines and in your situation well, you fell out within the time frame allowed for a return.

I'm very curious to see how the CEO would handle this situation. Will he make the exception for you because of your complaint and allow you to return the item at a nearby store. If so, would he extended that same generosity to all other customers who tried to return Christmas gifts and were rejected by someone at store level but never.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

14 Days on Electronics is Common Practice

AUTHOR: Dnef - (U.S.A.)

Sorry to hear about your frustrations and bad experience. The 14 day return policy on digital cameras and the like is common practice in the industry and has been for quite some time. I used to work for office depot and in January 2006 they were the last PC retailer to implement a 15% restocking fee. Best Buy and CC have been doing it for years.

And again, under normal circumstances 14 days is ample time to try a product and determine if it's the right one for you, especially with cameras. Honestly, with cameras (again under normal circumstances) a day or 2 should suffice for determinations. Snap a few shops, upload them, play with the features, etc.

Under holiday circumstances though retailers offer different extensions on there respective return policies. CC offers an extension for 2 weeks after Christmas Day. The understanding there being if it's a gift, it will be opened on X-mas day, thus making the (understood) date of purchase as Dec. 25th, with your 14 days starting on your (understood) date of purchase.

The corporate customer service associate you spoke with (albeit rude if they spoke to you in the tone your suggesting) was 100% accurate. It is our company policy and unfortunately there was nothing we could've done for you. It was not our mistake that you did not understand the holiday return policy, but it is an unfortunate turn of events nonetheless.

The return policy is stated on the back of the receipt simply because if we printed your transaction info + the return policy info on the same side neither would be clearly legible. This way, both pieces of vital information are clearly visible with a simple flick of the wrist. Also because it is much less of a hassle both for you (the customer) and us (the employee) to print both receipt and return policy (pre-printed on rolls) on one piece of paper. That way there are no mix ups...like: "sorry I forgot to give that customer a copy of the policy" or customer's claiming "oh I never received a copy of the policy". Think of it as CC's version of CYA. We ARE going to give you your receipt and there's NO WAY you'll leave without it anyway since you know if you return your item you'll need it, plus if you have rebates you'll need it for those as well. So it's guaranteed that each customer leaving the store is provided with a copy of the return policy. It's MUCH more of a streamlined process this way. :)

Also, as I stated earlier, each companies holiday return policy differs to some extent.

Best Buy's NORMAL return policy on Digital Cameras (etc.) are as follows:

"14-day return period
We accept returns or exchanges 14 days from the original purchase on computers, monitors, notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors and video games purchased as used." (bestbuy.com)

when compared to ours (CC's):

"Digital cameras, camcorders, desktop PCs, notebook PCs, monitors, printers, scanners, projectors, PDAs, mobile video, GPS and radar detectors must be returned within 14 days of the sale date, and (except where prohibited by law) are subject to a 15% restocking fee if returned opened or in a non-factory sealed box." (circuitcity.com)

They are almost identical.

So, on these notes, once again I apologize for the inconvenience caused by your neglecting to take time to understand our holiday return policy; but regretfully, we followed our policy as stated in our guidelines, in turn doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Happy Shopping!!
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#7 Consumer Comment

Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

Digital cameras, camcorders, desktop PCs, notebook PCs, monitors, printers, scanners, projectors, PDAs, mobile video, GPS and radar detectors must be returned within 14 days of the sale date, and (except where prohibited by law) are subject to a 15% restocking fee if returned opened or in a non-factory sealed box.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

Digital cameras, camcorders, desktop PCs, notebook PCs, monitors, printers, scanners, projectors, PDAs, mobile video, GPS and radar detectors must be returned within 14 days of the sale date, and (except where prohibited by law) are subject to a 15% restocking fee if returned opened or in a non-factory sealed box.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

Digital cameras, camcorders, desktop PCs, notebook PCs, monitors, printers, scanners, projectors, PDAs, mobile video, GPS and radar detectors must be returned within 14 days of the sale date, and (except where prohibited by law) are subject to a 15% restocking fee if returned opened or in a non-factory sealed box.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Here is the policy from circuitcity.com

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

Digital cameras, camcorders, desktop PCs, notebook PCs, monitors, printers, scanners, projectors, PDAs, mobile video, GPS and radar detectors must be returned within 14 days of the sale date, and (except where prohibited by law) are subject to a 15% restocking fee if returned opened or in a non-factory sealed box.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Not a Rip Off

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

This is nothing new. CC's policy is published online, on their receipts and in stores. I dont see what the big deal is and I am pretty sure that CEO is aware of this return policy. Best Buy has the same return policy so i dont know what u r talking about. You, me and many others wish there were return policies with no deadine. So I dont know why u should be the only exception to be allowed to return ur digital camera beyond the return policy....
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#12 Consumer Comment

Not a Rip Off

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

This is nothing new. CC's policy is published online, on their receipts and in stores. I dont see what the big deal is and I am pretty sure that CEO is aware of this return policy. Best Buy has the same return policy so i dont know what u r talking about. You, me and many others wish there were return policies with no deadine. So I dont know why u should be the only exception to be allowed to return ur digital camera beyond the return policy....
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#13 Consumer Comment

Not a Rip Off

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

This is nothing new. CC's policy is published online, on their receipts and in stores. I dont see what the big deal is and I am pretty sure that CEO is aware of this return policy. Best Buy has the same return policy so i dont know what u r talking about. You, me and many others wish there were return policies with no deadine. So I dont know why u should be the only exception to be allowed to return ur digital camera beyond the return policy....
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#14 Consumer Comment

Not a Rip Off

AUTHOR: Cc - (U.S.A.)

This is nothing new. CC's policy is published online, on their receipts and in stores. I dont see what the big deal is and I am pretty sure that CEO is aware of this return policy. Best Buy has the same return policy so i dont know what u r talking about. You, me and many others wish there were return policies with no deadine. So I dont know why u should be the only exception to be allowed to return ur digital camera beyond the return policy....
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