I sent the following letter to Circuit City's extended service program (ESP) dept. It is fairly self explanatory. What is not expanded on is my original talk with the store service manager. She refused to talk to me about the sales staffs mis-representation of ESP policy, which, by the way, I have been told the same thing by other sales persons in other departments as well.
She refused to talk to me about conflict resolution, she refused to talk to me about any of my complaints. She did, however, threaten to call the police and have me physically removed if I kept talking about the issues I was raising with her and, with the same threat, told me not to talk to the other customers in the return line as I told them of my plight since she refused to discuss them with me. This was all conducted in a civil manor at conversational levels, no loud or rude coments.
I wanted to work towards a resolution to my problem and wanted some accountability about the sales persons misleading information.
She(the manager), told me at the time, that she would refund my ESP contract price in full, on my credit card, which she never did. I have been given the run around, given phone numbers that give pre-recorded messages and in fact, I have never spoken to a live person over the phone about this.
The pre-recorded message(s) for ESP help all tell you to write them for a response. I believe it's a system designed to make it hard to follow through on complaints, returns etc. as they probably figure in many instances people will wear out and not follow through the proccess to resolve their problems.
As I write this, I have received my email back as undeliverable, sent to the email address provided by the Circuit City phone recorded message. Hard to believe isn't it?
Here is my email message;
Better Business Bureau
To Whom It May concern, I would like to get a refund on my ESP policy for a Sony CDX C680 which I returned to your Glen Allen (Richmond, Va.) store in July, 2000. The (service?) manager said she would credit my Circuit City credit card for the entire ESP balance since the unit was still under warranty.
This was after a dispute that I had with that store over what the sales staff had represented the ESP contract covered, which at the time of my purchase, I was very clear about the warranty problems (liquid corrosion damage, which is the same problem I had with the unit bought from your store) I had on a previous unit I bought through another merchant and your sales staff convinced me that your ESP warranty would cover any problems I had with the unit, including this one.
To bring it back in for an EXCHANGE if I had a problem. They suggested if the unit " doesn't sound good to you anymore, bring it in for an EXCHANGE", " if you don't like the display, bring it in for an EXCHANGE"..etc. This was in direct response to my explaining my problems with my previous unit. I would not have bought a second unit nor would I have bought the ESP policy if they had not assured me it would cover my problem.
These units are not cheap, replacing them after 8-10 months, both with the same problem and both with the same conclusion, no warranty, hurts. I believed the salespersons speal, and what was the managers response; "the receipt you signed says different".
Yes, I concede it does but you sign that paper after you make your purchase and have been sold on the ESP contracts benefits by the salesperson. The signing turns in to an after thought, the salesperson asks for a signature without disclosing the fact it is a contract!
I know Circuit City did not grow to be the company it is without providing customers with some sort of service and commitment to them. I don't see that in your store. I see most of my friends and colleagues who return things having disputes and coming away disenchanted by your organization.
Chrysler Motors climbed to the top and quickly fell to the bottom when they lost customer satisfaction, I see Circuit City on the same course. I notice similar complaints on all the consumer watchdog web sites I visit. Every one of them has a list of complaints about your organization. Other large corporations do not seem to have the complaints that you do, think there is a reason for this?
P.S. After two attempts to e-mail this message I have not gotten through, I received them back as undeliverable to the address Circuit City provided on their phone message!