Report: #4431

Complaint Review: circuit city stores inc (CEO W. Alan McCullough)

  • Submitted: Mon, February 12, 2001
  • Updated: Thu, August 09, 2001
  • Reported By: kokomo in
  • circuit city stores inc (CEO W. Alan McCullough)
    9950 Mayland Drive
    Richmond & kokomo, VA, IN

Circuit City refused return of defective brand new HP computer *UPDATE

*0: circuit city store, kokomo IN,. I lost

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

FEBRUARY 28, 2001

Original computer purchase: Compaq brand. It died after 1 hour use. I got a replacement machine.

This second machine slowed noticeably. After more loaners and exchanges, (all Compaq), we decided to give up on Compaq; salesman Tom Baldwin arranged for my FOURTH machine on

Hewlett Packard model 8760c (ser US03004724). Immediately I was aware of two problems: the machine is NOISY during operation, and emits a different, intermittent groaning noise in standby mode. I tried using my aircraft style hearing protectors, but of course this is not practical. I called technical assistance a number of times, tried all the proposed steps:

Though I knew that I'd need service, I elected to try to use it for a few weeks to see if any other defects became apparent.

The connect light quit working. Made more calls to tech assistance.

Disconnected and returned the machine to the store. While I stood and waited, sales people there tinkered on it for three hours: no help. In fact, salesman Matt Vieke made some changes that IMPAIRED my operations. MORE frustration. This required MORE calls to find how to undo HIS mistakes.

The machine started to occasionally fail to go to standby. Frequent error messages. Sometimes no shutdown. More calls to the HP technician.

I wrote a certified letter to sales manager Scott Keen, requesting resolution. His only reply, We can send it in for service.

Worried and frustrated, I returned the unit, with keyboard, to the store for service. I included a detailed written description of the problems. Though I asked, I did not get a loaner for another week.

The (out of state) technician called me: he did not get the keyboard, and he seemed unsure about the symptoms and their solutions. He thought he'd replace some parts, but would not say how long this might take.

Having received no results, I wrote a certified letter to store manager Carolyn Heery, summarizing the list of difficulties, requesting an exchange or refund.

I alerted Circuit City customer service department, (Lithia Springs, GA), via small claim.

After nearly a month in the shop, my computer was finally returned to me. The keyboard was missing! I had to stand and wait while someone searched and finally came up with a similar substitute. (NOT the original)

Although the papers indicated that parts were replaced,

In fact, I had the additional problem that the machine would not reliably stay in standby mode. At random times, from 3 min. to 3 hours, it now awakes, which is quite obvious due to its noise.

I wrote (certified) a courteous letter to Circuit City CEO W. Alan McCullough, Richmond, VA, reviewing the troubling history, and asking for a refund.

At the initial court appearance, Judge Hainlen said that the defendant would need an attorney; case continued to 2/28/01.


1. NOISY during normal operation.
2. NOISE, intermittent, moaning in standby mode.
3. No connect light operation (leaving no visual on-line indication)
4. Random failure to stay in standby mode. (spontaneously awakes)
5. Awakes, unwanted, from standby mode every time phone rings.
6. Occasionally freezes up, that is, refuses to accept any command,
requiring manual shut-down and re-start procedure.

Due to these numerous, persistent problems, I have NEVER YET been able to use and enjoy normally this BRAND NEW machine. My patience has been exhausted: I do not seek replacement; I now respectfully request a full refund:


computer: $1330
service agreement: $ 360
tax: $ 66.50
interest*: 6 months at 7% annual rate: $ 60.00 total: $1816.50

Plus a reasonable amount to be determined by the court, to partially offset the inordinate amount of time and effort I've lost in dealing with these unnecessary difficulties. Estimated: $100 to $400.

Thank you,

Marc Scharf

*interest = principal X rate X time = $1756.50 X .07 X 6 mo. = $60.00

cc: Attorney Michael Bolinger
215 N Washington St., Kokomo IN 46901
file: COURT CLAIM DETAIL 2 4 01 (rev 2/6)
attached: original receipt
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#1 0

circuit city store, kokomo IN,. I lost

AUTHOR: - ()

After considerable foot-dragging (several delays) by ckt city, the case was heard in small claims court. The defendant hired an attorney, who was apparently pretty good at challenging my case.

I appeared on my own. I assume that they showed that I had complained too much, and that they had done enough. The judgment gives no details or reasons. Since my little-used HP computer was

unusable, and I had exhausted my ability to get justly compensated, I got rid of it, and got another brand.

End of story; guess I'll just have to consider it a $2000 "lesson" in retailing.

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