Report: #130149

Complaint Review: Circuitcity

  • Submitted: Fri, February 04, 2005
  • Updated: Mon, July 13, 2009
  • Reported By: millersville Maryland
  • Circuitcity
    7667 Arundel Mills Boulevard
    Hanover,, Maryland

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

About two years I bought sony 36xbr800 from Circuit City. I also purchased the 3 year extended warranty which expires in Sept. 2005. Since april of 2004 I have had problems with the corners being blurred and the color fading on the TV. I called Circuits City's Service Department (as instructed), and had a tech visit my home. He stated that the problem was due to my surround sound speakers and that I should move them, which I did.

The problem recurred again, and I, again, called the techs back out and the tech made an "adjustment" on the inside of the tv and told me that "should hopefully take care of the situation". This was in July of 2004. The problem recurred again, in Sept of 2004, Nov of 2004 and Jan of 2005 and at all times techs came out and said the problem was due to my surround sound speakers. (The last two techs just told me to move my speakers further away (they were already across the room) and waved some wand like device in front of the tv and said its fixed. The problem has since again happened.

I contacted Circuit City Service Department and stated that per their warranty after THREE visits the tv was to be replaced (now, mind you, they've come out FIVE times)...I had a case file opened and at first was told that the first two times didn't cound because it was under manufactuors warranty even though the manufactuors warranty expired in September of 2003. I stated that even if that were the case the other 3 times qualifies me per their documentation. I was told that they would look into it, and would be advised.

At first I was promised the amount of the tv refunded along with the amount of the warranty (even though I didn't request the warranty be refunded) and was told that a check was in the mail. Nothing came. I called back and was told that the case was being "further reviewed" by a Mr. Greg Miller in the Corporate Office Escalation Department (phone number 1-800-251-2665, ext 8014) and he told me that this problem sounded like it fell under the company's "lemon law" and that an exchange should be granted.

So I waited, and was finally told that the warranty manager declined the request because "no actual parts were replaced in the tv" and "a convergence problem is not something that can be related to the replacement cause in the extended warranty"...I was offered that another tech come back out to the house to fix the problem (this would be number SIX) but I declined since the first 5 did nothing.

I then stated that I was going to contact a lawyer (even though I couldn't really afford one), the Better Business Bureau, and my local news agencies Consumer Advocates to assist me with this situation, in which I got the reply "Do what you got to do" and was hung up on. NOW since I said I was going to contact a lawyer, I am told to go through the legal department of Circuit City and they seem as though they won't help me at all.

I am lost in what to do next. My warranty expires September 2005 and I feel that they just may be delaying this until the warranty expires and then I have no legs to stand on. Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you

millersville, Maryland
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/04/2005 01:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment


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

Congratulations David on winning your case. It is amazing how stupid big corporations can be.

As a result of your case I will never go to Circuit City again. I also see that they have closed at least one store where I live. Bad karma.

It is also encouraging to those of us who are currently facing badly behaving corporations. If you are right stick to it, you might just prevail.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

its good that you won

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

congrats. I sorry it took so long and it had to end up that way because your tv was a lemon for sure and I work for and I believe you did the right thing!!!!
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#3 Consumer Comment

David, congrats on your well fought case

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

Thank you David for seeing your case through to the end.

Reminds me of the fight my sister had with compaq and it turned out in her favor as well.

AT least in this complaint, it did show that circuit city was in the wrong (unlike many of the other bogus complaints here).

Nice job David.
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#4 Author of original report

i won

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

I ended up going to court, circuit city lost and they replaced my tv with a samsung hlp5685w dlp worth abot 2000 more than the other tv all at no cost to me
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Just curious as to know what the resolution was....

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

Just curious as to know what the resolution was, any response is appreciated.
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#6 Author of original report

got my court date, now she would like to work out a settlement

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

Well after weeks of waiting, today i got my court date May 6, and also Camy from circuitcity called me today and told me she would like to work out a settlement but she was leaving for vacation and would not be back until May 2
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#7 Author of original report

filed suit

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

well i filed the suit today against circuitcity now I'm just waiting for their response im hoping that they want to quickly settle out of court
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Only trying to help from a CC perspective

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

The gentelman who gave you the long over view of how spekears affect tv's is completley accurate. He should be commended for his time and effort put into his response. I am senior sales associate and Manager In Training at a large circuit city, and I can tell you from 4 years of experience many things casn happen that will cause that "blurry" picture speakers being one of them but on the Sony XBR's that time frame it was an on oing problem. Example is our STORE DISPLAY repeatedley---(hmmm looks mispelled to me) had problems just as you described we used the de-gausing wand as well, same result temporary fix but came back. So we sent several off to be serviced while we just opened a new one for our own use.

To the person who chose to BASH on the Technical person you should be ashamed he was trying to help and was he was correct. Yet your ignorance in this matter rang loud and clear the second you told us you have a 60" tv and yours never does that.This is because of the fact that projection tv's work differently anddo not have the this type of problem. And the depth of the speaker in the cabinet making a difference is just WRONG There is a reason why speakers are considered shielded or unshielded.

As far as what you can do about your problem, since that is why you posted not to hear an argument about what happend to it. First of all the service center in your area is going to have your record on file now with small notes added to it giving them insight into what has been going on. I can say fairly safely that by now they are going to stick to the stance of "well your speakers caused the problem sorry that's not covered" which if this is indeed the case they are right no one can warranty against that. But your golden egg is going to be the fact that those XBR's were notorious for such problems. Stick to this stance, and try and find some more info to back this claim up. I would HIGHLY recommend contacting sony and inquiring about possible recalls or known problems with your tv and I belive there is a good chance Sony may be a very good source of help. XBR is Sony's Flagship tv you bought the best paid big $$ i am sure Sony knows this and will usually do well to help you.

I can tell you from many experiences that threating a lawsuit does nothing for you except make the managers think you are being unreasonable and stop trying to help you. And in all actuallity we (speaking form circuit city's point of view) want to see you end up happy with your purchase cause after all we shop also and we would not want this happening to us either. and it's the nature of electronics to occasionally----(that word looks wrong but it's late) malfunction in a way thats hard to determine what caused it.

BLah BLah BLah
Your best option is to set aside your anger for the moment go in the store DO NOT call bring all your paper work in order and explain the situation peacefully and respectfully the same way you would want to be treated. And just ask them what can be done, don't demand anything just ask what can you do. And as long as you do this some one will help you.

Very important footnote. if you truly feel that the store in your area is just hell bent on not helping you. for example you mouthed off something you should not have. and now it's obvious they ahve an attitude towards you.
Then go to another store in your area and present your case this will avoid any biases.

Good luck and if you get a chance sent an e-mail to see how it goes, perhaps if nothing comes of your situation I could POSSIBLY be of some help on a store level.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Just wanted to explain a bit

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

The reason the company does not seem to want to help you any longer is simple, they can't. It is usually company policies that if someone threatens legal action the people in the company can longer speak to that person or anyone representing that person. At that point all correspondence must be done through the legal department of the company.

I can't count how many times I have seen people bit themselves in the backside with this comment. Unless you are 100% serious about bringing legal action against a company, don't even bring it up. It prevents anyone in the company other than their lawyers to even speak with you.

As far as speakers causing the distortion in the TV, it is 100% possible. Different quality speakers have different quality magnetic shielding on them. If the shielding is low on your particular brand of speaker it is quite possible to cause this type of problem. Some TVs are more susceptible than others as well.

The wand the tech used is called a degaussing wand. If that worked, then yes, some kind of magnetic field is causing the distortion in the TV. Otherwise this "wand" would not have worked.

As far as getting help from them now, you may have burnt all your bridges. Your only course of action at this point may be legal action. Keep in mind however that they could be right and you will be wasting your time and money trying to sue them.
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#10 REBUTTAL Individual responds

i remember you

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

I am the person you spoke with reguarding your ugly a*s tv. let me suggest something to you, its a little thing called toothpaste. d**n! your breath was kickin that day. thats why i didn't even want you to come to the store. I was happy with just the phone conversations we were having, until you brouht that hallitosis mouth over to my store. why do you think i didnt give you your money back, cause your a*s was stankin!! i should file a ripoff report on you for damaging my nose with that stanky a*s s!@#. b***h
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

Magnetic Fields

AUTHOR: Heather - (Canada)

For the man that called me stupid...
I have had this problem with my TV caused by having my AM/FM ALARM CLOCK sitting on my TV. IT was a lil 13 inch TV and after about 6 mnoths the color started to go on it, just in the corner by the Radio.

When I pulled the radio away, the colors got better ,but it was not back to normal. This is how I found out about the magnetic fields. It was my own stupidty for putting the alarm clock on the TV. I wasn't going to go after the company who made the TV ... I caused the damage myself!

This is how I learned about magnetic fields.
It does not happen right away, so try plasing a speaker on your TV for over 6 mnoths and then see what happens.

and BTW, the only reason i posted that he caused the damage was as per his first post "He (the tech)stated that the problem was due to my surround sound speakers and that I should move them, which I did. "
Even the customer was originally told he caused the problem. As it turns out from his last post, this is a common problem with the set he purchased, which he can go after the company for as per his Warranty.

*waiting for your reply in 6 months*
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#12 Author of original report


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

the problem with the tv IS NOT RELATED to the my home theater speakers, my speakes have never been any closer then 5 ft away, after doing my own research i found out that lots of people that have my model have problems with the corners
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#13 REBUTTAL Owner of company

remember what?

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

If you own a 60 inch wide screen then you own a crt projection, dlp, or lcd projection. You would not have the same speaker problems associated with a tube tv due to the casing and placement of the guns. Second of all, how can you claim to have found "the stupidity" in another person's comment when you use the grammar of a six year old. Even though it was a bunch of techno babble it atleast was intelligent.........remember that.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Heather - Chatham, Ontario you are wrong!!

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

i been dealing in all kinds of Experiments, and being the owner of a hdtv wide screen 60 srround sound speakers are very close to my screen no problems at all..

i can't believe you posted that B.S.....
if the "SPEAKER" is in a inclosed BOX it will make nearly Impossible for the mangnet to transmit energy (- or + Polar fields a manget genrates)

if the manget is set to far in the box/speaker ENCLOSURE this would make it impossible for the engery field to transmit a strong Enough singal to "ALTER" or blurr the color of his tv set!!

now i have tryed this on a old pc montior and with no luck the speaker manget didnot produce a strong Enough current to Disrupt or "ALTER" or warp the color.

so i guess you showed your {STUPIDITY} with your ignorant {REPLY}

AND *yes* every person is entitled to there Opinion and so on.......if he paid for a extended warranty and the product is in failure mode he has the right to request tech analysis! to help Remedy the problem at hand. and if the place of business does not honor a warranty or extended warranty they can be in defualt and be liable!!

remember THIS......
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

Magnetic problems with TVs

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

When a speaker is placed close to a standard TV (tube) the magnetic fiels causes the electron beam within the TV to deflect incorrectly. THis looks like someone took the colors in the area and smeared them where the picture looks fine, but the colors are scrambled.

The TV's electron beam is steered by a series of coils at the back of the tube, which cause the electron beam to "draw" the image on the face of the tube, lighting up and creating a picture. The beams can be altered by just about any amount of magnetic field, like from a speaker. The speaker can also magnetize the metal around the speaker, causing the problem to stay even after the speakers are moved. The timing and position of the beam is critical to insure that the beam lights up the proper portion of the screen.

The "wand" that the tech used is called a "de-gaussing coil" and is supposed to remove residual magetism from the speakers.

There are two problems here:

1 The sales person should have explained that placing speakers next to a TV can cause this (it would be quite obvious that speakers purchased for a surround system or stereo TV system would be placed next to the TV), but only if he was aware that they were going to be placed there.

2 The tech should have realized that, after the 20th visit, that the rear of the TV may have to come off so he can de-gauss the tube, chassis and frame, which is most likely made of steel. When de-gaussing just the front, the internal magnetized parts can re-magnetize other parts and cause the same problem again.

Most speakers that are used for TV systems have internal shielding, so it sounds like these were regular stereo speakers, which may not be their problem. If they were designed for TV systems, and the sales person knew that you were going to use them for this, he should have informed you (like if you purchased the TV and speakers together).


1 USING A TECH, and WITH THE TV OFF and UNPLUGGED (CAUTION HIGH VOLTAGE)> The rear of the TV needs to come off. The de-gaussing coil needs to be plugged in and turned on 2 or 3 feet away from the TV and slowly moved closer to the set. Then you move the coil around, ALL the metal parts need to de-magnetised fully. When finished, slowly move the coil away from the TV to a few feet and then shut it off. This prevents an instant surge of magnetic field when shut off, which can do the same as the speaker did. If he didn't do that, then he needs to come back and redo it.

2 You can go to a local sheet metal shop (not heating and AC type) and ask for some pieces of mu-metal or nickel. These would need to be placed against the side of the speaker that faces the TV. It can be put on the outside (ugly) or inside against the inside wall. The pieces can be many smaller ones, they don't need to be grounded and can be taped or glued together. Mark the RIGHT and LEFT speaker, so if you ever move you can get them right. This is why some speakers look the same but are marked L and R.

Mu-metal reflects magnetic fields and so by using it prevents the magnetic field from screwing up the TV.

by the way, mu-metal is pronounced "mew-metal". They actually make a wall paper that is made of fine spun threads of mu-metal and I have used it to shield a room from radio interference that was getting into a stereo system.
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

Hope this helps

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

You need to contact Maryland's Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. You can easily contact them via the Main MD AG's site. They will get back with you via email or other and assign you to someone who will instruct you on what to do and they will also contact the company on your behalf. Make sure you have copies of all your paper work, from the warranty all the way through the repair attempts, they will want copies. Good Luck!
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

Warranties do not cover stupidity

AUTHOR: Heather - (Canada)

I'm actually surprised that they said they would do anything about this in the first place.
THE DAMAGE TO THE DEVICE WAS CAUSED BY YOU!!! Warranties do not cover stupidity. When you put speakers next to, or on a TV it messes up the magnetic fields (to my understanding) and therefore changes the color of the picture. This can be a permananet thing if the speakers have been there long enough.
You put the speakers there, not Circuit City, so stop blaming them for something you caused.
Again, warranites do not cover damages that you create yourself.
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