Report: #75070

Complaint Review: GE-Zurich Warranty Management - Circuit City - Nationwide

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  • Reported By: Anytown Illinois
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  • GE-Zurich Warranty Management - Circuit City www.gezwm.com Nationwide U.S.A.

GE-Zurich Warranty Management And Circuit City The truth about Circuit City and GEZWM former employee tell you like it is warranty ripoff Nationwide

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Here Here! Finally someone that has the gumption to speak the truth.

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Hello, I am a former employee of GE-Zurich Warranty Management. For those of you who don't know, GEZWM is the company that fulfills the warranties that Circuit City sells with their computers, printers, digital cameras, and a few other devices. The warranty plan used to be called Computer Support Plus, but it has changed to CityAdvantage Computer Support. I just thought I would let you know a few things about this warranty and hopefully save some people from wasting their money.

I would like to start out by pointing out the main source of this whole mess, Circuit City. I never had a problem with CC until I worked at GE for a while, and by the time I left they were my worst enemy. I would most definitely say that the number one cause of people being unsatisfied with this warranty is the fact that CC misinforms them at the time of purchase. I have talked to a countless amount of people who were sold this warranty based on the fact that it "covers everything". People are constantly getting very upset when they find out from us that certain things are not covered, such as physical damage and software. People are either just not told what the warranty doesn't cover or sometimes are just told completely false information. To use a specific example, physical damage is a red flag to us, and it is something that under no circumstance is covered by the warranty. I talked to someone who was actually told by a CC sales rep that they could take a pen and repeatedly stab it into the side of the computer and it would be covered. This was absolutely not the only time I heard something like this. I don't know if it's that the CC sales reps are just ignorant of the terms and conditions of the warranty or if they're just simply lying to get their commission (they used to get commission anyway) but I have never once heard of a CC rep telling the complete truth about this warranty.

One of the things that the warranty for desktop computers includes is "In-Home Service". A lot of people are led to beleive that this means that all they have to do is give us a call and a technician will be on their way to take a look at their computer and repair it. This causes many people who probably shouldn't be troubleshooting over the phone for one reason or another to call us and start out the call by getting angry because of the bad news they receive from us.

CC also only gives the customer a brochure style booklet, which is the only warranty documentation they receive at the time of purchase. CC has copies of the terms and conditions of the warranty, but only gives them to customers upon request. I could get into more details, but this report isn't just about Circuit City.

The other half of the problem is the policies of GEZWM. This is where the whole "rip-off" thing comes into play. There are so many ways that this company thought up to selfishly save a couple more dollars at the minor expense of bending people over and raping them (as any large corporation does). I hope you know a little bit about computers, because I'm going to list some specific examples here.

If this was a decent company, they would replace parts if the parts showed any sign of failure or replace the entire computer if it had undergone 6 repairs and was still having problems, but unfortunately this is not a decent company we're talking about here. In fact, the only time the "no lemon policy" causes the computer to be replaced is when the exact same part has been replaced 3 times within one year and is still having problems. That hardly EVER happens.

As another example, there is something that hard drive manufacturers developed called SMART failure that predicts when a hard drive is about to fail to allow people to possibly back up their data before the drive finally goes. If you ever see this message, it will come up as the computer is POSTing before Windows loads, so there is no way that this is a software issue. We were not allowed to dispatch a new hard drive based on this alone and were told to tell the customers that this is something that is very sensitive and sometimes just appears even if nothing is wrong with the drive. This is BS. If you have a SMART failure message coming up, YOU HAVE A BAD HARD DRIVE!

Something I forgot to mention is that the warranty only covers "hardware failure". This means TOTAL hardware failure. Some of the guidelines we had were so ridiculous. If we were running a format on a hard drive (which usually takes about 15 to 25 minutes depending on the computer) and it was running slow or not moving at all, we would have to wait 4 hours to see if it will finish before it has been determined that it's a bad drive. That means if the format took 3 and a half hours but actually completed (which would be a really screwed up drive) we would not be able to replace it because it has not actually failed yet. There are so many guidelines like that it's insane. I just recently talked to a customer that smelled an overpowering electrical smell definitely coming from her computer but there were no other symptoms or problems yet. I called my dispatch department and they told me that we can't do anything about it unless there are other symptoms or if there's smoke coming out of the computer. That kind of thing is a fire hazard and the customer was aware of this but we still couldn't do anything. That could turn into an ugly lawsuit if the computer actually caught fire. I could go on about these little details, but that would be way too much typing.

So you might be wondering... would I ever buy this warranty? Hell no! The only way this warranty could work out to my advantage is if some component actually failed entirely or just because I know what they want to hear since I worked there. By the way, here's a tip. Don't ever buy one of these warranties for a printer. If you do have one and you call in to get the printer replaced, they will tell you to replace the ink cartridges (it doesn't even matter what kind of an issue it is). Just tell them that you have replaced the cartridges after the issue started and within the last 30 days, unless you feel that the problem might actually be the cartridges (like a print quality issue). The reason I'm telling you this is because even if you replaced the cartidges the day after the problem started, but it was more than 30 days ago they will still make you replace them. Also, the cost of cartridges can easily add up almost to the cost of the entire printer, and if you have a Canon printer, they require a print head too which is one of the "consumable items" and costs around $115 if I remember correctly. You can imagine the rage that we had to deal with because of this.

Oh and something I forgot to mention earlier, almost all replaced parts are refurbished so your repairs or replacements are destined for more problems in the future. Yeah, isn't that nice.

By the way, the reason I don't work there any more is because Zurich dropped its partnership with GE and they shut down the Chicago call center (the only other one is in Dallas and is much larger) and I was part of that lay-off. As a result, GE will be teaming up with someone else (I can't remember the name) and we might actually see some policy changes (we can only hope).

If you do have one of these warranties and you have to call in, please try to remember that the person you're speaking with is just doing their job and trying to not get fired, so don't take your anger out on them.

Well, I've wanted to get this stuff off of my chest for a while, so thanks for talking the time to read this and I hope it helps you in some way.

Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty I'm free at last!

--Just an anonymous passer of information

Anytown, Illinois

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on GE-Zurich

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Circuit City

Click here to read The *EDitorial: The Marketing Rebate Rip Off ...Manufactures invent reasons why not to pay the consumer

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/16/2003 01:14 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ge-zurich-warranty-management-circuit-city/nationwide/ge-zurich-warranty-management-and-circuit-city-the-truth-about-circuit-city-and-gezwm-form-75070. 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 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Here Here! Finally someone that has the gumption to speak the truth.

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

POSTED: Friday, May 14, 2004

For you see I was employed at GE/Zurich and probably know the individual that wrote the above remarks. I too left just before the Chicago/Hoffman Estates office shut down.

Let me add that failure has to be COMPLETE! A CD-Rom that works 1 time out of 10 is not considered to have failed, and therefore is not elegible for replacement.

Lengthy troubleshooting techniques are (in my opinion) set forth to frustrate the customer and make them finally throw their hands up in the air and say I quit!

It's true! Not EVERTHING (in fact almost nothing) is covered. Don't forget you do NOT get a new part to replace what you had, you get a refurbished (fancy name for used) part that was at one time defective, and some tech breathed another month or two of life into it.

Software is NOT covered! Windows is software. So when it becomes corrupt, the only FOOLPROOF way of repairing it is to wipe everything off, which for some people includes their Family Tree that they have been tracking for years, the only picture you have of your now late mother or father, and all that music you have accumulated when it was free to download.

The best warranty for your computer is to take a few minutes to learn how it works. Learn to make Backups. Store important stuff on CDS or Floppies, in another room and preferably in another home.

Take that Restore CD and use it for a drink coaster. Most of these do not allow for the extraction of one program. It will require you format (erase) your computer and reload everything. Instead, invest in a Full Version of Windows. There are alot of Free Programs available that do the same thing as Microsoft Money, Word, and Excel, which might have been included on your Restore CD.

Don't be fooled by Brand names on the ouside of the Computer. An HP computer may use a Maxtor Hard Drive which is the SAME Hard Drive available in a non-name brand. If you are a casual computer user and pay over $700 for a quality computer, then YOU HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF! Even "gamers" can get a quality computer for under $1500.00.

Did you know that every hard drive comes with at least a one year manufacturers warranty? Some Monitors have up to three years. Most of the time by the time your computer needs any SERIOUS hardware adjustments, the state of computers has changed so drastically, that you will be able to buy a faster, sleeker, more advanced computer for a little more than the price of fixing an old outdated one.

In conclusion, stay away from extended warranties altogether. Especially the ones offered by Circuit City. If you still buy one after reading this and the previous posting, do not say you were not warned!

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