Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fantastic Buying Experience at Best Buy

If you didn't see the previous post about Circuit City, you should take a look. After my last update having purchased the TV from BestBuy, I was extremely pleased and we watched some movies and TV last night and today. It fits right in with my new Vista Media Center, and looked great watching Heros in 720p.

Today, I saw BestBuy was having a sale for $899 + a $100 rebate. I called, they said I was eligible for the new price, and sure enough I walk away with an extra $119.32 more than I did last night. This has been a wonderful experience. I know there are folks out there who hate Best Buy, but I must say that my experience was absolutely fantastic. Thank you Best Buy Puyallup for making our Holidays bright.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Terrible Experience with Circuit City

I ordered a Samsung 50" 720p DLP TV on 11/23/07 for $799. Throughout the buying process, it said it was available. Upon completing checkout, I was informed that I would have to use the home delivery option for an additional price of $54.99. I agreed. I received a webpage confirmation that I would be contacted within 1-3 days to schedule home delivery.

On 11/24/07, I received an e-mail stating the following:

The product you ordered will require us to transport it to your local delivery center. This transport time usually takes between 3-7 days. When it arrives we will send you a follow-up e-mail to let you know how to schedule your product for Home Delivery. Unfortunately, we are not able to schedule your Home Delivery appointment until your product has arrived at your local delivery center.

I called 1-800-843-2489 which was listed next to my order information online. I was told that the call center was open from 9 AM until 10 PM and that I would have to call back later. It was 8:00 PM.

Ah - e-mail! That will ensure I will receive some information. I type out my story and submit it. 7 days later I received a generic response:

Dear Preston Gallwas,

Thank you for contacting regarding home delivery of your product. If you have not already done so, please call us at 1-800-843-2489, option 3, to schedule your delivery date.

If you are not at home to accept this delivery, our team will leave a card notifying you of the delivery attempt. Should this occur, our delivery department will contact you, or you can contact us to reschedule your appointment. An adult 18 years or older must be present at your home at the time of delivery.

If you have further questions about our delivery services, please don't hesitate to call us!


Alex H.
Customer Support Coordinator
Contact ID #353500

During the time I was waiting for that e-mail, I called the 800 number several times. They put me through to the Delivery department, who put me through to the South Center Circuit city, who said I would need to call the 800 number.

After a few days of that, I finally asked for a supervisor at the South Center location. They said that they had 12 on back order and they are filling them as they come in. I asked for any sort of estimate and got no where. They said that trucks come in on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I decided I'd call back Wednesday the 12th. Another call to the 800 number lead no where.

On December 11, I was reading online and someone said that BestBuy did price matches. I called BestBuy and they confirmed that they do this and to come on in with my receipt. The very helpful rep started the process immediately, found that they had hundreds of the TVs in stock, and 4 in the store. I was giddy. He began the process to match the price, then asked about why it had taken so long. I made the mistake of using the "Black Friday" words...when he informed me they were unable to match those prices. I totally understood, but asked if I could 'take it back'. He chuckled (in fun) and brought me to his manager and she empathized, but said they couldn't do it. They did offer that if Circuit City didn't resolve my issue to come back for a "good deal". They recommended I go to the local Circuit City to resolve this issue in person.

So I did. I spent an hour with their local store manager, who had someone call the 800 number at 8:45. They received the message that they are open from 8 AM until 12:00 AM, and were now closed. With a confused look on their face, they basically got no where. The TV was still on display in the store, but they had none in stock.

On Wednesday, 12/12 I called the South Center Circuit City again and spoke with a manager by the name of Benjamin. He was very defensive at first when I told him I was calling about the 50" Samsung 5075s TV. He said 12 were on backorder and he had no information on when they'd be in. After using a bit of a disarming tactic on him, I asked if I could receive a refund for the home delivery and a free warranty. He said "to be frank, no. There will be no give and take." I politely acknowledged that and said I'd take it up with the folks at the 800 number. After a few more minutes on the phone he explained that he was going to contact the corporate office to see if this could be resolved, either by offering a substitute TV or fulfilling the order(s). I remained adamant that I did not want to cancel my order.

On Saturday, 12/15/07, I called Circuit City's 800 number again and went to customer service to speak with a supervisor. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put through to the home delivery people. The home delivery people said that the TV was not available and they'd transfer me to the local store. I stopped them and asked to be transfered back to the customer service people. They did, but with all the two transfers the phone quality was sucking so I called back.

Upon calling back, I explained the situation and she tried to put me through to the home delivery people. I objected and politely asked to speak a supervisor. She told me none were available so I politely said, "That is okay, I'll hold." After about 20 minutes of saying "That is okay, I'll hold." she came back and said that she could transfer me to the home delivery people or refund my money. I objected, and politely said that I would wait for the next available supervisor. At that point, I asked for her rep # and the case number. I also requested a copy of the phone recording. She said she could not guarantee that I'd receive the recording, but she would note it in the case. She asked if there was anything else I wanted noted in the case. I said that I would like to note that my call was 15 min on the first one and 24 minutes on the second. She added the notes, then asked if I could be placed on hold. I agreed. A few minutes later (about 7-8) she came back and said she could now transfer me to a supervisor.

I waited on hold a few minutes during the transfer and reached someone at the Circuit City corporate office call center. I asked if they were a supervisor, they said no and asked why I was asking. I put the story into context and the lady seemed very empathetic. She asked for the South Center number, I provided it, and she called while placing me on hold. She came back and said the store recording said they were closed (despite the clear notice on the store info page at saying they were open 8am - 11 pm, and it was 9:47 am, obviously local time). She tried again and received the same message. She said she'd continue to try calling them and give me a call back. At that point, I asked for her direct number which she provided. Feeling satisfied I reached someone competent, I let her go for the time being. We'll see how this goes.


She never called me back. I called back several times more and got hung up on. I finally asked for someone's supervisor at the "corporate" number, and got transferred back to the South Center store. The guy I got a hold of said that thats how it works - you go in a loop between the store and the 800 number. He said even if I file a complaint, they're just going to send me back to the store, which will send me to the 800 number. Frustrated, I hung up and went to BestBuy. They had the TV for $1079.99. I asked if they could do $1000 after tax (showing them the CircuitCity receipt) and they said the margin is too small. I then asked for $1100 after tax (so the TV would be about $1,009) and they agreed. Its now in the family room and looks great.

All in all, all I have to say is