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Customer Service Call With Circuit City

Posted on May 1, 2008 at 11:05 PM

As a long-time customer service representative, I am always alert to the customer service shortcomings of the companies I deal with. The following is a particularly bad experience that made me decide not to deal with the provider of this terrible service ever again.

The Story

In June of 2006, I ordered a computer monitor on the Circuit City website. There was a $50 mail-in rebate associated with this monitor on the website.

When the monitor arrived, I looked over the paperwork that came with it, and noticed that the $50 rebate offered by HP did not apply to the monitor I purchased. It was clear that someone at Circuit City had incorrectly associated the HP rebate to the monitor I bought.

Since Circuit City made the mistake, I called their customer service line to get the error resolved. The first hour and a half was spent talking to Circuit City people who variously denied that there was an error, insisted that HP would honor the rebate anyway, blamed me for not reading the rebate material in advance, and simply stonewalling, saying that yes there was an error but no nothing could be done.

I decided to start recording the call after about 90 minutes of this nonsense. There was still 40 minutes left before I got any results. I managed to edit out the hold times and lengthy pauses to get the recording down below 10 minutes.

This was such a clear example of (1) a corporation refusing to admit wrongdoing, (2) trying to make the little guy pay for its mistake, and (3) that 'We don't really care about our customers' attitude that we all get from time to time from these mega-corporations, that I decided to make a video of this and send it public. This is that video. (There's a slideshow as the recording plays for something to look at. The slideshow is composed of photos from different parts of the Pike's Peak region in Colorado.)


Update: I did receive the gift card a week later. At the local store, I bought a few items with it, and have never set foot in a Circuit City since.

Categories: Computers, Miscellaneous