Our son bought an MP3 player from Circuit City a year ago. With it, he bought a two year “extended warrantee” that the store offers called their “Advantage Protection Plan”.
A couple of months ago, the unit stopped working. He and Jonna went through all the rigamarole of pre-work they require before you have to send it in to have them take a look at it, and then they sent it in. Circuit City was unable to fix it so they sent him a gift card for the full price of the MP3 player.
Saturday we went to replace the unit. The boy decided to buy a 30G iPod, and before he bought it we inquired on the state of the extended warranty, specifically whether the two year warranty we bought applied to the replacement or whether we would get a refund for the remaining year.
The person at the counter quoted us this paragraph from their “Advantage Plan”, which appears on page 7 of their service guide:
Upon issuance of a Circuit City Gift Card, or if You are provided a rebuilt product as a replacement, the Contract for Your Electronics Product is deemed fully satisfied. The Contract shall not be transferable to any replacement product, unless otherwise required by state law.
So what does this mean to customers of Circuit City? If you buy electronics from them, buy a two year extended warranty and the merchandise ceases to work in a year and they cannot fix or replace it, you get the amount refunded by a Gift Card for the store and your warrantee is considered “satisfied”. So that remaining year you paid for – gone. You can’t use it on the new unit and have to purchase an additional “Advantage Plan” for a unit that might be faulty like the first one.
Worse, since they do not give cash back, you have to give them additional business. You cannot just get your money back and go somewhere else.
Circuit City really needs to learn a little about taking care of customers, rather than viewing them as something to take advantage of and “extract value from”. A company’s actions towards its customers shows a lot about its philosophy about business.
You can bet that from now on, all of our business will be with Best Buy.