Circuit City – “Advantage” Protection Plan?

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.

Unbelievable.

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.

16 thoughts on “Circuit City – “Advantage” Protection Plan?

  1. i’ve had my share of problems with circuit city. i had a replacement plan for my ipod, and when i set a claim, they didn’t include my appartment number in the address. so i emailed them about the problem, and i got a reply stating they fixed it. however, when i checked the address on my claim, it wasn’t touched at all. i emailed them repeatedly until i decided to email them under another account. it was finally changed. safe to say, i’m best buy all the way.

  2. Best Buy is no better – in fact, they have the same plan but have had more issues with people trying to fulfill their claims. I was one of those people.

    The problem is they call their plans a “warranty” – it’s not. It’s a one-time insurance fee good for a set period of time, redeemable for a single repair/replacement of the device. If they explained it this way, though, they’d lose business except for those who have done the cost/benefit analysis and realize that with small electronics that have low QA standards and get banged around a lot in everyday use, it’s probably worth it to purchase this.

  3. I purchased a protectionplan from Circuit city for my Nikon Coolpix camera. When the camera broke, all I got from circuit city was an Email stating that I had to contact Nikon directly. What is the point of a protection plan if the customer has to do all the work? What am I supposed to do if Nikon refuses to repair the camera. I am very unhappy with Circuit City’s response. I will NEVER waste my money on a protection plan again with them.

  4. Ready for this one? We bought the extended warranty for a Samsung 61 inch HD TV in October 2006. On January 20, 2008, our TV began to turn itself off — every 2 to 3 minutes. It takes about a minute to cycle back on when we do turn it back on. Nice people at Circuit City’s Advantage Plan, but they can’t help except turn you over to a local repair shop. Our lamp has been ordered for 2 weeks. We’ve just learned that it is on back order for at least ANOTHER MONTH. We have a $3000 television sitting in our living room, entirely unusable. The service company says they can’t fix it and they’ve “called every distributor in the United States.” Currently on HOLD AGAIN with Circuit City’s consumer affairs department as their Advantage Plan rep can’t help and says their parts department can’t help either. UPDATE: While on HOLD with CC, the local company called to give a case number and said I should call CC!!. Good luck. Will never, ever, ever purchase any item from Circuit City. Would never recommend purchasing their plan AND DON’T BUY SAMSUNG!!!!!

  5. We have just gone through a similar experience with Circuit City. I will NEVER ever purchase anything from them again. We bought a 37″ TV last Christmas (2006) plus an extended warranty plan. Manufacturer’s warranty is 1 year. Wouldn’t you know, right after the manufacturer’s warranty expired, the TV quit working. No picture at all. Call Circuit City to get service. We live in southeastern Wisconsin. The service company they give us is in far northern Wisconsin. After a week of waiting for a service call, the serviceman shows up, checks out the TV, says it’s the panel that needs replacing. Calls from our house to get the authorization, and orders the part. Or at least so I thought. Said it would be 7-10 days and the company would call when the parts came in to set up the service call. 10 days go by. No call. 2 weeks go by. No call. So we call them. And what kind of response do we get. “We have hundreds of customers and your part hasn’t even been ordered yet.” So who’se telling the truth? They said they’d call by the end of the day with the status. No call. So we call Circuit City back. They call the service company. We are told they will get back to us by the end of the business day. No call. No call next day. Call Circuit City again. Nothing they can do until they hear from the service company. I demanded another service company – they said they can’t do that because the part has probably been ordered already. More days go by with no calls. Not even from circuit city. So now we get sent to the Circuit City consumer people. A different person every time you call. And nobody will do anything. By this time we have been without a TV for over a month. And still no satisfaction. We just get told we will have to wait for the service company to return the call – either to us or to Circuit City. Now why in the world is Circuit City doing business with a company that won’t even return THEIR calls. I finally got so irritated I called the TV manufacturer. Of course there’s nothing they will do because it’s past the manufacturer’s warranty but they do offer to do a three-way call to try and help us get some satisfaction. This was on a Friday. Lo and behold, on Monday Circuit City calls to tell us they have determined that the panel which is needed to fix the TV is more than the cost of replacing the TV set so they are going to authorize replacement. But we have to wait 5-7 days for authorization. So again, we wait. Finally a call giving us the authorization codes. But we have to do business with the store they authorize not the store we bought the TV at. Now you would think that things are about to improve. Guess again! I call the store for instructions. Can’t get a manager to save my life. On hold for about an hour before they take my information and say they will call back. So they call back later that day to say we should just bring in the TV and they will replace it. SO we load it into the car and off we go. 20 miles to the store they told us we had to go to. When we get there they pull up the information on the computer. At this point we find out that they had us scheduled for home delivery and setup. Not to mention now they are replacing our TV with a totally different brand. We have no choice in the matter. Take it or leave it. Then they ring up the TV and surprise, surprise, it’s considerably less than what we paid for the original TV. So now we an off brand TV which is worth half of what we originally paid. And Circuit City could care less. I absolutely will never set one foot in their door again and as far as I am concerned I will tell everyone I know not to go anywhere near Circuit City. If this is the way they treat their customers, they don’t even deserve to be in business.

  6. If they gave me credit back for the item I bought a year ago, I personally would be fine with that. I would also consider the terms of the plan “satisfied.” I think people’s expectations on these types of issues are a little high.

  7. I purchased my Xbox 360 in October 2006 with that stupid protection plan. Now, at the time, I worked for Best Buy. When I inquired about their protection plan, the sales manager said “you can bring it in to any Circuit City and get a replacement right there…”

    Yeah, I had to mail my s–t in to them. They received my unit on May 1, and it’s May 12 and still no word from them on whether my refund is in progess or not. When I have to use that gift card to buy another unit, they better not dare ask me if I want that replacement plan because I will blow up at someone

  8. Wish I read this blog before buying my TV at Circuit City last November. Starting in early February (2.5 months after purchase) it started making a really high pitch buzzing noise. But not to worry–I have the Circuit City Advantage Plan. We call them up, they make an appointment for us for Saturday morning and tell us to confirm the appt with the company they subcontracted to come to us. We call the subcontractor and find out they don’t work Saturdays. Oh, and they don’t come to our city. But we can bring it to them (15 miles.) But the Circuit City is only 1 mile from me, so I go there. The manager would “gladly exchange it right there but without a return authorization from the Advantage Plan, he can’t do anything.” Tells us to get the RA number from the advantage plan but we have to wait until Monday because they aren’t open on the weekends. We call Monday, talk to two different people who tell us to just bring the TV back to Circuit City and they will replace it without a number. We don’t need a number. Go back to Circuit City, they can’t help us. “We must have misunderstood” says the manager. “What do you want ME to do about” he asks. I want you to replace it or give me my money back. He can’t do that. (Sooo, why did you ask me what I wanted you to do?) So, I ask him to get us an appointment to come fix the TV. His assistant calls me the next morning, has made me an appointment for Saturday–WITH THE SAME COMPANY WHO DOESN’T WORK SATURDAYS OR COME TO MY CITY. I tell her that and she says–Let me check on this an call you right back. That was 2-1/2 weeks ago.
    They don’t know the meaning of customer service. $1200 and I can’t get even watch the TV without earplugs.
    Nice.

  9. I purchased a 37″ Polaroid HDTV on Dec 24, 2006. It work just great until March of 2008 it became difficult to turn on. Then one day (April 8) that picture just went out with a loud bang.

    I called Circuit City on Thursday they were not able to get a repair man to come out until the next Tuesday. The guy picked up the tv and left and that is the end of my nice big fabulous tv (April15). Did I mention my husband is penguins fan in Stanley cup time?

    I called the repair guy to check on the status of my tv the next week and he told me that he did not have the part and he ordered it. (April 24)

    The repair guy calls me and tells me that he can not get the part and if it does not come in 30 days we would receive a new tv. (April 29)

    I called the repair guy on May 19. This was well past the 30 day mark. Still no hockey in HD stress around the house. He told me to call circuit city that they had not delivered the part and there was not thing he could do.

    I called the service center on May 22 and the said the sent the part. They will not do anything to compensate me after paying for service plan 209. I could have saved the money on the plan and put that toward the repair from a separate service provider.

    May 27 I called to check on the part and the repair does not have the part. Not much hockey left.

    Don’t waste your money on the plans they offer because they provide no service.

  10. After reading this, I feel this world is full of people who don’t think.
    To the lady who wrote this, Since they could not fix the product they gave you a gift card to buy a new one. So you lost your one year protection on the product. But think about it this way, if you did not have the protection plan, all you would have is a broken mp3 player. Buy them giving you a gift card you get to buy a newer product. Its like your car insurance. Even though you don’t get into an accident every month you still pay for insurance just in case you do. And when you do, are you not glad that you have insurance. Now back to circuit city and best buy type of stores who offer these plans. Buy circuit city giving you a gift card they lost money. They gave you more money back on the gift card then the money you paid for the protection plan.

  11. I purchased a gateway computer from circuit city a little over 2 years ago. I also was pressured by the circuit city sales rep.to purchase the warranty service plan.I agree with the other posting this plan is a total rip off. My computer system has failed three times and they have replaced the mother board twice and have promised to replace the mother board again. I think they should give me a new computer. But according to there rules the system must fail 4 times same part same problem within 1 year before offering a replacement. I have spent hours on the phone with the reps. between the warranty plan and nexicore with they never fix the problem. I think we all are getting ripped off because nexicore fixes old parts and just replaces them into another persons computer. We think the parts are new but in reality they are used. That is why the problems never get fixed. They just hope the warranty period runs out. I will never again purchase anything at circuit city they are a big rip off. Please warn everyone you know not to give your business to circuit city. They really don’t care about the customer. They only care about there bottom line. Lots of money in there bank accounts.

  12. Really, really bad warranty plans at Circuit City!! Was told by the store clerk that I could bring back my xbox 360 back to the store and get store credit to buy another one (if I bought the Advantage Protection Plan)! Not TRUE! I still have to mail it in and still wait on it!! The warranty claims to be “Hassle-Free Coverage”…I’d definitely say taping up that box, then hauling it over to a post office, then waiting for a replacement is definitely a “hassle” and major inconvenience! Especially when Microsoft has the same type of warranty! I got the “Red Ring of Death”…Microsoft actually covers that problem for 3 years. BestBuy HAS INSTORE REPLAÇEMENT!! They both do expire once you get a replacement (no matter how much of the 2 years you have left). But BestBuy has INSTORE REPLACEMENT!! Circuit City seems to be slipping against it’s competitor(s). I hope Circuit City becomes the next goodguys! goodbye circuit city!

  13. I’ve read almost every single one of these comments and this is prove to the reason why it takes so long for them to do everything. Circuit City is the middle man. They need us to purchase for them however they need to listen to the upper guys. This is like this for almost every retail store. If you wish to purchase for a retailer, you must follow by their rules because the retailers have to follow by rules. By the look of however many people are stating problems, they must have at least a hundred different calls per location every day and can only respond to so many. I think that everyone should rethink their comment and give them another chance. The reason for your tv breaking, or game console stop working isn’t Circuit City’s fault. It is the manufacturer of the product.

  14. Our local Best Buy also gives their store card or store credit if something stops working. You don’t get cash so you are, therefore, forced to buy again from them. I sometimes end up buying from Circuit City online because our local Best Buy does not have displayed merchandise in stock so even though their prices are lower, if you want something specific, you won’t find it.

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