This isn't my story or the story of anyone I knew, but it looks like a lot of people post third-party stories, and with how little activity this interesting subverse gets, I thought it might be appreciated.
I read this around the time it came out and thought it was interesting and hilarious. Now, I think the guy writing it is kind of whiny to say the least, but it still holds up as a worthwhile read. It's from the perspective of a customer, but many people at many levels of the corporation likely had plenty of stories to tell about this guy.
I'm posting the first chapter, but there's seven in total on the site for anyone interested. Enjoy.
Hi all. What follows is my admittedly lengthy account of a terrible experience, actually several terrible experiences, with Circuit City store 700. It is presented to you all as both a warning and a call for change. It is my hope that by posting this here, publicly, as well as in other formats, that the wrong I have experienced can be righted, and that others will not have to endure the madness that I did.
Chapter 1: Coupon Catalyst.
I decided to take advantage of a 40 off 200 coupon I received in the mail. I have recently moved, and the coupon was included as part of a welcome package from the Post Office. Circuit City sent this item to me, I assume in the hopes that I would spend 200 dollars in one of their stores. And that's exactly what I tried to do. That seems pretty simple. Why would a business try to stop me from giving them money?
However, the unprofessional attitude I have received from Circuit City while trying to give them my money leads me to believe that they are in business not to make money, but to torment me and me alone. I picture team meetings where the managers decide what methods would be most effective in denying me a sale, followed by the raucous recitation of bawdy and grammatically questionable Circuit City pep songs. I imagine the pep songs heavily feature the word "no". Perhaps you will reach a different conclusion. I would like to hear it.
I was hoping to use my 40 off 200 online, via circuitcity.com, but soon discovered that I could only use it in-store. This would set in motion a series of events so unfathomable that even Wal-Mart would be appalled.
On Saturday, November 24, 2007, I went to circuitcity.com to check the availability for a few items I was looking to purchase in-store. At 5PM on November 24, these were the prices listed for the items I wanted to purchase as gifts for Christmas:
1 Nintendogs or Zelda DS Bundle $139.99
1 Wii Nunchuk controller $19.99
1 2GB Cruzer thumb drive $14.99
1 Wii Mario Party 8 $49.99
I understand that Mario Party 8 at retail is not the most thrifty purchase. I simply wanted to fill out the last bit of my $200 requirement while checking off a gift for a relative at the same time. Mario Party 8 is a decent game with significant replayability, so I am willing to pay a little extra for it. It's kind of like paying extra money to an employee who has worked for you for years and who knows the business in and out. That type of employee would be more valuable than a neophyte who knows nothing, but is cheaper. Of course, as evidenced by their hiring (and firing) practices, we know that that kind of logic escapes Circuit City.
I used the website's store availability checker to see which store had the items I wanted. As luck would have it, Store 700 had all of them, and was not terribly far away from me.
Experience has taught me that it is often best to double-check on availability, so I called Store 700 to confirm that the items I wanted would be in-stock. Imagine my surprise when, on the Saturday after Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, I reached a recording saying that Store 700 was closed. It was only 5PM, this made no sense. I called again and received the same recording. But there was no way this could be right. There must be some kind of error. I would imagine that Store 700 is losing thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars due to this error.
I went out into the cold November night and drove to Circuit City Store 700. The store was alive with much activity. Clearly, the phone system was incorrect.