Circuity City - Circuity City Advantage Protection Complaint

Posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2008 at 5:09pm CDT by 22f98c55

Product: Store Warranty with Regards to a Gaming Device (Xbox 360)

Company: Circuity City

Location: 9950 Mayland Drive
Richmond, VA, 23233, US


Category: Other

The following is a letter I have sent several times to Circuit City via e-mail and fax to the customer service and corporate addresses and fax numbers, respectively.

To Whom it May Concern:

As a computer specialist and audio/video enthusiast, I have been a long time customer of Circuit City having spent several thousand dollars on televisions, gaming systems, computer peripherals and audio equipment. I have referred both family and associates when recommending top notch electronic stores. Recent events, however, have caused me to drastically change my outlook with regards to Circuit City.

The following is a detailed account of an ongoing Circuit City Advantage Protection (CCAP) issue that I have attempted multiple times to resolve directly through both CCAP and Circuit City customer service branches, but to no avail.

August 2006

Xbox 360 and protection plan purchased at the Circuit City of Springfield, VA (Store #802). Prior to purchasing the system and plan, I asked the associate helping me What happens if the system (Xbox 360) malfunctions under the CCAP warranty? He responded that a gift card is issued is the product fails under the plan. I had asked this because Best Buy offered the exact same plan-if a system purchased from them fails, they send a gift card refund for a replacement; I wanted to ensure Circuit City offered similar coverage.

August/September 2007

Xbox 360 malfunctions. Phone contact with Circuit City Advantage Protection (CCAP) was made and a claim was initiated. Per the instructions on the CCAP web site, I included all original Xbox 360 items and shipped the unit via CCAP UPS generated label. To add, the web site had NO additional copy mentioning anything about sending out refurbished replacement systems.

I contacted CCAP after shipping the unit to inform them that the unit had been sent. The CCAP associate informed me that I would receive a gift card in the amount of the original purchase within two weeks from the time they receive the malfunctioning unit.

October 2007

Circuit City Gift card arrives, but somehow it was not activated. I contacted Circuit City and was able to resolve this issue after three days worth of phone calls. It seems that someone simply forgot to put credit on the card.

October 17, 2007

Xbox 360 Elite purchased with a Circuit City Advantage Protection Plan. After dealing with the store manager directly (cashier # displayed on receipt), I informed him how truly hassle free the CCAP was, despite being sent a non-working gift card.

He asked if he could add the plan to my newly purchased system to which I agreed to. He added the CCAP is a great deal and that customers love being sent the hassle free gift card to purchase a new replacement product. To clarify, I followed up by asking him if the coverage is still the same and he responded-of course, its still the same plan.

Having said this, he gave me my items and receipt, but no CCAP booklet, brochure or pamphlet. He apologized stating that none were currently available but not to worry, the plan is still the same and all my information is on record within the system.

August 2008

Xbox 360 Elite malfunctions. After contacting CCAP and giving them my personal information to retrieve my CCAP purchase, they informed me that they couldnt find my record of having purchased the plan and that nothing could be done to find it unless I had my original receipt. I asked if there was a policy in place to assist customers with this problem to which she replied, no.

After several hours of searching the receipt was found and I placed a call back to CCAP. I provided the associate with the barcode number on the receipt which she was then able to pull up on her end.

To her (and my own) surprise, she stated that the store associate at store #802 had input my personal information completely wrong. In fact, the name was recorded as first name-C, last name-City. There was no phone or other personal info linking me to the warranty. It seems that the store manager I dealt with at store #802 was less than thorough.

The CCAP associate apologized profusely and even encouraged me to go to the store and complain. She then stated that she has recorded and updated my correct information, and it would take effect immediately. She also stated that I could return the product to Microsoft for a refurbished replacement which I responded that I would rather have a gift card in order to assure a quality replacement was in my possession.

The claim was initiated. I asked about how long until I receive the refund gift card to which she replied two weeks after the unit was received by CCAP.

October 18, 2008

Having printed the UPS generated label, I noticed new disclaimer copy had been added to the web site that was not present during my previous CCAP claim in 2007. The copy stated that refurbished Xbox 360 systems were being sent in place of gift card refunds. However if there were no refurbished Xbox 360s available, the customer would receive a gift card to purchase a new replacement.

Concerned, I called CCAP and spoke with Curtis. Curtis informed me that I had nothing to worry about because I purchased my warranty in October of 2007 and would have no problem receiving a gift card, the warranty would be honored. He also said in a joking manner that-there are never any refurbished units, almost everyone gets the gift card. He added that he would make a note in my file that a gift card refund was to be issued to me.

Satisfied, I sent the unit to Circuit City Advantage Protection.

September 9, 2008

CCAP web site indicates my unit had been received. Underneath this line, however, I read that a replacement unit had been requested, despite being reassured multiple times by both in-store and phone associates that I would receive a gift card refund, thereby honoring the warranty agreement.

Frustrated, I called CCAP and spoke with Angela. After informing her of history of my ordeal (it seems once again the CCAP associates failed to document my information despite having told me otherwise), she informed me that first off, my address and name were still incorrectly entered in their system. She then added that policy states that I only receive a gift card if no refurbished 360s are available. I told her about my previous conversations and guarantees with Circuit City associates and she replied that Sean did not have any notes on my file, but that if I was told by an associate that I would receive a gift card and not ever informed about the refurbished replacements than I certainly deserve the gift card.

She then stated she would indicate in my file regarding my gift card issuing.

September 10, 2008

Claim status still stated replacement requested and not refund requested.

I called CCAP and happen to talk with Angela yet again. I asked why the status hadnt changed regarding my claim and she said that it was not her decision ultimately.

I informed Angela that the customer has a right to refuse the refurbished product and that it was up to the administrator to determine whether they want to send a gift card, even though I had been told from the beginning I would receive a gift card refund. I asked to speak directly with the so called administrator, to which her tone quickly became negative, insisting that she had no way of locating him right now. I asked to speak with her supervisor, to which I was placed on hold for 15 minutes only to be told that he couldnt speak with me right now. I asked her when the refurbished replacement policy went into effect and why CCAP wouldnt honor the original CCAP plan from the original time of my purchase? After all, any warranty changes require notification to the customer at which point they have the right to agree to the changes or settle.

Angela was silent and hung up.

I then contact Circuit City customer service and not CCAP to discuss this problem. I first spoke with LeShawn, whom I had to repeat the entire chain of events to because she couldnt locate my file. She apologized for the terrible inconvenience and said she would put me through to Rebecca who could ultimately help me out.

After a long conversation, Rebecca told me that she could do nothing. At this point I asked if these refurbished systems being sent to customers were at least produced in 2008. She replied that she was unsure. I asked if she realized that Xbox 360 systems produced in 2007 and earlier models contained the faulty hardware that caused them to cease to function. She said she did not know. I then asked if there was a warranty option for the refurbished systems to which she at first replied yes, but then researched it on her computer and found that this was not the case.

To confirm what she was telling me, I asked if a customer who returns their CCAP covered malfunctioning Xbox 360 would receive a second rate product that may or may not have been produced the same year, and that if it fails after three months, the customer is simply out of luck. Angela was silent. I then asked how is it fair that in the event there are no refurbished systems and a customer is sent a gift card refund they are free to purchase both a new system and an additional CCAP plan; yet a customer who receives a refurbished product is entitled to a possibly dated system with a simple 90 day warranty? Its truly an uneven playing field.

Angela was silent and then stated that Monica would contact me to help.

Monica did call, and proceeded to patronize me by stating: I understand you are trying to change our policy?

Shocked by this rather patronizing greeting, I told her the entire ordeal to which she continued to respond with: There is nothing I can do.

I asked to speak with her supervisor, and she responded: He wont be able to help you either, but thanks for contacting us.

In summary:

- The store manager (store #802) failed to input customer data into CCAP database.

- The store manager failed to provide CCAP documentation, insisting that nothing had changed.

- Circuit City and CCAP failed to notify customer of policy change regarding gaming system replacements.

- Circuit City and CCAP failed to honor customers warranty based on time of purchase.

- Circuit City and CCAP mishandled the customers specific claim by failing to keep accurate records of telephone conversations and personal data records.

- Circuit City and CCAP knowingly distribute refurbished gaming systems (specifically, Xbox 360) that may still contain the faulty hardware and are backed by a simple 90 day warranty; worthless considering the last two Xbox 360 systems purchased by customer malfunctioned after 12 months of light usage. If these used systems are not on hand at CCAP headquarters, then the customer may be issued a gift card thereby enabling them to purchase a new replacement in addition to a new protection plan.

This ordeal has proven to be nothing but a hassle even though CCAP ensures a hassle-free process for peace of mind.

Like any consumer, I purchase in-store warranties in order to protect my investment to the fullest. Unfortunately my investment has not been protected and rather than being covered with a gift card for the value of my purchase, a second rate product is being sent an act that already has lowered the value of my supposed investment.

I encourage you to do the right thing in this case: issue a gift card in the amount of the original purchase in order for the customer to obtain a proper replacement, thereby honoring the original CCAP agreement, the verbal assurances by the several CCAP and Circuit City associates, and the hassle the customer has been put through to resolve this matter.

I look forward to hearing from someone by September 16, 2008 to properly resolve this issue before it escalates further and will be glad to fax a copy of the original receipt of purchase.


Craig W.

1 Comment

944d00d8, 2008-09-15, 10:24AM CDT

Refurbished does not always mean that a product has been used and abused by the previous owner. Sometimes its a display model, or maybe someone has decided that they really didn't want it, then returned the product, unused. Above board companies, thoroughly inspecting, and renewing the product to factory specs. I have purchased several "refurbished" items without any issue at all.

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