Before I begin telling you my recent shopping experience with Circuit City I want to say one thing: for any retail or consumer product/service company, I believe, at a minimum, Sr. Management (CEO, VP, COO, etc.) should be *required* to purchase their own products. This way, they experience what their customers deal with and can resolve them.
Two days ago, I got a coupon ($15 off any purchase over $99) in the mail from Circuit City and we (my girlfriend and I) decided to use it to by a digital camera (Canon SD870 IS) last night. Long story short, the coupon code wasn’t entered into their system and the customer service rep was 100% useless. We were told to try the coupon the following day (today) and it still wasn’t working. So, we called the 800 number again and asked to speak to a manager. The manager was able to take our order and apply a $15 credit. Needless to say, we wasted a total of 45 minutes trying to buy a product.
I bought a Sandisk 2GB SD card (the one that has a built-in USB adapter) and chose in-store pickup. My order was placed last night at 11:30pm. Today, at around 10:45am, I get a voicemail from the local Circuit City store (Somerville, MA) saying the memory card is sold out and wanted to know if I wanted a refund or to have it shipped to me from the warehouse. I called back at 7pm and they told me my credit card was refunded. In case if you don’t know, Circuit City has a “guarantee” that you can pick up your item in-store within 24 minutes after placing your order. If they don’t have your order ready within 24 minutes, you get a $24 gift card. So, I called my local Circuit City and asked about getting the gift card…guess what? Yup, I was denied. Why? Because they called me within 24 minutes to tell me the item was sold out. Bottom line: that “guarantee” is a crock of crap. They’ll never give you the gift card.
What Circuit City does wrong:
- The IT team is not in-sync with the Marketing team with those coupon codes
- The customer service team is not empowered to rectify these types of issues
- The website shows items in-stock for store pickup when they’re not – a bad inventory management system
In the end, they’ve made the whole purchase experience very difficult and frustrating. Now, Best Buy isn’t perfect by any means but at least I haven’t experienced these issues there. In fact, Best Buy makes it very easy to spend your money there…which is part of the reason why Circuit City is getting killed – just compare their stock prices ($7.00 vs. $52.00).
Ok, enough of my ranting…