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Circuit City is about to try to shaft me on my Laptop Warranty


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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Adil M

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Posted March 24 2006 - 09:40 AM

Warning- Long rant coming which is more for my catharsis than your reading pleasure.

This is a really frustrating experience, b/c I try to purchase extended warranties carefully and so far have used ~1/2 of them.
I purchased a laptop for my sister for college. It's been going strong for 2 years and than just starts flipping out. I reinstalled everything and it still was giving me the Blue Screen. So we sent it off to Circuit City over the Christmas Holidays actaully a week before.
7-10 business days is their estimate. The 3rd party service dept sat on it for a week. Circuit would not give them approval to repair it: motherboard, and LCD screen.
I called both sides for 3 "days" and got the thing repaired by verbal force.
The magic words to expedite things is " Well, you can always give me a credit to purchase a replacement."
Anyway we got it back a little over a month later. A week after her semester had started. Right when I got it I started it up and was happy to see all the data was still on there. No need to have to transfer it from the backup. Well, now the wireless connection does not go beyond 6 feet and always is low signal. It keeps blue screening and if you jiggle the power cord where it meets the laptop it turns off. They diagnosed it was the mother board again. Didn't we just replace this thing?
We clearly can't send it in immediately and wait till Spring Break. She just kept using it w/ a ethernet connection and we taped the power cord so it wouldn't move. Basically she made do until now.
I sent it in the same as before and they got it and are trying to figure out if they will deny service, b/c they think there are "burn marks" on it. She's slovenly, but she does not smoke. I usally find rings from her coffee and drinks on the palm pad and I wipe those off. The service dept always seems to find 2 times the problems that I send it in for, but I could care less if they replace every piece on there as long as they do it "competently."
City Assure (Circuit City's warranty dept) won't approve the 2nd motherboard repair. They have a "service denial" put up on the status of the laptop potentially due to the "burn marks" which is BS. Neither one (Service or Circuit City) will give me any info. Basically they won't repair their initial faulty repair.

If things go downhill who do you report them too?

It's so frustrating, b/c it's under my name yet it's not my laptop, so I am dealing w/ it. Also, when you purchase a service contract you do not expect a bad and painful service contract. I used to know all the manager's in that store, b/c I worked there and normally they would do something on my behalf, but they have restructured and they are all gone and other lesser known managers have told me they have no input on service. They have vexed me to the point that I will hire a lawyer if need be and go after them rather than let them get away with this. Why can't these guys just follow through on their verbal contracts?

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted March 25 2006 - 02:43 PM

Quote:
Why can't these guys just follow through on their verbal contracts?
Because it costs them money. :

Wish I could offer up some useful advice, other than at least you know not to shop with them again. And just from personal experience, many b&m laptops seem to crap out sooner than something like a Thinkpad.

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Mark Shannon

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Posted March 25 2006 - 03:10 PM

I work at Staples: Business Depot, and although I may be biased, I think we probably have one of the better warranty centres (in Canada at least). The third party repair centre that we used to use went under, so we actually now fully own our repair centre. Saves us money, saves the customer money.

What Circuit City is putting you through is pathetic.

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted March 25 2006 - 04:14 PM

Where are these burn marks?

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted March 26 2006 - 12:51 AM

Its Lawyer'n Time!

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted March 26 2006 - 02:29 AM

What brand of laptop is this? IBM? Dell? HP? Sony Vaio? Toshiba? Apple? Different companies may have different remedies for your situation. You may be able to complain straight to their corporate offices, because after all it is their image they want to protect as the producer of the unit!

Did Circuit City fix it in THEIR center (one they own or hire), or did they instead send it up to the center that the laptop brand-owner uses for in- and out-of-warranty repairs? That's an important distinction for the above. If it's CC's center and extended warranty, instead of IBM's or Apple's or whoever's, then you may still be stuck with dealing with CC.

The main thing I'm thinking here as I read your story is that the motherboard which was installed in your system in the December/January timeframe was "defective from stock", having a different problem on it than the one you originally sent it in for ("wireless network issues" rather than "blue screen of death"; BSoD usually indicates memory or CPU issues, and if the memory or CPU is hard-wired to the motherboard, then of course the motherboard would get replaced).

You should NOT have waited until spring break, no matter what. You should have taken care of it immediately. At least to call and register your complaint, and then say "we can't send it in until spring break, but you now have a record of this issue within the warranty period of the new replacement part". What you did is the same as buying a DVD box set from the store, finding out that disc 2 is really a duplicate of disc 1, exchanging it for a new copy, finding out that the new disc 2 in the new copy is what it's supposed to be but locks up midway through the feature, and then waiting to complain about it until after the 30-day return policy has expired. Your new motherboard had a different problem, but you didn't follow up immediately, before the new part's warranty expired.

If you get your laptop back and have a new complaint within the warranty period of the part just installed, the place should fix it again for free.

Some companies (I think Dell may be one of them) allow you to buy a "complete coverage" plan that may be expensive, but basically the idea is that you are completely insured. If you run it over with a steamroller, and even if you admit that to the call center, you still don't pay anything more for the repair. You can even sometimes buy it AFTER complaining about the damage to your unit.

Tell them that you want to know EXACLTY where these "alleged" (use that word) burn marks are, and that you want pictures e-mailed to you. Mention your plans to call the CC corporate office and complain all the way to the top, and the offices of whoever made the laptop (IBM, Apple, Toshiba, etc.) and complain to them, and to file with the Better Business Bureau if you aren't satisfied that you are being told the truth. Mention that you are already writing up your story on the internet (just say "the internet"; don't be specific). Make sure they understand that the most liability you are willing to accept is for not complaining the second you got the laptop back and discovered the new problem, and that you made a judgement error in not calling immediately but you knew you couldn't part with the unit until Spring Break and so you waited.
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Paul_Medenwaldt

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Posted March 26 2006 - 09:27 AM

Quote:
Its Lawyer'n Time!


It would be cheaper just to go buy a new laptop then get lawyers involved.

Paul
If there be one of them who does not follow the way of the Snitzil, let that one go and do not throw bowling balls at them.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Adil M

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Posted April 21 2006 - 04:56 AM

Update (sorry, I forgot about this thread and then the forum locked up):

A) I did call them the day it came back and was not working correctly. I faxed them off a history of all their "Case" numbers including the one where I spoke to a tech guy the day it came back and he diagnosed the motherboard again.
B) It's a Toshiba. The 2nd Toshiba I bought there. I like the Toshiba product, just not the CC experience. At the time of warranty purchase it did not have any sort of "Complete/accidental coverage."
C)The pseudo-"burn marks" which are "severe" are where the wireless antenna is. I don't know where that is exactly on this laptop, but I have been told it's usually around the back where the USB ports are.
D) It's currently at their 3rd party service center awaiting parts. They decided they would make an "exception (crock of shit)" and repair it.
E) I gave my laptop to my sister. In 2 weeks her semester is over.
F) I know many of the CC managers in the RTP area. They are almost as pissed as me.
G) I will be calling the VP of CityAssure who lives in Cary.
H) I have given them negative marks in every customer survey both passively and actively.
I) I won't buy a PC there ever again or probably anything else. If I had received a credit I would have ebayed it and purchased a Dell.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Colton

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Posted April 21 2006 - 09:49 AM

Ebay the laptop for half the price you bought it. That's the best you can do.

- Colton

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Adil M

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Posted April 21 2006 - 10:48 AM

J) Problem that occurred in beginning of December still being resolved, but not concluded 4-21-06.

Anyone looking at getting Circuit City plan should go ahead and read my story to get a preview.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted April 22 2006 - 07:28 AM

Dell is good about no-hassle replacements. Their customer service sucks, but once you get it through to the Indian or Mexican they connect you through to that it's a defective part they'll usually either have you send your laptop in or (if it's a minor part, like mine was) send the replacement part out with an envelope to send the damaged part back.
After switching to Dell with the computer before my current one, I don't think I'll ever buy a computer from anywhere except the manufacturer again.

Good luck getting it sorted out.

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   PhillJones

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Posted April 24 2006 - 02:00 AM

I had a bad experience with CC too. Mybe this will help.

I bought a receiver from them open box so got it cheap. I also foolishly bought their five year warranty. When the left channel went out and I took it back to them to get it fixed they said it was unrepairable and they would authorize a return. I thought this was good as I would get a new receiver but it turned out that they would only give me store credit to the value I paid which would mean I'd have to pay more for a new receiver.

I got it back from them an took it to a legitimate hi-fi dealer who repaired it under manufacturer's warranty for free, no questions asked. So much for their warranty that goes above and beyond the manufacturer's warranty. I suspect they where going to fix and resell the unit whil forcing me to trade up. It wouldn't have been so bad if they had actually given me my money back but they would only give store credit for a faulty item.

Anyway, the moral of the story is to try the manufacturer's warranty. In my case, it was more faithfully and honestly applied.





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