Yesterday, I sent this email to the head of marketing and the head of operations at Circuit City:
Dear Ms. Dias, et al:
As a marketing person myself, I know the importance of treating customers well. Retail employees are the face of the company to the consumer. Unfortunately, Circuit City has repeatedly shown me a terrible face. I know that Circuit City has been trying to recover from some negative financial events–I thought that you should be aware of how your customers are being treated as this may be a significant part of the difficulties facing your company.
Yesterday evening, my husband and I went to the Clairemont store (3998 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92117) with the intention of buying a tv. I had seen that the online the price for the model was higher than at Best Buy, but I wanted to check CC since it is considerably closer to our home. The model was indeed $100 higher than at Best Buy, so I went to the front desk (unable to get service on the floor–first frustration) to ask if CC did price matching. The girl behind the counter did not say “yes we do” or “no we don’t,” she just said that she’d have to check and asked if I had the model number. I did and gave it to her (Sony KV30HS420). I saw her go in back and take 10 minutes to check the price on BestBuy.com (this was all visible from the counter). During that time at least two customers left the store without making their purchases (they dropped stuff at the counter in frustration from the long wait) as there was no one else at the counter. Finally, she came to the counter and said “Yeah, we can do that. Plus 10%.” I said, “you’ll match the price plus give us 10% more off?” because I wanted to make sure I understood, and she said, “yes.” I then asked about delivery and was told I could get it the next day.
I went to tell my husband and to discuss if we should really get this TV or wait and save up for a flat screen. We decided to buy it since the deal was so good. We went back to the counter, new cables in hand (for the new TV), and the woman said the tv came to $789.99. “Wait,” I said, “that’s not right. The matched price was $799.99, an additional 10% off would be considerably lower than that.” A supervisor (Sherwin Mina, Customer Service Lead) who was nearby said “no, it’s 10% of the difference.” Well, that is not what I was told, and I told her that. She did not apologize, but just kept repeating that it was 10% of the difference–like she never heard me.
I said, “In that case, use this Circuit City 10% off TVs over $100 coupon I have and give us an additional 10% off the price.” To which Ms. Mina replied, in a snotty tone, “Look, you can get the price match OR you can get 10% off our original price with the coupon, you can’t do both.” I said I felt like we had been misled and was very frustrated. She said, “Sorry” again in the snotty tone. When I asked what we could do to make this work she just shrugged her shoulders.
I asked for her name, and she chucked her card at me. We left. I was stunned when I looked at her card and saw that she was a Customer Service Lead. This person is in a supervisory position when it comes to customer contact?!
This morning, I tried to call your 800 customer service number. The off-shore guy was almost unintelligible and was not listening to my concerns. I asked for a supervisor. He insisted he could help me. I asked again for a supervisor, he just continued with what he had been saying (following his script). I again, loudly, demanded he connect me with a supervisor. He continued to ignore me. This happened again and again. Finally he said he could connect me with a supervisor, gave me my incident number (2500900), and switched me to “hold.” After a minute or two holding, I gave up and started researching Circuit City Corporate contact points.
If I treated my clients the way I was treated by Circuit City, I would be out of business. I am livid at the treatment I received and plan on making our purchase at any other store than Circuit City. I’m sure that you will be as upset about this incident as we are.
Thank you for your time and attention. I hope you instigate some changes so that other potential customers are not treated poorly and so that Circuit City can become a success.
After sending this I got an email from Ms. Dias’ assistant, Justin, giving me his direct phone number to call and discuss the issue. So, I spoke with Justin and he said he’d talk with the store and get back to me to see what they could do to make things right. “Hurray!” I thought, “Something will get done about this!”
This morning I get a call from him and he said that after speaking with the operations manager of that store, he couldn’t do anything more than their usual price-matching. No apology, no nothing.
In other words, he took the word of the guy who was trying to cover his ass rather than that of the customer. Did he even listen to the tape of the customer service call? I’m sure he didn’t, or he wouldn’t have been able to do nothing.
Of course, I’ll be sending a letter to the CEO of Circuit City, to let him know how disappointed I am with how they have handled this situation. I’m also putting the word out there–don’t give them your business. They obviously don’t give a damn about their customers.
What song are they using these days in their ads? “Just What I Needed” by The Cars. Guess they meant this part “I needed someone to bleed
Yeah, so bleed me.”