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January 27th, 2004

Explain this to me…

I noticed recently that Circuit City (Bircuit Bity?) was having a sale on their own brand of CD-Rs: 50 for $6.99 after rebate. The discs had served me well in the past, so I wanted to order some. The problem was that they were “not available for online purchase” and I was instructed to “check [my] local store.” So I did.

When I went to my local store, I was first confused because they had changed the layout of the store yet again. Once I found the blank media section, I noticed they no longer had their own brand of CD-Rs available. So I asked a salesperson. “Oh, we don’t carry that brand anymore.”

“Circuit City doesn’t carry Circuit City brand CD-Rs anymore?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“That’s right,” he told me.

So there’s an item on a web site, complete with a rebate, that I can’t purchase online and can’t purchase in the store. What do they want me to do? Drive to the manufacturing plant and pick up a spindle there?

Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: jk
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 11:37:46 am
Yes, that's exactly what they want you to do. And while you're at it, maybe you can find the Charmin toilet paper that's advertised on their coupon, yet does not exist in the stores. (the quantity stipulated on the coupon is no where to be found in any package on the shelves!)

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 12:19:41 pm
Circuit City sells toilet paper? I would have guessed that was Best Buy territory.

FROM: jk
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 1:48:17 pm
Not yet! I just saw this as a great opportunity to complain about things that are advertised yet don't really exist.

FROM: Greg C
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 3:01:22 pm
Ah yes, the ole' Circus Shitty. I haven't shopped there since the Divx scandal (not to be confused with the DivX codec).

See, Circus Shitty had this idea that consumers don't want to buy DVD's. No, consumers want to RENT DVD's, but don't want to get them from a video store. See, what consumers want is a DVD format that is not only fullscreen-only, but that self destructs after a time.

Did I mention Divx required a special player? Of course, in order to set the timer timing, the special player would have to call home to "activate" the discs. Then, the disc would deactivate after 2 or 3 days. Want to watch it again? No problem, just pay them again... and have the player call home again.

Of course if you want to purchase the disc for good, you would pay the "gold" pricing, which would then charge your credit-card.

In order for the disc to continue working, each time you would play the disc it would check to see if you were a "gold" customer. But what if the dialup goes away? No discs. Too bad for you, all your Divx discs are useless now.

Divx was a bomb, they lost customers such as myself, and the whole idea was dropped. I haven't been to Circus Shitty since.

And you shouldn't either.


FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 4:31:10 pm
And you shouldn't either.

I'll still take them over Best Buy, and for an I-need-it-now blank media purchase (pretty much the only purchases I make in person these days), Circuit City is really the only place in town that isn't charging outrageous amounts for a spindle of 50 discs.

jk -- You touched on something else I hate... at the supermarket I frequent, they always print out coupons based on what you've purchased and then you get them with your receipt so you can use them the next time you come in. There's this one brand of soy milk that keeps coming up on a coupon from Giant, but they don't—and never have—carried that brand. Yet, it's a Giant coupon for that brand. Frustrating.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 4:56:45 pm
You know, you should bring a copy of the ad and demand that they sell you the stocked lowest-priced 50 pack for the advertised price. Make a big enough stink to the manager. He/she can't refuse, because if they do, you will tell them that you will, Sue for false advertising or unfair trade practices! In fact, you did what the add was designed to make you do, go to the store in the hopes of buying an item that isn't even stocked so that you would buy something more expensive because you already made the effort to go to the store in the first place. This is the ol' bait and switch. Not only is it frustrating, it is wrong, and ILLEGAL. Contact your local Attorney General or at the very least, notify the BBB.

Or stew and take your frustrations out by making up a derisive name for the vendor (Circus Shitty).

I personally like to put the heat on the manager because they will usually give in because the mistake is theirs. If the manager doesn't give in, I usually skip steps two and three and go right to 4 (Circus Shitty).

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 6:18:49 pm
I would take Joseph's suggestion and run with it. If something is advertised and impposible to obtain, then it should not be advertised. If they can't give you a similar product at that price then they should not be advertising the sale.

I know my dad has always screwed the companies over who tried to screw him over in the past. Often getting cheaper prices, rebates, free items, or even money.

Stick the assholes where you can!!

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 7:05:39 pm
This is my chance to point out that Circuit City is based in Richmond, VA. Go Richmond!!! :-)

FROM: mike [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday January 27, 2004 -- 11:15:54 pm
Greg - Sadly, I worked at Circuit City during the great Divx debacle. I had just graduated from college and couldn't get a job, so I worked in the CD/DVD department and lived at home for a few months. When I first started, they trained me on the benefits of Divx, and for the life of me, I couldn't understand them. I kept asking why anyone would want a timed viewing period for a movie that costs more than a rental, and DVDs they couldn't loan to friends or buy in any store except circuit city. They never really had an answer. And then to have customers come up to me and ask me the benefits of Divx and have no good reason why they should buy it was sad.

Customer: Why should I get Divx?
Me: How many times are you going to watch the movie, really? Why spend $25 for something you'll watch a couple times at most.
Customer: I can rent it for $4 from blockbuster and not need a different player.
Me: You sure could.

In my 3 months there, I didn't sell one Divx.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday January 28, 2004 -- 12:36:12 am
Joseph -- This was an item in their catalog on the web, not in a sales circular. Not sure if the same type of thing would hold up, especially since they don't make the promise of it being in the store ("Check your local store for availability" or some such).

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday February 2, 2004 -- 4:49:08 pm

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday February 2, 2004 -- 7:53:33 pm

Sounds like the CD-R's were on clearance. Clearance sales are marked as such, or at least, with the note that supplies are limited. Still kind of unusual..It's not just your Circuit City's either..I attempted to find the advertised CD-R's shortly after this Ping was posted, with the same result. No info available, and neither were the CD-R's.

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