Circuit City? Liars.

I received a post card in the mail a few days ago telling me that the $35 mail-in rebate that I sent in for the video card I bought at Circuit City was invalid because of a “bad upc”. (Between the $100 coupon I had and the $35 MIR, the Circuit City price was marginally lower than mail order) The post card of course had a toll free number to call. I had almost decided to give up on it, since such things are usually a waste of time.

Instead I decided to combine two wastes of time into one: I called during my morning commute this morning. So after navigating my way through the [purposefully] useless automated “help” line, I reached a real person. He didn’t give himself a name, so I’ll call him Juan. My conversation with Juan went something like this:

Juan: Hi, how may I help you?
Me: I received a post card that claimed my rebate was invalid.
Juan: I can help you with that. Just a moment sir.
Juan: Please give me your name and the number on the post card.
Me: *provides the information*
Juan: (without even a pause) Since you are a valuable customer(what?!?) I can take care of this for you.
Juan: Your rebate is taken care of. Please allow 4-6 weeks for the check to arrive.
Me: *a bit incredulous* That’s it? The $35 is on its way now?
Juan: Yes. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: Yes, there is one more thing. Where are you located?
Juan: Our headquarters are in Lubbock, Texas.
Me: No, no. Where is your call center located?
Juan: *slightly sheepish* The Dominican Republic.
Me: Thank-you, good-bye.
Juan: Good-bye.

So, there you have it. It was just one more hoop for the consumer to jump through in order to get the rebate. Or, more to the point, they lied to me about my UPC being invalid, in the hopes that I would write the money off (which I almost did). I wonder if they just send those “invalid UPC” post cards out to a random sampling of rebate hopefuls to raise the bottom line, or if they only send those out for the higher dollar value rebates?

I hate slimy corporations.

  1. Don’t attribute to malice what could easily be attributed to stupidity.

    Does sound highly suspect though…

  2. And to that I’d say, don’t attribute to stupidity anything that ends up being financially advantageous.

  3. If that had been Best Buy they would have totally screwed you out of the rebate. At least Circuit City is crooked but still wants their customer to think they care about them. Best Buy doesn’t care if their customers like them or not.

  4. Perhaps someone else incorrectly keyed in your UPC code? 😉

  5. I doubt that it was incorrectly keyed, since I wasn’t required to read it to them or anything. It was fixed merely by calling. Besides, it’s a bar code. Should be a very slim chance of being misread. (:

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