Saturday, November 03, 2007

Circuit City Runaround

Ah, the joys of customer service in the new century...
My 18 year old's notebook computer died last night. I did my best "electrical engineer" voodo, and determined that it was something internal, and bad. At least it is still under warranty (10 months old)

I talked to Gateway's tech support. they were pretty helpful, but suggested I call Circuit City (where we bought it) since they have a local repair center, and might be able to save shipping to wherever Gateway is. But, she gave me all the necessary information to call back, in case Circuit City gave me "the runaround"...

So I call the local Circuit City store. After a seemingly endless string of automated choices, I eventually got a recording saying to call an 800 number. Not a good sign, since I'm trying to get LOCAL support. But, what the heck, I call the 800 number. And go through another nearly endless string of steps through their automated system. Eventually, the recording gives me a local phone number to call.

Which is, of course, the number that I started with. That's what I call runaround. Multilayered automated systems that refer you back and forth between each other. So I tried again, pretended I was going to buy something, and eventually got a human being. They connected me with the right technical support folks, who sneeringly informed me that they don't work on anything but HP computers, and I should call Gateway. I couyld've saved about 45 minutes of irritation by skipping the whole Circuit City part of the experience. Gateway is shipping a box to me, so I can have them pick up the compuer, and they'll fix it.

Best part: Just Friday, I got a nice letter from Circuit City, warning me that the warranty on this very computer was nearing it's end, and offering me an extended warranty option for just $239 or so. I don't think so. And I think I'll buy my next computer direct from Gateway.


photowannabe said...

Don't get me started...Your story has been my story....I'm always amazed at the lack of customer service any more. Its so sad. Buy direct from the source may be the only answer.

Sherry said...

my son-law works with computers all day long. he has 2 computers at home. 1 for him, 1 for my daughter. he got mine for me.
they are all from dell. he ordered them from dell and we have had no(watch, now they will break)problems with them or with any questions i might have of them.

he didn't order the printer fax/copy thing from them. he bought hp's from sam's club.

liked them better.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I would have to deny that with a comment or two in writing! Yep, customer service is out the door when you walk out with what you just purchased. All about the sale and then they want you to sail away!