I usually do my electronics purchasing at Best Buy or at a discount store (like Meijer, Wal Mart, Target, etc). There is a Circuit city 15 miles away, which makes it worth my while to comparison shop.
Fast forward to today. I want to buy an Apple iPod. I am part of a rewards program where I can get a gift card to the store of my choice. I shopped around and saw that Circuit City had been having promotional deals for purchasing an iPod, so I requested my gift card for that store. I got my gift card in the mail and I tried to purchase an iPod at Circuit City. They are currently having a promotion where you get a $10 gift card to Circuit City if you purchase an iPod.
I went to the store, but of course they didn’t have the color I wanted (green). So I tried to order online, and I was told that I would not get the $10 gift card because I’m making the purchase with a gift card. This doesn’t make sense to me, since by giving me a gift card they would be guaranteeing that I will be coming back to spend more money.
I talked to salespeople, customer service people, and supervisors, but got nowhere. I finally just bought the iPod (what else was I going to do with my gift card), and promised them that I wouldn’t be back.
I saw in the paper this week that Circuit City is “closing 155 stores nationwide and cutting thousands of jobs to try to return to profitability.” I made sure to tell the employees that they should start looking for a new job…you know, beat the rush to the door, because Circuit City won’t be in business much longer if they keep trying to bait and switch their customers.
It’s back to Best Buy for me. They are right down the road.
UPDATE: The day after I mailed my letter to Circuit City corporate, telling them about my issue with their company, I got an e-mail from them telling me, “Buy an iPod and get a free $10 gift card!!!” Talk about irony.