Short Circuit City
by Greg B. - Posted Sun August 31, 2008 @ 12:00 PM
This letter is featured on ShopperCast
In a recent statement to shareholders, your management team blamed your declining performance on outside factors such as the economy and increased competition from mass merchants.
That may well be however I'd like to give you a customer's point of view that you can add to the mix - your customer service is downright awful.
There is a Circuit City literally right around the block from where I live but I rarely shop there because, from past experience, your customer service is downright awful.
I am, however, in the market for a new, large plasma tv and I've had my eye on the 720p Panasonic 50" beauty for quite some time now. I can buy it at any time - I just have to be properly motivated because I don't really NEED it but it would be nice to have it. And, in this case, price would be a good motivator. Amazingly enough, Circuit City has the current lowest price on this model, thanks to your Labor Day Sale.
So I waltzed in this afternoon, darn close to making the purchase. The salesman I ran into, though, pretty well nuked any thoughts I had of buying it either today or from your company.
I wandered through your tv section, looking for this particular model and found it along the back wall. The picture was horrible (the football players all had a halo around them). I stood there for several minutes and watched other salespeople wander by; clearly on their way somewhere much more important.
Finally some tall, lanky kid moseyed up about three feet away from me, took out a remote control and started messing with one tv's settings. I stood there and waited for him to acknowledge me...he didn't. I tried to catch his eye...I couldn't. Finally I said, "Hey, can I ask a couple of questions?"
Without even turning to look at me, he said, "Whut?"
I asked about the halo around the football players. "Uh, thats cause we split the signal amongst all these tvs so it dont look so good."
Me: "Oh. So it will look a lot better in my home?"
Me: "uh ok, that's reassuring. Do you offer delivery?"
Him: "I think so."
Me: "Does it cost anything?"
Him: "I think like fifty bucks or something, I dont know."
Me: "Ok. I saw on your website the other day that you have free delivery...do I need to order online to get the free delivery?"
Me: "One final question...how long is this sale price good for?"
Him: "uh, what day is it?"
Him: "I think it's good until Saturday."
Me: "You sure about that?"
Him: "I think so".
And then I walked away. No, I didn't buy the tv. He clearly could not have cared one whit what I did or didn't do. I almost felt like apologizing to him for bothering him.
You can blame "outside forces" all you want for your current abysmal situation. But it might behoove you to take a close look at the "inside forces" which affect your business. I have a feeling they're a LOT more responsible for your woes than anything else.