Circuit City is rising from the dead! Run for your lives before the zombie retailer eats your brains!

No really. You should run far, far away.

Although Circuit City won’t be returning in a physical capacity anytime soon, last month Systemax purchased the Circuit City brand and website, and they’ve since developed it into an online retail venture. The website has a wide selection of electronics, as would be expected, and some of the deals aren’t half bad. The website looks very familiar and is rather easy to shop.

What you actually need to watch out for are the same horrible consumer practices that drove Circuit City into the ground in the first place. For example, the Consumerist points out this quote from Circuit City’s return policy.

Products from manufacturers such as Compaq, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, Epson and others are not returnable to CircuitCity.com FOR ANY REASON.

(Emphasis ours, distasteful caps theirs). Basically, this little caveat means that Circuit City can refuse any return for any reason. Do we need to explain why this is bad? What about if you want to sue them for crappy service? Good luck “" you also agreed to binding arbitration. You may as well just bend over for them “" it would probably be easier.

Compare this policy with those of sites like Amazon or NewEgg and you realize that Circut City is alone in their draconian policies. You know, maybe that great deal at Circuit City won’t turn out to be such a deal at all as soon as you need help with it. Just do yourself a favor and purchase your gizmos and gadgets from a respectable retailer that hasn’t recently filed for bankruptcy.

About The Author

Michael Kaufmann, lover of all things science and gadget, is a contributing editor at Blast. He can be reached at [email protected]

10 Responses

  1. Bobby

    Your article is wrong. Why are you posting misinformation about the return policy? Did you copy and past the info from the Consumerist?

    shame shame shame

    Don’t copy and paste. You could be copying incorrect information.

    Reply
    • Michael Kaufmann

      Do you know something I don’t? If so, please share. Considering I pulled that quote directly from the CircutCity.com return policy, I don’t see how it’s misinformation.

      And yes, I gathered some of this from the Consumerist, hence why I linked them.

      Reply
  2. rob

    Uh ya I am going to have to agree with the other guy here. Just got on their site and that is no where in the return policy.

    Return policy and limited guarantee against defects
    Every third party product you buy from CircuitCity.com is backed first by the product manufacturer’s warranty. CircuitCity.com’s 30 day limited warranty against defects, may also apply. CircuitCity.com’s 30 day limited warranty is a defective exchange policy that provides for either repair or replacement (at our sole discretion) of merchandise that has been confirmed as defective by either the manufacturer or CircuitCity.com. Leased merchandise is not eligible for this warranty. Due to licensing and copyright laws, we do not accept returns on software once a package has been opened. Defective software will be exchanged for the same title only according to CircuitCity.com’s limited 30 day warranty described above. Hardware confirmed as defective by the product manufacturer or CircuitCity.com will either be exchanged or repaired at our sole discretion within the first 30 days of ownership only. After 30 days the product manufacturer warranty is the only warranty in effect. Terms and conditions may vary by product or manufacturer. CircuitCity.com will assist customers whenever possible in gaining satisfaction with product manufacturers. For assistance or to exchange a defective product click here to get an online return authorization number. Products returned for exchange must be in new condition, original packaging and include all disks, registration cards, packing materials and other accessories and be received within 30 days of the invoice date. We reserve the right to refuse for return or charge a restocking fee for damaged or incomplete returns. No returns will be accepted without an RA number issued by CircuitCity.com or when the product manufactures or distributors return policies supersede ours.

    Just took that from the site. You have something out for them or what?

    Reply
    • Bill

      Rob, Mr. Kaufman’s quote was a direct quote from the new Circuit City website. I know because I found it a couple of days ago…and a subsequent search also turned up the same restrictive return policy (identical wording) at another Systemax website–CompUSA.

      The general return policy which you quoted–very friendly sounding–was on each site. If you had dug a bit deeper though, you would have found another page about returns–a sternly worded series of ifs, ands, and buts paragraphs regarding returns–paragraphs that would have made any normal person turn tail and shop elsewhere.

      Systemax has apparently been forced, from this negative publicity in recent days, to reword their return policy, as it is now vastly different than I saw it just a couple of days ago…this applies to both Circuit City’s and CompUSA’s websites.

      The wording is much less harsh, but I don’t feel much better after reading the reworded version. There are still too many ifs, ands, and buts for my liking:

      http://www.circuitcity.com/sectors/help/return.asp

      Bottom line–I’ll think twice before patronizing any Systemax website–Circuit City, CompUSA, or Tiger Direct.

      Reply
    • Bill

      Just did a bit of searching…thank God for internetarchive.org, as it’s the only way now to view the return policy as Mr. Kaufman would have seen it the other day. I had to get this from an archive that they have of the compusa.com website–again, another Systemax company, same as circuitcity.com is now.

      The last scan that internetarchive.org made of the site was May 7, 2008…what you’ll see, though, is ***exactly*** the return policy as it appeared at both compusa.com and circuitcity.com until just a day or so ago:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20080215095307/www.compusa.com/sectors/help/return.asp

      This same return policy, no doubt, also applied to tigerdirect.com…I just didn’t bother going there.

      Reply
  3. Neil in AZ

    I plan on giving Circuit City a chance. I bought quite a few products from them over the past years, and I really liked the program they offered where you would pay online, and then pass by the store to pick up the product. I miss the company and hope they eventually return in better shape.

    Reply
    • Bill

      I miss Circuit City as well…personally, I’ve had very positive experiences at their stores, right down to price matching and ease of returns. Over a three month period last year, Circuit City happily exchanged three Zenith digital converters, all of which until the final one shared the same out of the box defect.

      Unfortunately, this new website is Circuit City in name only. Tiger Direct=CompUSA=Circuit City now…the sites are virtually interchangeable, all owned by Systemax at this point. Richmond, Virginia based Circuit City is dead.

      Reply
  4. shane

    CircuitCity doesn’t own CircuitCity.Com. Do a little more research and find out what happened and who owns the name. Actually, do a lot more research. It will help you with writing an article that is accurate.

    Reply
    • Michael Kaufmann

      I quote from the article above: “…last month Systemax purchased the Circuit City brand and website…”

      Why don’t you try reading the article. Actually, read all the article. It will help you with writing a comment that is actually useful.

      Reply

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