Saturday, August 11, 2007

Circuit City and Their 24-Minute Guarantee

Circuit City has something called the 24-Minute Guarantee and according to their website, "Our in-store pickup is a fast, convenient and satisfying way to shop. Your order is ready when you are! You can research your purchase on our site, buy online and have it in your hands in just 24 minutes—without paying shipping charges".

I decided to put this guarantee to the test today. I've ordered from their website before and picked it up in store but I've never been in a position to be at the store in 24 minutes. I placed my order online, drove to the store, and waited until one minute after the guaranteed time to approach the service counter. First I was questioned if I really selected pickup as my method of delivery. I told them I was pretty positive on that since there wasn't any shipping charges on the order confirmation I handed the employee. After searching around in the computer for a while he told me, "Oh, I was looking for the wrong order number." He then gets interrupted by another employee who he then proceeds to help while I am left standing there. He then walks to the other end of the counter so I ask the other employee what is the definition of "ready". She basically ignores me but asks the guy who was supposed to be helping me, "What's going on with this web order?" He mumbles something and disappears to the back and finally emerges with my order. He bags it up and finally hands it to me, 35 minutes after I placed the order. So I politely ask, "What is the definition of ready?" His answer, "well uh I THINK it means" at which point I really start to question this guarantee. So I ask again, and finally a different employee steps in and says, "It means that the order is sitting on a shelf in the back with my name and order number on it." Great so it's completely up to Circuit City employees to say that the order was ready because we as customers have no way of seeing if it really is ready or not.

I left wondering if the first employee really was typing in the wrong order number or was he stalling? Needless to say I didn't get my order in 24 minutes nor did I leave the store with a $24 gift card. I probably will order through them again, if the price is right, but I know now that trying to get them to honor their supposed guarantee is a complete waste of time. It would be hard to get them to admit that the order was not ready.

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