Friday, January 16, 2009

Good Night, Circuit City

Circuit City officially announced plans to close its 567 remaining stores. I admit, I've shopped in CC all of twice in my lifetime (both within the last year). The first time was when I bought my digital camera last spring, which now makes my 2-year service warranty seem a tad superfluous. The second time was last fall, because we'd earned a gift certificate rebate for...something. I think for one of our package Comcast deals when we moved.

The closings are sad (not quite as sad as closing KB Toys, because I used to love wandering their aisles as a kid), but particularly annoy me because of this quote from the linked article:

Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter told investors that Circuit City's demise will help Best Buy cement its position as the market leader.

Best Buy makes me want to spit nails. Their customer service sucks--probably because they can't seem to hire anyone but nineteen year old boys. I went to a BB last spring during my digital camera hunt, because they had a good sale going on. Three salespeople stood chatting less than fifteen feet away from me for the entire five minutes I perused the camera section. I played, I tested, I read about the features. I even shot a few questioning looks their way. Not a single person approached me. So I left.

Back in December, I was tasked by my dad to buy a digital camera for my mom (since he was fresh out of heart surgery, he couldn't go shopping). For some reason unknown to me, I decided to give Best Buy a second chance. The camera section in this one was directly across from the front desk where there is always someone stationed. I looked and browsed and tested, and I finally picked one I liked. I stood there, looked around, waited for someone to notice me. Two people were chatting with the kid assigned to the information counter, but no one made eye contact with me.

I finally had to go over there and ask for help. The kid at the desk said he'd call someone over. I went back to wait. Stood there. Saw several of the same associates pass by me, but no one came over. I was getting seriously pissed at this point, and was tired of being ignored. I finally gave a glare at the next person to walk by me, who actually stopped and asked if I needed help. At the end of all that, the camera I wanted wasn't in stock.

So I went across the street to Wal-Mart. I found the exact same camera ten dollars cheaper, found someone to me right away, and I even got a free $10 gift card out of the deal. All in less than ten minutes.

Moral of the story? There really isn't one. Only that it sucks CC is going out of business, because I won't shop at BB again.

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