Friday, May 30, 2008

Circuit City's customer service disaster

It has taken me a few days to be away from the situation as to where I can now write about it without using too many 4-letter words.

On Thursday evening, May 9th, I decided to take my laptop downstairs and tweet, blog, serf, etc. while watching TV and having a cocktail. I mean, this is the point of a laptop, the ability to take it with you and free you from a desk; however, my cocktail and my laptop didn't play well together, suffice it to say, I blew-up my motherboard. After several panicked phone calls to IT friends, the Geek Squad and God, I resigned myself to purchasing a new laptop.

First things first, getting the data off of my hard drive and onto a flash drive. The nice, albeit non-miracle working techs at Dell, suggested I take it Circuit City. They have an in-house "geek-squad" that could assist me. On Saturday I tootle down to CC, expecting this to be relatively painless; the ordeal I endured for the next two weeks was worse than getting my wisdom teeth pulled.

I give the Fire Dog tech (Circuit City in home geeks) my motherboard and they suggest an expensive large capacity flash drive, not knowing how much information will be transferred. Let me put a pin in that...I am an end-user. I don't know the difference between rams, gig, bytes, etc. and I don't want to know. I want to turn on my frickin' computer and have it work...They tell me to come back in 2 hours and everything will be done. So I leave, feeling satisfied and expecting a job well done because of the confidence they exuded and claims they made that they could do the job properly.

I come back in 2 hours and the data isn't finished moving from one to the other. The FD tech said I had of information and it was taking a long time. Another pin...this is my home laptop, not work, there were less than 100 word or excel docs, so I couldn't imagine what was taking so long...While the hard drive & flash drive continued to do their thing, I looked for a replacement laptop. While I was wholeheartedly disappointed that all of their computers ran Vista, and only Vista, I was able to find one at a reasonable price, plus the software, cost me less than the one I had drowned. However, to have them install the software would be another 2 hours, so I left excited about my new purchase. By this time the flash drive is loaded; I told them to keep everything together and I would get it all at once when I picked up my laptop.

Upon my return 2 hours later, the FD tech informed me the laptop wasn't ready and I should come back in about 45 minutes. I rolled my eyes and went next door for a sandwich. I went back picked up the laptop, hard drive and flash drive. When I asked about other equipment to use with the laptop, my air card, printer and wireless mouse, the tech said that I could load the software onto the machine and if it wasn't Vista compatible, then I could just download it from the appropriate web site. Cool, let's go home.

In case you lost track, I have been to the store 3 times in one day.

I always check my answering machine when I first get home. There is a call from the FD tech that they forgot to give me the software Cd's and that someone would bring them to my home tomorrow. Foul ball.

I get home, plug it in, turn it on and we're cooking with gas. I attach the flash drive and notice that NONE of my files I need are there. I don't know what they transferred from my hard drive, but none of it was my files. Strike 1.

I proceed to load the AT&T air card software, follow the steps and then restart. Nothing happens, I mean nothing happens. The machine came on and the screen remained black. Strike 2.

I have to call the store 3 separate times to finally get someone to assist me; I'm determined not to go back to the store that evening; it would not have been a pleasant experience for all parties concerned, not to mention the next day is Mother's Day and I'm having guests for brunch, including my own mother. Finally after having me do several unsuccessful things, the FD tech says I need to bring the machine in and I quickly respond that since someone is coming by tomorrow to drop off the software, he/she can take the machine back. The tech is amenable to my suggestion. Ball 1.

No one showed up on Sunday to deliver or pick-up a frickin' thing. I was home all day; I didn't even go to church because I was preparing for brunch. Foul ball.

On Monday I take the laptop, original hard drive and flash drive to Circuit City. I tell them that none of the files transferred and the laptop isn't working. First I had them exchange the pricey large capacity flash drive for a smaller less expensive one as the files took less space than they anticipated. Second I wanted them to fix my laptop; the asst. manager tried to give me grief about loading a non-Circuit City (aka Verizon) broadband software and I gently (ha ha) reminded him that I would not have done if the FD tech hadn't assured me that if it didn't work with Vista, I could download upgrades/patches from the web. He finally relented and said that it would take a few days because they would need to use recovery Cd's (do I know, no; do I care, no). I was going out of town, so I left it there for a week. Ball 2.

I returned home over the weekend and on Wednesday, May 21st I go to pick up the laptop, software, hard drive and flash drive. Before I take a step away from the counter, I have them check the flash drive. Low & behold, the files still aren't on it. They swear they have transferred everything, and quietly (ha ha) let them know they haven't. The FD tech plugs in my hard drive and I showed them the files I want. The tech said, "oh," then he transferred those files, which was a simple copy/paste, in 20 seconds. They assured me everything was fine with the laptop and that I should take it to an AT&T store to have them load the software properly. I walked out. Ball 3.

As I can't get online, I do other things. I set the laptop date and time; I set up the display and screen saver; and I do some other odds and ends to make it more mine.

The next day, I go to an AT&T store to have the air card software properly installed. I have another customer service saga about AT&T, which I'll go into later. The rep opens my computer, turns it on and it isn't working. He can't get to the connection manager; seemingly the laptop is again malfunctioning. I go home, have a cocktail and watch the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. I couldn't go back to Circuit City in the state I was in or else folks would have been physically hurt, including myself. Strike 3.

Friday morning I awaken feeling refreshed. I've come to a decision. I have my files on the flash drive; I'll just use my work computer. I was returning the laptop and software and getting every dime of money I had paid.

Circuit City and Fire Dog had struck out. I went there for the last time, determined never to go there again or spend another dime with them. Note: Ask JC Penney if I can get my goods & services from another store, I haven't been there in almost 20 years because of lousy customer service and I'm sure Target is very happy with my decision.

This makes a total of 5 times to the same store for the same unresolved issue.

I walk in, immediately ask for an operations director and tell them I'm returning the laptop. He gives it to a FD tech, who was able to get to the connection manager, at which time I let them know they can load the AT&T software onto the computer. The manager begins to hem & haw about loading it and I let him know, do it or keep it, the decision is his. He decides to do it and says it should only be 10-15 minutes and I can wait for it. Upon completion I test it before I move from the counter, and it still wasn't working. The manager says they will give me another computer and I can pick it up tomorrow. Do I have to tell you my answer? Using my indoor voice (ha ha) I told him I would gladly take it, but I'm not coming back into this store. He said a FD tech would deliver it to me tomorrow.

Well, I can say that on Saturday, May 24th, 2008, two weeks, 5 trips, untold hours, unmentioned & numerous 4-letter words later, I received my new laptop in working condition.

I am pleased that they continued working to get it right; however, I am still never going to spend another red cent there. It shouldn't take that much dang work to get it right!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Starting Over (again!)

Yes, I've said it before, I've done it before and I've "meant it" before, but this time I really, really, really mean it.

According to my widget, I have 5 months 18 days until I celebrate my 2nd 39th birthday.


This year, my 1st 39th year, is supposed to be about self-reflection, self-assessment and self-improvement, getting to the real Me, the authentic Shannon. As the year is a bit more than half gone, let's take stock at what we've learned or accomplished.

  • I am attending church regularly (again). It is difficult with my travel schedule to make every Sunday and I'm still making excuses when I don't attend. Needs some improvement
  • I haven't begun reading my Bible again. Needs a lot of improvement
  • I'm preparing meals for Calvary Women's Services monthly and I've taken a more active role on the board. Meets expectations


  • I haven't picked up a book in months (years). Needs a lot of improvement
  • I am back in grad school, but I haven't been diligent about doing the work. Needs some improvement


  • I've all but abandoned my Shaklee business and the goals I set for this year. Needs a lot of improvement
  • I'm knee deep in social networking/media (obviously). Exceeds expectations
  • I am still looking for FTE, and I have not been as aggressive as I could/should be. Needs some improvement
  • The investment property has been challenging; I have a new focus on retaining tenants for the long term. Meets expectations

Personal (if I must)

  • My circle of associates and contacts is growing. Exceeds expectations
  • I have been asked to serve on a couple of other non-profit boards. Exceeds expectations
  • I got out of the habit of taking my vitamins. Needs some improvement
  • I have not started exercising and I have not lost a single pound. Needs a lot of improvement
  • and to top it all off, I'm not in a meaningful relationship. No improvement necessary

Now, so as not to fall into a deep depression of failure, I can say that some of these are in progress and are in need of nudging or consistency to meet expectations; however, there are some bullet points that have not progressed an inch in 6+ months.

The good news, in fact the best news - it's not too late to get started and keep moving forward. For instance, I've done Cinch for 2.5 days (will finish 3rd day tonight). Yeah for me!

I'm gonna celebrate the baby steps, as well as the leaps of progress.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm out there & I'm loving it!

Catch on a variety of social networking sites.

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Morning Blessing

Wishing everyone wonderful day.

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