Confirmation that Circuit City sucks


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Store's Floor Model Computer Loaded With Woman's Personal Info

Circuit City Says There Should Be No Expectation Of Privacy

DENVER -- Imagine receiving a phone call from a stranger who knew your most private thoughts, knew what you looked like, knew your Social Security number, and even knew how much you make and where you work.

That happened to a Colorado woman after she took her computer to a major electronics store.

Her situation may be surprising given all the warnings about identity theft. But it's not surprising if you think for a moment about what's on your personal computer. There may be files about your income, business records, taxes, personal e-mails, dirty jokes, pictures and more.

It's all personal information unless you took your computer to a local retailer.

Susan, who asked us to conceal her true identity, did just that.

"I do want the general public to know this information. I want them to be aware that their privacy is not protected when they go into that store," said Susan.

That store is Circuit City.

Last June Susan went to the Circuit City store in Boulder to buy a new computer. She asked to have the files from her old computer saved to a disk.

"Let's just say I had many years of private writings, papers, personal information, pictures," Susan said.

Circuit City employees copied those private writings and papers onto a floor model computer then onto a disk. But they never removed Susan's personal files from that floor model computer. A few days later, that computer was sold.

"That evening I got a call from a strange man that I do not know who told me he purchased a desktop floor model computer which contained all of my personal information," Susan said.

When she finished talking with him, she said she felt "shock and fear and anger and disappointment that this happened."

"I can't even express the deep violation that I feel," she said.

Susan said it got worse. She said she questioned Circuit City and was told it was her fault for having those personal files on her computer and for expecting Circuit City to protect her privacy.

That's when she filed suit.

"I don't believe they have a solid legal argument here," said Howard Bernstein, Susan's attorney.

"They're coming up with some argument that it's not really your personal computer or you can't treat it as your personal computer if you bring it into our store. There is no expectation of privacy," Bernstein said.

7NEWS' hidden cameras found a change at Circuit City stores after Susan filed suit.

Employees now offer to transfer files for a fee and promise to protect your information.

"We don't download anything onto our computers whatsoever because it's a liability for you and it's also a liability for us as well," said a Circuit City employee.

That's a change from what Circuit City is telling Susan in court. The company says it had "no contractual duty" because the transfer was done at no charge and with no promises to protect her privacy.

Susan believes any reasonable customer expects a major computer seller would protect their privacy.

"According to them, I'm the only one who feels this way. I'm the only customer who has a problem with the fact that they don't have any respect for a customer's privacy," Susan said.

The two sides will settle their differences later this month.

Because of the pending litigation, officials with Circuit City denied our request for an on-camera interview.

In court documents, the company admits to a mistake with Susan's information but also believes they were under no legal obligation to protect her privacy since she did not specifically ask for protection.

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Best Buy sucks ass in their computer department, too. I wanted to buy a computer from them last year and I did. They took over 35 minutes just trying to find the box it went in. I ended up buying their floor model computer from them. It was a piece of shit as was to be expected. So I returned it and bought one at CompUSA. I'll never buy another computer from Best Buy again after all the bullshit I put up with from them. I only shop there for DVD's now.

I haven't shopped at Circuit Shitty since the year Mortal Kombat Mythologies came out. They had the game advertised in their WEEKEND AD and I went there that Sunday night to buy it. Now, I'm no expert, but if you have a BRAND-NEW GAME advertised in your weekend advertisement, you'd think they'd have it in stock right? No. They tried to bait-and-switch me. Not to mention that everyone who works at the Circuit Shitty's around my area are brainless assholes who don't give a shit about the customer. Fuck them. I hope this Susan woman cripples them.

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I haven't shopped at Circuit Shitty since the year Mortal Kombat Mythologies came out.  They had the game advertised in their WEEKEND AD and I went there that Sunday night to buy it.  Now, I'm no expert, but if you have a BRAND-NEW GAME advertised in your weekend advertisement, you'd think they'd have it in stock right?  No.  They tried to bait-and-switch me.

To be fair, all retailers do that. New store fliers are seen by the public starting Sunday morning, so the retailers have to mention the upcoming products before they're actually released. For instance, music and DVDs hit stores on Tuesday, while video games are stocked on Thursday. To combat the claim of a "bait-and-switch" the fliers clearly state the release date of the upcoming products as well as the possibility of limited quantities. I worked at a Best Buy for three and a half years, so I know this for a fact.

You wouldn't believe how many irate/demanding customers I've seen put in their place after a manager showed them the text that explained the product they wanted could not be sold until the published release date. These people huff and puff and shake their fliers like the holy fucking Bible, but they never actually bothered to read the damn copy below the pretty pictures. Once they were forced to read the text that was right in front of them the entire time, they always walked away embarrassed by their actions.

The only time they actually had a legitimate gripe was when the store ran a mid-week flier (usually to promote a four-day sale) and the product wasn't available. In those instances, however, it usually came down to each store only being issued a limited quantity and the customer arriving much too late to purchase their desired item. In those instances, however, rain checks would be issued.

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Also, for big chain stores like that, the flier is the same for each store. Even if they don't stock all of the items in each store.

Another thing. For people out there who want to avoid shopping at Circuit City, don't shop at Radio Shack any more. They just got bought out by Circuit City.

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Yeah, fliers are regional. There is usually a list of stores on them that say which locations the prices are valid.

Circuit City sucks, when I was like 12, I wanted to get a new graphics card, so I went into Circuit City (the only place within an hour's drive that stocked it, so I had no choice, really) with my $150 ready to slap down. It took me over an hour to get help, and the store wasn't even crowded. To this day I have never bought anything at Circuit City since, except a CD that I got because somebody bought me a gift card.

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