Circuit City Hard Drive Enclosure

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Well, I've shipped my computer off, having copied everything that I thought I might possibly need from it. (See this post and the ensuing conversation for details.) I even found the PST file from Outlook, which was in what looked like a corrupted directory with the name slightly off (which would explain why the program couldn't find any settings when I opened it). For some reason I couldn't see this directory when running Windows on the drive, but I can see it when I'm looking at the drive as an external additional drive on a different computer.

So now I just have to wait for them to sift through every part of it and find all the problems. What I receive back may well be in as good condition as the original computer was. I'll still have to reinstall everything, and that will take awhile, but I managed to find a hard drive enclosure at the local Circuit City, which I didn't know existed until today when the guy at the Best Buy at the mall sent me downstairs to "the competition" because he didn't have any in stock. I was surprised to discover what the competition was, because we've never had a Circuit City before. We did have a CompUSA, but they've all cleared out. When I saw that, I was hoping BestBuy had it, and when the guy said he didn't have it he must have seen something in my face. I doubt he regularly sends people down to Circuit City.

I had an interesting experience at Circuit City, and it raises an interesting ethical question. When I looked at the hard drive enclosures on the shelf, I saw two different ones. It turned out the more expensive one ($40) was for desktop computer hard drives, and the less expensive one ($20) was for notebook hard drives. At least that's what the price markings underneath them said. Since I needed the latter, I checked with a sales guy to make sure it was what I needed, and he said that was what would enable me to connect my hard drive to another computer as an external drive. So I waited in the fairly long line (the only one they had open) and then discovered that the enclosure actually cost something like $35. I didn't want to wait in line again, so I paid it and then went back to check. It turns out the one they had a price tag up for was a different brand. They're charging $15 more for this apparently better brand for the same product, and meanwhile they don't have the cheaper ones in stock and don't have this one labeled. That strikes me as deceptive marketing, whether it's deliberate or not.

I wouldn't normally be the sort of person to buy something like this, use it for what I need it for, and then return it. But given that I thought I was going to be paying a good deal less for this thing (and it was pretty much the store's fault that I had just about paid for it when I realized that), I think I may just return it when I'm done. Sam's going to use it to get some stuff off an older hard drive from her old computer that won't boot up (I already took what I wanted off it once the other computer got picked up by DSL), and I might wait until I get my computer back to transfer things back to it from Sam's new computer (where I put everything in the meantime). But I have no qualms about using their 30-day return policy basically to rent this thing for free, if they're going to do when in effect advertises it as if it's 4/7 of its real price, for people to discover only after they've waited in a long line. Technically speaking, it's not what I thought it was. It's a much more expensive product that does exactly the same thing. They frame their 30-day return policy in terms of whether you're completely satisfied with the product. I'm not completely satisfied with it, even if I'm very satisfied with what it does.

8 Comments

Jeremy, I never thought I would ever hear you argue like a Pharisee (said partially tongue in cheek). I will be glad to pay the difference ($15?) for your enclosure and take away the temptation. Let me know what you decide.

You're going to "rent this"? It is amazing how frustration tends to justify "givem a dose of their own medicine". Take it from a Pastor that builds PC's for a hobby, this sort of frustration with your PC and the retail outlet is common whether it be Best Buy, Compusa or Circuit City. My advice is to "suffer to be wronged ",they are not likely to take it back if you are honest when you tell them the reason for returning it. You should keep it since it will very likely come in handy again.

Actually, I think you're misunderstanding me. I don't think I'm doing to them what they did to me. That's not it at all. I'm not sure how I could deceive them into thinking that they're going to pay less for something than they would end up paying. It's not about giving them back what they gave me. It's about them not fairly representing their product ahead of time. The normal result of such behavior is that buyers return the product when they discover that it isn't something they want.

What I want is the cheaper model, the one I thought I was buying. What I'd like to do is exchange it for that, assuming they really do carry it. This simply isn't the product I originally wanted, the only one they had a price for. I might have been willing just to buy the more expensive one and eat it if they'd been honest, but given their dishonesty I don't think it's really my fault that I have this one rather than another one that I might have gotten from the other BestBuy in town that I would have proceeded to once I saw that they didn't have a decently-priced model in stock at Circuit City.

It's their fault I got stuck with this one after waiting in a long line and not having enough time to go across town to find another. Since it's not the product I wanted, and it's their fault I have the product I didn't want, I think the terms of the contract are fair enough for me to return it and exchange it for the one I wanted provided that they do carry the one they said they carry (and they were just out of stock yesterday). If it turns out they don't really carry it at all, I think a full refund is in order.

Okay, I know someone (be it in the body or in the spirit--I don't know) who was caught up to work in Circuit City part time because he's expecting another child and his boy is starting private school. With that defense I'll carry on:

The marketing does stink because it's mostly teens on the floor stocking the shelves when the things come in and very often they forget to print price tags and assume the next shift will do it. That's not a defense, it's just anecdotal at this point. But, tt would probably be better if you go by sooner than later with a decent flip-out explaining the whole problem with the item on the shelf, you getting home and puzzling over the receipt, etc.

Honestly, if you press your point and they don't have the item in stock, they may just let you take that one and give you a refund on the difference between the one you have and the one that was priced on the shelf; but you'll have to do that sooner than later. Their 30 day policy includes price matching plus 10% of the difference on ads of competitor in-stock items (or even their own website so check there as well), directly shipping to your house with free shipping if they don't have it in that store, or (this is the hush-hush part that no one knows that if you really press your point) taking another item in place of the one not there.

I wouldn't normally be the sort of person to buy something like this, use it for what I need it for, and then return it.

What sort of person is that?

A person who would pretend to intend to buy something while intending only to borrow it. That's deceptive.

Of course, I never intended to pretend to buy it while really intending only to borrow it. I intended to buy something else, thinking this was it.

Well, it was easier than you suggested it would be, Rey. I walked in the store, went right to the shelf to look around, and discovered the one they were advertizing on sale for $20 was there but was on another shelf and over a good bit. I picked one up, went back to the customer service desk, and explained that the one I originally bought had no sales tag on the shelf, and I thought I was going to be getting the $20 sale one, which was the other one. She asked me if it worked, and I said it worked fine but wasn't the one I had intended to get (which assumes that I had used it, so there's no arguing that I was hiding the fact that I'd used it). She said that she would be refunding $16 (or so) to my account, had me sign it, and I walked out with the product I had originally thought I was buying when I got in line on Thursday.

Man, that was MUCH easier and a sweet solution. They're usually pretty helpful when it comes to this sort of thing and will probably sell the one you brought in as an open box item.

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