Nov 3rd, 2008

I try to keep phandroid dedicated to Android-only news and in a roundabout way, the fact that Circuit City is closing 155 stores (see list below) is directly related to my experience with Android. You may remember my Live Blog Failure from the T-Mobile G1 Press Conference in New York City… well, Circuit City played a part in the huge blunder that was.

My own lack of planning left me scrambling for a laptop battery for my Toshiba – something I became painfully aware was incredibly difficult to come by unless your ordered direct from the factory. With COMP USA gone and not enough time to spare, I searched high and low for a replacement. Even for a RENTAL. Nothing. Nowhere. Not in Baltimore, MD and not in New York City as far as I can find.

Just a couple hours before I jumped on a bus to NYC, I called Circuit City on a whim. I dialed the national number and the kind Customer Service Rep located one in Towson, MD and told me they were in-stock. She double confirmed it was available and reserved it for me over the phone – I purchased it and everything – and headed out the door to pick it up.

When I arrived at Circuit Shitty, I handed them my confirmation number and stood there for 15 minutes unattended and “in the dark”. Finally, an employee came over, printed something off the computer and handed it to me along with a gift card.

“Ummmm… what is this?” I asked.

“We couldn’t find the laptop battery so thats your receipt and a $25 gift card for your trouble.”

I probably spent $25 of gas driving to and from the stupid store. Not only that, but I spent some precious planning time directly before leaving to solve a problem I considered rather urgent. What I really wanted was them to find the darn laptop battery but they could have at least asked me how they could resolve the problem instead of forking over $25 bucks.

So I asked them if they could check stock in Manhattan and transfer over the order to a Manhattan store that had it in stock. Thirty minutes later I had the order transferred and was running late for my bus.\

When I finally got to Circuit City in New York it wasted about 1 hour of getting to and from the store and Circuit City Manhattan was CLUELESS about how to process the transfer. I stood their for 45 minutes as they tried to unfoobar the foobarredness.

After many wasted hours and tons of frustration later I DID get the battery I needed but at the expense of precious planning time that are partly to blame for the live blogging mishap. The Circuit City in Baltimore, MD and East 86th Street in New York City are 2 of the 155 stores closing. My incident pretty much sums up everything I had heard about Circuit City and why I only visited them when in dire need.

That being said, the closing of 155 Stores means a LOT of lost jobs and that saddens me. I’m sure Circuit City has hundreds of great employees that are being let go at no fault of their own. I hope they can find work at a company whose culture and business methods aren’t inherently disastrous.

Here is the list of the 155 stores closing:

[Via Gizmodo, Circuit City, Consumerist]