I’ve had a TiVo for a rather long time. Ever since the Series 2 TiVos were released, I’ve toyed with the idea of getting another one. However, I just couldn’t stomach the price of another unit plus subscription fees.
Then, about a month ago, I saw my chance. As I browsed through my RSS feeds in Thunderbird, I saw that Dealcatcher.com had an item about a Circuit City TiVo offer. The unit was selling for $199, with a manufacturer’s rebate of $150. Circuit City was also offering a $50 rebate. To top it all off, DealCatcher pointed out that by using a certain coupon code, you could save 10% off any purchase. In other words, I was going to come out $20 ahead if bought the TiVo.
Needless to say, I bought it. But all of this is simply background for the real story: Circuit City is ripping people off.
I bought the TiVo on December 17th, which was the day DealCatcher.com listed the deal. When I went to Circuit City’s site, their rebate form made it clear that I had to purchase that day to take advantage of the rebate. See for yourself here’s how the rebate looked on 12/17/05: (Click to see full image.)
However, just recently, I received a notification saying that my rebate had been rejected as invalid. The reason? My purchase date wasn’t a valid date. WTF?
When I called Circuit City’s rebate line to dispute this, they told me that “that rebate shows an end date of 12/16, not 12/17.” Lo and behold, if you went to the rebate URL on that day, things looked different: (Click to see full image.)
(I know the images look slightly different rest assured it’s simply because they were captured in different ways. The first was created by printing to a file, the second by doing screen grabs.)
To make a long story short, I called bullshit on their scam and told them I had the original form. They immediately agreed to process my rebate. So, while I’m glad I didn’t get robbed, I’m guessing that many people did. So Circuit City is officially on JoseMonkey’s shitlist.