Nice Try, Circuit City

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.

BTW, Circuit City has now removed the rebate from their site completely.  Thankfully, Google’s cache still has the modified version

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