Circuit City Crud, The California Conundrum, and the Sh’injury

Taylor’s new car (which we haven’t yet named, but Taylor is leaning toward the Green Goblin, and I’m leaning toward Romulus) was purchased with a very, very lame stereo. We knew that we’d need to replace it soon, because the 2002 stock stereo was literally on it’s last shorted out wire. We decided to take advantage of the President’s Day sales to buy a replacement stereo and an alarm. We price shopped online, and decided on an Ipod-ready Pioneer CD player at Circuit City. We weren’t sure about what time they opened, so after a quick breakfast at Leo’s, we arrived at CC at 10:00.

We went straight back to the auto accessories area, and found what we liked within 2 minutes. We had to go around to several departments to ask for help…and finally 15 minutes later we had a rep from the TVs department. She politely looked up what we wanted on the computer and wrote it down, but said the auto rep wouldn’t be in until 11:00. So Taylor and I decided that since the weather was bad, and we didn’t have other plans…we’d just look around for 45 minutes. At 11, a rep from home electronics came over and said the auto guy wouldn’t be in until noon, but he would look up what dash kit and harnesses we needed. He reassured us that the installation was included with both the alarm and stereo…no extra charge. The adjustment was made for the stereo okay…but then the installation came up at $80 for a $69 alarm. We were planning on around $220 for all the parts and labor, but that install fee…plus a few more parts added another $140. I had a coupon, and we also haggled down the stereo to the circuitcity.com price, and swiped the card for $312.

Unfortunately, this guy said that one part was not in stock, so we’d have to drive up to Novi (13 miles away) to pick it up, and drive it back. He gave us some shoddy directions (like incorrect freeway names and wrong exit number) and said it would be there waiting for us. We already had movie tickets (and originally hoped to have the car done after the movie), so we didn’t get to Novi until about 2:00. The customer service rep at the Novi store kinda laughed us off…saying that there were 30 parts in stock at the Westland store…and said there was no reason we needed to drive to Novi. But they called Westland to double check twice, and sent us back with a very generic, universal part that we could have picked up at Radio Shack next door.

We got back to Westland CC at 3:00, had a nasty slip on the ice, and talked with the auto audio install guy. I explained what we’d been through in the morning, how we’d driven to Novi for naught, and how the guy that actually rung us up for the transaction PROMISED the installation to be done by 7:30 PM, which is when Taylor needed to leave for the airport for his high-speed. We looked over the items we’d been rung up for…and said there was still another $20 part we needed. He let us buy it for cost, $7. We double-checked that the car would be done on time, and he said it would be no problem because we were the only install on the list for the day.

So Taylor and I went home, spent time with Rosie, iced and elevated my swollen leg, got some dinner, and arrived back at CC at 7:30. The auto guy half-heartedly apologized, saying he was the only one working, and it was his day off, and he’d been swamped. He said he was 99% sure he’d have the car done by closing time at 9:30!!! Taylor left for the airport, and Rosie and I camped out on the floor of Circuit City for the next hour and a half. We saw auto-guy talking on his cell-phone, taking several smoke breaks, leaving the install area, and generally NOT focusing on our car. I fell asleep on the floor of the store, and he shook me awake at 9:05 PM, just over 11 hours after originally arriving at the store.

So through this strenuous ordeal, we still had to pay over $100 more than the cost that it appeared to be on the website. We were shown poor customer service with 5 of the 6 employees we’d worked with in 11 hours at 2 stores. But the good news is…Taylor’s car now has a nice stereo and alarm system.

So now I’m laying on my bed, blogging about my President’s Day, with my leg elevated with an ice pack. I can walk, but it really hurts. I’ve been planning a trip to California this week, to see a Nathan McEuen show, go to Disneyland with Grant and Hollie, spend time with Lizzie and my in-laws, and enjoy the sunshine. But after trying to list on 6 oversold flights, the only flight I’m sure I can get is the one that arrives at LAX at 10 pm tomorrow. I’ll miss Nathan’s show, and it puts me into a weird, really expensive rental car time slot. Is it worth the hassle for paying $150 for 4 days of rental car, part of a day at Disneyland, and for babysitters each night I’m gone?

And that is my Circuit City crud, the California Conundrum, and the Sh’injury. Thoughts?