Circuit City liquidation: A cautionary tale
If you're looking for a great deal at your local closing Circuit City, it's buyer beware, and check your purchases.
Years ago I worked at a Circuit City-like big-box retailer in Washington state called Future Shop. I was there through the bitter end when they shuttered the U.S. stores, and I worked through the liquidation. Toward the end there wasn't much left. Employees would hide things they wanted so they could get the larger discounts later in the sale, but for the most part we treated the customers well.
Apparently not so at some Circuit Citys, like one near Boston. According to a local news channel, Gina Reis thought she was getting a good deal on a large-screen Samsung HDTV at $1,100. Signs posted at the store advised buyers not to open the merchandise, so she didn't. Signs also said all sales are final.
When Gina got home she was shocked to find the screen shattered. Returning to the, she was told the store wouldn't take the HDTV back but that it included a full manufacturer's warranty.
Warranties on Samsung HDTVs, of course, don't cover shattered screens.
There are state laws in Massachusetts that protect consumers against such purchases, but they're superseded by federal liquidation and bankruptcy laws that actually say all sales are final.
Thankfully, Reis' local TV station contacted her credit card company, Citizens Bank, which agreed to drop the charges. The moral of the story is that if you're looking for a great deal at your local closing Circuit City, it's buyer beware, and check your purchases.