Circuit Shoddy and 360 Warranties

Circuit City is (not very surprisingly) closing its doors. They started their “going out of business” sale where everything is a wopping 10% off (and a few things at a slightly greater discount). I stopped by the closest Circuit City expecting to find, well, nothing of interest. The place was packed. It appeared people were snapping up stuff left and right like 10% off of retail prices were the second coming. There were a few older 360 and Wii games I was looking for, but they were all marked at full retail. I can find better deals in moments by ordering online (which is probably why they are going out of business). Last night I was looking at a 7.1 amplifier which I can pick up at Amazon for about $210, or $170 if I am willing to buy “open box” (both prices are “shipped”). Circuit had the exact same model on the shelf, selling it open box (likely missing the manual and remote). The clerk informed me that the receiver cost $315 minus 10%. I confirmed “this is the price for a this non-boxed receiver?” which he confirmed that it was. Amazing. I looked for a few more minutes and found nothing – but even if I had, I would not have waited in the insanely long lines. Honestly, I doubt I will miss Circuit City.

Since I bought my “replacement” Xbox 360 last week I have been mulling over the “extended warranty” business. Not really so much an “if” question (all 360’s need the extended warranty) but “who’s”. It was between the Best Buy extended warranty at $40 and the Microsoft “service contract” at $54. I did some reading about these, and the deciding factor was that with Best Buy, if your unit breaks outside the manufacturer warranty, your extended warranty ends when they give you a replacement. With Microsoft, they will keep replacing the system until the warranty expiration date. Best Buy “might” just give you an immediate replacement when you brought in the dead system, but I think for the extra $14, the extended time on the warranty is more important. So, I called Microsoft to purchase their extended warranty. The call was time consuming as expected. At the beginning of the call the phone support person pretended not to have any idea what I was talking about . This may be because he calls it a “service contract” and I was saying “extended warranty” but ultimately he was able to write up the paperwork to put the contract into place – I had a similar experience when I bought my previous Microsoft 360 “service contract” – they tried to discourage the purchase. Hmm. So, should my 360 have any issues between now and January 2012, I can feel safe that it is covered

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