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>>> Value Electronics refund <<<
What is the status of your VE refund?
This poll is closed.
I have requested a refund and received a refund ($$, not store credit) 22 15.38%
I have requested a refund, but have not received it yet 66 46.15%
I have not requested a refund yet, but plan to shortly 40 27.97%
I cancelled my VE order for the HR10-250, but used the store credit on something else 15 10.49%
Total: 143 votes 100%
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Dan2000 is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 03:22 AM
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Dan2000
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Registered: May 2004
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quote:
Originally posted by Fluffybear
We need the HR10-250 s/n on the receipt so please re-send me your receipt
with the s/n once you receive it.

I need the s/n for 2 reasons. First, DIRECTV will let me cancel my
commitment to purchase your HR10-250 with positive proof of purchase and in
many cases orders were not shipped and customers with canceled orders wanted
to reinstate the orders. It takes time and bank fees to credit and
re-charge, so I recommend you receive your order before we cancel it.

If you don't want to are unable to provide a receipt with the unit s/n we
can give you a store credit for the $100.00. Of course, we would prefer for
you to use your deposit to purchase a discounted accessory, but your
ultimate satisfaction is my primary goal.



Wow. I mean, Wow. After lurking here for several months I guess this is the first post that I just couldn't resist replying to.

First, an introduction is in order. I worked in the retail industry for over 15 years, and was a general manager at three different retail stores. I'm not going to to lie to you, the customer isn't "always right" like they say, but most of the time you want the customer to come back to the store on his own volition. When you make a mistake it's easy to think you'll be able to paper over it, but trust me, honesty is always the best policy because customers never forget, and they'll tell 10 of their friends to avoid your store if you leave them with the feeling they were wronged.

Having managed several "big box" stores, I have been following this Value Electronics pre-order story with great interest. The idea that the "little guy" can still make a living selling electronics out of his garage at high margin is alluring, if not overly quaint. In the beginning, things were good; communication channels were open, and most customers seemed quite pleased with their purchases. As time went on, though, the "little guy's" customer service department grew complacent; they stopped answering questions, stopped posting order status, and so far have racked up about 8 weeks of unexplained delays. Okay, supply problems happen with new products; you can't please everyone. This would have been a good time to publicly explain the delays (as best possible under the agreement with the distributor), offer a revised, accurate delivery schedule, and grant full unconditional refunds to anybody who was disappointed.

However, it looks as though the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Value Electronics instead has taken the hard-line approach of demanding "proof" in the form of a serialized receipt which most customers will not have, and putting the squeeze on customers to spend their hard-earned money on other items at the same store. Robert - this is not how you generate goodwill! The $50 profit you make off their $100 purchase (hint: your prices are nowhere near the competition) is the last revenue you'll ever see from all but the most die-hard customers. I realize you hate to part with their money, but it was never yours in the first place. If you counted your chickens before they hatched, admit it and move on. Credit is cheap; if you blew the pre-order money in Atlantic City, take out a loan and repay what you owe. Is your integrity worth $100?

I urge anybody reading this to take it from me, this is not how the retail business works. Most stores, big or small, will conduct themselves in an honest, forthright manner, because we managers do appreciate your business and won't sell you out for a small profit today. A few customers at each of the large chains are inevitably going to have problems with a transaction or two, but by and large most stores will accomodate you as well as they can. Value Electronics is unfortunately an exception to that rule, but I sincerely hope that through community pressure (or the realities of cutthroat competition) they can be brought into line with superior vendors such as Circuit City and Tweeter.

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lew is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 03:26 AM
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lew
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quote:
Originally posted by Weez
More and more this is sounding like someone who has our money and doesnt want to let go of it, sure you would like people to use the money to buy something else in your store but there are many who dont want to.


NO BIG DEAL. Just do a credit card dispute. There is no reason to go through hoops to get a refund. FTC regulations prevent a retailer from keeping an order open indefinitely. VE's "terms" don't superseed federal law. GIVE VE A CHANCE, if you bought elsewhere and your receipt has a s/n fax it to them BUT don't accept a store credit UNLESS THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. I know VE has a lot of supporters here but there is no excuse for not promptly refunding deposits.

Let the cc worry about getting the money back from VE.

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dswallow is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 03:46 AM
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dswallow
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan2000
Value Electronics instead has taken the hard-line approach of demanding "proof" in the form of a serialized receipt which most customers will not have, and putting the squeeze on customers to spend their hard-earned money on other items at the same store.

You're misinterpreting. And I can understand why; Robert isn't very good at writing something that doesn't leave holes for people to exercise their worst fears. I think we've all seen that by now, right? Almost every time he posts, he misses some point or writes it in a way it's easily interpreted two different ways and it takes a couple more questions to get out of him what he very likely meant to say in the first place.

He wants a copy of your receipt and wants your serial number to provide to DirecTV to get out of his obligation to accept a unit on behalf of your order. Everybody's going to have both if they bought a unit elsewhere. That's not really an unreasonable way to prove you got one elsewhere. Sure, you could still even make it all up and pretend, I suppose.

He could do a better job separating talk of the deposit refund entirely from the plea to accept a store credit instead. It's messy writing; overly confusing, and as you mention not particularly professional the way it's done. It might've been helpful to offer the amount as a 105% or 110% store credit... though he does already give a discount to AVS/TC members, so that might not be prudent or possible, though as a marketing expense wouldn't have been a bad idea.

But if you're certain his intent is malicious, you're going to read it that way; if you're certain his intent isn't malicious, you're going to read it another way. No way around that really... well, the way around it is to not have left anything open to interpretation or confusion.

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TonySCV is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 03:57 AM
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TonySCV
Tivo's are Grrrreat!

Registered: Oct 2002
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Posts: 29

So, just to throw some counterpoint everyone's way. I contacted VE early last week to request a refund. I was asked to send in a copy of the receipt showing I had purchased the item, which I faxed in the following day. The receipt showed the model # and that it had been paid - no serial # of the unit, etc. Just the basics that any receipt would show. I was never asked to send in my unit serial #.

I contacted them today to verify they had received it, and they said they had and that my refund was processed today.

Obviously if it doesn't show up, I'll sing a different tune, but for now, they are doing everything I would expect them to do and I've done everything they asked of me - no more, no less.

- T

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Dan2000 is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 04:13 AM
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Dan2000
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quote:
Originally posted by dswallow
You're misinterpreting. And I can understand why; Robert isn't very good at writing something that doesn't leave holes for people to exercise their worst fears. I think we've all seen that by now, right? Almost every time he posts, he misses some point or writes it in a way it's easily interpreted two different ways and it takes a couple more questions to get out of him what he very likely meant to say in the first place.


Value Electronics is in no position to ask anybody for proof of anything at this point. They're not matching somebody else's price; they're simply refunding money that was taken for a product that was not delivered as agreed. He has no right to make the customer jump through hoops, no legitimate need for the serial number, and he is only losing future sales by making unreasonable requests.

In the retail industry we fear the customer's "moral imperative" to shop somewhere else. This happens in the infrequent situation that the customer is so dissatisfied (or treated so poorly) that they will avoid our store at all costs. It is the manager's job to avoid and remedy these situations, not create them. By continuing to treat his customers like dirt and sending them brash, self-serving messages that imply "we don't trust you," that is exactly what Value Electronics is doing to themselves.

Robert's next message should promise a full, unconditional cash refund and maybe a gift certificate or two to anybody who wants to leave the pre-order queue, period. That is the only chance he has to save face with his remaining customers. Not unlike patrons at a diner who have just found a dead cockroach in their soup, most of Robert's customers are leaving with a frown on their face and thinking to themselves, "I'll never shop here again." Can you blame them? If Robert's 50% premium over Best Buy's prices isn't getting his clients better customer service than Best Buy, sooner or later they will all be shopping at Best Buy.

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dswallow is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 04:29 AM
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dswallow
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I know we've gone there before, but "not delivered as agreed" is wrong. You should read what you (or if not "you," at least what we customers/potential customers did) agree to next time if you think that they've not "delivered as agreed."

Specific refund terms were clearly spelled out. It's not terribly hard to see them, they were spelled out in some agonizingly huge font, too.

What exactly is VE selling at a 50% premium over Best Buy, anyway? If you're referring to the "free installation/new customer DirecTV deals" I don't think that's a fair comparison for what's going on behind those "free" deals. If you're talking about specific product anybody can buy, I'd like to know what it is.

Until you can go somewhere else _anytime_ and buy a HR10-250, not just during some "window of opportunity," or getting yourself on a different list and waiting again, I don't think anyone can truthfully say he's not met the implicit agreement made when we all placed orders. And when you can get an HR10-250, you can get your deposit back.

This whole argument is much ado about nothing (again).

The ONLY matter that should be of concern is getting the refund when you've done what you're supposed to do. If you aren't then there's reason to be upset, and that can be dealt with one way or another.

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dropper is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 04:32 AM
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dropper
UTV Zealot

Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Corona, CA
Posts: 229

quote:
Originally posted by Dan2000
Value Electronics is in no position to ask anybody for proof of anything at this point.


Eccept what was stated in the original agreement. Nobody, and I mean nobody had to put any money down to get their place in line. The $100 meant that you would get $100 off. Period.

It's almost as if people will just hop in here, throw in their 2 cents and see what sticks. It doesn't matter if they are right or not, just seem to want to stir up the crap.

You get your deposit back, whether it is $50 or $100 (was there a $25/$75?), as long as you show proof.

quote:
2. Your deposit is not refundable, unless you can get the HR10-250 sooner than we can ship.



It seems that it is unreasonable to ask for this proof....


Keith

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GreyGhost00 is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 04:40 AM
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GreyGhost00
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I don't have a problem with showing that I received a unit from somewhere else, as the terms spelled out when I placed the order. I have done that in providing a receipt that clearly shows that a unit was shipped and received by me (dated, with unit listed, full name, address, order number and tracking info for verification).

However, I must say that the request for the S/N really rubs me the wrong way. I've thought about it at some length and while I understand Robert's explanation, I don't buy it. The problem is that somehow he is transferring the commitment to purchase the unit from DirecTV to us, the customers. I did nothing of the sort when I ordered. I agreed to buy the unit from VE provided they could deliver it prior to another vendor (VE's terms, not mine). If VE made a commitment to XX number of units based on the pre-orders knowing full and well the conditions that they laid out, well then quite frankly they overextended themselves. While I'm somewhat sympathetic, frankly it's not my problem. And I am rankled by the assertion that now I must provide my S/N to cover for a bad business decision on VE's part. It's VE's bed - they made it and now they have to sleep in it.

That being said, I do agree with Dan2000's point that the "right" thing to do would be to accept people at face value (and refund their money), for that's what we the customers did for several months.

DOUG: While you make some good points, I honestly believe that there's too much of "something" going on here to be "much ado about nothing." People do have a right to expect reasonable communication and timely refunds - both of which have been lacking to this point.

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Last edited by GreyGhost00 on 05-12-2004 at 04:47 AM

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Geof in CO is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:05 AM
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Geof in CO
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Registered: Apr 2004
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quote:
Originally posted by Weez
Woah now thats a surprise? What happens to those of us that cancelled and wasn't told about this new "development" I was just told thanks for your patience and asked how i enjoyed my new unit? What about those who purchased something with an instore credit? How come they never had to show receipts or put up with this BS? More and more this is sounding like someone who has our money and doesnt want to let go of it, sure you would like people to use the money to buy something else in your store but there are many who dont want to. Im REALLY beginning to look at VE as a shady outfit. Robert stop with the silent treatment BS and post something publically so everyone knows exactly what avenue to take. Quite frankly your performance on this whole pre-order issue is pathetic. I think its safe to say alot of people were already on the fence with you and your company this just made the decision alot easier whether to do business with you or not in the future.

Good riddance

Weez

Is it true that if you want a store purchase you don't need to show a receipt or S/N? If he really needed to cancel DirecTv obligations then it shouldn't matter if you want a refund or store credit. There should be consistency.....store credit or refund.....Something doesn't smell right.....

I would think he'd process refunds quickly to avoid paying charge backs.

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lew is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:15 AM
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lew
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quote:
Originally posted by dswallow
I know we've gone there before, but "not delivered as agreed" is wrong. You should read what you (or if not "you," at least what we customers/potential customers did) agree to next time if you think that they've not "delivered as agreed."

Specific refund terms were clearly spelled out. It's not terribly hard to see them, they were spelled out in some agonizingly huge font, too.




Does anyone have a link to the original terms?

BTW a customer can't waive his FTC rights. Doesn't matter what the terms are. If Robert can't delivery the items NOW he really has to refund.

I don't think the specific refund terms required a receipt with a S/N. Robert is just going to wind up with the expense and bother of charge backs.

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tarmack is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:18 AM
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tarmack
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quote:
Originally posted by dswallow

This whole argument is much ado about nothing (again).

.





Funny how you HAVE to say that...it is already SO obvious to the many of us who have to read your posts.....in almost any thread that pops up on this forum....in order to get to the real "meat" of those threads.

We really aren't argueing about anything....all we have asked for is our money back after we have already taken delivery of a HR10-250 from a different vendor.

Period.

Any "arguements" seem to only come from you and your fan that seems to "blow" in 4 directions at once and at several speeds.

V.E. made the rules and seems to have a problem in following their own terms.

It is time for V.E. to "prove" something to us....not the other way around.

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rbrubeck is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:23 AM
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rbrubeck
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quote:
Originally posted by rbrubeck
I received my TIVO from CC yesterday ( i ordered from VE on 3/11 so was waaay down the list). Today I faxed my packing slip to VE with my order number written on it with a request for refund credit. An hour or so after the fax I called their toll free number. The very friendly girl (didn't get her name) who answered after about 3 rings checked the fax machine, verified they had it and after asking if I was sure there was nothing I would like to order with the credit, said my account would be credited with the refund. I will probably buy a Harmony 688 remote when my Pronto dies and I plan to get it from VE. Too bad it didn't work out on the TIVO but overall a good experience.


I felt compelled to re-post this as it was the last one before Robert's post.
What's the big deal here? This is taking on a mob mentality. He's asking for the serial number of a electronic device for Christs sake, not your social security number or bank account pin. This is exactly what I agreed to when I applied for the discount. Human nature can be a wonderful thing or, at times, very ugly. Light the torches and lets go get him, right?

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dswallow is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:28 AM
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dswallow
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quote:
Originally posted by tarmack
Funny how you HAVE to say that...it is already SO obvious to the many of us who have to read your posts.....in almost any thread that pops up on this forum....in order to get to the real "meat" of those threads.

We really aren't argueing about anything....all we have asked for is our money back after we have already taken delivery of a HR10-250 from a different vendor.

Period.

Any "arguements" seem to only come from you and your fan that seems to "blow" in 4 directions at once and at several speeds.

V.E. made the rules and seems to have a problem in following their own terms.

It is time for V.E. to "prove" something to us....not the other way around.


Which is where this thread started until some of the career VE-antagonists came in and started complaining, to them I was addressing my comments; not to the original point of this thread, which was basically "if you did everything asked of you to get your refund, have you gotten it yet?" which I think is a simple, and appropriate question to be asking.

And once again you have to find ways to include personal insults and attacks in what you write. It's amazing someone hasn't punched you in the face in real life if this is the way you communicate in person.

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troybarwick is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:42 AM
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troybarwick
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Lightbulb

I urge everyone having a problem with a refund to go here:

http://complaints.bbb.org/Welcome.asp?BCode=0121

because he's only got one:

http://www.bbbnewyork.org/businessr...t.aspx?id=69317

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tarmack is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:43 AM
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tarmack
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quote:
Originally posted by dswallow
It's amazing someone hasn't punched you in the face in real life if this is the way you communicate in person.




I am certain that in real life and off of this forum we are both quite "different" gentlemen.

I'd like to leave it that way.

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Dan2000 is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:48 AM
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Dan2000
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quote:
Originally posted by dropper
Eccept what was stated in the original agreement. Nobody, and I mean nobody had to put any money down to get their place in line. The $100 meant that you would get $100 off. Period.

It's almost as if people will just hop in here, throw in their 2 cents and see what sticks. It doesn't matter if they are right or not, just seem to want to stir up the crap.



There is no need to get personal. Problems can only be solved through civil discourse; when a customer refuses to address me calmly and respectfully, I immediately escort him from the store. Online forums are no different, and nothing will be solved by name calling or ad hominem attacks.

Irregardless of what the agreement said - since I didn't sign one I'll never know - somebody who is skilled at customer service can enforce agreements with his customers and make them feel good about the transaction. Making them feel "trapped" and comply with arcane cancelation procedures is a hallmark of fly-by-night operations which is guaranteed to drive away any repeat business you might get. The messages posted here by both Value Electronics and their "supporters" (employees?) are extremely rude and arrogant, and display utter disregard for any trouble the customer has been through.

quote:
It seems that it is unreasonable to ask for this proof....


As a Tivo owner I can attest to the fact that the serial number is treated as your account number, which many customers might not want to share in this age of identity fraud. From what I understand this is also key to obtaining the front-loaded subsidy credit from DirecTV, so perhaps Value Electronics is trying to put in a claim for commission from the purchases made at other vendors.

Again, Value Electronics might have had small print in the agreement that stated that you must furnish a serial number to cancel, but given the exceptional circumstances surrounding these orders it seems unreasonable from a customer service perspective to demand it in such a rude and manipulative fashion. Small businesses ignore the importance of customer goodwill at their own peril.

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GreyGhost00 is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 05:50 AM
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GreyGhost00
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quote:
Originally posted by rbrubeck
I felt compelled to re-post this as it was the last one before Robert's post.
What's the big deal here? This is taking on a mob mentality. He's asking for the serial number of a electronic device for Christs sake, not your social security number or bank account pin. This is exactly what I agreed to when I applied for the discount. Human nature can be a wonderful thing or, at times, very ugly. Light the torches and lets go get him, right?


Please explain to me ANY valid reason why he would need the S/N. So he can cancel the order from D* isn't one. I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but I have yet to see a valid reason why I should have to present this number for my refund.

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Fluffybear is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 06:05 AM
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Fluffybear
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My problem is not with the request for the S/N but rather with the terms changing. When I contacted VE by phone and by e-mail on the 5th, I was told by Robert in e-mail and by a very nice lady to just to fax my receipt and order number and nothing more.
On 5/8, I received that second e-mail but no where in it does it say I was missing information, etc.. just that this was the procedure to get my refund.
Today, Robert posts in this very thread stating some requests missing information on their request. One of the items to catch my eye in that post was 'Credit Card #'. He never stated S/N was required.

I am not sure if that was just a request of myself, standard policy that was I was not notified of or an attempt to strectch it out a couple more days.

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Dan2000 is offline Old Post 05-12-2004 06:12 AM
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Dan2000
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quote:
Originally posted by GreyGhost00
Please explain to me ANY valid reason why he would need the S/N. So he can cancel the order from D* isn't one. I'm not trying to be antagomistic, but I have yet to see a valid reason why I should have to present this number for my refund.


There is no valid reason unless you purchased the Tivo from Value Electronics.

For the sake of science I just called up Directv and gave them the serial number off one of my receivers, saying it was displaying a weird message. I was amazed that they pulled it up and handed out my account number and name without even asking who I was. It would not be hard for a scammer to impersonate you and activate extra cards and services on your account. Not saying Value Electronics employees would do that but who knows. Just keep it to yourself and you'll sleep better at night.

As a retail professional who's been on the receiving end of it, I thought I'd never say this but it sounds like credit card chargebacks might be justified here if the store is playing these silly games.

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tarmack
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan2000
There is no valid reason unless you purchased the Tivo from Value Electronics.

For the sake of science I just called up Directv and gave them the serial number off one of my receivers, saying it was displaying a weird message. I was amazed that they pulled it up and handed out my account number and name without even asking who I was. It would not be hard for a scammer to impersonate you and activate extra cards and services on your account. Not saying Value Electronics employees would do that but who knows. Just keep it to yourself and you'll sleep better at night.

As a retail professional who's been on the receiving end of it, I thought I'd never say this but it sounds like credit card chargebacks might be justified here if the store is playing these silly games.




That is some interesting information.

I wasn't that proud of myself that I had "submitted" to V.E. and had sent them my Serial number....after 5 requests.

So far it hasn't done any good anyway....cuz there is yet no posting of credit to my credit card.

But....not all is lost. <g>

My first HR10-250 died over the weekend.....and I got a new one today as a replacement from Circuit City.....so during the activation of that new one...I had them de-activate the old one and original one.

Therefore the new and current Serial Number ain't known to anyone...cept me and DirecTV.

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