Circuit City Refuses to Honor Call of Duty 4 Deal


It should come as no surprise to seasoned game shoppers to hear that Circuit City has apparently refused to honor yet another of their own promotions. Several people saw an ad for Call of Duty 4 saying they could get a free copy of CoD3 if they went to Circuit City to make their purchase and happily made the trek there earlier today. But, as Adam, a reader of The Consumerist, reports:

Today, like many anxious gamers, I went to Circuit City (Store # 3111) to pick up the highly anticipated “Call of Duty 4″ for the XBox 360. I chose to pick it up at Circuit City as this week’s circular ad listed a free copy of the previous game “Call of Duty 3″ with purchase. When I went to check out, I was told that it was a misprint and that they refused to honor it. Myself, along with about half a dozen co-workers were rightfully angry that we wasted our lunch hour on this Circuit City bait-and-switch, that has become too common with this outlet lately.

To make things weirder, that ad in question is still listed on their website for Naperville, IL, and it clearly mentions a free copy of CoD3 not once but twice; not exactly something that can be explained as a simple misprint. My own experiences with Circuit City have been less than pleasant, so I’ve known to avoid them for awhile now. But still, that sort of bait-and-switch tactic is pretty tacky in itself.

Via The Consumerist

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112 Comments on Circuit City Refuses to Honor Call of Duty 4 Deal


On November 6, 2007 at 9:51 pm

maybe it was for pre orders only, misprints are more common nowadays, if you acted as mad in the store as you do on the internet maybe you would of gotten $10 off, so what you didnt get a free copy of cod3, you were still gonna pay the same price for COD4.


On November 6, 2007 at 11:01 pm



On November 7, 2007 at 2:14 am

I had them attempt something similar to me as well. I purchased a camera on their website reading their online guarantee of “if it is not prepared for in store pickup within 24 minutes of the time stamp on the email for order confirmation, you get a 24 dollar gift card”. I thought to myself hey that’s nice, either i get it without waiting or i get 24 dollars of credit, it’s a win win. Anyway, I arrived at the front counter of the store a good 30 minutes after the time stamp and not only was it not ready, but they didn’t start preparing it. So I had to wait an additional 10+ minutes and then they tried to not give me the gift card, claiming that it was “24 minutes after you walk in the store”. Either way, I spent over 300 bucks and they didn’t want to keep their word so I demanded a refund on the unopened product. Needless to say, I got the gift card which purchased a nice little case for the new camera:P. I probably won’t go shopping there in the future.


On November 7, 2007 at 6:32 am

Wouldn’t this be considered false advertising? (definition,) False advertising is the use of deliberately false statements or deception in advertising, in order to gain a commercial advantage. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into commercial transactions that they might otherwise avoid, many governments around the world use regulations to control false, deceptive or misleading advertising.)


On November 7, 2007 at 7:55 am

This was not a problem for me. I went and picked up my copy of COD4 at 1:00 yesterday @ the Valley Forge, PA store #711 and they honored the ad. I have my free copy of COD3.


On November 7, 2007 at 9:25 am

I would have walked out right that instant. Told ‘em all where to shove it.


On November 7, 2007 at 10:01 am

Dunno in the US, but in the UK if there is a price or offer listing, be it in-store or on an ad, evne if it wasn’t the correct one, they are obligated to follow it (a kind of, you have to ask, but they can’t say no thing). Pretty bad that you’re not getting your free game.

oh fo sho

On November 7, 2007 at 10:53 am

circuit city sucks and so does eb games i refuse to give either company my money circuit city always screws you, and everyone who works at eb games lies to little kids telling them that one game is sweet when it is just a piece of crap used game. i am always satisfied to just pay the extra 2 dollars and go to best buy. i hope cicuit city and eb games go out of business.


On November 7, 2007 at 11:33 am

This is why I buy all of my stuff on line, stores suck


On November 7, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Couldnt you sue for misrepresentation? And with that threat they would probably give you the game and an xbox 360

Just Me

On November 7, 2007 at 2:21 pm

A misprint is when they put a 5 instead of a 9 or spell words wrong. That ad is fully designed to say “Free COD3!!!!” That is NOT a misprint. It’s CC showing how low-class they really are. When will people stop buying from those guys? Be smart with your money people.

Concerned American

On November 7, 2007 at 2:23 pm



On November 7, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Why do people continue to shop at Circuit City. They are a dishonorable store who will do anything to screw the customer. Shop somewhere else. There are only like 1,000,000,000,000 brick and mortar, and on line stores in the U.S.A. to pick from.

When it comes to Circuit City, I learned my lesson years ago and I wouldn’t go in there if they were giving stuff away free. They do not value their customers. Therefore, I do not value them.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:26 pm

I got mine, but apparently it wasn’t correct in the system. First, it came up with a $60 discount for both resulting in me getting COD4 and COD3 for just around $30. The cashier realized the error then tried to ring it up a different way. Ultimately she rang up COD4 at regular price and rang up COD3 for $.01. They did seem to have a lot of trouble with the entire process. I’m pretty sure it should have rang up automatically. Plus it was obvious that they didn’t have enough copies of COD3 to cover the offer.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Chances are you wouldn’t get a successful suit off. You could try a breach of contract, but since there really is no consideration flowing from a customer, Circuit City could easily call this a gratuitous gift and revoke the offer w/o any problem. Not to mention they have some good lawyers who probably already researched the applicable laws and advised them they could make this advertisement and rebuff it without fear of a suit against them. Also the bait and switch theory wouldn’t help out so much, because you are clearly there for CD4, and they are not trying to up sell you a more expensive product.

Basically they just pulled jack ass move, which sucks. C’est la vie.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Circuit ty

Ron Whitaker

On November 7, 2007 at 2:31 pm

While I have had problems with Circuit City in the past, I actually had a GREAT experience at a newer store here (Lexington, KY). I went in to look over some HDTV’s. Not only was their staff extremely professional and helpful, but they actually had a far better price for the TV I wanted than anyone else around. I even got a free XBox 360 out of the deal.

The salesman who sold me the TV then helped me load it into the truck, and saved me a few bucks on the HDMI cable I needed with a coupon.

That episode restored my faith in Circuit City. Judging from what HEss said above, this is an incident that occurred at one store, and isn’t necessarily indicative of the experience at other stores.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:33 pm

First, about the 24 min pick up thing, it is 24 min from the time you enter the store. I use to work at CC, I know how things go there for the most part, jeez, you people are just like every other penny scratching thieve that shops in retail stores that stop at nothing to get something for free. lol.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Wrong, tensien. From CC “How it works” on their website.

Q: When does the clock start for the 24/24 Pickup Guarantee?
A: After you place your order on, you will immediately receive an order confirmation email. The timestamp on the order confirmation email is your official start time for the guarantee.


Honestly, if it was 24 minutes from the time you *enter the store*, don’t you think I could pick out what I wanted and check out in less time?


On November 7, 2007 at 2:39 pm

How in the hell are misprints “more common” now? Misprints aren’t more common, incompetence and half-assery are.

Aside from the obvious fact that this isn’t a misprint in any sense of the word (unless you use it as a verb and ad the words “on purpose”), that anyone would stick up for CC shows some tremendous suspension of disbelief. False advertising is just that, false, and this is as good an example as I can think of in recent memory.

MarcB PA

On November 7, 2007 at 2:43 pm

The term for this consumer deception is called “Bait and Switch” They bait you into the store acting like you can get something for a certain price, then when you come in the switch the item and are like sorry, you gotta buy this instead.

It’s a well documented scam and is very illegal and actionable. The one poster above was right it was NOT a misprint. That ad was tailored to represent a free game and they could end up with there proverbial ass in a sling.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:44 pm

That’s funny, my friend bought one last night at the Gurnee, IL Circuit City and he got his free CoD3!


On November 7, 2007 at 2:47 pm

tensien, You’re wrong. Its clearly stated on the CC website that “applies from timestamp on order confirmation email until the time the order is ready for customer pickup”


On November 7, 2007 at 2:49 pm

24/24 FAQ at Circuit City Website:

Very first question

Q:When does the clock start for the 24/24 Pickup Guarantee?

A:After you place your order on, you will immediately receive an order confirmation email. The timestamp on the order confirmation email is your official start time for the guarantee.

Tensien, you should have spent less time getting high out back and spent more time understanding your own policies.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:51 pm

I got the CC bundle yesterday, no problem.. but the guy working the cash register had to manually give me CoD3 free because it wouldn’t pull up in their system.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Same thing happened to me… Long story short, all retail chains are determined to screw customers out of their hard earned money. I never shop at CC nor any other retail chain, unless I am hard up for something and rather not wait for shipping. I have had more aggravation with Best Buy though. A little off topic but I had gone into Best Buy after seeing an ad for an LCD monitor. While there, I noticed that there was a bigger and better model for the same price. I promptly asked the clerk to fetch it for me. After waiting for 15 min, he sent my brother and I to a different store on the other side of the valley. Once there, we asked for said monitor only to find out that did not carry it. Rather frustrated, we headed home. After getting home I decided to check their website for the model in question. Apparently the item had been mis-tagged and knowing how weights and measures works, we headed back to the store. Apparently they had mis tagged the item and the clerk was searching for the wrong monitor. On our way back to the store, I phoned their corp. office and questioned them about their policy on upholding shelf prices, since laws set forth by weights and measures requires the sale of any item at the price listed on the shelf tag. Once back at the store, we promptly headed back to the electronics department and asked for Two of the monitors at the price listed on the shelf. The clerk walked away and returned with his floor supervisor. He then took a look at the tag and explained that they could not sell the item to us. We then explained that we had contacted their corp. office and that they were legally obligated to sell afore mentioned monitor to us for the price on the shelf. Rather bewildered he then left to fetch his boss. While he was gone, we again contacted the corp. office and again explained our situation to them while in the store. Mid conversation, the store manager comes up to us and demands to speak with their corp office and grabs my phone away from me. Rather pissed, I demanded that he return MY phone, ignoring me he turned and started to walk away from us. Rather loudly he started to rant about how HIS store is number 1 in the district and that HIS store does not make these kinds of mistakes. After several minutes of bantering, he then told the rep on the phone that My brother and I were liars and thieves, and that we had most likely place that tag on the shelf, then hung up and told us to get out of HIS store.

Now, seeing that we were obviously in the wrong here and that we had the means to print out price tags for HIS store, I felt like dowsing him in gasoline and watching his entire store burn to the ground.

Anyway…. still feeling rather pissed, we decided to leave him with a few choice words and headed out of the store, being careful to knock everything off of the shelves on our way out.

@$%# Retail stores!


On November 7, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Not a misprint. Sounds like the store chose to do their own thing. Circuit City HQ might be surprised to learn about that. The store here Anderson, SC honored the deal (I think), they claimed to be out of COD3 when I went in around lunch time.


On November 7, 2007 at 2:54 pm

they ought to be shooting out e-mails and putting up flyers and letting people know before they get to the store, if it was a misprint.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Didn’t read everyone’s posts, so sorry if I’m repeating something someone says:

It is a law that retailers are required to honor published prices and offers whether the publication is incorrect or not.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:03 pm

With different reports of people being denied CoD3 and some people getting it, I’m thinking maybe the deal was implemented, but CC HQ did a bad job of telling their employees how to ring it up. I wouldn’t be surprised if the clerks at this particular store just had no idea how to handle it, so they tried to pass it off as a “misprint” to avoid extra work for themselves; especially since the people who did manage to get a free copy are saying the clerks had some trouble ringing it up. still though, if a person is holding an ad in their hand, it should be honored, even if the clerk has to give the discount manually. I worked at a Blockbuster during summer break once, and we were told to honor any coupons we got, even if they were outdated or even from Hollywood Video. we just had to put it in manually, which was a little tricky, but it kept the customers happy. frankly, i’d rather do a little extra work on a computer than deal with a really unhappy customer.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Two things: 24 minute garauntee. it really is 24 minutes from when youplace the order confirmation on the front desk of the CC when you are picking it up. Most of the time i’ll wait till you get there to even start looking for it. And if you have to wait more than 5 mins id ask to speak to a manager because they will give you a 5 or 10 dollar gift card if you ask.

Free cod3. I myself want to get the free cod 3 so i would suggest talking to a manager and they may give you a 10 dollar gift card for the trouble. just tell them you came out of your way to get it and itll be the last time. 50% of the time it works all the time. haha


On November 7, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Having worked in retail, weights and measures governs all pricing. If something is advertised or posted at a specific price, or special offers are mentioned, by law, they are required to sell that item for that price. A store can be potentially fined 250,000.00 for breaking those laws. If a store is not upholding its own advertising, then contact your local branch of weights and measures and file an official complaint. Also, document the “misprint”. Don’t let these ppl steam roller over you. Its the law!


On November 7, 2007 at 3:10 pm

This may be a store related issue as the store i made my purchase from a $30 discount was instantly taken off, the store attendant actually made a mistake and additionally took of the price of CoD 3 , therefore leaving me with my copies of both CoD 3 + CoD 4 for only $32 after tax.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Was there a manager involved at any point in the transaction? Most retail workers could care less about coupons and deals, and most likely weren’t even aware of it. A common misconception from shoppers is that anyone working in the store knows anything and everything about the store.

It is like when someone asks to locate some obscure item in the store, and then angrily walks away because the worker didn’t know the exact location of every item in inventory.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:16 pm

I work for CC and I can tell you that wasn’t a misprint, we honored ours until we were out of copies of Call of Duty 3.

Sean Mac

On November 7, 2007 at 3:18 pm

As a Circuit City employee, I can tell you that at least at my store (3728) we honored the ad until we ran out of COD 3 and since we’re not getting anymore COD 3 we could not fufill the ad after we ran out. If people don’t like that, then I’m sorry about but we can’t do anything about that

Chris Burke

On November 7, 2007 at 3:18 pm

I went to CC around 2pm on the 6th and they said they were sold out of COD3, so the COD4 + free COD3 offer was no longer an option.

On principle, I went to another store and bought it.



On November 7, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Of the last 5 items I’ve bought at CC, *4* of them rang up at the wrong price at the register. One for more than TWICE what it should have cost ($14.99 for a DVD that was in a discount bin for $6.99), and one for almost $50 more than the price on the shelf.

On one item I was told that it was not mismarked, but that it was just on the wrong shelf. But I compared the UPC on the box to the UPC on the price tag and it matched, so they finally gave me the price (after 15 minutes of argument).

If you MUST shop at CC (they are the only retailer of computer stuff within 50 miles of me), check what you are charged!


On November 7, 2007 at 3:27 pm

I used to work in a retail outlet, and manually putting in coupons was never a big issue. I don’t know what kind of retarded system they have put up, but it was never an issue.

Also, isn’t their some kind of rain check thing you could get? I mean, just because they’re out of CoD3, couldn’t you get a rain check for one? The ad isn’t over, does the ad say ‘depending upon stock?’ or does it just say ‘lol, free cod3 with cod4 purchase.’

I’d get a rain check so when they got more copies in, I’d be able to get 1 for free.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I’ve never had this sort of problem with CC before, but I don’t shop there very often as it’s farther away than a number of their competitors. I did boycott CC for a few years because they kept spamming my email with ads, even after I called their cporprate customer support and begged them to stop. I avoided them completely for 3 or 4 years for that and eventually I guess they quit advertizing through spammers. But I haven’t gone shopping for this game to try out their free older game special. Like another poster here I did have a problem with Best Buy once (#263), they mislabeled something on the shelf which rang up wrong at the register, and after showing the guy the shelf price sale sticker for the item I wanted to buy (an SD card or USB flash stick) he peeled the sticker off the shelf and said he could not sell it to me for that price, and I left. Walmart #5228 did try a bait and switch on me for Halo3, the saleperson in electronics said they were out of the normal version and tried to talk me into a special edition copy with an obviously loose CD sliging around inside the case. As soon as I said no and walked away she suddenly found a stack of the regular version behind the counter. I’d say that if other CC stores are honoring this without whining about it then it’s not a misprint, and those customers suffering from jerks saying no should talk to corporate and whoever deals with false advertizing claims.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:29 pm

My boyfriend went to CC to get the “deal” and they told him that they only had three copies of CoD3 to begin with and had already sold out of them. Did not even offer to give him a raincheck. He walked out without even buying CoD4.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:29 pm

I (sadly still do) work at CC and this happens weekly. I’m a computer technician in the Arden, Sac, CA store and every week we’ll have massive notices for misprints. Personally, as someone in the company, they couldn’t find their a$$ with both hands and a map. The company as a whole is retarded from above and unmotivated from below, which unfortunately leaves customers in limbo somewhere in between. I will never shop there, I recommend that nobody else ever shops there, and let’s see if that company can go outta business too! I used to help customers quite a bit, find whatever they were looking for, and basically bend over backwards to help them out. Only to get chewed out, written up, and yelled at for it, all the while making enough money to barely pay my bills. So if you go shopping in CC, that’s who’s ready to help you. Enjoy it. Oh, and each store acts like its own little island, so whatever happens at one may not be applicable someplace else, not without a fight anyway. Shircuit ty loves your money and hates you for having it.

Venomin James

On November 7, 2007 at 3:33 pm

I went to get COD4 last night, and they were out of both games. The lady said she would give me a note allowing to get my free COD3 when they got more in. Since they were out of COD4 anyway, I left and bought it at Best Buy, who had well over 20 copies of COD 4 sitting on a big display.

Since I already had COD3, I was going to give it to my buddy so we could kill dudes on Live together.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:34 pm

You are a moron. Read the whole ad. It says “while supplies last”.
CC can easily claim supplies are over. If you don’t like CC, don’t go there.
Stop acting like a whiny- at every opp. Be a man and quit making weblogs over every minute thing that happens to you.
I know a few people who did get the free offer. Should they make a blog now about how great CC is that they got free CoD3 ?


On November 7, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Looks like the same Best Buy tactics of having things on sale on their website and not in the store. I fell for that once and then printed it out from then on and took it in the store. The employee argued with me saying that it was not on sale. When he looked it up on their “web site” it wasn’t… I told him to go to and oh wait… It does say it’s on sale!

Glad to see douches like ccemployee and tensien who work there don’t even know their own policies… Just like best buy. If you go onto cc’s website it clearly states in the (restrictions apply see details) and Pick up in store FAQ’s that “24 minute pickup guarantee applies from the timestamp on order confirmation email until the time order is ready for customer pickup.” It then goes on to talk about how you have to order within 30 minutes of store closing, wait time in line does not count… Yada yada yada. All things that indicate it is NOT from when you put the order confirmation on the counter at the store.

F*cking Clown Shoes…

Once you know, you Newegg.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:45 pm

That is actually not a misprint. I misprint would be if they advertised an HDTV for $40.00 when it was really $4000. The key here is as stated by the Better Business Bureau…

But the laws on false advertising generally deal with “willful intents to deceive.” If they do not honor the advertisement and it’s blatantly posted not only in multiple advertisements but also on the web you can best bet that there was intent to mislead. Especially considering CC’s running track record.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:53 pm

It’s on the website still.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:55 pm


How is the main post, the post of an idiot? the whole ‘while supplies last’ bit isn’t anything.

If you were referring to my mention of a raincheck, I already said I didn’t bother to look at the ad.

Also, I think it’s important to note on a gaming website, where teh good deals r.


On November 7, 2007 at 3:59 pm

yeah circuit cd misprints alot it’s horrible they did it before when they had buy psp umd’s get the second one free in my neighborhood, they need to stop misprinting


On November 7, 2007 at 4:01 pm

I downloaded it three days ago.

If I like it, I will buy in through Steam.

Village Pimp

On November 7, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Sucks that C&C is ing you over.

Just bring the ad to Best Buy, they’ll honor it like they did for me. Only thing is, you won’t get the poster :sad: . That brought tears to my eyes. Anyway, I only shopped at the B&B& after I found out that all the local C&C ran out of COD4 & COD3.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:03 pm

matt, its jackass’s like you who I took pleasure in telling No, Go use your penny pinching, ass-hattery somewhere else, I dont give a if you do spend your money somewhere else.

Go eat a gun


On November 7, 2007 at 4:07 pm


people need money to live man, part of being a smart gamer is getting the best deal.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:07 pm

hey buddy such a good website but i am surprised that why i did’t know about your website i think u never post your stories on my all friends use to search for new and latest stories anyway good work Keep it up i will tell all my friends about your website.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:10 pm

Aryan, keep your spam the out.

Black Knight

On November 7, 2007 at 4:14 pm

I bought Battlefield 2142 in a similar promotion last fall at CC.
The day after the mayhem, I went to get my game and was told, “we never got them”.
I had prepaid and waited another week before buying the game elsewhere.
They tried to stop me from getting a refund saying “your game is on its way”.

After just about shouting at the manager I got a refund.

Every time I buy something at Best Buy lately, the register rings up for less $$ than the price tag. I am not telling them.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Exccemployee, did you just get fired? An hour ago you were ccemployee… Sorry for your loss.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:16 pm pretty cool. I got my deal. let alone the players guide.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Haven’t shopped at a Circuit city for almost three years now. The last straw was December 2004, when I was trying to track down a copy of the then-elusive World of Warcraft, found the closest one at a Circuit City some 45 minutes away, called them and received a verbal confirmation that they would hold their last remaining copy for two hours while I made the tedious drive to their location. Got there, asked for the copy they had on hold, and twiddled my thumbs for twenty minutes while the incompetant at the desk shuffled around the back room before finally returning to tell me they had sold their last copy a half hour ago.

People complain about GameStop customer service, but GS is a dream compared to trying to deal with the bait-and-switch bull they try to foist on you at Circuit City.

AZ Sulsa

On November 7, 2007 at 4:33 pm

No problems for me!

I went to my local Circuit City, here in Mesa Arizona. I’ve been playing COD4 for a day now, and will wait to open up my free copy of COD3.

I repeat – I received both games for buying COD4.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:42 pm

LoL I trained at that circuit city a few months back and still work for that at 2468.

Mr Croup

On November 7, 2007 at 4:46 pm

It is even listed as free with purchase on the Circuit City website as a bundle:


On November 7, 2007 at 4:56 pm

I LOVe CC because they ARE lame brained idiots.
I have price matched their ads for years & end up spending less than I should.

Its gotten so funny that when I walk into my local CC the manager just smiles and asks me what I have to price match today.


On November 7, 2007 at 4:57 pm

while supplies last, would have been easier to tell you ” we ran out “


On November 7, 2007 at 5:14 pm

i worked at CC for years, and sometimes happens. we’d have honored the free call of duty thing until we ran out of CoD3, which would have been about 6 or 7 customers into the day. you can’t show up to a store at noon and expect the promo you’d get at 10, it doesn’t work that way.


On November 7, 2007 at 5:22 pm

First of all Bait and Switch is the following (PLEASE Stop mis-using the term). Advertising an item for a price and then not having available for sale, AND then offering and more expensive item in-place of that. Hence the word BAIT to bring you in with a temptation of an item and Switch, to offer you a more expensive item in its place when stock is not available.

That said, you run a business and make a mistake and I’ll piss on your cornflakes also. Gee seems no one can be falible. Granted I am not sticking up for the CIty, but I would rather focus on the real problems with that business.

So before you cry wolf, get you legal interruptation correct, because technically CC could claim “slander” against you, and BTW don’t hide under the Blogger guise its not consider under the freedom of speech


In law, defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against criticism.


On November 7, 2007 at 5:26 pm


On November 7, 2007 at 5:32 pm

@ Chris
how is blogger not under freedom of speech? Just wondering.

Mr Croup

On November 7, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Sorry Chris, you are wrong.

From the FTC:

Sec. 238.0 Bait advertising defined.1

Bait advertising is an alluring but insincere offer to sell a product or service which the advertiser in truth does not intend or want to sell. Its purpose is to switch consumers from buying the advertised merchandise, in order to sell something else, usually at a higher price or on a basis more advantageous to the advertiser. The primary aim of a bait advertisement is to obtain leads as to persons interested in buying merchandise of the type so advertised.

Clearly the advertising is Bait, and the purpose was to get the customers in to Purchase the game and get an item free, as in a Bundle. Instead they said that it was a mistake and you can not get the Bundle that includes CoD 3, and must instead purchase them separately if you want both. You are, in effect, getting a different product than what you went in for. You went in for a bundle, you got a single item or had to buy both. And the basis is more advantageous to Circuit City because their cost is lower by not giving you the free game.


On November 7, 2007 at 5:55 pm

Go to CompUSA. they’re doing the same thing, only they wont bone you on it. plus you get 25 or 50% off an accessory, i dont remember which, so you can get a 360 controller and play it the way your meant too ;)


On November 7, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Its rather simple people, if its a misprint and trust me I work in retail and it happens often, not just my store but every store. All the store needs to do it print out a piece of paper saying sorry for the misprint and the correction of the add and put it up in their store and its covered. How do I know this? On a couple occations ive had to put these signs up so we couldn’t get sued, those were the words from my manager.

Anyone anti circuit city is silly because most places in retail all work the same way, for people hating employees?? Well buddy thats just life and everywhere ya go people are who they are no company will change that.


On November 7, 2007 at 6:34 pm

To Oh fo sho:

EB Games does not exist anymore. They were bought out by Gamestop over a year ago.


On November 7, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I heard from a friend (AKA unconfirmed) that CC employees are treated like crud, they will hire you until they get someone else who will take the job for less, anyone else heard of this, or is this an isolated incident. I know businesses are in it to make money but hiring and firring employees like stocks?

Poop McGee

On November 7, 2007 at 7:11 pm

It wasn’t a misprint, just a system error. Sounds like you went to a bad store. Emails were sent from corporate to manually adjust the price to honor the ad. If something is a misprint, then there will be a corporate written Ad Correction. You should have gotten a manager involved.


On November 7, 2007 at 7:28 pm

MR Croup…. have you not read most CC are actually honoring the ad, As for the FTC great you can quote, BUT Bait and Switch means CC never meant to sell to the CoD 4, which is what they offered not at a lower price same price, they just added a freebie. Which is not consider Bait and Switch trust me I work with people who file and adjudicate these types of cases. And example would be to say I have a Call of Duty 4 for 34.99, yet when you call or come to buy it I say sorry we don’t have that, BUT I do have another version Call of Duty 3 for 49.99. That’s why they always have some disclaimer that states “as supplies last.” it saves them from the BAIT and SWITCH argument. MR Coup don’t just cut and past interpret what you read or ask a lawyer…. someone thats trained to know law. Hell I can act like a doctor by looking up symptoms on web pages also.

Ok as for the Blogging, unless you really want to press the Freedom of Speech, read it. It doesn’t offer immunity from defamation. If you write or defame someone they have the right to prosecute. Does it happen a lot no, but when the statement affects the person, business or group they do have the right to press against it.

I love how people can cut and paste information from the web.

What I am trying to state is this, CC isn’t the only company that make these types of claims it won’t be the last. Flaming them and calling them names doesn’t change this. You can choose not to shop there (just as I have banned Domino’s Pizza for my own reasons.) To condemn them in a public form and make false statements is not what our Free Speech is about.


On November 7, 2007 at 8:16 pm

Even it was a misprint, Circuit City still has to honor the ad and give you the free game (and the poster if they have any left). Contact the BBB or consult a lawyer.


On November 7, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Yea same thing happened to me today. went there and they had cod4 but never had cod3. it wasn’t that they selled out or anything just never had it. said “others” might. even on the online store they are out of stock wow. i’m very upset about this as others are.


On November 7, 2007 at 9:08 pm

If it was on their ad, they still have to honor it even if it is a misprint. I used to work at Circuit City when I was younger and the place I worked at honored every occasional misprints. It all depends on the location and if their number 1 priority is to the customer.


On November 7, 2007 at 9:17 pm

the markup on a video game is 20 dollars. they buy the xbox360 game for 40 dollars.


On November 7, 2007 at 10:00 pm

# Joelteon7 says:
November 7th, 2007 at 10:01 am

Dunno in the US, but in the UK if there is a price or offer listing, be it in-store or on an ad, evne if it wasn’t the correct one, they are obligated to follow it (a kind of, you have to ask, but they can’t say no thing). Pretty bad that you’re not getting your free game.

In Portugal they are also obligated…


On November 7, 2007 at 10:54 pm

I got mine! wooo… Sometimes you just have to be nice and persuasive.. I had the store manager ring up mine…


On November 7, 2007 at 10:56 pm

I got my COD3 without incident.

mike hunt

On November 7, 2007 at 11:18 pm

I use the in-store pickup all the time with Circuit City. I take the gamble my order will not be ready. Unfortunately for me, out of the past ten orders I have made during the past few months, only once has my order not be ready [ready means it is already pulled and in the area behind the customer service desk which is behind a wall by their in-store warehouse].

For all you ding-a-lings who do not understand the Circuit City 24 minute in-store pickup guarantee, here is the exact wording that is printed on your on-line order confirmation receipt…

Circuit City in-store pickup:

 Print this page or your confirmation email, which will arrive momentarily and includes a coupon good for future purchases.
 Bring your printed confirmation to the service counter at the Circuit City store listed below, along with your driver’s license or other government-issued ID and the credit card used for this purchase.
 Only you or an authorized user of the credit card used to make this purchase may pick up the merchandise at the store.
 If your order of $25 or more is not ready for pickup 24 minutes after the timestamp on your confirmation email, we’ll give you a $24 Circuit City gift card.
 Please note: The 24-minute guarantee excludes time spent waiting in line. Read the details here.
 Please pick up your order within 14 days. After 14 days, your order will be cancelled and your money refunded.


On November 7, 2007 at 11:25 pm

I was on the Circuit City website, and when you add Call of Duty 3 as the promotion, it automatically gives the discount. The store is full of .


On November 7, 2007 at 11:31 pm

My brother works at Circuit City, and after asking him about it, he said they received shipments of BOTH COD4 AND COD3 specifically for this exact reason. His store is honoring the ad and he says it is NOT a misprint. Someone got screwed.

David Greiman

On November 7, 2007 at 11:37 pm

I guess we now know why they retired their old motto “”Where Service is State of the Art”


On November 8, 2007 at 7:55 am

I will admit that Circuit city is pritty crapy, actually….really crappy, but i agree with “exccemployee”, couldn’t have said it better, lol. Oh and getting fired from CC isn’t a loss. ;p


On November 8, 2007 at 8:31 am

My roommate works at another Circuit City, so I asked him about it. The store that did not honor the deal (3111) was just confused because the register system did not ring up the promotion. When this did not show up in the system clearly that store thought it was a misprint. Unlike that particular store my friend’s store honored the deal, simply making the necessary price adjusts to customers’ tickets. The only problem was that they ran out of copies of CoD3 relatively quickly. An email was sent out part way through the day yesterday telling employees about the mistake in the system and it basically told everyone to price adjust CoD3 to honor the deal. Sorry you had a bad experience, but it sounds to me like they just made a mistake and I’m sure if you went back they’d be able to help you out.


On November 8, 2007 at 8:43 am

MR Croup’s “quote” was a definition found in a regulation. It’s not simply a random thought someone threw together and slapped on the internet. Regulations carry the weight of law.

Also, you act as if defamation is the easiest thing in the world to win. Circuit City would have the burden of proving that it did not intend to bait and switch. And if they can do that (which they likely can in the COD3/4 instance), they’ll open themselves up to evidence surrounding countless other ads that are believable enough to get people into a store only to be denied (Go to CC today and look at the wall by the circulars; count how many sheets of paper are up indicating which ads are “misprints”).

Even if CC can prove that allegations of bait and switch and misleading advertising are false, they would then have to prove that the folks who made these claims KNEW they were false, and made the statements with Malice, or the specific intent to hurt CC.

Yes, the First Amendment does not protect someone from all speech, but there are significant hurdles to jump if you want to overcome that protection.

Finally, the claim that “CC isn’t the only company that make these types of claims it won’t be the last” doesn’t somehow absolve CC of any wrongdoing.


On November 8, 2007 at 10:17 am

i used to work at circuit city and they pulled this stunt everyweek. especially with promising free items and never coming through. we used to tell customers that the shipment never came just to get them off our backs. an old man once told me he was going to report this to the attorney general (on an advertising mistake) and i just laughed in his face until he left the store. retail is truely the end of our values as a society

Mr Croup

On November 8, 2007 at 12:04 pm


It doesn’t matter how many stores comply with the ad. The fact still remains that the stores that Do NOT comply are breaking the law and as such can be prosecuted. It doesn’t change the fact that while corporate is saying it is a genuine ad, there are stores that are going against corporate wishes to pad their bottom line.

I don’t care who you supposedly work for, you obviously have no clue about legal definition. If you do work at such a firm, you sound like you are just the mail boy. And I can guarantee you that it would hold up in a court of law. It is called “Interpretation” and just about any judge is going to interpret the incident as bait and switch. And just about any person on the jury (Did you forget that you can require a jury on anything that goes to a standard court?) is going to see it as bait and switch.


On November 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Had the same problem with a set of speakers. Kicker 12s supposedly buy 1 get 1 according to the mailer and the web. When I got there, no one knew anything about it. That place is worthless.


On November 8, 2007 at 12:59 pm

I too went to get the game.

It seems it was unfortunate that people were told it was a misprint. The ad in my area clearly said, “Minimum 5 per store, while supplies last”

I was number 8 on line, they had 6 copies of COD4/COD3 … after that, supplies of COD3 ran out, and it was COD4 for the rest of us.

I'll Shop Anyhwhere Else

On November 8, 2007 at 10:55 pm

It’s also very annoying.. maybe a little off of the free COD3 topic but the employees at my local CC just play around all day and you could sit there forever and know one would come to you, they’d just keep tossing around some toy around the store. And we were there to buy a new labtop (over $1000) and they make commission.. Yet we go to Best Buy where they don’t make commission, yet we are always approached for help at their first chance.

Best Buy is better.
Circuit City has cheated me before.
And this is no surprise that their not honoring what they published.
If your gonna get the game b/c of the free COD3 and they don’t give it to you.
Get the game somewhere else anyways.
Don’t give CC your business.


On November 9, 2007 at 9:18 am

Just my two cents on this, too… I went to my local CC to get CODD4 and since they did not have any more COD3 left to give away, they offered to take $30 off of another game. At first they said it was only valid on a $59.99 game (excluding Halo3 for some reason), but since I was buying a $49.99 game and a $19.99 game, I was able to get them to take $25 off the first and $5 off the second game (thanks, James!). So, yes (as has been stated before), this is COMPANY-WIDE deal, and should be honored as such. And, hey, look for a store with no more COD3, and get $30 off.


On November 9, 2007 at 2:58 pm

I did get the Call of Duty 3 for free at Bolingbrook,il at Circuit City on Nov 8th

Mike Jones

On November 12, 2007 at 12:13 am

I work as a CSA at circuit city…and people always try to say everything we do is false advertisement. First off the 24/24 guarantee excludes waiting in line in the store…to get the item we have to change the release date and once that is completed then the 24 minutes starts. The minute the order is placed online by a customer we got a ticket for it called a “go-get”. We have 15 minutes to get the “go-get”. If we dont have the item in stock, we have 15 minutes to notify the customer by phone. In regards to COD3 being free with purchase of COD4, 1. rainchecks are not allowed on video games. 2. It is not false advertising if we had the item in stock by the start date on the current ad. 3. I do not know why the store would not honor it, maybe they didnt have it in stock. The store I work in sold out of COD3 in two days…just so you know it is not false advertising. Even though Circuit City has a team of lawyers, they are not going to waste their time trying to screw people over nor do they want the bad press…


On November 12, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Thank you Mike Jones! I work at sears and i get these same customers that about everything. Because they didnt read the sign all the way its instantly false advertising and they should get something free. People need to get a life!


On November 13, 2007 at 12:25 am

Mike Jones says it all. For the 24/24 if you read the e-mail you receive after placing the order it explains everything. They aren’t going to give you a $24 gift card if you buy the item and then drive 24 minutes to get to the store walk in and its not sitting on the front counter wrapped in a bow for you. Now if they change the date in the system, check your id, swipe your card, have you sign, go to grab the item and then don’t have it stagged for you…yes, in that case you would. COD3 free with the purchase of COD4 was honored, and if it wasn’t then that is that specific stores problem, because corporate offices sent everyone employed at circuit city an email saying that it had to be honored and how to handle it. Don’t take things out on the company because you have one bad experience at a certain store, try going to a different circuit.


On November 13, 2007 at 1:33 am

I know how you feel about false advertisement. Just today my sister’s boyfriend just bought a Pioneer 6.5″ In-Dash Mobile Viedo and the Pioneer IPod Interface Adapter for the price of $50.87 when the actually price is $649.99. On the website it says that you can get it for the price of $50.87 by adding the IPod Interface Adapter. Many people were able to purchase the item for that price but when I went in store to go get one for myself they said they couldn’t honor it. And now reading your article I understand that Circuit City has some very uneducated employees who are not confirming is this advertise is correct or not. I will never go back to Circuit City even again. The employee and manager who helped me were rude to me when I asked them about the item and they also lied to me. One employee said that they had turned 2 people away earlier about the item but the manager said they turned away 10. She just said that so I would just leave. What kind of a corporation is Circuit City? A very stupid corporation indeed.


On November 13, 2007 at 1:41 am

The sad thing is, the guy who was helping me was going to give me the Pioneer for that price and when he went to customer service the guy told him that they can’t give it to me. But the guy helping me told the guy at customer service, “but, they have a print out of the price and everything shouldn’t we give it to them?”. They had one Pioneer left in stock too and were not going to give it to me. Oh well… at least I tried.


On November 18, 2007 at 11:42 pm

:roll: i work for ccity and we got the add in out store and it said while supplies last on our ads. we honred it till the ten we had were gone. im sorry to say it but there is good stores and bad stores depends on the mangers then is does on the company


On December 1, 2007 at 6:50 am

All the best online coupons and deals related to electronics are available here at Circuit-City store at shopping site..!!


On December 3, 2007 at 7:10 pm

I found it funny that some of you MORONS crying about misprints had misspelled words in your post.


On December 9, 2007 at 10:32 am

That is a picture from my recently ordered 30gb Zune from Circuit city, it says and I copy/pasta:

“If your order of $25 or more is not ready for pickup 24 minutes after the timestamp on your confirmation email, we’ll give you a $24 Circuit City gift card.”

A Gill

On December 11, 2007 at 2:36 pm

I work with compliance and legal for a living and I am involved with advertising & promotions.
You can sue them as this is 1) A misleading advertisement (Regardless of the “error” print) they are held legally accountable if they advertised this. 2) If you went to the store to buy it based on this again, this is in your favor in any legal battle 3) False Advertisement (another legal term) which favors you.
If I were you file a compliant with the Better Business Bureau, and contact the FTC (Federal trade commission) These people are very consumer friendly and hate big corporations. I have attending many of their meetings and they will investigate this for you. Else if you want to take it further you can 1) Contact an attorney who handles class action lawsuits & sense this consists of a large amount of people involved class action attorneys do not charge you money. They take 15% of the total settlement.
The results of the class action will be anyone who purchased COD4 during the time frame of the advertisement would get COD3 for free, The FTC would fine the Sh!t out of them, in the 6 figures if not millions.

**don’t email me I will never check my email**


On December 13, 2007 at 12:40 pm

I never really saw a cod4 get cod3 free advertisement but i did get a 20$ off cod4 that i saw in the salespaper it was about in early december the first circuit city i went to was sold out but they did show me where a nearby store was that did carry the game 20 off. so really theres was no problem. but when i did go to the first circuit city they guy did try to sell me all kinds of other stuff. hmmm…

so i guess to say my experience thus far was pretty good but that cod4 free cod3 bait and switch things real bull


On January 29, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Ha!! Circuit City is the worst store ever! I went to two different stores and at BOTH was treated like I didn’t matter. One store I was in for 3 hours trying to find the computer I wanted and finally the salesman talked me into a higher end model that was on sale, than he found out it wasn’t in stock!! I couldn’t get a raincheck or anything, I just had wasted 3 hours and all he could say was “there’s nothing I can do” and than proceeded to try and sell an even more expensive model! In the other store, I told a salesman the exact computer I wanted and that I just wanted to buy it, the person who was in the computer department told me it wasn’t his department and to ask someone else and than proceeded to walk away!! I will now be taking the computer back because a rebate that was part of the sale didn’t print on the receipt, and at the time I had asked the sales clerk about it and he said it was on the bottom of the receipt and to go online to get it, which, I believed him, but all that is at the bottom is a survey! And online there was no way to find the rebate I needed, so I called the number on the website and she said she couldn’t help me that I had to go back into the store and ask them about it!! AARGHHH!!


On March 9, 2008 at 2:39 pm

I will not be so bold as to say CC is the devil, but prolly is one of his evil step children.


On March 13, 2008 at 9:19 am

If this or a pricing error EVER happens to you in California, make sure you take pictures of posted signage or the ads (Especially in this case where it can’t be a ‘whoops, I accidentally typed a $20 off instead of $10 — I can’t picture someone’s fingers ‘slipping’ and typing “buy CoD4 and get GoD3 + poster free” in two places), and either call on the cell phone from the location you’re at or take down employee/manager names and call from home ASAP to your county Weights & Measures department. They are in charge of “Weights & Measures”, INCLUDING pricing. They are the ones who will audit stores in California for mis-priced items, handle reports of fraudulent ads/etc. In many cases, it is a MINIMUM fine of $500 per mis-priced item or if the item price is over $500, that amount (If the manager of the store is being an ass or if it is blatant/widespread, the fines can skyrocket). If you tell the manager straight to their face that you are calling weights and measures, they will either honor the deal, call your bluff (where a cell phone comes into play), or they haven’t had their first experience with W&M yet and you’re about to school them on it.

I’ve gotten $2000 laptops that are advertized for $500, LCDs for $180 (Back when they were $400+), and a lot of other items. And if they play the ‘Oh, its not in stock’, even if you walk in the door the second the sale is on, they must honor it with a rain check unless specifically noted as a ‘limited quantity’ item. If they are stashing the items to prevent them from being sold and you think they are stashing them, you still can call W&M and may investigate. Of course, you can do a little creative sleuthing yourself; Fry’s uses the cages in some of their stores; Just spy the one on sale in the cage and take a picture.

Usually if you have to pull W&M in and they come in with you (Which sometimes they will), they will force the store to allow you to buy AS MANY as you want at that price, threatening them $500+ an item you want they won’t give you that they have in stock. One Fry’s was being an ass and this time made me pull W&M all the way into it (And they came right away – Must have been bored :D ) – Instead of buying 1 laptop, I cleared their stock, and sold them all to friends, family and co-workers at cost.

Bottom line: Weights & Measure in Cali = Your friend. No lawyers needed.


On March 27, 2008 at 5:17 am

In all reality, by ready what Circuit City means is that the product is staged and ready for pickup. When you submit a web order a ticket is printed out in the system at the exact time. They have 24 minutes from the time that ticket is printed to acknowledge the pickup in the system. Any wait times once in store do not count. If they don’t follow that policy, however, nail their rears.


On July 28, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Circuit is not able to work with customers if their is a misprint. It is not our job to make up for the responsibility of the ads and the misprints. sorry!