Now, when I purchased the extended warranty, I specifically asked the employee I worked with if there was a brochure, pamphlet, or any other sort of paperwork to go along with it. He specifically told me no. All I needed was the original receipt, and if I ever had a problem within the warranty period, bring it in to any CC and they'd take care of it for me. OK.
So I called and wound up speaking with the same guy I bought the whole system from. I explained the issue and he said since I had their service plan to just bring it in, rather than go direct to Sony. So I did.
April 25 - I brought in the receipt and the HU and again spoke with the salesman who sold all this stuff to me originally. He took my stuff out back for a few minutes, then came out to explain my options.
1) I could leave the HU with them to be sent out for servicing, which would take - and I quote - "about a week."
2) I could have them take a look at it in the store, but since their technicians didn't install it, I'd have to pay a $50 diagnostic charge.
Well, I sure as hell wasn't to fork over $50 when I not only had an extended service plan, but also 9 months left on the manufacturer's warranty, so I opted to have it sent out. I was given a claim ticket and a claim number and sent on my merry way sans tunes. I also returned the unneeded replacement harness adapter. Really though, what the hell does a self installation have to do with it? I didn't have a problem because it was installed incorrectly, I had a problem with the part itself! And a warranty and an extended service plan! Why should i have to pay to fix it!?!
Precisely one week later, I stopped in to check on the status of my repair (not a big deal since I work right next door) and was told it was still at the repair depot.
Huh.....well, "about a week" could be a little more than a week, so I didn't press the issue. Still, when I got home, I decided to find out a little more about their service plans. Very little searching unearthed this:
This was the ESP pamphlet the guy told me didn't' exist after I specifically asked about it. Well well well. That doesn't make me happy. Nor did this gem I found inside:
"Repairs are typically made in about 14 business days."
In other words, three weeks. After I was specifically told about ONE week.
This was when I started getting annoyed with CC.
Two weeks later, after it had been fourteen business days, I stopped in again, and was told that my stereo HU had been shipped to Sony. I asked the girl their if she could give me any more information. She told me she didn't, but gave me a number I could call to find out more.
I called the number and was told that they'd have to research my claim number and get back to me the next day. What? Seriously? You can't just enter the number and tell me what's going on? *Siiiiigh....* Ok. they verified my contact number (this is important later) and promised they'd get back to me.
The next day I found a voicemail on my cell from them. Hurrah! I was told that my stereo had already been shipped from Sony's warranty center in Texas and would be back at my Circuit City on Monday (this was a Friday) and that I could pick it up at my CC on Monday and everything would be ready for me at my CC on Monday. She even gave me the UPS tracking number. YES! Finally!
So, having been told THREE TIMES that it would be there on Monday, I went in to get it on Monday. UPS tracking had confirmed delivery.
But it wasn't there.
Guy at service desk: Did someone call you?
Me: Yes, and I was assured it would be here today. UPS tracking confirmed it was delivered today and signed for by *name.*
SDG: Huh? That name doesn't ring a bell, but let me check again anyway. *disappears for a few minutes*
SDG: No, it's not here. Let me check the system on that *types away* Tracking number was *number?*
SDG: Yeah, it wasn't shipped here. It was shipped to Bristol, PA. That's where our repair depot is. (shows me on the UPS tracking screen. Somehow I'd missed that.)
Me: What? I'm sorry, but I was specifically told by your call center that it would be shipped HERE.
SDG: Well, the usual procedure is they ship it to our depot, and then it's shipped back to the store. That way we can retest it to make sure it's fixed.
I went out to my car and immediately called the service center again. I was told again that it was just received at the depot and would probably be at the store in "another few days."
Me (really exasperated now): Ok, but the thing is......*sigh*....I'm sorry, it's just that I was told THREE TIMES by someone at this call center that it would be AT THE STORE, TODAY
Operator: Well, I apologize, but they shouldn't have said that, because that's not the way we do it. I'll have to find out who told you that and inform them of their error. You'll be called as soon as it's ready for pick up.
Me: Please do. Thank you for the info.
Today, May 27. They've now had my stereo for over a month. Almost 5 times the original "one week" I'd been told. I called the store while I was on my lunch break.
Service Desk Girl: It's here. It arrived on the 23rd (!!!!! FOUR DAYS AGO!!!!!) and it says here they've been trying to contact you since then.
Me: Well, I haven't been called at all and....you know what, never mind. I'm just glad it's in. Thank you.
So I went over right after I got out of work. Five minutes later I had my stereo back and had it plugged into my car for a quick test.
Aaaaaaand right away I lost a speaker.
You. have. GOT. to. be. KIDDING ME!!!!!!!
But rather than panic, I kept calm and carefully investigated. Holding the wires still, I tried wiggling the plug like I did before, and nothing happened. The plug was nice and tight. So the stereo HAD been fixed, yet somehow the problem remained. I went back to the wiring harness adapter. I moved a wire and a speaker cut out. I made SURE to hold the plug steady and moved more wires and had every speaker cut in and out randomly.
Great, so it WAS the harness adapter, not just the stereo itself.
So I went back in, walked over to the audio department, showed them the harness adapter, and asked for a new one, which I paid for (just wanting it fixed at this point not wanting to bother with trying to exchange it three months after the return period was up).
Nope. This one was just as bad. I went back in, toting the HU and the adapter.
Me: I don't mean to be a jerk, but this one doesn't work either.
Audio Associate: That's a brand new harness! It must be the stereo!
Me: I just had that fixed.
AA (being surprisingly short with me): There's no way
that harness is bad! It's gotta be the radio.
Me: Then this HU *holds it up* which I JUST HAD REPAIRED FOR THIS EXACT PROBLEM was not repaired properly.
AA: Ok, just a moment *takes me back to installations*
AA (to FireDog install guy, while I'm RIGHT THERE): He's trying to tell me the harness I JUST SOLD HIM doesn't work!!
FireDog: What makes you think this is bad?
Me: If you wiggle the wires around even a little, you lose speakers all over the place.
FD: Then it's the pins in the stereo.
I was really mad now. Both of these guys were all but accusing me of lying. It was all I could do to not yell.
Me: Look. I just had this fixed for that very problem. I picked up here not fifteen minutes ago. If the stereo is bad then it wasn't fixed right.
AA: Can I have the keys? I'll plug into the wall to check it.
He took my HU and disappear for a couple minutes, then came back and said the HU was fine!
FD: So you want me to replace the harness.
Me *crossly*: Would you please?
So he gave me a new one.
And guess what ladies and gentlemen?
THIS ONE DIDN"T FUCKING WORK EITHER!!!!! In fact, it was WORSE. This one not only caused the speakers to drop in and out, but also caused the POWER to cut out, resetting the stereo as if I'd shut off the key briefly.
My head just sagged against the steering wheel. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I just wanted my goddamn stereo to WORK. I KNEW the HU was fine, but it was Circuit Shitty's shitty wiring harnesses screwing things up. In the space of ten minutes, I'd gone through three of them, all bad.
But I didn't want to go back in there again. If they didn't believe me the first time, there was no way they'd believe me now, even though the problem was perfectly reproducible. And at this point I was suddenly without the energy for a fight. So I went home and called fellow CS-er AdamAnt316. He suggested I go to Best Buy and pick up one of their Honda harness adapters instead. (Incidentally, when I got home I found I had a message from Circuit City, left about an hour before I called them, saying the stereo was in. Yeah. "trying to get a hold of me for four days" my fat ass).
I should explain that CC's adapters are *stereo brand* to universal, and universal to *car make.* This gives you a a receptacle that accepts the factory stereo plug in your car and goes to a molex connector, which to then plugs into a corresponding adapter for your stereo brand. Click, click, click, connected, without cutting or soldering. Best Buy sells a similar car-side adapter, but instead of going to a molex connector is ends in bare wires, which you then solder to the matching wires on the plug that actually came with the radio, which also ends in bare wires.
So, after dealing with an unrelated crisis, I called Circuit City's home office and calmly explained all of the above to the very patient lady in India over several uninterrupted minutes. ("I would just like to tell you about my experience with your warranty repair process and my local store") I was assured that they take complaints seriously and they'd escalate the issue and follow it up and yadda yadda yadda. I took great pains to remain calm over the phone (I know from reading this board that there's no sense in screaming at the call center folks), though I really don't expect the complaint to go anywhere. I just wanted to make sure they knew exactly why I was unhappy. I also went online to take their customer satisfaction survey and torched them in just about every category.
I went there and bought their adapter. Luckily, I'd saved the "flying lead" plug that came with my radio, and AdamAnt316 came over and soldered it all up for me. I carefully taped up all the solder joints, then neatened up the wires with some zip ties, and now had a "Sony to Honda" harness adapter. And......
HA HA HA!!!! IT WOOOOOOOORKSSSS!!!!!!! I FINALLY [BUY] SOMETHING THAT WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I'm finally happy and able to cruise with the stereo blasting.
It only took 33 fucking days......