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To: Circuit City and Best Buy. From: You.

The CEO of Circuit City resigned last week after his failed attempt to revitalize the well-known gadget store. Since then, the 'ol City is looking like it's headed the way of CompUSA.
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Written by Andrew Nusca, Former editor on

The CEO of Circuit City resigned last week after his failed attempt to revitalize the well-known gadget store. Since then, the 'ol City is looking like it's headed the way of CompUSA.

The civic-minded Consumerist blog has decided to call on its readers to compile requests into one open letter to Circuit City on how to fix its stores. An excerpt:

Hire people who know what they're doing. Offer a better selection of products that will interest high-end cash-heavy consumers, and staff your store with people who know at least as much as they do. Clean your stores. Hire enough people so that you can have a register open at all times. Concentrate on the products that people actually want to buy, like handheld devices, cameras, consoles, and other gadgets. Mop the floor and tidy up. Don't let your employees huddle in the back of the store. Make shopping through the website easy. Lower the prices on your accessories to compete with Best Buy. Find friendly people and put them to work behind the customer service desk.

...and I'd have to agree with all of it. Several times I've walked into Circuit City this summer, hoping to surprise myself...and leaving senselessly angry.

In one instance, I was searching for a DVD. An employee hounded me so much to help that I finally just let her look for the movie I was searching for. She couldn't find it, no matter where she looked within the store's poor selection. She finally gave up, went about her business, and I found it on the first shelf. By myself. No need for me to mention the markup on the not-a-new-release DVD, natch.

Another time,  I stopped by to see if their prices were competitive with Best Buy (down the street) on several different external hard drives, including the Maxtor Black Armor, Iomega eGo and so forth. I stood in front of the locked cage that held the products for a good 30 minutes -- gawking, pacing, and otherwise indicating my interest in the products behind the cage -- while five employees stood around and talked with each other. One manager even walked right by -- in front of me, between myself and the caged drives, which I was looking at leaning on my knees at this point -- and showed another employee how to lock the cages. Literally tested the locks in front of me. I kept looking, alternating between them and the drives. No dice. I left, bewildered at the thought that I was ready to buy virtually any drive behind that cage had someone helped me.

Of course, I've had plenty more minor incidents, from employees trying to up-sell me on HDTVs, despite my protests, to major faux-pas, such as cashiers talking on the phone while they checked people out.

And, naturally, many of these experiences have been mirrored at Best Buy. Red or yellow, doesn't really matter, does it?

So I'd like to solicit your stories, readers!

What's the worst thing that's happened to you at Circuit City or Best Buy? The best, if any? Tell us your story in TalkBack.

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