Mikazuki (naishinnou) wrote in bad_service,

Comp store shuts down....

I'm really amused by what happened in my town. One of the big name locally owned computer stores went out of business. Let me give you the background before I get to the Bad Service portion.

This particular store was known for providing bad service from selling cheaply made cases at outrageous prices to overcharging for repairs (let's just say the cost was MORE then Geek Squad's prices). They were a small store at first and operated out of a "small" location. When you walked in to their original store, it was too big and they lacked merchandise. They hired a man, who owned a Computer Renaissance that went bankrupt, to manage the new store. The new store was in a HUGE location with a HUGE sign. Really, you would think it was a big name store by how big the location is and how big the sign is BUT when you'd walk in, the store was pretty empty and they still were overpriced and sold inferior cases (ones we know that sell at wholesale for $10 - they'd sell for $75 & up).

Now some info on the manager. He owned a Computer Renaissance and was my husband's boss (my husband managed the local Computer Renaissance). When my hubby took over as manager, the store was losing money but once my husband became manager he turned the store around and it became one of the multi-million dollar making stores. He (hubby) was awarded by the corporate offices for turning the store around. Fast forward a year after that conference and the hubby was fired because another employee (who also later went to work at that now closed store) wanted his job and told their boss lies about how the hubby was sun lighting for another company. Now sun lighting is working for another company in the same field - basically it's like working for Target while working for Walmart. It wasn't true, the hubby WAS moonlighting at Eagle Hardware to make ends meet but he wasn't sun lighting at all. Six months AFTER he was fired, Computer Renaissance went closed and many of the customers were left without their computers. It was a sudden closure - no warning - they had taken customers computers the day before (for repairs) but the next day there was a sign on the door saying they were permanently closed. (Keep this in mind)

Ok, fast forward to the near present (about two years ago). When we opened up our store that "big" computer store was still in it's old location. My hubby's old boss was manager there and the idiot who stole his job was also working there. Another new store opened up shortly after we did and in a decent location - in a strip mall near the main mall. The owner of that store was a former Geek Squad employee. He's a nice guy and comes into our store on occasion and sends us customers and we send him customers since we both deal in different aspects of the computer business. Fast forward to last year, when that "big" store decided to move to a new location. They moved into the building IN FRONT of that other guy's store. HUGE sign, HUGE store. In fact let me show you what I mean.

The big building in front is the entire computer store that opened AFTER the computer store (the small guy) opened FIRST. Like I said, when we opened in October 2004 the "big" store was in their original location. Then "S" opened his store (the one in blue) around November 2004 and in 2005 the "big" store decided to move from their location to that big building. "S" suffered a bit from it because he had a small location, operates it with his wife and has no employees (like us) and consequently because the "big" store is in front of his store and has a HUGE sign, customers would stop with the "big" store first. It was a shame when the "big" store pulled that stunt. It simply wasn't nice because it, in essence, was an attempt to put a competitor out of business.

Fast forward to two weeks ago that the hubby passed by the "big" store and noticed it was closed. He called "S" who told him they did indeed closed with no warning. They were open the day before but the next was shut down. We didn't think anything of it until TODAY.

I'm here at home with the kids and I'm "watching" the 6 PM news, not really paying attention since I'm rocking one of the twins to sleep. Some how my attention was caught when the local news reporter made mention of that particular store. Turns out that when they closed they pulled a "Computer Renaissance" and shut down the store the day after taking customers computers (and money) for repairs without telling those customers they were closing. There are LOTS of customers ("S" said [on the news] he's had people go to HIM demanding their computers from that "big" store) who are pissed off because they were waiting for computers to be built (and paid in advance) or who took their computers in for repair or who took their computers in for a check in order to sell or trade. The store left NO WARNING and no contact info at all. At least when "R" at Computer Renaissance closed he made sure the customers were able to get their computers within 48 hours of the store closing but it's been TWO WEEKS since the "big" store closed and customers STILL haven't been able to contact the owner or manager.

I feel sorry for "S" because his business might look crooked or customers might fear HE will go out of business and pull a stunt like the "big" store. Frankly, I blame both the owner and the manager of that particular store because the manager pulled the same stunt when his business failed. What I suspect happened was that "R" convinced the owner to move into a larger location because they had a lot of business so they moved from their location to a new location which cost them more money in terms of rental price, electricity, water and garbage. In other words, they bit off more then they could chew.

If you're not making any money and go out of business, fine but make sure your customers get their money and stuff back. Just don't lock the doors, empty the store out and practically disappear. "S" gave the media the number to the property manager so customers can contact the property manager to get the contact info of the owner. Hopefully customers can get their comps back but I doubt they'll get any money back. Talk about bad service.
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