Here is my experience with a "Fry's Deal" (Denon 4500 at $849). I apologize in advance for format below. Just typing fast.
(1) Look at Fry's website, shows as in stock at local store. I assume is new as some other stores list "open box" or "sold out." Drive 45 minutes to local store, check website again in parking lot--still shows as in stock. Go into store. Tell me not in stock--open box or otherwise.
(2) Go home. Notice that website has in stock at another store (call it Store A) with free shipping (again not listed as open box). Order it online. Get confirmation email with invoice. Few minutes later get phone call from Store A confirming shipment of new unit. Then hour later get phone call from Store A saying no new units in stock, only open box, and (*) Fry's stores never ship open box items.
(3) Ask Store A whether any Fry's have new unit in stock. They look on computer and say try Store B.
(4) By now, I have reached first plateau--better get live person at Fry's. Call Store B. They have new unit in stock. Will not ship to me, but will ship to my local store if I go in and ask local store to do inter-store transfer. Go to local store, ask them to call Store B to start transfer. They open their rolodexes make call, say no one is answering at Store B. I pull out my phone, call Store B website phone number, and immediately get Store B. Put on speaker phone, local store personnel confirm that Store B will ship. They write up "reserved invoice" and I pay. Local store says will keep me posted. Don't hear anything for a week. Call local store, am told Store B sold unit, did not ship anything, and has no more new units. I ask to speak to supervisor. Am put on hold and call "dropped." Call back and ask what is going on. Told I will have to call local store manager. Local store manager out to lunch (I know, I know, but I won't say it) (this is 2 in afternoon), told will call me later in day. Does not call. I call next morning. Ask why I wasn't called on progress of shipment as was told I would be. No answer, but local store manager apologizes. Says a new unit has been located at Store C.
(5) Local store manager says that they have requested inter-store transfer of this unit from Store C. I ask when will it be shipped. Local store manager tells me computer says has been put on truck, will keep me posted. I hear nothing for a week. Call back. Local store manager says unit has not arrived. I ask where it is. Local store manager says has no way to track items once on truck. I ask how can be sure item is on truck. Answer: personally talked with Store C and knows people there; they assured that new item was put on truck. I ask how truck is routed. Says goes across country to TN then back again. I am amazed at this. Then checks with shipping, says, no, actually will come more or less directly to local store. Few days later get voicemail from local store, start playing voicemail, says unit has arrived. At that point in voicemail, I shout out "YES!" which startles people around me. Unfortunately, voicemail goes on to say is not new unit, is open box (see (*) in (2)). Voicemail goes on to say sales associate says will spend half an hour to check unit and make sure is working perfectly (yeah I know ought to be able to check a unit as simple as this in 15 minutes). I call and associate says I can use unit and exchange when new unit comes in from manufacturer, but doesn't know when or if new unit will ever come in from manufacturer. Is late in day and am unable to call local store manager.
(6) Get up next morning. Out of interest, go to Fry's website and see unit listed (not as open box) in Store D. Call Store D, no new units available, only demo. Call Denon and ask what warranty is on open box, person on phone is not sure--hmmm?!? Try to call local store manager through website phone number, call "dropped" twice. Discover I have direct number. Call. Is surprised to hear is open box. I explain deal sales associate described. Local store manager says can do that. I say I have no reason to believe that unit will come in and that promise made now will be kept, I say how about you give me refund now AND open box AND I will promise to come in and buy with refund if new unit comes in. Obviously, that isn't accepted, instead will discount an additional $150. By now I have reached second plateau, can't trust Fry's live people either. I say I am done, just refund back to credit card. Local store manager says will be done and show up on statement in 2 or 3 business days. I can come in and get $100 Fry's gift card for my trouble. I wouldn't be surprised to have to file charge dispute with credit card company.
(7) Note that this sequence covers not one, not two, not three, not four, but five stores. A quick google of Fry's will show that my experience is closer to typical than exceptional.
(8) Having said all that, the Fry's people were nice, even as I became more exasperated, but paying people minimum wage plus a commission that disappears on sale items will result in a certain climate ….
Last edited by simon_templar_32; 06-12-2019 at 09:07 PM.