My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Washington
On 1/26/07, my mother planned to buy a printer using a coupon ($40 off a $200 purchase) at the Olympia, WA Circuit City store. A sales associate verified the coupon on the store computer and told her that it could be used for that specific printer. However, when paying a few hours later, CC refused to honor it. No reason was given, and my mother was pressured to pay the extra $40 at the register. She was suspicious and did not buy the printer. I spoke to the manager, who not only refused to discuss what happened, but stormed off, muttering under his breath.
Then began an extremely frustrating effort to get CC to explain their actions. I began with e-mails, which were all ignored. I sent a registered letter, which was met with a form letter that did not address my issue at all. After filing complaints with the BBB and the WA State Attorney General's office, I received a brief reply claiming that the coupon conflicted with an existing rebate. However, there is no evidence such a rebate existed, nor was this claimed by the manager at the time, who insisted that the coupon could not be used for anything. Again I wrote to CC, asking for details of the rebate. I received no reply. I re-sent the letter via registered mail weeks later and was ignored again. After a complaint to the Virginia AG, CC again claimed there was a conflicting rebate, but offered no details. The next round of letters resulted in a vague apology for the manager's behavior, but still no elaboration on the alleged rebate. I wrote the AG again, asking directly for proof, but CC did not respond.
Finally, I posted my complaint on CC's support forum. While polite and apologetic, the representative still refused to explain why the coupon was not honored or provide details of the rebate. Repeated attempts to get a question answered with a simple "yes" or "no" failed.
The forum posts can be viewed here:
A scan of the coupon is here: http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i248/r209/Coupon.jpg
I believe there never was any rebate, and the employees at this store were trying to cheat my mother, believing she was alone and vulnerable. By promising she could use the coupon, then revoking that promise at the register, did CC violate the law? Should they have to give details of the rebate, which they claimed existed in a written letter? Do I have any other options, or should I just let the issue go?