Experiences at Fry's Electronics, Page Nineteen

October 5, 1997

I have had good experiences also at Fry's. Here are a few:

1. In 1993, I went to the Fremont Store and purchased a JVC VCR. The total price for the VCR was $400. I took it, paid the money and went home. On going home, to my horror: it was a returned piece and damaged. It would not even work. I was mad. Went back the next day, they apologized and gave me a SONY VCR $469 for the same price. The store manager came up to the front desk to apologize.

2. They have a very wide selection of equipment except for finished computers and mostly have in stock what I want.

3. I have several times compared their prices with Circuit City & Good Guys. They mostly have better prices and selection.

4. They are much more racially integrated company than others.

Have fun

( Bobby )

October 6, 1997

I've long since given up shopping at the Fountain Valley Fry's after being treated with more suspicion than I would expect if I were caught smuggling guns into Bosnia. It's great to know that I'm not the only person who finds Fry's treatment of supposedly "valued" customers disgusting, arrogant, and completely disingenuous. I think they should just support truth in advertising with a sign at the door that says "Please empty your wallets here, then turn around and go home. Thank you." That would be more in line with Fry's priorities.

Thanks again.

( Tim V. )
Laguna Beach, CA

October 7, 1997

It seems you and I (and about a billion others) find Fry's Electronics to have - well, let's just say, less than bad service.

What I want to do is write a nice little letter to Fry's, pin-pointing their shortcomings and explain why myself and many associates that spend tens-of-thousands of dollars a year will no longer go to their ridiculous store.

I personally have done little research into the infrastructure of Fry's and have little idea as to who I can contact that may actually have a reaction to what I have to say. This is where I am hoping you will come in. I am hoping you have and are willing to generously give me any names and addresses of such people within the Fry's organization.

I would be eternally grateful. Such a letter has been a long time coming.

Thanks so much for your time!

( Brian W. )

October 9, 1997

I am an employee at the new store in Phoenix, and I would like to say "thank you" for a great laugh. The truth can be hilarious. I can tell you that the main reason they care so little is that we are paid crap, and also that they treat us a thousand times worse than all you customers are complaining about. Let me say this again, you guys are lucky!! Fry's Electronics is a great place to work if you are prone to abuse and molestation of dignity.

( Joe )

October 10, 1997

Great page, very entertaining. Fry's sucks. It didn't use to but does now. A copy of my letter to Randy Fry. Had to fax it - he does not have E mail and/or has built a wall around himself & his customers. Smart.

( Ed K. )

Friday, October 10, 1997

Mr. Randy Fry
Fry's Electronics
600 East Brokaw Road
San Jose, CA 95112

Mr. Fry,

Since September 25th I have been trying to get a refund on a computer system I purchased at and returned the next day to your Palo Alto Store. The computer was in the box, un-opened when I took it back. I paid with a check on the 24th that cleared my bank on the 26th and was informed that a check would be sent to me in a week or so. At that same time I tried to get the clerk to correct my name and address on the paperwork, which was clearly wrong, which he refused to do.

Yesterday, October 9th I called your corporate office to inquire as to the status of my $2,272.17 refund check. I was directed to Rosa C. who I faxed my paper work to. After 6 phone conversations with her she told me that the name and address on the invoice was incorrect (EXACTLY what I'd tried to tell the guy at the Palo Alto store) and that she couldn't determine if a check had been sent out or not.

Yesterday afternoon about 2:30 in an attempt to clarify the matter for Ms. C. I drove to your corporate office, gave my business card to your lobby attendant, Mr. York H., and asked speak with Ms. C. York H. couldn't be bothered to help me and displayed an attitude towards me that was rude and condescending. After giving me a hard time about not having an appointment he suggested that I leave "his lobby".

I've bought a lot of stuff at your stores over the last ten years for 3 different companies. I purchased this system for my 3rd start up and would have kept it except my web master changed his mind and decided he wanted a rack mounted unit. I have fond memories of shopping at your original [Sunnyvale] store (when it was fun to shop @ Frys & your staff was courteous) and don't understand why I have been jerked around so much on this.

I want a refund check today. Please advise.


( G. Edward K. )

cc. John Fry
David Fry

October 12, 1997

Now I know why they say "misery loves company." I had to laugh (and cry) when I found so many other stories from people who have had the misfortune of dealing with Fry's. About a year ago I bought several ethernet cards for a client in San Jose. The last card we installed wouldn't work. In searching through the documentation I found a page where some previous owner had circled various options with a ball point pen. The idiots at Fry's had obviously taken a returned item and re-shrink wrapped it--without any testing--and put it right back on the shelf! Of course I couldn't bill the client for the lost hours going through the "return run-around." Nor did I have the time or money to sue them for the losses. They need to be hung by their b---s and deep Fry-ed in a vat of hot oil with an arena of dissatisfied customers looking on. Hey, maybe this would make a good pay-for-view. Anyone interested?

BTW, I have found the best revenge is to take their low priced ads to any competitor (usually closer to me) who will meet or beat the price. I get the benefit of their volume purchasing without setting foot in one of their stores, or giving them another penny. Try it, you'll like it!

( A. DeL. )

October 12, 1997

I have purchased in September a external CD Writer (OMNIWRITER) of Phillips at Fry's in San Diego. I took it with me back home, which is in Europe.

First I installed a SCSI card and tried later to connect the Omniwriter. It never worked. I tried almost everything but nothing seemed to help.

After hours of trying I got fed up with it and brought the PC and the CD Writer to a local computer store. I told the guy to make it work.

Two hours later he called me and told me to come to his shop otherwise I would not believe it. So I did.

The PC and the SCSI card were working fine. So he got suspicious and opened the CD Writer case.

He found an old (manuf. 93) SONY CD ROM in a PHILLIPS OMNIWRITER Case! No wonder I couldn't get it to work!

What can I do? Any sugestions? If I would be in the States I'd just go in the store an kick some ass but unfortunatly I can't.


( Thomas )

October 14, 1997

I find your case history on Fry's Electronics to be most humorous... Mostly because I was a cashier there and had a first-hand view of incompetence at work... The Fry's chain's management is filled with problems that occur when Customer Service meets Corporate CYA... Let me know if you want a few examples, after working at their Tempe AZ branch, for three weeks, I could cite volumes...

( Reverend Styx )

October 16, 1997

Just today I saw a Fry's Electronics advertisement for a CD-R drive for $297. This seemed like a great deal, about $100 less than any similar product advertised elsewhere that I have seen. Upon reading the comments on your page I have reconsidered my decision as to whether this is such a good deal or not. BTW there is a Fry's in Sacramento (formerly Incredible Universe).


Ben Weir

October 16, 1997

Keep up the good work and we can all force retailers to better server the needs of each customer because they don't know which one of us will devote a web page or newsgroup posting to their poor customer care.

( Paul A. )

October 19, 1997

You guys are a bunch of losers, I've personally bought thousands of dollars worth of stuff and it has never been defective, including RAM (Random Access Memory), CPU's (Central Processing Units), TV's (Televisions), E-IDE controllers, I even bought one that had been returned twice, and to this day it works, and I bought it over a year ago! See I had to put the meanings for the abbrevations in because you are a bunch of idiots, still working on 386's and think that building a Pentium system is the same thing! Idiots!

( Kathy L. )

October 20, 1997

I went to the Fry's in Sacramento on a Sunday, October 12th, during the early afternoon. When my friend and I pulled into the parking lot we noticed it was perhaps a little over half full. We figured no problems, not that many people.

I was there to upgrade my US Robotics Sportster internal modem to an X2 internal. I had preceded my visit to Fry's by a phone call, verifying that indeed I could do this upgrade. The price was very reasonable and I was curious having never been to Fry's.

I had read this site's postings beforehand too. I was hoping against hope things would go well. They didn't.

I first had to walk up to a desk and ask to be pointed in the proper direction. The reception lady had no idea what a modem or upgrade was, but somehow pointed me in the proper direction. I stood at a table for about a minute before the service guy talked to me. Cool, no sweat, this isn't so bad, I thought. Then the service guy looked at my modem. He couldn't figure out the model number. He began grabbing it by the chips and fumbling it around looking for some vague number. After refering to a book he had to walk 30 feet to read, returning to fumble the modem around, and back to the book, some ten minutes later he discovered the number he needed in the modem manual. He then jotted some numbers upon a triplicate form and handed me two of the three sheets, telling me to head to the computer area and wait at a kiosk.

I walked quietly to the computer area, a good trek in this mammoth store. I saw the sign and stood by a kiosk. I stood there. Waiting. Finally someone with a nametag asked me what I needed. I showed them the paper and they told me to look for someone else. I began to get a little peeved. I stormed about the aisles ranting about lackluster service. This got attention and soon I was ushered from one salesperson to a lower ranked salesperson that finally got into the cage where my X2 modem would be. Only ... there was a number missing on the two page form I handed them.

I was sent on a sprint back across the store to the table where I originally received the form. I stood there this time for a good five minutes before a guy acknowledged me. I asked him for the set of numbers I needed. Then I said to get the damned numbers or give me a new 28.8 modem and my money back, and I emphasized this with a swift and loud slamming of my fist upon their table. They were frightened into action, and also rounded up the larger employees in the area to deal with a "potential situation". After a bit of hussle they frantically handed me my form back with the proper numbers.

I then sprinted back to the kiosk in the computer area. After a small bit of delay a rather lovely oriental girl handed me my new X2 modem. This almost made up for the madness. Ah, but then came the checkout counter.

My friend had picked up a Zappa CD and we both headed out, relieved it was almost over. Almost. We each got to our respective check out employee. I laughed reproachefully at the customer service sign as I handed my modem ( with price clearly marked ) and the dreaded form. Upon sight of the dreaded form the checkout clerk, in a semi-retarded hackneyed drawl, informed me he'd have to ask his supervisor about this form. Away he went. For ten minutes. All this time I was looking at my friend standing at his checkout counter, with his checkout person heading to his supervisor. My checkout serf finally returned and told me I didn't need that form and could throw it away. Perplexed I asked if I could still buy the modem and the answer was fortunately affirmative. I paid for my modem and went to my friend to discover he was still waiting for an O.K. to buy one stupid CD. He finally said forget it, and we walked out.

I should have listened to you folks. I didn't. I'll never go there again and will tell everyone why.

( CrazyCurt )

October 20, 1997

Great page first of all. I scanned a lot of your stories, and since most of them are about their lack of knowlegde, helpfulness, and general aggravation, I thought I'd throw out a one with a new, sexually harassing twist. I realize this probably isn't indicative of Fry's or most of their customers, but I just thought it should be told.

I went to Fry's in Sunnyvale yesterday (Sunday, 10-19-97) with my girlfriend in an attempt to return a broken phone. This phone was purchased several months ago and has been nothing but heartache. It constantly beeps, informing us the battery need charging, regardless of how many hours it has been charging. We were told to replace the battery within weeks of the purchase but nothing has worked. Fed up, we went to the customer service desk in Sunnyvale.

The man who initially helped us told us we could not return it since it had been more than a month. Only a man named Ted S. could make that kind of decision. After several minutes, Mr. S. came over to speak with us. Throughout the conversation, Mr. S. continually stared at my girlfriend's chest. He did not talk to us. He talked at her. At one point, he left for a minute. Thinking I was perhaps being an overprotective boyfriend, I looked at my companion. She had a horrified and disturbed look at her face. Mind you, there was nothing unusual about her shirt, no large stains. Just your plain, baggy t-shirt. As Ted returned, she crossed her arms over her chest, but Ted was not phased. He continued his offensive treatment of her. Finally, he told us that only the supervisor of the department could help us.

Stunned, we left to find that man. We were informed that person actually no longer worked at this store. We spoke with two other male employees, who after refusing to take back our phone informed us that the only person who could help us was, yes that's right, Ted S. We told them that we had already spoken with Mr. S. and he had a hard time looking away from her chest. Rather than subjecting ourselves to his offensive degradation of women again, we told them we would rather throw the phone away and take our business elsewhere. The men then attempeted to justify Ted's behavior by saying "Ted's eyes just go that way... he's just like that."

It was bad enough that the supervisor of customer service chose to talk at his customers and behave in utterly offensive manners. They also have employees who think they can justify and accept that kind of behavior. Fry's has lost my business. Hopefully you'll take my story so others can choose what they are willing to accept from them.

Thanks and keep it up,

Brad Presner

October 22, 1997

I live in Los Angeles, 30 miles from the nearest Fry's. After experiences too numerous to mention, my summation is this:
1. Fry's has the best prices in town.
2. Every purchase over $300.00 will require at least 2 trips.
3. Customer service is an oxymoron.

( John J. )

October 28,1997

The Good Guys will offer the customer service and the shopping experiences you want.

( Miguel R. )

October 29, 1997

Well, I called Fry's to ask for their corporate headquarters -- and got an address! (wow, helpfulness, incredible)

600 E. Brokaw Rd.
San Jose, CA 95112

Just for your FYI -- now I'm off to write a complaint letter to the Fry Bros, and to the store manager.

( Leanne S.)

October 29, 1997

I've never bought anything from Fry's, but I was thinking about buying a tv there next week. Thanks for your page - I doubt I'll ever walk into Fry's again.

( Samir S.)

October 31, 1997

Well, here's excerpts from my letters to both Apple Computer (asking if they'll remove the "authorised reseller" tag from Fry's) and to Fry's itself.

From the Apple letter:

"They are selling the Power Macintosh 6500/225 bundled with an Optiquest monitor for a bargain price. Unfortunately, they don't bother to tell you that you need an adaptor for the monitor. So I was very unpleasantly surprised to find out that I couldn't "plug and play" when I got the items home, which is something Apple has been priding itself on for ages and something I have boasted about to others as I have been a Macintosh user for 7 years now."

From the Fry's letter (long):

"I am writing to complain about the shocking service I received at one of your stores on the 28th October in Murphy Canyon, San Diego.

"First, however, I want to commend one of the appliance customer service representatives, who was not only helpful in retrieving our product but who was also as frustrated and angry as we were about the runaround we got at the checkout section. I wish I had caught all of his name, David A.?

"I also wish I had caught the name of the other appliance customer service representative who seemed more concerned with talking on his cell phone and backing off hurriedly every time my husband or I looked at him, or approached him.

"We went into the Stonecrest Rd store to pick up a washer and dryer previously purchased there and that we were now able to pick up. We also went in to pick up a computer that I had called in for last week and requested that it be put on hold. I made doubly certain over the phone with the representative that it would remain in the Will Call area until Tuesday. The computer customer service representative, Fred G., assured me this was so.

"I was informed at the checkout that this was not the case, that items could only be held for 48 hours. In other words, your employee in the computer misinformed a customer. Another employee in the computer section told me earlier that the computer I wanted was no longer being made. I went to check the Apple Macintosh website and they're still shipping (and the fact that more of that item had recently been shipped to your store last night only verifies that!). Again, your service personnel were uninformed. In the end I had to wait for over 15 minutes for the computer -- which should have been ready for me to pick up -- to be retrieved from the floor and for them to create a quote.

"It gets worse -- I get the items home and start setting it up -- the monitor cable does not fit into the back of the Macintosh. What kind of store is this that bundles incompatible items together and sells them?!?! You can be sure that I will be writing to Apple Macintosh and asking that they revoke your authorised reseller license and give it to someone who deserves it! I'll be forwarding this entire letter to them.

"We had to go through a whole bunch of rigmarole to get our washer and dryer out of the store. We had to collect the yellow part of the receipt. The girl who assisted my husband was clueless and ended up having to bring in the appliance service person (David A.), who was very helpful and got everything sorted out for us. Goodness knows who was in the appliance section while he was doing this. Certainly not Mr. Cell Phone.

"We were told that we would get assistance in moving the washer and dryer out to the truck. My husband had to request this assistance twice from the people at the front door. This took another 10 minutes of waiting around for something to be done. The guy at the door also demanded to re-check our yellow receipt the second time and recheck the entire stock that had been sitting there in plain view since the first time he checked.

"It was also interesting to overhear the guys who were dragooned into shifting the appliances for us. They were cashier guys and they wondered aloud why people were not employed to do this heavy lifting/shifting.

"In short, Fry's Electronics was a wonderful store to visit and shop at when it was Incredible Universe. After these experiences, even the excellent service of Mr. David A. (who also was ready to go to bat for us in the computer section) is not enough for us to return to Fry's Electronics, and we are telling everyone we know not to shop at Fry's Electronics. Nobody should have to go through that."

Great page, Dave -- as soon as I finish moving house, I'll be updating my page to link to it!

( Leanne S. )

November 1, 1997

My comment about Fry's here in Sacramento, (which was "Incredible Universe") that opened officially in April 1997. When I walked into the "new" store, they were just getting started and everything was spreadout all over the place.

Anyway, in October 1997, I purchased a controller card took it home and tried for 4 hours to get it to configure to my pc. Finally I got fed up with it and decided to return it the next day (Saturday). The people taking my returned item were friendly and helpful. They handed me a voucher to take to the counter and a CSR would help me there.

This is where the "warn fuzzies" went away. My original purchase was for $64.64. Not a lot of money, but I wanted to get my money back and go home. So I handed the rep the voucher and she started to tell me "a check would be mailed from corporate". I asked her, where was corporate? San Jose, she said. I said well its only $64.64 couldn't you just give me a cash or even a check. She looked puzzled, so I asked for a supervisor. The supervisor came over and said, a check would be mailed in 9 to 14 days. I was mad but stayed cool. I said OK! and left.

I waited 15 days, looking for the check in my mailbox. Yeah, no check. So I went to the store, and asked for a supervisor, again. The supervisor said, "Oh, the check will be mailed AFTER 14 days. I said "Couldn't you be a little more pro-active and just pay me the $64.64. No is all she could say. She did write on the voucher, that I was to check back in 5 days if I hadn't received the check by then and they "would work something out". Well duuuhh!!!! Why couldn't they just work it out now. I just can't figure why store employees can't be a little more responsive to customers who have been willing to wait 2 weeks to get their money back.

I have decided that Fry's Electronics will not get any more of my business in the future. The number of smaller "Mom and Pop" stores here in Sacramento are plentiful. And most of them are eager to please the customer with an instant refund. No matter what. Besides most stores now, charge $25 and up for returned checks. So, why can't Fry's be as customer friendly as the smaller, less known stores?

BOO Fry's.

( Steve B. )

November 3, 1997

I bought a BJC-4300 Canon printer from Fry's Electronics at store #5 in El Segundo for $199.00 last week and returned it today because of the following problems.1) It would take 5 minutes to load before printing. 2) the paper often mis-fed and it's hard to clear a jam. 3) the colors were very poor. 4) Slim people looked like sumo wrestlers 5) Canon's technical support only answered my E-mail after 4 days apologizing that they were swamped with requests. Unfortunately, the info that they gave me did not solve any of my problems.

The manager at Fry's said that he would have to deduct $40.00 for the ink cartridge. What a joke, when you go out to buy a car and you decide that you don't want it, you never pay for the gas that you've used. How else can one test out an item these days when they are all packaged up, unless you take it home and try it. How can I get back my $40? Take Canon or Fry's to Small Claims Court or stand in the aisles at Fry's and warn the customers not to buy printers as they may lose a 1/4 of the cost if they get it home and it doesn't work.

Perhaps a full page ad in the L.A. Times about the poor customer service at Fry's would at least give me personal satisfaction.

( Ralph L.)

November 3, 1997

I have found a way to get the attention of a Fry's employee - aggresively question a store "policy".

First: I am a motorcycle rider and carry my PalmPilot, CellPhone, Checkbook and other personal items in a tank bag, a piece of motorcycle luggage roughly the size of a woman's handbag.

I walk into the Sacramento store carrying my helmet and tank bag as I had done probably 20 times in the past, only this time the door nazi informs me that I'll have to check my back pack at the door. I reply that it is not a back pack. The door nazi says I'll have to check it anyway. I ask to see the manager at which point I am escorted to a 18 or 19 year old kid in a jacket and tie.

me: Why do I have to check this at the door?
manager: It's just policy.
me: Do women have to check their purses at the door?
manager: No.
me: Why isn't that policy?
manager: It's just different.
me: And how is that different?

At this point the nearby employees come to the aid of their "manager" by crowding around me and repeating "it's just policy" and "if you don't like it you can leave", turning my calm talk with the manager into a one versus four confrontation. I left, laughing.

( Keith B. )

November 6, 1997

Here's a letter I faxed to Fry's in Fountain Valley:


Store Manager
Fry's Electronics

To Whom It May Concern,

I went to your store yesterday and bought a hard drive and some other stuff, including a can of Endust computer cleaner. The first cashier, a sloppy, inept guy stared blankly at the register, mumbling something about it being stalled and unable to clear my check. He then dragged my stuff to another cashier, a "Margaret C." who moaned about the transaction, bad-mouthed the first cashier, then finally cleared my check and rang me up after about twenty minutes.

The nasty attitudes your employees displayed were nothing new, I'm used to being abused by your worthless staff. But what really bugs me is that my Endust was never put in my bag, yet I was still charged!! I didn't realize it until this morning, and although it's only a $3.99 item, it just bugs the hell out of me!

You people can be surly, gross, and rude, but don't charge me for stuff and then not give it to me!!!

Now you can either call me and tell me to come pick up my can of Endust, or I will fax/call/visit your store until you get really sick of me.

Thank you,

( Kevin R. )

I am no longer actively soliciting comments to be posted on this page.

The experiences posted here are those of the individuals involved.

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Last updated on August 1, 1999.
David W. Schultheis, San Josť, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, California, USA