Experiences at Fry's Electronics, Page Three


(From Mexico:)

I will tell my experiences with Fry's. And I will be glad if you print my experiences, may be like that they do something about it.

The 7 Sept 96 I bought a hard drive in Fry's from San Jose. Three days later I was trying to install the hard drive and it did not work. There was something wrong. I tried to contact the Toshiba dealer in Mexico who told me that I should return the drive to the store where I bought it. So I talked to the salesman in the store and he told me to return the hard drive. I also told him about a battery that did not come within the package of a wireless telephone and should have come. He told me that he would send also the battery missing.

The next day I sent the hard drive with UPS or FedEx (one of them).

5 Days later I called again and he was not there, so I spoke with his supervisor who told me that they had received the package and he would call me back when Mr. Joe Ayala arrived.

1 Day later he did not call. So I called again. This time Mr. Ayala was there and told me he did not received the hard drive yet. So he was going to check if someone else received and would call me back.

He did not call back. So I called back again. This time he said that the drive arrived and that he was going to send it next day.

After about 1 more week I phoned again to find out what was going on. He said that he had sent it with FedEx but he did not have the numbers of the shipment to give them to me, and that he would give them to me on the phone later when his bus arrived. He never called back.

I called again and this time he was not in the store so Mr. Eric Legon who said that he was his superior. Heard my complain I told him to tell me if they were going to still the drive please let me know. He told me to give him my phone number and that he was going to see in to my problem personally and that he would call the same day a little later. He did not call.

I do not know what to do because I am expending a lot of money in long distances and I don't know if they are really thinking on returning the new drive as they said, or if they are just going to keep it.

I also bought the extended guaranty.

Please if some one can advise me what to do I will appreciated.

( Antonio Domit )
Tel: (525) 596-5480 or (525) 596-3600


Hi Dave

WOW thanks guys-- I was thinking of going to Fry's to purchase some memory. The SIMM story (the guy who got the USED memory ) put me off of that idea. I have found other companies that are good...one being JDR Microdevices. I purchased 16MB 70ns 72 pin 36 bit for $159.95, which is the cheapest I have found.

P.S. JDR has a web page you can order from. Some of the prices are cheaper than the catalog prices if you order from the net.

( Pete :) )

PPS. I am not affiliated with JDR in any way.


Those experiences you have wrote on your page are so true. I also have had bad experiences at Fry's:

10/11/96 Fry's electronics - Fremont, CA
Well I recently bought a modem at Fry's Electronics, a Supra 33.6 external modem which cost $127.00. Well that night after I got home and opened the package, it turned out to be an internal modem so I go back the next day and exchange it. When I go into line it takes several minutes to get to the cash register and finally when I get to the cashier, he try's to charge me $5.00 more. I ask "what for?," he says the modem cost $132.00 and I said I bought it for $127.00 yesterday and it was only $127.00 and it is not my fault it I returned, you guys put a internal modem in the external modem. After arguing I finally give up and pay him. I asked him before I leave can I open the box to see if it is an external modem. The guy at cashier says "no because it will void any return or exchange" so I can't return or exchange if I open it at cashier. I asked him "why?" He said that is their policy. Well so I leave and check out with the lady at door. Then I open in the car just to make sure. Finally it is right product!

( Brandon Abenes )


First off, I love this idea. I think all stores of such magnitude should have a place [for customers] to publicly complain!

Here goes: I decide I am going to build myself a nice little system. My first mistake was deciding to do this. My biggest mistake was going to Fry's. It wasn't that the sales people knew WAY less than I did, which is pretty hard to do, it was their lying, cheating and conniving ways that got me! I needed this system set up quite quickly (my third mistake) and I thought that Fry's would actually have their advertised items in stock. The first place I went was to get the CPU and Memory. I told the salesperson what I was going to do and that I intended to buy everything that night and leave. We had four hours until closing, plenty of time since I knew exactly what I wanted. I even had most of the sku numbers because I had been coming in regularly to research this project. Well, 4 hours later I had a floppy drive, a multi-media kit, a case, a severe headache and one hell of an attitude. It turns out although the salesperson knew I was buying everything that night, he didn't bother to tell me that the CPU's were out of stock, the memory wasn't available, there were only 3 (and I'm serious here) out of the 15 hard drives shown in stock and of course these were all the most expensive, and as for my modem? Although their database showed over a hundred in stock, they had been misplaced. The most irriatating part was that I had spent 4 fricken hours walking around that store putting up with these idiots, looking up parts and trying to find anything actually in stock all the while constantly fighting with them about not wanting the more expensive model...i.e...."No, I do not want a $300.00 hard drive, thank you, I'll just take the advertised $169.00 one, PLEASE", Had the first guy I dealt with just told me "We won't have any CPU's for a week and a half," I would have left right away. But no! Of course not! This is the land of Fry's or highway robbery! I really felt shisted. I can't believe how many out of stock items they have consistently, and how badly they treat their customers, from the salespeople right down to the long lines! It really is a super store. A super bunch o' crap! Thanks for having a place for another frustrated Fry's customer to bitch!

( Auzriella )


The Fry's in Fountain Valley DOES NOT ANSWER THEIR PHONES! At all! As far as I can tell. I have tried on several different occasions to call Fry's to find out business hours and product availability and I have never had them pick up the phone. I've let it ring for as long as 15 minutes without them ever picking up. Can't they afford an automated system to at least give you the hours and then let you hold for more information!? Fry's has lost multiple personal and business purchases from me because I refuse to play their game and go down to the store blind.

( Dan Harkless )


I recently had and experience at Fry's where I tried to return a $5.00 video game. When I bought it, it was broken and there was no button to shut it off so the batteries would go out quickly. I returned to the store within the alloted 30 days with my receipt. When I went to the customer service counter, because I bought the game 15 days earlier, I didn't have the box it came in so they said they could only exchange it. Fine, what's five bucks anyway but when the guy from the department came over and saw my receipt, he told me that I didn't buy it there. I told him I did and he continued to argue and say I didn't. I then asked him if he is calling me a liar (mind you it was $5.00) and he said, "Yes, you didn't buy it here." My next comment was, "That's bullsh*t. How can you say I am lying?" My raised tone got me immediate attention and they found the merchandise on the computer and gave me my money. If I had thought of it at the time, I would have demanded an apology but I never did get one.

( Richard or Veronique Kaemerer )


I work for a small city. They are just starting to get computers in my office. I was responsible for making a 'large' purchase. The city gave me $6,000 for a brand spanking new PC. So, being the idiot that I am, I went and bought a Pentium Pro, with 32MB of RAM. Top of the line EVERYTHING. Plus a 486 to go along with it (for my home). I negotiated the deal on the phone, and made the order. I stated that I could make the pick-up in one week since they didn't offer shipping as an option. They also stated that I could not purchase the items over the phone, I would have to purchase them at the counter.

I've been to Fry's before (all of them), and I know what they're like. Anyway, I ordered all this stuff from someone that could almost speak English, and I picked it up on Saturday. The 4 hour drive from my house was worth it because of the prices. The packages were ready for me, and they put them in a shopping cart, which I required 2 of. I was told by the sales person (over the phone) that I would "be able to assemble the components at the store..." (I build my PCs because it's cheaper.) The sales person behind the counter, requested the "Person In Charge". After waiting, my request for a place to put the stuff together was declined. I took the stuff home, and put it together. In the process, I realized that the 2GB SCSI-2 hard disk that I bought had been used, there was a ton of stuff on the disk: MS-Office, MS-Front Page, a "Memphis" beta, etc. The 486 I bought was also used. The Adaptec controller was defective, and the NEC CD-ROM I requested was some generic piece of junk.

The next day I took the defective/used Items back, waited for an hour (actually 59M 12S), in line, filled out the proper paper work, and returned the Items. I then purchased the neccessary items for a replacement. THE BOTTOM LINE: Fry's Electronics is the place to go for the prices. Not the service. When making a purchase, INSIST that the stuff you buy it NEW, not USED.

( Jonathan Oliver )


Dave:

I found your page interesting and the shots at Fry's questionable business practices rang very true indeed.

I've found Fry's to be a great business resource. I am the Information Services supervisor at a small government contractor, and we make frequent purchases to keep our network going and to extend the network as needed. Fry's has such a great selection of items, and so many things actually on-hand, that I cannot imagine going anywhere else.

Being a great business resource, however, DOES NOT MEAN that Fry's is great to DEAL with. Fry's is a PAIN. A major pain. I can think of no more frustrating store that I have ever shopped in in my lifetime, and I have no hope that things will ever improve there. Surly know-nothing salespeople who don't know, don't want to know, and certainly don't care - and that's on a GOOD day. Ten-to-fifteen minute waits for a cash register followed by half-hours waits AT the cash register. Your life history written on your check. The door checker. By the time I get out the door, I feel as though I've GOTTEN AWAY WITH SOMETHING, as though I must actually BE some sort of criminal.

This isn't good at all, but what can I do? You could put Comp USA, Best Buy, Circuit City, and a host of others all together in one lump and they wouldn't even come close to the treasure trove of selections available at Fry's.

( Mark M. Hart )


Dave,

Here's another Fry's story for your Web page. I enjoyed reading through the stories of other Fry's customers and "sharing my pain." :)

I returned a $200.00 piece of merchandise in the Fry's of Palo Alto one evening as it was faulty. They refunded me $200.00 on my credit card, and then gave me $200.00 in cash. It didn't dawn on me what happened until I was driving home. I was very close to not going back for the simple reason that I feared having to wait around for 15-20 minutes to speak with one of their typical zombie employees to point out the error. I was directed to the original cashier who made the error. This employee then proceeded to get into an argument with another employee as to whose fault the error was. I left the building unthanked by the cashier for returning the extra $$. I was splitting angry. I now shop at NCA when possible, and direct all my company purchases to everywhere except any Fry's store. My sole satisfaction is that in 1995 I spent roughly $15,000.00 in company purchases at NCA and other electronic stores which prior to this experience I would have certainly spent at Fry's.

( Scott Evans )


Great Web page.

I've been going there for 12 years, it's always been the same. Ever try calling them? Why they even have a phone I don't know.

I too have experienced all the same problems mentioned here.

Fry's best feature is the return policy. Need something, don't bother asking for help, just buy all the models you might be interested in, try them and take back what you don't want. The return people are the most informed and they even have a special short line at the checkout for people getting refunds. That's the best way around the long checkout line. Always buy something extra so the next time you'll have a return and can use the short line.

Two years ago I financed a video business through Fry's. I'd buy $5k worth of equipment, return it in 30 days, buy another $5k of different models that same day, return that, etc... I must have returned more than $40k worth of stuff that year.

I have less time to play games at Fry's and now find mail order has even better selection and prices.

Thanks Dave.

( Dan Oliver )


I'm PC Systems Administrator for a large Corporation (which shall be nameless) that is, unfortunately, close enough to Fry's for me to have to go in there to get equipment. Their "Alice in Wonderland" theme alone should say it all. I have gone in there to purchase 60 motherboards from them and 13 of them were bad! Returning these babies was a nightmare in itself! Recently, we have decided to install a new network for one of our departments. I estimated the cost of installing a server and the necessary workstations, hardware, and cabling to be over $15,000. I have sent in several faxed requests for pricing from their Corporate Sales guy, who sternly told me when I first went in there to "never come in, don't call me (he never answers his phone). Just fax in a request and I'll get to you in a couple days. I'm far too busy (playing games on his PC)." I have never heard from him yet. Last week, I needed to replace a burned out motherboard, and since they sell motherboards..... I purchased a motherboard (after no one came to help me out), a network card and some software. The motherboard was completely fried. The 3COM card's mounting bracket was bent beyond recognition, and it was too short to allow me to place it in the socket. I stood in line to return the motherboard and noticed the guy behind me was returning the EXACT SAME MOTHERBOARD! I received a replacement (after much wrangling), which brings me to my next point- It seems they immediately shelve defective and returned items without checking it or attempting to repair it as it says they have to in their "Procedure for Returned Items" they have taped in place on their service desk. This "new" motherboard was already configured for an AMD 486DX4-100. This is definitely NOT the factory settings for this motherboard. I have returned several boards to Fry's and bought "new" ones days later and guess what... they're the same ones I returned days before! I know because I marked them. This "new" replacement board was worse than the first one! (if that's possible). I returned that one too, and the guy at the return desk asked me if "I knew what I was doing with these". I almost lost it right there. I am paid very well to know more about computers than some $5/hr punk behind a service desk. I asked him if he knew what I was doing wrong. He replied that it takes a very competent technician to install a motherboard. I have been in the computer business for 10 years and I think I can configure and install a motherboard without some snot-nosed Fry-guy telling me that I can't install boards! I then went to buy some SIMMs (what I wanted was out of stock-of course). But they have these "premium" SIMMS for only $10 more! They don't work. Lifetime warranty? Nah- We must have done something to void the warranty. Fry's doesn't sell defective of used merchandise as new! That would be illegal!! Nevermind the lawsuits filed against them for just that reason! I tried to pick up a 33.6 PnP modem. Cost is $80. Good price. I don't need company authorization for purchases under $100. This is great. I go up there and they mumble "Customer Service" and blankly stare off into space. Someone in a red vest finally arrives and they pound some keys, look at me and say they'll be right back. She walks off to the Corporate Sales area. 10 minutes later she comes back and says that it is their policy that I must have a company purchase order to buy anything. I need a PO to buy CMOS batteries! And by the way- your account has been put on hold. I had our financial department talk to them and it turns out that they didn't post our payment yet. They're awfully quick to bill us and freeze our account, but EXTREMELY slow to give us refunds of any kind. (Like two months). Their floppy drives are sitting in a pile behind a locked glass case- Loose. I asked a sales guy (when I can get one from the little cluster they stand in and ignore everybody) if those drives were new. He said yes. I asked him how can that be if they're not in OEM packaging. (They weren't even in anti-static bags). He said that is how they came. That's one of the biggest loads of crap I ever heard. I could see fingerprints and chipped faces on the drives and God knows what else. I guess they think that defective items fix themselves while sitting on the stock shelves. Isn't that illegal? It is so hard to get a CSR to answer any questions that customers come up to me and ask me questions (I never wear a white shirt and I don't wear a "Hi! My name is _____" tag) because they know at least I'll give them an answer and a CORRECT one at that. And WHY do they have some kid standing at the door, inspecting bags? Does he think he can stop me from taking something if I wanted? Isn't that why they have the super long lines and the bank o'registers that have only two or three open during lunch? I see all of their video cameras and their pitiful attempts at loss-prevention security guards (I used to work in security- I can spot them in a second). Their loss prevention [people] are SO incompetent that it would take a very stupid thief to not figure out who is a guard. All of this and more adds up to one thing - FRY'S SUCKS! Sure they have low prices and sometimes they have items in stock. But I'd rather go through boot camp again than try to get the attention of a CSR, and actually attempt to PURCHASE something from them. And if I have to return something? No way. Is this how they treat their major Corporate Account customers. I know of other stores that bend over backward for us to make sure that we're happy. Fry's really doesn't seem to give a damn.

( another customer )


Today, 12/4/96, I had a good experience at Fry's. I went there with the intention of purchasing a 256k memory addition cartridge for my deskjet printer. I found the part, the clerk said there were only two left, and they printed out a form which I took to the front. I waited in line only 5 minutes, and then it took 15 minutes for the front clerk to get the person in The Cage (where they keep all the memory, processors, etc.) to retrieve the cartridge. During this time, I filled out a comment card, now located near the registers, expressing my displeasure at how slowly things were moving.

The Cage clerk brought the memory to the Register Clerk, and she rang me up for one memory cartridge ($39). I noticed there seemed to be two cartridges, rubber banded together, and I suspected maybe they gave me two. But not knowing for sure, I paid for one, and left. In the car, I found out that indeed, the dumb Cage Clerk had given me two for the price of one.

I went back in, got another comment card, and filled it out expressing my pleasure at receiving two memory cartridges for the price of one. Then I drove to the post office and mailed both cards.

Finally, Fry's has recognized the frustration I have experienced and rewarded me with a 2-for-1 price break on printer memory. Thanks Fry's!!

( T. A. W. )


Dave,

I have also had bad experiences such as you have described. I do not do business at Fry's anymore, I don't even look at their ads. I would rather pay more for something than deal with those jerks.

By the way, Circuit City is another company I will never do business with again. How about you?

( Mark Eddy )


I REALLY ENJOYED READING THE COMMENTS. GLAD TO KNOW I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS FRY'S IS A RIP OFF. IT SAYS A LOT ABOUT A STORE WHEN THERE IS NO WEB SITE FOR THE STORE BUT ONE WHERE PEOPLE CAN COMPLAIN ABOUT THEM.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH FRY'S HAS TO DO WITH AN ADVERTISED SALE PRICE THAT WAS ONLY GOOD FOR FOUR HOURS ON A SINGLE DAY (6:00 - 10:00). THEY WERE ADVERTISING 4 MEG SIMM MODULES FOR $9.95. THE AD SAID NOTHING ABOUT LIMITED QUANTITIES OR NO RAIN CHECKS (IF IT HAD I WOULD NEVER HAVE GONE). I FIGURE, THIS IS A GOOD PRICE AND EVEN THOUGH I DON'T REALLY NEED IT, I'LL PICK UP ANOTHER 8 MEG. I DROVE 27 MILES ON A RAINY NIGHT TO HAVE THE CSR TELL ME THEY WERE SOLD OUT. THIS CAME AS NO SURPRISE BUT I FIGURE I'LL GET A RAIN CHECK. THE CSR TELLS ME "NOPE, WE HAD 250 AND THEY ALL SOLD BEFORE 7:00, SORRY NO RAIN CHECKS". (I FOUND IT QUITE INTERESTING THAT HE KNEW RIGHT OFF THE TOP OF HIS HEAD AND IN SUCH A ROUND FIGURE EXACTLY HOW MANY THEY HAD IN STOCK FOR THIS SALE.) I ASKED TO TALK TO THE MANAGER BUT THE EXTENT OF HIS HELP WAS TO SAY "SORRY" AND SHRUG HIS SHOULDERS. FROM MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES AT FRY'S I EXPECTED AS MUCH BUT I WAS VERY UPSET RIGHT THEN AND NEEDED SOMEONE TO VENT MY ANGER ON. AFTER GETTING HIS BUSINESS CARD AND A "COMPLAINT" NUMBER I LEFT. THE NEXT DAY I CALLED THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU AND TALKED TO A LADY THAT TOLD ME THEIR AD TECHNICALLY WASN'T ILLEGAL UNLESS I COULD PROVE THAT THEY INTENTIONALLY LIMITED THE SUPPLY. FAT CHANCE OF THAT, BUT SHE DID SEND ME A COMPLAINT FORM FOR A STATE AGENCY THAT INVESTIGATES ADVERTISING FRAUD. SHE TOLD ME THAT IF ENOUGH PEOPLE COMPLAINED, THEY WOULD INVESTIGATE FRY'S. SICCING THE STATE ON THEM WOULD BE ENOUGH SATISFACTION FOR ME. FRY'S IS CONTINUALLY ADVERTISING CHEAP ITEMS BUT WILL ONLY HAVE THE MORE EXPENSIVE NON-SALE ITEMS IN STOCK WHEN YOU GET TO THE STORE. THIS PRACTICE, IF DONE INTENTIONALLY, IS ILLEGAL. THE ONLY WAY TO GET THEM TO STOP IS FOR PEOPLE TO START REPORTING THEM.

( JEFF CLARKE )


Dave,

Thank you, thank you for allowing me to vent. I would do so at FE but why waste more time. I must keep this short since I am still trying to get my blood pressure down after my visit at Fryem's Fremont yesterday. I went to purchase a Performa 200, Zip Drive, Color Printer and other extras. The first thing I did was ask "can I write a check?, will you let me pay for my purchase with my check?, are you sure I will not be turned down because I am paying by check?, please check with your people to confirm I can pay by writting a personal check made out to FE". No exaggeration. Of course, I was assured "no problem". I was robbed of 3 (three) hours of my life. Yes, 3 hours later, at one of their cattle call cashier stations, the girl looked horrified as I removed my checkbook. The salesperson had even stayed with me through the entire 30 minute line shuffling wait and once again assured me "no problem". Another 30 minutes and I went looking for Miss Horrified and my CDL which she had. When I found her she says "I forgot to write down the authorization number on the check" we start all over again. After a nap or two she wakes me up just to let me know that KIND HEARTED FE will allow me to use my check to "hold" my purchase until tomorrow. "How con-VEEN-ient," as The Church Lady would say. I get to drive all the way back tomorrow. Well shucks partner, I might as well sleep in the "never any spaces for parking" parking lot. I'm so lucky. Why just think of it. I give them my $3,000 now, get to either drive for hours back home and then turn around and drive back (or there's the parking lot sleep-over option) and just a quick little 24 hours later, they might allow me to actually take the purchase to my humble little digs and really use them firsthand. What a novel idea!! Grocery stores should have thought of this purchasing concept years ago. At least we'd all be dead or insane by now and we'd never even have to think about a prejudiced, discriminating group of Ali BaBa thieves like the ones we have come to know and _____ . I walked out, swearing not at Fry's, but at myself for being a fool not once, but twice. As bad as it is to admit to my fellow screw-ees, it's true, the same thing happened 3 years ago. Why do they go to all the trouble of getting an authorization number from the bank and then not use it? If anyone on the planet Earth should see me even looking as if I may enter one of these places at any time, please feel free to put me out of my misery. Anything would be more humane than what they do to people. Money isn't worth it. When will we demand some of our self-respect back, folks? Did I mention that I'm a (female)? Can't even whisper that word around their stores. Yep, that's me. Little ol' FEMALE who's mad as hell and has an appointment with an attorney. Which attorney? Oh, you know, the one that's handled discrimination lawsuits against them in the past. See ya in court, boys.

( Cindi )


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 at 15:30 PDT on November 1, 1999.
David W. Schultheis, San Josť, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, California, USA