Monday, July 25, 2011

Throwing In The Towel

After nearly a year of trying everything short of legal action to get Video Only to honor the terms of its own printed return policy, I decided it was no longer worth the fight.

Because I will not have anything from this shady operation in my home, I took the store credit, selected two DVD/BluRay players, and took them immediately to the nearest Salvation Army store where I donated them to charity.

Save yourself from the same fate I suffered: SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR YOUR ELECTRONICS!

There are many fine retailers who will refund a customer's money if s/he isn't happy with their purchase and/or go to bat for them with the manufacturer if necessary.  These range from Costco to Nordstrom and many others in between. But Video Only does not appear to be among them, nor do they seem to care that their shady practices are being posted on sites like Yelp! and Citysearch for all to see. 

It's a shame, really.  The salespeople with whom I interacted seemed to know their products and were not high-pressure.  And their prices are indeed better than many (though certainly not all) other retailers.  If management learned - and applied - the meaning of the phrase "customer service", Video Only could become a force to be reckoned with.  As it is, it will remain among the ranks of the "also-rans" ... if indeed it survives at all.

I, for one, will be doing all I can to help the competition.

Friday, March 18, 2011

More Light on Video Only's Corporate Structure

The database maintained by the Washington Secretary of State's Office lists Video Only as a for-profit corporation (though likely not publicly held).

Corporate officers are:
  • President/chairman/director  - Peter Edwards
  • Treasurer -  Jeff Edwards
  • Secretary - James Lothian
  • Director - William Kloos
  • Director - Richard Dortch
All are from Seattle.

Video Only's Corporate Offices are located at:
500 Strander Blvd.
Tukwila, WA 98188-2921

Video Only's Registered Agent (important when serving legal papers, as in a lawsuit) is:
OM&R Corporation
701 Pike St., Ste. 1700
Seattle, WA 98101-3930

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Video Only Gives AG the Run-Around

Even the Office of the Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection has trouble getting these people to respond.

It took two letters to Video Only before they offered even a perfunctory response to my complaint.  However, the response -- from Mr. Buchanan -- provided an inaccurate recounting of some of the details of the transaction and, importantly, failed to address the basic issue: Why am I being denied a refund when I'm clearly entitled to it under the company's printed policy?

I've asked the A-G's office to send one more letter to the company's owner to see if that might get their attention.  Failing that, I'm getting my ducks in a row for a court action.   

These people must be held accountable!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Screwed by Video Only

In August 2010, I purchased Panasonic DVD/Surround Sound system to get better sound from my small flat-screen TV.  We were told by salesman that we could return it if we were not satisfied any time within 30 days, but were told to keep the factory packaging. 

The next day, Sunday, I hooked it up and tried it out.  To make a long story short, I wasn't happy with the unit's performance so, on Monday, I repacked the item in the original factory packaging and returned it to store.

To my shock and dismay, the store refused to refund my money and would only issue a store credit. Despite what the salesperson had told us about returns on Saturday, District Manager/Sales Manager David Buchanan pointed to Point 1 of the “30 DAY REFUND POLICY” and the last sentence that states “Units must be factory sealed.”  I asked how I was supposed to decide whether I was happy with my purchase without opening the box; the response was essentially double-talk.  

Realizing that Mr. Buchanan would simply continue his flawed defense of the company’s policy, I left the store and called the corporate office at 500 Strander Blvd., Tukwila, 206-444-1655.  I asked for the name of an individual - somebody with the authority to act - to whom I could address a complaint.  When the woman who answered the phone gave me Mr. Buchanan’s name, I explained that I’d already spoken to him, had not been satisfied with the response, and wanted to escalate the matter.  She said I should send an e-mail to, and address it to “Board of Directors.”  Once again - and this is important - she did not give me the name of any individual.

If you're familiar with corporate/business structures, you know it is quite uncommon to have anyone other than a President/CEO reporting directly to a Board of Directors, so the information I was given didn't ring true.  I attempted to locate more information about Video Only’s corporate structure via an Internet search, then filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. 

Video Only, however, is not a member of the Better Business Bureau (why am I not surprised?) and didn't bother to respond to the BBB's inquiry.  

Eventually, I located the name Peter Edwards as Owner of Video Only. I wrote a letter to him outlining the issue and seeking a refund, then sent it certified mail, return receipt requested. (Sometimes, "old school" is the best way to go.) A couple of days later, I received the receipt showing my letter had been received. However, as with the BBB inquiry, Video Only didn't bother to respond.

Most recently, I filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection over what I believe are Video Only's unfair and deceptive business practices.  The lady with whom I spoke at the A-G's office thoroughly understood my complaint and the bigger issue about how it's impossible to meet V-O's return policy (at least as interpreted by Mr. Buchanan).

We'll see what the A-G is able to do.  After that, perhaps a court action will be the way to go.