Especially in this economy when we're hearing about chain stores going out of business. So what can you do if your item goes bad after your store has gone away? We stepped in to help when one consumer went through just that.
John Weber of Pacifica was happy with his desktop computer until out of the blue, the screen went blue.
"I was playing a game and it just kind of seized up, came up with a prompt windows has shut down," said John Weber of Pacifica.
Later, he got an eerie diagnosis.
"Oh, apparently you have the blue screen of death," said Weber. "It would start up and all it would show is the blue screen and I think that's what they mean by the blue screen of death."
John wasn't worried. He still had four months left on the extended warranty he bought along with the computer at CompUSA.
But CompUSA was going through its own struggles. it was just about to shut down all stores in California.
"When it first happened, I did bring the computer into the CompUSA store," said Weber.
That store in San Bruno was already liquidating.
"You weren't allowed to drop off any equipment they weren't fixing them any more there," said Weber.
But CompUSA's customer service center said the "blue screen of death" was not repairable. So it would send John a brand new hard drive.
"They said they would honor the warranties," said Weber.
The only hitch? Weeks and weeks went by.
"Why you can call someone on the phone and they don't have it on your doorstep in a few days, I don't understand that," said Weber.
And John's warranty was about to expire, so he called 7 On Your Side and we contacted comp USA headquarters.
The company "really" stepped up.
CompUSA refunded john $1,200 dollars. The entire amount he paid for the computer two years ago, and then a hard drive came in the mail, too.
"I'm satisfied. I'm happy it was pretty nice what they did I think and even getting the hard drive in the mail was a bonus," said Weber.
The company said after hearing about John's situation, "CompUSA worked out a refund with him, at which point, his replacement hard drive showed up at his residence. Since our stores were closed, we told him he could keep the hard drive in addition to the refund."
All of the CompUSA stores in California now are closed. But if you have an unexpired warranty for something you bought there, it will be honored because like most warranties they are issued by a separate company.
Anyone who experiences a product issue with merchandise purchased at a CompUSA store should call 1-800-COMPUSA to speak with a customer service representative.