Saturday, January 17, 2009

Circuit City Shorts Out

Hope you used your gift cards...

Back on November 11th, in a post I called "Short Circuit in Gift Cards?" I stated:
"If You've got a Circuit City Gift Card, Use it Now!

...Circuit City tried to reassure shoppers that it would be business as usual despite its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, if  and when the Circuit City gift cards do indeed short-circuit, to see the gift card landscape vastly affected forever.  There  needs to be either new regulation introduced or someone will have to come up with an improved program... otherwise consumers will shy away, from, especially the "closed loop" gift cards.

So if you have a Circuit City gift card use it immediately..."

Hope you did, because yesterday Circuit City announced they are "shuttering" all 567 stores. If you haven't used them, there's no can shop at through tomorrow. (January 18th)  Store liquidations begin as early as today and last until...?

According to the Chicago Tribune, "The sooner consumers use their gift cards, the better. Circuit City's group of liquidators have agreed to honor gift cards for at least the first few weeks. Deadlines for gift card use are expected to be posted in stores within the next couple of days."

"We are extremely disappointed by this outcome,” said James A. Marcum, acting president and chief executive of Circuit City Stores. He called the liquidation “the only possible path” for the 60-year-old company."

The NY Times writes: "The demise of Circuit City, while not surprising given its declining sales, is part of a radical shift (Editor's Note:  call it  "radical" but I say "paradigm") taking place in retailing. Weak chains — unable to weather the freeze-up in consumer spending and choked by tight credit markets — are closing.

Look for that "Amazon Thanksgiving Day Parade" by 2011, eh?

PIN Debit Payments Blog

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$200 Bucks and Get Outta Town

Hmmm, I always thought that age-old line was "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."  Apparently that's not true in West Vancouver. 

"Don't Refrain if You Can Gain" seems to be more applicable..

$200 bucks?  Heck, go 72 mph in a 65 zone here and you'll be penalized more than that...

Here's a story from CTV British Columbia where they tell the tale of a PIN Pad thief who got fined $200 bucks and has to leave town by "high noon."   Unbelievable.  I've reproduced the comments from their site, and as you can read, people are getting fed up with these types of crimes.  As I've posted in the past...why rob a bank?  That's 20 years...this is $200 bucks.  If he didn't get caught "red-handed" what would his take be?  IMHO, the judge got this one "way wrong."  At least the message he's sending is...

Here's the story: CTV British Columbia- PIN pad thief gets $200 fine and deportation order - CTV News, Shows and Sports -- Canadian Television

PIN pad thief gets $200 fine and deportation order
Updated: Fri Jan. 16 2009 18:32:54  Darcy Wintonyk,

Police in West Vancouver have caught a PIN pad thief red-handed -- and kicked him out of the province.  On Tuesday night, the owner of a Park Royal area juice bar called police after someone stole the PIN pad from the counter. He had just serving two customers and noticed that the device was missing.

Editor's Note:  Notice the pic of the PIN Pad (below right)  with a steel tether to prevent it from getting stolen...

Police apprehended the men shortly after near Marine Dr. and 14th St. after being alerted by a transit operator. After a brief investigation, police recovered the pad from a rental car parked nearby. On Thursday, 23-year-old Quebec native Jonathan Ramirez-Dionne pled guilty to theft under $5,000 in a North Vancouver courtroom.

He was sentenced to one year probation and a $200 fine," says Const. Jeff Palmer.

But that's not all. The judge has also given the unusual order for him to leave the area. "An interesting aspect of his probationary requirement the judge has ordered him to leave British Columbia by four o'clock Friday afternoon and he's not to be found in British Columbia during the term of his probation."

The owner of the juice bar doesn't think the penalty is heavy enough.  "It's funny because if I was caught speeding, it would be a bigger fine, and you know it's less of a heinous crime per say, and they get $200 which is a little bit bizarre," says Blake Goddard.

Police advise merchants to securely attach pin pads to counters at and to train staff to regularly check the devices.  This isn't the first time Park Royal mall has been hit by debit thieves.  Last March, police warned customers to change their PIN numbers after two La Senza's and an Aldo store had their PIN pads stolen.
PIN pads don't normally record PIN numbers, but the devices can be modified to take in personal information.  In August 2007, phony PIN pads turned up at four retail stores, including and thieves used the stolen information to withdraw money from hundreds of accounts.

Please Add Comments(7)
I like that the judge told him to get out of BC. I think 200 dollars is pretty light as a fine for this type of crime though.

Pat in the Valley
What kind of justice is this - first he breaks the law, can steal potentially mega bucks and all he gets is the boot from the Province. When will the Justice System finally get it? and hand out appropriate sentencing and not just another "slap on the wrist".

That is ridiculous! $200 fine, what a joke! How will we know that the guy is actually leaving the Province and who is going to keep track of him?

What a joke that is! Apparently in BC and in Canada it pays to lead a life of crime. Wasn't too impressed to be watching this story on the 6pm news on CTV and watched the report show the viewers exactally how to remove it. I know its not rocket science but come on..

Umm... I agree with your statement "PIN pads don't normally record PIN numbers, but the devices can be modified to take in personal information." but your on-air story is misleading viewers that PIN pads ARE storing information when they DO NOT.  Only counterfeit PIN pads store/steal information.

Thats awsome thats what you get when you steal from our province Au revouir frenchy

what a joke - time to change the laws

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