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Call Kurtis: Fry’s Wouldn’t Replace My Computer Until I Dropped Complaint

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Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13's consumer...
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Pam Stevens knew it wasn’t right, but she wanted her problem fixed, she said.

After months of repairs on her new computer at Fry’s Electronics, she said Fry’s wouldn’t tell her when she could get her computer back. She complained to the California Attorney General’s office.

She said that’s when Fry’s made her a deal: Tell the attorney her problem was fixed, and the company would give her a new computer.

When she said the company didn’t follow through, it was time to Call Kurtis.

“I find it very frustrating,” Stevens said, sitting next to the empty box for her $1249.99 computer. “It’s disgraceful, it’s a shame!”

It’s been repair after repair, for the better part of six months, Stevens said.

Finally fed up using her roommate’s computer, she got the state attorney general to look into it.

That’s when Fry’s offered her a newer, better computer — but only on one condition, she said.

“That I contact the state attorney general to let them know that this case has been resolved,” Stevens said.

She alerted the AG’s office — but said Fry’s didn’t come through with its promise, offering her a computer without the Blu-ray player her first computer had.

But should companies even be making deals like this?

“To me that stinks,” said consumer attorney Eric Ratinoff of Sacramento’s Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff.

Asking the customer to remove her complaint to resolve the issue is not illegal, Ratinoff said, but is unethical.

“They knew how to reach out to her,” he said. “They knew how to rectify that situation immediately, and they didn’t do it.”

After CBS13 contacted Fry’s, the company agreed to give Stevens her new, better computer.

“We originally erred in that we were not aware their unit included a Blu-ray drive,” said Fry’s Community Relations Manager Manuel Valerio in an email. “We certainly apologize to Ms. Stevens … for any confusion and inconvenience.”

Valerio told CBS13 Fry’s didn’t mean to suggest it would only give her a new computer if she dropped the complaint. He said the company would have given her new one anyway.

Valerio didn’t explain why the issue wasn’t fixed before CBS13 got involved.

Stevens got her computer a few days later, she said, but it was not enough to save her relationship with Fry’s.

“I’m done with Fry’s,” Stevens said.

The Attorney General’s office tells CBS13 it doesn’t want customers to say issues with companies are resolved before they are.

It also told CBS13 … just because the consumer said it was resolved doesn’t mean the AG’s office won’t investigate anyway.

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