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Raelyn Campbell is infuriated by the rudeness and dishonesty of Best Buy and their "Geek Squad".  (Source: MSNBC)
Frustrated with what she sees as incompetence of Best Buy "Geek Squad" staffers who admittedly lost her computer, one woman files a whopper of a suit

The saga of one crazy suit began with Best Buy customer Raelyn Campbell's purchase of a laptop computer from a local Best Buy store in the D.C. area.  A Best Buy staffer talked her into buying a $300 extended warranty.  The warranty includes coverage by Best Buy's service technicians -- "Geek Squad" -- for three years, and replacements of defective hardware free of charge.

Her laptop indeed experienced hardware malfunctions within a year when her on/off switch broke.  At that point, Campbell breathed a sigh of relief that she purchased the warranty and took her laptop in to Best Buy.  She turned in her laptop in May and was told that it would be up and running within two to six weeks.  This was a major inconvenience to her, as she was a frequent business traveler, but she figured she just should stay optimistic that it came as soon as possible.

In July an 'Agent David Goodfellow’ told Campbell that the laptop would be "ready within days".  A call several days later informed her that the laptop was not ready, and was in fact still at the repair center.  The rest of the month concluded with continued assurances that it was going to leave the repair center in no time.

By August, she returned from a business trip to Asia and still had heard no new word from Best Buy. Feeling concerned she called the store and asked to speak to the manager.  She was told the manager was in a meeting, so she left a message.  Her phone call was never returned.  She eventually tried calling again and another employee 'Cicero' listened to her story and searched the store records, and informed her that he discovered that "[The laptop] never appears to have left the store."

A few days later he called her back and informed her that it appeared that the laptop was lost in store, without ever having been shipped out.  While Campbell says that 'Cicero' was considerate and helpful, she was extremely angry that the other store employees had been apparently outright lying to her. 

While 'Cicero' promised that he'd try to get the store to compensate her, nothing happened.  After weeks of calling, Campbell was finally informed that she could accept a $900 dollar gift card, far less than the $1,100 she paid for the laptop and $300 she paid for the warranty.  Angered and insulted, she wrote a frustrated letter to Best Buy's management detailing the situation, on August 24.   She rejected the offer and demanded $2,100 in cash.

Best Buy outright refused her demands and she heard nothing from them by October.  So Campbell told her friends and family members to write Best Buy and complain.  Her friends did and received a surprising response from the store's general manager, Robert Delissio in the form of a surly email.  In the email Delissio stated, "For every customer that has had an unpleasant experience I can show you hundreds who have had a great experience. I have been in retail for a long time and the one conclusion I have come to is that not every customer can be satisfied.  Does my store have opportunities? Absolutely! What I can say is that we strive to deliver the experience that every customer deserves to receive."

Further infuriated, Campbell contacted the Washington, D.C., attorney general's office, who contacted the store.  The store caved a bit and offered her an increased offer of $1,100 credit refund and a $500 gift card.

That's when Campbell discovered that her identity could be at risk due to private documents she stored on the computer.  Shocked and infuriated with Best Buy's lack of helpfulness, she found a lawyer and filed a $54 million dollar lawsuit against Best Buy for losing her property and opening her to identity theft.

Best Buy has since upped their offer to Campbell to $2,500 cash if she signed a confidentiality agreement.  Campbell refused.  She says she realizes she probably won't win a multi-million dollar settlement, but she does want substantial damages for store negligence and an honest "explanation as to how my computer could have been stolen from a secure area" within the store.  She also demands a company promise that they will institute training for their employees on identity theft issues.

Campbell admitted a major goal of the suit is to draw attention, to what she feel is atrocious customer service.  Campbell strongly believes in this role as a legal champion, stating, "I can't help but wonder how many other people have had their computer stolen (or) lost by Best Buy and then been bullied into accepting lowball compensation offers for replacement expenses and no compensation for identity theft protection expenses."

Best Buy's legal representatives have refused to comment on the case.

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2 to 6 weeks??
By Desslok on 2/13/2008 11:50:35 AM , Rating: 3
Is this a normal downtime for a broken on/off switch???

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Brandon Hill on 2/13/2008 11:51:42 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, that should have raised a red flag there. What a crock of ****

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By DamnBrit520 on 2/13/2008 12:15:57 PM , Rating: 5
I used to work at a Best Buy... it shouldn't take that long to fix obviously but you're forgetting that they can't fix anything "hardware" in the store so they had to ship it to the service center where it goes into the queue of laptops to be fixed. Add that all together and you see why: 1. It's a long time and 2. It's very variable and 3. The store 'squad guys only saw it packaged up for shipment and then never saw it again.

So the 'squad not having a clue doesn't surprise me, what surprises me about this story is the store manager... in my experience the 3 store managers I had would have been freaked out that they lost a customer's laptop and would have given her a new one just to keep her from reporting that to the Better Business Bureau. Services, like Geeksquad, were/are the major growth area so bad rep. is a serious problem.

Anyways my $.02

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By AlvinCool on 2/13/2008 12:23:56 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah it's hard for me to think that a company as big as best buy wouldn't have just given her a new laptop and a real apology. At the very least they should do that now along with other perks including allowing her to personally fire the manager that spoke to her like that. You know she could do it like Donald Trump.

I've got side customers and some have tried the geek squad. But later they called me back and are willing to wait for good service. I didn't understand it till now. I mean I don't have a car that drops from the sky or anything fancy like that, but I really fix their problems and care about their business data.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By fic2 on 2/13/2008 1:51:19 PM , Rating: 5
A friend of mine does windows admin consulting. He said that geek squad is his best advertisement. He has had some clients go there and they always come back at which point he raises that clients rate since he has to fix the problems the geek squad created.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By marsbound2024 on 2/13/2008 3:16:45 PM , Rating: 5
I work at Best Buy in the Geek Squad myself. I can completely agree with what you are saying. To be honest, the service center has caused me numerous frustrations and I have told my leadership about it time and time again. If this incident happened at our location, I would EASILY see that my managers would quickly have given her a replacement laptop and we would have just eaten that cost. The store manager at that location should flat out be fired. What a horrible manager. The guy obviously doesn't respect the customers that enter his store and spend their hard-earned money on products and Best Buy services. If I saw the guy, I'd easily tell him that his location was one of who knows how many stores (maybe not many, maybe quite a few) that are responsible for utterly destroying Best Buy's reputation.

Nonetheless, if the same incident happened at my location without proper interference and handling by my managers, I would just quit. Why would I want to work in an environment where my leadership was out of touch with the importance of our customer-base?

Anyways, unless there are some serious changes within the hierarchy of Geek Squad (precincts, service centers, leadership), I think these issues will continue to present themselves.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By exanimas on 2/15/2008 3:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
I hear you. I also work at Geek Squad and the service centers are ridiculous. The worst part is, nothing is going to change. The big shots that make the decisions like what 3rd party companies should we use as service centers don't have to deal with it when an honest customer who bought a service plan gets their computer sent back DOA 3 times in a row. Who does? We do. The people using this job as a way to make money for college earning under $20/hour.

The more stories I hear about other Best Buys and their employees, the more I think that the store I work in is an exception. We've gave this one customer a new laptop after the service center damaged theirs and sent it back, and it didn't take months of the customer's time/energy. I saw the damage, reported it to a manager, and he told me to take care of the guy. That's the way things should be.

I guess most of you are right though, big corporations will keep doing this kind of thing because there's enough people out there that will put up with this BS and continue to go to places like these.

Oh, and about the article, this lady is nuts asking for $54M for a lost laptop and her troubles. I'll agree to the $2100 she asked at one point ($1100 laptop + $300 service plan +$700 for her troubles), but asking for that much money is a waste of time for the people in our legal system. People that file such frivolous law suits should be fined for being so stupid. /therapysession

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By spluurfg on 2/18/2008 6:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
The big shots that make the decisions like what 3rd party companies should we use as service centers don't have to deal with it when an honest customer who bought a service plan gets their computer sent back DOA 3 times in a row. Who does? We do.

Ask yourself this -- does the manager who decides which services centers you use get a bonus or any form of incentive depending on how well those service centers perform? Probably not. They probably get a bonus if they cut costs. In my experience, it doesn't seem like these sorts of problems in any company will ever get sorted out unless it affects the relevant decision makers' bottom line. Think about the parking wardens in Westminster. They are the most god-darn efficient SOB's on the planet, because they get a commission for every ticket they write.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Darkefire on 2/18/2008 9:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
$54 million does sound rather ridiculous, but she isn't actually intending to win this lawsuit. Best Buy essentially gave her the runaround, lied to her at every turn, cost her who knows how many productive hours (most people in business are joined at the hip with their laptops), was flat-out rude when she complained, and then finally offered her a pittance as some sort of retarded consolation prize. The logical thing to do in this case is call the BBB (which I assume she did), and then sue. And if you want to make a point, really hit them where it hurts, you make as big a stink as possible. A $54M lawsuit does the trick nicely. This way lots of news outlets pick up the story, and everybody that looks at the newslink thinking, as I did, "Oh, let's look at the stupid redneck trying to squeeze a paycheck out of big business," will instead get a story about how Best Buy is a pack of crooks in blue shirts.

Now she has the benefit of not only damaging their image as a reputable service center (and thus hurting their bottom line), but they're going to start throwing money at her to make this go away the longer it drags out. Extended warranties are Best Buy's big money-makers, and since practically everyone who reads the story will qualify as a lost sale, they stand to lose a bundle. That's a win-win in my book, and while I wish it didn't have to clog up the court system in the process, it is at heart not frivolous. Just my take on it.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Proteusza on 2/13/2008 12:06:53 PM , Rating: 4
I was gonna say! Remind me never to buy an extended warranty - look at what it got her. 2-6 weeks for any repair is just too much. For $300 I would expect priority repairs, completed within 1 week.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By encryptkeeper on 2/13/2008 12:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is Best Buy doesn't fix laptops in the individual stores. They always have to be sent off, put in a queue in some other location 5 or 6 states away. Best Buy spends the money to employ these guys, so why not just fix them on a store level instead of risking losing someone's machine?

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By encryptkeeper on 2/13/2008 12:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
I have just been corrected. It was actually 3 weeks.

This doesn't change the fact that the best way to avoid a situation like this is to remove any personal info from a computer when you take it in to be serviced. You wouldn't leave your wallet or purse inside your car when you take it in to have the oil changed would you?

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By MAIA on 2/13/2008 12:58:50 PM , Rating: 3
That's true ... but please enlighten me: Can you disconnect an hard drive from a laptop as easilly as taking your purse from inside your car ?


You really have to backup and erase all personal info before sending a laptop to fix a power button ? ... and i think, what if the button just broke and the damn thing could be switched on ?

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Wightout on 2/13/2008 1:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
I know a few guys at Circuit City who would spend breaks going thru peoples computers that were in for repairs.

If they found any "content" they liked or wanted they would burn it for themselves.

It is about as creepy as going down and getting your film developed. Someone else was seeing all of your photos and family moments.

These companies either need to warn customers about person information being lost or manipulated with or impose a rather strict penalty for any employee caught doing such a thing.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By aharris on 2/13/2008 3:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
When I used to work for Geek Squad, I'd always offer to remove the hard drive of a computer for a client before we'd send it off. If you know what you're doing, it can take less than 2 minutes to remove, and sometimes the repair center would tie the issue back to a software problem, in which case they'd wipe/reload the drive to provide the fix. Best Buy wasn't as bad with the wiping as manufacturers' repair centers, but it still happens.

Sucks for the customer - I don't think $54mil is justifiable, but she should receive some serious compensation for the whole ordeal.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By borismkv on 2/13/2008 5:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on the laptop. Sometimes it's easier, sometimes it's like pulling teeth.

That said, small computer shops are often a lot better at handling personal information than a giant like Best Buy/Geeksquad, simply because one screwup can lead to bankruptcy. But then, maybe that's just my own experience from working in those shops for half my life.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By HighWing on 2/15/2008 11:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
Best Buy spends the money to employ these guys, so why not just fix them on a store level instead of risking losing someone's machine?

I'm guessing you haven't actually worked on a laptop before. fixing a laptop is not exactly the same as fixing a desktop. Almost all desktops come apart the same way. You pull the case off and you now have access to everything inside the computer. However, pulling the case of a laptop can vary from brand to brand and even model to model. On top of that, the process of then getting to certain parts of the laptop still involves more work depending on the laptop. Finally, one wrong move, or too much pressure can cause more damage to the laptop. That reason alone, for a big business like Best Buy, you want to make sure the person working on a laptop is trained to work on laptops. Which is where the repair centers come in place. It's cheaper to just make a central location to ship all store repairs to then to train and staff a person on site. Granted I don't agree with that, but thats the way things work.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By soxfan on 2/14/2008 7:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
extended warrantys on electronics are rarely worth the $$. There are stats out there showing that electronic devices are most likely to either a) operate for their expected lifetime, or b) crap out in the first year (which is usually covered under the std warranty).

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By ElFenix on 2/14/2008 11:11:41 AM , Rating: 2
$300 will buy you an NBD onsite warranty from dell that lasts several years and covers accidents. why the fsck would you ever settle for less?

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Yames on 2/15/2008 3:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
+1, Seriously!

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Etsp on 2/13/2008 12:10:56 PM , Rating: 5
You'd be surprised. My aunt had a compaq desktop that kept shutting off on her. So she sent it in for repairs. First, they replaced the power supply and sent it back. The problem persisted. She sent it in again. They replaced the motherboard, and yet the problem still persisted.

So I offered to take a look, and I noticed it seemed to be acting like an ATX system should when the power button was being held in, so I experimented and disconnected the power button from the motherboard...the problem went away. I told my aunt to tell Compaq everything I did and that the power button was faulty.

So she sent it back for a third time, and they replaced her 56k MODEM, completely ignoring anything she told them about the problem. Obviously, the problem persisted. So I went to Radioshack, and bought a switch, and rigged it to her computer. She hasn't had a problem since.

Long story short, she sent it in to compaq three times, and three times they failed to address the problem of a broken on/off switch. But, at least she got it back all three times...

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Skitchin on 2/13/2008 12:13:14 PM , Rating: 5
Correction needed - In July an 'Agent David Goodfellow’ told Campbell that the laptop would be ready within a "ready within days".

Seriously though, this is just a small example of the atrocities the corporate world is capable of. I had a frustrating experience recently with Best Buy myself.... I purchased a wireless steering wheel from Best Buy for something like $80 USD. Upon opening the item at my home, it became apparent that the item was not factory sealed and had been opened. Sure enough, missing parts. When at the best buy customer service area, the girl listened to my concerns about the item being previously opened, and then she wandered off. 10 minutes passed, and I saw she had the infamous Geek Squad inspecting the item...for whatever reason. They kept looking over at me, giving me a sort of suspecting eying. Finally, some big shot regional manager or something rather stepped over to inform me they could not accept the item. I had the receipt, I had everything I left the store with. They even asked if I wanted to exchange the item, though they did not have any so they went back to their couldn't take it story. I am a rather quiet person, and it's pretty obvious from my public manner. However, they must have sensed that I was about ready to lunge over the counter so they refunded me my money. The funny thing is, they gave me cash back on a credit purchase. My purpose of this story is that such a large business, ESPECIALLY one like best buy, has such a high and mighty view of their practice, that they can f%$k over a consumer and feel good about it because the customer was courteous enough to smile.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Omega215D on 2/13/2008 12:29:44 PM , Rating: 5
So apparently he wasn't be such a Goodfellow... sorry, I just had to.

This isn't really isolated to Best Buy but also to CompUSA (now defunct) and Circuit City. Their tech support staff is pretty horrid. I wonder how well those authorized repair centers work. The good thing about me having an Apple MacBook is that I can go to the Apple store and let them deal with their own product. Of course I'm betting on them being more knowledgeable than other retail tech support.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By frobizzle on 2/13/2008 1:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
Let us not forget the dear departed Computer City. A good friend (also a geek) had a most intereting experience at Computer City some years ago. He purchased a 14.4 baud modem (Oooooh!!) brought it homw and it was DOA. He went back to Computer City and had this exchange:

Computer City: What do you mean it doesn't work?
Friend: It doesn't work. It's dead. I want a refund.
Computer City: Other people have gotten it to work.
Friend: I just spent $80 for this. I don't have to get it to work! I should be able to take it home, install it and it will work.

He got his money back. True story.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By dtm4trix on 2/15/2008 11:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
Best Buy has the worst customer service that I have ever seen along with their bogus in store websites this company is just shy of a bunch of con artists.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By qt on 2/13/2008 12:16:26 PM , Rating: 3
A friend told me that their friend took a laptop to the Best Buy geek squad to have a virus removed. Was told by Geek Squad that it would take longer, 4 to 6 weeks and cost more to have the virus removed because it was a laptop. Told my friend that was BS, no difference in removing a virus from desktop or laptop. To my knowledge it was a whopping US$400 for what in my opinion was sorry workmanship. The laptop was brought to me and I ended cleaning the laptop in 2 hours and charged $40 for my time and effort.

My only personal experience with the Geek Squad was needing them to tell me that a television was broken since the idiot at returns could not tell from the giant crack in the middle of the screen and whole in the box where it was obvious a forklift had gone through that the TV was broken and I needed a replacement. Needless to say I do not shop at Best Buy very often anymore and they can keep their warranty on electronics.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Proteusza on 2/13/2008 12:33:11 PM , Rating: 5
I'm so glad I build and service my computers. No uninformed GS members to tell that an 8800 GTS 640 is better than an 8800 GTS 512, or similar idiotic statements that people like that make all the time.

Not to mention, my computers never have any downtime longer than 1 day.

Anyone looking to buy a new PC - please do yourself a favour and ask for help on the internet on ordering the parts and building it yourself. No one minds helping those who want to learn, and in the process not only can you save money, but you can ensure that you get top quality components, and also learn more about computers, so that when it does break, you can fix it yourself, saving time and money.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Xodus Maximus on 2/13/2008 1:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
A big cheer for self-reliance! I agree!

but a laptop is not something easily fixable by even us "experts", your choices are limited but then even looking on ebay you may never find the right replacement parts.

True she could have read the forums and decide which laptops were the best because they have mostly standard parts. I did that bought an Everex (not something you usually think of when thinking laptops) and got the XT5000.?(not sure of model) which has all the replacement parts available from one place or another and even has replacement video cards floating around ebay, and it was even silly cheap, just under $700, upgraded with raid0, and 2GB of mem the thing is a monster for just over $750.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By frobizzle on 2/13/2008 1:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you totally but this story is about a laptop and it is not possible to build one at home. (I wish it was!)

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Aikouka on 2/13/2008 2:25:49 PM , Rating: 2
Some companies do sell Whitebox laptops which is the closest you can get to building your own laptop. I checked them out when looking into buying a new laptop but the prices didn't seem to compete at all with the OEMs. This is also true for the really low-end desktops, but building a higher-end machine is usually better to build it yourself. Of course one of my favorite advantages is actually knowing what's going into your computer. That Dell/HP desktop may have similar specs, but you can guarantee that the RAM is some value brand and the motherboard is some low-end, re-branded Tyan or FOXCONN.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By encryptkeeper on 2/13/2008 12:17:13 PM , Rating: 2
For Best Buy? Yes. My mother sent her HP out to replace a faulty optical drive (arguably, an easier fix than an on off switch) and it took somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8 weeks.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By CollegeTechGuy on 2/13/2008 12:23:25 PM , Rating: 3
For some companies it is. I used to have an Alienware laptop, their turnaround time was like 4-6 weeks. I had to ship my laptop back 5 times for 5 different motherboard replacements when I repeatedly told them after the first to try replacing the HDD since the controller kept getting fried.

Anywho, I got a refund on that hunk of junk and now own an Asus laptop that has a worldwide overnight shipping to and from their facilities, with a 1-2 day turnaround from there. Unless they have to order parts not in the warehouse.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Xerio on 2/13/2008 12:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
The same thing happened to my sister-in-law, but Best Buy treated her a lot better. She bought a laptop got the extended warranty. Some time went by (I don't know how long) and she started having problems with it. She took it in to the nearest store and they said they would fix it. I don't know if they told her 2-6 weeks, but a few weeks later they called and told her that it was lost. She went into the store and yelled at the manager and they finally told her that they would give her a new laptop. And that was that.

She was happy, which in the end, is what BB should be working towards. I think it's freaking ridiculous that they lose laptops. Makes no sense to me, unless employees are taking them home...

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Master Kenobi on 2/13/2008 3:05:06 PM , Rating: 1
Best Buy ships all their laptops to an outsourced company in California. Their tracking system "Star" is made in house and its the biggest piece of shit in the world. I worked for geek squad a few years ago, this is not uncommon. We would lose roughly 1-2 laptops per month that were sent out to the repair center, and many times they would be sent back without any work done or they repaired the wrong part. Just don't bother with Best Buy, their outsourced service center is bollocks. It was DEX when I last worked there.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By aharris on 2/13/2008 3:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
They've fired DEX since and opened a few "Geek Squad Cities" across the country to deal with issues such lost laptops, unknowledgable repair techs, and unreliable communication.

It's great in theory, but apparently it still doesn't work well. And STAR is a POS.

Bad software, not a point of sal..... doh.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Master Kenobi on 2/13/2008 5:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
I was happy to move on and never look back lol. Geek Squad is such a joke.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By Gul Westfale on 2/13/2008 10:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
the people at my local stores (best buy, futureshop which is owned by best buy, and microbytes) know absolutely nothing about computers whatsoever. not even the basics. a microbytes employe once told me that mini-PCI does not exist (even though they listed 4 different models of mini-PCI modems on their website!), and at best buy/futureshop you can be lucky if the guy can tell you wha the difference is between amac and a real PC. they actually used to offer a warranty against burn0in on LCD screens...

that said, $54M is probably a little on the side of overkill... i mean what was in that laptop? the secret to life itself?

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By kyp275 on 2/14/2008 1:02:14 AM , Rating: 4
naw, if the laptop had the secret to life in there, the suit would've been for $42M :P

jokes aside, the plaintiff did say the main point of the suit was to draw attention to BB's customer service, or lack thereof, and that she's not expecting any multi-million dollar award/settlement in the end.

RE: 2 to 6 weeks??
By QueBert on 2/15/2008 3:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
no they don't, I worked for Sony last year fixing laptops and BB directly sent us all Sony lappy's, they send Sony -> Sony. I can't speak for any other brand, but I don't see why they'd send some makes to an outsourced company and others directly to the manufacture.

I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By EntreHoras on 2/13/2008 11:54:18 AM , Rating: 5
I've to agree with her. Only the way she was treated gives her motive to file a suit like this.

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By jskirwin on 2/13/2008 12:14:45 PM , Rating: 3
Me neither, but it seems to me that she had to drag BB kicking and screaming into cleaning up a mess of their own making. BB needs to "get ahead" of the problem by doing more than the customer expects - not just the minimum they think the customer should accept.

That figure will be way below $56m, but it will be above their last offer - and should entail a major rethink of customer service.

Unless of course they simply right her off as a "demon customer".

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By AlvinCool on 2/13/2008 12:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
Good point but their days of being about to write her off as a "demon customer" came and went. This story went national and I read it on at least one syndicated news outlet before I saw it here.

People want to know how they are gonna handle this, and the public believes just like we do. That the ball is in Best Buys court and they were way wrong. Plus it brings bad practices into light. For them this is a major PR blunder and it can't be ignored cause there will be follow up stories.

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By mmntech on 2/13/2008 2:37:52 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, this kind of customer treatment is becoming a trend. I remember the mess I went with trying to get a monitor I bought from Canada Computers that had some dead pixels. Carefully got their monitor return policy from the girl when I got it. Seven or less and they'd exchange it in store. It had three. Then when I took it back, the tech at the back outright lied to me telling me their policy was only for seven or MORE. I contacted LG about it and they said that the store had violated their dead pixel policy. Fortunately, they exchanged the monitor for me even though they don't normally do that. I empathize with this woman.

There's all kinds of similar stories I've heard from friends, all at different stores. You as an individual customer don't matter any more. What happened to "the customer is always right"?

By phattyboombatty on 2/13/2008 3:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
I have to admit that a return policy of "seven or less" makes no sense at all. Did you get something in writing that said that?

So, if your monitor had ten dead pixels, the store wouldn't have accepted the return because it was too defective?!? Also, zero dead pixels is less than seven, so technically the store would have to accept the return of a monitor with no dead pixels that worked perfectly fine.

By bighairycamel on 2/13/2008 4:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
I wish more people like her knew about newegg. Best customer service on the planet IMO, even though I'm sure there are people that have had a few bad experiences. Some people are too uptight, or unknowledgeable to shop online, even though they be saving some headaches.

As far as the suit, I think this lady is brilliant. She knows she won't win, but look at the attention it has drawn. I think she just wants people to hear her story... much more effective the going to the Better Business Bureau. I'm sure it will cost her a pretty penny in legal fees unfortunately.

By phattyboombatty on 2/13/2008 3:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
The second she filed her lawsuit against BB, it cost BB thousands of dollars just to defend the suit. BB's attorney will bill more than $2,000 just to review the complaint. That, in itself, should be some satisfaction to the woman, knowing that even if she recovers nothing, it will still hurt BB (both by negative publicity and in its pocketbook) in the end.

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By Rockjock51 on 2/14/2008 4:17:47 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure they have lawyers on staff at all times. They'll just get one of their scores of lawyers to handle it. They won't have to actually hire anyone.

By phattyboombatty on 2/14/2008 10:15:41 AM , Rating: 2
That's not how it works. I'm not aware of any corporations that have an in-house team of litigation attorneys. It wouldn't be practical because the corporation would have to hire a huge number of attorneys to cover the 51 jurisdictions in the U.S. The attorney licensed in Wyoming might sit and do nothing all year.

In reality, a corporation's in-house counsel handles internal corporate legal matters and manages the hiring and supervision of outside litigation counsel.

Of course, if a lawsuit is covered by insurance, the corporation will refer the complaint to the insurance provider and it will handle the legal defense.

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By FITCamaro on 2/13/2008 12:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that she deserves to be compensated for her trouble and the loss of her laptop. But she does not deserve $54 million dollars. I'd say $5000 at most.

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By psychobriggsy on 2/13/2008 1:41:24 PM , Rating: 5
- Loss of laptop
- Time spent dealing with issue
- Phone calls, fuel
- Mental stress (don't underestimate this, if this has ever happened to you for something it can be really upsetting, even debilitating, because of the frustration and anger)
- Punishment to improve sub-standard services so this doesn't happen again
- Loss of earnings due to loss of laptop
- Legal fees incurred due to having to resort to legal means

Could be a few tens of thousands altogether.

By thornburg on 2/13/2008 1:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
It states right in the article that the reason for the high amount is that they have exposed her private data by losing the laptop, increasing her risk of identity theft.

By FITCamaro on 2/14/2008 7:31:41 AM , Rating: 2
Even $50,000 I could understand. But she doesn't deserve to get early retirement in the country of her choice because they lost her laptop.

By tmouse on 2/14/2008 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure she will come out ahead. Most jurisdictions have statute limits. Many simply do not allow any "pain and suffering" for anything less than severe bodily harm and limit punitive damages to 3-6 X actual documented loss. Her legal fees may also be disallowed if the court feels she was not negotiating in "good faith". The case could be thrown out for being way above the statutes maximums or more than likely ordered to be brought into line. My guess BB will finally offer something in the neighborhood of 3-4 X cost + 1-2 years credit/identity theft protection plan and possibly an offer to instruct their personnel in the importance of protecting clients against identity theft; however this will undoubtedly also include an NDA. The courts would probably feel this is a fair deal and it would not go well to buck them. If she chooses to go to a jury, no matter how we feel; convincing a jury she deserves more than that would be an up hill battle I’ve been on a few juries and you would be surprised how fast people turn. She is probably footing the bill for her lawyer since I think this would be a poor case for an attorney to take on contingency. She looks like she has a very good job to be able to set out the 1-2 grand it would take to set this in motion and look toward the 5000 or more it would take to get to a trial. And BB will portray her as a greedy B**** who wants to make a killing on a mistake. While in general people do not like big corporations and we all have had problems with them they also do not like the appearance of greed and you better believe BB will have them thinking about how ANY business could have this happen to them if they allow her to get by with this. If she is getting good advice she had better have gotten identity protection already (the best) and then she could also bill for that (she is required to mitigate her losses or she will get nothing). The trial judge would probably also set aside any excessive award. There are no dead babies here and courts do not see them selves as advocates for crusaders. This would be seen as a simple consumer problem and making it an "example" will probably not go over good with most judges. While I like what’s she is doing in principle; if they play hardball she could win big (not 54 million big but big enough) however they appear to be moving in the right direction and if she plays hardball (to “teach” them a lesson) she has a good chance of coming out of this far worse off, “the heart is a poor consul”.

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By Spivonious on 2/13/08, Rating: 0
By fic2 on 2/13/2008 5:24:50 PM , Rating: 3
They offered her the cost of the laptop ($1100) + $500 gift card. This was after they tried to lowball her with a $900 take it or leave it offer.

So, you would except $200 over what you paid for something after having it lost for a few of months and being told it was being repaired, contacting the BB several times to try to get them to do the right thing and finally contacting a lawyer? She probably spent at least 10 hours trying to deal with it. Not to mention the frustration and now the exposure to identity theft.

I wouldn't except less than $10k after going through this crap. But then again, I would never take a computer to BB.

I am sure that this thing has cost BB way more than $10k in bad publicity and internal lawyers fees already.

RE: I'm not friend of frivolous suits but...
By BMFPitt on 2/13/2008 2:26:15 PM , Rating: 1
I would say (cost of the laptop + cost of the plan + $100 per day that they dragged this out before telling her the truth + legal fees) * 10 for loss of data and punitive damages.

They should have took the $2100 and been thrilled with it.

By just4U on 2/13/2008 3:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what they should be made to pay her but it's definitely a interesting story and one that Best Buy will have to handle carefully.

Companies make alot of money with extended warranties and the customer is buying a level of security. When they are in the wrong (as in this case, It happens even to the best out there) they need to bend over backwards to assure the customers happiness, not yank their chains.

The store I deal with offer's a killer extended warranty. You buy that plan and your stuff breaks down, it's a instant replacement equal to the the purchase amount of the original hardware.

Strange title
By Murst on 2/13/2008 12:20:31 PM , Rating: 5
When I read the title, I thought that it was going to be one more insane lawsuit to read about.

However, it appears she isn't really suing for a lost laptop. Instead, she is suing for lies, incompetence, and exposure to identity theft. At least that's what I got from the article...

She seems like a person who doesn't really care about the laptop anymore and wants to punish BB... good for her :)

RE: Strange title
By Proteusza on 2/13/2008 12:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
Completely agree, at first I thought the same, but now I wish her the best. I do think Best Buy will settle out of court somewhere in the region of half what she is asking.

Either way, she wins, and Best Buy gets lots of negative publicity that might force them to improve their service.

RE: Strange title
By rcc on 2/13/2008 1:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
Chalk me up in that category.

There is no excuse for losing a customer's property, and even worse, lying about it. Maybe they should call it the Weak Squad, because geeks treat hardware better. : )

RE: Strange title
By Etern205 on 2/13/2008 6:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
True to that.
A laptop can always be replace, but stolen identify is a experience that's really difficult to heal not only that but to get your credits back takes a long time.

I hope she wins
By headbox on 2/13/2008 11:55:13 AM , Rating: 4
Losing personal documents, digital photos, work projects, etc. is hard to put a price on- but it should cost Best Buy enough money to make a lasting impression and get some people fired.

RE: I hope she wins
By Oregonian2 on 2/13/2008 1:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Alas.. no bad deed goes un-rewarded. Manager will probably get promoted for his dedication in saving the company money.

RE: I hope she wins
By diablofish on 2/13/2008 2:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
If my sarcasm meter is malfunctioning, I apologize. However...

And exactly how is this manager saving Best Buy money? Consider the BB corporate attorney's fees, the negative PR, the resulting lost business, etc. And it's now highly likely that she gets more than $2500 from them as well.

Still, I don't doubt a promotion is in order.

RE: I hope she wins
By fk49 on 2/13/2008 11:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think your sarcasm meter is malfunctioning.

Still way excessive
By Acleveralias on 2/13/2008 1:35:46 PM , Rating: 1
While I'm certainly no fan of the way she was treated here, 54 million dollars is still incredibly excessive and out of proportion with the misconduct and damage caused in this case.

Remember, this isn't a class action suit on behalf of everyone who has had a bad experience - it is a suit by one person regarding HER experience and HER suffering and exposure to identity theft. Has she suffered 54 million dollars of damage? Hardly. Ask yourself this: how much would someone have to offer you to compensate you going through this? In the worst case scenario, how much would someone have to offer you in exchange for all the documents on your computer being stolen? I'd guess WAY less than 54 million dollars. Probably way less than even 1 million.

To put it in perspective, that's more money than the customer, store manager, and entire geek squad will make in their entire lives. Just because Best Buy is an OMG BIG CORPORATION doesn't mean we should throw away any notion of fairness and resonability.

RE: Still way excessive
By psychobriggsy on 2/13/2008 1:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's a symbolic amount. The article even says she doesn't expect that amount, or anything near.

It got it into the news. No silencing of her experience by Best Buy. This is great for all people who pay heed.

RE: Still way excessive
By Acleveralias on 2/13/2008 1:50:35 PM , Rating: 1
Symbolic of what? That she's REALLY UPSET?

The justice system is supposed to be about, y'know...justice. Using it as a forum to complain or a free money fountain is just an abuse of the system that further degrades the rule of law.

RE: Still way excessive
By geddarkstorm on 2/13/2008 5:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
You misunderstand. She's using it to hold them accountable, so that they can't sweep the issue under the rug and treat other customers the same way. She isn't after the money, she said, but after forcing Best Buy to change it's methods, which indeed it needs to do. That's probably the reason she set the suit so high where there's no chance she'd actually get the money--the publicity of what they did is all that is necessary and extreme numbers call people's attention very easily. If she'd gone for say 10k, this would probably not have ever been noticed by us.

RE: Still way excessive
By frobizzle on 2/13/2008 1:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
Lawsuite are traditionally filed for a much larger amount than what the party is hoping to win in a judgement. Her lawyer, though he would be elated to get his cut of $54 million, knows that it will likely be much less. Shoot high and then you have room for negotiations. I would guess the lawyer will be pleased to settle out of court for a million (there is no way this will ever get to trial!) and he (or she) walks home with 3 or 4 hundred thousand!

Can't say that I'm surprised by this
By arrowspark on 2/13/2008 1:49:25 PM , Rating: 5
It should be common knowledge for people who visit sites like Anandtech that Best Buy employees know less than you do about everything Best Buy sells.

Their employees are idiots.

I bought an HD-DVD from a bestbuy store in Gaithersburg, MD and found that it had a big scratch on it. I went to exchange it and the lady that handled my exchange asked if I had problems playing it. I said no, but I didn't have time to watch the entire movie, all the special features and utilize all the audio tracks on the disc to make sure that EVERYTHING on the disc worked in spite of the scratch. The stupid woman said that she'd have to give the disc to Geek Squad for them to verify that the scratch caused a problem before she could do the exchange. I said that idea was the dumbest thing I ever heard, what are you going to do, have some poor guy making maybe $10 per hour sit in front of a TV for 6 hours or more going through the whole movie, all the special features, and all the audio tracks on a disc that cost $15? At this point the manager stopped by and told the idiot woman to just perform the exhange.

By Joz on 2/13/2008 2:02:25 PM , Rating: 1
I rated this up, couse I had a similar experience with "normal" DVD, "Italian Job.", exept in my case, at chapter 12 it would get realy, realy skippy, and work fine at chapter 15. But it took "Geek" Squad four hours to set up tv and dvd player to watch it. I had my laptop with me to play it for them, and still they took four hours instead of just refunding me or exchanging it, needless to say, at 3:55 I asked for the manager. showed it to him on my laptop. Got a new dvd + 50$ cert.

He was PISSED. at geek squad and I did the whole "Angry as fuck that you wasted four hours of my time" walk out of the store.

I went back last weeek and spent $50 on Logitech Trackman.

So.,... in timeline (since im a bad storyteller)

~10-10:30 Walk in and go to cust service desk.
~3:00 Manager
~3:05, Manager pissed off to hell and ripping assholes apart with his articulate, dexterous and very, very, brutal flames.

By exanimas on 2/17/2008 7:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
I find it funny you say this because I'm willing to bet there's a good amount of employees from Best Buy, Circuit City, and people that used to work at CompUSA who read this site all the time. And despite how most people would like to believe that all Best Buy employees are idiots, there's a good amount that aren't.

For the most part it's just a bunch of high school/college kids that could care less about TVs/computers etc and just need a job. I don't agree that it's right or good for business, it's just a fact. There's very few people who actually take their job seriously nowadays but for those of us that do take the time to read about things outside of work to better do our jobs, it sucks getting grouped together with a bunch of jackasses.

Extended warranties
By Alphafox78 on 2/13/2008 12:10:31 PM , Rating: 1
I know best buy has its issues, but they sometimes do have good deals, especially open box items. I always tell friends/family NOT to do the extended warranties through them though, just for cases like this. usually by the time stuff breaks its out of the warranty or its not really worth what you paid for it any longer. when computer stuff breaks for me its just an excuse to get something better!! haha!

RE: Extended warranties
By Omega215D on 2/13/2008 12:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
Before Christmas I managed to snag a GeForce 8800GT for $230 from Best Buy. Of course there was the sales pitch on purchasing the extended warranty saying that they'll replace it with a new one should something go wrong. I'd rather deal with BFG and their awesome tech support.

RE: Extended warranties
By BMFPitt on 2/13/2008 1:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
I once went in to buy a pair of $15 gamepads, for which they offered me a extended warranty for $12 each. As I was in a hurry, I was even going to let them off without making any snarky comments about the absurdity paying 80% of the purchase price (especially when buying 2, since it would have been $9 cheaper to just buy a spare), but they went on to demand I insult them loudly enough for others to hear.

RE: Extended warranties
By chance1138 on 2/13/2008 3:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
While I completely agree with you on the absurdity of paying 80% of the purchase price for a warranty, I don't hold it against the sales reps. I worked for Radio Shack, and the management is all about pushing warranties.....excuse me, extended service options. I absolutely hated trying to sell someone something that I myself thought of as a terrible purchase, but if any manager caught you trying not to sell them when they were available, you would get chewed out and have to "role play" the proper way to make a sale. Just something to think about the next time you make a comment to the individual sales rep who is waiting on you.

No surprise
By UMUJU on 2/13/2008 12:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
I lost faith in Best Buy back in the 1990's when an associate said that all RAM was the same.

RE: No surprise
By JazzMang on 2/13/2008 10:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
You lost faith because of one dumb employee's answer?
News flash: Dumb people are everywhere... employees AND customers.

That's a cheap extended warranty ... :-)
By jbartabas on 2/13/2008 12:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
I am probably a dreamer, but if I'd pay a $300 warranty on a $1100 purchase, I would expect a better experience than having to wait 2 to 6 weeks to get the PC back, especially for an on/off button issue (this is not even mentioning the 'mistake' they've made :_( ).

But as I said, I must be a dreamer :-)

By psychobriggsy on 2/13/2008 1:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
If I paid $300 / £150 on a warranty on a $1100 purchase I would expect:

1) Next day home repair (simple things) and pick up otherwise
2) Returned within a week and/or loaner of replacement product during this time.
3) Complete replacement upon third valid issue within the warranty period.

If this wasn't an option on the hardware, then I'd assume the hardware was so poor quality that they expect it to break in a significant number of cases.

Of course I'd expect that the standard warranty (1 year for most products) may take longer, but that buying an extended super warranty should confer some benefit in terms of repair turn-around. The hardware could be being used for business purposes, and being without it could be costly.

Worst Buy....
By darkhawk1980 on 2/13/2008 1:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Best Buy has always had this type of reputation.

I went through a similar problem, except I actually received my laptop. When I received it, I started having strange memory issues. It seems that when they replaced my RAM, they damaged the pins on the socket. When I returned and showed this to them, they accused me of doing it and said it was not covered. After trying to convince them, I gave up and have not returned to Best Buy yet.

In the end, I replaced that laptop with a Dell XPS laptop, and paid quite a bit more for better quality. Quite a sad case since I don't like talking to people over the phone about issues, but atleast Dell handled the issues I encountered with that laptop and a Dell monitor without any issues to date.

Customer Service (or Disservice in most cases) is where most companies could care less. I'd sooner buy a lesser laptop, or pay more for the same, if I know the customer service attached to it is reliable.

RE: Worst Buy....
By HimuraX03 on 2/13/2008 1:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
Similar story m8,

I bought a laptop in 2005 for my last year in college. I had it about 3 weeks and noticed that the space bar was not working correctly (wiggling and not producing a space 1/2 the time). I took it in right away and the kind person at the desk sent it back for support. A whopping 6 weeks later I got a call it was in. Showed up and noticed a nice scratch on the screen and the LCD panel was peeling off the plastic housing in the bottom right corner.

The manager I requested suggested that I caused the problem. He insisted it probably came in that way. I pulled out their nice doc that was produced that showed the quality/condition of the laptop (said something like new, etc.). He claimed that those descriptions are rather broad and couldn't be used as a good judge, so I questioned why it was even on the form. Regardless weeks of calls, letters, and visits I was credited my full purchase price and refunded for the warranty.

I still shop there and love saving customers from the idiot sales people who will tell someone that the monster HDMI cables will product a better image than a standard HDMI cable. I enjoy explaining to these fools that the signal is digital and so it's not prone to the issues faced with analog connections. Sad.


to be expected
By RyanM on 2/13/2008 12:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
This sort of stuff happens far more than Best Buy would let on. When they're not outright losing people's laptops, they're extorting people for data backup fees since almost all of their "virus removals" constitute a complete reformat of the computer. Or they're lying to customers about their ability to have their computers even looked at by 3rd-party technicians. Or they're just lying about what their service plans actually cover.

If you need your computer repaired, find a good, LOCAL computer repair company via word of mouth (or via ratings sites like Angie's List). Don't trust that just because they're big, Best Buy is able to maintain some level of quality across stores. The service at one Best Buy can differ night and day from another.

By xeltor on 2/14/2008 12:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
Most likely the laptop got lost in shipping, some lazy flunky just said that her laptop sould be in soon based of the usual turnaround time rather than check the tracking number. BB's management was wrong to not look into it for her.

I can see the argument that she is sueing for exposer to ID theft but honestly how can best buy hope to offer 100% assurance that a laptop wont get stolen. One disgruntled employee or a problem during shipping and a laptop can easily go missing. What do we expect armored cars? Your private data is no ones responsibility but your own.

Honestly some of you should try to run your own retail business and see how long you last bending over backwards as far as some of you have implied. You will go bankrupt if you try to keep everyone totally happy. There is very little margin in the electronics industry thats why sales people push warranties and extras so much. A $1000 laptop might have $100-$150 margin on it and six months down the road the price will drop to below cost.

RE: ????
By saiga6360 on 2/14/2008 8:28:51 AM , Rating: 1
If by running a retail business means treating your customer like shit then I guess there's too much of that already going on, so no thanks. You can have your shitty business practices.

may to august?
By kattanna on 2/13/2008 12:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
good lord, i would have in no way been as patient with them as that.

though, i would never use geek squad anyways, and i always direct people away from using them after all the other stories about them perusing peoples files and such.

as an x geek squad employee
By sepirocth on 2/13/2008 12:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
as an x geek squad employee i have to say to she is doing the right thing, i used to work in GS and i hated that job and all the managers and supervisors because their main job function is to satisfy the customer but they could care less about any issues or any customers getting screwed over, best buy should learn a thing or two from newegg which in my opinion has the best customer service team ever. and this lady is doing just the right thing and exactly what best buy needs which is bad publicity for treating their employees like shit which in turn makes the employees give bad customer service.

am not defending the employees because even though i was treated bad i still went out of my way to help out the customers always, but i also have to acknowledge that geek squad hires some very very incompetent people sometimes. just like the ones that lost her laptop as an example.

By Mitch101 on 2/13/2008 12:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
Since the issue was not with the clients hard drive best buy should have given her the hard drive while it was being sent out for service on the power switch. Thus they are responsible to a degree for the clients data. The client may not be aware or tech savvy enough to know the unit can be repaired without the need of the hard drive containing the clients personal data.

Good for Her
By chizow on 2/13/2008 12:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I hate gratuitious law suits and their effect on the legal system I'm glad someone is sticking it to BB. Her experience summarizes the horrible experiences and indifference many have seen with Best Buy customer service. Some highlights others have seen:

1) Rude, negligent and deceitful CS representatives.

2) Overpriced Extended Warranty plan

3) Corporate indifference

It looks in this case she played all of her cards right and even though she won't get anything close to 52 million she will probably end up with a nice settlement with the added effect of forcing BB to take a hard look at their CS, corporate culture and extortionist money-making schemes.

NewEgg All the Way
By UppityMatt on 2/13/2008 12:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
My friend had a similar issue with BestBuy. He received a gift card from a relative over the holidays for iTunes. It was a $50 card that was never activated properly. When he took it into the store the lady in returns gave us such a hassle because there was only $49.73 on the card. If you can show me one item on iTunes that costs 0.27 cents ill be amazed. Regardless they finally gave him a new one but it was a pain in the A$$. I never shop at BestBuy, its Newegg always.

By PAPutzback on 2/13/2008 12:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
Good to see there is still common sense in the world. I thought for sure someone would defend BB. 56Mil is chump change to the lawsuit against McDs for spilled coffee. These companies need to take Identity theft serious. Not to mention if this was her only place for storage of personal info, photos, music paid for via a dl service. What a PIA it is to lose any info these days. Whether it be your money file, roboform data or just favorites.

I just hope she gets to see some of the money after the lawyers steal their absurd share. I bet the day she walked in the Lawyer started shopping yachts. This case will be a cake walk.

wow look at the excuses
By LumbergTech on 2/13/2008 12:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
I could really care less if best buy repairs the stuff in their facility. If they have to ship it out, then they should ship it out immediately and you shouldn't have to wait UP TO 6 weeks just to get your goddamn laptop back. One week should be plenty. 1 week is already a lot of time when a laptop is meant to be your mobile computer anyway

By bsd230 on 2/13/2008 1:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
I can't say I blame her, the number is excessive and she won't get near that but that is an idiot manager. If they would have just paid her the 2100 they would have been way better off now they will end up paying thousands and deservedly so. I have had nothing but pleasant experiences with Best Buy but if they treated me like that I would drop the hammer on them too.

Similar experience
By Ackbar on 2/13/2008 1:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
We've had a similar experience with BestBuy. They had my laptop for 4 months when I had just got the computer 4 months earlier. They lost it for a while, found it, and finally fixed it. Now it's broken again and with total downtime of about a year (and now out of warranty). I can't help but think they like to keep your stuff around just to help the warranty time pass bye!

Go for it!
By msheredy on 2/13/2008 1:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
At first glance I was thinking to myself, "Oh look, another stupid high dollar lawsuit." But after reading the entire article I'm thinking to myself, "Hell yea, sue the crap out of that store!" I'd be equally if not more pissed that her.

Hell hath no fury...
By Bigjee on 2/13/2008 1:09:24 PM , Rating: 2 a woman scorned.

Lenovo Anyone?
By bldckstark on 2/13/2008 2:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
I bought my wife a Lenovo laptop six months ago. The HDD died last week. I called Lenovo on a Sunday afternoon and told them that the HDD was dead. They made a big deal out of telling me my call would be handled by a tech in Atlanta, GA, but there was a lot of lag, and he had an Indian accent. He sent me a new HDD and restore disks that I received on Monday. Had the lappy running by Tuesday.

Job well done
By KoloheBoy on 2/13/2008 2:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad she took action to this, I would have done the same thing too, to just fix a switch for a laptop is something so easy to have it fixed, so much run around stories is just un called for.

The arrogance of that store manager
By qdemn7 on 2/13/2008 2:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
That email takes the cake. I bet he really believes that "demon customer" crap. His people screwed up, but he blames her. If I were her, I make it part of the settlement that he gets his sorry butt fired.

FireDog! *Laugh*
By TimberJon on 2/13/2008 3:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Geek squad was a load of crap the first time it was launched. When Circuit City decided they wanted to follow suit and launched FireDog, I nearly **** my pants with laughter...

If I'm NOT going to learn how to do it myself, and let some other guy come to my house and spend 4 hours installing some cables... I want to see a 1" binder exploding with certifications. And I want to see his transcripts too!

You'd be surprised
By lwright84 on 2/13/2008 5:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
I can't help but wonder how many other people have had their computer stolen (or) lost by Best Buy

Hundreds... maybe even thousands.

One of my fairly good friends in high school worked at Best Buy and had about 2-3 friends that would shuffle out old machines that had been left in the workroom for over a month or two. He'd get a friend to come sign for it, and then they'd sell it. He made a few extra hundred a month like this. And because he knew other employees at other stores, this wasn't just a few times a year. Once the machine was put on the "old-as-hell" shelf and the customer had neglected it for so long, it was "fair game".

Im not saying thats exactly what happened here, but I can definitely see how her laptop couldve been taken this way if there had been some inaccurate paperwork or it had been labeled incorrectly. Sounds like they were updating her on the incorrect machine anyway and didnt realize their mistake until a month or so later.

Anyway, Best Buy is a crock (Black Friday is their only redeeming quality) and theyre still running their fake intranet site in-store so I wish her the best in this case. Bring back CompUSA! Good riddance Best Buy!

lol. :D

The lesson of this story is...
By Etern205 on 2/13/2008 6:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
The lesson of this story is to

Always encrypt your data. I know there is a flaw to that as for hardware encryption cause if your mobo died than your too lock out of your personal files. But what can we do, if this is how BB handles our personal properties, then this is what got to be done.

If you still need to get your computer repaired, remember to physicall take out your HD(s) or if you don't know how, tell the technican to do it for you while you wait until you get your HDs in your hands.
All stores should have the proper basic equiptments for doing a basic diagnostic check like spare cpus, memory, hard drives for desktops and laptops, psu, etc...

Note to Self
By Haltech on 2/13/2008 7:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
Buy direct or buy Newegg....Simple. Easy. Effective.

By jkresh on 2/13/2008 7:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
A few years ago I bought a vpr matrix laptop (one of the first widescreen laptops) from bestbuy, it worked fine for a few months then started going crazy when it should be in sleep/hibernate (put it to sleep, stick it in a laptop bag, take it out and its 150 degrees), instead of properly sleeping/hibernating it would just shut the fans/screen/hd off and keep the cpu at full load. I brought it in and they said 2 weeks to repair, I got it back and it still wasn't working. Brought it in again they said another 2 weeks (and that it would have to happen 4 times before they would just replace it). Again it came back broken, the third time I brought it in they said they would definitely fix it (after 4 weeks I asked what was going on and they couldn't find the system).

Once they admitted they lost it, they offered me an immediate full credit, which I used (but I would never buy another computer from them or let any friends/relatives buy from them).

Geek Squad the worsT!
By excrucio on 2/13/2008 8:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
I work in a local computer repair shop, with a great rep for heaving computers up and running with in 2 days, no matter your problem. Laptops may range from 3 to a week.

The diagnostics is not 250 dollars, but 25 for desktops and 45 or 85 for laptops depending on the type of problem.

We have a paper with tally of how many times best buy refers to us, and to be honest it's not looking good for them.

Geek Squad is the biggest lazy bums I ever seen. A local store doing better than Best Buy...Tsk Tsk.

By dflynchimp on 2/13/2008 9:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
"Damnit, all my hubby's pr0n is on that laptop. Now I actually have to sleep with him!"

300 dollar warranty? Wow.
By Alias1431 on 2/13/2008 10:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
Congratulations, sir. You've picked a fine Accord. Now would you like to buy a three year warranty on this vehicle for only seven thousand dollars?

Well said marsbound2024
By motzea on 2/14/2008 12:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
marsbound2024, I couldn't have said it any better.
"I work at Best Buy in the Geek Squad myself. I can completely agree with what you are saying. To be honest, the service center has caused me numerous frustrations and I have told my leadership about it time and time again. If this incident happened at our location, I would EASILY see that my managers would quickly have given her a replacement laptop and we would have just eaten that cost. The store manager at that location should flat out be fired. What a horrible manager. The guy obviously doesn't respect the customers that enter his store and spend their hard-earned money on products and Best Buy services. If I saw the guy, I'd easily tell him that his location was one of who knows how many stores (maybe not many, maybe quite a few) that are responsible for utterly destroying Best Buy's reputation.Nonetheless, if the same incident happened at my location without proper interference and handling by my managers, I would just quit. Why would I want to work in an environment where my leadership was out of touch with the importance of our customer-base? Anyways, unless there are some serious changes within the hierarchy of Geek Squad (precincts, service centers, leadership), I think these issues will continue to present themselves."

I also work at best buy in Geek Squad Part-time. If I knew of the slight possibility of a computer being lost I would spend hours researching,locating, and informing management of the situation and demanding fair compensation to the customer. That was ridicous response on the GMs part. If I was a pissed off customer whose laptop was lost do to incompetence, the last thing I would want to hear about is.. happy customer interactions.

Dealing with manufacture, and their horrid warranties are as painful as Service plans. Dealing with a warranty is like dealing with a shady insurance company, trying screw you every way possible.

It is unfortunate stories like this that put a bad wrap on every tech in GS, even if they are competent at what they do.

By Kyanzes on 2/14/2008 7:04:03 AM , Rating: 2
... and guess Cicero just lost his job. :D

What does she expect?
By soxfan on 2/14/2008 7:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
While I sympathize with this woman's plight, I have to question anyone who buys anything from worst buy. Heck, she was stupid enought to buy a laptop for $1400 bucks ($1100 + warranty), when it was probably worth $650-700. Not only that, but she actually thought the "Geek Squad" was a good place to bring her computer for repairs.

At least she is realistic about the likelihood she will obtain a multi million dollar settlement.

Raelyn Campbell
By richard cohen films on 2/14/2008 10:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
Raelyn Campbell is a person to remember and thank, not just for taking on Best Buy -- but for warning all the large businesses that fail to truly care about their customers, and fail to inspire their workers to care about their work.

Geek Sqad
By Hexus on 2/14/2008 12:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
In general Geek Squad sucks. I've fixed more of their screw ups that I can count, they sell you parts that you don't need, they have a grossly under trained and under paid employees, and they have the attitude of 5 year olds that think they know more than you, and if you question them, they refuse to listen. Best Buy needs to rethink their setup here, and restructure that sad excuse for Tech Support they call Geek Squad.

Poor reporting
By Omega215D on 2/14/2008 1:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Surprise surprise, some moron at Slashdot posted a half baked summary and the Star Tribune did the same comparing her to the guy that sued a dry cleaner for the same amount for losing his pants.

Not only that but this comment: "Melissa Ngo , senior counsel with the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., wasn’t familiar with Campbell’s case but said consumers need to get smart about protecting their data to avoid such situations."

I think Best Buy should be smarter to also avoid such situations, that and Miss Ngo is worthless.

Sorry, just a bit mad that some people call this suit frivolous.

Standard Best Buy Procedure
By walford on 2/14/2008 2:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
I took my mother's tower in for repairs and, lo and behold, it was not ready when they said it would be. A week goes by. We call again and they say it's in the next city (Baltimore, we live in DC Metro). Another week goes by.

Oh, and they make us do all of the calling. They never call to let us know what's going on. About a month past the promised date, we call again and they say there was no record of it leaving the store.

"OK, where is it?" "We don't know."

This is after dinner time, so my wife and I show up in our robes -- to make a statement. We stood in front of the door to make sure the customers could see us while they 'looked' for the tower. They changed shifts and we were facing a new set of employees behind the service desk.

So finally we asked if we could look in the room where computers for repair are kept. We recognized my mother's tower as soon as we walked in the room.


So we advised my mother to ditch the computer and buy a refurbished one.

My Best Buy story
By MIDIman on 2/14/2008 3:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
As I'm sure many others have them too!

Training might help for some...
By wisfal on 2/15/2008 12:29:49 AM , Rating: 2
A few years ago my grand dad had a computer he bought from Best Buy and after a few months it starting not working. He had the warrenty for it which was for two years and he kept sending it to the Geek Squad to get it fixed and about a month later they said it was "Fixed" but a few days later kept acting up. After the warrenty was up he gave the computer to me and I decided to use some of the parts. I put stuff in my computer, turned it on, a few minutes went by and screen. "CPU DUMP" replaced the cpu and worked great. Kinda sad I had it for less then 2 hours and figured it out and it took them 2 years and couldn't figure it out.

Good for her
By Regs on 2/15/2008 10:02:29 AM , Rating: 2
No she does not deserve a 50 million dollar reward of course, but like she said she's doing it to push a dagger into Best Buy's side because it's the only way to get attention now-a-days.

Like school shootings.

By belovedavenger on 2/18/2008 1:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
Rule of thumb - buy the manufacturers in-home service plan - then they fix it at YOUR house... NEVER take anything to the geek squad unless you have sanitized your machine completely (i.e. reformatted). Otherwise it's out there floating around with God knows who looking at your stuff... And back up your stuff... all of your stuff... then you'd know exactly what kind of information might have been compromised and can take steps immediately to limit any damage... I know some people who backup every week. (I don't...) I do think the 54 million is excesssive - but agree with her concerns about identity theft, and there's one other thing... I don't know if she used this for business but if her clients stuff got stolen and they then sued HER... well just let me suggest that the collateral damage of her lost/stolen/missing laptop could be emormous...

The crap that is Geek Squad
By gus6464 on 2/18/2008 6:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
It's articles like these that makes me glad I use a macbook. I bought a first gen macbook and after 1 month of ownership a firmware update bricked the machine. I took it to the apple store and they shipped it off the same day and had the machine back 2 days later. When I got it back I found out they replaced the entire motherboard and cpu since the cpus are soldered to it. This was during the first year complementary applecare but when it ran out I went and bought the extra applecare to cover me for 2 more years. Also when my dog was a puppy he got a hold of my restore discs and ate them so I called apple and I had new ones in my hand two days later. Even though I told the girl that my dog had eaten the discs she still didn't charge me for them.

Common sense.
By Komrade Chaos on 2/19/2008 3:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
As somebody who works in the retail tech services field(bestbuy competitor), I have a few things to say.

The lady should be fully compensated for what she payed for the laptop, $1,400(including the warranty).

The employee should be investigated and fired if her claims are true.

The lady should receive NOTHING ELSE. If she was stupid enough to not back up and clear her computer of personal data, she should deserve to have it lost.
$54 million? Give me a break. It's people like her that are perpetuating this country's culture into a deep black void.

I wish...
By PWNettle on 2/13/08, Rating: 0
Only in America people
By cyyc009 on 2/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Only in America people
By EODetroit on 2/13/2008 2:02:53 PM , Rating: 2
She'll win, just not 54 million. If I were the judge and the facts really are what I just read, I'd award her $5400 as compensation for her laptop and $54000 as a penalty to best buy for losing her data and the long delay in notification.

Plus any legal fees and best buy must pay for her identity theft protection subscription for the rest of her life.

That would be a fair judgement.

RE: Only in America people
By rcc on 2/13/2008 2:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that $54 million is absurd, this is far more than a simple human error.

If we go by what the article said, they lost her notebook, that could be simple human error, or avarice if it was stolen. Then multiple people fed her a line of crap because they were too lazy to actually check status on her repair, had they done so, they'd have found out as the last guy did that it was lost and hadn't left the store at all. In fairness to the staff, it's possible that their procedures prevent them from doing their jobs.... but...

And the jerk around she got after that point was deliberate obfuscation and pressure to get her to accept something less than a replacement computer. Again, not simple human error.

RE: Only in America people
By mindless1 on 2/13/2008 3:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
Not shipping laptop to repair center promptly = simple human error

Laptop getting up and walking off then customer being possibly lied to, at least not serviced properly, then repeatedly given the runaround for 7 MONTHS = not so simple

RE: Only in America people
By Omega215D on 2/13/2008 6:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
Near the end of the summary she stated that she didn't even expect to get the $54 million but it was just to Best Buy a lesson. It was not only a simple error, they kept telling her that it'll be fixed in a few weeks over and over without actually (it seems) checking up on her RMA. Then the manager had the nerve to give her such a low compensation and then went on to somewhat insult her.

Last but not least her personal data was on there so there's a chance of ID theft by who ever took it.

This looks legit to me. And besides any lawsuit against Best Buy is Ok in my book =P.

RE: Only in America people
By Etern205 on 2/13/2008 6:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
The article even said she knew she won't get this much money, but it's what she has to do in order to grab attention as to how Best Buy handles their customers' properties to light.

Like what others have said, if she asked for a low amount then we might have just not care too much about it.

Another Frivols lawsuit
By Raider99 on 2/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Another Frivols lawsuit
By PAPutzback on 2/13/2008 1:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm noted. I hope the judge looks at this and tells Best buy to pay up without wasting anyone else's time.

Those warranties are total scams. I had a laptop that needed a new PSU under warranty. Did they give me a factory one. No just a POS aftermarket that failed not much pas the time of the warranty. If I pay for a extended warranty it parts should be replaced with the same exact sku or the warranty should be extended, atleast for the part replaced.

54 Million is a drop in the bucket for ID theft.

RE: Another Frivols lawsuit
By frobizzle on 2/13/2008 1:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
54 million that is absurd she has no grounds. The RISK of identity theft, being lied to. This is one customer who has gone to far. This will surely affect the rest of us in a negative way. I wish BB the best of luck and hope for her sake the customer drops this frivols lawsuit.

Nice troll!

RE: Another Frivols lawsuit
By Chosonman on 2/13/2008 2:17:47 PM , Rating: 1

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