Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bestbuy? I don't think so.

Best BuyDon’t dismiss Raelyn Campbell as a crackpot. Not yet. Listen to her story, and then decide if she’s doing the right thing by asking Best Buy to compensate her to the tune of $54 million for a laptop that went missing when she took it in to Best Buy for repair under the store’s own extended warranty.Like many people, Campbell bought an extended warranty for her laptop when she bought it from Best Buy, and she took advantage of that when the power button broke off after a year. Best Buy accepted the machine for repair and said it would be ready in two to six weeks. But six weeks passed and the computer wasn’t ready. After three months of ruthlessly hounding the company, Best Buy finally admitted it couldn’t find the machine.

Ultimately, Best Buy offered to pay her $900 for losing the machine… as a gift card. She countered that it had originally cost over $1,100, not to mention all her data that was now gone for good. She demanded $2,100, and Best Buy simply ignored her.

At this point, Campbell was made aware that all her personal data on the machine could lead to a major identity theft issue, though Best Buy never filed their legally required notice that she was at risk. That was the last straw, and she filed suit for $54 million, representing herself. Best Buy has since upped its offer to a total of $4,100 if she withdraws the case. She says she doesn’t expect to win, but wants to go to court anyway to force Best Buy to explain how her laptop was lost.I have to agree that $54 million seems wildly optimistic, but it’s amazing to hear how smug Best Buy has been throughout this process. Lowball, “go-away” offers that don’t even value property properly, much less the value of the data inside it, are frankly embarrassing, and good for Campbell for making an issue out of it… even if she doesn’t ultimately prevail. I hope there would be more Campbells around.

1 comment:

White Lotus said...

The fact the laptop was lost doesn't surprise me since I worked in retail for 13+ yrs and I have heard many stories of ppl losing their computers and laptops when they bring them in for service. What surprises me is the level of incompetence management showed in offering a $900 GC when the laptop was worth $1100 and that price did not even include the price of the extended warranty she purchased (I assume).

A lot of people don't realize that when you bring in your computer or laptop to a service center, there's a chance you may lose all the information stored on it. Personally, I would make every effort to back the info up.

As far as identity theft goes, I guess I could feel a little uncomfortable with that. My take on privacy has always been, if you don't want someone to potentially look at your info, then don't go online. I'm certain she used the laptop occasionally for internet since pretty much everyone does.

This lady should have been offered a much more generous compensation from the start. If I were manager I think something in the area of a $1,500 laptop and an extended warranty I think would have been fair considering how badly BB botched the job in the 1st place, not to mention all the lost time and productivity of having to call and go down and find out about the laptop's status.