Don’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.