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Author Topic: Woman sues Best Buy for losing her laptop
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2008 14:24      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You guys have probably all read this already, but I figured I'd post it here for those of you who haven't.

article and comments, of which there are legion

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2008 14:53      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And she’d also lost thousands dollars worth of music and thousands of irreplaceable photos.

She should realize that it takes a -lot- of time for the Best Buy employees to go through all those photos to see if there are any of her naked.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2008 15:01      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting. Best Buy's tracking system, or customer service, or both, is severely screwed up if she was getting false information like that.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2008 15:44      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Leaving aside the issue of the very large compensation claim (I'm so used to hearing ridiculous stories like this from the USA (and, increasingly, from Australia) I no longer find them amusing)...

All of the sensitive data on my laptop is kept on a TrueCrypt partition. If my lappie is lost or stolen, my pr0n collection ... erm... I mean my confidential financial information is safe from prying eyes.

It also makes backups easier, I just copy a single TrueCrypt file onto a DVD.

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2008 19:16      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with Druid, these stories are no longer amusing.

Don't try and be a hero by trying to bring media attention to this. There is all ready organizations out there whose main job is to fix problems like this. Just settle - you get some free money and a new laptop. And I don't think it is that hard to move your nude pictures from the computer you had before to the laptop - and I guess you are out of luck with the pirated music.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2008 21:23      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow...how lovely.

Given that it's essentially stated in the article, without risk of gender bias, I will plainly say that she's a media whore. Best Buy is certainly to blame for the loss, but she should just accept a fair value and move on. I would agree that taking the money in the form of a Best Buy gift card sucks, but their followup amount is more than fair.

And...based on this attitude, and that picture...

/i_wouldn't

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2008 05:02      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:

/i_wouldn't

Let's see... it is:

(a) mammalian
(b) warm

...I'm sorry, but I may not concur, Dman. [Smile]

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2008 09:06      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I see that your standards have risen. [Wink]

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Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
spungo
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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2008 16:33      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
I see that your standards have risen. [Wink]

Yeah, well, ice splinters ain't no day at the beach. [Wink]
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dragon34
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Icon 3 posted February 15, 2008 17:03      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As someone who has to tell people on a semi-regular basis "I'm sorry, but your hard drive doesn't spin anymore and all your data is gone unless you want to spend 2000 dollars to get it back in a few weeks"
Why oh why do people not back up their data?
We go through all sorts of heroic measures to save data, and most of the time, so long as the drive spins, we can at least get most of it... but I sometimes feel like hiring a sky writer to write "If your data is not in two places it doesn't really exist" over major metropolitan areas.

I just wish that they would finish articles like this with "Always make a backup of your data before handing your computer in for service"

Besides, if the power button was broken, they should have just handed her her hard drive when she gave them the computer. On most PCs removing this is trivial. (It's even trivial on a MacBook and not a huge deal on a MacBook Pro or G5, the new iMacs and the minis are fairly brutal though) I think it should be standard procedure for something that is exclusively a hardware problem as this clearly was so long as removing the hard drive can be done quickly (IE not require suction cups, 3 people or the jaws of life). "Here's your data, don't drop it, step on it, or attach it to your fridge with a magnet, we'll put it back in for you after we fix the problem " Or even better "Here is your data in a USB enclosure that you can connect to any other computer, just don't delete anything just because you don't know what it is, or your computer might not boot"

I am fairly sure it would be trivial to have a few laptop and a desktop hard drives with Windows or Linux installed that would boot almost any computer to verify the hardware fix.

Sigh.

//can't wait for SSDs to be reasonably priced
//Has anyone else seen groups of computers with the same problem all the time? It's not one dead drive, it's 3, never one dead screen but 4 and then none for months. WTF

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Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2008 18:47      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's a different perspective.

Ms. Campbell was interviewed on CBC Radio's As It Happens a couple nights ago. (I think it was AIH - it might have been Hear and Now, but anyway...) What she said then (and the MSNBC article mentions it as well) is that the laptop also contained much personal financial and tax information, and that, in violation of DC's data-breach legislation, Best Buy had still not notified her of the loss six months after it occurred, and in fact lied to her repeatedly about it.

The real issue, which only TFD seems to have picked up on, is not whether or not she lost the information but whether or not someone else gained it. Druid's encrypted volume is a good idea in theory, but I had never heard of TrueCrypt until he mentioned it, and I've been in IT for mumble years now. Someone outside the trade, as I suspect Ms. Campbell to be, might well not be aware that such a thing is even possible.

So what does that leave? Erase the data before you take the machine in? Kinda tough when you can't turn it on. Remove the drive and return it to the customer? Well, they had to ship the machine to Kentucky to replace the power switch, so I doubt they could have pulled the drive out on-site.

For the most part, I agree with Burt Rutan's assertion that "Half the lawyers in [the] country should be shot immediately - and it doesn't much matter which half." Every once in a great while, though, one sees a case where the defendant truly deserves to be sued upside the head with a blunt instrument, and IMHO this is such a case.

Just my two cents' worth. (Plus 5% GST and 7% PST.)

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2008 18:58      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragon34:

Besides, if the power button was broken, they should have just handed her her hard drive when she gave them the computer. On most PCs removing this is trivial. (It's even trivial on a MacBook and not a huge deal on a MacBook Pro or G5, the new iMacs and the minis are fairly brutal though) I think it should be standard procedure for something that is exclusively a hardware problem as this clearly was so long as removing the hard drive can be done quickly (IE not require suction cups, 3 people or the jaws of life). "Here's your data, don't drop it, step on it, or attach it to your fridge with a magnet, we'll put it back in for you after we fix the problem " Or even better "Here is your data in a USB enclosure that you can connect to any other computer, just don't delete anything just because you don't know what it is, or your computer might not boot"

Now that's a bright idea. Pitch that idea to Circuit City, via the right business connections, and you might just make a chunk of change. (And when you do that, remember your sibling in dragon-hood. [Wink] ) As I see it, there are two main reasons this isn't being done: 1. Apathy and feelings of infallibility; 2. Pure and simple greed.

On point 2...it's really quite stupid when you consider how cheap HDs are these days. If you ask me (and no one did!), it should almost be a forced cost for paid support, and perhaps a deposit based fee for warranty-covered support.

I would take a slightly different spin† on your idea, and clone the drive on the spot to a hard drive to give to the client as an immediate backup.

Why? Full sized hard drives (or DVDs if applicable) tend to be cheaper, and it allows for the full problem to be assessed (and if the hard drive is the culprit, for it to be replaced). I think you're spoiled by Macs, and may be forgetting the issues of the PC world: Spyware that needs to be cleaned, and licensing issues with the OS, combined with all sorts of applications that cannot be readily installed (and for both platforms, the app might not be legal, or the media may be held by an IT dept. somewhere). Still, someone needs to start doing this, as this problem is not going away anytime soon.

† *grin* - I really wasn't shooting for that one...


//Has anyone else seen groups of computers with the same problem all the time? It's not one dead drive, it's 3, never one dead screen but 4 and then none for months. WTF

Oh yeah...when it rains, it pours. I remember one time a few years ago when I had 3 hard drives go in 3 consecutive days. (Of course they were all Maxtors.) 2 of them were from brand new computers...but that's when I learned about Dell's 90-90 test, and the joy of "Return code 7." (There's nothing quite like saying that, and getting a response of "And what's your mailing address, sir?" *This* is why I love Dell [corporate] tech. support.) These days, I really don't handle hardware, but I do see these trends anyway. At the very least, it's easier to troubleshoot a problem when you've seen it a few times in a row. [Smile]

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2008 22:35      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Dave:
Well, they had to ship the machine to Kentucky to replace the power switch, so I doubt they could have pulled the drive out on-site.

That's the root of the problem right there.

Any system that relies on shipping laptops across the continent for repairs is bound to have some lost in transit, and some totally destroyed by the elephant that resides in every freight company depot.

The $300 she paid for an "extended warranty" should easily be enough to pay for on-site service. When the PSU on my Dell went to its ancestors last year, the nice man from Dell (actually, a local service company who have a contract with Dell) came to my place of work, replaced the faulty component as I watched, and ran a complete test suite to make sure everything was ok. There was no chance for my lappie to "go missing" or be used as a trampoline by playful pachyderms, because it was never out of my sight.

These "extended warranty" deals are a huge money spinner for retailers, one large retail chain in the UK admitted they provided over half of their total profit, and yet few of them put much thought into how to keep the expensive promises they've made.

There's no way that woman deserves $54 million, but if that's what it takes to get companies thinking about actually keeping their promises, then good luck to her.

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Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted February 18, 2008 11:40      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Funny how this went to supporting Dell, when normally I see them bashed.

I also have on-site support with my personal laptop (granted, its a business-class lappy, which might have something to do with it) and anytime I need something fixed, if I dont want to do it (which I do sometimes), they send the part to a local contracted tech, who comes out and sits in my living room and fixes it. I normally have coffee with him afterwards...

I like the idea of pulling ones HD, but most ppl dont know what to do with it, and more would get it damaged if they gave it back, and even more would get lost if the store kept it (or a repeat of this, they get stolen).

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joliet_jane
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Icon 1 posted February 22, 2008 17:32      Profile for joliet_jane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragon34:

Why oh why do people not back up their data?

The Judge should throw the case out on these grounds. If the data was so precious, why did she treat it like an unwanted stepchild? [cry baby]
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somenewdude
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 14:39      Profile for somenewdude         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As much as why this is considered news, it's a nightmare to deal with Best Buy for computer problems I imagine. I've avoided it and this will probably keep me away permanently from their repair department.

These sorts of things remind me of the show Chuck. Even though it's not necessarily related, I keep envisioning that. At least that keeps my sanity in check since I've had computer nightmares through other places. But watch the video link below if you've dealt with the computer geek nightmares.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTRXFYJH78k

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Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 19:25      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is an out-of-control problem in the USA, which has become especially virulent over the last six months.

Known as "Blaming B" or "Hillary Clinton" syndrome, sometimes it is also called "Lifetime Channel Girl Mentality". This situation describes a bitter woman blaming others for her own stupidity.

She kept incredibly personal and sensitive data on a computer main drive? She's that stupid? She didn't store it on an outboard hard drive, then back it up to another?

A terrabyte drive is less than $300 US. Flash drives go for under $10 US. A DVD disc is a quarter.

Once you have a backed-up hard drive go bad, the problem is solved with a concrete driveway and a 9-lb hammer. It's kinda fun.

But she kept her financial lingerie on her laptop hard drive and gave it to strangers? What does she do, work for the NSA in the Bush Administration?

Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Social Darwinism works again.

CP

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 8 posted June 05, 2008 05:37      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:
This is an out-of-control problem in the USA, which has become especially virulent over the last six months.

Known as "Blaming B" or "Hillary Clinton" syndrome, sometimes it is also called "Lifetime Channel Girl Mentality". This situation describes a bitter woman blaming others for her own stupidity.

She kept incredibly personal and sensitive data on a computer main drive? She's that stupid? She didn't store it on an outboard hard drive, then back it up to another?

A terrabyte drive is less than $300 US. Flash drives go for under $10 US. A DVD disc is a quarter.

Once you have a backed-up hard drive go bad, the problem is solved with a concrete driveway and a 9-lb hammer. It's kinda fun.

But she kept her financial lingerie on her laptop hard drive and gave it to strangers? What does she do, work for the NSA in the Bush Administration?

Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Social Darwinism works again.

CP

Bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. You shouldn't have to expect a company that sells you hardware and a subequent overpriced $300 warranty on the fucking thing NOT to lose your data when you return it for a POWER SWITCH replacement.

HOW DARE SHE USE HER COMPUTER FOR ITS INTENDED PURPOSE!

Sure she should have backed it up, but the fact that they a) lied to her, b) didn't notify her that they lost her data, and c) had the gross indecency to offer a $900 GIFT CARD (which she'd have to use on stuff they'd be making their standard 65-100% profit on), for an $1100 laptop THEY LOST with all of her data on it, says these assholes need to pay. The fact that the laptop was a year old is irrelevant; when you buy one of those $300 warranties, that comes with the knowledge that should it break beyond repair, it'll be replaced with a current equivalent or better model.

Asking for $2100 was NOT unreasonable, but they thought she was just some joe schmoe they could tell to take a hike.

Big companies keep pushing us joe blows around because they figure, 'screw you we can do what we want.' I think dman hit the nail on the head when he said 'apathy' and 'infallability'.

I don't for a second think she deserves $53M or anything even close to it, but good on her for making people realise what scumbags Best Buy is as a company. She knows she won't get it, but I do think she should be awarded the cost of her laptop, reasonable costs for her lost software and time to get it back the way she had it (whatever a judge decides that is), plus her time for court filings, calling, sitting on hold, talking to the assholes that lied to her, etc.

At this point, my ballpark figure would put it at the $5k range, but IANAL

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 07:04      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
drunkennewfiemidget wrote:
I don't for a second think she deserves $53M or anything even close to it, but good on her for making people realise what scumbags Best Buy is as a company. She knows she won't get it, but I do think she should be awarded the cost of her laptop, reasonable costs for her lost software and time to get it back the way she had it (whatever a judge decides that is), plus her time for court filings, calling, sitting on hold, talking to the assholes that lied to her, etc.

At this point, my ballpark figure would put it at the $5k range, but IANAL


See... if she'd asked for $5k or $10k, she'd have probably gotten it. But she didn't... she asked for $54 million. The judge dismissed the case (not much news coverage, but it's mentioned here) and the only thing that Best Buy was taught is that they can they can push the consumer around successfully.

Greed is bad, m'kay?

*stops necroposting now*

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 07:45      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
drunkennewfiemidget wrote:
I don't for a second think she deserves $53M or anything even close to it, but good on her for making people realise what scumbags Best Buy is as a company. She knows she won't get it, but I do think she should be awarded the cost of her laptop, reasonable costs for her lost software and time to get it back the way she had it (whatever a judge decides that is), plus her time for court filings, calling, sitting on hold, talking to the assholes that lied to her, etc.

At this point, my ballpark figure would put it at the $5k range, but IANAL


See... if she'd asked for $5k or $10k, she'd have probably gotten it. But she didn't... she asked for $54 million. The judge dismissed the case (not much news coverage, but it's mentioned here) and the only thing that Best Buy was taught is that they can they can push the consumer around successfully.

Greed is bad, m'kay?

*stops necroposting now*

SHE ORIGINALLY ASKED FOR $2100! They told her to go do unsavoury things to herself with a chainsaw.

And I'm sure Best Buy is gonna hurt for more than $2100 now in lost customers from the publicity she kicked up anyway.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 08:12      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
drunkennewfiemidget wrote:
And I'm sure Best Buy is gonna hurt for more than $2100 now in lost customers from the publicity she kicked up anyway.

She kicked up so much publicity that you err.. didn't hear about it until four months after the fact when a spammer necroposted in the topic.

Umm... yeah. Best Buy's hurting all right.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 08:59      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Um. I'd heard about it beforehand, actually. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven't been frequenting these boards as frequently recently, and had no idea there was a thread about it. It only takes 1 person to stop going there to lose them $2100 over a lifetime.
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iNoles
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 14:13      Profile for iNoles     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always wondering, why Best Buy uses "Geek Squad" as their technical supports? Are they giving "Geek" as a bad name? They always giving a horrible advice too.
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