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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Woman Sues Best Buy For $54 Million - Notebook Allegedly Stolen by Employees

trusted-geeks-best-buy Many people today can not live with out their laptops.  Laptops often hold passwords, personal finance and credit information, company trade secrets, sensitive financial information, email communications, contacts and much more. 

The value of a laptop is often physically inexpensive compared to the cost of the software installed on the laptop and even much less expensive than the value of the information on that device. 

Imagine then trying to identify the value in actual dollars if your laptop were stolen by the company hired to perform repairs or upgrades on it?

Consider the further aggravation if that company loses or enables your device to be stolen by employees or other customers due to lax security.  Then consider the time you would spend trying to track down and secure your laptop and the information on it if you were not given open and honest information about the theft.  This is allegedly what happened in a case brought against Best Buy for $54 million.


In addition, Campbell claims Best Buy was indifferent and insulting in its response to her repeated requests for a theft investigation and compensation, and showed a "company-wide disregard for legal obligations to immediately disclose the theft and notify me of potential exposure to identity theft over the course of the ordeal."

Best Buy has said it has done everything it can to make amends. "We're obviously embarrassed and disappointed that we were unable to resolve this customer's issue," a spokeswoman for the retailer told The Associated Press. "We've tried to resolve this dispute and feel badly that it escalated to a lawsuit."

In her blog, Campbell provides a timeline of her contacts with Best Buy, starting May 25, 2007, when she left the broken notebook at the Tenleytown store for repair under a service contract. On Jan. 25 of this year, a Superior Court judge recommended that she and Best Buy try to settle the matter on their own.

Campbell said she offered to drop the suit, if the company paid her for her expenses and time and addressed "the shortcomings in its property and privacy protection practices." Best Buy hasn't responded, according to Campbell, and the next court hearing is set for Feb. 22.

The only compensation Campbell has received from Best Buy is $1,110.35 that was transferred into her credit card account in late October without her consent, the plaintiff said.

Woman Sues Best Buy For $54 Million Over Lost Notebook -- Best Buy

So what do you think?  How much is your laptop really worth?  If stolen, could it sabotage your credit, tank your business, make you lose an important deal or miss an important deadline?