Best Buy’s latest brush with a customer has led to a costly $54 million lawsuit after the retail giant lost a woman’s laptop, personal data, spent several months lying to her about its whereabouts, then offered her an insultingly low compensation once it acknowledged the loss.
Raelyn Campbell bought a laptop from Best Buy in 2006 and was talked into paying an extra $300 for the extended warranty. A year later in May 2007 it broke and she left it at a Best Buy store for six weeks while away on an overseas business trip. The retailer lied to her about the computer being shipped to Louisville for repairs, but it turns out the computer had never even left the store.
Six months later and after a couple different explanations, Campbell was told that her laptop had been stolen, and was offered a $900 gift card in return – a ridiculous sum considering the laptop and warranty alone cost over $1,100, not counting her purchased software, time, and all of her lost data which included her personal tax information.
Campbell says that she knows $54 million is outrageous, but it’s apparently the only way to get media attention and put enough pressure on Best Buy to do the right thing. After filing the suit, the company offered to settle the case for $2100 plus a $500 gift card but, according to Campbell, the total cost of this problem is now higher. Furthermore, she states that she will not settle until Best Buy offers an explanation for her missing laptop, and agrees to train their employees in privacy issues.