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Comment: This happened to me, and almost ended in a lawsuit (Score 2, Interesting) 686

by puargsss (#19778557) Attached to: Consumerist Catches Geek Squad Stealing Porn
I used to work at Best Buy (in store), and though I had some idea of how unscrupulous some of the people I worked with could be, I didn't imagine it was so terrible. Anyway, it used to be that we would get service plans for our computers nearly for free- so I purchased one for my new laptop when I worked there. A year later, I had since quit and then took the laptop in for service. I knew that the people in store had low morals, but I wasn't quite sure how the people at the service center stacked up, so I installed some monitoring software that would log everything that happened on my computer. Please note that the only things wrong with my computer were HARDWARE issues- a loose headphone jack, and a broken monitor. Absolutely nothing that would require data manipulation in the least on the computer itself. A few days later, I get a call from the Best Buy tech center asking me for the password to my windows account. He had apparently already reset the BIOS password and now wanted to access windows itself. I told him no, he didn't need to do that to fix it, and he replied that if I wouldn't give him the password, he'd have to ship the computer back to me without any repairs done. Begrudgingly, I told him the password to an account I had set up specifically for the purpose of the Best Buy technicians in case this had occurred. He hangs up, a few weeks go by, and I finally get my laptop back. What I found was that, over the course of TWO HOURS, this technician systematically went through almost every file on my entire hard drive, and what's more- he actually BURNED TO CDS, from my own CD burner, data and games I had on my hard drive. He even backed up a game folder onto multiple cds that required a full system install (half-life 2, in this case). This was not only a clear case of poor workmanship (why the hell should I wait 4 weeks for a repair if it's just this guy dicking around on my hard drive), but also of a total invasion of privacy. Moreover, my audio jack was not fixed. I called the Best Buy support company and over an hour or so, I managed to finaggle a conversation with the manager in charge of the division that "fixed" my computer. I asked him if he knew what was going on, and he replied in a very nonchalant manner that "these guys only access things that are necessary to fix your computer". I told him I had proof of otherwise, and moreover that they were going through all my personal files (the scant few I had left on my hard drive before sending it in, anyway). He didn't so much deny this as he did *literally* tell me that I was "wasting his time". I told him I was thinking of suing, though admittedly I wasn't sure for what; I didn't know if the invasion of privacy, breach of contract, or failure to repair were "suable" offenses. He actually LAUGHED, told me that since I had "signed the contract", there was nothing I could do, and that he didn't care what evidence I had. Yeah, it sucked. So I did wind up going to a lawyer, who advised me that the amount of time and effort that would have to go into fighting a contract's specific wording (did it say "might be accessed", or "would be accessed") would not be worth whatever payout might actually occur (if any at all). He also implied that it might be harder for someone in my position as a prior employee to assert claims against the company's behavior, which I had never previously objected to while working there. In truth, I had actually quit because of the shady practices going on in my local store, and had mentioned it on my 2-week notice, but alas, such is life. I would really like to kick one of these guys in the balls.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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