Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Best Buy Creep Squad

(photo @

When Sophia Ellison went into Best Buy to have information transferred to her new Iphone from her old one, she broke two cardinal rules of mobile phone technical support.

1. Don't have your phone serviced at Best Buy.
2. Repeat Step 1 on any and all phones purchased during your lifetime.

Instead, Sophia went to the masters of "we're going to need to reformat your hard drive," aka The Geek Squad. An employee by the name of George not only agreed to transfer the information to her new phone, but also agreed to buy her old phone for $60 and delete all of the data off of her phone. Included in the data were pictures of herself that Sophia described as "racy" (fyi, that link goes to her quote, not the pictures you perv) and a video her 3 small children took of each other while they were naked and getting out of the shower.

In fact, George was kind enough to make the transaction incredibly hassle free by simply pulling the money out of his wallet and not giving her a store receipt.

Let's get a quick count of these

Red Flag #1: You just handed over a phone with "racy" pictures of yourself to someone you had never met before.

Red Flag #2: Your kids may have been the ones that took a video of themselves naked, but you still had it saved on your phone...AND HANDED IT OVER TO SOMEONE YOU HAD NEVER MET BEFORE.

Red Flag #3: An employee at a big box retailer just made a personal transaction with you.

Red Flag #4: You actually trusted a complete stranger/someone from Best Buy to do what they said they would do.

As you can imagine, things go a bit off the rails from there: The next day, Sophia realized that her 900 (!) photos/videos were missing from her new phone. She called Best Buy in a panic, asking to speak to a manager about the missing data.

Best Buy responded by telling her that "management was not in that day" (translation: The manager didn't feel like talking on the phone), but that someone would call her back. That person ended up being her old friend George, who reassured Sophia that they would get her 452 pictures back.

Whether this error in counting was on the part of George/Best Buy or the customer (both parties are likely suspects), Sophia didn't hear from anyone anyone for days. Eventually George called, claiming he had burned her pictures onto a CD...and that she could come over to his house to pick them up.

Despite the many errors in judgement made by Sophia during this ordeal, George's part in this went from basic incompetence into the realm of extreme creepiness. Sophia finally made a good decision by immediately hanging up the phone and not taking George up on his personal service offer.

Instead, she went and found a lawyer who sounded like Dudley Do-Right and made a video explaining her situation...and inciting even more populist rage against the evil that is Best Buy "customer service."

When local news station WTOP alerted Best Buy to the this story, public relations director Paula Baldwin issued a statement apologizing for the incident and announcing that George has been fired for "making a personal transaction with a customer while on duty at the store" (because firing someone for incompetence at Best Buy would set for too high of a precedent).

As of the writing of this article, Sophia has still not received the pictures/video from her old phone. She has also hopefully learned (and helped make others aware) that one should be very wary when they trust their technology with The Geek Squad.

And make sure you're not alone in a room with them when they inevitably ask to "reformat your hard drive."

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