10/20/07 Reactions to Mr. Delissio's Responses

(Best Buy Tenleytown-DC General Manager Robert Delissio's 10/19/07 email responses are posted below.)

Given that Best Buy General Manager Mr. Delissio has never once contacted me to seek resolution of the situation, I find his response both disingenuous and insulting to me and my friends and family who wrote to him with knowledge of the background.

  • Mr. Delissio's statement that he "can not [sic] discuss the situation with OTHER customers" implies that he has he has attempted to discuss the situation with me. This is most certainly NOT the case.
  • Mr. Delissio's assertion that "any customer that has had an unsatisfactory experience in my store [sic] I have done what I could within reason to rectify" belies the fact that he has never once made any effort to communicate with me about this situation, provided any compensation, or confirmed that any investigation has been conducted into the theft of the computer. As a reminder, it is a situation that resulted from Mr. Delissio's failure to implement adequate measures to prevent the theft of my computer from his store, failure to disclose the fact that his store had lost the computer in a timely manner (and thus further exposing me to identity theft and other potential problems), and failure to offer fair compensation after learning of the situation. Apparently a phone call to me or any response to the letters I sent and visits that I made to his store to resolve the situation is not "within reason?"
  • He notes, "Some customers I have found can not [sic] be satisfied." I take this to mean that he sees me as an unrealistic and unsatisfiable customer. Apparently, disappointment that I did not receive a response to inquiries about the theft of my computer at his store makes me a raging lunatic. I am incredulous that he would infer as much to MY FRIENDS.
  • Mr. Delissio's insults do not stop there. His allegation that "Customers have, on occasion [sic] demanded unrealistic compensation." is no doubt true, but it implies that he considers my request for compensation within that category. For the record, my first "unrealistic" request (via 8/25/07 letter to his store) was for confirmation that an investigation into the theft had been conducted and compensation for the original purchase price of the computer package ($1110.35), plus $1000 to help offset the cost of music, pictures, software, and other contents lost when the computer was stolen from his store. On my October 7 visit to the store, my "unrealistic" response to Assistant Manager Delunte Lewis' question about "desired compensation" was that I would settle for a $2500, if I received a check (not gift card) that week, because I needed a replacement laptop ASAP. I did not specify a compensation amount in my October 10 email to Mr. Delissio, but outlined for him the scope of the losses I was faced with. When asked by the DC Attorney General's Office, I said that I would settle for $5000, which was the minimum amount I felt confident I could receive if I opted for quick resolution through small claims court. These figures fall thousands of dollars short of the actual value of damages for expenses and time that I have incurred or will have to incur to resolve this issue. However, even these amounts, in the mind of Mr. Delissio, were "unrealistic", despite the fact that I was faced with these losses as a direct result of his store's negligence. I find his refusal to provide compensation at these modest levels particularly disturbing, given that I suspect his store probably has an insurance policy that would have covered the value of property stolen from his store.
  • Mr. Delissio claims, "I understand the importance of customer service and have brought that point of view to the store." Apparently, he has forgotten the golden rule of customer service: The customer is always right. I would think this would particularly be true in the case of a customer who became a victim of theft at his store and was put at risk of identity theft because of that store's negligence and failure to disclose the theft to them in a timely manner. No?
  • Most disturbing and insulting, however, are Mr. Delissio's statements that, "I will address each situation and give it the attention it requires" and "we strive to deliver the experience that every customer deserves to receive." Apparently, Mr. Delissio feels that I got the attention required and experience that I deserved?!? Moreover, a criminal act against one of his customers merits no attention in Mr. Delissio's experienced opinion, if my experience is any indication.
  • Mr. Delissio closes with, "I do hope that you will allow the Tenley Town store the opportunity to continue to provide you with the service you should expect from any retailer. If by chance you come to the store and do not receive this service I would hope you would seek me out and bring that to my attention." I would like to think that the average consumer would expect a much higher level of service from "any retailer", including Best Buy Tenleytown DC. He asks my friends to bring substandard service to his attention. I have to question the purpose of such: so he can ignore and insult them, as he has me?

10/19/07 Response from Best Buy Tenleytown DC General Manager Robert Delissio to Friend's Support Email - II

From: "Delissio, Robert"
To: [deleted]
Subject: RE: Raelyn's B-day Wishes: Best Buy/Bad Buy Boycott
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 19:52:07 -0500
>Mr. [deleted]
>Good evening. I am the new General Manager of the Best Buy in Tenley Town. I wanted to respond to your communication. Although I can not respond to the comments made by Ms. Campbell, I will say that for every customer that has had an unpleasant experience I can show you hundreds who have had a great experience. I have been in retail for a long time and the one conclusion I have come to is that not every customer can be satisfied. Does my store have opportunities? Absolutely! What I can say is that we strive to deliver the experience that every customer deserves to receive. When I receive negative feedback, I do my best to rectify the situation. I do hope that you continue to shop the store. If by chance you do not receive the service and experience you feel you deserve, then please seek me out so I can address the issues. Thank you for your feedback
>Robert Delissio
>GM- Store 801 Tenley Town

10/19/07 Response from Best Buy Tenleytown DC General Manager Robert Delissio to Friend's Support Email - I

> Subject: RE: Raelyn's B-day Wishes: Best Buy/Bad Buy Boycott>
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 18:18:37 -0500>
From: Robert.Delissio@bestbuy.com>
To: [omitted]

> Mr. [omitted],

> Good evening. I am the new General Manager for the Best Buy in Washington, D.C. Although I can not discuss the situation with other customers I will say that any customer that has had an unsatisfactory experience in my store I have done what I could within reason to rectify. Customers have, on occasion demanded unrealistic compensation. For one customer who may have an unpleasant experience I can give you hundreds who love the service and experience we provide. I understand the importance of customer service and have brought that point of view to the store. Does the store have opportunities? Absolutely! But I will address each situation and give it the attention it requires. Some customers I have found can not be satisfied. I do hope that you will allow the Tenley Town store the opportunity to continue to provide you with the service you should expect from any retailer. If by chance you come to the store and do not receive this service I would hope you would seek me out and bring that to my attention. I want to thank you for your time.

> Thanks
> Robert Delissio
> GM- Store 801 Tenley Town

10/19/07 "Best Buy/Bad Buy Boycott" Email Appeal to Family and Friends

To: Friends and Family (select group)
CC: Robert.delissio@bestbuy.com (General Manager, Best Buy Tenleytown-DC Store), Michael.french@bestbuy.com (Customer Service, Computer Department, Best Buy Tenleytown-DC Store), onlinestore@bestbuy.com

Howdy, folks!

Yes, I do realize that birthday wishes are supposed to go the other direction, but for my birthday this year I'm sending one to you. Specifically, I want to ask you to take 2 minutes to help make a point by doing the following 2 things:

1) Hit "Reply All" to this message, and send me and my good friends at Best Buy a list of any electronics, appliances, or other purchases you are considering buying in the next year or so.

2) BCC your message to any friends or family members you think might want to factor my recent experience with Best Buy into future purchasing decisions.

I am hoping that your friends will then follow your lead in sending a note to me and Best Buy management, with a BCC to their friends, etc.

I'll admit that it's a bit of an odd request from a birthday gal. However, I'm hoping my experience and appeal might convince you to add your voice to mine and reconsider patronizing Best Buy in the future.

The short story is as follows:

-In late May, I dropped off a one-year-old, malfunctioning laptop at the Best Buy-Tenleytown DC store for repair under a $300 service contract that I'd purchased with the laptop.
-I have since learned that the laptop was stolen by a Best Buy Tenleytown-DC employee or customer shortly thereafter -- Best Buy's records indicate that the laptop was never shipped out of the store.
-Despite this, Best Buy Tenleytown-DC employees and Best Buy/Geeksquad "customer service" reps responded to successive weeks of follow-up inquiries with false claims that the (non-existent) computer was "about to ship," "waiting for a part", etc.
-It took 6 weeks of calls and requests to elevate the claim to management before Best Buy disclosed the "absence" of the computer and offered compensation for the laptop and its contents.
-I ultimately turned down the offer after it was revealed to me that the total compensation being proposed ($900) was a gift card in an amount considerably less than the purchase price of the original laptop package -- let alone what it would actually cost me to replace the laptop package and its contents.
-2 letters and a visit to Best Buy Tenleytown-DC store requesting confirmation of what had been done to investigate the theft of the computer and fair compensation have yielded no response from Best Buy Tenleytown-DC's management
-A complaint to Best Buy HQ has similarly fallen on deaf ears.

Had Best Buy failed to repair the computer under the terms of the service contract, that would be one thing. Were it the act of a single employee rather than an organization-wide practice of disrespecting its customers, I might be able to let it pass. However, I find myself incredulous that a store that allowed a customer's computer to be stolen from its premises and a major U.S. company such as Best Buy would opt against taking responsibility for its actions in favor of systematically trying to cover up the theft for months, insulting that customer with a low-ball offer of compensation, and refusing to even respond to requests for an investigation and fair compensation.

Apparently, Best Buy -- both at the individual employee, local store, and corporate level -- thinks this is an acceptable way to treat its customers. I don't, and I suspect few do.

I am now working with DCPD and the U.S. attorney's office on criminal charges related to the theft. I have also filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and other authorities, and am consulting with attorneys on filing a civil suit seeking compensation for costs and time expended, and punitive [sic - should be other; punitive damages are a separate issue] damages for the extra costs incurred and time and money that I have/will have to expend as a result of Best Buy unnecessarily prolonging this process with their negligence, deception, and delay tactics.

I'll be reaching out to the media, bloggers, and other public fora next.

At the very least, I hope that by sharing my story, I can spare you and others you know the grief that I have endured as a (former!) Best Buy customer. As icing on my birthday cake today, I'd welcome your support in demonstrating to Best Buy that they will lose more than just my "insignificant" business in the years ahead -- and that a single customer's opinion and experience should count.

Many thanks,


10/10/07 Email to Best Buy Tenleytown DC General Manager Robert Delissio

From: Raelyn Campbell
Date: Oct 10, 2007 11:57 AM
Subject: Legal action regarding the theft of my computer from Best Buy Tenleytown Store #801
To: Robert.delissio@bestbuy.com
Cc: chris.arnold@bestbuy.com, delunte.lewis@bestbuy.com, Michael.french@bestbuy.com

Dear Mr. Delissio:

I am writing to follow up on a visit that I made to your store on Sunday, October 7, 2007 regarding a letter sent via certified mail on August 25, 2007 to the attention of Mr. Michael French, who had been referred to me previously as the manager of "Customer Service" for the computer department at your store.

The letter was signed for as delivered on August 28, 2007, but apparently has not merited a response from Mr. French or any other member of Best Buy's "Customer Service" team since its delivery nearly 6 weeks ago. As such, I confirmed that you are the general manager responsible for what goes on the Tenleytown DC Best Buy store, and left a copy of the letter with Mr. Delunte Lewis on Sunday. I also advised him that I would be retaining counsel and pursuing legal action if I had not heard from you by COB October 9, 2007.

As you may be aware, the letter detailed my then 3-month ordeal tracking down a laptop computer that I had entrusted to your store for repair in late May. Despite months of empty assurances from Best Buy/Geeksquad "Customer Service" team members that repairs were underway, all indications are that the computer never left your store, and I am left to conclude that the computer was stolen either as the direct result of a criminal act on the part of one of your employees or as the result of gross negligence that allowed a non-employee to walk out of your store with my computer in the absence of adequate supervisory and/or security measures. Moreover, all indications are that, despite sustained efforts on my part that should have brought the "disappearance" of the computer to light, flagged the need for an investigation, and resulted in action to track down and/or replace the missing computer in early July and/or at several points in time thereafter, the Best Buy/Geeksquad "Customer Service" Team opted to mislead, lie to, and ignore me rather than investigate and/or come clean with me about the reality of the situation until I elevated things to the managerial level in mid-August.

As I confirmed to Mr. Lewis on Sunday, Best Buy Consumer Relations offered at that point (August 10) to send a gift card to compensate me for my losses, after they verified with you personally that the computer could not be found in your store. When the promised gift card was not received by August 25, I mailed the letter to Mr. French. On August 26, "Wendy", a purported manager at Best Buy Consumer Relations, left a voicemail on my phone to the effect that the gift card (which she confirmed included for $750 for computer replacement and $150 in compensation for lost music, pictures, etc.) had not been mailed yet, allegedly because she "needed to confirm a mailing address." This claim was made despite the fact that most of the other Best Buy/Geeksquad "Customer Service" agents that I had spoken to up until that point had confirmed that they had the correct mailing address in their records at the conclusion of their calls, and despite the fact that my address was readily available to her (or anyone who has the service order #) through the Best Buy/Geeksquad website. The message was insulting at best.

On August 31, I left a message for Wendy explaining that I found it extremely difficult to believe that she did not have my address, was shocked that she thought nothing of calling me a full 2 weeks after the card had been promised claiming "lack of address" as the reason it had not been sent, and informed her that the proposed amount ($900) was inadequate to cover even the direct costs of replacing the computer and service plan, let alone its contents and other expenses. I informed her that I had no interest in the gift card (as I have no desire to shop at and/or experience the frustration of "customer service" at Best Buy ever again) and that I had mailed a letter to your store to request resolution of the matter. I heard nothing further from Wendy.

And I have never received even the courtesy of a response from you or your store. Despite 6 weeks to ponder a course of responsible action since I mailed Mr. French, it appears that neither you nor your store has any sense of obligation for the inconvenience as well as financial loss and other burdens your actions and inactions have brought on me.

Simply put, I wanted one thing: My repaired computer and its contents returned to me. In the absence of that, I had hoped you would do the responsible thing and provide me with fair compensation and a proper investigation into the circumstances that resulted in the theft of my computer at your store and, consequently, considerable time, expense, and effort on my part to try to resolve this issue – much of which would not have been necessary had Best Buy and its esteemed "Customer Service" team acted responsibly anywhere along the way. Instead, Best Buy failed to act in a timely manner and has made no indication to date that it intends to provide fair compensation for the consequences of its actions and inactions.

My "Performance Service Plan" claims that Best Buy will "try to complete service as quickly as possible, [but] we are not responsible for delays caused by factors beyond our control." Shouldn't that imply a commitment to timely service in situations when it is within Best Buy's control? Apparently not, if my experience is any indication.

As such, I will be taking the following course of action:

1) Advising the Better Business Bureau and any business and consumer advocacy groups that may take interest in this experience.
2) Requesting that DC authorities launch a criminal investigation into the theft of my computer at your store.
3) Retaining counsel to pursue full financial compensation for:
a. The full price of replacement of the stolen computer with a comparable substitute and costs related to replacing (including travel time and expenses related to shopping for the replacement). Incidentally, the $749 proposed by Best Buy does not even account for the tax amount on the original purchase price, and fails to take into account current market price realities for a similarly sized and equipped computer.
b. Reimbursement of $300 for the Best Buy "service" plan, which, when utilized, resulted in the theft of my computer when it was under the direct care of Best Buy, and is completely useless to me now without said computer.
c. The purchase cost of the 100s of movies, music albums, and songs that were lost with the computer, as well as the significant amount of time and related expenses for relocating and reloading them onto a new computer.
d. The value of 4 years of digital and scanned photos lost with the computer, including 100s of family, friends, home renovation before-and-after pictures, and experiences that are irreplaceable and 1000s that will take hours to relocate, reload, and reorganize into albums, as well as the time and expenses related to restoration of my albums.
e. The significant number of hours I have spent calling and writing Best Buy, and commuting back and forth to your store and waiting to talk to an appropriate person in an effort to locate, in the first instance, and then receive compensation for my stolen computer, and all related expenses.
f. All legal, court, and other fees related to resolving this matter.
g. Any other compensation I can legally claim for the costs, inconvenience, and hardships that I have endured as a result of Best Buy's negligence and failure to take responsibility for the consequences of that negligence in a timely manner, particularly those that resulted unnecessarily because of Best Buy's failure to address the issue when it was first brought to light in early July, not the least of which include expenses and pain related to transportation of a borrowed laptop back and forth to my office for several weeks in August and September despite a shoulder injury that required the immobilization of my arm.

I am disappointed that you and Best Buy seem to think nothing of the time, experiences, and perspectives of your customers. I assure you I will not be counted among them in the future, and I will do all I can to persuade others that they should factor the nature of Best Buy-style "Customer Service" into future purchasing decisions.

Perhaps mine is but one voice, but I will use it to the best of my ability to try to convince you to think twice about turning a deaf ear on such voices in the future -- and perhaps treat the next customer and their property with less disinterest and disrespect than you have shown me and mine.

Disgustedly yours,

Raelyn Campbell