I am filing a lawsuit against Best Buy in the amount of $54,592,146.54, including compensatory, treble, and punitive damages. Six months of efforts to resolve issues with Best Buy both on my own -- and with the assistance of the DC Police Department, DC Attorney General’s Office, other authorities, and friends -- have been unsuccessful. The background is as follows:
- Around May 25, I entrusted a malfunctioning, 1-year-old laptop to the Best Buy-Tenleytown DC store for repair under a service plan that I had purchased with the computer.
- Records indicate that the laptop was never shipped, i.e., it was stolen from the store shortly after receipt, quite likely by a store employee.
- Despite this, after a follow-up visit on July 1, a store employee apparently falsified records, creating the appearance that the missing computer had been processed for service.
- In response to subsequent follow-up calls, “Customer Service” agents then repeatedly lied to me about the repair status of the phantom computer.
- Only after elevating my inquiries to management on August 9 was the theft disclosed.
- Best Buy “Customer Service” then proposed compensation in the amount of $750 for the stolen computer and $150 for the contents lost with the computer. As this amount failed to cover the price of the originally purchased computer package ($1100.35), let alone the actual cost of a comparable replacement computer or the value of the contents lost and other expenses, I confirmed that I considered the offer inadequate and that I found a gift card that would force me to continue to patronize Best Buy unacceptable.
- After compensation failed to materialize for 2 weeks, I wrote on August 24 to Best Buy Tenleytown-DC management to request confirmation of what type of investigation had been conducted into the computer’s theft from the store and modest compensation ($2110.35) to offset expenses related to the loss and replacement of the computer. This and subsequent inquiries were ignored by the store and by Best Buy “Customer Service.”
- I then filed a criminal complaint with the DC Police Department, and requested assistance from the Attorney General’s Office and others regarding financial compensation.
- Best Buy “Customer Service” responded to the AG’s Office with another lowball offer ($1100.35 and a $500 gift card). I turned it down, given that the amount is grossly inadequate to cover even one-sixth of the direct expenses, let alone other expenses related to the loss and replacement of my computer and its contents.
I believe Best Buy is liable not only for expenses resulting from its negligence in preventing and disclosing the theft of my computer, but also for the resulting costs and concerns of safeguarding myself against identity theft that I must bear for years to come as a result of Best Buy’s negligence in fulfilling its legal and moral obligation to safeguard the personal information contained on that computer. I am thus requesting compensatory damages to address this.
I am also requesting treble damages as compensation for the considerable time, expense, inconvenience, stress and emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other hardships that I have had to endure as a result of Best Buy’s negligence, deception, indifference, delay tactics, lowball offers, and insults over the past six months.
Finally, I am asking that the court consider Best Buy’s pattern of behavior and award punitive damages in an amount that it deems adequate to motivate Best Buy to immediately reassess its ways and revise policies and procedures to more effectively safeguard future customers’ property and personal information against theft and to give priority to minimizing a customer’s chances of exposure to identity theft.