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