11-04-2008 10:41 AM - edited 11-04-2008 11:13 AM
I sent this email out to the privacy manager email at BestBuy, but I am very concerned that my problem will not be addressed in time. I am exchanging a defective computer this evening, as I need a unit for my business. My concern is this: I am unable to remove my personal and financial data from the computer I purchased at BestBuy, due to problems with a defective computer, less than 24 hours after I purchased it. I know that it is "policy" for BestBuy to reformat returned computers, but I also see on the website this:
"Note regarding personal data on returned or exchanged products
Please remove all personal data (e.g. computer or wireless phone data, videotapes) from any returned or exchanged products. Best Buy is not responsible for any personal data left on or in a returned or exchanged product."
I have a unique case. I bought the Acer AX3200 desktop Sunday evening. In less than 24 hours, the computer was dead. I have spoken to various BestBuy employees about the crash (and I took photos), and they say either the hard drive is dead or cables are lose. Because the computer is sealed under warranty, I cannot open the computer case and determine for myself what the problem is, nor can I resolve it. I have been unable to reformat the drive myself, due to these serious computer problems. So I am going to return the computer (this evening) and exchange it for another model. The BestBuy employees have assured me that they do reformat the hard drive and wipe it clean, and therefore my very sensitive data will be erased. HOWEVER, I want to be absolutely assured of this. I am unable to do it myself.
When I spoke on the main phone (1-888-BestBuy number) I spoke with a BestBuy employee, named Elizabeth. I told her of my concerns. She said I could wait at the store while the techinician wiped out the hard drive. When I called my local store (in New Hartford, NY) to see how long this would take, the young man named Ralph said it would take about 24 hours! I don't think I can sit around and wait 24 hours for the job to be done.
My problem is unique in that this computer failed through no fault of my own, and I am unable to erase my data through no fault of my own. Yet if, for some odd reason, my data is not erased by BestBuy or is not completely erased by BestBuy, I am liable. I find this abhorring.
So I am asking for written reassurance that:
1) all my personal data WILL BE erased
2) I am not liable if my data is stolen from this computer
3) BestBuy is liable if my data is stolen from this computer
These problems that have occurred are not any fault of mine. I bought this computer in good faith from BestBuy and now I find myself in a mess. I have very sensitive business financial information on this hard drive and I need to be absolutely sure that it is erased thoroughly.
Does anyone have any advice, or is there a BestBuy supervisor who can help me get some reassurance about this? I'm stuck in a conundrum. Thanks.
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11-04-2008 12:18 PM
11-04-2008 02:34 PM
All 3 questions are best suited for an attorney rather than strangers on the internet.
But I'm curious, how would you be liable for your data being left on the drive? Is the data damaging to someone else? I'd think the only concern would be keeping my personal data out of others hands.
11-04-2008 06:16 PM
11-05-2008 12:18 PM
11-05-2008 01:25 PM
Hello John and thanks for your input. I sent you a PM with the information you requested.
I would like to respond to your reply, particularly the statement you made:
If the drive is defective and cannot be accessed, our Geek Squad® Agents will not be able to affect any change to the data on the hard drive. Defective computers are not resold by Best Buy®; they are returned to the manufacturer and the defective components would be subject to their policies and procedures.
If this is the case, then I would prefer to have the hard drive in question. It is not my fault that the drive is defective; it is reasonable to assume that a buyer of a computer would actually put personal information on the computer-- that's what computers do and are for. This policy, whether it be BestBuy's or the manufacturer's, is burdening me with a tremendous amount of responsibility but very little control over my own property. It is unjust for me to be dragged through all thiswhen I did nothing wrong but instead paid for the machine, picked it up myself, took it back, and have gone through the hassle that defective products bring. I have given my own time, labor, and concern for a machine that I paid full price for. If I am going to be forced to be responsible for the machine, I'd like to have some rights that I may do my duty as a responsible owner.
So if such is the case, I would like to have the hard drive given to me. Then I can ensure that my personal information is removed (with a hammer), and everyone is happy.
11-05-2008 02:55 PM