I bought a computer at a Future Shop in the summer of 2010, but because we’ve always called the Geek Squad to help us with our computer problems, I figured we’d keep calling them if ever we needed them.
In January 2011, I started having some problems with my computer. It wouldn’t even turn on/off make any noise, nothing. Brought it to the trusty geeks at Best Buy, was charged almost 250$, but in the end got a brand new hard drive… or so I thought.
Fast forward 6 months later. It’s a warm June day and I’m finishing off some work for one of my summer classes and suddenly I get this message pop up on my screen that my computer’s memory is almost at full capacity and I won’t be able to save my file. Finding this incredibly weird (as I have maybe 100 songs, and about 25 word documents) I went to check the My Computer folder. The blue bar that normally shows you how much memory you have left is bright red and is about 1 mm away from the end of the bar. Thinking that this HAS TO be some sort of computer problem, I search around to see if maybe someone had downloaded a program onto my computer without my knowledge and that’s what was taking up all the memory space.
Holy shit was I far from that. Like Montreal to Sydney, Australia kind of far. In the “users” folders, I discovered a folder which had a weird name, a female human name, one which I had never heard before. I was scared it was some kind of porn folder my brother may have been working on, but it was worse. When I clicked on this icon, it was like I was on a completely different computer. A separate “Documents” folder, “Music” folder, and “Favorites” folder. When I clicked on some of the documents I found personal pictures and videos of a family that I had never met in my entire life. Some pictures from a beach somewhere, a chalet somewhere, and a wedding. There were even videos of this family’s young daughters singing and dancing on their webcam, which also let me get a good glimpse into their home and bedrooms. In one word document, one of the girls had described her family for some sort of school project and I saw everyone’s names and what the parents did to earn a living. I
can’t even describe to you how I felt. I showed this to my parents, my brother, and my brother in law who is a computer programmer. He didn’t even believe me when I told him this happened, but we both came to the same conclusion: Best Buy had charged me 250$+ for a used hard drive which wasn’t even wiped clean.
When I showed up to Best Buy to explain what the situation was, the Geek’s manager laughed and said “there’s nothing to worry about here. What happens is that when people come in to fix their computers, we upload all their files to our servers. Then, once the computer is fixed, we upload the files back onto it and voila, fixed computer. This is a simple mistake of mixing up 2 hard drives and uploading the wrong information.” When we told him we’d go see the family (whom we tracked down because of the business the man of the house had, info we found out thanks to the little girl’s school project) the manager said “Oh that won’t be necessary, we’ll call them ourselves.” Then he offered to do a quick diagnostic of the computer. No 250$ refund, no hard drive replacement. He then told us our Windows wasn’t doing too great and we’d have to pay 100$ to have it re-downloaded. Um, no thanks. I grabbed my tower and left.
I went to get a second opinion at a local computer repair store which brings back to life old towers so that the hardware may be more affordable for others. The repairman there opened up the tower and just looked at me. The hard drive that Best Buy installed was a 250-something type when it should’ve been a 500, and it was a hard drive from 2006, which is clearly printed on the hardware. So not only did I pay for an old piece of crap, but it was full of personal info from some family. Wonderful.
Moral of the story? Dear God, do not bring your computers to get fixed at Best Buy because you don’t know who will one day find your personal files on their computer. Best Buy customers beware!!!!