Leaving a phone unattended among friends can mean opening yourself up to being messed with in the form of ridiculous status updates, tweets or texts. Still, one would think that leaving a phone in the hands of a Best Buy employee would safeguard a person from such pranks, but not so, says Colorado customer Rich Dewberry.
ABC7 News Denver is reporting that Dewberry dropped his phone off at Best Buy for a repair and that, when it couldn't be fixed, he was given a new one. But at some point in the transition from the old phone -- which was logged in to Facebook -- and the new one, a status update had been posted to Dewberry's account that said, "I am gay, Im coming out."
"The phone just started ringing constantly after that, from ex-spouse to friends," Dewberry told the Denver news station, adding that he has subsequently had to tell people he hasn't seen in years that he is not in fact gay.
"I feel I've been humiliated, you know, I mean, my reputation has been tarnished," he said.
Dewberry told ABC7 News that Best Buy assured him that the employee had since been fired, but he's still considering taking legal action against the retailer. Best Buy issued the following statement to ABC7 News in response to the incident:
"Each year, every employee of Best Buy is asked to review and sign our Code of Ethics, which includes details on how they are expected to handle customer information."
The Consumerist had an additional suggestion for the retailer: "Maybe it's time to beef up that section on how not to invade customer privacy and wreak social networking havoc."
Earlier this year, Forbes contributor Larry Downes went so far as to predict that Best Buy would eventually go out of business, mainly as a result of its poor customer service.
"Walk into one of the company’s retail locations or shop online. And try, really try, not to lose your temper," Downes wrote. "Their 'people' are not knowledgeable; they are annoying."