A Question Of Responsibility

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Here is a very instructive story concerning a Best Buy customer that was posted on MSNBC.

The woman filing the $54 million suit against Best Buy seems to have a legitimate argument against the chain. I agree with the customer that Best Buy should have treated her better. Being given the runaround is a terrible way to do business, and she certainly should be compensated, and for more then the original $2,100 settlement offer the customer requested.

With that said, Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba should make this case their poster child for selling their external storage products.

This is because while making her case against Best Buy, what she really did was prove her own culpability. By saying she lost all her personal and financial data on the laptop when Best Buy misplaced it, thus leaving herself open to identity theft, she proved her own irresponsibility.

While I hate to blame the victim, her actions that led to this loss make this case almost as frivolous as the one concerning the person who won millions from McDonalds for serving her hot coffee and then blaming the restaurant when she spilled it on her own lap.

In the Best Buy case the woman said she traveled the world with all her personal info stored on the laptop. I suppose she did so simply because she could. Prior to the digitization of personal data, it was physically impossible to wander about the world with your tax returns, banking records and thousands of photos and CDs on your person. But just because you can does not mean you should.

What makes this woman, again to me, even more responsible for creating this situation is how simple it is to back up your data so it can be kept in a safe location. You lock your front door when you leave your house, you lock you car at the mall and you leave your important data at home. Today, anyone capable of operating a laptop should understand the danger of storing vital records on a device that leaves their home, as well, as the value of having an external hard drive or burning the data to CD or DVD.

I do hope this customer gets some compensation for her lost property and that the case leads to better customer service at Best Buy, but it should also be a warning to the general public to be aware of where they store their data.


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