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Best Buy & Microsoft Named In Scam Lawsuit

Best Buy & Microsoft Named In Scam Lawsuit

by , 10:00 AM EDT, May 8th, 2003

OK, tell us if you've heard this one: A priest, a cowboy, and an "escort" walk into Best Buy to purchase a DVD...

Would you believe a boy scout, a bum, and two parrots walk into Best Buy looking for a vacuum cleaner?

How about a guy who just wanted to buy stuff and wound up paying for several months of the MSNBC service without knowing it, would you buy that? Well, a Reuters News reports says that Samuel Kim did just that, got snookered into paying for MSNBC without his knowledge, and he had to resort to suing Microsoft and Best Buy just to get them to stop and give him his money back. From the article titled Microsoft, Best Buy accused of scam:

Plaintiff Samuel Kim said he unwittingly became a victim in February after making a purchase at a Best Buy store in Los Angeles with his debit card.

At checkout, a store employee scanned Kim's debit card and, without any explanation to him, scanned a trial MSN compact disc and placed it in his shopping bag, the lawsuit said.

When Kim asked why the compact disc had been scanned, the employee allegedly said it was to keep track of inventory.

But Best Buy apparently sent Kim's debit card information to Microsoft, which activated an MSN service account in his name without telling him, the lawsuit said.

Kim did not use the compact disc but discovered after receiving his bank statement that Microsoft had deducted a monthly service charge from his account, the suit said. He has not been unable to get a full refund from either company, his attorney Anthony Lee of San Francisco told Reuters.

The lawsuit asks a judge to stop the alleged scam and demands a refund for affected Best Buy customers.

Read the full article at Reuter's News.

The Mac Observer Spin:

This ought to make you wonder what sort of information is being collected by stores like Best Buy, and who they are sending it to. It's very possible that this was an isolated incident involving an employee trying to make some extra cash by collecting spiffs from sales to unsuspecting customers, but it's a crying shame nonetheless.

What's surprising is that they, Best Buy and Microsoft, passed up an opportunity to keep this quiet by just giving Mr. Kim his money back. One would hope that the Feds or State officials are looking at this and wondering how many others have been scammed the same way. Of course, that's wishful thinking, but at least Mr. Kim is not taking it lying down. For that we give Mr. Kim a hardy TMO Salute.

Now, aren't you glad Best Buy no longer sells Macs?

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