Best Buy’s latest service offering: “Peep Squad.”

Looks like Best Buy should be changing the name of their “Geek Squad” service to “Peep Squad” after one of their techs was caught being naughty*:

According to the suit, Chi came to the family’s home last month for a scheduled computer service appointment. After starting to work, he asked to use the bathroom and was shown to one shared by Vasquez and her 13-year-old sister, Kelly Rocha, the lawsuit said.

Vasquez later showered in the same bathroom. When she stepped out of the stall, she noticed a cellphone propped up on her cluttered sink, the suit said. The phone was covered in a leather case; a small camera with a red, blinking light was sticking out, she said.

Suspicious, Vasquez left the bathroom to tell her sister Kelly and when she returned, the phone was gone. Kelly then found the phone in her bedroom. Believing the phone was programmed to record her as well, she removed its memory chip and she and Vasquez took it to a Verizon store to see what was on it.

“You could see him on the video setting it up,” Vasquez said. “I was shocked.”

You do have to wonder about the intelligence level of someone who tries to pull a stunt like this. He didn’t think that a cellphone with a red blinking light sitting right out in the open wouldn’t attract attention?

The family is suing Best Buy, though it’s hard to imagine how the company is at fault in this situation, meanwhile Chi has been arrested and charged with being criminally stupid.

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12 thoughts on “Best Buy’s latest service offering: “Peep Squad.”

  1. The family is suing Best Buy, though it’s hard to imagine how the company is at fault in this situation

    Not sure about the law in US, but in Britain an employer can be found liable for acts of the employee while on company business.  If a delivery lorry is causes an accident, then it is the company, not the driver who is liable.  The employer can then deal with the employee. Not sure about this one though, as this is a straight illegal act outside the company remit (as opposed to a RTA which is a hazard of driving).

  2. As for stupidity, I’d say the guy either got away with it before or “knew someone who knew someone” that got away with it and decided to try it on his own.

    And, a 13 yr old? Ew.

  3. Worst I was aware of when I was working there was a child being crushed by the “Big Joe” mobile platform thing.

  4. My Great great grandfather was crushed to death when a crane dropped a crate on the Rothschilds estate (yes, those Rothschilds- international bankers, producers of Chateau Neuf du Pape etc). My Great Great Grandmother bought a cottage from the money thhey gave her.

  5. I’m not sure how the geek job is structured.  I suspect that Best Buy attempts to treat them as independent contractors rather than employees to make it harder to impose liability via respondeat superior.

    That said, criminal misconduct is never within the scope of employment.  Most generally, to impose liability on an employer for criminal misconduct of an employee, the employer must know or have reason to know that such conduct is likely from that employee.

  6. Are they owned by Best Buy?  Hard to tell the way they advertise, and I’ve seen stand alone Geek Squad shops. 

    Consi:  Or they’d have to show the employer should have been reasonably able to prevent(or reduce the chance of) the activity(from any employee).  Meaning that Geek Squad should have some set of guidelines for employee behavior on customer premises.  If the guy had a clean record, I wonder if the suit would go through.  If there was no clear company policy on recording customers in the shower, it’d likely go through.  Seems to be the way lawsuits end with incidents like this, where the company isn’t directly at fault, but never specifically condemned the activity in its policies.

    Glancing through Geek Squad’s site, it looks like they’re playing on the whole “uniform = knowledge & power” mindset to sell pc tech service.

  7. Ragman,

    It is not Or.  It is And.  What you mention is typically the third prong of the analysis-proximate cause.  That is where the issue of control comes into play.

    It’s a standard negligence case in which the plaintiff has to show: 1) Duty; 2) Breach; 3) Proximate cause; and 4) Damages.

  8. Does anyone else think this sounds a bit fishy?  Who takes a shower when a technician comes to the house?  Personally, i watch the guy (both to learn what to do, and to make sure my things don’t disappear).  And it doesn’t seem likely that a thirteen year old would have the presence of mind to suggest removing the chip to check the memory (why not just view it on the phone?).  They had the time to go to a verizon store (leaving the tech guy at the place alone) get the memory checked, then have the cops called, and the guy arrested, all while he was still at the house?  After he aparently learned that his phone memory chip was missing?  Then, they don’t inform Best Buy, and instead run for a lawyer to sue the company for punitive damages?

    Hmm…i don’t know.  Could be legit, but i smell fraud here…

  9. Does anyone else think this sounds a bit fishy? 

    Depends on how far away the Verizon store was, or what the tech had to do to the computer.  The mom stayed with the tech while the sisters went to the store.  Thirteen year olds are tech savvy these days, besides, I’d bet she didn’t want the tech walking in while she was browsing his phone.  If the tech ran, that would just serve to damn him even more. 

    As far as suing BB, they’re the one with the cash, not the tech, and they may get something out of BB even if they don’t have much of a case.  BB has to deal with the pr over it, even if there’s no lawsuit, so they might throw a bone to get them to not say anything.

  10. they may get something out of BB even if they don’t have much of a case

    I vote either premeditated scam or scam on the run.

  11. As a former Geek Squad Double Agent, fancy name for their field tech,  I just thought I would answer some of the questions that were posted. I was a field tech for three years and you would not believe what you see when you are in peoples homes. I have had people get absolutly drunk or high while I am there for a few hours. I have seen mothers and fathers beat their childen, one locked a 6 yr old in a closet. They try to leave you alone in the house , or the best one yet I was left alone with 3 kids while the mom drove the dad to work and I didn’t know about it. The 10 yr old had mental issues and was torturing the 4 yr old behind a locked bedroom door. The 13 yr old was busy playing video games and he was babysitting the other 2. I called out for the mom and the older son screamed up she left with the dad and I told him that his brother was making the little guy cry and he didn’t move from his game he said don’t worry about it. I banged on the door until the 10 yr old boy opened the door and i got the little one out who was crying and in the fetal potsion on the floor. I locked myself and the 4 yr old in the room that i was working on the pc and waited for the mom to come home. I have had people get undress and redressed in front of me. people go the the bathroom a room over and leave the door open .  people are crazy !!!! So to have people taking showers while we are in the house isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The Geek Squad and Best buy are a partnership but we are Best Buy employees , we are not outsourced. They do a back ground check and a drug test just like any other job plus you need a clean licence. Now they don’t pay much so you get what you get. the reason i stayed so long is I love the job but The increase cost of living forced me to look elsewhere.

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