Straight Man Says Best Buy Employee Outed Him On Facebook During Phone Servicing

We are well aware that many of our readers have had a tough time dealing with Best Buy employees. But we’re pretty sure that being outed on Facebook during the process of a phone servicing session pretty much takes the “You’re Terrible With Customers” cake.

A man in Denver tells 7 News there that he brought in a cellphone to Best Buy to get fixed. He claims he was given a new phone shortly after bringing in the faulty model, and his Facebook status subsequently read, “I am gay, I’m coming out.”

But wait a minute a gosh darn minute! He’s straight, and he says didn’t post that. He says he was logged in to Facebook when he handed over the phone he’d been having trouble with.

“The phone just started ringing constantly after that, from ex-spouse to friends,” he told 7 News. “It’s totally not a joke. It just put a bad taste in my mouth.”

He filed a complaint with the store, saying he’s been “humiliated” by the ordeal and his reputation “tarnished.” He was told the employee involved has been fired. Because of the annoyance he’s gone through of having to tell people he hasn’t seen in years that no, he’s not gay, he’s gone ahead and gotten a lawyer to explore his options against Best Buy.

Best Buy didn’t confirm or deny that the employee had been fired, but did give this statement to 7 News:

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.

Maybe it’s time to beef up that section on how not to invade customer privacy and wreak social networking havoc.

Log out of your apps before handing over your phones, everyone. You never know when a Best Buy worker — or anyone else working in customer service — will strike.

Man Returns Phone To Best Buy, Gets ‘Gay’ Facebook Update [7 News Denver]

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    “It’s totally not a joke. It just put a bad taste in my mouth.”

    Come on man! Don’t open doors like that.

    In any case, Best Buy’s evil reaches the highest peaks of it’s employees to the lowest valleys. They must have super villains doing the training over there.

    • r-nice says:

      I was going to advantage of that choice of words as well but I decided to take the high road.

    • humphrmi says:

      I was thinking that the post had to be fake, based on that remark alone.

    • atomix says:

      I stopped reading at that in Google Reader to click through and see if anyone else caught that line. I don’t know whether or not I’m glad that it was the inspiration for the first comment.

    • frodolives35 says:

      Hell if 3 shots wont kill the taste a 4th wont do any good. lol

  2. r-nice says:

    Of course he’s gotten a lawyer, that’s what we do in America!

    I wonder if the employee admitted to posting the status update.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Srsly. It’s nice and appropriate that the employee was fired, but they need to give the customer the employee’s name so that he can pursue civil and criminal charges.

      * defamation/slander
      * wire fraud
      * unlawful access
      * impersonation

    • jimbo831 says:

      While I get your point of ridiculous lawsuits, this is NOT one of this circumstances. This seems like a pretty clear case of slander or libel to me. I’m not sure whether or not he can hold Best Buy responsible, but I would rather try to sue them than the employee who surely has no money.

      • VintageLydia says:

        Only if he suffers real harm. Just having to tell everyone “No, I’m not gay” usually doesn’t cut it. If he’s being shunned by his friends and family, misses out on promotions and raises or even loses his job over this AND he can prove beyond doubt that this status update as the cause, THEN he has a case. Most lawyers won’t even look at slander/libel case, let alone take them, because even when valid, they’re hard to win.

    • Portlandia says:

      Right because a simple status update of “My phone was hacked, and of course I’m not gay” would have been too difficult. He sounds like a someone struggling with his sexuality in the closet and this came a little too close to home.

      • mbbbus says:

        Wow. Where do you get the idea the guy struggles with his sexuality? His reaction was homophobic. Yours as just silly.

        • Portlandia says:

          Because if you’re getting your panties in a bunch about something a complete stranger wrote on your Facebook wall there’s obviously some insecurity issues going on there. Then to get a lawyer on top of it? I think a normal person would shrug it off, not get overly defensive.

          • dwtomek says:

            Clearly, writing and posting a status update to clarify the situation would have made him relive the traumatic events all over again, thus furthering his damages.

    • MutantMonkey says:

      Remember that before he gets anything, 12 people have to agree he is due something. Getting 12 people to award someone money for something that they do not deserve is not exactly a easy. See if you can find any lawsuits where someone was awarded money they did not deserve and make sure when you are looking that your source gives a clear indication of the relevant facts and evidence.

      People still think the lady that split hot coffee in her lap essentially won the lottery, but if you look at the physical damage to her and the evidence that showed clear negligence on McD’s, you would likely change your mind.

      • amuro98 says:

        Many lawsuits are filed with the hopes that the company will simply settle out of court for a smaller chunk of money, rather than risk having a jury award the full amount – or more – to the plaintiff.

        I think if the guy sued for a few million, Best Buy would certainly offer to settle for 20% of that. It would be cheaper for Best Buy, after all.

    • iesika says:

      Well, yeah. Because the law is fucking complicated. It would be really nice if everything were easier, but there’s so much law, and it’s so dense and intricate that you kind of need advice from an expert to interpret the law and wade through the procedures. Most people don’t know all their rights, and don’t know how to go about securing or enforcing them.

      Like any profession, there are good lawyers and there are bad ones, but getting advice from a decent lawyer is pretty much never a bad idea. The good lawyers hate the bad ones as much as the general public do, if not more (except when they’re against them in court, of course). As a general rule, if the lawyer advertises on TV, they are not on the side of the angels.

      I’ll put it in more Consumerist friendly terms – our firm helped single mother keep her home when BoA tried to illegally foreclose on it despite two injunctions, a few months ago. If someone tries to fuck you over, get a lawyer. They have tools you may not, and they know the rules of the game.

  3. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    I am guessing he would not be so upset if most of his friends and family were not so ‘not surprised’.

  4. snazz says:

    so being called gay is humiliating and tarnishes one’s reputation?! really?!
    lets reinforce the homophobia that caused you to think this way in the first place.

    a second status update saying “a Best Buy employee played a joke on me when my phone was in for repair. I am not gay.” would solve the whole situation.

    • Hoss says:

      Get real. He was married to a woman — it’s not about preference, it’s about honesty and openness!

    • MutantMonkey says:

      Maybe the guy has family that isn’t very open to that.

      While I agree that homophobia is a negative thing, being gay is still not ubiquitously accepted. And when you are outed in a very casual way that reaches a large number of people you interact with, it can bring you a lot of attention you were not ready for which can be humiliating.

      You likely are not aware of this persons situation or why he feels this way so how about cut him some slack.

      • Liam Kinkaid says:

        I will not cut him some slack. It doesn’t matter how he was raised or how his family, friends, or acquaintances feel about homosexuality. He’s an adult and he’s responsible for his actions and the words that come out of his mouth. He, unfortunately, took the opportunity to put forward a homophobic view that being called gay is “humiliating.”

        The fact that being gay is not ubiquitously accepted doesn’t excuse poor behavior on an individual’s part. Being gay is not a choice. Being homophobic is.

        • duskglow says:

          Poor behavior? Being upset because someone posted a lie about you that could cause you, whether you like it or not, to be ostracized or worse is poor behavior? How you would like the world to work, and how it actually works, are very different. You want compassion, try showing some.

          • Liam Kinkaid says:

            No, the poor behavior I’m referring to is the guy who’s saying his reputation is tarnished by being called gay.

            The BB employee is in the wrong, unequivocally, but we’re talking about how it’s homophobic of the guy to find being called gay so abhorrent.

            • JennQPublic says:

              I would not be offended if someone said I was gay. If someone told my friends that I had been living a lie, marrying the opposite gender despite my homosexuality, and that I was so ashamed of gayness that I would live in the closet for decades, I would be pissed.

              And, again, you don’t know his family situation. Gays who choose to stay closeted from their families and coworkers know their families and coworkers better than you do. They may have very good reasons for their choices. Don’t judge them- not everyone is willing to throw away their relationship with their parents just because their parents are homophobes.

            • dolemite says:

              So a gay person that has built up a lot of friends in the gay community for years and years then suddenly admits it was all a lie and he’s not really gay would suffer absolutely no repercussions? As far fetched as that may be. I’d say his reputation would be tarnished to say the least.

              • Liam Kinkaid says:

                That hypothetical situation didn’t happen. It’s not even analogous to the situation in the article. If the man came out as gay and said he had been living a lie, then the way others view him would be altered.

                What actually happened was a BB employee posted a status update on his facebook (note, I’m not absolving the employee of anything – what he did was wrong). He was not living a lie, he was not really gay. What should have happened is that he posts again, stating a BB employee posted a status update as a prank and he’s talking to the manager, etc.

                • erinpac says:

                  So, if he had posted the message, other people might think differently of him, but because it was false they magically know that and there will be no effect?

                  Having someone present you as something you are not; especially in a way that may make those around you believe YOU are making that claim, is serious, and could certainly be humiliating. It does not matter how desirable or not that presentation is.

                  You don’t think that a gay person should be upset if their families and partner were falsely led to believe that they were lying, that the relationship was over, that they were not who they presented themselves as?

                  Perhaps it should have been a smaller problem to clean up than it was made out to be, but it isn’t inconsequential, and I’ve certainly seen smaller things posted here. A lot of people would also be “humiliated” if someone did this and claimed they were an incorrect gender, religion, political party, weight, hair color, pregnancy status, nationality, citizenship status, relationship status, IQ, disability status, criminal/victim status, family history, or almost anything else you even might consider to be even a small part of ‘you’. I could even see being humiliated by some of those postings even if they were not lies – we do not all want or maintain a completely open book life on Facebook. If someone posted *AS ME* that I died my hair weekly to avoid tell tale blonde roots or something similar, I’d be furious, would invariably get a few questions and be humiliated by them. It may be forgotten sooner or get less reaction, so there’d be less time to be humiliated, but that wouldn’t be under my control… and then again, I know some family members with rather long memories for that sort of thing, so perhaps I would end up reminded of it for years. So, you think that means I secretly hate or fear blondes? I could also easily see being humiliated by a lie that portrayed you as something you were not, even if you thought that description was *good*. It wouldn’t necessarily make it any less humiliating to have someone else put words in your mouth like that.

                  In addition, some of the judgements that he may face won’t even have anything to do with even the most broad definition of homophobia – he may get people thinking he is stupid to announce such things on the internet, is over-sharing, or even after it is cleared up, they may take it as a sign he is bad with computers & security (the compromise may have been hard to avoid if the phone could not sign out while it was broken), etc. It is awfully judgmental to decide someone should not feel any particular way when others are convincingly misled to believe lies about them – *regardless* of the substance of those lies. Someone compromised an account while he made the mistake of trusting them to repair his phone, broadcast lies using his online identity, and made him look a fool (for being taken advantage of, aside from the post’s content). No matter WHAT they said, that would be humiliating.

            • Jawaka says:

              Like it or not but everyone doesn’t think the same way. Other people have just as much a right to their opinions as you do.

        • MutantMonkey says:

          So it’s black and white, all or nothing? You will surely win support with that attitude.

          The guy is not being hateful or bigoted, he is simply showing a sensitivity to the subject. It’s extremely easy for someone to criticize without knowing what he has to deal with on that subject.

          Personally I am all for gay rights, but I have family that are not of the same mindset, family that I do love and appreciate. But I am capable of understanding that they are a product of their environment. I am not going to rock their boat and take militant stance on this with them. My love for them trumps their benign ignorance, and I say benign because I know they would never react in anything resembling a violent manner.

          My point is we don’t always get to decide who we are surrounded with. Granted some people are so fanatical in their opinions that they will burn every bridge they have built just to stand on their soap-box, but not everyone is like that.

          • Liam Kinkaid says:

            I can see your points, but when it comes to promoting shame at being called gay, I draw a hard line. There is nothing shameful about being straight/gay/bi/asexual/tran*/etc. When people say they’re “humiliated” because they’re thought of as gay, that is a homophobic attitude. When people go on a national stage, as this guy has done, whether he meant to or not, and claim that their reputation is “tarnished” because he was called gay, that is implying that being gay is shameful.

            The proliferation of homophobia is exactly what leads to bullying, self-worth issues, and suicides among gay youth. It’s not acceptable.

            • MutantMonkey says:

              But this guy is not promoting shame, he is simply expressing how this incident made him feel, likely due to external forces, and for that people are up his ass about it.

              He cannot control how his environment makes him feel and not everyone can escape their environment.

              • Liam Kinkaid says:

                Again, excellent points. I believe that, to a certain extent, your environment will shape the way you react and feel about situations. However, a person does have the choice, in the end, to break away from the herd, even if that attitude causes ostracism.

                If this weren’t the case, we’d have extremely glacial social changes. While it might seem like that most of the time, there are periods where attitudes and mores change almost explosively (the civil rights movement of the 60’s, for example).

            • wade says:

              Your intolerance is disgusting.

              The proliferation of homophobophobia is exactly what leads to bullying, self-worth issues, and suicides among non-gay youth. It’s not acceptable.

        • Jawaka says:

          Cynthia Nixon said that she chooses to be gay.

        • WhoLikesPie? says:

          Try spinning it around… A man who has always been known to be gay comes out as straight on facebook, via the help of a best buy employee. It’s not the fact that he’s being called gay, it’s telling your ex-husband that no, it wasn’t all a sham someone was just being a dick with your phone. Telling your parents (who may be very accepting) that no you don’t like women.

          It’s not about the sexual orientation, it’s about the ordeal of everyone making judgements about your change in self, even though you haven’t changed.

          • Liam Kinkaid says:

            Being called straight wouldn’t tarnish my reputation. The fact that being called gay is perceived to be such a bad thing is the problem here.

            • failurate says:

              Not everyone wants to fight for or against your cause. I would bet that this guy was perfectly happy ignoring both gay rights people and homophobes (and possibly homophones) before he was tossed into this.

            • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

              No, but having to convince everyone in your life that you really haven’t been lying to them all this time would.

            • Mrbyte2k says:

              No, the problem here is that an employee at Best Buy invaded his privacy by posing as him and posted on Facebook. Doesn’t matter what was posted.

        • JennQPublic says:

          With an attitude like that, you’re sure to teach the homophobes about the value of tolerance and acceptance…

        • bdgbill says:

          Ugh – If someone admitting to being upset that he has been labeled as gay is the current height of homophobia, congratulations, homophobia has officially been eradicated.

          I don’t hate homeless people but I don’t exactly want anybody thinking I’m homeless either.

    • dolemite says:

      We can talk PC’ness all we like, but being accused of living a secret life with a sham marriage and lying to everyone around you all your life is pretty humiliating.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      I see it along the same lines of a woman being mistaken for a man or vice versa. Some people can handle it with grace, others can’t. Regardless, it’s an embarrassing situation for both involved parties.
      In this case, though, I’d say it’s more like someone insisting that you’re the opposite gender in spite of your protests, in public, where many people can hear.

      • VintageLydia says:

        Transgendered people deal with this all the time, even those that are presenting as their self-identified gender. This isn’t anywhere close to that situation. Posting on someone else’s status that they’re gay is a common prank among adolescents (though stupid, like most pranks) and isn’t really a huge deal. Maybe next time he should just sign himself out of social networks.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          “Maybe next time he should just sign himself out of social networks.”

          Blame the victim?

          I agree, that he probably is over-reacting but to a lot of people (as mentioned below), being accused of having a 2nd life, a sham marriage, etc. is a pretty big deal. The post was believable enough, that he probably got some phone calls or emails. It would have been easier if the Best Buy worker wrote something obviously fake like “Im a homo and luv big cox”.

          If somebody hacked my Facebook account and posted “my marriage is over”, I know I wouldn’t be happy about it.

          • failurate says:

            Also, he was having his phone repaired. There is a possibility he couldn’t sign himself out.

          • plex says:

            First good analogy. The reaction to it would by very similar to someone coming onto your Facebook, posting as you, and saying, “I have been cheating on my wife, I needed to get it off my chest, I will give more details later”. Not that coming out is a bad thing in itself, but the reaction to it by some people is similarly quite strongly negative.

            There really is no smooth way to patch it over with everyone.

          • plex says:

            First good analogy. The reaction to it would by very similar to someone coming onto your Facebook, posting as you, and saying, “I have been cheating on my wife, I needed to get it off my chest, I will give more details later”. Not that coming out is a bad thing in itself, but the reaction to it by some people is similarly quite strongly negative.

            There really is no smooth way to patch it over with everyone.

        • Coleoptera Girl says:

          You have a good point.
          At the same time, though, this man obviously isn’t part of the generation that plays such pranks and neither are most of the people who believed the status.
          My analogy wasn’t as good as I thought it was. Furthermore, I don’t think he should have lawyered up… if he received some sort of compensation for the misdeed. If he got his phone repair free, he would do better just to publicize Best Buy’s horrible ethics training as much as he can.

        • longfeltwant says:

          A man who has the personality of a woman, who dresses as a woman, is a man dressed as a woman. A person who sees a man dressed as a woman, has a legitimate reason to have an ambiguous interpretation of gender. It is a byproduct of the look of each individual, that some individuals can ‘pass’ and others can’t. That sucks for men who really really look like men but really really wish they could pass as a woman. Nevertheless, for those men, they are simply unable to “present as a woman”, because they will always present as a man dressed as a woman. I think it is fair when confusion arises.

          [same argument for women dressed as men]

      • BarbiCat says:

        Yeah, except a HUGE difference here is that trans-people can and do regularly get killed when they are outed. So let’s not try say it’s just a silly “embarassment”, when outing a trans-person might mean they get shot to death in their car by a stranger that was hitting on them. [Which, you know, JUST HAPPENED.]

    • floyd fan says:

      Like it or not, there are places in this world where gay people are not yet tolerated. Texas, for one. This sort of thing can cause a lot of havoc in this guy’s life, possibly even kill him by some well meaning but ill-informed religious bigot.

      • nicless says:

        Woah chief. I live in Texas and I love gay people. Not in “that way” because I’m straight, but seriously. Totally love the gays.

        • Liam Kinkaid says:

          Whatever you say, Bea Arthur. :)

        • longfeltwant says:

          You should tell the rest of the people in your state, so that your state can go from a bastion of ignorance to a bastion of tolerance. Until the minority of tolerant Texans do so, and convince the majority of ignorant Texans, then sorry, you have to suffer the injustice of being associated with the ignorance of the majority of your fellow statesmen. When we say “Texas” we don’t mean “each and ever individual person inside the borders of Texax”, we mean “most Texans, sufficient in number to completely drown out whatever minority opposition voices could be heard in the state”.

          You have a minority voice. Speak up louder, a lot louder, and get some more voices, and eventually maybe you can scrub the dirty reputation of your state. Until then, yeah, it totally sucks to be in that quiet minority.

          • Doubting thomas says:

            Replace Texan with Black and tolerance with criminal activity and realize what a moronic tool you look like.

          • nicless says:

            To be fair, I’ve only lived here 3 years… but I moved from the headquartes of racial happy times that is Flint, Michigan.

          • Verdant Pine Trees says:

            Man, so many people are so ignorant about Texas. Austin is not just some blue dot in an oasis of hate – whenever someone suggests that a liberal Texan obviously lives there, I know they don’t know the state well. You’re talking about the home of Molly Ivins (from Lubbock!!) and Jim Hightower!

            In most American cities, there is a live and let live or better attitude towards gays. MOST Texans live in the cities, not the sticks. The sticks, due to Republican repositioning of districts (which has been up for court scrutiny), have overwhelmingly more power in the state than they should.

            Dallas, for gads sakes, has a thriving gay community, like Houston. People in the Golden Triangle, the Hill Country, and San Antonio are more politically moderate, and more likely to hold liberal or libertarian views on gay people. That’s MOST Texans.

        • Zelgadis says:

          Though I can’t speak for Texas, I certainly can speak for Kentucky, having grown up there. After I came out, I got the hell out of that state as fast as I could and I didn’t stop until I made it to a brand new country. Wild dogs couldn’t drag me back. I was, without exaggeration, afraid for my life.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        Have you ever even been to TX, or are you just parroting stereotypes? I live here, have a large number of openly gay friends and family and while all of them have experienced some discrimination or hostility at some point in their life it is no worse here than it was for them in NY, IL, MA, or HI.
        By perpetuating and repeating baseless stereotypes you are just as bad as any homophobic or racist bigot.

        • chefboyardee says:

          This x 1000.

        • wallspray says:

          Thats great and all that you personally like gay people, but what about that little constitutional ban on same-sex unions/marriage in Texas? So does that make it ok that my marriage is invalidated when I cross into the state of Texas, because Doubting thomas has gay friends. I’m sorry that you live in Austin or somewhere in Texas that it is socially acceptable to be gay, but that does invalidate the fact that your state is not pro-gay, in any real way. To say life is no worse in a constitutional ban state than it is in a gay marriage/union state speaks volumes about how this issue isn’t really one you have fully considered before speaking publicly about it.

      • Costner says:

        Just curious…. is there a sign up at the border that says “Texas – We hate the gays!” or something I didn’t notice?

        I’m sure there are pockets of Texas where homosexuality is considered almost as bad as a high school football team losing the state tournament, but I dare say the entire state doesn’t fall under that umbrella.

        There are areas in every state that would likely be the same way, and although I will agree you are more apt to find this attitude in the South, there are no shortage of homophobes in places like North Dakota, Idaho, and Maine.

        All of that aside I see your point – although you might think posting a facebook status update would have addressed 99% of the questions. After all, the only people who would see his status update are his supposed “friends” who should know him well enough to have an idea as to the authenticity of the message.

        I’m no Best Buy fan, but I see this less of a Best Buy corporate issue and more of a “bad person who just so happened to be employed by Best Buy” issue.

        • balderdashed says:

          I’m sure there are some fair-minded people in Texas — but there also plenty of homophobic bigots. A number of states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Not Texas, where it’s legal to fire someone because they’re gay. A number of states prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Not Texas, where it’s legal to refuse to rent to someone, or to evict them, because they’re gay. Texas has also enshrined discrimination in its Constitution through a constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage. Texas is also distinguished by a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas, that struck down a Texas sodomy law (and, effectively, sodomy laws nationwide) that Texas had used to prosecute/persecute a gay couple. And in 2010 the Texas GOP platform called for criminalizing gay marriage, and bringing back the good-old 1860 ban on sodomy.

          You’re right, Texas doesn’t have a sign that says it hates gays. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t need one.

      • carlathecommander says:

        And I live an hour from San Francisco and some people don’t tolerate it around here either. You can’t blanket any area with a stereotype.

      • gman863 says:

        Houston is an exception to the Texas rule.

        Remember, we have an openly Lesbian mayor (Annise Parker) who is in her second term and who brings her life partner to many city events.

        (This doesn’t excuse the behavior of Best Buy, it’s just a reminder not everyone in TX is a narrow-minded bigot).

    • longfeltwant says:

      Yes. Being called gay can be humiliating and tarnish a reputation. What’s the controversy? Are you saying that just because some people think a thing is okay, it thus can’t tarnish a reputation?

      Many people are happy to be called a communist, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tarnishing. Some people see nothing wrong with being a member of NAMBLA, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tarnishing. Millions of Americans receive depression counseling, but it can still kill some careers.

      Surely you understand that.

    • balderdashed says:

      Of course it would “solve the whole situation” — IF everybody who read the bogus status update that said he was gay also read the second update that said he wasn’t. IF all of them believed the second update and completely discounted the first. And IF everybody who had heard second or third-hand that he was gay, as a result of the bogus update, also heard and believed the “updated” information on his heterosexuality. But those things are unlikely to happen — the genie is out of the bottle here.

    • travel_nut says:

      I am a very strong believer in gay rights. I am not gay, but I do believe that gays should be afforded all the courtesy and legal protection that everyone else enjoys.

      I too would be incredibly embarrassed, even humiliated, to be “outed” as gay by someone else as a prank. Not because I think it’s “wrong” or would be ashamed of being gay…but because my sexuality has no place on FB. If someone pranked my FB status and wrote “I love kinky bondage sex!” or even “I love my husband’s penis!” I would feel just as humiliated. I have friends, relatives, and church acquaintances on FB, and none of them need to know anything about my sexuality, be it gay, straight, or otherwise.

    • Geekybiker says:

      No, the real solution would be to get a video of him doing a female hooker and put the video on facebook. Just *saying* he’s not gay proves nothing. :D

    • imasqre says:

      To be honest it seems he doesn’t want to deal with explaining the situation over and over again, ranging from his mother to a second-grade acquaintance.
      The weekly call to my parents is enough for me lol.

  5. kidstechno says:

    My mother had a similar experience. Employees knowingly tampered with her MSN account while she was having it repaired at a Geek Squad location (apparently they connect the computers to the internet). She didn’t take them to court but she did get the repair free of charge as well as some other free stuff.

    Sadly, places like these resort to hiring the lowest common denominator and kids will be kids. Stupid kids none the less.

    • Latentius says:

      Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by “knowingly tampered with”?

      And yes, of course computers get connected to the internet. How else do you expect things like software updates, etc. to be performed?

      I can easily imagine that what happened may have been out of line, but then again, I actually work there, and I’ve seen quite a few computers where people have them set to automatically start and log into their various social apps (Yahoo, MSN, Skype), etc. Usually, they just get shut down and disabled at that point, but it’s not implausible that someone would try to message you while you appear to be on.

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    “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.”

    Well, after that kind of rigorous ethics training, I
    think we can certainly rule that Best Buy employee out.

    • JoeTheDragon says:

      Ethics? this is best buy where if you don’t sell rip off cables and extended warranties your hours get cut down.

    • mikedt says:

      We have to sign a similar document at my fortune 500 company. I always find it humorous – if you don’t have ethics by this point (most of us are between 30 and 50) reading a pamphlet isn’t going to change you. It’s more of a corporate CYA thing. “We told him not to xxx, it’s not our fault.”

    • Jawaka says:

      So what kid of training would you suggest that’s both doable on a corporate level yet isn’t unreasonable to the employee?

  7. SkokieGuy says:

    Although this doesn’t excuse the outrageous behavior of the BB tech, I do hope I live to see the day when being thought to be LGBT, whether true or not, is no longer “humiliating”.

    he’s been “humiliated” by the ordeal and his reputation “tarnished.”

    • kobresia says:

      Spot on.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Agreed. At the same time, there would still be some humiliation and a bit of a tarnished reputation if a gay man who was married was “outed” as straight in the same manner.
      In this case, the reaction was excessive, but not wholly uncalled for.

    • deadandy says:

      Some people are living in different worlds than these. The guy’s probably a social conservative who associates with people who actually think being gay is “wrong” or “humiliating” or worse.

    • Hoss says:

      Yah, right. Post a “I love fried chicken” message on a vegan’s phone and see if humiliation is the right word. Or how about “the bible is crap” on a christian’s phone. The message said gay so he can’t say humiliated? .

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “Or how about “the bible is crap” on a christian’s phone.”

        That’s an interesting point. I’m an atheist and have no qualms about it. But at the same time, recognize that if a Best Buy employee posted an “Atheist coming out” on a religious person’s Facebook page, that there would be negative consequences for that person.

        Depending on where that person lived, the consequences could be very severe.

      • dks64 says:

        I’m a veg*n and wouldn’t care if someone did that. It’s Facebook, he was trolled, the BB employee was in the wrong, but he’s being VERY dramatic.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      It seems like the words “humiliated” and “tarnished” are always used in these types of situations. I wonder if that specific language is part of defamation statutes.

    • suez says:

      What if he worked for the GOP? He’d be out of a job!

  8. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I’m pretty sure you aren’t ‘outed’ if you’re actually NOT gay. And for the record, someone who’s comfortable with their sexuality shouldn’t feel his reputation has been “tarnished”.

    BB was totally in the wrong that the employee is a douche – complaint is completely justified. But come on man – a simple “I’m not gay – someone got a hold of my Facebook account” would’ve nipped this in the bud for most of his friends. And if it didn’t, he doesn’t need them as friends, does he?

  9. MrEvil says:

    This is what happens when you treat your employees like rubbish and pay them crap wages. Having worked retail in the past, the managers and the company treat the store-level employees like common street litter.

    • failurate says:

      I don’t think this is a case that helps the cause of the workers.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yeah, that really excuses them behaving like idiots.

    • Latentius says:

      Dunno what employees you’ve met, but I’ve never been treated like crap by management.

      If an employee were motivated to do something so stupid and spiteful from being treated like crap, my money would be on the customer.

      That doesn’t at all excuse what happened, but it’s more plausible, and would explain the actions a lot better.

    • frodolives35 says:

      Just tell yourself that when you find that 1/2 eaten booger on a cheeseburger.

  10. VintageLydia says:

    Is it that difficult to post another “Sorry guys, got hacked!* I’m not gay!” and then delete the previous status? I mean, the situation can be a pain in the ass, especially if you work with or are related to bigots, but it’s hardly worth suing over unless you actually see an appreciable loss in income and reputation as a result. Just having to reassure everyone of your sexuality wouldn’t be enough IMO.

    *I realize he didn’t actually get hacked, but apparently that’s the terminology you use when you forget to log yourself out and someone else posts under your account.

    • Portlandia says:

      This is my first thought as well! Seems this could be an easy solution.

      It sounds like this is someone who is already a little insecure about his sexuality and is getting very defensive and may have hit a little close to home.

      Some people need to grow up and MAN UP!

  11. Gorbachev says:

    What a horrible thing to do a person. What could be worse than have people think you’re gay.

    /sarcasm

    • Hoss says:

      “I love Best Buy — they’re great!”

      Now that would hurt

    • Jawaka says:

      Trying to prove it when you’re not.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Having people think you’ve been living a lie for your entire life, thereby casting your integrity into doubt? That would piss me off pretty well, regardless of the connotations.

    • StupidSTUPIDLogin says:

      Your lack of concern doesn’t make it funny or acceptable to do that to another person. I wouldn’t exactly be overjoyed if someone did that to me.

  12. Admiral_John says:

    So post a Facebook status that says “Disregard that… I took my phone to Best Buy to have it repaired and someone thought it’d be funny to post this as a status” and move on.

  13. sufreak says:

    I partially blame the OP for not securing his devices before turning over a phone. Log out out of everything. Remove apps, etc.

    • dks64 says:

      Yep. Every time I’ve ever taken my laptop in for repair (except the one time it completely broke), I signed off of everything before. Trust no one.

    • Latentius says:

      Yeah, it doesn’t at all excuse the employee’s behavior, but who doesn’t secure their phone?

      Normally, phones dropped off for service aren’t even usable, since accessories like batteries and SIM cards are removed, but from the looks of it, he has an iPhone, so that’s not really possible. Again, not an excuse, or really even important, but it’s just something that occurred to me while watching the video.

  14. Extended-Warranty says:

    BREAKING – someone found someone else’s Facebook still signed in and posted a status. News at 11.

  15. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    I am gay, I’m coming out.

  16. CharlesFarley says:

    Only if this had happened to a member of the Phelps family.

  17. VintageLydia says:

    Enter text…

  18. Miss Malevolent says:

    The reason he’s using such strong language is because he saw dollar signs when it happened. Unfortunately for him because of the oversensitive PC gestapo…he’s going to be vilified for it as being homophobic.

    Sorry guy, but you thinking this was going to be an easy payday is going to backfire on you, if this thread is any indication.

    What I find funny is, everyone in an uproar about the guy being offended at being called gay and is thus a homophobe for it…aren’t really discussing the homophobia of the Best Buy employee who was trying to use it as an insult against the man in the first place. Where is the outrage there? All I see are people saying, “The BB employee was wrong, but the guy’s reaction is worse?”

    I could see you saying it’s the same…but saying his reaction is worse? Seems hypocritical to me.

    • BrienBear Thinks Stupidity Defies Logic says:

      How about this – “Everyone was in the wrong here, from OP leaving his shit logged in, to the BB guy doing a dick move. Oh, and the added homophobia from everyone should be also noted.”

      You have a great point, btw.

  19. Jane_Gage says:

    BB could cover their ass by claiming the tech was a gay prostitute and the man didn’t want to pay up. Then it would be his word against theirs.

  20. brinks says:

    If I saw that as a status update of a friend, I’d assume it was a joke. That’s not how anyone I know actually came out.

  21. HoJu says:

    So when your friends swipe your phone at a party and do it, it’s all funny ha-has. When Best Buy does the exact same thing, SUE SUE SUE!!!

    Got it.

  22. brinks says:

    If I saw that as a status update of a friend, I’d assume it was a joke. That’s not how anyone I know actually came out.

  23. homehome says:

    I guess I have very understanding friends and family where this wouldn’t be a big deal. I personally wouldn’t have sued, I would’ve been more pissed off they accessed my account than the gay thing. I lock up my phone so that type of stuff is highly unlikely though.

  24. balderdashed says:

    Although heterosexual, I wouldn’t much care if the entire world came to believe I was gay. But that’s beside the point: what or is not humiliating and damaging to one’s reputation depends on the context. There’s nothing wrong with being a Marxist (in my opinion). But to be falsely identified as such could be quite damaging if one is the head of, or actively involved with, a conservative organization. Likewise, being falsely “outed” as a conservative could have consequences for a liberal. One could lose friends, business contacts, or one’s job as a result. Buy Best is on the hook here, as it should be.

  25. topher b says:

    OK, that’s it. I’m massively shorting Best Buy. I was on the fence, but now I’m not.

  26. dush says:

    Why does anyone use Facebook app in the first place?
    All it does it track you and copy your address book. Just use the web browser.

  27. GrandizerGo says:

    Logging out of the phone would probably have not saved him anything.
    Most phones save that information and allow you to reconnect / login without having to type in a password again.
    Phones need a version of the courtesy key that you can give to the Valet to park your car but not open anything with it.

  28. Rachacha says:

    Rules to a happy life:

    1. Don’t shop at Sears
    2. Don’t do business with BestBuy
    3. Don’t use Facebook
    4. Repeat

  29. StupidSTUPIDLogin says:

    “It just put a bad taste in my mouth.” — Lol!!!

  30. xjeyne says:

    “Because of the annoyance he’s gone through of having to tell people he hasn’t seen in years that no, he’s not gay…”

    … not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  31. shaqfu says:

    As much as I’d like to jump on the bashing Best Buy band wagon, this was obviously the actions of a bad apple and not company policy. Of course, this would be different if Best Buy advocated that all employees posted fallacious facebook postings, but I somehow I doubt it. There’s plenty of reasons to hate Best Buy the company, but this isn’t one of them.

  32. shaqfu says:

    As much as I’d like to jump on the bashing Best Buy band wagon, this was obviously the actions of a bad apple and not company policy. Of course, this would be different if Best Buy advocated that all employees posted fallacious facebook postings, but I somehow I doubt it. There’s plenty of reasons to hate Best Buy the company, but this isn’t one of them.

  33. krom says:

    Or, you know, perhaps you should never, ever, ever give anything whatsoever to Best Buy’s yecchnical suckport department.

  34. hikingboots says:

    I had to turn my phone into Geek Squad last week. I simply restored the phone to Factory settings before handing it over. Problem solved. Once I get my phone back I’ll re-import all my info. It’s a little bit of a hassle, but at least those goons don’t have access to my life.

    • Latentius says:

      We’re not goons, thank you very much. Aside from the uncalled for insult, however, that’s generally good advice.

      Any time you yield a personal device into another’s possession, it should be passcoded at the minimum, or completely wiped if you’re selling/recycling/etc.

      Some people just don’t have a grasp on protecting their own privacy, unfortunately.

  35. Latentius says:

    The guy was fired. What the hell more do you want? Should he also be tarred, feathered, then dragged through the streets tied to a horse?

  36. ganon446 says:

    I would love to have someone install a new HDD or new hardware in my computer but with the Geek Squad horror stories over the years yeah thats not happening.

  37. btdown says:

    I don’t buy it…no straight man uses Facebook….

  38. just_joe says:

    Hmmmmm… I wonder as a gay male, if someone wrote “I’ve recanted! I’m actually straight” – if I can sue them for humiliation and distress as the OP? What? You can’t? Gee, being called “gay”, “fag”, “queer” results in a lawsuit because of the humiliation because we all know how embarassing it is to be one of those icky gays….

    Additionally, having a “bunch” of people text, email, call him to “console” him (or counsel him – depending on your perspective) to me, is kinda suspect. I believe the girlfriend could have easily confirmed his orientation – but again, WHY BOTHER? I don’t care two squats about your sexual oreintation! It doesn’t affect my life – and having someone say “oh, he’s gay” gets a “meh” response from me.

    So, again, where exactly is the damage the OP is considering? Did he lose work because of this “coming out” ephiphany? Was his application for renewal to the Straight Homophobe Society (but secretly I want to belong to the Gay Rainbow Coalition) get turned down suddenly? C’mon, really?

    As the great scribe said once “methinks the man doth protest too mightily” – or some sort of butchered up version of it… ;-)

    Don’t get me wrong – the BestBuy douchebag deserves to get canned – he could have done much worse with the man’s info in the phone including identity theft, etc – but I’m failing to see the damages necessary for a lawsuit – other than my feelings are hurt because Tommy called me a fag famous defense. /rant

    sigh.

  39. Errr... says:

    The BB employee should have been fired and was. I have a few issues with this whole thing:
    1. Being gay isn’t a bad thing that “tarnishes” your reputation unless you only surround yourself with small-minded people.
    2. If the guy had left his FB page open at home and one of his friends posted that, I doubt he’d sue. The damages are no different (whether it was BB or a friend), but the size of the defendent’s pockets likely are.
    3. Why not just post a status that says something like “I’m not gay. The jerks at Best Buy thought it would be funny to change my status when I was getting my phone repaired.” It doesn’t make you look like a homophobe, makes Best Buy look bad and lets everyone know you aren’t gay.

  40. Alarmpro says:

    I can’t believe people are suggesting he is a closet homosexual or homophobic with no reason or evidence. The fact is someone illegally accessed the FB account and posted something that shouldn’t have been. I don’t care if the BB tech wrote “my favorite color is red”, he/she had no business accessing the account in the first place. At best, it was ‘bad form’ and worse it’s a felony for computer trespass. Stick to the facts and don’t bring irrelevant comments about the man himself. The focus should be right at the core of the issue, illegal access and possible crimes like libel may have been committed. This is not the time or place to make a political/social statement about the abused customers sexual preference.

  41. DovS says:

    It shouldn’t have been humiliating but I can understand how it would certainly be inconvenient.

  42. Scoop GP says:

    This is actually a pretty clear cut case of libel. It’s still considered libelous to call someone gay, or write they have a communicable disease, such as AIDS. Best Buy would be pretty stupid not to settle with this guy.