Yes, I’m not joking. Best Buy (the US consumer shop, with “special presence” in airports) has a Director of “Counter Intelligence” at each major store. I hit it (her). She knows, since my laptop repair is a “counter-intelligence” matter, that my laptop is not entitled to a repair (under the conditions of the warranty). Of course DCI could be just be a geeky name (for a technical repair shop manager). Or, it’s a giant secret conspiracy (linked to the FBI). Aliens with an agenda are here (at Best Buy). Beware!
Perhaps its fair enough that my laptop is not entitled to a repair under the warranty. Perhaps it’s a prototypical consumer fraud upon me, too. Perhaps its not really even fair to Best Buy to cast these minor infractions of consumer goodwill as as fraud (because counter intelligence matters will retroactively give immunity to “warranty frauds” (that cannot therefore every be legal frauds, note, given the immunity). I don’t know (only a judge could really tell, given the facts). Presumably, the judge will not be an Alien.
Any American judge is exceptional (which I’m not); alien or otherwise. As a non-exceptional, presumably I can never give trustworthy testimony – even about the facts of a laptop repair case – since its now about “counter intelligence matters” – such as replacing the battery in my laptop. After all, the Aliens might be in charge (of Best Buy).
What I do know, and can assert, is that my $200 Best Buy computer warranty was not worth having – speaking as a simple consumer. This contrasts with Comp USA (whose warranty was worth buying), before they went bust….ahem!) It was sold as intending to allow me to swap out a battery – that typically dies after two or so years of use. I don’t recommend buying THAT Best Buy warranty (since ANY damage to the rest of the computer is grounds for then NOT placing the battery). And, note, to be fair, significant damage there was/is (but not to the battery). And, yes, of course an Alien was to blame. Urr. Me!
To be fair, Best Buy (san Jose, CA) did replace the first totally crappy model they sold me, without the slightest fuss. It would not even boot twice, after windows initialiation. SO well done best buy (on that). Presumably, its on my “permanent record” though.
I know I feel de-frauded by the original salesman of the warranty – probaby employed by a contracted sales firm (which may well be a “entirely legal fraud” by him, personally, upon me). Whether that was also a entirely-legal fraud by the firm is a legal matter (about which I’m not qualified to speak with authority, being inherently non-exceptional Alien and thus of little or no repute whatsoever, to start with). I certainly have little and probably no standing to even make a legal claim (not being an exceptional). What exceptional journalist would listen! I fall somewhere between an inherently untrustworthy foreigner (a designation that is true, and for which I forgive any American in uttering and then discriminating me for, on anything cryptoish) and a human being worth only 2/3 of a vote (purely because of race). In short, a person of inherently poor repute – along with 7 billion others.
This is the third time America (not Best Buy, in particular) has committed what feels like – but is probably not a legal fraud – upon me. The other firms that perpetrated what feels like (but is not) a fraud were a tire firm (deceptive trickery about tires and damages, and evidence of alignment necessary for invoking the warranty) and a Californian medical group (that sold me a VD test blood drawing, but would not THEN give me the (no VD) certificate required to get married). In each case, there was a fundamental consumer deception – that is apparently perfectly legal in the US culture. That is, things are normal (to do this type of thing). But then I made millions of dollars from VeriSign warranties about cryptographic keys (that come into the same category, of a entirely legal almost-deception that falls “under the line” of unlawful commercial behavior). If I’m fair to to America, its actually better than the UK (where I’d EXPECT at every turn for a shady new business to engage in such trickery, since its “part of the culture” to “try it on” and see how far one can go, with a new class of (legal) fraud). There was even a name for it (the eighties man). The almost-fraud that is not a fraud (legally).
Did I note that the apparent employees, including managers, were trained to and did actually (legally) threaten me, should the raw facts of the case be published (not that this is a “publication”)? This institutional behavior is FAR more interesting that the stuff about a battery repair gone sour. It went beyond your usual (poor old) salesman or technician having to have certain customer service skills (when delivering bad news). We were in “area 51” territory (for the paranoids). Having been a lowly security guard in America (delivering shitty news to folk in dark places doing “strange things” at 2am in the morning), I can emote with the Best Buy employees. I can even emote with their desire to be pretend counter-intelligence agents (since even in my security guard job we had DHS “specially” trained guards (there to keep Stasi-like tabs on the rest of us, as far as I could tell)). Its presumably more fun than dealing with the American public – and more fun than fixing laptops (though for me, that sounds like a dream job, but then I’m an alien!)
So what’s the real juice? yes I sent my laptop in for repair, knowing full well that Best Buy’s repair contractor’s process would likely image EVERY DISK (on behalf of the FBI). And this I was indeed testing (as disclosed). I also set things up so was hard to image my disk. I also set things up so there was evidence of the hard drive being accessed (physically). Which it was – during the evaluation that the warranty is not in effect. Strange that. Also useful.
So there we are . Best buy (too) is probably part of the “terrorist response” of the US – where I’m the terrorist (suspect) – in the sense the Martin Luther King was, too. Given my profile, I would expect to be profiled/spied-upon/secretly surveyed. Its America (and im a foreigner, with crypto expertise, much of provided by NSA)! But what’s next… the cia-associated refuse guy will be going through my trash (which was actually true, 8 years ago, when I started to sorted my old papers, disposing of the occasional FOUO document showcasing, urr, “embarrassing” typos)!
Another one bites the dust – where we now know just “how deep” the 9/11 response goes. Its built into the consumer chain, too
Its probably not proper to say these things, being a “national security threat” to even provide facts that Best Buy has an “counter intelligence” job title designation – even if it just a geeky name (for a store manager).
Or, it’s all just a signal of alien paranoia; being an alien.