My co-worker (I'll refer to her as "J") has a hard drive that needs a LOT of work, meaning that she had to take it to a tech to have it read. The hard drive is full of very sensitive information and has to be available for seven years by law. (Note: If you're wondering why she didn't have a backup, that's an entry for coworkers_suck.) So she took the hard drive to Best Buy to have the guys there take a look at it.
J took the hard drive there three weeks ago, with the techs saying that they would give her a status report within 24-48 hours. After 10 days she called them and they said, "Well, I have a bad feeling that we're not going to be able to do anything for you. We'll keep trying, though." Another two weeks later she goes to the store and now, according to the manager, they've somehow "misplaced" her hard drive. She was positively livid, and the icing on the cake was when said manager quipped, "Well, it's not like it was good for anything, anyway." J has a sneaking suspicion that they tossed the hard drive, but of course she can't prove a thing.
It's not so much a cost issue as it is a legal issue. Legal in the sense that if J can't get the transcripts off of her hard drive, the courts are going to be more than a little pissed, and she will be fined thousands of dollars (not an exaggeration). J is at fault for not backing up her work, but where does the manager get off by justifying their mistake by saying that "the equipment wasn't worth anything, anyway"? At the very worst, J could send the hard drive to a place in Toronto to be read (at the cost of a new laptop, about $1,500), but it's far less than having to pay a huge-ass fine, especially since her loss of data insurance has lapsed (another huge mistake on her part).
ETA: As stated before, if anyone out there works for Best Buy, I'd really like some insight. Has this happened before, and if so, what would regular procedures be when dealing with a situation like this? And I know J writing a letter to corporate would be the most obvious course of action; I didn't realize I didn't even mention it in my original post.
(x-posted to my LJ)