In today's edition of "How Not to Sexually Harass the Ladies," a California woman claims that a Dell technician who was remotely working on her laptop downloaded nude photos of her to his computer, and then created a website to post them. Later, she says, he used her credit card number to buy things for another woman (also a Dell customer, by the by).
Unable to find what she euphemistically calls "personal photos" on her hard drive, she enlisted the help of a Dell support technician. The agent, Riyaz Shaiki of Mumbai, found the pics, and then the woman watched as he downloaded them to his computer. The photos disappeared from her computer, but soon reappeared on a website, dedicated, apparently, to displaying these shots.
Bizarrely, though, the woman decided not to call a lawyer, but to keep working with Dell's shady tech support. The same agent convinced her to send him a new laptop so that he could "work on her case" from home. Meanwhile, Shaikh apparently became infatuated with another customer, a woman in Tennessee. Shaikh used the nude California woman's credit card info to buy $800 worth of computer equipment for his new lady friend. He later admitted this in an e-mail, writing, "You're my true friend. I am sorry accidentally I charged your Dell account but I will pay. I don't want to lose my job. It was a mistake which happened with me."
It was then that she decided cooperating with Dell's technical support perhaps wasn't a good idea, after all. She says that so far Dell has been unresponsive, and is considering taking legal action.
Funnily enough, this isn't even the first time a tech support worker has been accused of tampering with a client's stuff. Years ago, Consumerist ran a sting on Geek Squad workers, catching one stealing porn (others have been accused of lifting music files). At the time, Best Buy promised it would launch an internal investigation immediately, but Consumerist refused to name that particular agent, arguing the incident wasn't a fluke, but evidence of a systemic problem.
Updated: Dell representative Amy Bivin gave us the company's official response:
Meeting our customers’ needs and delivering quality customer service is our primary goal at Dell. Our service is based on a foundation of personal and professional integrity, and at Dell, we never compromise these standards.When Ms. Fitzgerald contacted Dell about this incident last year, we investigated the issue, which involved a technical representative at one of Dell’s vendors. We contacted the vendor about the allegation, and can confirm that the representative no longer handles Dell calls. We’ve been in contact with Ms. Fitzgerald regarding this issue and continue to investigate her claims to best assist with a resolution.