In December 2008, Tara Fitzgerald, 48, contacted Dell tech support because she couldn't find some nude photos she'd taken of herself. Apparently she was concerned her 14-year-old daughter would go onto her computer and find them. So she decided to call Dell for help tracking them down.
She spoke to Riyaz Shaikh, an employee of Sitel India, one of the companies Dell has outsourced its customer service operations to, and gave him permission to access her computer remotely. Shaikh quickly located the nude photos attached to emails Fitzgerald had sent to her boyfriend.
But Fitzgerald then watched helplessly as Shaikh downloaded the pictures on to his own computer in Mumbai.
A few months later Fitzgerald alleges Shaikh created a website called "bitchtara" which features 16 nude and semi-nude photos of her. Fitzgerald contacted Shaikh to complain and bizarrely agreed to buy the man a laptop so that he could work on her "case" from home. They then exchanged several personal emails and phone messages with one another that got more and more conversational and intimate.
Fitzgerald then noticed that Shaikh charged two purchases totalling $802 to her Dell credit card. Apparently he had "fallen in love" with a 22-year-old woman in Tennessee and decided to ship a new computer and router to her to demonstrate his affection.
He confessed to Fitzgerald: "ur my True friend Tara... I am sorry Accidently I charged ur Dell Account but I will pay. I don't want to loose my job. It was a mistake which happened with me and I am screwed."
Fitzgerald decided she'd had enough, however. She contacted Dell to complain about the fraudulent charges to her card. In response, Fitzgerald says they merely sent her an affidavit allowing her to disavow the unauthorised charges.
Watch the following report from News10 to learn more about Dell's response.
- Dell outsourcer lifts US woman's saucy pix from PC (The Register)
- Living online (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Consumer law news (The Solicitor)
- Find a consumer law solicitor (Contact Law)