Microsoft, Best Buy accused of Net scam

Friday, 9 May 2003, 8:47 AM EST

The suit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims the alleged scam stemmed from a promotion in which customers at Best Buy, who paid for purchases with credit or debit cards, were given free compact discs that allowed them to try Microsoft's online service, MSN.

Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, and Best Buy, the largest consumer electronics chain, were partners in a pact dating back to 1999 to promote Microsoft's money-losing MSN Internet access service.

"We haven't yet received the complaint and therefore have no comment," a Microsoft spokesman said. Best Buy officials were not immediately available for comment.

Plaintiff Samuel Kim said he unwittingly became a victim in February after making a purchase at a Best Buy store in Los Angeles with his debit card.

At checkout, a store employee scanned Kim's debit card and, without any explanation to him, scanned a trial MSN compact disc and placed it in his shopping bag, the lawsuit said.

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