Walmart: Santa Brings A MP3 Player Full Of Porn To A 10-Year-Old Girl

Daryl Hill of Cookeville, TN purchased an MP3 player from Walmart for his 10-year-old daughter. He handed the player over to his daughter thinking it was new, when in fact the previous owner had filled the player with pornography.

From WSMV:

There were video clips of XXX rated sex scenes, and the pornography was so graphic that Channel 4 could not broadcast it.

“I wish I could take the thoughts and images out of her head,” said Hill.

The Hills had bought three MP3 players for their children that came from a Wal-Mart store in Sparta, Tenn. It turns out one of the MP3 players had been returned to the store from a previous owner who loaded sex clips, graphic war scenes and lyrics about using drugs.

The Hills want to know why Wal-Mart would sell used merchandise as new in the first place, which is in violation of its own policies.

“If they want to be a major retailer, they need to act like it,” said Hill.

Snap! You tell ‘em, Mr. Hill.

Walmart offered to replace the MP3 player, and confirmed that used merchandise is not supposed to be placed back on the floor. The family declined Walmart’s offer because, “They’ve already bought their daughter a new one and are hanging onto the controversial one until they talk to a lawyer.”

Good luck with that one. The great inappropriateness lawsuit of 2008. Is William Jennings Bryan still alive?

Check technology items before you hand them over to your kids, people!

Child’s ‘New’ Player Loaded With Porn [WSMV](Thanks, Michael!)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. headon says:

    Cool

  2. nutrigm says:

    I guess the guy who returned the mp3 player thought he was doing some ‘guy’ a favor?

  3. MPHinPgh says:

    WalMart has proven once again that they are a bunch of jack-asses, but is there really a basis for a lawsuit?

    I agree with Meg…I’ll be checking any devices which could have data on them BEFORE they go to my daughters.

  4. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    There were video clips of XXX rated sex scenes, and the pornography was so graphic that Channel 4 could not broadcast it.

    If only that pornography had been slightly less graphic – then they could have broadcast it.

    It amuses me to see the convoluted and sometimes nonsensical crap people come up with when they are trying to add emphasis to an idea.

  5. B says:

    These stories make me wonder if there is some sort of fetish involved with buying an electronic gizmo, filling it with porn and returning it.

  6. levenhopper says:

    Check technology items before you hand them over to your kids, people!

    So everytime I give a gift, I should break the wrapping, making it obvious I opened it? That is just being paranoid.

    I’m not saying Wal-Mart is good, but at the same time, look at all the transactions they do on a single day, compared to how many bad things show up on here about them.

    Yes, it sucks this happened. But I’m not going to open every single gift I give, just to check for porn.

  7. cef21 says:

    @MPHinPgh: Maybe. It depends on whether (and when) Tennessee recognizes Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress as a cause of action.

  8. Rider says:

    Anyone else think this sounds like it could be a scam?

  9. Quellman says:

    @B: Shop Drop!

    It couldn’t be too hard to track the original purchaser, unless cash was used. Credit Card/Check trail?

    Could be a fun trial.

  10. humphrmi says:

    @levenhopper: In this case, someone already “broke the wrapping”, and clearly it was not obvious that it had been opened.

    But your last sentence made me giggle, I’m now picturing some 74-year-old man opening a toaster oven he plans to give his wife, just to make sure there’s no porn in it.

  11. rasbach says:

    Surely the package was marked as a return item, in which case he sure as hell should have checked to see what might have been on it.

  12. clevershark says:

    Damn, that’s what *I* would have liked for Xmas!

  13. BlondeGrlz says:

    @rasbach: It’s not always clear something has been opened, especially if the person who returned it made an effort to make the item look new. My mom bought my dad an impact wrench for Christmas. The plastic case had been completely glued shut, but through the window it looked like new. Once he pried it open the wrench was clearly used merchandise. Luckily the store let him exchange it without accusing him of trying to scam them.

  14. madanthony says:

    @Levenhoffer,

    “But I’m not going to open every single gift I give, just to check for porn.”

    I am. I’d hate to give away porn that I could be watching myself!

  15. Shadowman615 says:

    @rasbach: Um, no it wasn’t marked as a return item — it was sold as new. Isn’t that the entire point of the article?

  16. Televiper says:

    I think it’s complete insanity that you’re blaming the parent for not checking for porn. He bought what he believed was a brand new iPod, making it a legitimate expectation. It does sound like some joker filled the iPod up with the most vile crap he could find before returning it.

  17. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Maybe it WAS new…just a special edition of the MP3 player. Like the iPod that came with U2 stuff on it.

  18. Rando says:

    “Walmart offered to replace the MP3 player and confirmed that used merchandise is not supposed to be placed back to the floor.”

    Horse shit that may be the policy but I’ve never seen a store that doesn’t do that. If you go to walmart late at night you’ll see carts lined up with isle # on them and a breif description of what items go into the cart. They are all lined up outside of customer service and associates are packing them with returned items.

  19. vliam says:

    @clevershark: That’s what I want to know. I keep hearing theses stories but I’ve yet to hit the porn-lottery.

  20. Buran says:

    @MPHinPgh: Over selling used goods as new that aren’t really new, maybe.

  21. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    At least it was an iPod, not a brick or a phone book.

  22. cmdr.sass says:

    It sounds more like someone trying to scam Walmart than a real event. The device carried sex, violence, and drugs, just to cover all the bases.

  23. PinkBox says:

    I hate Walmart. I recently had to return an item that was obviously used and put back on the shelf. It wasn’t something I could tell until I had opened it.

    The really sucky thing is that it was a heated foot bath/massager. That’s just NASTY to put back on a shelf after being used!

    I bet they put it back on the shelf after I returned it.

  24. rwakelan says:

    @randotheking: Those aren’t returns. Those are items that come in what are called “Break Packs”. Generally it is small items that probably wouldn’t survive the truck ride to the store so they bundle them together in larger boxes and then re-separate them when they get to the store. Not to say that a lot of returned crap doesn’t go back on the shelf… it most definitely does. Just not the case you are referring to.

  25. BlondeGrlz says:

    @rwakelan: Uh, not really true. At Target, we had carts behind guest service were you put stuff the was returned/exchanged. You’re not really supposed to take back obviously used stuff, but sometimes it happened. The carts were then sent back to the departments and the stuff was put back on the shelves. So I think those might be the carts Rando was referring to.

  26. emax4 says:

    Didn’t a similar story like this happen a few years ago? I thought it was an African-American family that had experienced the same problem.

  27. odhen says:

    @blondegrlz:

    Actually, I work at Wal-mart and he’s correct. Returned items do end up in that cart, and back in the department, but a good 90-95% of the items in those carts at night are new.

    I work in the electronics area, and I always check returned MP3 players and stuff to see if they’ve been used/have anything on them. I’m the only one though.

    Oh well, Hopefully this means we won’t have to sell any returned mp3 players. Same thing happened with computers after one got returned and resold with porn on it. Always hated putting those back on the shelf.

  28. MPHinPgh says:

    @cef21: Negligent Infliction? Is that for real?

  29. @emax4: Yes, the story was on Consumerist (can’t find it though).

  30. MPHinPgh says:

    @Televiper: I’m not so sure that anyone is blaming the parents. It sounds like there’s just a new Rule of Thumb…you can’t trust that anything purchased as new IS new, especially electronic devices with the capability of storing data like MP3’s and such.

  31. rolla says:

    this happened b/c walmart employees dont care anymore since theyre being treated like crap from the company.

  32. 0x12is18 says:

    @Quellman: They couldn’t trace the original owner at store level, perhaps at the manufacturer level if the item had been registered. Even then, once it has been resold, you can;t prove the original owner put the content on the player.

    @randotheking: You have it mostly correct. I used to manage an electronics department at a Walmart. The carts are behind customer service with department numbers, not aisle numbers on them (Department 5 being Electronics, 7 being Toys, etc.). Items that are returned and specifically stated as being defective are not returned to the shelf. However, if a customer just doesn’t like the item or has another reason for returning it, as long as it is not media, it is placed back on the shelf.

    I had a hell of a time reselling obviously opened mp3 players, stereos, computers, etc, but I had to do it. With computer returns though, I personally wiped the drives and reinstalled the OS, but it certainly wasn’t required of me.

  33. @B: I think people do this either because they like the idea of someone who shouldn’t be looking at it seeing it, they think whoever gets it will like that there’s porn on it, or they actually think the store is going to delete everything on the device before re-selling it.

    Actually, it’s probably a combination of all three.

  34. FessLove says:

    NOT the fault of the mother, but does not warrant a lawsuit against Wal-Mart. I am sure a company as big as wal-mart has some mix ups. There was no intent on wal-mart’s part, so these people should just move on with their life. But hey, I guess suing someone IS easier than going to work

  35. madanthony says:

    @rando

    there is a difference between “returned” and “used” – Walmart’s policy is probably not to put stuff that was clearly opened back on the shelf, but if someone returns something that doesn’t appear to have been opened, it’s going back on – they can’t afford to throw out every returned item that someone changed their mind over.

    When I worked at Toys R US, we called those carts “reshop”, and cashiers would get to put stuff back. It was kind of a coveted job, since you could disappear in the back for a while. It was a combination of unopened returns, stuff that people took to the cash register and then changed their minds about buying (or couldn’t pay for), and stuff that was mis-shelved or picked up by a customer and put in another place.

  36. FessLove says:

    @ROLLA: I totally agree

  37. theheights says:

    Nice, a William Jennings Bryan reference! The “Silver-Tongued Orator” was a resident of my hometown.

    Smart move by the guy to not give the MP3 player back to Wal-Mart. I am totally in favor of a lawsuit here. I’d like to say it’s all because of the damage that might have been caused to the girl, but I have to admit part of it is to stick it to the Man.

  38. ToadKillerDog says:

    When I worked at Circuit City someone put the Kama Sutra (it was called the “Palma Sutra”) on a Palm Pilot on display in the store. They had to stand there and beam it in with an infra red connection. A mother found it and told me about it so I yanked it off the shelf.

    Moral of the story….. Some people are just weird. Some people are just perverse. A few people achieve perversely weird status.

  39. STrRedWolf says:

    Whatever happened to giving kids stuffed toys? I rather get a Netherlands-made stuffed Tux Penguin plushie than an MP3 player filled with porn to my neices and nephew (three of the stuffed birds, in fact, this Christmas).

    But a trial? Eh, why not. The process would be justice enough.

  40. Trai_Dep says:

    Had they been able to broadcast it, we would have seen nubile vixens stripping off their Totenkopf shirts.

  41. boxjockey68 says:

    um…not to walmart bash or anything, but isn’t that store kind of “known” for selling certain electronics that have been used as new? I thought I remember something about them selling referb tv’s as new….
    Anyhow, if i buy something as NEW, I would expect it to be new & unused, if I buy an open item, refurbished, or returned item then I would expect it to possibly contain some files, or music or whatnot…why is it that now when I buy something (as new) I need to double check it, are none of the stores competent enough to separate new from used??

  42. coren says:

    Man, what was that girl thinking, asking for a porn filled MP3 player!

    Now that it’s out of the way, this is no shock. You see stories all the time out on the interwebs about stores that have shrink wrap machines and will use them to “newen” up an item.

    Hell, Gamestop will sell you a ‘new’ game (sometimes complete with saves on the cartridge if you’re a gameboy person!) and offer to shrink wrap it on the spot. Oh, never been played, ignore the scratches!

  43. coren says:

    @ToadKillerDog: Ha! Aside from the pretty lame pun, that’s hilarious. “Sir, what are you doing?” ‘Uh..nothing..just uh..standing. Not broadcasting, not me!’

    @STrRedWolf: That’s all well and good for the younger, but as you go up in age, the expectancy is there for other stuff. Plus when you’re buying for your kids rather than someone else’s…

  44. loganmo says:

    @levenhopper: You need to anyways to make sure you didn’t get a phone book or a pile of bathroom tiles.

  45. savdavid says:

    I don’t care if it is a scam, anything to embarrass, steal from, sue, harass or destroy Walmart is A-OK and legal in my book. Look what they have done to their employees, customers, Mom-and-Pop businesses and America. In this case, two wrongs do make a right.

  46. That’s what I asked for, but didn’t get…damn that little girl!

  47. Kurt's Krap says:

    As I said in my comment about the wrong Disney CD post:

    WHY IS THIS EVEN NEWS?

    Oh, yeah, cue lawsuit in 5…4…3..

  48. Aphex242 says:

    Suing for this is stupid.

    Period. When I was 10 I found some porn mags a guy was throwing out, I guess my parents should have sued him for not burning them in his fireplace first?

    Don’t get me wrong, Wal-Mart needs to figure out what’s going on with selling used merchandise, but suing over your kid seeing stuff they could stumble into almost anywhere anyway is just profiteering.

    Shame on Wal-Mart, and shame on the family if they sue.

  49. gingerCE says:

    One time I bought a “new” phone and answering machine as a gift for a sibling at Target. It was marked as clearance and was a great deal. However, my sister told me when she hooked it up, there was already a message on the machine. This happens a lot more than is reported.

  50. ExVee says:

    Just think, if an adult had gotten this, we probably never would have heard about it. Or even if the kid in question had been a few years older, and maybe a boy. It’s no wonder why this always seems to just happen to young children. It’s just that everybody else who gets it thinks “awesome!” and locks their door, instead of showing a parent who immediately thinks “lawsuit!”

    But, basically everybody’s right about the Wal-Mart policy, by which I mean while there is a policy in place, every store (manager) enacts it differently depending what kind of bottom line is being aimed for. One store I’m all-too-acquainted with took a pretty moderate stance and typically Claims’ed any obviously open/used electronic merchandise, along with a few other departments. But not everybody was so lucky, and plenty of other goods went back on the shelf with it being clear they’d had a previous owner. Sometimes if I could manage it, I’d find a reason for them to be defective, like suddenly some part just goes “missing.”

    The carts at customer service are actually a mix of “unshopped” items and actual returns. Something to think about next time you’re shopping and decide you really don’t want this or that and just set it somewhere. Working at Wal-Mart sure changed a lot of my attitudes about what’s okay and not in a store.

  51. evilhapposai says:

    Selling returned items as new is not too uncommon for Walmart. I recently worked at one as a greeter (and THANK GOD no longer do) and there were tons upon tons of open items being returned to the store after the customers did God knows what at home with them. When there were too many greeters on the door the managers would often have them go through the store putting returns back on the shelf. I never once seen a item put back that was marked as used and some were VERY obvious that the were.

    This not only applied to potentially smut filled mp3 players but think of all the dangers with things like clothing. Hats could have lice or someone did very unsanitary things in that pair of undies you just bought before you bought them for the second time.

  52. UpsetPanda says:

    I say, bottom line, Wal-Mart sold used merchandise without labeling it as being used. I don’t know if suing is the key, but if I gave my 10 year old an MP3 player, I wouldn’t just pink him or her down in front of a computer and go “be back later!” and walk away. I’d probably help out my kid pick music and download media. And then I’d see that there was something already on it.

  53. evilhapposai says:

    @EXVEE the carts at customer service are the ones we had to put up, and I’d say less than 5% were unshopped items and could contain ANYTHING the store had. Yes, even seen perishables in them at one time or another. Never had to put anything like that up myself or I would have refused to do so.

  54. theblackdog says:

    Wal-Mart has sold returned items as new, and they don’t always check to make sure the right items are in there. I picked up a Glade Plugins Extra Outlet from there, and when I got home, I saw the package was taped up, so I could tell it had been a return. I opened it up to find a regular Glade Plugin, so it meant a trip back to Wal-Mart for an exchange, which they let me do without a hassle.

  55. Wayfaerer says:

    Back before DVDs were commonplace, my buddy went to Wal-Mart to pick up a new VCR. We get the box back to his place and open it up to find that not only is it a different model VCR in the box, but the stereo inputs are broken on the back.

    We immediately returned the VCR, and the service desk wouldn’t return the VCR because the serial number on the VCR didn’t match the box. It took about 15 minutes of arguing with her and another 15 with the store manager until they acquiesced and let him exchange it for a different VCR.

  56. navstar says:

    So just what kind of porn *IS* acceptable to show on the TV news?

  57. Bender44 says:

    @MPHinPgh:

    Whether it would be a negligent infliction of emotional distress would depend on the jurisdiction as was stated above. Usually NIED is found in cases where someone (usually a blood relative, depending on the jurisdiction) witnesses some horrible act happen to a member of their family. The example used in my Torts final was a grain silo fell on a house and killed a little kid. The parents could sue for NIED because they witnessed the death of a blood relative based on the negligence of another.

    Don’t think something like NIED would fly in a situation like this. They’re would have to be some showing of extreme emotional distress as a result of the negligence. Unless it was some bizarro midget snuff porn…

  58. shufflemoomin says:

    Sue-Happy USA coming to the forefront again. Is this the answer to everything? My coffee is cold: Sue. My cheeseburger wasn’t cheesy enough: Sue. The air isn’t airy enough for me: Sue. And I want 10 basquillion dollars because that’s what it’s worth to me. It’s pathetic. Everything gets more and more about money everyday. Here’s an idea, if you want lots of money, get an education and earn it and stop looking for the slightest excuse to try and sue it out of some corporation. Geez, it’s good to get that off my chest. I’m sure no one cares about it, but big woop, wanna fight about it? :)

  59. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’m having Deja-Vu all over again!

    I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this kind of thing (either the incidents or the lawsuits).

  60. jawacg says:

    What I want to know is why every time a story out of Tennessee gets nationwide or netwide coverage, we look like a bunch of unwashed, inbred hicks. Sheesh.

  61. Klink says:

    @MPHinPgh: Yeah, the fact that this was packaged as new, claimed as new, and appeared new should have tipped off the parents immediately. (/sarcasm)
    How is there not a basis for a lawsuit? This store’s (or one employee’s) negligence against common sense and its own policies have scarred a little girl for life.

  62. humphrmi says:

    @gingerCE: Yeah, but was the phone message pornographic? :)

  63. Bender44 says:

    @Klink: Hard to prove damages for one. Emotional damages are hard to calculate. Juries like physical injuries, because they can put a price tag on it.

    Not saying that they couldn’t try, but it may not be worth the effort. Of course, its always worth a shot.

  64. sibertater says:

    @MPHinPgh: But not to your sons, because they need to start early discerning good porn from bad?

  65. Cataclysmicstar says:

    I can’t help but laugh. I had a stint at our local Big Lots store. Granted, they tend to receive a lot of the overstock and the factory refurbished items. Still, it’s assumed that everything there is either new, or has been fixed in whatever necessary ways and is thus resold “like new”, meaning any information on a computer or iPod (yeah, right) would be wiped, DVDs would be removed from players, etc. However, the trend of throwing returned items back on the shelves was a daily process for us. There was never a discussion of company policy as to returns, just a big cardboard box behind the customer service box. All returns went into it, and at the end of the day the cashiers who weren’t busy loaded up shopping carts with return items and placed them back on the shelves. If an item looked as if it was opened, we repaired the packaging ourselves and put it back. The only things that we didn’t put back were items that were obviously dysfunctional or broken.

    Makes me wonder if we would have been required to put a box of opened condoms back on the shelves (if we had even sold them in the first place).

    The best part was that people would return things to us that they obviously hadn’t purchased there, but that the original store wouldn’t take back.

    Seriously, though – Wal-Mart (as much as I hate them) shouldn’t be sued for this. So your kid saw a few “inappropriate” body parts, a couple of cuss words, and maybe heard a gun firing. I hope for their sake that this kid doesn’t move to New York.

  66. jrdnjstn78 says:

    @shufflemoomin: I agree with you.

    I can’t imagine that porn is that scarring. People make it such a big deal that when a kid does get there hands on it it’s something major. I remember the first time I saw a porn mag (I’m female), I wasn’t scarred I did want to try some of it out though, i think I was around 11. I hate to say that kids are learning about this stuff at a young age. My son is 11 and he told me about 3 weeks ago that he had looked at porn on the computer. I had to explain to him about it but I didn’t yell or punish him for it. I want him to be able to tell me things and I want him to learn about the birds and the bees from me. I don’t want him to learn the wrong things from his friends. I’m not condoning him to sit and look at porn.

  67. MelanieOctober says:

    My email to Walmart yesterday explains what happened to me:

    I just read on the news about a used MP3 player that was sold as new that the previous owner had loaded pornography on it and a child received it as a gift.
    The article states that selling used merchandise as new is against Wal-mart policy.
    I wanted to tell you that what happened to that family was not an isolated incident. I bought a Conair massager 4 months ago, for approx. 10 dollars. When I brought it home and opened it, it was obviously used for nefarious purposes. It was coated in a slimy substance and had pubic hair embedded in the casing. It was disgusting. I returned the used massager for a refund and was assured that this was NOT something that happened, ever. Obviously it does.7 months before that I bought 2 identical Home Trends Torchier lamps. One was broken and missing pieces and the other was fine, and before THAT I had to return a broken (and used) Singer Denim Star sewing machine 4 years prior to that event to a store in Columbia Missouri.I exchanged it for the same machine, and was pleased that the other machine was in fine NEW condition.
    This is something you really need to address on a corporate level. This isn’t just ‘one’ store or ‘one’ area. Either you are somehow condoning the practice or something fishy is going on in Denmark.

  68. Mrs. Stephen Fry says:

    Wow, Melanie, that is gross.

    I hope you broke that e-mail up into paragraphs or something, dude, because it is difficult to read.

  69. Erzengel says:

    This is blasphemy!!
    This is madness!!

    THIS IS SPARTA TENN.!!

    sorry, but i had to do it :D
    happy new year.

  70. Buran says:

    @nwogoldberg99: MP3 players are storage media … and yet they’re being put back on shelves?

  71. TouchedByAnUncle says:

    Cookeville Tennessee is a small college town (Tennessee Technological University) about 75 miles east of Nashville. College prank?

  72. rg says:

    A MP3 player…did you fire your proofreader?

  73. TheUncleBob says:

    I skipped a good part of the comments, so pardon me if these two points have been covered.

    First, while Wal*Mart does commonly resell returned merchandise (all a part of the effort to cut costs and reduce markdowns), *ANY* items with internal storage on them (MP3 Players, Cameras, Memory Cards, current Video Game systems, etc.) that are returned are supposed to be sent to claims to be sent back for credit. This story is exactly the reason. Unfortunately, there are many stores/employees who don’t follow this policy.

    Second, how would one go about proving that this MP3 player actually had porn on it when it was purchased? Can I go to the local Wal*Mart, buy an MP3 player, load it up with porn, then complain and “talk to a lawyer” about how I can’t get the thoughts and images out of my head? I’m not saying the people in this article are guilty of Intention to Defraud or anything here, I’m just pointing out that it’d be a hard thing to prove that the MP3 player had the porn on it when you purchased it.

  74. hossfly says:

    OMG; walmart can re-package stuff to look like new??

  75. Yeehaw says:

    Ah Classic…

    You may remember the Syringes being found in Diet Pepsi Cans a few years back, or the fingers being found in Wendy’s Food.. All False Acquisitions. I remain skeptical.

    So I guess WalMart’s mighty arms should extend into our homes, and be responsible for parenting our kids. Death to Walmart! Long Live the Walmart!

    Seriously now. It’s Christmas, and you left your kid to play with a new toy… Didn’t you think something was weird when the other two kids didn’t have any content on their toys?

    I am getting tired of this victim mentality, and people thinking they struck the Lottery Jackpot when they’ve been “wronged”.

    Equally interesting is that I love the fact that “Paperwork” is going to fix the problem. (By Paperwork I mean lawsuit). Grow up, and play with your kids, Daryl Hill. They miss you.

  76. SwampAssJ says:

    “Check technology items before you hand them over to your kids, people!”

    This isn’t some video game or movie. This is supposed to be a new, that means unused/unopened for those who can’t grasp that. If it takes me 5 minutes to extract my player from the plstic cage of hell, I’m going to think its new.

  77. edrebber says:

    Every retailer will try to resell returned merchandise as new. They have shrink wrap machines and will reseal the item and put on a new price tag. The OP should take the MP3 player to the District Attorney’s office.

  78. Mr. Gunn says:

    Porn on the MP3 player is the “roach in the burger” of the 2000s.

    /this stuff only happens at places like McDonalds and Wal-Mart. Coincidence?
    //they probably curse in front of their kids, too