A New Jersey woman took the two large Walmart gift cards that her husband had received as a holiday bonus and bought an iPad with them. Only the iPad that she she brought home from the store wasn’t the same one described on the box. The memory capacity and serial numbers didn’t match. She also couldn’t get the tablet to charge, or even to plug in to the cable. The item in her box, you see, was a plastic fake display-model iPad.
“The idiot that I am, I even tried to charge the stupid thing for two hours,” she told the Newark Star-Ledger. Well, of course: who would assume that an iPad bought from America’s largest retailer would be fake? It’s not like she bought it from some guy at a gas station.
Walmart management checked surveillance video, but wouldn’t allow the customer to exchange the fake iPad they had sold her for a real one. They claimed that surveillance video showed her buying a different iPad. She filed a suit in small claims court, appealed up the food chain at Walmart, and contacted the newspaper’s consumer columnist. Guess which of these actually prompted Walmart to take action?
“[T]hings have changed,” an employee said while calling her up after a reporter made inquiries. Walmart eventually offered her a cash refund (so she could buy a replacement iPad directly from Apple), a $50 Walmart gift card, and payment of her court fees. Is that enough to take the sting out of being accused of a crime?
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Man Mad At Walmart Because He Doesn’t Actually Want A $480 Fake iPad