Future Shop Sends You Two Blocks Of Wood Instead Of A Router

Happy New Year, Canada! Here’s a special treat for our neighbors to the north:

Future Shop, a division of Best Buy Canada and wholly owned subsidiary of the Best Buy we United Statesians know and love, has shipped reader Eric a box of wood cleverly disguised as a router-like-object for the XBOX.

Eric writes:

Hi There,

I thought you might be interested in hearing about my experience with Future Shop (Canadian technology store– it’s owned by Best Buy). I recently ordered a Linksys Wireless-G Game Adapter for my Xbox. When it arrived at my house however I got nothing but two blocks of wood inside the box.

Since then it’s been a nightmare trying to get this problem solved. I’ve called their customer support line no less then 3 times and been told twice that my complaint has been submitted and I will receive an e-mail to print out and attach to the box so that it can be shipped back and replaced. This has not happened yet and the only response I get is that it’s been submitted, and the e-mail should arrive within 24 hours. The first time I was told this was last Thursday (the 27th of December) and after calling again yesterday was told that it would be sent within another 24 hours, which has not happened yet, unsurprisingly.

I’ve taken the box to two separate Future Shop stores, at both of them the manager was great, they offered to exchange it for the same product but it turned out they did not have it, it has been discontinued (probably the reason for the sale in the first place). I still want this product rather then a refund and so held on to it. The situation is not going anywhere and I write to the Consumerist out of frustration– I don’t know what else to do to resolve this problem.



Eric, since your purchased the item on the internet, we’re going to go ahead and assume that you’ve used a credit card. Call your credit card company and tell them you’ve been the victim of fraud and would like to initiate a chargeback against a company for sending you a box of wood disguised as a Linksys Wireless-G Game Adapter. Tell them you’re happy to provide them with photographs, receipts, affidavits, police reports, blood samples, whatever.

Your credit card company should be happy to reverse the charges. Good luck!

(Photo:Eric Roberts)


Edit Your Comment

  1. theninjasquad says:

    If the store offered to refund you, I would just do that then go through the headache of getting Futureshop to send you a new one. There must be other alternative products out there that you can get, or at least another retailer that will have the same adapter for the same price. Check out TigerDirect.


  3. Skiffer says:

    Yeah, it sounds like the only real obstacle to resolving the issue is that he insists on getting the original product.

    Two stores have offered him refunds/credits, so it sounds like the customer service isn’t lacking (really, taking a box with 2 pcs of wood into a store and getting offered credit/exchange…that’s impressive).

    If it were me, i’d take the refund/exchange and move on…

  4. phospholipid says:

    send them back the wood ashes. :O

  5. youbastid says:

    Should have taken the refund when it was offered instead of choosing to constantly get the runaround. It’s best not to invest in items that are already discontinued – you didn’t know that when you bought it, but now that you do, I’d use this as an opportunity to buy something else.

  6. DallasDMD says:

    You had the chance to return it for a refund, so what is the problem? Why did you submit this to The Consumerist?

    No offense dude, but anyone with some wits could tell its easier to get the refund and place a new order rather than go through an exchange. Not newsworthy at all.

  7. Eric says:

    The problem is that I can’t get it refunded and by a new one because it’s sold out. I still want the product and there is nowhere that it’s at a comparable price. A friend of mine who works for a small notebook store says his cost on it is $63, much more then the $24.99 it was on sale for at Future Shop. While this is up does anyone know of something else I can use to make my Xbox wireless (original Xbox)?

  8. Eric says:

    Also I should mention that at the retail stores the customer service was great, very impressed with it, the problem is that I still want the damn thing as I mentioned in the last comment

  9. B says:

    In the future, all routers will be replaced by blocks of wood.

  10. bostonmike says:

    A chargeback is the wrong approach when you’ve been offered a refund. It’s only appropriate when you’re being denied a refund.

  11. Sidecutter says:

    The OP does not actually state that any refund was offered. He says an exchange was offered, which they could not fulfill.

  12. Sudonum says:

    I still want this product rather then a refund and so held on to it.

    This statement implies that they also offered him a refund in lieu of replacement.

  13. Nighthawke says:

    There is not much difference between a linksys router and a block of wood, save that you can take the wood and make nice things out of it. The router you’ll just chuck into the trash. Considering the cost of lumber, he got a pretty good deal out of it. :p

    My guess is that they got shop droppers or idiots in the back room skimming crap and filling the boxes with pretty much anything they can get their grimy mitts on, the mutts!

  14. cmdr.sass says:

    How much of your time is this worth? Take the refund and move on with your life.

  15. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    Order from Belkin. I have a buddy that works pretty high up in Belkin. He told me that because their India tech support sucks and keeps screwing up customers more than it helps, if you get crappy products for them they usually just give you new stuff and have you send the old broken thing back in. The thing is you have to order it through them. But at least they know it comes from them and not from Best Buy or some other re-packaging (constantly) type store.

    As for the game adapter, he gave me a wireless Belkin Wireless Repeater to run some tests for him and it worked great as an Xbox360 wireless adapter. You dont need to spend more on something that is labaled a game adapter but does the same damn thing. And the upside is that what he gave me is a signal repeater too, so the signal is stronger in the other side of my house now.

  16. yg17 says:

    I’d take the refund and buy the product (or a similar one) elsewhere.

    I’m not sure if Newegg ships up north, but if they do, their customer service is awesome, I’d recommend buying there

  17. okvol says:

    Steampunk routers – carve you own, I’d guess.

  18. lanshark says:

    If you take a refund from a Future Shop physical retail store they won’t refund shipping, so a full chargeback is the best option here.

  19. cde says:

    @Sudonum: It can also imply that he just hasn’t asked for one yet, and there is no reason to assume/infer that FutureShop has offered one yet (Companies like keeping money).

  20. ColoradoShark says:

    Maybe they thought you ordered a wood router? You know, the kind where you can round over the edges or use a roman ogee (No, not orgy!) bit to make a fancy edge.

  21. Pope John Peeps II says:


  22. goodkitty says:

    Blocks of wood are still better than D-Link and Belkin routers. What’s concerning to me is that someone had planned this so far as to custom-cut pieces of wood for this scam. I can see opportunistic theft but who (somewhere along the shipping chain) so desperate as to steal a router like this?

  23. coren says:

    The problem is, he’d be paying about 3 times the original price to get this model, assuming he can find it.

    Obviously he wants to get the discounted price in that scenario.

  24. CapitalC says:

    @phospholipid: What, and risk being charged with arson? LOL

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

    They sent you two blocks of IP addresses?

  26. GeekChicCanuck says:

    @yg17: Unfortunately, NewEgg does not ship outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico. They don’t even accept credit cards/money orders from non-U.S. banks.

    As for the original problem… Microsoft made it’s own wireless adapter for the Xbox (shown here). But all you really need is a basic wireless bridge (not an access point). That’s all these products are fundamentally.

  27. Scazza says:

    This guys an idiot, everyone knows us canuk’s internet is actually made up of slow moving water. Clearly the instructions say you have to bore an aqueduct-like canal into the blocks of wood to route the internets to each computer (this is a 2-block solution, so 2 computers. You will have to order more blocks per comp!)

  28. Buran says:

    Why can’t they provide an equivalent with no additional charge to make up for their committing fraud?

  29. Protector says:

    Best Buy.

  30. glenno86 says:

    I bought a SATA light scribe dvd burner ($90) and discs last a few months ago from Best Buy. I know they have horrible prices and all.

    So I returned it because I got a read error on my dvd play two times and I tried taking back the LS discs. She counted every single disc and saw two were missing and didn’t take them back.
    I realize re writable media is a “consumable”. I thought I would try anyway as they would be no of use to me. I told her that what good are these expensive LS discs without the LS drive?

    Meanwhile, she didn’t even look in the box to see if the LS drive was still in the box, they took that back no questions asked.

    I contacted Best Buy via their website and they said there was nothing they could do.

    I will never shop there again. I found another SATA drive online that works for only $35! ($55 cheaper!).

  31. thalia says:

    I honestly think this guy is lucky that the store manager offered him a refund right then and there. I would have taken him up on that and bought a router elsewhere. Why on earth would you trust a company that sent you two blocks of wood?

  32. mopar_man says:


    TigerDirect? You’re kidding right? I’d sooner shop at Best Buy.

  33. Buran says:

    @nursethalia: Except then he has to pay significantly more and these guys won’t stand up to their bargain. Apparently Best Buy thinks it’s OK to defraud people and then fail to make good. They sell other routers. They committed fraud. They can damn well give him a new router of a different sort without charging him extra since he’s well within his rights to press criminal charges if he wants to file a police report.

  34. DallasDMD says:

    @glennosmond: chargeback or claim the discs were missing

  35. WolfDemon says:

    I have that same thing, you’re better off with those blocks of wood.

  36. HOP says:

    BEST BUY SUCKETH, and so do the rest of their companies…….

  37. glenno86 says:

    @DallasDMD: Nah I’ll use them. Amazingly they were much cheaper then online. My point was they would stand there and count each disc in the spindle but wouldn’t open the box and check at the very least for a brick. Thanks for the tip though

  38. Rae12401 says:

    Eric, check the spam filter of your email. Prepaid shipping labels and other forms often get ‘stuck’ in there because they come from generic company addresses and your filter ‘thinks’ it’s junk. If there’s nothing there, ask them to send the form to you via regular post.

  39. Ed - JapanCarBlog.com says:

    I don’t buy this story.

    Futureshop / Best Buy ship their orders through Ingram Micro. If you have any idea how Ingram Micro works, there is absolutely no way a worker could have swiped a router with wood. There’s also no way a box full of wood would leave the packaging plant if its weight did not match that of a router.

    If this had been at a store, I’d buy the story – but to think that it was shipped this way is highly suspicious.

  40. BugMeNot2 says:

    So the shipping label would have this wrong weight, therefore he could prove that the blocks of wood were actually shipped to him.

    Let’s see that label Eric (well, be sure to photoshop out your address).

  41. guspaz says:

    @LANSHARK: Futureshop has free shipping on all items except for big ones (say, a clothes washer or refrigerator). So this really isn’t a concern. You can get a 100% refund on online items in-store.

    @JAPANCARBLOG: I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Any items I’ve ever purchased from Futureshop online are shipped directly from Futureshop’s warehouse in Mississauga. Ingram Micro has never been mentioned on any packaging or shipping labels. If they do ship through them, it’s in secret.

    He was offered a refund twice. I don’t see how Futureshop is at fault here. They did the correct thing. Twice. If the item has been discontinued, I don’t see why the poster thinks he can get a replacement item. Take the money, buy an equivalent product.