iPod Mechanic Stole Over 9,000 iPods From Apple, Feds Say

An iPod repair shop, that we ripping Apple off for 9,000+ iPod shuffles. The feds charged Nicholas Woodman with jacking iPod shuffles from Apple by guessing shuffle serial numbers from a shuffle replacement site without actually ever buying the original shuffles himself.

Very interesting… For the past few years, we’ve received complaint after complaint about people sending in their iPods for repairs to this company only to never get them back. After our posts went up, Nicholas swore to me up and down via IM that the problems were because of bad employees and that he was working on getting better ones. He even asked me for advice with recruiting new employees from college fairs, along with sharing his desire to acquire souped-up street-racer-cars and appreciation for big-name trance music djs. Eventually his IMs became so persistent that I blocked him…. The Feds might have got him on this shuffle thing, but my hunch is there’s more to look into w/r/t iPod Mechanic

Feds say iPod repairman stole 9,000 Shuffles from Apple [Computerworld]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Segador says:

    Who is the Coon?

  2. blazinrebel says:

    Did they really think they were going to get away with that? I can maybe understand the novelty of “trying it out”, maybe, but 9,000? This guy should totally be held accountable for his negligence.

  3. bigroblee says:

    From personal experience Ben isn’t too responsive on the IM’s even when he receives a valid request for help. In fact pretty much the who consumerist team is pretty good at ignoring people sometimes…

    • blazinrebel says:

      @bigroblee: I disagree with that. If they want something on the site, they’ll post it. They are probably constantly inundated with requests for assistance. Mine was the “call me with your car” note. Got a response from Chris Walters within an hour or so and it was on the site the next day.

  4. Trai_Dep says:

    iCoon sayz: HAZ U 9000 iPODS?
    And he’s so cute, I might just say, Yes, iCoon, YES!

  5. cecilpl says:

    It’s OVER 9000!

    Sorry, but someone had to do it.

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    He asked me for advice with recruiting new employees from college fairs, along with sharing his desire to acquire souped-up street-racer-cars and appreciation for big-name trance music DJs.

    So the take-away: Ben has expertise over copping undergrads’ digits, acquiring 3-second cars and hanging with big-name Trance DJs?

    We’re in dire need of a Ben: After-Hours weekly feature on Consumerist.

    And all this time, I thought that Chris was the bad boy.

  7. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    stealing 9000 ipods: understandable (if you thought you could get away with it, wouldn’t you do it too?)
    stealing even one iPod Shuffle: what the hell are oyu thinking?

  8. Elvisisdead says:

    Serioulsy, name drop on the DJs. Oakenfold? Digweed?

  9. IcePirate_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Yeah, but what can you do w/9,000 shuffles that you need headphones with “the chip” in them to run it?

  10. vastrightwing says:

    Amazing! 9,000! Kind of like the guy who stole millions of transit tokens during his career at the Boston MBTA and then tried to exchange the stolen tokens for credit when they switched out the old system. You would hope that a person would think the plan through and realize that trying to steal so much would get caught. I guess this is what makes catching thieves easy: they’re so greedy.

  11. kyle4 says:

    You have no idea how many comments this would get if it were on Kotaku.

    I still can’t believe someone got away with stealing OVER 9000!!! iPod shuffles. This is why I’d only trust Apple for repairs and not some guy living in his parents basement.

  12. Plates says:

    That reminds me of the bike shop in Toronto which was basically pedalling stolen bikes.

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

    Okay..let me get this straight..the guy “guessed” valid serial numbers, used Visa gift cards for the $1 preauthorization, but when no defective unit was received, Apple tried unsuccessfully to charge the invalid gift card for the replacement cost.

    So 9000 times, Apple got a serial number of a supposedly broken iPod, but no broken iPod returned, and 9000 times Apple tried unsucessfully to charge the full replacement cost to 9000 expired Visa gift card numbers. Nobody at Apple noticed a pattern after the first…I dunno…300 or 400 times the charges were denied???

  14. metaled says:

    So is there a fast food joint south of the border handing out free Ipods with a kid’s meal? 9000, boy, i knew there was something keeping Ebay alive! hehe.

  15. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, Kalamazoo’s finest. I’m actually sort of proud… *snif*

  16. TanKill3R says:

    I’m kinda confused, if this guy had over half a million dollars to his name, why not just pay for the ipods? Then again I can guess he made most of it scamming people.

  17. Trai_Dep says:

    Eyebrows, and all interested in (okay: off-topic) suggestion:
    Have you guys heard anything from Seb Fontaine or Dirty South? Quite the good time live, and Seb is one of my favorite CD maestros. :D

  18. thegirls says:

    @Segador and @biswalt: or Harvey Fierstein

  19. Meathamper says:

    What’s with the SOAD in the video?

  20. econobiker says:

    Apple Ipod replacement scheme = epic fail.

  21. ManekiNeko says:

    I love the irony of this company having a raccoon- nature’s bandit!- as its mascot.

  22. trujunglist says:

    Ferry Corsten > DJ Tiesto

    Drum n bass > trance

  23. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I wondered what happened to this company. I was actually one of the more fortunate ones not to have been affected by them. A couple years ago, my iPod had issues which were not covered by the extended protection plan, so like anyone else, I Googled around to see if there were places that would service it. I came across iPod Mechanic, among others, and decided to give them a shot. Now, I did see some negative comments here and there (but nowhere as bad as I saw later), but took that with a grain of salt since there is always going to be a mixture of good and bad comments for any goods and services.

    They did in fact repair my iPod (LCD screen replacement) without much incident; it took only a little over two weeks. After they received it, they did the diagnosis and inquired if I would authorize the repair and cost. I did, and it came back worked fine.

    In hindsight, it does make me wonder: did they actually give me a factory fresh replacement part, or was that pilfered from another dead iPod?