RadioShack Sells Defective Pre As New, Gets Caught

Eric bought a Palm Pre from RadioShack this past weekend, but maybe he shouldn’t have. Or maybe RadioShack should make sure that when a phone is returned as defective, it’s not sent back out to the first unsuspecting customer as a brand new device.

He writes,

I had called a Radio Shack near me asking if they had any Palm Pres available. They called me back Saturday morning (6/13) telling me that one had become available.

At home, upon closer inspection, I found the lower right part of the screen was defective. It looked like the screen was bubbling or something. When I opened up the Pandora application, to my surprise, an account was already logged in! This was supposed to be a new phone in an unopened box.

I Googled the user name and the first result I found was this Twitter account. And wouldn’t you know it. She had twittered not 6 hours earlier about how she had to return a defective Palm Pre to the same RadioShack.

When Eric took the phone back to RadioShack, the manager refused to admit it was a used Pre. Here’s part of the email Eric sent to the original owner, which she in turn posted on her own gadget blog:

When I confronted the manager about being sold a repackaged Pre, he said there was no way that was possible. Even after showing him that an odd account was already logged into Pandora, he denied it.

The good news is they did replace my Palm Pre. However, the bad news, in a totally separate independent issue, is that the ear piece on the new one doesn’t work.

To Radio Shack’s credit, they are replacing this one as well and they are having Sprint waive my activation fee. However there should be no excuse for reselling a returned phone.

“Farewell, Sweet Pre…” [Mobi-gas-mic]
“The Pre Incident” [Mobi-gas-mic]