Check To Make Sure Your iPad Box Isn’t Full Of Notebooks Before You Leave The Store

Image courtesy of The all new iPad?

The all new iPad?

Once again, a consumer plunks down hard-earned cash for a pricey electronic device, only to find out later that the box is full of something completely useless. And since she had the gall to wait until she got home, the folks at her local Walmart all but accused her of trying to pull a scam.

The Houston-area woman had bought the iPad, which appeared to be factory-sealed, from Walmart and gave it to her daughter for her birthday. But when the daughter opened the box, it was full of notepads and not iPads.

So the mom took the useless box of notepads back to Walmart right away, and after more than two hours says she was told there was nothing that could be done for her and that she had to leave the store.

“I had no idea that I was going to be accused of… taping or gluing and cutting all in 25 minutes,” she tells KHOU-TV.

Adds her daughter, “You spend so much money there, you think you’d get some respect back.”

Amazingly, once KHOU got involved, Walmart suddenly did an ounce of research into the iPad and found it had actually been returned by a previous customer, who apparently had shrink-wrapped the box to make it look like it was factory-sealed.

“We have reviewed our surveillance video to see if we can find out who is responsible for this and we are sharing that information with local law enforcement in hopes that whoever is behind this is held responsible for their selfish acts,” reads a statement from Walmart.

So the family will be getting an iPad after all. They only had to involve the local news, but it’s a happy ending nonetheless.

This is not the first time we’ve all heard this story, and it’s another example of why it behooves all consumers to open that box and give a peek before leaving the store. Yes, it might be a hassle, but it’s better than having to defend yourself against charges of being a scam artist.

Some readers have had luck issuing a charge-back through their credit card companies, as this could initiate the same kind of research that resulted in Walmart determining this family was the victim and not the perpetrator.

We also believe that retailers should be flagging all returned items in their system, even if the box appears to still be sealed. That way, when a customer has a problem like this, it will be easier for managers to see that a previous customer is to blame.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.