Christmas morning is a time for family togetherness, enjoying the delighted faces of children, and surprising loved ones with thoughtful gifts. Unfortunately, wrapping gifts and putting them under the tree until the recipient opens the box means risking a retail hazard: boxes of expensive electronics that contain notepads, bricks, picture frames, or mirrors. This is disturbingly common, and happened to a family in Massachusetts this Christmas. [More]
boxes of crap
Remember the guy in California who gave his wife an iPod box filled with erasers for Christmas, but not intentionally? When he tried to exchange it for a box with a real iPod in it, the new box contained erasers, too. We publish a lot of stories like this, but here’s something unusual: a follow-up story with the arrest of the person behind the alleged eraser-swap. [More]
One San Diego man obviously isn’t a regular Consumerist reader. He bought his wife an iPod for Christmas, and she opened it up to find…four erasers and some specially-cut index cards filling up the spot that’s supposed to cradle the iPod. They’re probably very nice erasers, but you can’t play music on them. Light percussion, maybe. [More]
A Canadian woman found the best Black Friday deal for an iPad at Target, a newcomer on the Great White Northern retail scene. She didn’t just get a tablet and a $115 Target gift card, but a bonus too: contact information and photographs belonging to another customer. Or so she thought. [More]
Someone bought a pair of sunglasses from Nataly on eBay. That happens. Usually it’s a good thing. The problem for Nataly was that the buyer claimed to be unhappy and wanted to return the sunglasses, even though she had a strict “no returns” policy. Thanks to eBay’s strict pro-buyer stance, she was ordered to send the customer a refund. In return, they sent her a package back. That package did not contain the sunglasses.
Isabelle’s $300 Dyson vacuum from Target arrived on her doorstep without some of the parts, and filled with dirt from someone else’s house. Wanting to receive the item she actually had ordered, she dragged it to the nearest Target in a taxi and was told that she was obviously trying to pull one over on Target by returning this vacuum when she so clearly had used it and kept the handle. Clearly.
Reader John is upset because, after someone stole an expensive watch from his Amazon.com shipment, the company refused to help him until he filed a police report. Should he have to do this?
If you pick up an electronics box and notice that it has been resealed and is suspiciously…. rattley….you might want to just leave it on the shelf, no matter how good a deal it might be. Unless you need some random remote controls, cables, and manuals to other devices. At least, that’s the lesson we’re taking away from William’s e-mail about what he found inside a Blu-Ray player box at his local Walmart.
Reader Colin has run into something we’ve seen many times before. Best Buy sold him what we call a “Box of Crap,” in this case, an XBox that someone else had swapped out with their modded, broken one. Best Buy’s policy is to refuse a return if the serial number on the Xbox doesn’t match the one on the receipt, so unless you actually open the box and check out the item before you leave the store — get ready for a battle.
Tony writes that he purchased a Western Digital hard drive from Best Buy this weekend, but not the hard drive he had thought. When he opened the box, he discovered that it contained a different hard drive entirely–not quite a Box of Crap, but still not what he had paid for. But Best Buy stood firm, admitting there was nothing they could do.
Reader Jeff writes in with a troubling but ultimately positive experience buying wooden blocks disguised as a hard drive from Walmart.
When Michael’s son used his Christmas money to buy a copy of Madden 09 from Walmart, he thought he was buying a copy of Madden 09, not a blank disc that said “Redneck Sh*t.”
Here’s a happy story from someone who bought a “Box of Crap” (this is what we call a box that looks new, but contains the wrong item or a used item, due to return fraud). Instead of accusing reader Ryan of some sort of crime, Home Depot simply issued him a gift card. Hooray!
You know how sometimes in football both teams will screw up on the same play and the penalties will offset? We’ve just found the fraud version of that situation. Three men brought a laptop computer box to Walmart and said that they’d been sold an empty box. Walmart thought they were being scammed, so they called the police. That’s when all hell broke loose.
We get a lot of complaints about people buying things from stores like Best Buy and Target and finding that once they get them home — there’s a bunch of bathroom tiles in the box instead of the item, or that the item is used, broken or smashed. When they try to return the thing, the store tells them that they’re out of luck. When you ask why they think they can get away with selling you a paperweight instead of an XBOX, they point to some bullsh*t policy and send you on your way. You don’t have to put up with this. In this post, we’ll tell you a) How to keep this from happening to you in the first place. b) How to equip yourself with tools that will help you in the event that this does happen to you. c) How to take advantage of these tools so that you never get stuck with someone’s old broken PS3.