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Open that iPad before you buy it

ifake wal-mart $500 paperweight apple massachusetts

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#1 Hum

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 23:04

(CNN) -- If you're handing over cash for a heavily discounted iPad from some random guy in a McDonald's parking lot or at a gas station, then yes, you should consider your purchase a risk.

But when you're like Suzanne Nassise and you buy Apple's popular tablet from a well-known retailer, you expect it to be legit. Nassise says she walked out of a Walmart in Brockton, Massachusetts, last month with what she believed was a new $499 iPad.

When she got home and opened the box, she told CNN affiliate WCVB, she thought, "'Wow, it's a little on the light side -- Apple's an elegant product.'"

Then she tried to turn it on.

When nothing happened, Nassise looked at the plastic rectangle more closely. The imitation iPad -- an iFake, if you will -- tried to replicate a real iPad's charging port and speakers, the latter of which were small, painted-on dots.

"When I realized it, I was upset," she told WCVB. "I just paid $500 for a paperweight."

If her story sounds familiar, it's because it has happened at retailers in a variety of states over the past few years. Numerous shoppers have purchased what they thought were iPads, only to open the box and find a worthless decoy inside. To make matters worse, some stores have refused to give refunds on the grounds that the buyers might have been trying to scam them.

The majority of news reports on the problem have involved iPad purchases at Walmart, although other retailers are not immune.

So how is this fraud happening? Retail chains aren't saying. But the prevailing theory begins with a scam artist buying an iPad, replacing it with something of similar size and weight and then repackaging the box so it looks ready for the sales floor once again. Then the person returns the box for a refund. Other speculation has focused on unscrupulous store employees raiding storerooms to make similar swaps.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:09

The majority of news reports on the problem have involved iPad purchases at Walmart, although other retailers are not immune.


Just another reason not to buy electronics at Walmart.

#3 -Razorfold

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:16

Just another reason not to buy electronics at Walmart.

Not really it could happen to any retailer. If they open the box to make sure they can no longer sell it as new, it has to be sold as refurbished even if it was never used before.

So all they can really do is make sure the packaging looks correct and the weight of the product is correct.

#4 evacc44

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:28

The reason it happens with Wal-Mart more than any other retailer is because they take almost anything back and they almost never check the contents or whether the package has been opened. The employees don't care, but then again why should they with the way they are treated?

#5 Growled

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:30

Not really it could happen to any retailer.


It could, but rarely does.

#6 LUTZIFER

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:45

The reason it happens with Wal-Mart more than any other retailer is because they take almost anything back and they almost never check the contents or whether the package has been opened. The employees don't care, but then again why should they with the way they are treated?

Yeah that totally makes sense. I've been totally impressed with Walmart's return policy.
I've taken 2 TVs back and all they did was look in the top of the box just to see if the remote was in there.
And both times just handed me the cash back. First time was about 2 weeks after purchase, second was around 3 to 4 months after purchase.
The second one I had actually even forgot to put the power cord in the box. But like I said, they never even looked.

#7 -Razorfold

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:54

The reason it happens with Wal-Mart more than any other retailer is because they take almost anything back and they almost never check the contents or whether the package has been opened. The employees don't care, but then again why should they with the way they are treated?

Read what I wrote. If the packaging is on and the box weighs what it should, they cannot open it.

A lot of refurbished computers on OEM websites are in fact 100% new, someone bought it and then realized they didn't want / need it so they returned it. Now since the box has been opened Dell / HP / Apple etc can no longer sell it as a new device.

These iPads are going back to Walmart have new and sealed packaging (or someone in the back is swapping them). Nothing really that Walmart can do.

#8 Nomad_

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:55

I was listening to the police frequencies on my scanner a few weeks ago when I hear a call about some guy buying an iPad from someone In the WalMart parking lot. When the seller left, the buyer opened the sealed iPad box and found a piece of wood.

#9 Growled

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:05

I was listening to the police frequencies on my scanner a few weeks ago when I hear a call about some guy buying an iPad from someone In the WalMart parking lot. When the seller left, the buyer opened the sealed iPad box and found a piece of wood.


Serves him right for being so dumb.

#10 compl3x

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 00:15

the buyer opened the sealed iPad box and found a piece of wood.



lmao Damn, I need to get a police scanner.


iWood. i have wood.

#11 Raa

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 00:27

It could, but rarely does.

Source?
That's a fairly broad statement that you're making. I've seen/heard of it happening around the world - where there are no Walmarts. :p

#12 Growled

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:12

Source?
That's a fairly broad statement that you're making. I've seen/heard of it happening around the world - where there are no Walmarts. :p


I have no doubt that you are right, when the entire world is considered. Here in the US you rarely hear of it happening at anywhere but Walmart. Maybe the other guys just have a better PR department and keep it covered up better.

#13 Raa

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:14

Maybe the other guys just have a better PR department and keep it covered up better.


I'd almost bet that happens too. It doesn't look good for a franchise!

It also goes to show - check the product you are purchasing before completing the sale - box or not.

#14 OP Hum

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:20

Read what I wrote. If the packaging is on and the box weighs what it should, they cannot open it.

A lot of refurbished computers on OEM websites are in fact 100% new, someone bought it and then realized they didn't want / need it so they returned it. Now since the box has been opened Dell / HP / Apple etc can no longer sell it as a new device.

These iPads are going back to Walmart have new and sealed packaging (or someone in the back is swapping them). Nothing really that Walmart can do.


If they won't open it before I bought the iPad, then I would damn sure open it in the presence of the sales people right after the purchase was rang up.

No way I'd walk out of the store without the real thing.

#15 +DonC

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:42

Presumably the best way to avoid a problem is to buy it direct from Apple.



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