Imagine your delight if you wake up on Christmas morning and discover there’s a special gift waiting for you under the tree. You unravel the wrapping paper and discover it’s a Nintendo 3DS! You’re happier than the Nintendo 64 kid, until you actually open the box and discover that it’s filled with rocks and tissue paper. That’s even worse than a lump of coal.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to a poor boy from Talladega County in Alabama. His well-meaning mother went to Wal-Mart to buy the portable gaming system for her son, but she didn’t know that the box didn’t contain a 3DS at all. Scam artists had apparently bought the 3DS, kept the system itself, but returned the box full of rocks and tissue paper to simulate the missing weight. The Wal-Mart staff never checked the box when processing the return and the faux 3DS ended up on the shelf for the Talladega mom.
This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened. There is a similar scam going around where people are returning iPad boxes filled with paper notepads. I’ve also heard of someone returning a flat panel HDTV with an oven door in its place instead. The lesson here for retail management, as if it weren’t obvious enough, is that their employees should really be checking those returns before refunding the money.
On the bright side, the Talladega Wal-Mart did give the mother a replacement 3DS after she told them what had happened, but I think that poor boy isn’t exactly feeling great about that whole experience.