Future Shop and Best Buy Canada have launched an investigation after news broke out that over 10 fake Apple iPad 2 tablets were sold to unsuspecting customers at stores located in Vancouver. Apparently, scam artists had purchased real Apple iPad 2s from the retailer and then successfully managed to return resealed iPad 2 packages. Only, the returned packages did not include an actual iPad 2 and included charger, but rather clay models that were made to replicate the weight and shape of the real thing. Since the returns were brought back in resealed boxes, the retailer placed the items back on shelf to sell as brand new and were unaware of the foul play. Unfortunately, several unsuspecting customers were the ones who purchased these swapped iPad 2s expecting to unbox a brand new Apple tablet only to find the clay fakes.
One of the customers affected by this scam was a man by the name of Mark Sandhu. Sandhu purchased a $620 iPad 2, from Future Shop, as a Christmas gift for his wife only to find out the fake clay replica inside while unwrapping their gifts on Christmas Eve. Sandhu said he was taken completely off guard. “I did not expect this from Future Shop,” he said. When Sandhu went back to the store where he made his purchase he received no solution. Sandhu says he was met with staff that made him feel as if he was being untrue:
“Maybe the way I was dressed, I don’t know,” he said. “She made me feel like I’m trying to scam them out of $700. I was the one getting scammed.”
When Sandhu could not receive a resolution at the store level, he then contacted Apple, Future Shop Corporate, and even local police. All those routes led to people who either did not believe him or could not help. He then took his plight to the media with CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster of news, sports, and entertainment programming, and that is when he finally received a response from Future Shop. We can only wonder whether Future Shop would have even launched an investigation if the news media had not got involved and reported on it. We are happy to report that Sandhu has received an official apology from Future Shop along with a full refund of his purchase. They have also given him a REAL new iPad 2 for free as compensation for his aggravation and time.
Future Shop spokesperson, Elliot Chun, told CTV that “Customers don’t expect to receive this kind of product from Future Shop, so it’s a very serious matter and something we are addressing right away for anyone who has been impacted.” He also goes on to say that “It really saddens Future Shop that people stoop to be this opportunistic and make money in this kind of organized way.” One piece of wisdom we always live by when making purchases in retail environments, is to always open your package before leaving the store. If not to check to make sure you don’t have a clay made replacement, than just to make sure that included items are actually in the box.