Wrong Ipod in Box wtf

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SeanMac23, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. SeanMac23 macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    Hi Guys,

    Bought my first Apple product on Saturday, a 160 GB ipod classic. Got home and opened the box to find a 60 ipod video in it. The box was sealed with shrink wrap when I opened it. I took it back to Costco where I got it and the manager accused me of pulling a switcharoo with an ipod that I previously owned to try and scam them for an upgraded ipod. He was accusing me of a crime and I was furious. He had his mind made up and I wasn't going to change it.

    I am currently trying to work through the regional Costco office in an attempt to not only get what I paid for... but to get an apology from the general manager who treated me like a criminal and escorted me out of the store.

    Now what I don't know is how this could've happened. Do you guys think that it was definitely some warehouse worker at Costco who re-shrinkwrapped the box, or is it possible something could've happened at Apple. When I talked to apple they told me that neither the serial number on the box for the 160GB or the serial number on the 60GB ipod that I have have been registered.

    Thanks for any help,

  2. mheidt macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2005
    Talk to the general manager a second time and tell him, that the 60GB wasn't registered.

    If he still doesn't cooperate, tell him that you will take a lawyer...or go straight to the police. You have been robbed!
  3. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You're not the first, I've seen several stories (all about Costco) of similar things, never with great results dealing with Costco. Best result I've seen so far was someone got their money back and went to buy the iPod somewhere else.

    I can understand why he'd think you were trying to scam him, especially in light of those previous stories (probably thought you were trying to cash in on the chaos), but that's certainly no reason to treat that way. Definitely talk to a lawyer if the regional office doesn't help you.

    BTW, I'd say it's most likely Costco employees since the incidents I've heard of were also Costco's, but it could be somewhere else along the line as well. Anyone with access to a shrinkwrap machine (heck, I've had access many times) could pull it off very easily.

  4. LeahM macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2008
  5. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Contact the Consumerist - they have a good track record at getting results :)
  6. SeanMac23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    Thanks for the advice guys. My brother's friend is a lawyer I'll ask him what he thinks. All I want is my money back.. and an apology from this guys who embarrassed and made me feel like a criminal.. but im not holding my breath for that.
  7. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2007
    Most states have a consumer protection statute which may give you additional recourse. For example, some provide for triple damages and court costs in the case of unfair or decepetive trade practices. This might qualify. Check with your brother's friend.

    IMO (I'm a lawyer but don't practice law anymore), Costco should be willing to stand behind their sale. However, since they're not, you should document each of your actions, including the trip back to Costco, the conversation with the manager, and the call(s) with Apple. I would also look to Apple to see what they will do. It's not impossible that the mistake was made in the packaging process at Apple. (This happened to me recently when I ordered a 17" MBP from Apple.com. I ordered the hi-res LED screen and received a regular LCD screen. The order form and even the label on the box said hi-res, but that's not what they shipped inside the box. I just called, told them the problem and they sent me return forms for the mistaken machine and are sending me a new MBP.) In any case, don't assume that the problem happened at Costco. They still need to honor the sale, however.

    If you don't get anywhere with either Costco or Apple, then your best bet may be your local small claims court. You can represent yourself (this is where the notes and documentation of your actions will help) and the cost is minimal. Shoot me a private message if you want more ideas.
  8. iTeen macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2007
    Wow, this really sucks!!!!
    I am going to buy a ipod touch at costco in a couple weeks and i could only imagine how mad i would be if a 8gb touch showed up in my 16gb box.:mad:

    Really, take this to a small claims court...they are going to be on your side...

    best wishes to you!
  9. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    i would also go above that manager's head - if he's not the store manager, but a division manager, then go to the store mgr. if he is the store mgr, then find the store owner and/or the regional manager.

    start climbing ladders with a vengeance.

    you could really crazy and contact your local tv station. they sometimes have reporters who cover consumer purchase issues where they (reporters) approach the company to find out why. It would be embarrassing for costco to have a tv crew outside their store.

    this may be overboard for an ipod, but i would be really p#ssed too. i'd made that mgr's life a living hell.

    maybe he is the one doing the switcheroo :)
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I agree that this really sucks, but let's ease up on this manager, shall we? Look at it from his perspective - doesn't it sound like a scam? I'm NOT saying the OP is in any way at fault here, but there are a lot of dishonest people out there, and honestly, how is the manager supposed to know the truth? Is it really crazier for him to believe that a customer is trying to cheat the store than it is for him to believe that someone at the factory swapped in the wrong ipod?
  11. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Not to mention the OP is a newbie who only signed up to make this thread. Perhaps to "legitimize" a scam??? Just kidding!

    OP, being that the 60GB iPod is a Photo - it sounds like the box was re-shrinked post Apple...Since they don't even make them anymore, so it couldn't have been a manufacturing error, right? Did it look used?
  12. mac-convert macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2006
    Are we there yet?
    There is also a 60GB Video. I'm sitting here looking at mine.

    OP, was there anything on the iPod, or did you even turn it on?
  13. SeanMac23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    upon close inspection of the Ipod I do see a very small scratch on the screen and I would guess that the Ipod was used. From talking with people who own Ipods though, don't you have to register it when you install Itunes or something... Apple told me that neither serial number had been registered yet.

    With regards to the general manager, I don't think I can ease up. He treated me like some punk off of the street in a condescending manner the entire time I talked with him and wouldn't even hear me out. I don't believe the burden of proof should be on me to prove that I did not switch Ipods. I shouldn't be guilty until proven innocent. I am a loyal customer in good standing who has never returned anything to Costco in my 3 years as a member.

    I have a letter that I'm going to send shortly to Costco. I'm including a list of costco member #'s of family and friends who know that I wouldn't pull a scam like this who are willing to cancel their memberships if the issue isn't resolved.

    Hi mac-convert,

    I downloaded itunes and plugged in the ipod to ensure that it did really only have 60GB of space. When I turned it on, it asked for what language I wanted. It had no songs on it.
  14. mac-convert macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2006
    Are we there yet?
    Good luck with Costco. It surprises me that they acted this way. I have been using them for years.
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    You are not the first one to have this problem, nor is Costco the only retailer to have had this problem.

    Walmart also had a problem with this a while back, and the problem was eventually traced to a UPS/Fedex (I can't remember which one it was now) distribution center where a ring of employees was stealing iPods and repackaging the boxes to make them appear unopened.

    In your case, it's likely that a Costco employee (or employees) at a distribution center is behind this.

    Show the manager proof that the iPod has never been registered, and that the iPod has not been used before (you mentioned it's fairly clean save for a small scratch right?).

    If he still doesn't want to cooperate, go above him and at the same time, get in touch with a local consumer watchdog at your local media outlets.

    You should also be prepared to file a claim with the Better Business Bureau and have your brother's friend write a letter for you, but save these for later. You always want to have a "plan B" if you know what I mean.

    If in the end nothing happens, file a claim in small claims court. You won't need a lawyer and it usually only takes a few hours, and there are clerks there to help you. For $300, Costco will cut you a check just to avoid sending a rep to court.
  16. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    usually costco makes you open the iPod before you can have it

    to check it out

    well in canada they do!
  17. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    See if the consumerist will post your story, if they do youll have your money back by the end of the month. If you dont get media attention then the only way youll get a refund or replacement is through legal action.
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I'm sure Costco will actually be willing to settle this long before any legal action is necessary. They likely have an internal dispute resolution system in place to handle complaints of this very nature for the specific purpose of avoiding media attention and legal battles. This particular manager is likely just a bad apple (forgive the pun) and isn't telling being helpful.
  19. Bambeezer macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Credit card purchase by chance? Dispute with them.
  20. DJJONES macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2008
    Newengland usa!
    damn brrooo thats messed up i would really pissed. and for the damn manager to treat you like **** thats not right. atleast the manager could have been real with you and sent you to his superior atleast. but then again his a manager so he know it all right? sike
  21. gescom macrumors regular


    Dec 31, 2007
    Westerville, OH.
    Yeah sorry to hear. Hope you get your money back. I would let it drag on too long or it could hurt your chances.
  22. Hoo03 macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2007
    Ugh, I replied to this thread and unfortunately I guess I took so long that I got logged off. So let's try it again...

    I actually was involved in a very similar situation, albeit mine involved only $30. Still, I empathize your situation.

    I purchased a brand new PS2 game about 5 years ago. It was brand new, factory shrink wrap from what I could tell. I come home and open it, and there was no game inside the case. So it has personally occurred to me and I hope to never experience that again.

    To OP, good luck and I hope you get it resolved.
  23. f1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2007
    Best of luck to you, from a retail perspective, it'll be tough to get Costco to cooperate with you, you will have to keep going higher, and keep pressing for some sort of resolution, i suggest you go straight to head office or something like that. I won't be surprised if you have to take legal action to get your money back. Having worked retail for so many years, i'm not surprised the Costco manager treated you the way he/she did (although it is unacceptable), retailers lose so much money through return fraud every year, so managers usually are not willing to help out people in situations like yours.
  24. kockgunner macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    they look over everything in your cart before you can leave too even though you just paid for the things 3 feet away like 2 seconds ago haha. I haven't gone to costco for years since i my parents lost the membership card. Now, if we do go, we usually go with other family members all at once.
  25. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Take it to a small claims court but before doing so call your local press agency so you can embarrass this pathetic manager for the way he has treated you... i would be absolutely fuming... it is shocking that CostCo are finding it acceptable to treat you this way and i would also be willing to join your petition as a friend who would like to cancel his costco membership based on their shocking rudeness

    best of luck

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