Imagine buying a $600 iPad and bringing the box home to open it, only to find a few pads of paper inside instead.
That's precisely what happened to Becky Bitsko when she bought an iPad from the Walmart on Lawrenceville Highway in Tucker during the tax-free holiday weekend.
"I opened it with my son and found nine pads of yellow paper in the box," Bitsko said. "I took it back. Immediately."
It took nearly a week, but Bitsko was finally given another iPad by Walmart.
Earlier this year, the same thing happened to Jeffrey Childs, who bought a BluRay player for his mother from the Target on Perimeter Center Place. When he came home and opened the box, he found blocks of wood inside.
"It didn't look like the box had been opened," Childs said. "I realized I really didn't have a way to prove that I didn't change out the BluRay player for pieces of wood or what have you."
Target eventually got him a replacement as well, but both Bitsko and Childs warn others to check what's inside expensive electronics boxes you've bought before you leave the store.
A DeKalb County Police Department source said that two Walmarts in the county are investigating incidents where iPads that were in the store were placed inside of large boxes of cheaper items by an employee and then bought.
But Childs and Bitsko both said they were told by local stores that their items appear to have remained sealed the entire time they were at the respective stores.
Both Walmart and Target's corporate offices said they are investigating the incidents. Wamart spokeswoman Diana Gee said the company is investigating several similar incidents that have happened along the East Coast.
"Unfortunately, this is a case involving fraudulent returns resulting in an innocent customer falling victim to a scam artist's greed," Gee said. "It appears someone previously purchased the iPad, removed the contents and resealed it in a manner that clearly resembled factory packaging resulting it being returned to the sales floor."
Both stores said they will re-evaluate the return process to ensure this doesn't happen again.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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