updated 05:20 pm EDT, Mon October 8, 2007
iPod scam in Texas
Two Texas Target stores have served as scenes of embarrassment for the brick-and-mortar retail chain after an angry mother discovered rocks inside the box that was supposed to contain a shiny new $350 iPod. The box, which weighed as much as the iPod it was supposed to contain, was destined as a birthday gift to her teenage daughter. Upon returning to the store, Target employees believed the story but said they were sold out of that particular iPod model and that the woman was not allowed a refund in cash because she had purchased the device on her Target card. Driving with her daughter to another Target store in Grand Prairie, they used their store-only credit to purchase another iPod after Target employees forbid them to open the box before purchasing the device. Opening the supposed iPod in front of Target employees revealed yet another helping of rocks with no portable player in sight.
The mother was again refused a refund in cash, so instead told her daughter to pick out $350 worth of Target merchandise. Target said it is working with local law enforcement to resolve the issue but gave no details about the ongoing investigation, according to Star-Telegram.com.
The Texas resident's misfortune is not the first time scammers used cellophane-wrapped Apple boxes to get their hands on the company's market leading iPod. Two separate reports surfaced in December of 2005 describing the experiences of Wal-Mart customers who purchased what they thought to be an iPod, only to find a sealed fish or meat product in one instance and a six-pack of AA batteries taped together in another. The culprit in the latter case even took the time to tape a piece of paper to the batteries with buttons and a screen drawn on the surface.