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Scam Artists Switch iPad 2 Units with Clay at Future Shop and Best Buy [Update]

by on January 16th, 2012

Update 1: Elliott from Future Shop responded and told us only the official statement given to CTV was the one they are providing to outlets. Here’s an update from the Future Shop Community site:

Recently, several instances of fraud concerning the iPad2 were reported to various store locations in BC. In these cases, the original iPad 2 product had been removed from the packaging, and replaced with a slab of clay, molded to the approximate size of the tablet. The packages were then re-sealed and returned.  While there have been less than 10 instances of iPad2 fraud reported in the region, Future Shop is advising any affected customers to return to any store location for a complete refund or verified replacement.

Future Shop takes fraud seriously and has launched a comprehensive investigation in cooperation with Apple and other retailers who have reported similar incidents. We have already implemented new systems within our stores to verify and assure all customers that their products have not been tampered with by fraudsters.

Customer service and experience is of the highest priority to us and we wish to make clear that any affected customers will have their products replaced or refunded.

CTV reports on a bizarre incident that has turned up at various Future Shop and Best Buy locations in BC. Customers that purchased iPad 2 units ended up with a box of flattened clay instead of the device present inside. Mark Sandhu was one of the victims and was shocked to see flattened modelling clay inside a Ziploc bag, rather than the iconic iPad 2 when he opened his package on Christmas day.

Mark Sandhu thought he bought a $620 iPad 2 for his wife for Christmas, but they received a nasty surprise at the family gift opening on Christmas Eve when they realized there was no computer in the box.

Sandhu said initially his wife Sundeep thought the clay, flattened into the shape of an iPad and housed inside a Ziploc baggie, was actually a protective layer over their new pricey present.

“My wife was excited when she saw this, [saying] ‘oh my God they take care of their stuff,’ and then we saw this …and that kind of threw us off a little,” Sandhu said, adding that there was also a clay cube where the charger should be in the box.

Sandhu was able to get hold of Future Shop only after contacting CTV’s Steele on Your Side. Future Shop acknowledged the incident, apologized, refunded the amount of the purchase. They also gave the Sandhus a free iPad 2 for their troubles.

About 10 incidents occurred at various Future Shop and Best Buy stores within Metro Vancouver. One would question how these iPads ended up back on shelves. Maybe the scam artists just shrink wrapped the boxes after removing the iPads?

We contacted Future Shop about this story, and they will be sending some details our way. Stay tuned.

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