After doing some shopping around online, I went to Walmart and bought a higher-end Keurig machine. It was the nicest one the store had in stock.
When I got home, I opened the box. It was packed very tightly, as if it had never been opened before. The machine was in a plastic blag encased in styrofoam. When I got all the wrapping off of it, I noticed the machine was all wet. It was not the really nice model pictured on the box, but a much cheaper “mini” version. To add insult to injury, there was a used K-cup inside!
I immediately went back to the store, livid I was wasting a beautiful Saturday afternoon on a scam perpetrated on Walmart. The customer service counter graciously apologized and replaced the machine. We opened the box before I left.
Walmart was a victim of “return fraud,” which cost retailers $3.5 billion last holiday season. A retailer survey found 3 percent of returns with a receipt are fraudulent. There are several types of return fraud:
- Returning something already worn, known as “wardrobing”
- Buying items with stolen or fraudulent cards and returning the merchandise
- Returning an item bought at one store to a different store
- Buying merchandise, replacing it with used or defective merchandise and returning the old merchandise (what happened to me)
Obviously, sales clerks must take the extra time to inspect returned merchandise. That didn’t happen in my case, but the packaging was extremely deceptive. Next time I buy a gadget from a store, I’m making sure to look inside the box!