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Man orders 40GB iPod - receives shrinkwrapped box of soap and some batteries

Things like this really tickle me. Allow me to share... Consumerist has a story about a guy who ordered a shiny new (not refurbished) iPod from Smalldog, a well-respected Apple reseller in Vermont. Imagine his surprise when the package arrived containing a shrink-wrapped iPod box filled with a couple of bars of Irish Spring and some batteries. And no, he didn't order it on April 1.

Now the cynic in me immediately suspects that someone is trying to scam another iPod out of a good-natured and honest Apple reseller, but he seems sincere so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, just as the fine folks at Smalldog did. Sean writes: "I picked up the phone and gave Smalldog a call. I was ready to really tear into someone when... a supremely polite and nice customer service rep answered the phone. When I told her about my situation (and not too nicely, I might add), she started laughing. For a second I was shocked! I mean, first you screw up, and then you laugh at me!? But the next thing I knew, I started laughing too. She used just the right amount of humor and seriousness in helping me figure out what had happened. In the end, she put in an order to have it inspected by UPS, and put another unit on hold for me, and gave me her direct line, informing me that the second UPS is done inspecting the package that I was to call her, and she would ship it right away. She also wanted to know if I took any pictures, saying that she'd love to have a few to show the other people in the office."

Of course he did take pictures and Consumerist has them up on their site for your amusement. What do you think? Are the UPS guys taking home iPods on a regular basis and resealing the boxes with a bunch of approximately-weighted crap? What a racket.

For what it's worth, a similar thing actually happened to a client of mine not long ago. She ordered a PowerBook - from Apple - and when she took it out of the box and turned it on, with no indication in the packaging that anything was amiss, she was presented with a login screen showing someone else's name instead of the standard groovy new-Mac theme song and "Welcome" in 50 languages animation. For reasons I still can't comprehend, she opted to keep it anyway instead of calling Apple, raising hell calmly explaining the situation and having a replacement shipped. Being the curious type, I booted off a Tiger DVD and changed the password on the unknown user's account so we could log in and see if he'd left any trail. The name and address were obviously fake, but there were some Photobooth pictures of some guy, presumably the culprit, and some girl we imagine was his girlfriend. I tried to convince her to let me post those pics on the 'net to see if anyone in the webosphere recognized them, but she was content to just have me reformat and install a fresh OS for her. Go figure.

Things like this really tickle me. Allow me to share... Consumerist has a story about a guy who ordered a shiny new (not refurbished) iPod...