You can imagine the family's surprise. The mother went to a Walmart in Sealy and she bought a iPad and took it home. When the daughter opened the box, there wasn't an iPad inside. Instead, there were only notepads. It did take some digging by Walmart, but the company says they now know why that iPad box had only paper.
"I ripped this open, took off the box and this is what I opened it up to," said Courtney Akers.
Courtney wanted an iPad for her birthday. But when she opened the iPad box her mother brought home from Walmart, it was note pads inside, not an iPad.
She said, "I looked at my mom and said, 'This is not a funny joke.' And my mom said, 'Oh my gosh, we've got to get to Walmart right now, right away.'"
When the family returned to the Sealy Walmart, they say less than an hour had gone by from when the iPad was purchased. Courtney's mom said instead of sympathy, they were greeted with skepticism by a manager.
"She said, you know, she's never seen this happen before," Bobbi Linden said. "They come sealed, there's no way this could have happened. She said that those note pads in that box were bought yesterday. I was crying and pleading with her, 'Look, I didn't do this.'"
After the family contacted Eyewitness News, we called Walmart. The company has since learned that the iPad that should have been in the box was first purchased by someone else in Brenham.
"We were able to trace the product history and determine that this is a case involving a fraudulent return. Unfortunately it resulted in an innocent customer falling victim to a scam artist's greed. It appears someone previously purchased the iPad, removed the contents and resealed it in a manner that clearly resembles factory packaging. We have reviewed our surveillance video to see if we can find out who is responsible for this and we have shared that information with local law enforcement in hopes that whoever is behind this is held responsible for their selfish acts. We never want our customers to have a bad experience and we want to focus on doing what is right for the customer. We are in the process of reaching out to Ms. Linden to offer her a full refund, a new iPad and an apology for the mix-up," Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee wrote in a statement to Eyewitness News.
The family says they will take Walmart up on the deal, but they are still a bit upset about the way they say they were initially treated.