Wal-Mart sells woman phony iPad

12105402-largeBy Karin Price Mueller

Jamie Frick knew what she wanted for the holidays. When her husband received two Walmart gift cards from his boss, he gave them to Frick. She took them to the Cedar Knolls Walmart on Jan. 6.

At 11:04 a.m., according to the receipt, Frick bought an iPad 3 for $499 plus tax, and the cost was covered by the gift cards.

Frick, 33, of Randolph, said she spent the day with her two kids, ages 5 and 3, at her parents’ house, so she didn’t get to open the iPad box until about 8:30 that night.

“When I got home and opened the box, I thought it was a real iPad,” she said. “I took out the charger and then tried to plug it in the iPad, and that is when I started to notice everything.”

Frick said the port on the iPad was the size of the port on the older versions of the iPad, but the cord that came in the box was the newer iPad 3 charger.

“When I was trying to figure out the problem, I realized there were no electronics in the port to charge it,” she said. “The idiot that I am, I even tried to charge the stupid thing for two hours.”

When nothing happened, she noticed other discrepancies: the buttons didn’t really work, the screen looked slightly scratched and the Apple icon on the back of the iPad was not engraved, but “plastic-y.” She continued her examination and noticed the serial number on the iPad was different from the one on the box. And, she had purchased a 16-gigabyte machine, but the one in her hands said it had 64-gigabytes.

“To be honest, I didn’t know what to think — realizing only that something was very wrong with it,” she said.

Frick said she called the store immediately and spoke to an assistant manager. She didn’t write down the manager’s name, but said the manager told her to bring it back in the morning with all the packaging.

Diving into her garbage can, Frick recovered the shrink wrap and put it with the rest of the packaging.

The next day, Frick said, she returned to the store at about 1 p.m. and went to the electronics department, where three clerks and Frick compared the iPad to a real one in the store. A clerk called an assistant manager.

“She — along with three other employees — looked at the product and everyone was shocked and surprised by what I showed them,” Frick said.

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