KPRC 2 Investigates: No watch and no refund? What one customer found inside a new Apple watch box

One Pearland family was in for an unwelcome surprise after buying a popular holiday wish list item and ending up with nothing. After seeing this you might be unwrapping the boxes to check inside before you give those gifts this year.

PEARLAND, Texas – The Grinch is at work this holiday season. One Pearland family was in for an unwelcome surprise after buying a popular holiday wish list item and ending up with nothing. After seeing this you might be unwrapping the boxes to check inside before you give those gifts this year.

“I contacted the news because I didn’t want anybody else to be scammed from getting a present,” said Kelli.

Kelli Parish wanted to warn holiday shoppers about what she found inside a brand new Apple watch box.

“I open it up and just was shocked to see the two batteries,” she explains. “They knew exactly what they were doing. They put the batteries in there, so they knew the weight. They had cardboard in there.”

KPRC 2 Investigates: customer buys Apple watch and finds junk inside! Walmart won't return money or refund the product. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

There was no watch at all inside that sealed box. Within one hour, Kelli’s husband returned to the Pearland Walmart where he bought the nearly $500 watch.

Walmart would not help customer after junk was found inside new Apple watch box

After some debate, the Walmart manager said there was nothing they could do.

“It was pretty much it was just our fault and just going to be our battery,” said Kelli.

From that point on, it’s been a back and forth between Walmart and Apple.

“He would call Apple, Apple would call Walmart tried to talk to managers. They just still just put their feet down. They won’t do anything.”

At one point, an Apple representative told Kelli it was Walmart dropping the ball.

“All they said all Walmart had to do was fill a form, and they would have got reimbursed for reimbursing us, but why not do it?” said Kelli.

Customer buys brand new Apple watch from Walmart and finds junk inside the box. No watch. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

One reason retailers don’t like to talk publicly about these cases is that it is fraud. Here’s how it works: a customer buys an item, carefully removes it from the box, replaces it with something of the same weight, and then returns it. It’s usually resealed with plastic wrap so store employees won’t open it.

Customer left waiting for weeks for answers

After weeks of waiting on a refund or for another watch from Walmart, Kelli’s husband gave up and eventually just bought her another watch from a different store. She says after seeing the new one, she can tell the shrink wrapping on the first box was thicker.

“You can tell it’s different looking at it now versus when it was closed,” Kelli says showing us the wrapping.

We contacted Apple and Walmart and gave them two weeks to respond. Apple never did. Walmart was very responsive but in the end, said they are dealing with the matter privately. Kelli tells us she did get a call last week, but all they did was ask for a serial number.

Kelli also found out that the missing Apple watch was activated months before she even bought it.

We will let you know what ends up happening with this case.


About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.