$138 Buys a DS Box Full of Rocks?

rocksRemember the thrill of getting that long-coveted video game system for your birthday when you were younger? A 16 year old in Lake Wales, Florida experienced that thrill this year, at least for a few minutes.

His mother, Jodi Wylke, decided she wanted to play a little joke on her son. She knew he wanted a Nintendo DS, so she bought him one, but held it back until after he had opened another present, a copy of Guitar Hero for the DS. After she let him get good and bewildered, she handed over the DS, new in the box. At least, that’s what she thought.

When the boy opened the box, he found a handful of rocks wrapped in a Chinese newspaper instead of the handheld he was expecting. No, this wasn’t an extension of the prank, the box was exactly as his mother had purchased it from the local Wal-Mart.

According to 10connects.com, the box was still sealed as though from the factory, so there was nothing to make Ms. Wylke think twice. She apparently returned the box to the Wal-Mart where she purchased it, where she was refused a refund. The store told her that the item hadn’t been returned, and that she would have to contact Nintendo to address the issue.

Speaking about the local store, Ms. Wylke said, “They don’t want to do nothing. They want me to keep the box of rocks. I’m not buying a box of rocks for $138.” To make sure her son had the intended present, she returned to Wal-Mart and bought a second DS, which she had the store clerk open to insure that it did indeed contain the handheld device.

She contacted Nintendo, who informed her that it wasn’t their problem either. Apparently 10connect.com contacted Wal-Mart’s national reps, who performed a second check and discovered that the DS in question had in fact been returned. Ms. Wylke received a refund and a $20 gift card for her trouble.

Ms. Wylke now wants to warn others to make sure they know what they’re buying before they leave the store. “Have them open it before you take it out of the store and make sure you’re getting the merchandise,” she said.

In a statement, Wal-Mart said the following:

“Customer service is something we’re passionate about at Wal-Mart. Our store looked into the situation. We are working with the customer directly to refund her money to ensure that she is satisfied with her experience at Wal-Mart.”

In an interesting twist, CrunchGear reports that this DS had been sold in this condition twice! This doesn’t seem too hard to figure out, does it?

Has anyone else heard of this, or has it happened to you or someone you know? Is this something that is happening on anything approaching a regular basis?

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