A Big W customer received a shock after opening her new Samsung Galaxy A31 to find the box full of used batteries and toilet paper.
Ebony St Daniels was excited to find her local Big W store in Southland, Victoria had one of the coveted phones left. She said they were reduced from $499 to $389 and she had wanted one of the smart phones for her 20th birthday, so she headed into the store.
"The guy (Big W staff member) went to get the phone and came back with two phone boxes. He put one in a draw and gave the other one to me," Ms St Daniels told Yahoo News Australia.
It wasn't until she got it home that she opened the box and noticed something was a little off.
"It looked like the kind of box that you slide out like a match box. But I had to rip it open," she told Yahoo News Australia.
"The bottom of the box was glued down to the outer shell of the box which is why it was so difficult to open."
Ms St Daniels said when she opened the box her stomach dropped.
"I finally open this phone up and to my horror I yelled to my family there's no phone – it's just toilet paper and batteries, and weirdly enough the batteries in the box were from Kmart," Ms St Daniels said.
Ms St Daniels said the Southland store had already closed, so instead she called another location who informed her Big W stores don't "correspond with each other".
Not knowing what to do she decided to post her complaint on the Big W Facebook page and "within 20 minutes they got back to me".
The next day Ms St Daniels called the store she had made the purchase from and they told her they would be investigating the matter, when the store manager got back to her she was told the team member who sold her the phone had not followed procedure by checking the contents of the phone.
"He apologised profusely and told us that he watched the CCTV footage and that it is store policy to check the contents of the box and that the guy who we purchased the phone from didn't and should've done that," she told Yahoo News.
A Big W spokesperson told Yahoo New Australia they believe the product had been fraudulently returned before being sold to Ms St Daniels.
"We did discover that the Samsung phone that was sold to our customer had been fraudulently returned to our Southlands store, and unfortunately resold by mistake. Our store manager apologised for the disappointing experience and we refunded the customer’s payment immediately," the spokesperson said.
"We are reviewing our internal returns processes to prevent this from happening again."
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