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Flux Capacitor April 29 2013 10:11 AM

Shady Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
(Thread title should read Shady, btw :) )
One of the services we offer where I work is to shrink wrap things for people. It's a rarely used part of our repertoire but we do get the occasional shipping customer who wants their stuff wrapped before being sent out. However, we also get folks who want to shrink wrap items for more...nefarious purposes.

On Saturday, one of my fellow employees took an order for some items to be shrink wrapped. Specifically, an iPod, an iPad and some video games. Now, we have a policy that if we're wrapping an item that was once shrinkw rapped at it's point of purchase, we slip a little card in with the item that states that we wrapped it. We'd gotten complaints from the local community college that people were trying to reurn used books under the guise of them never having been unwrapped for full refunds. Well, witht his order we found another good use for these cards.

The dude who placed the order came in during my shift, paid for them and went on his way. Not 20 minutes later, a woman burst through the doors with the same box of items the man had left with and is demanding that we re-wrap them without the cards. She claims she is using these for her display cases and refuses to advertise for us on her products. She also complained about the quality of the wrapping and wanted that re-done anyway, and while we were at it we should leave the cards out. I explained the policy and she countered with the "I've done this before and never had this happen" claim and just generally started causing a scene. She claimed that the guy who placed the order wasn't told about the cards (later proven to be a lie). I told her we'd rewrap the but that I'd have to see what I could do about waiving the policy.

So she leaves...and that's when I got curious. I start to wonder...why do the items need to be shrinkwrapped in order to be put into a display case? Not to mention this was a very random assortment of games. I also noticed that 2 of the game cases are the kind that a game store uses to sell pre-orders...they aren't even the actual retail game cases.

So...I opened one of the game cases. I figured if anyone asked, I was checking to make sure the discs weren't warped by the shrink wrapper's heat. Did I find a game disc matching the case itself? I surely did not. I did find a disc though. A blank CD. I open another. Blank CD. Another. Another, much older game for an older system. For example, one game case was for Madden 2013 on the PS3. The disc inside...Madden 2003 for the original Xbox. The iPod and iPad boxes. Empty except for a few cheap accessories.

Display case my ass.

So, I rewrapped them, with the cards intact. I left a note for my morning crew should the woman or guy come back and sent my manager an email just to let her know about all of this when she comes in on Monday. When they didn't come in to pick the stuff up the next day, I left them a message to inform them that while their order was done, I was bound by policy and could not wrap without the cards. I mentioned why we use the cards in the first place, and mentioned that while I am not accusing them of anything illegal, (although they clearly are) that others have done unscrupulous things before and we have to do our due diligence. When I left tonight, the box was still on the counter and I'll be surprised if it's not there when I come in tomorrow.

I'll leave it up to my manager as far as whether we'll be informing authorities of this. We have the order placer's name and phone number (which I presume belongs to the woman after hearing the voice mail greeting) and the game cases are evidence enough if they fail to pick them up. I was just blown away by the sheer stupidity of these people, thinking they could get away with hawking those fake games off as authentic. It's even more sad that I'm sure there are people out there who would buy them and be severely disappointed with what they'd find inside. At least I know I did what I could to keep these people from scamming some gullible fool into buying fake (and presumably stolen, as far as the cases go anyway) merchandise. I'm quite interested in what my manager will have to say about it all and what steps we'll take, if any.

Anyone else have any run ins from people trying to pull similar crap like this?

Ar-Pharazon April 29 2013 03:12 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
I've never had that sort of thing happen. I have gotten "the other person did this" or "the last time I was in" type of garbage in retail many, many times.

One of the many, many reasons I got out of retail a long time ago.

I think the closest was when I worked at a hardware store and people would bring in keys that were clearly stamped "do not duplicate" and they would try talking us into doing it anyway.

It's possible other people doing the key cutting paid no attention to the original key.

bbailey861 April 29 2013 03:30 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
I would certainly be calling the authorities on this. I think it's a 'good thing' that you checked. In the future, perhaps your company - as policy - 'will check all items before shrink wrapping to ensure no items are damaged before being sealed'.

Tora Ziyal April 29 2013 03:44 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
Wow. I'd be calling the police, too.

Flux, there's something fishy about your thread title. ;)

Mr. Laser Beam April 29 2013 03:47 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
^ I heard that! :scream: :D

Tora Ziyal April 29 2013 04:27 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
^Wow, that didn't take long! :lol:

auntiehill April 29 2013 06:20 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
^I had a feeling you'd take the bait.

Flux Capacitor April 29 2013 07:23 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
Yeah I tried editing the title of my post but it didn't change the title on the main page. If a mod could fix that for me I'd be much obliged. :-)

And yeah, we get people trying to get us to duplicate copyrighted pictures all the time. Just yesterday I told a woman I couldn't help her make copies of her granddaughter's senior portrait. She asked how the machines know what it is she's copying...

Mr. Laser Beam April 29 2013 07:33 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
Good on ya, Flux. You had every right to do what you did. The customer has no right to (sneakily or not) force your store to participate in what is obviously a scam.

If your manager alerts the police, then that's even better. :techman:

J. Allen April 29 2013 08:31 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
Yep. Good work, Flux.

Roger Wilco April 29 2013 08:48 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
I don't really understand this scam, unless its purpose is just to get new games for free.

Surely, video games without the original packaging can't be sold for much, can they?

Mr. Laser Beam April 29 2013 08:50 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
^ I think the 'customer' was intending to get a bunch of worthless crap into a box, which she could then have shrink-wrapped and then try to sell to marks, passing it off as the real thing. The victim doesn't know it's a scam until they open the box, at which point it's too late.

Roger Wilco April 29 2013 08:54 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
Ah, I see.

I thought they were going to return it to the store where they bought the games.

Mr. Laser Beam April 29 2013 08:58 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
^ That is also possible. Either scam is quite common, sadly.

scotpens April 29 2013 09:30 PM

Re: Shad Shrink-wrapping Shenanigans.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who'll fall for those scams hook, line and sinker.

Oh . . . did we stop doing fish puns?

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