Lakeland man buys iPad, finds only books in box - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland man buys iPad, finds only books in box

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Jonathan Thomas says he bought an iPad mini, but there was no iPad in the box. Jonathan Thomas says he bought an iPad mini, but there was no iPad in the box.
Jonathan Thomas says he bought an iPad mini, but there was no iPad in the box. Jonathan Thomas says he bought an iPad mini, but there was no iPad in the box.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Walmart is apologizing to a Lakeland man who bought an iPad mini that turned out to be a box of ledger books.

It's not the first time the fake iPad problem has cropped up at Walmart. News Channel 8 reported on at least two instances in the 2012 holiday season, believed to be a result of someone buying the device and returning the re-sealed box without it.

Related: Surprise: St. Pete couple says there was no iPad in box

This time, Jonathan Thomas says he opened his new iPad mini box to find two black ledger notebooks inside.

"I was dumbfounded for a minute," Thomas said.

Thomas says employees at the Lakeland Walmart store on S. Florida Ave. initially refused to exchange the item he went home with earlier this month.

"They said there's nothing we can do about this, there's no way those books were in there with it was cellophaned, and it's more the look they were giving me and the way they were treating me," he said.

Thomas posted a YouTube video about the transaction and Walmart's reaction that attracted more than 500,000 views.

A Walmart manager from the store contacted him last night and he received a new iPad, he said.

Related: Walmart investigates iPad scheme

A Walmart spokeswoman apologized for Thomas' experience and told News Channel 8 that the company determined that the iPad that Thomas bought had been previously returned.

She also said Walmart will share information with law enforcement to track down those responsible.

"We never want our customers to have an experience like this and we have reached out to Mr. Thomas to make things right with him," Dianna Gee said in an email to News Channel 8.

Gee also said customeres buying iPads in the future can open them at the store with an employee present right after they buy them, to make sure they're getting the genuine item.

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