Thursday, December 21, 2006

Can you make this stolen phone work for me?

The Wal-Mart I work at is real ghetto. And when I say ghetto, I mean G-H-E-T-T-O!

We've had people run confidence games in the aisles of electronics, steal purses right out of carts, customers attack cashiers right at their registers and on at least four occasions weed has come wafting out of the front restrooms. Every morning we gather up all of the empty boxes from stolen items and it fills up a ten-gallon storage bin. That's ghetto.

The worst part about the stealing is that the people doing the stealing are sometimes not that educated about what they are stealing. For instance, the pre-paid cellular phones.

Even though there are labels all over the things that say "NOT ACTIVE UNTIL SOLD" and "SCAN AT REGISTER FOR ACTIVATION" people steal the things all the time. I guess you have to have a phone — even if it doesn't work — to look "street."

So these three toughs walk in with a kid in tow and they have the kid do the talking. The story is that "grandma" bought the kid the pre-paid cell phone "for Christmas" but that "someone" forgot to activate the phone at the register, so could we please activate the phone so the poor boy could use his Christmas present that grandma got him? And of course because it is a gift from the mysterious but oh-so-generous "grandma," they don't have a receipt.

Grandma doesn't exist. The phone was never legally sold in the first place. There is no way that phone ever got onto a receipt without being activated. No way, no how. You cannot scan the barcode and not scan the activation code. But still, can you call them liars? What can I do?

I have to return the phone as a return without a receipt, so I get a drivers license on at least one of the toughs, and then re-sell the phone, activating it.

I hope that phone give those guys brain cancer.


Josh said...

I still can't figure out which pisses me off more. People stealing stuff or people taking it out of the package before they steal it and leaving the trash all over the place. Hell, my store doesn't even have those security tags on anything, so just take the damn packge with you!

Melissa said...

Just found your blog and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!! You are too funny!

Mr. Helpful said...

I apologize for putting this in the comments however I couldn't find an email address to contact you at.

I'm the general manager of and we have a debate raging over there regarding Walmart's return policies; particularly with regards to items purchased at other retailers. I thought you might like to provide some're welcome to come over and join the fray.

By the way, the original letter was written to Target however the letter writter mentions that she took toys bought at Target and returned them at Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas,
I hope you can get some rest. I live in a Wal Mart free area, but still I am a big fan of your blog, have been reading for months.

Anonymous said...

LORD LORD LORD, can you imagine the stories after Christmas exchange is over and done. Have a Merry Christmas and don't let the wierdo punks ruin it for you. A

Anonymous said...

This is why the city of Detroit has very few major retailers left within the city limits. (I moved to the suburbs some 15 years ago.) The shoplifting losses were outstripping any profit margin. What's ridiculous is when the residents complain they have to drive out to the 'burbs to do their shoplifting, er, shopping. If they didn't destroy every store that made an effort to operate in the city, there'd be no problem.

bud said...

If i stole a phone and baught the same phone could i get away with retuning the stolen phone with a baught phones box and receipt

Bill Gates said...

No dummy. When you return the stolen phone it will be scanned the same a cashier scan when some buy something. When its scaned its gonna deactivate that phone. The activation code is on box stupid. It will deactivate that phone you bought and kept. Neither phone can get activated now because of you. Dummy.

Anonymous said...

what if one boight a stolen phone from walmart it couldnt be activated? What if it was unlocked/rooted/jailbroken

yorkstateofmind said...

Love this topic I was just asking about the best data plan prepaid.