By Kurtis Ming

A Carmichael dad says when he opened the box for his $700 laptop, there was only a stack of paper inside. When no one would help, he called Kurtis.

“I’m an honest guy. I mean, I’d never try to scam anybody,” said Gary Prudler.

But Prudler is caught up in something fishy. After buying a $700 laptop from Fry’s in Roseville, he says he got it home and sliced it open, going through three seals on the box.

“Folded open this cardboard tab here and that’s when I discovered the paper,” said Prudler, showing us the box.

There was no laptop to be found, only a stack of printer paper. Prudler thinks someone must have gotten their hands on it before him and taken it out of the box without cutting the seals.

“It looks like somebody must have forced the edge of the box open, removed the laptop, put the paper in there, sealed it back up with rubber cement,” said Prudler.

He says Fry’s and the manufacturer, Acer, refused to give him a laptop.

“Once you pay for it it’s yours,” said Chris Morran, deputy editor of The Consumerist.

Morran says whenever you buy something expensive, you should check the box before you leave the store.

“You just slit open the top a little bit, peek inside. You should be able to see a TV or a laptop or a computer monitor,” said Morran.

We contacted Acer, who told us: “Our internal quality controls would prevent this from happening at the factory and our records show that the PC had been registered prior to Gary Prudler’s purchase. We are currently investigating how this happened.”

Fry’s told us: “Fry’s examines all returns. We open boxes/packages, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to eliminate/prevent any occurrences like the one here. If a customer brings in the original invoice, no ID is usually required. We only ask for ID if the invoice is absent.

“Our review and investigation of this situation, to date, does not suggest there was any tampering with the computer (packaging) in the store.”

After we got involved, Acer sent Gary a laptop. From now on, he says he’ll open boxes at the register.

“I’ll have to because I do not want this happening ever again,” he said.


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