ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Nick Campbell thought he was buying a genuine Apple MacBook Pro refurbished charger at one-third of the price from a business on eBay.
When it didn’t appear to work on wife’s MacBook, he plugged it into his own.
“It fried the computer,” said Campbell.
It turns out the $25 charger was a counterfeit and fried both computers. He reached out to Apple who quoted him $1,200 to fix the laptops, money he was not planning to spend.
He reached out to eBay which said it would refund the $25 for the charger.
“That doesn’t come close to touching the damage that actually occurred,” he said.
The Federal Government Accountability Office says that counterfeit items sold online are a growing problem. Earlier this year, the agency bought 47 items from third-party sellers on sites like Amazon and eBay.
“About 40 percent of the items that we purchased online turned out to be counterfeit,” said Kimberly Gianopoulos with the GAO. “You’re assuming you’re going to receive when that package arrives is what you saw on the internet, and that is not always the case.”
We uncovered nearly 200 complaints through the Better Business Bureau that were tied to the Texas address that shipped Campbell’s charger.
Houston TV station KPRC went undercover and stopped by the business. A man denied it sold chargers. The same man later told consumer reporter Amy Davis it was a hub for gas stations.
After Campbell threatened to report the company to the FBI, he says the company sent him $1,200 to fix his damaged laptops.
He is skeptical now when it comes to buying certain products online.
“It doesn’t make me feel safe buying certain products from eBay,” said Campbell.
eBay says this particular company is now restricted from selling on their platform saying, you can shop eBay’s one billion-plus items with confidence.