Newly purchased Apple iPad Air turns out to be store demo, bringing on the pain

Newly purchased Apple iPad Air turns out to be store demo, bringing on the pain
Poor Monica Hall. All she wanted to do was go down to her local AT&T store and pick up a new Apple iPad Air. It doesn't sound like a big deal, right? After all, thousands of people buy a new tablet every day. But on November 15th, after purchasing an iPad Air from an AT&T Store in Mesquite, Texas, she took her newly purchased slate home and couldn't get it to load apps or to lock. She spent two hours on the phone with Apple Support until the reason for the problem was discovered: the actual Apple iPad Air she bought was a demo model.

So Ms. Hall and Apple Support spent about three hours fiddling with the tablet until it seemed like it was working perfectly. But three days later, when getting ready to text her daughter, she typed in the first two letters of her name when all of a sudden she realized she had more than 300 Apple employee contacts on her iPad. These people were all strangers to her. The problem is that when she synced her iTunes account to the iPad along with all of her cloud based content, it pushed that information onto her Apple iPhone as well. And she can't just wipe and restore the phone because iOS 7 is not compatible with her company's email system. In other words, all of those Apple related contacts have to be deleted name by name.

Hall says that about 80 to 90 names on her contacts list belong to her and the number of contacts on both her iOS devices now number over 400. She didn't feel like she should have to spend the time to make these deletions. She met with an AT&T manager who was no help. After being directed to Apple by AT&T, the Cupertino based company told Hall that the problem actually lies with AT&T since it was their demo ("Oh, that's where the demo model went," said an employee at the Mesquite AT&T Store). AT&T eventually offered Hall $100 for her troubles, but manual deletion remains the only solution.

We would like to throw our 2 cents in here by reminding device buyers that new means new. Don't settle for a demo model when you shell out your hard earned cash for a new device. New means new, not a model pawed over by employees or shoppers. Demand to see the device you've purchased before you leave the store, even if the store has already set it up for you. Since AT&T already set up her tablet for her, Hall never looked at or tested the tablet before she went home. While we are not blaming her for what happened in the least, it is an oversight she has admitted to and helped lead to the problem.

If you need another reason to examine your purchase before you leave the story, think back to the mother who purchased an iPad at Walmart for her daughter's birthday and when the box was unwrapped at home, it contained nothing but legal pads.

source: CNET

Related phones

iPad Air
  • Display 9.7 inches
    1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A7, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB,
  • Battery 8820 mAh
  • OS iOS 12.x



26. Edmund

Posts: 656; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

It's not as if a company like samsung would do anything dishonest

21. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I would chalk this up to being a mistake. Just take it back and get a new one. At least there were no bricks inside the box. Heck, with Apple devices people return them for a different color, memory capacity or get tired of them a day before the return date. I'm surprised that this was even worthy of being reported. Now if the store refused to take it back then that's different.

24. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"Now if the store refused to take it back then that's different." That will be the next part of the story - the store initially refused to deal with Ms. Hall because she had a demo unit, and demo units aren't for retail sale, so there had to be something real fishy about her problem. Maybe the police were called to arrest the person (Ms. Hall) involved in the theft of the demo unit? Only thing that kept Ms. Hall out of jail was her receipt.

20. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Demo models are a b*tch to get that software permanently off. On a side note, Geoff Koops is Mr. this dude is in this airhead's contacts. LOL. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife...

17. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Tip: Use the Apple Store when buying iProducts.

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

True, even best buys staff was screwing up. +1

12. SprintPower

Posts: 74; Member since: Dec 29, 2008

I won't take it if the box is not factory sealed. I look carefully at the seal too because a deft hand with a razor blade can make it appear as though it has not been tampered. Since the seal is always over a flap, just gently pull the flap near the seal and it will separate if it has been tampered.

10. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

New to me means sealed box

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

In plastic

28. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Some people invest in those plastic-wrapping machines, too. Intricate bastards!

6. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

So, like, it wasn't sealed in the box? I guess you can like try to delete the contacts on the desktop, somehow, but doubt you can with ios, unless itunes lets you. That's lame.

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

What about a factory reset, followed by downloading the latest O/S update? Once you have the latest and greatest, do a restore from iTunes? Factory reset is supposed to scratch everything on the device.

25. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Not to attack you Doug, but one of the reasons that this is going to be a headach her is she has not upgraded to IOS 7 from IOS 6 because IOS 7 will not sync with the servers at her work and she wont be able to check her work email on her phone.


Posts: 109; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Oh Poor Monica Hall! Do you know how many customers I manually inputted their contacts into their new phone they upgraded through me? I did it for free too! It's a hell of a lot easier to manually delete 300 contacts than it is to input just 30. Heaven forbid she has to take 15 minutes out of her day! BTW, this is another reason why you don't buy apple products. You can't delete groups of people at once. You have to individually delete each contact one by one.

9. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

While it isn't that big of a deal to do, I still wouldn't want to do it either. Especially not if I paid brand new pricing for the device. I'm not saying she doesn't bear some responsibility, as the author pointed out she took responsibility for. However, this does show what a POS company both ATT and Apple are. Apple should have taken the Ipad back and worked with ATT to resolve what happened. Also, if Apple didn't ATT should have manned up and done the right thing regardless. Afterall, it was their mistake. Honestly, att for all her trouble should have given her the device for free. I'm sick of these companies that screw up and want me the customer to just deal with their mistake. I will also note that I am not an Apple fan, nor do I own a single apple device. Actually, I don't ever plan on buying an apple toy. Just using this to show that it isn't really her fault. And I'm not one to usually side with the customers.

22. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

You did it for free huh? You make customer home calls to delete and add their contacts for them? If you did an upgrade for them at your work then they are paying per hour or salary to do that for them if needed. It's called customer service and you get paid for it. "Heaven forbid she has to take 15 minutes out of her day!" Post a video of you deleting 300 contacts while still keeping the 80 - 90 contacts that are yours in 15 minutes please. Why should someone be okay with this as you seem to think she should be? If you buy a new product you should not have to jump through hoops to make sure it's not a demo unit before finalizing the transaction. Also this should never have made it to the public. The company that sold the device made a error and they should fix it with in reason. Proactively exchanging the device for a new one would probably suffice even without fixing her contacts for her. Awaiting your video link proving your statement. If you cannot prove any of your words then don't comment back so I know where we stand. @DAMONORIBELLO

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Go back to AT&T exchange, or refund. I wonder was it boxed, and sealed in plastic. Whoever sold it to her should be written up too, if they new it was a demo. My very first iPad was bought off craigslist and it turned out to be a demo unit also. I was able to erase all content and settings and restored from my iTunes back up so I didn't have a problem.

5. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

+1 Whenever I get a new product I usually take more than an hour to check everything. Screen (dead pixels), body (scratches), storage (right GB and no user data), settings (factory), etc. I always try to look into everything thinking I'm spending my hard earned dough so won't settle for anything less than what I intended to purchase - specially if brand new.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's right, you gotta check that stuff out. When I went to buy my iPad mini with retina display the lady kept trying to sell me the black slate mini, telling me it was the one with retina display. I told this lady no that's the first model bring me out the black and space gray mini with retina. She continued this is the mini with retina, so I ended up getting somebody else to assist me. I eventually ended up exchanging that one for 64 gig white and silver

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

+1 bro

13. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

You can't honestly expect regular (especially non-tech savvy or older people) to know all of that and to actually check that stuff. They go home and expect a "new" product to work as advertised which is what she did. I think this might have been done differently than discussed, like the tablets got mixed up when they were setting it up for her. So both ipads were lying close to each other while hers was being set up and the wrong one was given to her as she was leaving. That would be the only thing that explains why a demo model might end up with a customer without it being properly marked. Otherwise if it was sealed and wrapped after being a demo model without being labelled as open box, then it would be a pretty shady move and the seller should be penalized for it. So it might have been unintentional and the damage came largely from the fact that she ended up syncing it without knowing instead of any malicious intent on the employees part.

16. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

And why didn't it have a sticker on it noting it was a demo unit? "Oh, that's where the demo model went," doesn't cut it, the store should have better protocols in place so this doesn't happen.

2. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013


27. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

You're* I'm surprised no one attempted to correct this by now. Or maybe you meant "YOUR SYNCING IS WRONG!"? My bad for being the douche - I'll take full responsibility, but it's all for the good of humanity! Anyway, this made me lol badly: "She didn't feel like she should have to spend the time to make these deletions." Talk about first-world problems... By the time she traveled back and forth between the AT&T store and her home, she could have finished eliminating said contacts!

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Um, if I were her, I'd gladly replace the demo model with a brand spanking new one and take the $100.

14. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Absolutely! There is a reason demo units are labeled as such. I am now wondering how the demo designation managed to be removed. Further, if there is supposed to be ample supply of the Air models, why was the demo unit sold as new? There is more to this story than AT&T (or Apple) is going to fess up to.

19. Gdrye

Posts: 111; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

ok, ill tell you what happened, i work at at&t and soon as i seen the headline i knew what happened, if you have at&t service and have your phone box on it look at all the bar codes (including apple products) you will see one bar code named "sku" i have an HTC one in black my sku reads 6138A...Now, on a demo HTC one in black 32gb its gonna be different, because a demo has a different sku, and it makes sense, if you ever went to a store you cant set up touch id put a password..nothing, because its blocked from the phone. As an At&t rep we CANNOT sell the device because it should have said that item isnt sellable, this issue almost happened in my store but this time it was a while LG G2, the associate couldnt figure out why they couldnt sell the device and we ran the sku and found it was a demo, the person at that store responsible for the demo units should have watched out for this, but the demo comes in the same packages as the sellable products, you have to pay attention and be keen because there is no sticker or no branding that says its a demo, except in our system that says it is, so a sellable one is on the store floor while the demo was waiting to be sold. its an honest mistake, but im surprised the manager didnt do nothing to swap out the device, now, APPLE does not let us handle problems with their devices they always tell us to send them to the apple store, so i see why she was sent there, no surprise they wasnt any help, as i ran into that issue plenty of times with them..well now you know the store, ill fess up for my company, honest mistake that im sure happens HUNDREDS of times

23. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"...a demo has a different sku,..." and "As an At&t rep we CANNOT sell the device because it should have said that item isnt sellable..." So how come the demo unit was sold? Enquiring minds would like to know. If the inventory system has blocks in it to prevent demo units from being sold, how come a demo unit got sold? I am not trying to be snarky or confrontational, but there is more to the story than AT&T or Apple is letting on.

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