July 3, 2019

Better not buy smartphones at a discounter

I'm in need of a new Smartphone to toy with. As far as I'm concerned it can be the cheapest piece of garbage available as long as it runs a current version of Android and isn't registered anywhere (particularly not with Google). I need a virgin device. With that in mind, I pay a visit to a local discounter...

The first branch store I try is out of stock for the model, I am interested in. Same as the second. With the third, I’m in “luck”. The clerk vanishes into the stockroom, returns, and with a triumphant smile, shoves a package in my face. “Is this the model you wanted?”, she asks, as she opens the box to show me the contents.

You can even buy fake seals online to reseal a package - completely missing the point
It was the right model. But sadly, it was in the wrong state. The seal is broken and the display full of fingerprints. I immediately reject with a frown. She doesn’t seem to understand why. “I could wipe off the fingerprints”, she says. “Sure you can, but what will you do about that seal?” Sad thing here is, that if hadn’t been a smartphone, but an open bag of potato chips, she’d have immediately understood that the article may not be put on the shelf again. But hey, a sticker over the latch of the cardboard box with the explicit instruction “DO NOT ACCEPT IF SEAL IS BROKEN” probably doesn’t mean anything.

What’s worse is that she hints that all the phones were delivered to the store with their seals broken. Presumably in order for the discounter to preload its very own app. Seriously?! We are talking about a chain store here. Someone must obviously have slept through management class.

The whole point of seals is to assure the customer that a product is in mint condition. Seals are not decorative items, the manufacturer puts on for the fun of it and selling an Android device with a broken seal is an absolute no-go! The user is suppose to store sensitive information on the device (you shouldn’t always do what you are suppose to do). If the seal was broken, presumably to preload an app, then there is no telling what else might have been preloaded.