A Kent father thought he had bought a new iPad from Tesco, but when he opened the box he discovered that all it contained was three lumps of clay. To make matters worse, when he returned it to the store for a refund, staff contacted the police.
It's never a triumph of customer service when the police are required.
ArrestedColin Marsh, a 47-year-old bakery owner from Whitstable in Kent, told the Daily Mail that he had bought a £470 iPad just before Christmas last year, but when he opened the box he discovered that all it contained was three lumps of clay.
He took it back to the shop on Boxing Day, but was told it would be investigated before any refund was issued, and suspicious staff reported it to the police. He was called to the police station for questioning and was arrested on suspicion of fraud. He spent six weeks on bail before the iPad that should have been in the box was located.
At that point he finally received a refund. He told the Kentish Gazette: You just can't treat people like that. It's absolutely disgusting." The supermarket has now apologised for the distress caused.
PoliceIt's shocking that a customer service issue can become a police matter like this, but it does happen.
This summer a woman tried to take her horse through a McDonald's drive-thru in Bury, and after she was refused service, she took the horse into the restaurant. The police were called, and she was eventually given a fixed penalty notice for the alarm caused to other customers.
In September last year a 41-year-old father from Swindon was arrested after staging a sit-in at his local Tesco store. He had returned a faulty TV and although he wanted a refund he was only offered a repair. He refused to leave, so police were called and when he told them he wouldn't move on, they arrested him and cautioned him for obstructing a police officer.
And it's not just the retailers who call the police for customer service assistance. Last week Police in Scotland revealed that they had received a 999 call from someone who had been given a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger at a fast food restaurant and felt this was the best forum for their complaint.