back to article Kid's 'new' MP3 player was preloaded with smut

A US father got a lot more than he bargained for when he bought each of his three kids an MP3 player from Walmart for Christmas. One of the devices was preloaded with pornography and explicit songs. "Within ten minutes, my daughter was crying," Daryl Hill, the ten-year-old's father, told AP. "I wish I could take the thoughts …


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  1. Greg

    *Ding Ding*

    "Within 10 minutes, my daughter was crying,"

    I detect bollocks in the immediate vicinity.

    (As did she.)

  2. John Macintyre


    'Hill is dissatisfied with the offer and has kept the product'

    to peruse and copy at his own leisure in private...

  3. elder norm

    Walmart, resell a used item..... never!! :-)

    Please, Of course Walmart, the cheapest company out there will resell hardware.

    I have seem many packages that are crudely re-taped and put back on the shelf. And given the low salary paid to these guys on the floor, I am sure that they just do what they are told.

    To Walmart I say,"See what happens when you race to the bottom of the market".

  4. Richard Kilpatrick
    Thumb Down


    Heh. Oddly enough, we bought the last of a certain DVD player in the local Asda, and it seemed poorly packed when opened, despite being sold as new. And contained a DVD.

    Not of smut, though. I feel shortchanged.

    (It was a presentation for a contracting firm).

  5. Robert Moore
    Paris Hilton

    Won't someone please think of the children?

    I always found it funny how the people who mannage to get a hold of a smut filled PC, or MP3 player are always children, or Deeply religious people.

    I wonder how many of these people "get religion" the moment they find the smut.

  6. Matt Horrocks

    Sure buy another

    Yes, because there's no such thing as Delete to get rid of those nasty files. Throw it away and buy another!

    Morons. Also would have been a better present if they had preloaded some songs that the kids liked on, at which point they would have noticed the dodgy stuff on there before the kid did.

  7. MD Rackham

    Uh huh...

    Regardless of what their "policy" is, returned merchandise is just repackaged and put back on the shelf if possible, at least in any WalMart I've been in. You always have to check carefully to ensure you're getting a factory-sealed box. If they don't do repacks, why is there a shrink-wrap machine in the back of every WalMart?

    The only worse offender is Fry's, although Best Buy is a close second.

    I'm just surprised that this kind of story doesn't pop up more often.

    But I wish your story had been more specific about exactly what "thoughts" the kid is trying to get out of her mind. You know we like the salacious details.

  8. /\/\j17
    Paris Hilton

    I'm With Dad!

    I agree with the dad - he should hold on to the MP3 player, waiting for a better offer.

    Well, at least until he's had time to copy toe pron off on to his.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bacground on Return Policies

    The UK has the Sale of Goods Act which helps protect people from buying faulty products. The US doesn't have any equivalent and you may have to rely on manufacturers' warranties, but additionally people expect stores to have generous return policies.

    Typically you can return most types of items within 30 days, regardless of whether it is faulty and even if it is open and used.

    The result of this that at some stores, practically nothing you buy is new. Occasionaly it is marked as an "open box item" and discounted, but often apparently new products are found to be partly-assembled, scratched, badly re-packed, etc.

    I suspect that many stores assess whether each item can be just re-shelved instead of being returned for proper repackaging.

  10. yeah, right.

    moral is... at Walmart, get molested.

    Sounds par for the course given Walmart's proclivities to doing the same to their staff, their suppliers, and their suppliers slaves, er, staff.

  11. Tom Haczewski


    "Mum, how do I load High School Musical on my MP3 player?

    Oh wait, it's already on here, except it's called High School Sluts. Where's the 'play' button?"

  12. Davey Bee

    Porn on used goods

    It might be tempting to have a laugh about this, but a year or so ago I was called to a house where their PC had started displaying porno popups - pretty rough ones, too - and the family's 10-year-old daughter had been shocked and really quite frightened by the images. She too had been in tears about it.

    [ She had a 14-year-old brother, so I didn't need to be Hercule Poirot to find out who'd introduced all the crap into the machine ].

    It's just not on for returned goods not to be cleared out before they are resold. It should be absolute basic procedure, and in this case I think the family should be getting Walmart all the bad publicity they can. And huge public apologies.

  13. Lyndon Barry
    Paris Hilton

    Kept the product?

    I wonder why...

  14. ben edwards


    How come kids in all these articles cry when they see porn? All the kids I knew as a kid, and even now with nephews, nieces, cousins and siblings, laugh hysterically and hide the "offensive" material from their parents, or just don't care.

  15. Michael Johnson
    Black Helicopters

    Well, that's new to me!

    Every Wal-Mart I've ever been in resells even products that they've been *TOLD* are broken or missing parts as new.

    If they have a policy of not reselling as new returned items, they obviously don't care about following it.

  16. Dalen
    Thumb Up

    No wonder he decided to keep it

    It's free porn in addition to a new player.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    can't help it.


    nothing to see here.

  18. Thomas Burnham

    [Un]Offical responce from local Wal-Mart

    We will not be submitting to the demands of the farther for money, or other settlements because, THIS IS SPAARRRTTAAA!!!!!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Typical "Big Box" Policy

    They all have a policy of immediately shrink-wrapping returns and putting them back on the shelf.

    ALL of them.

    This has hit me a few times.

    They all have excellent Returns departments. For a reason.

    Then, when something like this happens, they say "We don't have such a policy."

    Yeah, right.

  20. Paul
    Paris Hilton

    I once bought a 2nd hand PDA

    ... a Sony Clie (N770C/U PalmOs4 device); the owner sold it with a memory stick. When I collected it, I asked if he'd done a hard reset, he looked blank, so I demonstrated - so that way we both new is was clean. He also sold it with a 32MB memory stick (quite big in those days).

    it was only the next day at work when I discovered he had a bunch of self-made porn photos on the memory card, ewww, which I quickly wiped. My colleagues were rather more mercenary, suggesting I could have sold the memory card back to him for a lot of money!

  21. skeptical i
    Thumb Down

    The Beast of Bentonville strikes again.

    This is pro'ly how Sprawl- Mart tries to earn its enviro/ "green" stripes -- "recycling" returned merch by reselling it as new -- since they don't do anything else in this area unless they can wrest a pound of PR flesh out of it. I'm surprised they haven't been caught at this sooner, actually.

  22. rasputinsDog
    Paris Hilton

    Within ten minutes . . .

    this article made me cry. Maybe it was Sam's Choice porn.

  23. Steven Swenson

    Does she really need that?

    Like a 10 year old will really know how to use an mp3 player.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    He's keeping it.

    "Hill is dissatisfied with the offer and has kept the product..."

    ...and is enjoying the free porn in the meanwhile.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    He should sue for false advertisement at the very least, that's ridiculous!

    With the USA being so litigious I'd be surprised if he did nothing - there's probably a very nice payout waiting for all the emotional turmoil, bla bla bla.

    Goodness knows we can't have anyone under the age of forty viewing exactly how Mommy and Daddy started the chain of events ending up with you ;)

    Smut is, and always will be, best for adults ;) In fact, the PFY is obtaining some now! :D

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Given the assumption that that children are supposed to be the "last" innocent guys in the world - so there are no extreme right wing/conservative extremists among them. Why on earth would a child ever cry if he/she is exposed to pornography? Children usually don't cry when seeing something new. I'd guess they neither have a clue about sexuality altogether. And it can't relate to violence in any way, because even young children can see violence every day, either at scool or on TV...? Maybe they're just scared off by the reaction of their moralist parents?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    While he looks for a lawyer

    this sounds too much like a play for cash Walmart deserves it for being sloppy but the thing smells like Daddy needs a new car to me.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    I bought a second-hand phone memory card

    It had several music albums and a selection of "tasteful" photographs of the previous owner on it, amongst other things.

    I didn't bother to notify the RIAA/BPI, although I did email the previous owner and ask if she'd like her photographs back!

  29. Claire Rand

    how many 'get religion'...

    dare say its more a case of only the religious types make a fuss, everyone else either deletes the images or laughs at them, then deletes them.. or uploads them or whatever.

    personally I would take it back, since I've paid for new and it obviously isn't.

    I'd also delight in doing so when they are busy, and making a fuss till I was refunded.

    no point making a fuss outside the store, local papers etc. its not exactly unknown for this to happen, and is hardly news.

    and I check the package carefully, when you can, many supermarkets will have empty MP3 player boxes, you get what you are given at a kiosk, after paying for it. check it very carefully.

    the real world gets mre like ebay every day.

  30. kain preacher

    merchant of warrantability

    "The UK has the Sale of Goods Act which helps protect people from buying faulty products. The US doesn't have any equivalent and you may have to rely on manufacturers' warranties, but additionally people expect stores to have generous return policies."

    Why does this bull shit keep on getting repeated .. Federally no But ever states has merchant of warrantability act. WHich states if you buy a product and , it can not use it for the purpose it was bought for, a refund is due.

  31. Richard Cartledge


    I remember exactly the same thing happenning either last Christmas or the one bfore from Wal-Mart. Sounds like BS.

  32. Maksim Rukov
    Black Helicopters

    I have a cunning plan, milord...

    There's no reason the rest of us have to be left out.

    Step 1: buy an mp3 player from a big-name shopping franchise

    Step 2: secretly put smut on it

    Step 3: get offended, or better yet find someone who fits a more "innocent" stereotype to get offended for you

    Step 4: sue!

  33. Chris

    Most unusual return

    I once bought a modem (yeah, 56k dial-up device; for a friend) at a US big box store, and when I got home and removed the shrink wrap I found a length of chain in the box! It was wrapped in plastic so it didn't rattle. I brought it back to the store and the returns clerk called her friend across the floor and held it up - "You aren't going to believe this one..."


  34. Mother Hubbard

    Re: Atrocious

    >> Goodness knows we can't have anyone under the age of forty viewing exactly how Mommy and Daddy started the chain of events ending up with you ;)

    I had no idea you were the bastard son of a heavily tattoo'd midget, a shetland pony and a wild woodland woman who can lift bricks with her mudflaps.

  35. Anonymous Coward


    There is nothing more hilarious than seeing a grown man cry when watching porn. Ha! You think the kids ever even got close to it? Think not...

  36. Greg

    What's the big deal with restocking?

    I don't get why people on here are having a big whinge about returned items being put back on the shelf. That's not only what I'd expect to happen, but what I'd *want* to happen. If I return something that is near-as-damn-it mint, then they should put it back on the shelf and not chuck it or send it elsewhere. To do so would be a waste. Sure, if it's something like an MP3 player, for Christ's sake make sure it's been wiped first, but other than that, who cares?

    Oh noes, someone *used* this completely unscratched, blank, working DAP before I did? I demand a refund!

    I don't consider restocking the item a sin - that's just sense. They should have wiped it first though. To do otherwise is plain dumb, and may even leave the company open to legal challenges.

  37. Vic

    new car?

    It probably was full of smut but I'm a bit unsure of the motivation here.

    I have an almost 10 year old daughter and (a) I'd have loaded some of that crud Rihanna/Westlife stuff she likes on to it beforehand - at least three or four tracks, come on people! and (b) I know kids are tech-savvy but I'm not sure that a 10 year old takes an mp3 player out of the box and immediately jumps in and gets all the preloaded stuff off it without a bit of 'Hey Mum, show me how this works pls?' because they don't read instruction manuals....well, neither do I but whatever.

    Plus, if the parents hadn't preloaded anything, was the kid putting her music on by herself straight up? No parental assistance in that regard at all? I'm sure lots of kids do, my daughter is a complete whiz at powerpoint slides (better than me, sadly, I have better things to do) and I've surely not taught her, she just figured it out. Still, I'm a bit uneasy with this idea that this smut just jumped out....

    That said, we had a nice Nokia in our house that died when it was about three weeks old so it went back to its shop, spent three weeks away and then promptly died again. The 'new', 'out of the box' replacement came in an opened box *it had been 'checked'* and some interesting preloaded pix of one ugly man. ew.

  38. Robert Long
    Thumb Down

    How naive Reg readers are

    The idea that there's no pornography out there that would cause a 10-year-old to cry is astoundingly innocent. There's porn out there that would give a 40-year-old the shakes if they weren't expecting it.

  39. jai


    surely the MRIAA or the pron equivalent should now be looking to sue Wallmart also for distributing copyrighted material freely?

    and there were songs on there too? so the RIAA can get in on the act too, no?

  40. Gordon

    Conclusive proof

    I don't see how he hopes to prove that the pron was there before he bought the player. True, he could set the "added" dates, but that's probably so easy to fake it wouldn't fool anyone who'd had it explained to them.

    All Walmart have to do is deny all knowledge, because unless something new comes up I don't see there is a conclusive case against them.

  41. N

    They do it a lot.

    They even have shrinkwrapping machines in the store.

    Software gets returned - opened - a lot.

    They never claim anything is returned, when it's been returned, several times.

    I bought 4 ...(count them) 4 Belkin Tunecast II's within the space of one month, each dying after a couple of days, and they only cycle them and put them back on the shelf.

  42. Scott Coe

    Very common practice

    Looks like WalMart has taken a page out of NewEgg's "Revenue Maximazation" training manual for employees. This has happened to me so much at NewEgg, I no longer shop there. Out of 14 orders placed during 2006, 4 of the products were obviously repackaged returns. This situation was confirmed when calling the manufacturer of a video card who informed me that the cards' serial number had already been registered.

    The surprising part was the video card manufacturer telling me to contact NewEgg for an exchange and that they really had no procedure in place for dealing with shady dealers. They agreed it was a valid concern, but could care less about taking info and contacting NewEgg directly. I don't buy video cards from this manufacturer anymore.

    The retail marketplace will shout "Caveat Emptor". Buyers of repackaged product need to inform the retailers "Caveat Venditor". This illustrates the problem with the US economy, the corporations have waaaay to much arrogance and power to do as they feel, and to heck with the law. Things seem to be a little more civilized in the UK about such matters. The Trading Standards are actually in place to protect the consumer from dodgy retailers. Fancy that!

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happened here too

    Lately a similar story happened here in Estonia: the sales team of a store used a video camera from their stock to capture their hardcore party (booze, hookers, etc), and also forgot to press the "erase" button before putting the camera back to shelf. Check the details:

  44. Anonymous Coward


    " at Walmart, get molested."

    I'm off to Walmart, I'll just get my coat.

  45. Matt


    "Sparta, Tennessee"

    This is Madness, This is Blasphemy

    Madness? This is SPARTA!

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same thing happened to me

    I bought a "new" 4GB mini-SDHC card to store mp3's on my Treo. I thought it was broken, because it showed no free space, but then I noticed it was completely filled with music already. Most of it was worth keeping!

  47. steogede

    @ben edwards

    >> How come kids in all these articles cry when they see porn? All the kids I knew as a kid, and even now with nephews, nieces, cousins and siblings, laugh hysterically and hide the "offensive" material from their parents, or just don't care.

    Ben you failed to notice that the article states the girl cried within ten minutes, that's plenty of time for the parents to shout at her (or more likely, take a belt to her - given that they are in the Bible Belt).

    Whilst it is entirely possible that it is Wal-Mart's fault, I still think the father did it for the cash - at the very least he is milking it for all it's worth.

    P.S. For those who are slagging off Wal-Mart for repackaging used items as new - at least they take the time to package them - DSG would simply put it straight back on the shelf with out even looking in the box (after they had argued with the returning customer for half an hour).

  48. Anonymous Coward

    So who is responsible?

    Ah Classic...

    You may remember the Syringes being found in Diet Pepsi Cans a few years back, or the fingers being found in Wendy's Food.. All False Acquisitions. I remain skeptical.

    So I guess WalMart's mighty arms should extend into our homes, and be responsible for parenting our kids. Death to Walmart! Long Live The Walmart!

    Seriously now. It's Christmas, and you left your kid to play with a new toy... Didn't you think something was weird when the other two kids didn't have any content on their toys?

    I am getting tired of this victim mentality, and people thinking they struck the Lottery Jackpot when they've been "wronged".

    Equally interesting is that I love the fact that "Paperwork" is going to fix the problem. (By Paperwork I mean lawsuit). Grow up, and play with your kids, Daryl Hill. They miss you.

  49. Jason Sheldon

    To Greg: Nothing wrong with repackaging?

    You wouldn't mind buying a 2nd hand toothbrush?

  50. Rob

    The thing with this..

    To me this sounds like the item was bought and the most offensive porn possible put on it before returning it to the store, in an effort to highlight the 'reselling old as new' point.

    I don't think the father is the one responsible, I just think he's been the victim on the other end of someone elses campaign...

    If you were pissed off with this policy it certainly sounds like a viable way to hilight it publicly, without getting caught in the flak yourself :)

  51. Peter O'Brien
    Paris Hilton

    @What's the big deal with restocking?

    Restocking is perfectly valid IF done correctly. Having worked with a large UK retailer (won't mention the name here, but there is a B and a Q in it!) I know that returned stock (damaged or otherwise) does not get properly categorised. Consequently, faulty products end up back on the shelves even though there is a corporate procedure in place. The attitude is that there is too much hassle to go through the paperwork to record reasons for returns and it is simpler to sellotape the box and put it back on the shelf.

    Suppliers can also get a bum deal due to return policies of stores. Remember iQon got burned by Tesco's 'no quibble' return policy not so long ago. Again, if iQon understood the policy they probably would have looked for an opt out or at least attempted to make accounting provisions for it.

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