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Woman wrecks cell phone store, moons staff after refund dispute

Display cases are destroyed and bottomless anger reigns after a store won't accept a T-Mobile phone return. Staff films evidence of the episode.

She's not over the moon.
WXYZ-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The course of a cell phone purchase doesn't always run smoothly.

The terms can be lengthy, the devices complex and the conclusion unsatisfying.

Sometimes, you don't realize what you've bought, until the returns policy has expired. And then you get mad.

Anger, though, can be expressed in many forms. One woman in Detroit needed to show that her anger was bottomless.

Claiming that her son had been ripped off to the tune of "200 motherf***ing dollars," she marched into a cell phone store and demanded restitution.

Sadly, she lost her equilibrium. I would like to use the word "allegedly," but the store clerk filmed much of the episode.

As WXYZ-TV reports, the woman began to trash the store.

The store has a seven-day policy for refunds. In what seemed like a lot less than seven minutes, the store was a mess.

Leaflets were strewn about the floor. A knife was allegedly used to gouge display cases.

Then, as a friend tried to shepherd her away, the woman shouted "Take that!"

She wasn't referring to the boy band of some years ago. Instead, she had turned toward the clerk's cell phone camera and was showing him where the moon truly shined.

"I will be back," she promised, ominously.

Once she had calmed down, the woman -- who admitted to the name "Stephanie" -- explained to WXYZ-TV why she "had to do that."

She felt her money was "up in the air," rather like her bottom had been a few minutes before.

She was told, she said, that she could neither get a refund nor another phone. She claimed the T-Mobile phone her son had been sold was both outdated and damaged.

The store clerk, who declined to be named, said: "There's no excuse for anyone to walk into anybody's business and do that."

Stephanie is not the first to decide that wrecking a cell phone store is all that remains. Last year, a man walked into a T-Mobile store in Manchester, England and proceeded to completely -- and gleefully -- trash it.

The cause? Why, he was allegedly upset over the refund policy.

In Stephanie's case, the store is not, as they say in England, over the moon. Charges may well be pressed. Conveniently for the store owner, the police station is just across the road.

However, it's surely troubling for the store that it might now be subject to adverse publicity. Sometimes, making a customer happy -- even at the expense of a small loss -- can have longer-term benefits.

Getting a customer so irate that she reveals her bottom in displeasure might rebound on the store more than the owner could imagine.

It's never good to be known as a place where people get a bum deal.