A while back I went on at some length about how the manufacturer of a tablet I had just purchased was trying to wriggle out from under the terms of their own warranty. I launched a Twitter offensive – not an overwhelming one, though I did have some help from my friends 😆 …but it appeared to have paid off. Last week I received the following e-mail.
Shipping (Customer Support)
Jul 29 12:21 PM
We are currently in the process of shipping your replacement device, although the address we have on file cannot be verified. At your earliest convenience, please forward an alternative shipping address or make any corrections necessary to the current information we have on file.
Ematic Customer Service
Shipping/ Receiving Department
Whoa… quite a turnaround from a fuzzy photo and “We will be shipping your damaged device(s) back to the address provided within 5 to 7 business days”, right?
So today a box arrived in the mail.
A rather crumpled Priority Mail box that obviously wasn’t big enough to hold the original retail packaging that I had gone out of my way to return to them.
And what it contained was simply wrapped in paper.
Oh, wait, a padded envelope. Thank all applicable gods for that.
The accessories (USB cable, AC adapter, headphones) were also wrapped up in the paper. What could possibly go wrong?
Wow, they thought to include the manual! Astounding. Now, when I sent this tablet to them, it wouldn’t even boot up due to a bum battery. So what are the odds…?
Oh. Wow. Okay. It lives.
Not only did it pick up on my router, but it had someone else’s router remembered with the password for that router.
It gets better! There was some Tupac stored on the internal memory too – a couple of albums’ worth, vintage stuff from the Death Row days. Points for taste, if nothing else.
And there was browser history.
So… this wasn’t the tablet I sent them.
Who got the tablet I sent them? Whose tablet is this?
Not that it matters: my SOP when this sort of thing happens to me – and it has happened before – is to wipe the device, do a factory reset, and proceed from there.
Would everyone do that? No. They might go through and see if you’d set the browser to remember passwords. See if maybe one of those passwords goes to your bank account. Maybe your Social Security number is “remembered” in there somewhere. Maybe a collection of tasteful, artsy nude photos (oh, who am I kidding?). Maybe your address so they can print those photos, email them to you, and demand hush money.
We live in the age of ransomware, people. The bad guys are waiting, just waiting, for you to get careless and screw up.
Wipe your mobile devices regularly. Some things should never be put on your devices or accessed from them in the first place.
In the meantime, thanks to eMatic, I have another tablet to run emulators on at OVGE this weekend. (Sorry, won’t be playing any Tupac.)