PJ Mazzonna expected a Sony Playstation VR headset for Christmas — but what he got was closer to a lump of coal.
Because when the Whitby, Ont., man tore open a sealed gaming box this holiday, he found instead a dirty T-shirt, two bottles of water, glass cleaner and a demo disc inside.
At first, he figured it was a practical joke.
"I thought my family hid it on me," Mazzonna said in an interview. "So I ended up calling them and said, 'This is not a joke. Where is the VR headset? Where is everything in it?' And immediately they thought I was playing a joke."
Turns out, no one was kidding around.
Mazzonna said he bought the gaming equipment from Walmart in Ajax using holiday money from his family. Three staff members helped him with his purchase and he said he watched them take the box from a locked glass case.
So after his discovery, Mazzonna, 21, and his brother, Leo Chieco, said they went back to Walmart to speak to managers.
"I didn't even stand in line," Chieco said. "I had one person come over and as soon as she saw what we were dealing with she went and got another manager."
That other manager, according to Chieco, took the receipt to the back room. The manager later returned and told the brothers that the store would do an investigation.
Three days later, Chieco said another manager called and implied that the brothers were trying to scam the store.
Chieco wasn't happy with that response.
"I said, 'If I were you, I would initially think that I'm trying to pull some sort of scam here,'" he said. "'But it isn't me and I'm not going to stop. This has to be resolved.'"
For its part, a spokesperson from Walmart emailed CBC Toronto to say "the customer service team is working on the issue." The store would not provide any other details.
Mazzonna, meanwhile, has purchased another Sony VR headset while he awaits the results of Walmart's investigation.
And he had some advice for other shoppers.
"Always open your products in the store — regardless of how much it is or if it comes from a glass case."