Here is what happened with my brother:
He found pricing for Samsung Galaxy S on Pricespy. Tech Brands had the best price.
He ordered new Galaxy S on their website and paid via internet banking.
The phone arrived promptly. He noticed box was not sealed but phone appeared to be new, and complete with all accessories. My brother emailed them to ask why the box was not sealed, and had finger prints on the screen. They responded that they opened the box to record the serial number and check the model number, and that this was normal industry practice.
After a couple of days he noticed that the phone got no reception outside of the city (where other phone had plenty of signal strength) or when close to a cell phone tower.
He emailed Tech Brands about this. They took a week to respond, and asked for the phone to be sent back for them to test it.
After another week, they emailed to say they would send a "replacement device". Suspicious of this wording, my brother emailed to confirm the "replacement device" would in fact be a new phone in a sealed box.
After a few days he received the "replacement device". The box was not sealed. Inspection of the phone revealed wear on the camera lens cover, and dust and debris inside the phone case. He immediately emailed them to say he wanted a refund, since he had paid for a new phone but had received second-hand goods, and provided his bank account details.
Later that day (no response to email) he went in to their Dunedin office (located at 150D Kaikorai Valley Rd), taking the phone with him.
My brother explained the situation to the girl at the front desk, and she said she would have to check with the manager and went upstairs. She came back down and said my brother could go up and discuss it with the manager himself.
Upstairs was the manager himself lounging in a large lazy boy chair, holding the phone. Feigning ignorance, he said asked if there was a problem with the phone. My brother explained that the phone he had received was not new, and he would like a refund.
The manager however, insisted that the phone was new. My brother persisted saying that it had obvious signs of wear, and the manager finally conceeded that there had been a 'mistake by his staff'. He agreed to a refund a said my brother should send his bank account details. Of course my brother asked for a pen and paper and wrote down his account details there and then. Surprisingly, a refund was received that night.
It was fortunate that my brother was able to physically go into their office, otherwise he would no doubt have been fobbed off indefinitely. I encouraged him to lay a complaint with the Commerce Commission at least and possibly the Police (since it was fraud), but I don't think he will go to that effort.
He will flag them and post a negative review in PriceSpy, but they really should be removed from that site.
Obviously the explanation about opening the packaging is a lie because the serial number is printed on the outside of the box. My other brother recently bought a Galaxy SII from PB Tech (not Tech Brands) which was in a sealed box.
[Moderator edit (MF): removed names]