China has infomercials, a heck of a lot of them at that too, covering everything from breast enlargements to helping Chinese parents make their kids taller. Every now and again, in between the snake oil remedies, an ad will run selling electronics such as tablet computers and cell phones. If you are in China don't ever, I repeat don't ever, buy a tablet computer or cell phone from an infomercial; you'll regret it, just like one man in Haikou, Hainan province did.

Looking for a cheap deal on a tablet computer, Mr. Zhang (surname only) of Haikou city decided to buy a tablet computer that he saw advertised on TV. Zhang saw the infomercial on one of China's state China Central Television stations (the state owns television stations) and was swayed by the bargain.

The tablet PC advertised by the infomercial was touted to have free wireless internet, the ability to make phone calls, GPS navigation and various other "smart" features all for the price of $111. The kicker that got Zhang was an endorsement by a local celebrity saying that if the tablet was unsatisfactory, it could be returned for a full refund.

Caving into his tablet lust, Zhang purchased the tablet. After waiting a few days, Zhang's package arrived, and when he opened it he was vastly disappointed by what he received. Contrary to the features advertised, the tablet that Zhang received couldn't do anything but play very simple games—in fact, it was only loaded with "simple games".

Furious and confused, Zhang called the company to get his full refund. Unfortunately Zhang was never able to reach a customer service agent. After countless calls he finally found the company and they agreed to exchange his "tablet" with the real deal citing a shipping error. After waiting a little while longer Zhang's tablet finally arrived—except it didn't. Zhang received a box full of lottery tickets and a slip saying he needed to pay another $90 to get his tablet.


Fed up with the situation Zhang gave up, lamenting that he had learned his lesson. Never buy from Chinese infomercials.

轻信电视购物 海口市民买平板电脑送来游戏机 [Tencent]

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.