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April 27, 2013 / iainnd

Why Samsung were giving away thousands of phones for free

The truck driver slowed down. He was confused. There wasn’t supposed to be road work going on here – someone on the radio would have mentioned it. Still, he continued braking until his truck halted just in front of the workman holding the Stop sign.

The workman gestured for the driver to wind down his window, which he did.

“How long have you guys been out here?” the driver asked. “No talk on the airwaves about you,” he pointed at his radio.

“Not long,” the workman answered. His helmet cast a shadow over his face that almost looked like he was wearing a mask. “Just got a job to do then we’ll be out of the way. In the mean time, would you mind stepping out of the vehicle?”


The workman reached into his pocket and pulled something out. It wasn’t until he pointed it at the driver and it made a clicking sound that the driver recognised it as a handgun. The driver thought it best to comply.

“I don’t want any trouble,” he told the workman as he stepped down to the ground.

“We don’t either,” the workman said.


Almost instantly, the driver heard the ground crunch behind him, then immediately afterwards felt something grabbing him by the wrists and forcing them behind his back.

“You hold still now,” a voice said from behind him, as he was shoved to the ground. The driver was now close enough to see that the workman was indeed wearing a ski mask. He removed his helmet and hi-vis vest and called out to somebody.

“We got him, boss,” he announced.

In less than a second, a mass of figures emerged from the bushes nearby. Fifteen, maybe twenty men, all in ski masks, all holding guns.

“Good,” one said. “Very good.” This one walked slower, calmer than the others. As he approached, the driver saw this one was wearing a red mask. “Let’s get started then.”


The driver was shoved around to the back of the truck, then thrown against the door of the trailer. The one who had been holding him stepped back.

“Open it,” said the red one. The driver unlocked the door, then was picked up by the shoulders of his jacket and thrown aside. Two of the men kept their guns on him. Two others each took one side of the door and opened it.

Inside, three more men searched each box of the cargo until they found what they were looking for. They picked up the pallet, took it outside the truck, then placed it down in front of their leader. He took a switchblade from his boot and cut it open, revealing it to be full of Samsung Galaxy S IIIs.

“Jackpot.” he remarked. “Gentlemen, you may begin.”


Over the next ten minutes or so, they all stepped to the pile, took a handful of phones, then removed the plastic shrink wrap from each. The driver could do nothing but watch and wonder what the hell was going on. When all the phones were unwrapped, the men began placing them neatly back on the pallet.

“Wait,” the man with the red mask raised a hand. He examined the stack of phones, then turned to face his men. Slowly, he paced in front of them, looking them all up and down. He stopped in front of one, who, although his face was hidden under the mask, was visibly nervous.

“Oh, Donny,” the leader shook his head. “Donny, Donny, Donny. I’m so disappointed.” Without even looking, he drew his gun and shot Donny in the kneecap. Donny fell to the ground and screamed in pain.

“Here,” Donny whimpered, in between rapidly increasing breaths. “Here it is.” He took the small white box from his pocket and gave it to the leader.

“There’s a good lad,” the leader took the box and patted Donny on the arm, condescendingly. He turned back to face the rest.

“I don’t know how many times I have to say this to you all,” he shouted. He held up the phone box to show everyone, and pointed his gun at Donny again.

He shot Donny in the chest.

“We. Are. Not. THEIVES,” he yelled, each word punctuated with another gunshot into Donny’s torso, followed by one to the head. He held the phone behind him and, without having to be told, one of his henchmen took it and placed it in the empty spot at the top of the stack.


There was silence, until the  leader stomped over to the driver.

“Are there any more?” he was still yelling.

“What?” the driver was still in shock.

“S IIIs,” he barked. “Are there any more S IIIs in the truck?”

“N-…n-no,” the driver was shaking.

“Good.” The leader turned back to his men. “We’re done here, clean up.”


As if choreographed, the men rushed to remove all evidence. Two of them picked up the mess that used to be Donny and carried it off. Three of them carried the pallet of phones, now unwrapped but still in their boxes, back to their place on the truck. The rest removed the discarded shrink-wrap and fake construction signs. Within seconds, all but their leader had disappeared.


“Sorry for the, uh…” he pointed to where Donny’s body had been, “unpleasantness. Donny was a little stupid, that’s all.” He reached out his hand to help the driver up. The driver very reluctantly took it.

“You can leave now. Have a good evening.” The man in the red mask walked away very casually.

* * *

“S-sir?” the secretary timidly began. “Mister–uh, I mean, Lieutenant Samsung?”

Lieutenant Halford G. Samsung took his head away from the window and turned so she could see his face, scarred from battle and with a black leather eyepatch over his right eye.

“Yes, Sandra?” Lt. Samsung asked in his deep, gravelly voice.

“We just had a call from another store. It happened again.”

Lt. Samsung slammed his tumbler full of whiskey on his desk.

“Dammit!” he shouted. “How many this time?”

“Six hundred,” she told him. “Six hundred Galaxy S IIIs arrived at the store with the shrink-wrap removed, but otherwise completely intact.”

“Son of a bitch!” Lt. Samsung hurled his glass against the wall. “They’re all useless now!”

Sandra waited for the Lieutenant to calm himself.

“Um, with all due respect Lieutenant,” she said, almost whispered, “They’re not useless. It’s just the shrink-wrap missing. We could still sell them. We could even just wrap them again.”

“That’s absurd! Do you even know how much it would cost to wrap six hundred phones again?”

Sandra tapped a few buttons on her calculator, then looked at the result.

“Uh…maybe twenty dollars? Less than?”

“Exactly!” the Lieutenant fumed. “There’s no way we can turn a profit spending twenty dollars to re-wrap all those phones!”

“That is empirically untrue,” Sandra offered. “Like, not even anywhere near correct.”


“It’s happening all over,” Lieutenant Samsung lamented, taking a new glass and pouring himself another drink. “This guy, this man in the red mask, he intercepts electronics shipments and tears off the single layer of plastic wrapping on the outside, doesn’t even open the boxes, then loads them back on the truck completely unsellable.”

“They’re still sellable.” Sandra insisted. “People won’t even notice.”

“Completely unsellable,” Samsung repeated. Sandra wasn’t even sure he was still listening.

“A lot of people are worried about you, Lieutenant Samsung,” Sandra admitted. “Your wife says you haven’t been home for three months. I haven’t even seen you leave the office.”

“I’ve got it!” Samsung clicked his fingers. “We’ll give them away. It’s the only way we can make money from them.”

“You can make money by selling them,” Sandra objected.

“Sandra!” he barked, and turned to her as if coming out of a trance. “I need you to make a Facebook page. Make the title ‘Galaxy S3’ – not the Roman numeral III, like the actual product’s name, but the number 3 – and use it to announce that we’re giving away all of the unwrapped phones.”

“This sounds ridiculous,” she said, more to herself than to Samsung, knowing now that he wasn’t listening.

“All they have to do is comment saying which country they live in, and we’ll send everybody a free phone.”

“We might need to at least ask for an address,”

“But what if people don’t believe it?” Samsung pondered out loud.

“Nobody will because they’re not idiots.”


“I’ve got it! Have a very clear disclaimer on the page saying that it’s not affiliated with Samsung in any way. That’ll have people convinced that the page is affiliated with Samsung.”

“All of these things you’re saying are the opposite of good ideas.”

“And then,” Samsung was now visibly excited “And then have a bunch of links to similar promotions. I’ll get into contact with XBox and iPad and tell them my idea, they’ll be all over it. We’ll make billions.”

“You mean Microsoft and Apple. And you won’t make any money. Because none of this makes any sense. You will lose a lot of money by doing this.”

“Billions,” Samsung repeated, grinning. Then, clapping his hands in excitement, he rushed to Sandra and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Now go, Sandra! You’ve important work to do!”


“But sir,” Sandra said, knowing she finally had Lieutenant Samsung’s attention again. “What if people think it’s a scam? You know, like someone set up this page just to get tons of likes and comments on their photos. So Facebook pays them because of all the exposure the post is getting. What if people see the page, think that there’s no way we’d be giving away thousands of our most popular phones just because they were unwrapped, and think it’s just some guy trying to make quick money by deceiving people?”

Samsung, now sitting back in his chair, hands behind his head and feet triumphantly on his desk, just scoffed at her idea.

“Ha ha, oh Sandra. There is no way anybody would think that.”

One Comment

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  1. Charlotte / Apr 27 2013 7:09 am



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