Well, at least the truth is out there. We often wondered just how well refurbished devices are scrubbed before being resold, and while we've heard of smartphones being sold with contacts still pre-loaded, Motorola's having to chew on some tough leather with their Xoom
tablet stash. The company announced hat it has recently learned that approximately 100 out of a batch of 6,200 Xoom Wi-Fi tablets that were refurbished by Motorola Mobility may not have been completely cleared of the original owner's data prior to resale. The affected tablets were resold by Woot.com between October and December 2011. Motorola has confirmed that any refurbished units sold outside the time period in question were properly refurbished. The company's response?
"The information that may be accessible to the purchasers of the impacted refurbished tablets may include any information that the original user elected to store on the tablet. It is possible that users might have stored photographs and documents. They may have also stored user names and passwords for email and social media accounts, as well as other password-protected sites and applications.
Motorola is offering customers who purchased and then returned a Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi tablet to Amazon.com, Best Buy, BJ's Wholesale, eBay, Office Max, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, or Staples and a few other independent retailers between March and October 2011 a complimentary two-year membership of Experian's ProtectMyID™ Alert to mitigate any risks. Original owners are advised to contact Experian at 1-866-926-9803 to sign up for the credit monitoring service. These original owners are also advised to take precautionary measures to protect their identity, such as changing their email and social media passwords. Original owners who performed a factory data reset prior to returning the device are not impacted.
In conjunction with today's announcement, Motorola is also actively pursuing the return of the impacted refurbished units to ensure that the memory of each device is cleared. Customers who purchased a refurbished Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi tablet from Woot.com between October and December 2011 are encouraged to visit motorola.com/xoomreturn or to call Motorola Mobility Customer Support at 1-800-734-5870, select Option 1, in order to determine if their tablet is affected."
Ouch. And to think, they were probably hoping to just make a few bucks on this; now, they'll certainly lose cash in the effort of taking in all of these returns.