A shopper who purchased a set of "luxury" sex toys online says she was shocked to receive them unwrapped, scratched and covered with fingerprints - and was told by the store to simply "try cleaning them" when she complained.
But the retailer claims it took the complaint "extremely seriously" and has put measures in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Bay of Plenty woman Bex purchased the 'Queen's Luxury Collection' from NZ's Adult Toy Megastore (ATMS) earlier this month as a birthday gift to herself for a sale price of just under $700.
Upon unwrapping her delivery she was shocked to find the box open "with no protective seal as you would normally find with any brand new item".
"The fold on the box had cracked from the lid being opened and closed many times," she told Newshub, filming a video showing the damage.
"There were greasy finger marks on the side of the box, and none of the '18 karat gold' [detailing] came with the protective sticker you peel off [such] brand new items."
Instead, Bex said two of the toys had "deep scratches" while the rest contained a myriad of micro-scratches.
"Two were sort of tarnished and spotted, like some sort of liquid had dropped on them," she revealed.
Bex immediately emailed ATMS' customer service informing them of the damage.
"I did not pay for second-hand items in an unsealed box," she wrote, in the first of a series of emails provided to Newshub.
In their reply, a store spokesperson apologised to Bex and determined it was an issue with the supplier, promising to send her a new one from their remaining stock.
In a second email, the worker revealed their team was struggling to find an un-scratched set.
Eventually, after claiming to have gone through a "full investigation", the ATMS worker emailed to say the fault lay with the supplier, who "had glued the material holding down the foam outline - this must have been to keep everything in place during transit".
The spokesperson told Bex the markings appeared to be glue and could be "rubbed off with a little elbow grease".
"Are you able to have a check and see if they can be cleaned?" she wrote, offering Bex $40 in store credit.
"Alternatively if that is completely unsuitable, we can try another option where you send the box back and we send another one that we have hygienically cleaned and rubbed away the glue."
Bex told Newshub she was shocked at the response from the adult toy retailer, calling their approach "unhygienic and gross".
"No, I do not want items that have been pre-opened by someone else for whatever reason, and $40 credit for damaged 'luxury' products that were already opened before they arrived here," she wrote in a subsequent email.
"Is this a joke?"
She also noted the markings on the toys and box were "definitely not glue".
Bex demanded a replacement or refund from the online adult toy retailer, providing her bank details to do so. While the store worker responded that typically customers were satisfied with the hygienic standards that ensure toys are "in a working/presentable condition", they understood she wasn't and requested she return the item for a full refund.
However, as the set was paid for using Laybuy - a partial payment service similar to Afterpay - Bex says the full amount hasn't been credited to her account yet.
ATMS says that will take three to five business days to process.
But the real issue, Bex says, is that customers are receiving items without security seals, which she said was "gross".
Bex believes the idea of customers being happy to receive items that have been opened and 'hygienically cleaned and inspected' is "shocking".
"If that's the case, they're f**king idiots," she told Newshub.
"I think maybe they don't actually realise, because they're excited to receive their item and they don't notice it's not wrapped.
"But it actually could be dangerous and people need to know."
ATMS owner Nicola Relph told Newshub they took the complaint "extremely seriously" and investigated "immediately".
"After our investigation we found the [set] doesn't come with the products inside individually shrink-wrapped, so the products were marked by glue residue from the packaging.
"We apologized to the customer and explained what had happened and offered a reduction in the price or a full refund, and a full refund was provided and is processing."
Relph said "the safety and satisfaction of our customers is extremely important".
"We immediately raised this issue with the manufacturer to ensure the product will be better packaged in future to prevent this from happening again."