What he means is, that department store telescopes are shit; and department store telescopes given as gifts to people who do not care about astronomy will be shit treated in a shitty way. No better way to discourage someone from astronomy by giving them an entirely non-functional telescope.
Besides, there was no advice in your post about what kind of scope to get. Picking up any random thing is exactly what the poster was trying to avoid.
My suggestion, contact a local astronomy club to find out if they have any spare telescopes for sale. They usually have small ones that a member has fixed up and collimated. As an added benefit, they will be happy to teach you how to use it properly.