Apple refuses to return repaired iPhone to owner

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 189
    y2any2an Posts: 68member
    This is the crux of the issue. It's free and can often be done by phone. That she doesn't suggests that there is in fact a problem with her claiming ownership...
  • Reply 62 of 189
    jimerljimerl Posts: 53member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    So file a report now. Stolen is stolen.



    yeah i'm wondering why she just keeps whining and why not just go fill out a missing/stolen item report. duh.
  • Reply 63 of 189
    I know that if I bought a phone and sold it to someone (but kept the receipt) does that mean the phone is still legally mine? Nope!



    How does Apple know that the victim didn't sell the phone to the accused thief?



    Just because you have the receipt for something, doesn't mean you posses it still.
  • Reply 64 of 189
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    The big mistake here was the lack of a police report filing. It is pretty much require if you want your property to ever come back to you. More importantly it gives the police a basis to go after the current owner. I say current owner because that person is not likely to be the theif.



    If nothing else I'm hoping this article reminds people to be agressive when recovering from a crime. Make sure the police reports are filled and do what you can to help them. Find my Iphone is great but other info can help too. Serial numbers and the like need to be squireled away to. The cops can't do much with "my iPhone was stolen" especially now that there are millions of them out there. I also winder if the gal contacted AT&T, they should have been able to help a bit at the time of the crime.





    Dave
  • Reply 65 of 189
    This story is just a load of BS. The police would never do any of the thing she described.



    From the Consumist....

    Quote:

    I called the police who were very helpful , they searched the area for a little bit, follow protocol and all that fun stuff.



    No, the NYPD will not search the area for a purse snatch. The thief is long gone by the time they get there. The only protocol is filing a report.





    Quote:

    I called Apple to confirm this, after Apple and AT&T transferred me back and forth a few times I had the confirmation from the two companies the phone was mine , I had the address the service request was coming from (in the email) and a phone number (from an Apple rep).



    I'm so excited that I can get my phone back! Until the cops arrive at my house, they tell me that since I didn't file a police report they can't do anything. I didn’t file it because in order to file one..



    What happen between calling apple and the police showing up? The police would go to her house just to tell her this? The precinct can just call her.



    Quote:

    I didn’t file it because in order to file one, I would have had to go to a precinct downtown (like an hour away) look through books of pictures to try to ID the thief,



    You do not have to do any of these things. The NYPD makes out a report at the scene, check and write your ID and address in the report. If your ID was part of the theft, they will write whatever name and address you tell them. You can get a copy 2 or 3 days later at the precient after its been file. If you want to go thru the book that's up to you.





    Quote:

    So I head to the police precinct where an officer calls the rep I spoke to last (aka the authorities speaking to Apple). The officer spends about an hour on the phone with Apple telling them that once the current holder of the phone ships the phone back to Apple, they should ship me the replacement.



    This is the most UNBELIEVABLE PART. The police CALLS a manufacturer to give your stuff back? Its evidence in a crime, they will hold it. The police dont know that you actually own the phone. you would have to give the police documents that you own the phone. They will check it with apple and att that the serial numbers match.



    If he/she ships the phone they would have a return address. Police then can question the suspect if he/she stole it or bough it from the thief. With the address they can get a warrant to search the suspect's house, car, etc.
  • Reply 66 of 189
    Think they'd say the same if someone stole Steve Jobs?
  • Reply 67 of 189
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post


    If the facts of the story are accurate then Apple is being obtuse. All Apple needs to do is ask the person who brought the phone in for service for a bill of sale from the original owner. This is not exactly rocket science. I can understand Apple being cautious but this is ridiculous IMHO.



    you assume that such a bill of sale would always exist between two individuals. I've sold a number of old computers, ipods, even an old cell phone to friends and neighbors and not once was there any kind of anything other than cash in my hand and the thing in his/her.



    And since, as it has been pointed out, there's nothing to back up the report of a theft such as a police report, Apple is in the middle of a no win situation. After all, the person with the phone might have bought it from another party assuming that that person was the rightful original owner. And there's nothing to prove otherwise since the victim couldn't be bothered to have a formal police report done.



    Sucks, but what can you do really. Snatch the phone from the person that brought it in who might not be the criminal in the case. Don't and leave the original owner high and dry. Give them both a phone to be nice and have it leak out and suddenly every person that loses or damages a phone is coming in saying it was stolen and they want their free replacement (after Apple has firmly said they don't cover loss, theft or accident).



    as I said, no win situation



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    Apple has evidence in the form of original sales docs that it belongs to the victim



    no they have evidence that she paid for it. not that she still has possession. She could have sold it, given it away, etc.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esummers View Post


    The phone contract is tied to the SIM card not the phone.



    bingo. i'm not even sure that ATT is given the serial when the phone is activated. and for all we know (since no one has claimed to be a repair tech at an Apple store that I have seen), the only data in the Apple system with the serial is the date of purchase unless the person bought Apple Care. I know a lot of folks that did cause they figured they would early upgrade in a year anyway to get the new model phone. so why pay the money.



    I take the sim out of my iphone and put it in another phone and now the phone is blank. I sell it to someone who takes the sim out of his/her phone into the iphone and it could keep working just fine and dandy.



    as for the MobileMe and passcode locks. those brick the phone and force you to do a full restore to get it starting again. so the phone can be used. the idea isn't to disable the phone but to prevent access to your personal data.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Therefore: If a person A can provide a current monthly ATT bill (no cancellation fee),



    it might merely mean that the sim, which is what is tired to the bill, is in a different device.



    Quote:

    on which the phone serial is listed



    you assume the serial in given to ATT.



    Quote:

    nor a proof of purchase (Amazon or ebay reciept of purchase of the phone)



    there are other ways to buy a phone and they don't always produce receipts. My neighbor bought a Gen1 phone from my roommate and there was no paper other than the cash for the phone.

    Quote:

    Couple that with a call to the police,



    that a phone/purse was taken. but there's no details. she didn't go down with her receipts and have a report with the identifying marks done. it was an iphone. we all know that there are hundreds of thousands of iphones in NYC, which is a factor in the crap service there (if you buy ATTs sob story)



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bw58 View Post


    I've never had to deactivated a phone, but I'd assume that the carrier would verify that the "owner of record" for a phone was the one asking to have the phone deactivated (?).



    yes and no. they verify the account holder for the line. but not that you are the one carrying the actual device.
  • Reply 68 of 189
    I don't see any wrong on Apple's behalf. Common sense would be to file a police report if it was actually stolen. In a way providing a receipt alone would still be a little skeptical in that situation. How would Apple know that she didn't sell the phone on eBay, craigslist or someone on the streets and trying to pull a fast one of them? I know you could still get away with it even if a police report was filed "if you are a smart criminal" but it would be provide better grounds for evidence.
  • Reply 69 of 189
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Too bad she never watched The People's Court, otherwise her actions might have been more prudent...



    Moral of the story, IF your property is stolen file a police report so you have documentation for the courts. If it's not that important to do in the present, then it's not important in the future!



    Live and learn, lady.



    You mean it sounds like she needs to watch Judge Judy?
  • Reply 70 of 189
    dappledapple Posts: 44member
    AT&T and Apple both profit from a dirty little industry that shouldn't exist, but does.



    The stolen cell phone industry.



    Apple and ATT are not alone either.



    ATT (as well as most if not all cellular carriers) only consider a cell phone stolen or lost until the owner of that cell phone replaces it, which is usually quite quickly.



    Upon the owner of that cell phone replacing it with another cell phone, the cellular carrier can and will sell services to ANYONE who elects to purchase services for that lost or stolen cell phone.



    Then, the cellular carrier holds itself under no obligation to deny sale of service to the person or company in possession of stolen or lost cell phone property, even in the case of a proper official police report and a proper notification to the cellular carrier.



    IMEI number's make no difference here. Why?



    That is their business policy, and they are permitted to have such a policy by the FCC.



    Apple makes additional money when a person or company that did pay to legitimately obtain an iPhone has their iPhone stolen or loses it and then buys another iPhone at full price, often without the benefit of a cellular carrier's subsidy price.



    ATT makes more money also.



    Conveniently, ATT gets a NEW contract for the replacement iPhone and for the stolen or lost cell phone.



    That is ATT's business policy.



    Also, municipalities, through their education agencies, have a formal policy of not allowing electronic devices to be brought onto school property and families have a strict policy of demanding that their children have a cell phone with them for availability in the event of an emergency (in our post 9/11 era).



    When a student's cell phone is stolen or lost at school, the school officials reserve the right to officially reprimand that student for violating the formal school policy and having brought such a device onto the school property, but consider themselves free from the hassle of taking or investigating that student's report of a crime of cell phone theft occurring on the school premises.



    Local police are not in the habit of responding to schools in order to investigate the theft of a student's cell phone either, especially on the day of the theft when the device may be discovered to be on the person of someone on the school property.



    The effect of these business and municipal policies is that thieves in the schools continue to prey on other students by stealing cell phones, because the schools have a policy that denies that these crimes are occurring in the first place or that this is a wide-spread issue on school property that is fueled by the policies I just outlined.



    Any person who knows the zip code of the owner of the stolen or lost cell phone can simply call 1-800-331-0500 and report that ATT subscriber's cell phone as lost or stolen.



    This can be done without the consent of the cell phone owner, unlike any municipality standard of reporting theft for personal property. Municipalities require the owner of such property to make a report of stolen or lost property.



    This conveniently can be done to defeat Apple's MobileMe service for locating and wiping a subscriber's cell phone clean of all data without the consent of the owner of that cell phone - this service requires cellular service or a wifi internet connection.



    ATT's written contract does not inform a contract holder of these business policies and ATT's customer service representatives say that customers can opt out of the 1-800-331-0500 automated system for reporting cell phones lost or stolen if they figure that out on their own, yet that does not seem to be easily done if at all possible.



    ***



    If the FCC required all cellular carriers to keep a record of all IMEI numbers for cell phones that are reported stolen and lost and to DENY sale of cellular services to holders of devices with these numbers, then the entire dirty little stolen cell phone industry would be largely eliminated, IMO.



    Cell phone owners could then be allowed to prove their ownership with receipts and have such device's IMEI numbers removed from the FCC list, if they wished upon recovery of their cell phones.



    But don't hold your breath, because that dirty little industry sure is very profitable to companies like Apple and ATT.
  • Reply 71 of 189
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alexhasfun28 View Post


    Same thing, you purchase it you own it!



    No it's not the same. You purchased , you did own it at time of purchase. You could have sold it or given it away.

    How do you prove you still own it? You file a police report stating that you still own it. If you don't own it and file a police report stating you do, that would be a criminal offense.

    Quote:

    What this lady is trying to do is get back for what she paid for, even if it were stolen.



    Maybe she gave it to her boyfriend and they broke up and he got ticked of at him.

    Quote:

    If you purchased your house, out of your own money, and you have your own proof of purchase, who are you going to give your house to, your neighbor?



    What?

    Quote:

    If you purchased, you own it.



    Unless you sold it, gave it away or threw it out.

    You still own anything/everything you have ever purchased?
  • Reply 72 of 189
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bw58 View Post


    Seems that the "owner of record" for a phone would be whoever is paying the bill for the phone number associated with the iPhone. So it would be (should be) easy to determine whether whoever is requesting a replacement via Applecare is the legitimate owner.



    This assumes that the phone was activated at the time that it was stolen (which appears to be the case).



    bw



    This is the first post on this subject that makes SENSE! It is not hard to prove who the owner is in this case. This person can prove ownership from her AT&T bill. She is PAYING for service on a phone registered to her the police are saying yes this phone was stolen. Apple is not being genuine here. She can prove ownership and she can prove through police involvement that it was stolen. I am the biggest Apple fan in the world but this was not good customer care......
  • Reply 73 of 189
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Apple's customer service is the best in the industry, and AT&T is simply playing by the rules.



    In this particular case it looks like Apple is following legal procedure to the letter. You can't really fault them for that.



    Not sure why this is even news.



    It's news because AI needs hits. Simple.
  • Reply 74 of 189
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    While I do think this is a stupid story I think there is more here than the obvious and its how Apple AND AT&T handle stolen phones (and other GSM carriers in the states)



    If you register your phone as stolen via police report it should be killed via itunes so and added to a global blacklist via IMEI. While I know you can switch IMEI with dummies, your average thief won't know this.



    Verizon kills phone labeled as stolen or not paying their bills (Bad ESN) while I don't agree with VZW locking phones for non-payment atleast there is no market for these phones unless you know how to switch ESNs (illegal)
  • Reply 75 of 189
    mobilememobileme Posts: 288member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    May I ask, especially since you don't even live there, why you only post links that are for USA based surveys?



    Your denial of the FACT would be classified as Sigmund Freuds "Denial of Awareness" if in any other forum.





    .......





    Good Job Q610
  • Reply 76 of 189
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    May I ask, especially since you don't even live there, why you only post links that are for USA based surveys?



    he lives in the United States?



    I mean, why do some people always treat this as some kind of offense? iTunes exists in various countries, but there's a different legal regime in various countries due to having to sign up different media companies, deal with different -- close, but not identical -- copyright laws and the like. You can't make the observation based on something you know, and back up, with a survey. If you have a different experience, and different surveys, etc., then by all means speak up. That would add to the general knowledge. Always whining about the supposed US imperialism of the fans from the US is kind of nasty and pointless.



    I'd like to watch the BBC streaming video with the iPlayer. But I can't, because it's only available in England. Don't tell me why, I just want to complain about it, and I'm quite sure that the Beeb is just being mean to me because they like to make people around the world unhappy!
  • Reply 77 of 189
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Think about this story. There are all kinds of holes in it. I'm not saying Apple (still less AT&T) are right, but for instance, there's the fact that the woman didn't WANT to go down to file a police report and look through a photo lineup, because it was (pout) too FAR. That would have established that the phone was stolen. A former policeman writing on one blog says her story doesn't make sense. If she had an investigation done, there's a police report. It might not be a full report, but cops file them whenever there's some kind of investigation.



    What's most likely is that she didn't bother filing a complete report. She may not have her original bill, or she didn't guard the serial number in a safe place. If she had Mobile Me, she could locate the phone and/or wipe all data from it. So when she called Apple, there was nothing on file anywhere.



    A lot of former Apple employees -- they learn not to comment while they're working there -- said that this could look like a frequent scam. You sell someone your phone, then ask for a new one because it's "stolen." They all said they've heard a thousand stories. Not to say that this women is one of them, but...



    What I really think this story is a model of is the crap journalism we have so much of in the modern world. There's no legwork. The writer talked to the girl. Maybe to the cop. Did he talk to Apple? AT&T? In the old days, this would be thrown back by a city editor until the reporter dug out enough details to be a story. But this story is simply furthering the agenda of the woman, and of the various Apple bashers that the tech press is becoming thick with. It's a "good" story, but it's not necessarily "true." That is, you don't need many details. You just ignite a slugfest between people who love Apple and defend it and those who hate Apple, for whom this story confirms what they think.



    In small, that's what's happening to our larger journalism, too. It's so much easier to assess truth or falsity if it confirms your prejudices.
  • Reply 78 of 189
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    This is the first post on this subject that makes SENSE! It is not hard to prove who the owner is in this case. This person can prove ownership from her AT&T bill. She is PAYING for service on a phone registered to her the police are saying yes this phone was stolen. Apple is not being genuine here. She can prove ownership and she can prove through police involvement that it was stolen. I am the biggest Apple fan in the world but this was not good customer care......



    Well, say it was stolen three months ago. We don't know when from the story. Has she paid for it since? If she wants to cancel, there's a charge that can be hefty.



    I mean, you're just imagining things that might have been to make the case you want to: Apple Bad.
  • Reply 79 of 189
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post


    If the facts of the story are accurate then Apple is being obtuse. All Apple needs to do is ask the person who brought the phone in for service for a bill of sale from the original owner. This is not exactly rocket science. I can understand Apple being cautious but this is ridiculous IMHO.



    I don't agree. "Play by the rules" or risk being disappointed. As soon as word gets around that there are loopholes to any legal agreement, it can spread like wildfire and cost Apple plenty.



    Apple should not make exceptions unless there is sufficient evidence to support claims as described. Your first line of defense is to file a police report if something is stolen.
  • Reply 80 of 189
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I don't agree. "Play by the rules" or risk being disappointed. As soon as word gets around that there are loopholes to any legal agreement, it can spread like wildfire and cost Apple plenty.



    Apple should not make exceptions unless there is sufficient evidence to support claims as described. Your first line of defense is to file a police report if something is stolen.



    I see this as a failure of the NYC police department. If they were called to the scene of a crime they should be their job to file report.
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