iPhone X orders held up by credit freezes put in place after Equifax hack

Posted:
in iPhone
Some customers scrambling to preorder the hotly anticipated iPhone X early Friday morning hit an unexpected roadblock: Credit freezes put in place after the Equifax data breach held up authorization of payment plan loans.




After preorders began Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific, 3:01 a.m. Eastern, some who had initiated a credit freeze forgot to unfreeze it to authorize plans like Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program.

Readers reached out to AppleInsider after their purchase process was delayed, and others took to Twitter to express frustration that they had missed out on the iPhone X preorder window because their self-imposed credit freeze.

Thx for nothing @CitizensOne for using @Equifax to check my credit. No iPhone X for me. @Equifax breach...the gift that keeps on giving.

— Kevin Clark (@KC_Clarky)
As noted by AppleInsider in September, the iPhone Upgrade Program relies on Citizens Bank, which performs at least some credit checks with Equifax, which is one of the three major credit reporting bureaus in the U.S. Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information of up to 143 million U.S. consumers were exposed in an unprecedented hack of Equifax earlier this year, prompting a wave of voluntary credit freezes.

The problem is not unique to Apple, of course, nor is it unique to the iPhone X. Because Apple's credit partner Citizens Bank is used for other purchases, it has also affected iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus orders since they went on sale in September.

Carrier installment plans were also said to have been affected by credit freezes, as users on Twitter said programs like AT&T Next were held up in the preorder process.

In the wake of the hack, many consumers took to freezing their credit not only at Equifax, but also with Experian and TransUnion. Those who did so would have been stopped

Thankfully, for those who plan ahead for such purchases, the process of temporarily thawing credit with the three bureaus is fairly easy with a secure PIN number. In the future, consumers looking to make any loan-related purchase or application should remember to thaw their credit prior.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    1) Kevin choose to freeze his credit and then didn't think to unfreeze his credit when creating a new contract for iUP but doesn't blame himself? I'm in the iUP program yet I'm not getting a new iPhone this year and I still called to see what bureau(s) they use.


    2) This sounds like he only froze his credit with Equifax, and not the other bureaus. I can't even accept that possibility because it makes no sense since your name, SSN, birthday, addresses, and other information can be used to create new loans from any bureau, so he's either doubly stupid for only freezing it for one or stupid for not calling Citizen's One to see which bureaus they use or simply doing a temp unfreeze of all the bureaus prior to ordering.
    edited October 2017 randominternetperson
  • Reply 2 of 21
    The gist of this article seems incorrect to me.

    A credit freeze only affects businesses where you have never obtained a loan. Any business where you have an existing loan has the right to check your credit.

    For the upgrade program, this was covered by people asking questions and a write up I spotted someplace.

    And it turned out to be accurate for me. No issues obtaining new phone for myself and my wife, with a freeze in place at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Nor was it necessary to lift the freeze.

    Either the person was enrolling in the upgrade program for the first time, or something else was wrong. As anyone with an existing loan with Citizens One should have had no issue due to freezes in place with the three credit bureaus.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Screw credit. Pay with cash.
    pscooter63DavidAlGregory[Deleted User]
  • Reply 5 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    I've never heard of a 7-digit PIN. Everything I've seen has been a 10-digit PIN.


    PS: For those that have NOT frozen their accounts, note that people that have stolen your information have more than enough data to freeze your accounts so even you can't use them.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Too bad. I made sure my card transaction limit was high enough (I got it increased the day before) so I wouldn’t face any roadblocks when ordering. Same thing with credit agencies.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    dmdevdmdev Posts: 31member
    Soli said:
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    I've never heard of a 7-digit PIN. Everything I've seen has been a 10-digit PIN.


    PS: For those that have NOT frozen their accounts, note that people that have stolen your information have more than enough data to freeze your accounts so even you can't use them.
    Whoa, awesome point. I've had a credit freeze with all three agencies for a few years now, and knowing to place a temporary lift is now common-sense for me. But now I can't see any reason that any one should not place their own freezes on all three agencies immediately -- and save their pins in multiple places.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,159member
    Screw credit. Pay with cash.
    I’d rather use other people’s money from credit cards and make money at the same time. Rewards and cash back are awesome if used wisely. 
    mike1[Deleted User]
  • Reply 9 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    dmdev said:
    Soli said:
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    I've never heard of a 7-digit PIN. Everything I've seen has been a 10-digit PIN.


    PS: For those that have NOT frozen their accounts, note that people that have stolen your information have more than enough data to freeze your accounts so even you can't use them.
    Whoa, awesome point. I've had a credit freeze with all three agencies for a few years now, and knowing to place a temporary lift is now common-sense for me. But now I can't see any reason that any one should not place their own freezes on all three agencies immediately -- and save their pins in multiple places.
    1) People should do freezes, not locks. Locks are services by their credit bureaus which cost more and can be less secure.


    2a) People may also want to create accounts at the SSA and IRS.


    2b) Alternatively you can block access to SSA online.


    3) I also recommend that people get their free annual credit report from this site. You can get all three bureaus at once, but a slightly safer option is to get one from each bureau spaced out over 4 months. Just save the URL in three calendar entries that will remind you annually for each bureau.


    Note: You won't a FICO score with those reports without paying extra, but most people get to see that with one or more bureaus with credit cards they own. Also, when you get each report go to Print and then Save as PDF (if you're on a Mac) which you can save in ~/Documents/Free Credit Reports/2017/Equifax -2017.11.27 (for example). This is how I've been doing it for years. Of course, don't forget to look it over for discrepancies.


    4) As John Oliver noted in his segment about the Equifax hack, these companies don't make it easy to find their data on freezing your account so they posted links on Twitter.


    5a) So far Equifax has stated it's about half their database that was stolen, but this number has grown a little since it was first announced. I think everyone should assume that there data was stolen even if Equifax's online check doesn't indicate that it was. Consider how Yahoo! said that x-accounts were compromised and then years later either admitted or found out that all 1 billion+ accounts had been stolen. Always assume the worst.

    5b) One common theme I'm seeing is the psychological phenomenon known as Risk Perception. As a species we're pretty dumb and this breach is no exception in terms of why the breach happened and why so many aren't taking precautions. The specious assumption that "My credit has never been compromised before so why should I worry about it happening in the future?,"will also come into play when people decide after a year or two to stop freezing their credit by assuming that they're now safe because they haven't heard of any new breaches into these credit bureaus or perhaps even heard that Equifax's security is now top notch. People need to understand that your permeant data has likely been stolen and can be used against you for the rest of your life (and even beyond).


     6) If you want or even more comprehensive information or a second opinion you can read this detailed Facebook post.



    7) Here's the funny yet sad full segment to John Oliver's segment…

    edited October 2017 Ofer
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Why not sue the credit reporting agencies and buy your phone with the damages.
    These people data mine you, add in a lot of commonly inaccurate information and sell it for a profit.
    They are the lowest form of scum.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    Why not sue the credit reporting agencies and buy your phone with the damages.
    These people data mine you, add in a lot of commonly inaccurate information and sell it for a profit.
    They are the lowest form of scum.
    Oh, I know the answer to that!  "Because you won't win, so why add additional cost and frustration to you life."
    wonkothesane
  • Reply 12 of 21
    mjbden said:
    The gist of this article seems incorrect to me.

    A credit freeze only affects businesses where you have never obtained a loan. Any business where you have an existing loan has the right to check your credit.
    .... As anyone with an existing loan with Citizens One should have had no issue due to freezes in place with the three credit bureaus.
    Not entirely true.  I have had a home equity line of credit with Citizens Bank for nearly 10 years, that is nearing the payoff phase.  When I asked about renewing the line, I was told that I would need to unfreeze my credit bureau freezes so that Citizens could do a new credit check.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    dmdev said:
    Soli said:
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    I've never heard of a 7-digit PIN. Everything I've seen has been a 10-digit PIN.


    PS: For those that have NOT frozen their accounts, note that people that have stolen your information have more than enough data to freeze your accounts so even you can't use them.
    Whoa, awesome point. I've had a credit freeze with all three agencies for a few years now, and knowing to place a temporary lift is now common-sense for me. But now I can't see any reason that any one should not place their own freezes on all three agencies immediately -- and save their pins in multiple places.
    Because the hackers also have enough data to unfreeze your credit anytime they want to.

    These procedures are the minds of people who grew up when the only "online shopping" involved a mail-order catalog and a phone that did NOT unplug from the wall.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    I had to use debit over credit because BofA freezes any online purchases over $1,500 and sometimes $1,200 which is a pain in the butt. When I ordered my new MacBook Pro this happened. I called to put a pre-approval and they said they can't, its for my protection. So, debit it is.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    dmdev said:
    Soli said:
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    I've never heard of a 7-digit PIN. Everything I've seen has been a 10-digit PIN.


    PS: For those that have NOT frozen their accounts, note that people that have stolen your information have more than enough data to freeze your accounts so even you can't use them.
    Whoa, awesome point. I've had a credit freeze with all three agencies for a few years now, and knowing to place a temporary lift is now common-sense for me. But now I can't see any reason that any one should not place their own freezes on all three agencies immediately -- and save their pins in multiple places.
    Because the hackers also have enough data to unfreeze your credit anytime they want to.

    These procedures are the minds of people who grew up when the only "online shopping" involved a mail-order catalog and a phone that did NOT unplug from the wall.
    No they don't. That's why he's had so trouble with only having 7 of the 10 digits needed to unlock his account. They'd have to be able to re-access Equifax's servers, locate where they keep their account PINs, which are likely encrypted hashes, and then work to crack the encryption. While not impossible, all of that makes accessing his credit much more of a hassle than the tens of millions to hundreds of millions of people haven't even bothered.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    I had to use debit over credit because BofA freezes any online purchases over $1,500 and sometimes $1,200 which is a pain in the butt. When I ordered my new MacBook Pro this happened. I called to put a pre-approval and they said they can't, its for my protection. So, debit it is.
    With the credit cards I have I can call to let them know when I'm about to make a larger purchase (as well as let them know if I'll be traveling—which I can also setup on their website), and I get credit protection. Does Bank of America offer protections on your debit card where they will instantly refund you everything a thief has charged to you account? I know this has been a detractor for debit cards on the whole in the past but maybe they offer more protections now. What if you have $50k in your savings account and your checking account will pull from your savings account as needed. Will they refund that much?
  • Reply 17 of 21
    OferOfer Posts: 16unconfirmed, member
    Soli said:
    dmdev said:
    Soli said:
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    I've never heard of a 7-digit PIN. Everything I've seen has been a 10-digit PIN.


    PS: For those that have NOT frozen their accounts, note that people that have stolen your information have more than enough data to freeze your accounts so even you can't use them.
    Whoa, awesome point. I've had a credit freeze with all three agencies for a few years now, and knowing to place a temporary lift is now common-sense for me. But now I can't see any reason that any one should not place their own freezes on all three agencies immediately -- and save their pins in multiple places.
    1) People should do freezes, not locks. Locks are services by their credit bureaus which cost more and can be less secure.


    2a) People may also want to create accounts at the SSA and IRS.


    2b) Alternatively you can block access to SSA online.


    3) I also recommend that people get their free annual credit report from this site. You can get all three bureaus at once, but a slightly safer option is to get one from each bureau spaced out over 4 months. Just save the URL in three calendar entries that will remind you annually for each bureau.


    Note: You won't a FICO score with those reports without paying extra, but most people get to see that with one or more bureaus with credit cards they own. Also, when you get each report go to Print and then Save as PDF (if you're on a Mac) which you can save in ~/Documents/Free Credit Reports/2017/Equifax -2017.11.27 (for example). This is how I've been doing it for years. Of course, don't forget to look it over for discrepancies.


    4) As John Oliver noted in his segment about the Equifax hack, these companies don't make it easy to find their data on freezing your account so they posted links on Twitter.


    5a) So far Equifax has stated it's about half their database that was stolen, but this number has grown a little since it was first announced. I think everyone should assume that there data was stolen even if Equifax's online check doesn't indicate that it was. Consider how Yahoo! said that x-accounts were compromised and then years later either admitted or found out that all 1 billion+ accounts had been stolen. Always assume the worst.

    5b) One common theme I'm seeing is the psychological phenomenon known as Risk Perception. As a species we're pretty dumb and this breach is no exception in terms of why the breach happened and why so many aren't taking precautions. The specious assumption that "My credit has never been compromised before so why should I worry about it happening in the future?,"will also come into play when people decide after a year or two to stop freezing their credit by assuming that they're now safe because they haven't heard of any new breaches into these credit bureaus or perhaps even heard that Equifax's security is now top notch. People need to understand that your permeant data has likely been stolen and can be used against you for the rest of your life (and even beyond).


     6) If you want or even more comprehensive information or a second opinion you can read this detailed Facebook post.



    7) Here's the funny yet sad full segment to John Oliver's segment…

    Thank you Soli for all the great info!
    SoliSpamSandwich
  • Reply 18 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    I’m one of those people that froze my credit with Equifax about a week after the breach.  Their site gave me a 7 digit PIN that I could use to unfreeze my credit in the future.  I went to buy a new car several weeks ago and first went to the Equifax website to unfreeze my account.  Surprise, surprise, they required a 10 digit PIN and wouldn’t accept my 7 digit PIN.  Calls to their support line were useless.  Sounded like teenagers reading off scripts that didn’t even make sense.  What a mess...my credit is still frozen with them.  
    I may have discovered the issue you have. Did you download the PDF that contains your 10-digit PIN? If not, you may instead written down the 7-digit authentication that is used to verify that you're human when you go to their sign up page.



    Try calling this number and saying that you never got your PDF. It might be good to know the day and time in which you set up your freeze.
    If you are unable to view your one-time PDF, please call 1-888-298-0045


    PS: They want a 4-digit year for your birthday, yet they only have it setup to show 2-digits. How can we trust a system that has such poor attention to detail on something that simple? :sigh:

    davidmac1969
  • Reply 19 of 21
    I called AT&T yesterday to in case I opted to do Next (which I didn't) and they confirmed to me that they would only do an internal AT&T credit check on my account and no need for a full credit inquiry since I am a current customer for year and use auto-pay. Still I opted to just pay full boat w/ AppleCare+ 256GB Space Grey. Still the Equifax burn keeps on giving.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,285member
    Screw credit. Pay with cash.
    Many credit cards give you extended warranty on purchases. 
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