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  • Apple Has User's Stolen Phone, Won't Give It Back

    A Consumerist reader named "Alisa" was on a subway in Brooklyn, New York before Christmas when a thief stole several pieces of personal property, including her iPhone. She didn't go to the police, she says, because she would have had to take the same subway to a precinct over an hour away. On a cold night, she’d have had to go through books of pictures trying to identify the thief even though she didn’t get a good look at him. It all seemed too big of a hassle to her, since she had a final exam the next day anyway, so she didn’t file the police report.

    Alisa went out and bought a Blackberry and moved on with her life. But right before the New Year, she suddenly received some unexpected news that led her to believe she might see her iPhone again, when she got an e-mail from Apple.

    Anyways, fast forward to yesterday when I get a email from Apple that someone had filed a request for a replacement phone due to a software malfunction from Apple CareService. I suspected that since I made an appointment with an Apple genius before, the Serial number on the phone was associated with my email. 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.
    The New York City police do get involved in trying to help resolve the situation, though, and spend what appears to be quite a lot of time on the phone with Apple and AT&T corroborating her story. However, Apple sticks to their original response and insist that they're going to send the iPhone back to the person who requested the service.

    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. He gets the same answer I got–they will not do anything, they do not care that the person who has the phone currently is using a stolen phone and is not using it with AT&T (AT&T confirmed the phone # I got from the Apple rep is NOT an AT&T number).
    It's completely understandable that the theft victim is frustrated and even outraged. However, it's difficult to fault Apple in this situation, as it seems like they'd have a hard time proving that Alisa's story is true. It does seem maddening, though: you get your phone stolen and the thief (or the guy who bought it from the thief) is getting warranty service on your purchase.

    image via thenextweb
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Has User's Stolen Phone, Won't Give It Back started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. starjar's Avatar
      starjar -
      Funny. Next time use a sharpie and arrows.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      burocraCY [wrong sp.im tired] is a bee1tCh.
    1. ip3's Avatar
      ip3 -
      i have heard of a different story from a friend who was jailbreaking a iPhone for someone they know and in the proses of jailbreaking the iPhone on the screen popped a message "this is a stolen iPhone you are being traced, please return this phone asap." the all of the data and apps on the iPhone were wiped clean!

      Quote Originally Posted by rwin84 View Post
      this is a hard one to call... overall i think apple should turn it over though...
      they can't, like someone has stated she could have sold her iphone and then told apple that it was stolen with no police report she is at fault...
      by your logic i can now by as many iPhone's as i like go to apple store make sure that they have my email for that iPhone serial number sell them all and then if i get luck and they need a repair report them stolen to apple and request that the repaired iPhone is sent back to me??!!
      be more serious
    1. vaughnhenry2's Avatar
      vaughnhenry2 -

      Maybe where you are. Ever been to New York City?

      maybe SOME subway stations in Manhattan have cameras, but not 1 subway car in New York or any of the 5 boroughs has a camera.
    1. iamthekiller's Avatar
      iamthekiller -
      Quote Originally Posted by khiphone3g View Post
      Yes she should have filed a police report, at least call 911 to report it. That is what I did. After you called 911 even if you can't make it to the police station, an officier will call you and get a full report and give you everything you need for future reference.
      My stolen phone showed up the same way hers did, and I right away called the officer who was reporting my case. He transferred me to the detective who's handling it, and he immediately call "Apple Corporate Security" to work with them. Apple also intercept the phone while it was being shipped and hang on to it until everything is cleared and for the phone to be returned to me.
      No, no, no, no, no, no. Do not dial 911 for your MISSING/LOST iphone. 911 is for emergencies only. Dial 311 for a non-emergency. Unless you saw the phone being physically taken from you, the phone is considered MISSING/LOST. Do not waste valuable 911 resources like that.