It's still social engineering. You CONVINCED them into giving you the device, they didn't give it to you. This applies to this article as well, they convinced tech support into bypassing the security questions.
It's still not the same thing. It's the difference between using a water gun with your friends in the backyard and using a real firearm to steal from someone in a public venue. Only one would be referred to as actual robbery, the other is not. Social engineering is not something to be taken lightly. Getting a friend to to hand over his device is not social engineering. That's called lending. Going after someones account and personal information, is an much different matter.
You have no problem with social engineering? That is, "obtaining information by manipulating and/or deceiving people", as it's defined as, which is exactly what the article was about. Do you really think you should be treating the ability of acquiring someone's account information by lying to a tech support agent so lightly?
I have no problem with social engineering if the intent and effect is simply to gain knowledge.