Opinions wanted and a somewhat funny story

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Jun 16, 2008
1,177
12
38
Tinley Park, IL
#1
Well, funny for everyone but my buddy. Here's the deal. A buddy of mine was ready to upgrade to a 4S and wanted to order on pre-order day. He works overnights so I told him to order as soon as I was able to order (I was waiting up like a fool). His only access was his current iPhone and he was not having any luck with the Apple store app.

He gave up and was going to wait, but I told him to try again around 8am since others were having luck. He gets on Apple's site (at home this time on his computer) and was successful in ordering his black 32gb iPhone 4s.

Around comes iPhone 4S day and he gets his phone delivered. He opens the package and sees that Apple sent him an iPhone 4 and not a 4S. He checks his online receipt and it's says "iPhone 4S". He calls Apple and they confirm that he ordered a 4S and not a 4. The Apple rep apologized and gave him a $50 dollar refund for his trouble.

Now this is where it gets odd. The Apple rep tells my buddy that he has to mail the iPhone 4 back before they can ship out the 4S, but to go to an AT&T store and have them ship it back to Apple because it'll get there quicker. My buddy finds this odd as he did not buy from AT&T, but goes with the flow.

A week goes by and I ask him if he got his phone yet and he says no; no email, no call, nothing. He was going to call Apple that next day, but at 8:50 pm, ten minutes before the AT&T store was to close, he gets a call saying that his phone was in 3 days ago and he needs to pick it up. Well due to his work schedule and losing his ID that following day, he couldn't pick up the phone until today.

He goes to the AT&T store and they tell him, "We are very sorry, but we sold your phone". My buddy said he was ready to flip out. He paid for this phone, never asked for the replacement to be sent to the AT&T store and only shipped back to Apple through the AT&T store per the Apple rep's suggestion. He asks for a replacement, but they say they're sold out. My buddy makes them call other stores, but they're sold out too. AT&T claims that they'll order him a new one Monday and it'll be there Tuesday, but he doesn't believe anything they are saying at this point.

What is his recourse, if any? To recap, phone bought through Apple.com. Apple sends wrong phone, has him go to local AT&T store to ship back to Apple. AT&T store gets replacement, waits 3 days to call him that it's arrived and sells it 3 days after that call. This was a corporate AT&T store, but AT&T didn't sell him the phone. Does he call Apple? Does he call AT&T? Or is he at the mercy of this store to give him a replacement for the phone they basically stole and resold?

Thoughts, ideas?
 

Rugaby

Genius
Gold
Feb 18, 2011
7,122
1,219
113
Washington state
#2
IMO he can pitch a fit and get something from that AT&T store. Accessories or what not. But I think he is just going to have to wait it out. Do you blame AT&T. Wasn't ordered through them. Sat there for a day or two and was probably not labeled well. Everyone and there brother asking for a 4s. So they sold it. As long as he gets it what is another few days?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

iebron

New Member
Jun 26, 2010
9
1
3
#3
A buddy of mine went to a car dealership to test drive a new car. While he had the car for two days they sold his car he left with them to test drive theirs. They had to give him the car he test drove with the balance he owed on the old one. His lawyer said they basically stole his car and sold it since it did not belong to them. I think this is the same case.
 

Rugaby

Genius
Gold
Feb 18, 2011
7,122
1,219
113
Washington state
#4
A buddy of mine went to a car dealership to test drive a new car. While he had the car for two days they sold his car he left with them to test drive theirs. They had to give him the car he test drove with the balance he owed on the old one. His lawyer said they basically stole his car and sold it since it did not belong to them. I think this is the same case.
He didn't really own that 4s yet. He hadnt taken ownership of it yet. If they now said he wasn't entitled to one that would be one thing but they are getting him one. He should have sent it to Apple himself.
 

Iloveiphones

Genius
Platinum
Aug 5, 2010
6,237
234
83
chatsocially.com
#6
If be extremely mad at Apple and AT&T. But, what about the IMEA numbers? RadioShack told me once my iPhone 4 gets to the store that they can't sell it because it's registered to us and our IMEA numbers. So it will sit and collect dust until we pick it up. I'd call AT&T, demand to speak to the higher authority until you reach the CEO, and complain. Well, I'd contact pretty high up there. And Apple, I'd call until I get Tim Cook!
 

gotzaiPhone

Zealot
Gold
Jun 16, 2008
1,177
12
38
Tinley Park, IL
#10
A little update. AT&T is still giving him the run around, it's too long to type out, but they are saying that in his current situation, they don't know when they can get his phone, but if he was to cancel his current plan, pay the ETF, make a new plan and pay activation, they might be able to get him a phone quicker.

Well, he took all this info and his receipts to the local police department and the PD agrees with my buddy that a Theft occurred and now the PD is going to investigate into what that store did. This might not get my buddy his phone faster, but at least uncover the shady practices of this specific AT&T store.
 

rambo47

Contributor
Silver
Apr 4, 2010
528
79
28
Northern NJ
#11
If Apple sent it to AT&T in his name, then technically he did own it.
He never took possession of it and never activated it. It was reserved for him, but until he completes the pickup he does not own it.

It's sleazy on AT&T's part, but until the IMEI is registered to his account that iPhone is not truly his. Did AT&T attempt to contact him and tell him that his shiny new 4s had arrived? Folks order phones and walk away from that order all the time. And with folks clamoring for the 4s it sounds like the store pushed the guidelines on pickups and gave your buddy's phone away. At the very least it's a procedural screwup depending on if they tried to notify him it was in. But it wasn't anything illegal like theft.
 

gotzaiPhone

Zealot
Gold
Jun 16, 2008
1,177
12
38
Tinley Park, IL
#12
He never took possession of it and never activated it. It was reserved for him, but until he completes the pickup he does not own it.

It's sleazy on AT&T's part, but until the IMEI is registered to his account that iPhone is not truly his. Did AT&T attempt to contact him and tell him that his shiny new 4s had arrived? Folks order phones and walk away from that order all the time. And with folks clamoring for the 4s it sounds like the store pushed the guidelines on pickups and gave your buddy's phone away. At the very least it's a procedural screwup depending on if they tried to notify him it was in. But it wasn't anything illegal like theft.
It wasn't "reserved" for him. It was his, from Apple. The sim already was set to his number and it was a replacement for wrong one that they sent out. He paid for it, and even Apple said that the phone was linked to his account... Well, until AT&T opened up his phone and removed his sim and put in a new one for the next customer.

When mine came in the mail, not only was my number on a sticker on the box, the first time I plugged it into iTunes, it displayed my number. With your logic, my UPS guy could have stolen mine before I took physical possession and it wouldn't have been a theft...

It was screwed up that AT&T even got involved as the phone was NEVER bought through AT&T, but the Apple rep told him to use a local AT&T store as a "UPS store" of sorts.

Regardless, the police see it as a theft and I guess that's all that matters.
 

iP5

Evangelist
Gold
Sep 7, 2010
2,964
136
63
Toronto
#15
If I was the lawyer for the AT&T store I'd have a simple question. The courier between Apple & AT&T blew up/was high jacked. The true owner of that iPhone must then file the insurance claim. Who would that be.

I agree then, it's not owned till it's possessed. The related precedent is, it's not stolen till it walks out of the store.

Are your Apple store iPhone's sold unlocked in the US yet?

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
 

rambo47

Contributor
Silver
Apr 4, 2010
528
79
28
Northern NJ
#16
I think it was officially delivered. The AT&T store agreed to act as his agent, sending back the previous one and receiving his replacement. The fact that it was already associated with his account suggests it was definitely his, at least in the eyes of Apple. Sounds like AT&T had some funny ideas about personal property.
 

philbaines

New Member
Oct 25, 2011
1
0
1
#17
Dunno about over in the USA but as soon as you "pay" for a item over here in the UK then that is legaly yours-regardless of Apples registration,couriers or what not.

does your friend not have anyway of getting sound legal advice?

I would of gone sick if that was me. That's like the mail office deciding they wanted it instead of delivering it and just ordering him a new one.

Regardless of Apples activation,he had paid for the hardware that he now doesn't have cos some rep decided to sell it-that is illegal.
 

gotzaiPhone

Zealot
Gold
Jun 16, 2008
1,177
12
38
Tinley Park, IL
#18
Good news, it's been resolved!

So in all the calls my buddy made, he was transferred to some AT&T VP. He had spoken to this VP's assistant first, got the direct line number to the office and asked for a contact email address. The assistant told my buddy to call back later in the day. He then sent an email with a copy of the police report number, the BBB complaint report number and some other info.

About an hour later he gets a call from this VP telling my buddy that not only is AT&T going to refund all of his money, they are going to give him a free iPhone 4S 64gb (he originally ordered a 32gb). All he had to do was go back to the local store and the phone would be waiting for him. The VP was very apologetic and said that AT&T would start their own investigation on the local store in question.

He went to the store, got his phone and AT&T activated the phone without renewing or extending his contract. Apparently, AT&T does not take too kindly to their corporate stores selling their customers property and AT&T wanted this to go away. ;)

So my buddy called the local PD, let them know AT&T made it right and he no longer wanted to press charges. It was a shitty all around ordeal, but at least it had a good outcome!