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stardent said:   Wow, theoretically, as far as everyone else is concerned, you could have shipped an empty box and you could have sold this woman the phone.

Fortunately for the OP, Apple claims to have video of their employees NOT finding a 4oz rock in the box.

qidrox said:   daw4888 said:   Did apple supply the postage to return the phone to them? If so then it would be their problem.

Yes, Apple sent me out a pre-addressed box to their repair center. It was labeled with their headquarters, and company name I believe. I just can't fathom that Apple doesn't insure these packages. It has to be insured, but maybe in cases of non deliverance?


In that case, its Apples problem. Supply them with all the info you have on the package/shipper. Tell them you shipped the phone, and their shipper didn't deliver it in the same condition that you sent it in. If they don't remove the charge, get your CC company involved and get them to process a charge back.

Apple should have insured the package, if they didn't, that should be on them, not you.

stardent said:   Wow, theoretically, as far as everyone else is concerned, you could have shipped an empty box and you could have sold this woman the phone. It seems to me that you need to get the cops involved. Although cops are loathe to spend time on property crime, if, as someone else has suggested, you can document the sequence of events, they might be interested. Heck, I even heard about cops in NYC spending hours chasing after an iPhone thief.

The only reason they went after the thief is because he had a big gulp in the other hand and they don't tolerate those things in NYC!

taxmantoo said:   stardent said:   Wow, theoretically, as far as everyone else is concerned, you could have shipped an empty box and you could have sold this woman the phone.

Fortunately for the OP, Apple claims to have video of their employees NOT finding a 4oz rock in the box.


Excellent point. When I read in the OP that Apple claimed to have received an empty box and that the OP did have weight recorded when he dropped it off it works nicely for him.

If the thief really wanted to screw the OP he/she would have replaced the phone he/she stole with an equivalent dead weight.

qidrox said:   A weird sixth sense or divine intervention I actually saved the receipt that lists the weight/tracking number of package.

<snip> I was shocked to learn that the boxed had showed up to their center with it empty. They said in this instance they take notes, pictures and document the box and its contents, and finally open an investigation.


This is all the information you (and apple) need to get you a refund. Apple gave you a prepaid box, you shipped the iPhone in it and have a receipt showing the weight of the box sent. If the weight of what Apple received is about 4 oz less, then you should be pretty clearly absolved of any wrongdoing. Just email/fax Apple a copy of your receipt, ask them to compare with what they received and request a refund of the $550 charge.

You shouldn't need a police report. The theft happened when the phone was no longer your responsibility and you have enough evidence with the details of what Apple received recorded to show that. Let Apple (and whoever else they involve) do the investigation and sort it out after they agree that you provided them proof that you shipped the phone (or at least a 4oz item that disappeared during shipping).

The weight at time of shipping isnt likely to be any proof, as the prepaid label more than likely also had the shipping weight already listed.

The shipping company should weight the box. And they did. In fact, I think they have record of the item weight in multiple points. But I think OP is lucky. When I drop off boxes in UPS store, forget about weight, they won't even give me a receipt.

I hope the thief did not replace the phone with a weight though. There are many definition of "empty". A phone box with a booklet and no phone may be considered as "empty" by the Apple employee.

Go to the itunes store, download the ishipped it app, use the ineed a refund tab, state that ihave proof ireturned it.
Wait for the iteam to investigate.
( Could not resist )

daw4888 said:   qidrox said:   daw4888 said:   Did apple supply the postage to return the phone to them? If so then it would be their problem.

Yes, Apple sent me out a pre-addressed box to their repair center. It was labeled with their headquarters, and company name I believe. I just can't fathom that Apple doesn't insure these packages. It has to be insured, but maybe in cases of non deliverance?


In that case, its Apples problem. Supply them with all the info you have on the package/shipper. Tell them you shipped the phone, and their shipper didn't deliver it in the same condition that you sent it in. If they don't remove the charge, get your CC company involved and get them to process a charge back.

Apple should have insured the package, if they didn't, that should be on them, not you.


I agree, Apple's problem. OP just needs to cooperate with Apple's investigation.

Have you checked the cloud?

How much does an iPhone weigh? Aren't they light as hell? If they're under a pound, would the weight when he shipped it even matter?

levander said:   How much does an iPhone weigh? Aren't they light as hell? If they're under a pound, would the weight when he shipped it even matter?


They have scales out there that weight ounces.

Well, I had a similar situation. My daughter's iPhone was stolen from her High School cafeteria. She had kept there for charging during Lunch and forgot to take it. She went back after 10-15 minutes, but the phone was gone. Fortunately, school officials had video surveillance recording of the cafeteria and found the guy, who had stolen it.

You would think it's end of the story, thief is caught, right? Nope. As per the guy, the phone was sold off immediately and he wouldn't tell who he sold too. It became a Police case and school wouldn't do anything after that. In fact, the guy (who bought the phone) made a call to another number using the cell and I got the call history from Verizon website and gave it to Police, but no luck. While he (Cop) was investigating, he mentioned that they may send something to Apple to track it down, but as per him, it never works. I asked him if there was any way I can get my phone back or have the guy pay for it, answer was in plain English, NO. Police officer was blunt and said that they have filed charges against the guy and it's now a court case. It's up to the court to seek / award any money / damages. There is absolutely NOTHING I can do.

I just didn't believe it. You know the guy who stole it, but you can't do anything. You are completely helpless. In fact, he (the thief) was still coming to the school till end of the year and school officials were just waiting for court proceedings, which may take forever. He was a senior, so he is gone now. BTW, this happened about 2 months ago and Police officer promised me that he will keep me informed about the progress of the case, but I never heard back again from him. He had given a case number, so I might call the court directly to know the status. For them, theft of a phone is too trivial to spend any time on.

Bottom line is that catching the guy won't give you your money back.

umj said:   I asked him if there was any way I can get my phone back or have the guy pay for it, answer was in plain English, NO.

Sue him in small claims court. Sounds like you have more than enough evidence.

UPDATE:

So after turning up the heat on Apple iPhone support and going through different tiers of support, the original case manager stopped slacking and finally returned my calls. Apparently he figured out that I wasn't some joe shmoe that was trying to scam Apple and the data provided from the shipping company matched my story. He left me a vm today saying that the shipping company had gone ahead and "opened a claim". To me I guess this means they assumed responsibility? Therefore he stated that they would go ahead and be refunding me the amount of the charge on my credit card in the next couple days. This all means, that if the shipping company didn't agree, I wouldn't have gotten my refund regardless of what Apple did/said, the onus was on the shipping company to agree/disagree with what I was saying, and grant me a refund. Wow. Anyways, Success!

But this is where it got weird. Himself and Apple support now totally changed their tune. They would no longer supply me with any information pertaining to the phone. I wanted to file a police report regardless, I don't want scum taking advantage of others so I asked them to give me the IMEI so I could verfiy it, since I was going to supply it to the local PD. They said no, they could ONLY email it. If you flash back support was giving me all kinds of information, email, names, tracking, IMEI's etc etc. I was kind of taken back by his tone of voice, he even suggested that he didn't know who I was and I could be the one who stole the phone? (I'm guessing since I went over his head in the chain of command he wasnt to happy?).

This is where it gets better:

So after some pause, I said fine, go ahead and email it. I get it, privacy yada yada. Then he states the email they have on file didnt match mine, so they cannot email it to me. (???) Apparently the person that is in possession of my stolen phone now has full control AND RIGHTS over it, because they registered it in iTunes?!? RIDICULOUS. NOW IM UPSET. I told him that didn't make any sense, and he had been dealing with me all along, and he knew my story. Thank god I saved and documented all of the information.

So here's my conundrum. Do I still file a police report? If so, do I do it in my city, where the crime was committed, or where the phone currently resides? If I file a police report, I think I'm going to contact the district manager, because I can't proclaim anyone at the store to be innocent. I know this case might not be high on the totem pole of crime, but I do live in a city that has more cops per-capita than any other in the state. Hence low crime rate = a lot of down time for them? . I really do want someone to learn a lesson, but then again is it worth my time and money?

Thanks for all the help guys!

Fatwallet is awesome

You got your money back...Move on and let them do whatever they want to now.

Yeah dude, who cares. Let them deal with it.

Strange that someone would steal a phone that is being sent back to Apple for repair, e.g. not working.

I say go get them - Book 'em Danno!

Once you get paid back and made whole you have no right to demand that they waste additional expense and labor on this matter.

do178b said:   Once you get paid back and made whole you have no right to demand that they waste additional expense and labor on this matter.

OP, did the phone have any intellectual property (e.g. photos) on it? The value of important photos would exceed the price of the phone for me. I would still pursue a claim against the thief.

If nothing else, not pursuing crime encourages more crime.

winter said:   Strange that someone would steal a phone that is being sent back to Apple for repair, e.g. not working.

Why strange? It cost the thief nothing to open the box and test the phone for basic functionality. If it powered up (which it sounds like it did) that was enough for the thief to know they could sell it. If it didn't they could tape up the box and let it go to repair. They didn't care if it had a short battery life, intermittent reboots, or periodic shocks the user. The thief was looking to cash out and it looks like they were successful.

Thief was a scumbag, but not strange that they'd steal it.

qidrox said:   UPDATE:

<snip>

He left me a vm today saying that the shipping company had gone ahead and "opened a claim". To me I guess this means they assumed responsibility? Therefore he stated that they would go ahead and be refunding me the amount of the charge on my credit card in the next couple days.

<snip>

So here's my conundrum. Do I still file a police report?

<snip>


Focus.

Your goal was to get your money back. You are getting a full refund - task accomplished.

You don't get to keep both the phone AND the money. You are taking a refund in lieu of the phone - the phone is no longer yours, and as you are no longer the owner, you can't file a police report on it. That's up to Apple. It's not your problem anymore. Let Apple deal with the theft of THEIR phone. No vigilantes required.

Just make sure Verizon has canceled the service and noted that the phone was stolen so you don't ever end up with any service-related costs related to that specific phone. You probably should change your iTunes and Verizon account passwords too, just to be super safe.

Anyway... stripping away the drama surrounding how you got there, this was the best possible solution. Enjoy your victory - you don't need to keep fighting.

NEDeals said:   
OP, did the phone have any intellectual property (e.g. photos) on it? The value of important photos would exceed the price of the phone for me. I would still pursue a claim against the thief.

If nothing else, not pursuing crime encourages more crime.


You can wipe your data remotely using iCloud. Here are the instructions:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ph2701

winter said:   Strange that someone would steal a phone that is being sent back to Apple for repair, e.g. not working.

Not unusual at all.

Google the following: iphone repair ups stolen
Lots of stories out there that are similar to the OP's.

umj said:   Well, I had a similar situation. My daughter's iPhone was stolen from her High School cafeteria. She had kept there for charging during Lunch and forgot to take it. She went back after 10-15 minutes, but the phone was gone. Fortunately, school officials had video surveillance recording of the cafeteria and found the guy, who had stolen it.

You would think it's end of the story, thief is caught, right? Nope. As per the guy, the phone was sold off immediately and he wouldn't tell who he sold too. It became a Police case and school wouldn't do anything after that. In fact, the guy (who bought the phone) made a call to another number using the cell and I got the call history from Verizon website and gave it to Police, but no luck. While he (Cop) was investigating, he mentioned that they may send something to Apple to track it down, but as per him, it never works. I asked him if there was any way I can get my phone back or have the guy pay for it, answer was in plain English, NO. Police officer was blunt and said that they have filed charges against the guy and it's now a court case. It's up to the court to seek / award any money / damages. There is absolutely NOTHING I can do.

I just didn't believe it. You know the guy who stole it, but you can't do anything. You are completely helpless. In fact, he (the thief) was still coming to the school till end of the year and school officials were just waiting for court proceedings, which may take forever. He was a senior, so he is gone now. BTW, this happened about 2 months ago and Police officer promised me that he will keep me informed about the progress of the case, but I never heard back again from him. He had given a case number, so I might call the court directly to know the status. For them, theft of a phone is too trivial to spend any time on.

Bottom line is that catching the guy won't give you your money back.
The police can't--and won't--get your money back in situations like these. That's for civil courts.

You have the thief's name. Sue him.

Regarding the OP's situation, my phone (not an iPhone, but its most significant rival) broke in early June. It wouldn't charge, no matter what charging cord I used (I tried six different ones) or what I plugged it into, so I did a warranty replacement.

However, I'd read about situations exactly like the OP's, so when the replacement arrived, I used it to take pictures of me putting the broken phone in the return box, sealing the box, etc. When the guy at the not-to-be-named-but-not-a-USPS-store asked if I wanted a receipt, I said "Yes, please!" and he printed it out. When I got the tracking number, I had the shipping company text and email me every time the status of the delivery changed and when it was delivered. I know that's all probably overly-paranoid, but the non-discounted cost of my phone is still in excess of $500.

Hell, given the OP's situation, maybe I should have video'd myself putting the phone in the box and sealing it.

I actually WOULD file the police report just in case apple and the shipping company change their tune again. This isn't over yet and you're in a much stronger position to debate by saying that the "criminal investigation is ongoing."

RWAnderson72 said:   

Hell, given the OP's situation, maybe I should have video'd myself putting the phone in the box and sealing it.


All a series of still photos proves is that you were worried that the box will arrive empty and you would be blamed for it. Some might claim they're evidence that you stole it before shipping the box.

taxmantoo said:   RWAnderson72 said:   

Hell, given the OP's situation, maybe I should have video'd myself putting the phone in the box and sealing it.


All a series of still photos proves is that you were worried that the box will arrive empty and you would be blamed for it. Some might claim they're evidence that you stole it before shipping the box.


How about filming yourself putting the phone in box, sealing, and handing to the shipping clerk? Unless you're using Hollywood special effects, that would be pretty solid.

elist said:   winter said:   Strange that someone would steal a phone that is being sent back to Apple for repair, e.g. not working.

Why strange? It cost the thief nothing to open the box and test the phone for basic functionality. If it powered up (which it sounds like it did) that was enough for the thief to know they could sell it. If it didn't they could tape up the box and let it go to repair. They didn't care if it had a short battery life, intermittent reboots, or periodic shocks the user. The thief was looking to cash out and it looks like they were successful.

Thief was a scumbag, but not strange that they'd steal it.
I'm assuming that the person stealing it has to do so carefully/selectively and is risking getting caught each time...given that I would think it would be more profitable to steal something that is brand new that comes their way rather than something that is being returned that may or may not be in a sellable condition (pass a basic power up test).

When I send my Toshiba laptop back, the clerk put it in their approved box .. . and I always get a receipt from UPS.

As to low fruit effort, a certain Mayor (Rudy) in NYC decided to actively pursue "quality of life" crimes and the payback was enormous. Scum buckets jumping turnstiles for the subway were found to have outstanding warrants (some for rape)! Tolerating BS leads to more serious activity. Crime rates drop dramatically . . because it was not being tolerated. Of course we now have the legal dispute going on about stop and frisk. People are upset cause it's not being conducted in "low" crime neighborhoods . . . ?

Of course residents in high crime areas are now safer cause dirt bags are being apprehended with illegal weapons. Not that it matters for the legal "Scholars"

Red55 said:   When I send my Toshiba laptop back, the clerk put it in their approved box .. . and I always get a receipt from UPS.

As to low fruit effort, a certain Mayor (Rudy) in NYC decided to actively pursue "quality of life" crimes and the payback was enormous. Scum buckets jumping turnstiles for the subway were found to have outstanding warrants (some for rape)! Tolerating BS leads to more serious activity. Crime rates drop dramatically . . because it was not being tolerated. Of course we now have the legal dispute going on about stop and frisk. People are upset cause it's not being conducted in "low" crime neighborhoods . . . ?

Of course residents in high crime areas are now safer cause dirt bags are being apprehended with illegal weapons. Not that it matters for the legal "Scholars"

This works until the dirtbag is you. When you give that much power to law enforcement/the executive, it will be abused. Also, you don't need to be a scholar to appreciate that violating a large number of innocent people's rights on a broad scale to catch a few 'dirtbags' erodes everyone's rights.

NEDeals said:   do178b said:   Once you get paid back and made whole you have no right to demand that they waste additional expense and labor on this matter.

OP, did the phone have any intellectual property (e.g. photos) on it? The value of important photos would exceed the price of the phone for me. I would still pursue a claim against the thief.

If nothing else, not pursuing crime encourages more crime.


I had no IP on the phone. I actually backed up the phone and wiped it clean. Didn't want someone possibly going through my personal files. The kicker was the phone was unlocked also. The reason I suspect the thief/buyer of the phone actually called in to Apple support, was because the iPhone had developer iOS7 installed and needed a key to boot up. So the phone was useless unless they did that. (which I'm assuming they did).

After doing so, they have a functional iPhone with a power button issue at their disposal.

umj said:   Well, I had a similar situation. My daughter's iPhone was stolen from her High School cafeteria. She had kept there for charging during Lunch and forgot to take it. She went back after 10-15 minutes, but the phone was gone. Fortunately, school officials had video surveillance recording of the cafeteria and found the guy, who had stolen it.

You would think it's end of the story, thief is caught, right? Nope. As per the guy, the phone was sold off immediately and he wouldn't tell who he sold too. It became a Police case and school wouldn't do anything after that. In fact, the guy (who bought the phone) made a call to another number using the cell and I got the call history from Verizon website and gave it to Police, but no luck. While he (Cop) was investigating, he mentioned that they may send something to Apple to track it down, but as per him, it never works. I asked him if there was any way I can get my phone back or have the guy pay for it, answer was in plain English, NO. Police officer was blunt and said that they have filed charges against the guy and it's now a court case. It's up to the court to seek / award any money / damages. There is absolutely NOTHING I can do.

I just didn't believe it. You know the guy who stole it, but you can't do anything. You are completely helpless. In fact, he (the thief) was still coming to the school till end of the year and school officials were just waiting for court proceedings, which may take forever. He was a senior, so he is gone now. BTW, this happened about 2 months ago and Police officer promised me that he will keep me informed about the progress of the case, but I never heard back again from him. He had given a case number, so I might call the court directly to know the status. For them, theft of a phone is too trivial to spend any time on.

Bottom line is that catching the guy won't give you your money back.


Police are spend most of their time lately on traffic fines

Lesson from this thread is that if you are within driving distance of an Apple Store - take your returns in yourself!



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