Used iPhone 4S serial number question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by okwhatev, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

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    #1
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    Scary iPhone 4S serial number issue
    Ok, so I bought a used iPhone 4S on Craigslist. I thoroughly checked it out beforehand, checked its water damaged strips, played with it, and decided to get it. The phone is awesome and it's working terrific, but I noticed the Earpiece speaker was really soft. After checking online I've come to realize this is a common defect among iPhone 4S and is something they'll replace under warranty at the apple store. To make a long story short: I plugged the phone's serial number into apple's website and this popped up: “We’re sorry, but this is a serial number for a product that has been replaced… If your information is correct, you may need to contact us.”

    Um, what the hell?

    The kid I bought it from was a really straight laced kid and not the shady type. What's more, the phone was in immaculate condition and without a single physical flaw, so I don't buy that it was stolen. Does anyone know what this means?

    It's freaking me out.

    I bought the phone to use on straight Talk's $45 a month iPhone plan with unlimited everything and it's working terrific. I didn't think there should be anything wrong with buying the phone used as I knew what to look for and this phone is in ace shape.

    I'd like to get a replacement phone to fix the headset speaker issue but since the phone otherwise works perfectly if somehow bringing this to the attention of apple causes my phone not to work anymore or be disabled or something, obviously I can live with the stupid headset speaker being busted.

    What do you guys think? Ever heard of this issue? What should I do?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Arnezie

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    #2
    :confused: umm ok
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Meaning I didn't get it off the back of a truck or something...
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Arnezie

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    #4
  5. macrumors 68040

    bandofbrothers

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    #5
    Sounds to me like the seller has had an iPhone replaced, i.e. the one you have got and placed it in his original iPhone box !

    Maybe you have a refurb unit ?
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    #6

    go to an apple store ask them to type in the serial and tell you the history if they can. Maybe its a refurb unit like suggested above?
     
  7. macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Did you check the serial number on the device itself? Go to Settings > General > About. You will find the serial number there. Also if the serial number is not the same as the serial number on the box, it is likely that the seller had to get it replaced due to a hardware issue. So when on that page, type the serial number from your device and see what pops up.

    Normally they don't take the box if you go through the replacement, they just take the phone and give you a new one, or so called "replacement unit, aka: remanufactured unit".
     
  8. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

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    #8
    This is one of those things where nothing you ask here is going to change whatever situation you are in. Call Apple and ask. They aren;t going to send a SWAT or team of ninjas to your house to assassinate you and take the phone back if it is stolen (I doubt that is what this means). That said, I don;t see a point of a refurb unit coming up with information like this online. I mean, refurb units should be covered under the same warranty a non-refurb is, should they not?
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    That's what I was thinking. I mean I have nothing to hide, I haven't done anything knowingly wrong. I just spent the last of my money on this phone and would die if something happened to it. Im just worried that somehow this phone wasn't mailed back to apple if it's in fact a returned phone in exchange for a refurb. The serial checks out that it's NOT a refurb model, meaning I suppose it's the original purchase that somehow isnt in apple's possession. This is the first time I've ever dealt with something like this, and just wanted to know what the apple store policy is on situations like this, and what I can expect. If its a huge nightmare I can live without an earpiece speaker. Just never imagined id have to.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    bandofbrothers

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    #10
    I really do feel for you being in the situation your in.

    The only peace of mind i think your going to achieve is to ask for a refund or perhaps take the first hard step, and make contact with Apple.

    Its obviously stressing you out !
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    I did use the serial on the device itself. Not that silly. ;)
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

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    #12
    Call AppleCare and ask but it sounds like the device could have been stolen in transit back to Apple. Apple will tell you.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Ok this is weirder: the serial on the SIM card tray is valid, saying its under warrenty. Obviously the seller mixed up his two trays. The tray in mine is from his new iPhone 4S. I'm guessing this might be useful when I call apple?
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Jare

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    #14
    Why haven't you called Apple yet?
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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  16. macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Your phone was stolen most likely by someone that works at ups store. if you mail your iPhone In for repair you take it to a ups store and they will pack and ship it for you. So at some point the phone was taken before apple even received it and the person that originally owned the phone got a replacment phone and apple has that phone listed as replaced because it has been. That is why your phone still has issues.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17

    Doesn't have to be that... Could have been reported as stolen to Cell Insurance (assurion) and then the dude figured he would clean up by selling the "Stolen one"
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    I guess I'm petrified that Apple could somehow remotely disable the phone, although I don't know why in the world they would. I don't have enough to buy another phone, so this one is all I have. I'm gonna call apple anyhow because it's bothering me, just wanted to check in with you guys and get your opinion. You're probably right about it being an insurance scam. The guy really didn't see like the type to commit insurance fraud over a few measly hundred dollars. Not to mention there's a paper trail a mile long. Sigh....
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Actually, I called apple and talked to them and everything's been worked out. They registered the phone in my name and it's fully under warrenty. So so relieved!! Thanks once again apple! Got worried over nothing...
     
  20. macrumors 6502

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    Nice. Good to have that peace of mind. Now enjoy your phone.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Cool! Any indication as to why it had that status?
     
  22. okwhatev, Mar 21, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Okay... so this story gets WAY weirder. After all of that I got busy with work and since I mostly use a jawbone anyhow, put off taking it to the apple store since otherwise it's perfectly functional iPhone 4S in mint condition. About two weeks later I have a bit of spare time... so I make a red eye appointment at the Apple Store close to 20th Century Fox (where I work) and get there at 9am.

    A friendly genius confirms my apple store app check in and I tell him my earpiece speaker woes. I give him my apple ID and he takes the phone, inspects it, then types the serial number into his iPhone/iPod touch POS thingy and makes uh oh sounds. I give him a brief rundown of the weirdness, buying it on Craig's List, how I have a valid serial number on my sim card tray, but the serial in my phone appears to be invalid. Blah blah blah. Also how I had talked with apple support for more then an hour about it, and they assured me everything should be ok.

    He says to wait at the bar, takes my phone, and disappears into the back. 20 minutes pass, then 30...

    Now I'm starting to get uncomfortable. I make jokes about Craig's list iPhones and inside am throwing up by self-hatred. Actually, pretty normal for me.

    Finally he comes out and says there is no way he can replace the phone. That the serial number in my phone has already been replaced under warranty more then 3 times. I ask how can this be so, and did he check in my AppleCare records and he can't find anything.*

    I sigh, turn on my Bluetooth (since I can't actually hold the damn phone up to my ear to make a phone call) and call apple support.

    I thank the genius for his assistance, and tell him I'll he back with a case number that should make it much easier. I then spend the next two hours talking to apple, three supervisors, and endless loops of U2 while trying to maintain a shred of dignity as the apple store swells from red eye crowds to maddening sewer of human sea. I go outside, continue talking to apple, smoke an entire pack of cigarettes. The apple store employees who were there at the start of the day now either think I am a criminal or just really pathetic. I smoke more, push a newly made genius bar follow up appointment further and further forward as my endless AppleCare support calls stretch on and on and on.

    Among the things "discovered" during the phone call:
    - I did not in fact have a warranty
    - my serial number had been replaced with refurbished units three times prior
    - although I had a valid sim card tray, that tray would have to match the internals of the phone
    - they could not take back the bad-serial-number phone if they wanted to because they would need the correct sim card tray to process it (what?!)
    - they saw that I had an iPhone 4 with a valid warranty, and why wasn't I using that.. Like it wouldn't have been obvious I had sold my iPhone 4 to buy the 4S.
    - apparently, the phone was in their system as a VERIZON one, something I find hard to believe as its totally carrier locked to AT&T and I happened to be using a Straight Talk MVNO microSIM at that very moment
    - why had I chosen Craigslist instead of the apple store (as if trying to get a used phone for a more reasonable price sans contract was somehow NOT being Jewish)
    - apparently a 20 year history with tens of thousands of dollars of purchases with them and absolutely nothing like this situation ever happening involving me wasn't enough for them to take a (otherwise PERFECTLY functioning unit) and swap it for one with a working earpiece speaker... What amounts to a $20 part... Or at most $75 parts and labor at any repair place to replace on a $700 phone just to make a long-time customer happy.

    I was told to contact the original seller and that they couldn't help me at all. Then I went inside and explained what they had told me on the phone, and the manager suggested that I could buy a brand new unlocked iPhone. For $700.

    I was actually kind of disgusted that, not only were they totally serious, but they said it in a way that implied I had some criminal plan to all of this, because all mastermind criminals love to spend 2 & 1/2 hours in and out of a retail store trying to get a $20 part replaced in a $700 phone. Because time is obviously worth nothing, and I really love getting treated like I've just taken a dump on their MacBook air display.

    Needless to say, at that point I was over it. I honestly, REALLY don't even care that much. I absolutely love my iPhone 4S. It's my favorite iPhone ever! Other then the really annoying lack of an earpiece speaker, it's a PERFECT iPhone 4S. but it was the principal of the thing. But do I care anymore? I don't even care enough to pay the $75 to get it repaired at a shop. I don't care enough to order the parts and do it myself. And I really don't care enough to waste another 2 hours of my life to something that really should've been done for me like I was promised over the phone. It's not as it I was on a broken, busted up iPhone and expecting a new one.

    So I still need to attend to this, but I've been distracted by my new iPad (it's my first iPad, as I've been waiting for a retina model since it was announced). Hold on I have a phone call. Oh dammit, my jawbone isn't charged. **** I can't put this on speaker phone. Aggggggh!!!!!
     
  23. macrumors 68000

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    #23
    IMHO your emotions and frustration are totally misplaced. Why are you upset with Apple instead of the person who scammed you on CL?
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Defender2010

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #24
    What do you at Fox? Script writer?? In the third act I suggest you return the origin of the story and get a refund from this straight laced guy, smart cover eh, straight laced...HE is the criminal! Bad movie! :( Sorry
     
  25. macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Exactly. You bought an Apple device, but Apple didn't make a penny extra out of it. Why should they bend over backwards for you? Fair enough you're in a tough situation, but the guy who sold it to you clearly didn't give you the full history or lied (did you actually ask?), and ultimately it's your responsibility. Maybe you're just so used to hearing Apple making exceptions for people that you have that expectation of them...
     

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