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Appeal Direct to Apple : Apple Watch Activation Lock - Ability to contact previous owners!

Kediil

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 24, 2020
3
0
Now I personally am not an Apple Watch Owner. But my entire family are Apple consumers. And I have recently gone through a HECK of an adventure over my sister's watch.

Long story short, her Series 3 watch broke. And I got her a Series 5 to replace it.

Longer bit of story and information.

Part of this adventure was in finding one for a decent price, and there are SO MANY WATCHES OUT THERE that have the stupid Apple Activation Lock on them, but do NOT have a lost device activated on them and it made me wonder a bit.

I went through two watches from ebay that ended up with activation locks before finding a website with an activation check.

Apple used to have this tool but removed it some time back. Supposedly for 'security reasons', though if it gave the same info I can get from an outside source, I don't see how, and it can still be checked from NOT Apple, so, yeah.

I purchased a watch that was clear. Upon receiving it, I connected it to my friend's phone, just to verify. It was clean, everything was perfect. We followed Apple's instructions on disconnecting the device and unpairing it (see below).

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205009

We verified that it was disconnected via the same instructions.

So I sent it off to my sister.

She received it, only to have it show upon trying to sync that it was STILL ACTIVATION LOCKED. Which Apple tried to tell me was impossible.

(It turned out that even though the watch was unpaired from the phone and icloud account, it was STILL REGISTERING under the account as a lost device, even though it had never been activated as lost and the watch itself did not have the Lost screen on it. None of this information is available online and it took three levels of support and a Team Lead to find out what was wrong and how to fix it.)

By the way. Apple also USED TO HAVE A TOOL for these situations. You would input your serial code, and an email would be sent to the previous owner, the email would have a 12 digit code in it that you would then put into the device and the activation lock would be removed. This tool was removed from the Apple site at least three years ago, and was never replaced. Granted, this wouldn't directly help if you didn't have access to contacting the previous owner directly in the first place.

Further, even if you contact Apple with the device's serial number, they will not contact the previous owner on your behalf. The lower rungs will tell you that they also can not see the entire email of the account. But if you go high enough, they do in fact have a tool that they can put in the serial number and verify the owner, including their email address. There is no reason beyond policy that they can not contact the owner.

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So this is where my appeal starts.

For starters, when an Apple Watch gets unpaired, it needs to be erased at the same time. There's no reason it can't have a little notification that pops up on the phone and/or device and asks you to confirm whether you want to erase all information on the device as well as unpair it. Just to make sure that it absolutely happens.

Second, there needs to be a way to contact a previous owner. Many people will unpair their watch and sell it. If you don't have that person's contact info, then you're S.O.L. And the chances that a person is going to believe you that the watch isn't really unpaired when they KNOW they did it can make all sorts of problems. (I've seen an awful lot of phones out there with activation locks too, so this may be applicable in more than one area.)

So there needs to be a way to get a contact the previous owner. This could be accomplished through a standard 2 step authentication process via email and you simply have the option to include your own email or phone number for the owner to get in touch with you.

It could also be accomplished through Apple's Customer Support. They already have access to the device's owner's email via the serial number. There needs to be a policy in place for Apple to send an email to a previous owner with a brief explanation of the issue, even if it's automated, and a request for confirmation of erase or contact. The new owner never has to know who this person is, their email, or anything. It can all absolutely be done via Apple, hence no security breach. If they want to maintain whatever 'security' it is they gain by not allowing authentication via their website, then they need to be willing to offer this support themselves.

-----------

Summary:

Dear Apple,

PLEASE incorporate the following.

1) An 'Erase All Data' request and confirmation when unpairing a device from an iCloud account or device.

2) The ability to contact previous owners through Apple for verification of devices that have been sold and still maintain an activation lock.

Kind regards,

Us

**

Now, I have started a petition over on the internet, but I'm not allowed to post a link to it as per forum rules, but if anyone is interested, feel free to hit me up. (of if the mod gods feel this is an appropriately ok petition to link to, that'd be just awesome too!)
 

Kediil

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 24, 2020
3
0
I have. It ultimately got fixed. Is it just a staple of the Apple community that nobody cares about anybody else's experience and that nobody is proactive about fixing a system that's flawed? Between this and the responses on the Apple communities forum, all I've received is people calling me a liar and a thief and telling me to talk to Apple. I don't think a single person has actually even read what I dealt with, or at a minimum they just don't care.
 

Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,976
2,837
East of the sun, west of the moon
I have. It ultimately got fixed. Is it just a staple of the Apple community that nobody cares about anybody else's experience and that nobody is proactive about fixing a system that's flawed? Between this and the responses on the Apple communities forum, all I've received is people calling me a liar and a thief and telling me to talk to Apple. I don't think a single person has actually even read what I dealt with, or at a minimum they just don't care.
I actually did read your post, and in the title and body of it you want to make a "direct appeal to Apple." Because of that, I wanted to make sure you knew about how to contact Apple with your feedback. I can empathize you had a difficult situation to deal with, and good to know it was fixed.
 

Kediil

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 24, 2020
3
0
Ah. I misunderstood and apologize. I am frustrated mainly with the direct apple forum and the accusations I have received there. I have lodged a concern and suggestion in several places through Apple. I didn't even receive a 'we got your message' auto response. Ultimately, big corporations don't make changes unless there are enough voices speaking toward it. I thought that people would care more, but that doesn't seem to be the overall case. I do appreciate your response and contribution. The issue was resolved, I just wonder how many of these locked devices out there are a result of this exact sort of instance and feel that there should be a policy in place to assist in these circumstances. With the current policy, even if I find a thousand dollar phone on the street, I can't return it to the owner unless the lost message with contact info gets put on it. I can tell apple, and they can see the owners info, but they will not contact them with the current policy.
Again though, I do apologize for jumping the gun.
 
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