AppleCare replacement scenario: returned iPhone lost in post, Apple not replacing

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bobbytallant, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. bobbytallant macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    Hi guys, so I am more than a little concerned about my current position and the prospect of being considerably out of pocket here.

    Very briefly I purchased an iPhone 5 second hand from eBay months ago (please don't immediately think uh oh, thousands of people do this).

    It recently became defective (signal issues) so I rang apple to discuss exercising the warranty (it had around 9 months left).

    Apple, after doing extensive troubleshooting/diagnostic checks over the phone offered to replace it - there is no Apple store near me so they shipped out an empty box for me to put the iPhone in and ship back to them.

    For anyone who hasn't used this service before, basically Apple send out a pre-paid empty box for you to send back to them with the defective product in - they then repair/replace then send back to you.

    So anyway I did this, I followed their instructions and got a 'proof of purchase' which contains a tracking code. Here in the UK Apple use Royal Mail to do this.

    After sending it back to them I waited a week and it hadn't got there. I reported this to them and they asked if I had a proof of posting, and I of course (and at the time thankfully) said yes. They said 'great!' and they then asked 'do you have an original proof of purchase' and I said I got the phone from eBay, would that do (proof of transaction etc) and they said no, 'this needs to be from an apple authorised vender' - i.e. a network provider or themselves (apple) - again I was not the 'original' purchaser of this phone.

    There was a bit of a pause then and they then said well we will leave it a few more days and see if it shows up.

    I am obviously now very concerned about the idea that I do not appear to have the required information/proof to be covered here. I may well have just lost out on an iPhone 5 which I think, tentatively speaking, isn't at all my fault..

    It wouldn't be likely that the person I bought it from on eBay would have the original proof of postage, again this was months ago and I am not sure I could even get in contact with them, or they would be compliant, or that they were the original owner themselves perhaps.

    It is disappointing as firstly I thought that Apple warranty was tied to the device by the serial number (and not the individual), and that original proof of purchase was not required - and I am also disappointed that Apple did not mention this when setting up the repair, I even said I was not the original owner and they said thats fine and set up the repair in my name etc. I have also followed their instructions to the letter re the repair (getting/retaining the proof of postage) - I even photographed the front of the parcel before I sent it (perhaps I was tempting fate). It was they that chose the courier service and paid for it, it should be on them to pursue a lost in the post claim with Royal Mail surely?

    So this is a heads up I guess to I am sure the many many people that buy or have bought their apple products 'second-hand' and were thinking they had a full and effective warranty and that they would be covered in the above scenario, without proof of purchase.

    * They haven't outright said (yet) that I will definitely not get a replacement if it is indeed lost, so there is still a chance, but I think you can understand the fact that I am quite alarmed given what they have asked for so far..

    Sorry for the long post!
  2. saud0488 macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2011
    Might be different for UK (doubt it) but here warranty and even applecare is tied to serial number. Nothing else. I would call back and talk to another person. I've had several replaced by mail and genius bar visits. Never once have they asked for ID.
  3. bobbytallant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    Thank you for that - that was 100% my understanding also in the UK and I have also exercised the warranty in the past across iPhones, iPods, macs etc (long time apple customer) - items that I have again purchased second hand, but thankfully I have never been in this scenario before.

    I am wondering if they only require this info in cases like this (lost in the post ones) - but if they do, that is again alarming I am sure to the many people that do buy their apple products second hand/do not have original proofs of purchases - as I am sure this scenario is not that uncommon.

    It just seems the fact/aspect that I do not have the original proof purchase is kind of independent in my view of the fact/aspect that there is an item lost in the post here, and I have retained evidence etc that would assist Apple with making a claim with the courier.. Again it is them that chose this particular courier and service, and I just followed their instructions to the letter.
  4. M87 macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
    I just got my iPhone 5 replaced through the 1-year AppleCare Warranty. Just enter the serial number (no other info/proof of purchase required), tell them what's wrong and they ship you a box. Shipping was super fast. We're talking less than 48-hours of phonelessness. Very impressed. That's in the US though.
  5. bobbytallant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    Thanks for that - thats certainly the experience I was was hoping for here too!

    Had I had known that I would not be covered (and telling the adviser I was not the original purchaser when setting up the repair) via this repair method, should the item get lost in the post even after retaining a proof of purchase, I wouldn't have gone with it - I would have probably made a very long journey to my nearest Apple store, at least then I would know it would be safe with me transporting it and not a courier (that Apple arranged).. Am I being at all unreasonable by being surprised at this? Or do you think I should be more understanding of the fact I am not the original purchaser etc.?
  6. E2EK1EL macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    When I spoke to AppleCare US they stated during the transporting stages to and from a customer, the customer is not responsible if the item doesn't make it to their destinations. Once you've signed off on the receiving or the shipping ends, the matter is out of your hands and you've legitimately done your part, the ones responsible are the shipping companies.

    Good luck with your saga.
  7. bobbytallant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    That is common sense and reassuring thank you for that - that is what I would have thought. I mean when apple arranged their contract with this courier (royal mail) I am sure they would have gone over what is to happen in cases of lost in the post etc. I mean after putting the device in the box, taking it to the post office and getting/retaining proof of postage that is just about as much as I personally could have done - the issue would now be between Royal Mail and apple (I would hope).

    I've just got this feeling now they will stand firm knowing I don't have this proof of postage and 'that is required' or something.. (I'm always the pessimist btw lol).
  8. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    In Europe, usually the only recognized 'valid' "proof of warranty" is the original form or receipt or paper or whatever you get hen buying the device.

    Apple generally offers warranty just by checking the serial number, but if they want to, they could refuse anyone claiming warranty without the original receipt. Why? Because officially only the receipt is 'needed' for warranty.

    It's not hard to imagine that if they do not receive a phone, they at least want to see some form of receipt.

    The UK, however, is in a 'special position' in Europe so I'm not sure if these regulations are also in effect in the UK.

    So in conclusion: the receipt is what really matters.
  9. bobbytallant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    Thanks for that - I guess if that is the case and apple do stick by that, that would be very harsh, and would affect thousands of Europeans who purchase apple products 'second hand' - and again if that is the case, that should have been mentioned during the service request setup IMO. I still think this (the proof of purchase aspect) is a separate issue to apple setting up a delivery service and that not being fulfilled by the courier.
  10. naz-dream-boys macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2012
    possibly stolen and the original owner had the phone blocked?
  11. saud0488 macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2011
    Apple doesn't deal with stolen/lost nonsense. They let the carriers sort that out.
  12. bobbytallant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    So any advice (what would you do), if Apple say definitively they are not in a position to cover you for this item being lost in the post, despite them setting up the delivery service, with me only having a proof of postage, and not an original proof of purchase? Again it was not mentioned an original proof of purchase would be required during the service setup, should something like this happen (even after saying I was not the original owner), I like many just thought the warranty was tied to the serial number.

    Do you think I would be able to make a claim myself against Royal Mail? Although I am not the one who paid for the delivery service, Apple are..

    Or am I really doomed here lol? I should imagine this is not an uncommon scenario surely.. again thousands of people purchase their iPhones from people 'second hand'..
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Only the person who pays for the courier service can make a claim, and then only if they ticked insurance. The Post office lose around 7% of all mail. A claim can't be made until 2 weeks has passed anyway. It is possible it could still turn up. I would try and contact the person you purchased from and see if they can get hold of the original proof of purchase and forward you a copy. If they were legit they won't mind.
    If that fails I would call Apple again and speak to somebody else. Explain your situation calmly and see what they will do. If they still won't play ball mention you will have to seek legal advice. It sounds to me like you could take them to the small claims court. Citizens advice would be able to advise better. Good luck.
  14. bobbytallant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    Cheers for that - yes I was thinking last resort would be the small claims court but hopefully it won't get to that stage!
  15. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    It's tied to the serial number, not the user.

    However, the delay isn't with Apple - it's royal mail. They'll need to file a claim with royal mail for a lost item, but they can only do this after 14 days - as before then, royal mail won't consider it being lost. They can't ship out a new phone until they either received it, or have confirmation of it being lost.

    For such a high value item, always opt for the express replacement service - that way you get a decent courier, and have no time without a phone.
  16. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011

    When sending items by Royal Mail special delivery prepaid or paid for by yourself you have an option of insuring the item upto minimum £500 I believe. Now because Apple provided you with the prepaid package etc my understanding is that surely Apple would have picked the prepaid option that insures products upto the value of what your sending.

    The second point is that along with the eBay receipt of you buying the item. You can call your carrier/network for them to provide you with a proof of usage. This will show your imei against your number used against the network/carrier your phone was being used on.

    Something to think about. Hope this helps.
  17. bobbytallant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
    Thanks for that, however my carrier said that they do not have this kind of info to give out unfortunately. I do have the proof of purchase from eBay of course - I just hope Apple are understanding of the situation and do not stand firm on this proof of purchase aspect. My experience with Apple / Applecare in the past has always been good so fingers crossed..
  18. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    You don't need proof of purchase for the phone. You *may* need proof of purchase for any AppleCare plan - however, that's only when there are discrepancies, plus this will still be in warranty.

    You won't have a problem, when the 14 days are up and Royal Mail consider it lost, they'll replace it.
  19. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    Whose your carrier. A friend of mines got his carrier to give him a proof of usage information document. That's a bit silly if they are refusing to do that. When they can give you that information.
  20. ste1164 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2009
    I have sold a phone to a friend and they have gotten it replaced by apple without a proof of purchase.
  21. Adam1972360 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    Same thing with me only ups has lost my returned iPhone , its been nearly 2 weeks since its arrival date , apple have put a trace on it , if its lost then do apple replace it ? How long does this take ? Happened to anybody else ?
  22. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2012
    How did this turn out OP?
  23. JD92 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2005
    Royal Mail do not "lose around 7%" of all mail - around 0.5% to 1% is lost per year depending on the service used. If Royal Mail lost 7% of all mail then no one could rely on the service.

    OP - what service did Apple have you use? If it was Special Delivery or a Parcelforce service then they will be covered and so you should be covered too. If they didn't then they should have had you use an appropriate, insured service and so I would still demand that they see you right.
  24. Adam1972360 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    Ups standard needs to be sighned , out for delivery on 10,10 no updates since , waited in every day because the system just keeps saying out for delivery the next day , rang ups who said its missing and they told me to phone apple , piggie in the middle


    Must have spoke to every apple rep in Ireland to explain my situation all they say is its out for delivery , back on phone to ups it's missing fed up now surely they should have gone through this before


    Apple wil get back to me tomorrow 3 days later no phone call


    Told apple just send a replacement your the shipper I can't claim for lost item with ups as I'm the receiver but you can , he said no we don't make claims so we will trace the phone that's missing , how long ? About 2 business days or upto 2 weeks


    I understand things get lost but they should deal with it better when it happens why should I play devils advocate between 2 big company's

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