Counterfeit iphone 3g casing- what would you do?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by jamesbeat, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. jamesbeat macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2012
    The black plastic casing on my iphone 3G cracked, so I bought a replacement on ebay.

    It was advertised as 100% guaranteed to be OEM, so I paid a little more for it, hoping to avoid the problems associated with the knockoffs.

    I managed to transfer the guts of my phone into the new casing, but had a few problems because the case is in fact a knockoff and is out of spec (which I only realised after I had installed the components).
    Aside from the power button not working (which I managed to work around), the problems are relatively minor, but I'm still ripping p****d as I only bought the case because it was advertised as being a genuine Apple product.
    The casing is so out of spec that my outer case doesn't fit (it fitted my old casing perfectly, and also fits my wifes unmolested 3G just fine)

    I contacted the seller, and he was very dismissive. He tried to tell me that the problems were my fault for not assembling the phone correcty, and after a bit of back and forth, offered to give me a refund if I returned the case!
    I obviously can't walk around with a circuit board, a screen and a few screws in my pocket, so as far as I'm concerned, using his counterfeit product has damaged my phone.

    I've sent him a message to this effect, but I'm wondering what to do when I receieve his next dismissive reply.
    I've already asked him to send me a copy of his purchase invoice from Apple, which he ignored.

    So, if you were in my situation, what would you do?
    Contact ebay and Apple and report him for selling counterfeit goods?
    How about the police in his state, or US Customs?
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    No replacement shells on eBay are genuine. If they are there stolen or did you not realise this?? I've used a few replacements over the years. Some better than others. But I always found the ones that are sold with all the power/volume etc already fixed in are of a better quality.
  3. jamesbeat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2012
    No, I didn't realise that.
    The seller has an iphone repair web store with what appears to be two brick and mortar retail outlets.
    They claim to use only genuine Apple components. I have no idea how the system works, so I believed that Apple must sell components to third party repair businesses, or that the parts were harvested from non-funtional iphones.
    I take it that this is not the case?

    I wouldn't have minded so much if I had bought it knowing that it wasn't a genuine OEM product, but I passed over many of the fakes because I wanted the real thing.
    This guy charged double what the others were asking, and guaranteeed that it was a genuine OEM product.

    What will happen if I report this to Apple? Will they need my phone as evidence?
    Will I ever get a satisfactory replacement?
    Will Apple repair my phone as a courtesy for helping them?

    Incidentally, the case did not come with buttons etc, just the shell.
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    About the only thing you can do is dispute with eBay
    Apple won't care, neither will the law enforcement or customs
  5. Cynikal.Mindset macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    Guelph ON, Canada
    I only buy the housings that are complete with battery and cables installed $30...pop in your logic board and screen assembly and done, easy as pie and for 30buck you end up with a 3gs that looks brand new.

    At the end of the day, file a paypal dispute and you should win it no problem if they are advertised as genuine apple OEM replacements
  6. jamesbeat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2012
    I'm not so sure about that...
  7. rgctx macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    Why didnt you request another housing ? It could of just been a bad one ?

    As for reporting the seller, eBay wont do anything about it. They wont release any information to anyone unless its a court order. I doubt Apple will do anything unless they are making enough revenue that its worth taking them to court over.

    Care to share the sellers ebay id ?
  8. jamesbeat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2012
    It isn't a bad housing, in fact it's quite a good forgery. The bad part is that it isn't a real apple one, so it doesn't feel right and the parts don't fit very well. It's not that this particular housing is faulty, just that it isn't made to as close tolerances as the real thing.

    I'm hoping that maybe Apple will visit his brick and mortar establishments and shut him down. They did this recently to two retailers in Queens, NY.

    As I said before, it's the fact that I was lied to and was fraudulently sold a counterfeit product as a real one that has upset me.
    I had to bodge the power button to get it to work, and nothing fits quite right.

    If he hadn't lied and said that it was a genuine Apple part, then I would simply have passed it up, but as it stands, he has defrauded me of my money and broken my phone.

    I fixed the phone because I want to sell it soon and put the money towards a newer model. I can't do that either now.

    He was very rude, dismissive, and sarcastic when replying to my (initially very polite) messages.

    I'm going to hold off naming him here because the situation has not been resolved, but I will do once it's out of my hands.
  9. jamesbeat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2012
    I just checked the ebay listing again (I saved it to pdf) and saw something that I hadn't noticed before- the seller photoshopped out the Apple logo and other markings on the back of the case!
    If that's not an admission of guilt, I don't know what is...

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