iPhone thief called AppleCare and they notified me

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by modest serving, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. modest serving macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Let me begin by saying that I love my iPhone 4, and I loved my 3G and 3GS before that. I've always had good support from Apple.

    10/10/10 about 4:00am in Atlanta I was leaving a bar with my wife, another couple, and a friend. We parked about a block away and we were just arriving at the vehicle when a man came from behind me and snatched the iPhone 4 from my right hand and he proceeded to run away from us much faster than any of could. I didn't have mobileme so I couldn't track the phone or wipe it. I did call AT&T and have the line suspended until I got another iPhone 4. I filed a police report. My renter's insurance ended up covering the stolen iPhone in full (thanks USAA).

    Here comes the interesting part: I received an email from AppleCare yesterday following up on a support call I supposedly made about my iPhone on 10/10/10. I didn't make that call. It listed a case id# and employee name so I called AppleCare to inquire about it.

    Turns out that the thief called support about the iPhone having a cracked screen. Somehow in less than 24 hours after stealing it he managed to drop and crack the screen. It was immaculate when I had it. He was running very fast; he could have dropped it then. Who knows... Anyhow I told the AppleCare guy that my phone was stolen and that I found it very frustrating that the thief was able to call for support and get help from AppleCare for a phone still associated with my email address and apple id. I changed all of my passwords the day after it was stolen, so I know he can't access my accounts, but apparently he can still get support and I'll be notified about it since it is still registered to me.

    Applecare dude was sympathetic and said he'd put a note on my account but the gist of it is this: Thief can continue to get support from Apple and I'll continue to hear about it but I won't be able to do anything about it. *** Apple?

    Another thing I don't get: AppleCare said that the thief didn't identify himself. How is that possible. Every time I call AppleCare the first thing they do is ask for my name.
  2. Pattycerts macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2007
    How do you know it was the thief, and not someone he sold it to? Apple can't assume its the thief, and whether he calls Applecare or not you still lost the phone so you shouldn't worry about it too much. They can't bill you through him so there's not much you can do, unfortunately.
  3. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    "Thief can continue to get support from Apple and I'll continue to hear about it but I won't be able to do anything about it. *** Apple?"

    Because the support coverage (or APP, if you have it) is tied to the device - specifically the serial number. It doesn't really matter who has it. It's no different than if you sold it or gave it to someone, although there is a way to formally transfer the ownership of APP.

    It sucks if your phone is stolen but Apple really can't start remotely tracking the specific locations of phones and give that information out to people. Imagine if you bought a phone on Craigslist. Paid the seller. Then, still "officially" being the owner of the APP, that seller turned around and told Apple their phone was stolen and to let them track the phone. Would you want Apple giving out YOUR location for the phone YOU legitimiately purchased?

    That's why they can't do it.
  4. modest serving thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Well, I do have a police report; I would think that'd legitimize my claim a little bit. I could provide the case# and officer name/badge# for the report. Also the device was registered to me, & so was the extended AppleCare Service. Shouldn't I be able to cancel that service? The call was made less than 12 hours after it was stolen. I can assume it was the thief.

    This post was more of a complaint. I have another iPhone 4; I was lucky that renter's insurance covered it. What really pisses me off is that the thief contacted Apple; I was notified and when I called to tell them about it they wouldn't stop provided support for that phone.
  5. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    I'd recommend you cancel your APP for the iPhone that was stolen and get a prorated refund:


    "You may cancel this Plan at any time for any reason. If you decide to cancel either call Apple at the telephone number below, or send or fax written notice with your Plan Agreement Number to AppleCare Administration, P.O. Box 149125, Austin, TX 78714-9125, U.S. (fax number 512-674- 8125). A copy of the Plan’s original proof of purchase must accompany your notice."

    "if you cancel within thirty (30) days of your Plan’s purchase, or receipt of these Terms and Conditions, whichever occurs later, you will receive a full refund less the value of any service provided under the Plan. If you cancel more than thirty (30) days after your receipt of this Plan, you will receive a pro rata refund of the original purchase price, based on the percentage of unexpired Coverage Period, less (a) a cancellation fee of twenty-five ($25 USD) dollars or ten percent (10%) of the pro-rata amount, whichever is less, and (b) the value of any service provided to you under the Plan."
  6. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    It seems weird that you can't "unregister" a device. I'd assume as soon as the next person registers the phone it'll stop sending you emails.
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    it sad but nothing really gets done about it. If a police report is filed what apple should do is take that serial number and blacklist it and hand information on it over to the police.
    Something I wish phone providers here in the US would do is if a phone is reported stolon blacklist the IMEP number of the phone as well to make it worthless on the network no matter what sim card is in it.

    Both things do not happen though.
  8. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    1. You're mad the thief stole your phone.
    2. You're also mad that you didn't stop it from happening somehow. Better grip, whatever.
    3. You're annoyed at everything you've gone through.
    4. While you applaud USAA for saving your bacon, you want to be mad at someone and since the thief is not here, Applecare has somehow gotten your ire. If anything you should take comfort in the fact that your stolen phone is now damaged and not worth what it could be.
    5. The thief/buyer could easily find your name in your phone, call Applecare with the serial number and pretend to be you without any adverse effect on you.

    Remember that *** Apple sentiment if somethings happens to your iPhone and they replace it for free.
  9. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    I'm rather surprised that people are criticizing the OP on this.

    He paid for AppleCare, and the thief is using his AppleCare to get service on the phone. Really? :eek: I'm surprised Apple doesn't do some kind of identity verification. Even if they don't, they won't do anything after it's been reported?

    I wonder if there's any way to get Apple to give the thief's home address, if they're shipping him a box. lol
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Normally I would say that I agree here, however, this is a case that should cause pause for Apple. Why is it that one cannot unregister a stolen phone? If you cannot find it then fine, whatever. But why give the thief or the purchaser of the stolen iPhone any way to get support for the device? This is not about being mad at Apple, himself, or the thief, this is about Apple not providing a way to actually separate yourself from the device in the event you're unable to locate it with MobileMe.

    Then again, this is why MM still sells; I'd venture to guess.
  11. Mliii macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2006
    Southern California
    I agree wholeheartedly! And I don't hear that the OP is as angry as he is frustrated.
    Those criticizing the OP. have you ever had anything stolen, a home or apartment burglarized? You feel violated. And to have the thief (or even a third party) benefitting from a service you paid for? That adds to the frustration.
    Imagine- someone steals your car and has an accident AFTER they've already taken it. They report it to YOUR insurance company. And YOU wind up being billed for the deductible! Is this exactly that scenario? No. But it gives you a sense of the frustration and outrage the OP is feeling. So let's back off on the OP a bit, shall we?
  12. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    That's not really accurate given he had a hardware problem, and the standard warranty is 1 year. If the thief had called for software support and the iPhone was older than 90 days that'd be another matter, but he wasn't actively using any part of the paid-for Apple Care. Calls relating to hardware issues are included in the hardware portion of the warranty.

    That said, I agree with the OP's sentiment. The phone is stolen, and he can prove it was stolen. While I can see where Apple can't assist in its return for liability reasons, certainly Apple should no longer provide support for this phone under his account information. At the very least it should be removed from the list of hardware associated with his Apple ID.

    Also, the other posters are correct in that you can file for a pro-rated refund of the unused portion of your AppleCare. I'd do that immediately.
  13. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Don't AT&T block stolen phones?

    If you report your phone as lost or stolen here the IMEI is permanently blocked so you can't use it on any of the UK networks.
  14. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    They don't do that in the US.
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Nope they just kill the Sim card. Neither T-Mobile nor AT&T block the IMEI number of a phone. Both of which they should do on stolen phones.
  16. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    That sucks, so the thief is going to get a nice replacement iphone 4.
  17. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    The GSM providers don't, but the CDMA carriers do block stolen phones.
  18. thetexan macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    The plus to a CDMA iPhone is that Verizon and Sprint will block ESNs of devices reported stolen. That essentially makes them bricks worth next to nothing.

    The negative is Sprint and Verizon will block ESNs of phones that are tied to past-due accounts. If you buy a stolen CDMA phone or a CDMA phone that was tied to an account with a past-due balance it is a brick until the carrier decides to unlock it.
  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Not sure I'd market the iPhone on Verizon in that fashion.
    Bad news: you have a phone people want to steal
    good news: we'll block the ESN if stolen. ;)
  20. asleep macrumors 68040


    Sep 26, 2007
  21. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    Clearly he cracked the phone to get a new one whose IMEI is not blocked by carriers. A neat little trick on his part. I guess we now know what to do if we want to get our friends a free iPhone.
  22. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
    Yeah, this pissed me off so much when I lost my iPhone. Having worked with AMPS, TDMA (early days of digital on SWBMS), and CDMA phones I recall dealing with blacklisted ESNs on a regular basis.

    When I finally switched to GSM and IMEI based phones I figured it would be the same. Imagine my surprise when AT&T tells me they "can't" stop a phone from being used. BS! I know they can, they just choose not to deal with it.
  23. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    The better news is that blocking makes it viable for Verizon to offer iPhone insurance, like they do for all their other phones, since you can't fake losing a phone just to sell it to someone else.

    "Lost your phone, or got robbed? The replacement's in the mail."
  24. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    Thing is, I thought Applecare didn't cover abuse damage (like dropping the phone or pretty much almost anything that would crack the screen unless you can prove it was a defect). So how would the thief manage to profit from Applecare when he clearly dropped the device? I know I've always heard that apple care will tell you you are SOL if you try to get them to cover a cracked screen.
  25. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2010
    We can't be certain the original thief made the call to AppleCare. Neither can the OP.

    Perhaps the thief did drop the phone in the act of escaping, sold it for a quick buck to someone in the streets, and the buyer (thinking s/he just got a great "steal" on an iP4) decided to call Apple and see if there's any way to repair or get a replacement for cheap.


    Sent from my iPhone 4

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