is my "new" iPhone 3G actually a refurbished model?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by stricklandia, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. stricklandia macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    I bought a "new" iPhone 3G tonight and paid the $199 price for an 8GB model as a new AT&T customer. I was just starting to play around with it, and went to the App Store to install Facebook, when it prompted me for an iTunes password to install the app. It showed an unfamiliar email address already configured in the prompt, and a blank field for me to fill in with the password matching that email address.

    This was before I'd even gotten home and hooked it up to iTunes on my home computer, and in any case, it certainly wasn't my email address. Does this mean that someone had already used this phone and set it up with their iTunes? Or, in other words, is this a used/refurbished iPhone that I bought "as new"? Did AT&T rip me off?
  2. macbookairman macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2008
    United States
    well i doubt it was a used/refurbished iPhone. The refurb iPhones are wiped of all their info when going through the restore process, so an email address/Apple ID of a previous owner wouldn't be stored on the device anymore.

    Now I don't know much about the process that ATT goes through to activate the iPhones in store, but perhaps the computer they used to activate it was set up with an iTunes accound? That could be a stupid thought...idk. Like I said, I don't know anything about how the iPhones are activated (I don't have one).
  3. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Odds are they entered in their own e-mail address to activate it. Restore and it should be good.
  4. stricklandia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    Email address currently set in there is caryn.t@... The person who set me up was a guy named Dwayne. The only other reps in the store were also males ("caryn" sounds like a female name to me).
  5. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Could be that they had someone logged in and they know the password or it's someone he knows. Anything is a possibility. Like I said...restore and all should be fine.
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Some AT&T reps use their stations to sync their iPhones (if they have), so its possible when they activated your iPhone, the rep's info was passed down to your iPhone.

    Like the previous poster said, Restore thru iTunes. Download an app thru iTunes sync it back to the phone and you should be set.
  7. stricklandia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    Okay, I synched via iTunes (for the first time) and all is well. The technician who set me up was rather clueless, so I'm not surprised this too did not go smoothly.

    Thanks, everyone!
  8. stricklandia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    This just in! I wrote to the email address that was saved in the "new" iPhone iTunes account, and it turns out that it was NOT the representative's email account from activation. This phone was indeed returned by the owner of that email account, so AT&T DID sell me a used/refurbished phone as new. That sounds like FRAUD to me. I'm so mad right now....

    The person said she returned the phone because it wasn't holding a charge, and today the phone went through a full charge, so I guess it has the same problem (or does it seem normal that I would use a full charge of a "new" iPhone in one day? I played with it quite a bit, but certainly not a huge amount....).
  9. Rembixe macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    It's not uncommon that you can use up a full charge in one day if you are playing around with it a lot.

    Regarding the issue of getting a used Iphone I would go back to the store and demand a new one

    However, I think it's quite common that stores sell returned products as new if the product doesn't have any faults but the customer just decided he/she didn't want it anyway.
  10. stricklandia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    Well, as I said, the person said she returned it because it was not holding a charge, not because she decided she didn't want it. In other words, there WAS something wrong with it, enough for her to want to return it, and AT&T in turn sold it to me -- ergo, it's refurbished.

    I'm going back to the store today, I'll post the results here. Anyone else out there had a similar issue?
  11. godkorg macrumors member


    Oct 12, 2007
    Rogers in Canada if you use the phone for under a hour or before 30 days you can return the phone... Not sure if they just put them back in the stream to be sold or what but looks like either they did as the previous posters said or you got one that wasnt exactly new?

    Was it shrink wrapped when they opened it in front of you? :)

    I doubt you got a refurb though.
  12. Lucbert macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2008
    Who cares what she says?
    If it hold the charge for you, keep it.
    If not, return it.
  13. WPeterson macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2008
    New York

    i guess at&t also has same policy to allow ya to return or change phones in days. so why not go back and change your iPhone. it's easy and common. but remember one thing, do not leave your e-mail stored on it....:D

    to me, t-mobile looks more reliable. so i purchased an unlocked iphone with my t-mobile service. everything good. at&t really sucks...
  14. stricklandia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    Final chapter in the saga: I took the phone back to the store and explained the situation. They tried explaining what you all have stated above, that if the sales rep didn't unplug the phone quickly enough, the iTunes account in the store would appear on the phone. But that doesn't explain how the iTunes account that was in my phone -- which belongs to a customer 2,000 miles away, not to one of the store reps -- would have gotten on the store's computer in the first place. They didn't have an answer for that.

    So after some minor haggling, they gave me a new phone. I still believe they knowingly resold a used phone as new, but I just don't have any evidence beyond what I've posted here.

    I haven't had the new phone for long, but so far, it seems to hold a charge better than the first one. And, aside from these customer service issues, I LOVE the actual device! It makes me think of Arthur C. Clarke's quote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  15. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    I believe it is illegal to sell a refurbished product as new. I can't imagine AT&T corporate would condone that.
  16. stricklandia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    Well yes, it's definitely illegal -- it's fraud -- but also yes, I'm sure AT&T Corporate would not "condone it." I imagine, if that is indeed what happened in my case (which is indeterminate; no one can clearly explain why the other customer's iTunes login info was in my "new" phone), that it was a case of a lazy sales rep or technician just putting the phone back into circulation.
  17. skepticism macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2009
    You probably got gyped

    Hey all, I just found this thread, now 6 months later.

    So two things:

    1) Now way in hell is any corporate office, especially AT&T, somehow above condoning or even doing "illegal" things. Tapping phones and spying wholesale for the government via Bush long ago proved that one. These people are not saints. They're not evil, either, but surely no one here is dumb enough to not see that they have a highly profitable business for a reason, and it's not because the service is actually better than the competition.

    2) If you suspect your phone is not new, check USAGE statistics, which can be found under SETTINGS (and DETAILS, I think). This isn't necessarily the final answer, but it is certainly a clue. If you've had your phone for ten minutes and it's logged 3 hours, you've been screwed.

    Anyway, if you are thinking about getting a new phone, you might make sure you get a chance TO WATCH them unseal and unwrap it before your eyes. If they come strolling out with a phone in hand, already out of the box, or simply unsealed, politely ask for a new one. That's only fair.

    And to the original poster, I HIGHLY doubt you got a new phone. Why in the world would an AT&T rep enter someone else's info to set up YOUR phone? Boggles the mind. A quick course in logic should lead you to the obvious answer (see 1).

    Finally, to all the posters who responded so so quickly, clearly some of you work for AT&T, probably in the corporate office, probably in the corporate communications department, tracking every mention of your company. Or you are an intern for them. Either way, shame on you. We're talking about hard-earned money for some people, and there is no grey area in these schemes. You are wrong, and it is, quite simply, fraud.

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