Someone bought a refurbished MacBook Pro I returned to Apple and it is still linked to my Find iPhon

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by oratowsky, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. oratowsky macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    A few weeks ago, I noticed a MacBook Pro on my Find iPhone app that I did not recognize.

    I asked someone I share an Apple family if they knew anything about this, and he pointed out it was listed under my devices.

    It was not geographically close to me and showed it as being online periodically over a few days.

    I called Apple support and they told me they cannot see devices on accounts and they said they couldn't provide me with any additional information about this.

    So I figured this might be a breach of my apple ID or some strange bug. I locked the device and changed my apple ID password. I put the message up 'Who's computer is this?' and I leave my phone number.

    I don't hear anything, but do see that the device comes online periodically.

    After a week, the owner of the computer texted me. He tells me that they bought the computer refurbished from Newegg. They took it to the apple store and told him there is nothing they can do. They told him they cannot remove the device from anyone else's Find iPhone functionality.

    I confirmed with him that it's a 2014 macbook pro. That computer I had was a lemon and after many issues Apple agreed to replace it with a new 2017 macbook pro. I sent the 2014 macbook pro directly to Apple after they sent me my 2017 replacement machine.

    I gave him the code, and now there's now apparently there's no space for him to enter it (?)

    I can't find a single forum thread or post about such a scenario happening anywhere except this one post: https://www.reddit.com/r/applehelp/comments/286ezo/refurbished_ipad_registered_to_someone_else_not/

    Is this an insane breach of security and privacy, or am I being a dumb dumb and missing something? Did Apple forget to wipe this Macbook Pro?

    I definitely do not have any MacBook Pros floating around that I forgot about or sold second hand!
     
  2. steve23094 macrumors 68030

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #2
  3. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #3
    The new owner bought it refurbished directly from Apple. That is the concern.

    Apple never removed the Find My Mac from it in the refurbishing process.
     
  4. chscag macrumors 68040

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #4
    That's not what you stated above. You said the new owner purchased it from Newegg. Which is it? If it was purchased from Newegg, how did it get there if you supposedly sent the machine back to Apple? Something is not adding up about all of this. Please clarify.
     
  5. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #5
    Sorry, I mean to say that they bought it "officially" refurbished from Newegg. That's what the new owner told me.

    I sent the computer directly back to Apple.

    How it ended up at Newegg, with my activation lock still enabled, after I sent it directly back to Apple, is what's so puzzling.
     
  6. chscag macrumors 68040

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #6
    Apple does not refurbish a machine and then sell it to Newegg. As a matter of fact, I'm surprised with a machine that was already 3 years old that they did not just recycle it. It's possible it was obtained by someone else who then sold it to Newegg and that's how the person you describe above has it.

    Anyway, you did the right thing. The fault is not yours if the machine is locked. I would just go ahead and remove it from your devices (AppleID and iCloud password) and then not worry about it any longer.
     
  7. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #7
    However it got to newegg, it still means that Apple refurbished this computer without removing the activation lock on it.

    That's what's so concerning.

    Do you see what I mean?
     
  8. Funsize93 macrumors regular

    Funsize93

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    Expected behaviour.

    Yes, Apple would have wiped your data from the machine. And it is essentially refurbished as new, no traces of your data. Could have a new hard-drive and all.

    The issue you have is that the device is still linked to your Apple ID as you did not remove it from your account when you returned it, you enabled 'find my Mac'. It is not a breach of privacy, no one can access your account. Apple cannot remove devices from customers accounts. Only you have the authorisation to manage your account.

    You will to remove the device from your account, this will erase the computer so that the new owner can use it freely again. Alternatively the new owner can have the iCloud firmware lock removed by taking the sales invoice (proof of ownership) to an Apple Store to have it removed. Or take it back to the seller and get a replacement.
     
  9. oratowsky, Feb 23, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019

    oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #9
    Of course Apple can remove devices from Find My Mac. How else would they refurbish devices.

    They simply forgot to.

    It's a huge oversight!

    Edit: I've just spoken to Apple support, and they say this is exactly what must have happened. They forgot to remove activation lock at the depot, and it was sold to a third party seller. I can't believe such an oversight is possible. Imagine being that customer who buys an officially refurbished product and someone else can see where your device is, lock it, erase it, etc.
     
  10. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #10
    Apple doesn't have access to an individual's account. Ergo, they cannot remove the device from the account without the proper credentials and authorization, especially if 2FA is on.

    Apple doesn't know my AppleID unless I tell them. They most certainly don't know my password nor do they have access to my trusted devices.

    You messed up. Privacy disaster averted.
     
  11. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #11
    Were you unable to disable the Find My feature before you sent it back directly to Apple? As I've understood the process, devices have to be removed from that FIRST, before resetting/restoring.

    If not, you run into the situation you've described.
     
  12. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #12
    I think there might be misunderstanding here:

    I returned this computer to Apple as part of a warranty replacement.

    Apple can remove Activation Lock. How else would they refurbish devices? They simply forgot to, and sold this computer to a third party seller. That is what Apple support just confirmed with me.

    Hey there, I didn't think anything of it. I had no idea how any of these features worked until this episode. Surely you can agree this is a huge oversight on Apple's part? I imagine they refurbish devices all the time that get returned. They simply forgot to remove the Activation Lock in this case, and then sold the computer to a third party seller.

    This problem obviously doesn't affect me, it's the new owner. Now the new owner is saying they don't want me to remove it because i have to erase the computer first.

    I just wanted to post about this because it's a very surprising oversight on Apple's part that I couldn't find any documentation of occurring before.

     
  13. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #13
    I can't. Sorry. Honestly, given how many devices Apple must receive to refurbish, missing a single one seems like a helluva track record. And as you mention, nope, never heard of this happening before. Meanwhile, you only had to remove the device from your account before sending it in.

    I feel like this is actually one of the features of Find My device, not an oversight. Isn't this what ensures that if someone steals or finds your device, a simple reset/restore won't make it an entirely new machine they can simply make off with?
     
  14. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #14
    Perhaps I'm not explaining the situation properly, because to me this is crazy.

    This computer was factory refurbished by Apple.

    It's clearly unacceptable if a customer buys a factory refurbished product and it still has Find My Device enabled from the previous owner.

    You could buy a factory refurbished Mac and then the previous owner could see your location, lock your computer or erase your data whenever they wanted to.
     
  15. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #15
    Oh, I'm not saying Apple didn't miss it.

    But I'm curious why you didn't disable Find My before sending the device in to Apple in the first place.
     
  16. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #16
    Because I didn't think about it. Apple support never asked me to.

    I was only aware it existed, I never had to use it in an actual loss or theft and I wasn't familiar with the details of how it works.

    I only started opening that app recently since I'm in an apple family with some friends and we like to keep tabs on each other. Thats only when I noticed that the computer still still on my account.
     
  17. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #17
    Actually I don’t think this is true. Apple can do this at least with iPhone.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8xyq8v/how-to-unlock-icloud-stolen-iphone

     
  18. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #18
  19. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
  20. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #20
    so you guys don't think this is crazy?

    I called Apple and explained the situation again. The first person I spoke to was pretty freaked out. He said this was unheard of, unacceptable, and would involve an investigation to figure out what happened and would involve customer relations. That was after-hours though so I spoke to someone overseas (I'm in the US.) He said to call back tomorrow during US business hours as it would involve the US staff.

    I called back the next day and explained the same thing to someone and he didn't care at all. He was just like 'somebody screwed up, not sure what else to tell you'.
     
  21. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #21
    Still don't. But I'm curious about what you're hoping to accomplish. Somebody screwed up. Do you need an investigation to confirm that somebody screwed up? Do you want someone fired for the screw up?

    The question I'm curious about is whether you've resolved it. Have you disconnected the computer yet? Are you still in contact with the new owner?
     
  22. oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #22
    I don't know man. Imagine you bought a refurbished computer and one day discovered the previous owner had erased all your data on it?

    I guess I just feel pretty frustrated because I've been through the ringer with my 2 previous macs and then this crazy thing doesn't inspire confidence at all. Half their marketing materials are about how much they value privacy and then this happens.

    The current owner doesn't want me to erase their computer at this point, which is the first step in removing a device from Find My Mac.
     
  23. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #23
    Inspire confidence in what? I mean you've said yourself " it's a very surprising oversight on Apple's part that I couldn't find any documentation of occurring before." Sounds like it's a pretty outlying case.

    It also sounds like your issue is with the new owner. Who owns basically a brick at this point, don't they? How long did they own it before you locked it? Can you unlock it? Do you need help disconnecting them, or help otherwise?
     
  24. oratowsky, Mar 5, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019

    oratowsky thread starter macrumors newbie

    oratowsky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
  25. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #25
    The confidence Apple inspires is what makes the oversight so surprising to you. And me, for that matter. Don't take me wrong here -- I'm legit surprised it occurred. But I'm surprised because Apple is usually so good about this kind of thing. And now it seems like it's beyond their control, so all that's left is how you and the new owner figure out how to fix it.

    Good luck!
     

Share This Page

39 February 21, 2019