Stolen iPhone4 from "Gate Checked Baggage" on UNITED

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sevimli, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. sevimli macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    I wanted to share my family's sad experience with UA. I copied my story from forums.

    We had a short vacation in Honolulu in August. On the way back to our home we had quite a bit problems. Our flight wasn't a direct one, it had a connection at SFO with a ~4hr overlay. Basically we flew HNL to SFO and SFO to ORD.

    Currently my family deals with problem below:

    Unfortunately our first-ever brand-new iPhone4 got stolen from our luggage. Here is the interesting part, it wasn't a carry-on baggage nor a checked baggage (technically), because we arrived gate lately, and gate/flight attendants told us that there is no more room left in the cabin, so they had to checked in our "carry-on"s at the gate, since they were in a huge rush, they took our baggages even without asking or letting us think about what to get with us, and gave us two claim stubs in exchange. We were told that we need to claim our luggages in Chicago, ORD.

    After a long trip, we finally arrived at ORD at 5-5:30AM in the morning, we picked up our luggages at the baggage claim area, we were just happy to see our baggages in one piece. Since they looked OK, we immediately took the train to the city. We were exhausted as we couldn't sleep during our flight.

    Once we arrived to our home, we unpacked our baggages to found out one thing is missing, my brand new iPhone4, it was in Apple bag with the store receipt, and we didn't even opened the sealed package or activate it, because we purchased it the night before our flight in Honolulu. Yes, it was just gone and it was the only valuable thing in our carry-ons.

    Please do not ask why we didn't take it with us, I guess it was just because of all adrenaline rush for trying to catch our flight, and the gate attendants didn't give us a second chance to think about it, they literally pushed us into the plane, and we were thinking that it was safe because it supposed to be in the cabin with us during the whole flight.

    Since this was the first flight-related-theft we experienced, first I called my credit card company first. Then they told me to call United which I did immediately.

    UNITED told me what form I should fill and submit. I did fill that form and emailed them back with all required documents attached, they sent me an auto-response email which states that they got my "Missing Property Questionnaire Form".

    At the meantime, I remembered that I had used AMEX for purchasing my iPhone4, and Amex created a claim under the purchase protection plan. They asked stolen item's receipt, an official report that shows I reported the case to the officials, and their own claim-form. I did all those.

    It has been almost 3 weeks now, but still haven't heard anything from anyone. I called united 5-6 times, first person claimed they never gotten my forms, then changed it to the "headquarter" is dealing with it. I sent an email to have a written proof that I am following my case, 3 days later, they replied me that they never received any of my "Missing Property Questionnaire Form". They gave me the same email address and fax number for re-submission.

    I re-submited once again all those forms. After 4 days I called them back to check the status of my claim, first they couldn't find it again, even though I gave them my reference number which they created for my case, then they promised me that they will call me back soon, it has been 4 days, so far no body called me yet.

    Fortunately I can check my AMEX claim status online, but it shows "claim pending" since from the day one.

    Right now I feel quite helpless, specially after seeing how UNITED handles my case, I am loosing my whole hope...

    I also reported this case to the Chicago Police Department.

    I opened stolen-iphone listings in SFO/HNL/ORD craigslist along with my serial number of the stolen phone.

    Thanks for your responses...

    UPDATE: I got a response from United after 2 weeks. Long story short:

    They DENIED my claim without using "COMPREHENSIVE TRACING SYSTEM" , and I got the worst possible reason for that:

    According to UA I didn't reported the missing property withing 24 hours of receiving checked property. Since I didn't meet this requirement, they are unable accept liability for my claim. :eek:
  2. ohaithar macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2010
    Elk Grove Village, IL, USA
    I your story on FT a while back when I was browsing that place.
    That really sucks what happened.
    Tons of stuff get stolen @ ORD
  3. HitchHykr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2007
    Sorry to hear that, filing all these claims can be very frustrating, I hope the AMEX claim comes thru though the time that I filed a claim with AMEX they seemed to be bending over backwards to avoid paying for it (my case was a car rental coverage, not a product purchase)

    Good luck.
  4. Gomez315 macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2010
  5. sevimli thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    Thanks for the posts guys and gals!

    I forgot to add that I sent an email to Steve Jobs, haven't heard anything about it. I gave my serial #, IMEI #, ICCD # to them to flag my stolen phone.

    Should I call AppleCare? Will they care about this? Someone at somewhere is using my phone right now, Apple knows when/where it was activated, AT&T knows whose sim-card plugged-in to that phone... Both I don't get any help, nothing so far... :(:confused:
  6. Blaine macrumors 6502a


    Dec 3, 2007
    Abilene TX

    Another reason why I hate people.

    And it's really sorry that the big companies are treating you this way. They always look for some loophole to avoid reimbursing you.

    -sigh- : /
  7. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    US carriers won't usually get involved in cases like this. Neither will Apple, unless there's some media involved.

    AMEX is your best bet. They're not the quickest, but the few claims I've made thru them, they were fair.

    Remember that your replacement cost is likely going to be $200 or $400 more than what you orig paid. Not sure if Amex will cover that too, or just the subsidized cost you paid. (I'm totally guessing you paid the $199/$299 subsidized price).
  8. felt. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    I'm not surprised the company is jumping at the opportunity to deny your claim. what's to stop someone from making up such a story?
  9. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Yes. But that's also because so many people try and cheat the system. You only need to read one of thousands of threads here to see the kind of crap people try (and often sadly succeed) to get away with
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    You wont get any help and they wont do anything about it.
  11. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    So you hate people and companies? Must be rough.
  12. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Amex is great with the theft claims. As long as you provide them with the receipt to show you purchased it with Amex and the theft report, you'll receive your credit in about 3-4 weeks after they receive the required documentation.
  13. sevimli thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    I am hoping so, but I really don't get why companies or police departments don't track down stolen phones with IMEI numbers? :confused:

    In most European countries this is a standard procedure, legal authorities can send a txt msg to the stolen device, or lock-it-down to any service for good.
  14. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Because the police has better things to do than chase around lost/stolen cellphones.
    As far as US wireless companies Im not sure why they dont lock/block IMEI's like other places do.
    But even if they did what good would that do to you?
    They'd just sell it on the internet to another country that doesnt have the device blacklisted.
  15. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    That does suck.

    I know you were tired from the flight, but how long until you noticed the phone was missing?
  16. sevimli thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    Right after we got our home. It was about 3hrs after the landing.

    I indeed submitted all the claim forms on the very same day, for some reason UA don't accept it.
  17. Jetaray macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Rollingstone, MN
    I agree with you both, look at how many people here exploit mistakes by AT&T (unlimited data plans) or simple kindness of Apple employees (getting free replacement phones that the user has broken).

    Many airlines in the USA will not replace expensive items that are in checked baggage. Just because it is very easy to make fraudulent claims and no way to prove the item was actually stolen in transit. This does not mean things don’t get stolen, as they do. Even if your entire bag was stolen or lost, they most likely have a set limit they pay.

    The fact you arrived at the gate too late for your items to be carried on is not United’s fault. If traveling with families always arrive early to the departure gate and ask to board as soon as possible. Hopefully your credit card theft protection plan covers the loss. If not you just lived and learned the hard way.

    The following was taken from this web site,6867,1037,00.html .

    Limits of liability

    For travel wholly between points in the U.S., United will not be liable for loss of money, jewelry, cameras, negotiable papers/securities, electronic/video/ photographic equipment, heirlooms, antiques, artifacts, works of art, silverware, irreplaceable books/publications/manuscripts/business documents, precious metals and other similar valuable and commercial effects. United prohibits the foregoing items being placed in checked baggage for travel wholly between points in the U.S. as well as for international transportation.
  18. Lingham macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Anyone remember the guitar "situation" from United?
  19. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    They won't do anything about it because Apple does not run a cell phone network. How do you expect them to block a device? The cell operator should be contacted, however if it is a US operator good luck as they are crap when it comes to just about anything. If it was a European, Asian, or Mid Eastern operator the OP would have a better chance of blocking the device.
  20. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    As Apple is not a cell phone operator they are not responsible for the blocking of your device. AT&T might try to help but to be honest, US operators are pretty crappy when it comes to this. They would rather have your stolen device online making them money.
  21. sevimli thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    Activation goes through iTunes right? It could easily flag reported serial numbers right on the spot. This is not rocket science.
  22. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    This is what I was thinking. Even though I think the OP will be successful in getting AMEX to credit the subsidized amount he paid, the fact remains that to replace the original phone he bought will now cost him the unsubsized price -- which is much more than $199/$299.

    Cellphones are such a pain to lose. I hope that it works out OP.
  23. Myzhi macrumors 6502a

    Dec 15, 2009
    Now that checked baggage can't be locked, when traveling on plane, I always carry my expensive things in carry on bag that can fit under the seat.
  24. iUser4Lyfe macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2009
    Not sure how it is with AMEX, but some credit cards with purchase protection will refund/pay the full price of the device.
  25. Orion126 macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    I remember when my iPod was stolen from the parking structure in my old job. The parking attendant had my keys (to double park vehicles) and at the end of the day my iPod was gone. After submitting a claim to their insurance the insurance company denied my claim because there was no proof I had left the iPod in my car. I asked if a police report would've helped and the agent said no.

    Not surprisingly the parking attendant was fired a few weeks later after complaints from other people missing change from their vehicles.

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