Apple unboxing goes bad

From iMore’s “UK woman orders an iPhone 12 Pro Max, gets a broken tile instead” posted Friday:

Getting a new iPhone is supposed to be an exciting day, but sometimes things go wrong. And then sometimes you get a broken tile in an iPhone 12 Pro Max box instead.

That’s what happened to Olivia Parkinson after she had the misfortune to order an iPhone 12 Pro Max from UK carrier Virgin Media. That part wasn’t really the problem, but things started to go awry when Virgin Media used Yodel to deliver the thing. As fellow UK dwellers will attest, that wasn’t great news.

Things took a turn when the iPhone arrived at Parkinson’s doorstep but after opening it she didn’t see a shiny new Apple device. She saw a tile instead. What’s worse, it was a broken tile as if someone wanted to add insult to injury.

As LADbible reports, Parkinson initially got the cold shoulder from Virgin Media and was told she was liable for the lost iPhone. Eventually, and once the people of Twitter got involved, Virgin Media agreed that something was amiss and refunded Parkinson for her loss.

My take: Twitter to the rescue.

8 Comments

  1. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    At least it wasn’t an Android.

    😉

    1
    May 8, 2021
  2. Rodney Avilla said:
    If the process of placing a iPhone into the box and the box being sealed is all automated, where and how, in that process, does someone exchange it for a brick? I am not saying it can’t be done. Just wondering how.

    0
    May 8, 2021
  3. Ken Cheng said:
    I’ll guess the delivery company, Yodel, did the switcheroo. Someone didn’t just take the iPhone, but opened the box, took the iPhone and accessories, and replaced a broken tile inside, then delivered it. Had to be someone in the delivery chain, probably the very last step, because everyone knows the iPhone comes shrink-wrapped with codes on the outside. And then that box, is shipped inside another brown Apple box, with more codes. A shipping company knows when an Apple box has been tampered with. The only way a n Apple delivery doesn’t get stopped, is when it’s the last person in the delivery loop that does the theft.

    Since they have the box with its identifier codes, it’d be easy enough to let Apple know to track the stolen phone. They could ID the middlemen and bust a whole chain of thievery.

    5
    May 8, 2021
  4. Before the iPhone, Ma Bell maintained her own activation servers. The demand for Christmas morning & Chinese New Year’s Day new phone activations, plus security requirements, led Apple to own new device activation. You simply cannot activate a stolen iPhone/iPad. Police departments the world over watched phone thefts decline after the iPhone locked down stolen devices. Only very clueless thieves target iPhones/iPads, good for parts, maybe…

    2
    May 8, 2021
    • Ken Cheng said:
      which is why yesterday’s FTC report about Apple needing to lower the requirements on right to repair, will only make thievery more prevalent, as more shops will be able to cobble stolen parts together.

      2
      May 8, 2021
      • David Emery said:
        Typically, though, there’s one part that is the ‘essential serial number part’. So trying to register that, if it’s reported as stolen, would be an issue. BUT the market for the other parts could well continue to grow, a lot of higher end or most popular model cars are apparently stolen for parts.

        1
        May 8, 2021
  5. bas flik said:
    yes is definitely the delivery company. they put a tile with exact weight of the iphone. so the theft will not be noticed. last year we lost more than 100k euro because of theft during delivery.

    3
    May 8, 2021
  6. Paul Brindze said:
    Sounds like Virgin is as clueless about customer relations as most US carriers. They shouldn’t have let it escalate until they were embarrassed by Twitter into fixing it.

    2
    May 8, 2021

Leave a Reply