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Apple refuses to return repaired iPhone to owner

Apple will not return a stolen iPhone to to the original owner after the thief took the phone in to get serviced due to the victim's failure to file a police report.

After getting her iPhone stolen, one reader relayed to Consumerist the tale of her failed attempts to try to get it back from AT&T and Apple. The crime happened on the subway in New York city, after which the victim promptly called the police who searched the area to no avail.

Several weeks later the victim received an email from Apple notifying her that someone had filed a request to replace her broken phone through Apple Care. Her email was linked to the serial number of the phone so she received all messages regarding service and warranty work. After hours spent on the phone with Apple and AT&T she was notified since a police report was never filed she doesn't have sufficient evidence to get her phone back.

"So I call AT&T... and over the course of 12 hours I speak to a bunch of people who are all very sorry that this is the situation I'm in, but their hands are tied — they have to honor the warranty and it does not matter that it's clear the phone is mine. They would need the authorities to tell them to do otherwise," writes the victim.

Despite the fact that she went to the precinct and had the authorities call Apple to verify her story, Apple stuck to its guns. To Apple, she has no real way of proving that she is still the owner of the phone. Apple has refused to act on her behalf and instead chose to honor the warranty agreement.