Amazon delivers stolen Apple iPhone by mistake

Amazon delivers stolen Apple iPhone by mistake
When Ben Dreyfuss ordered a refurbished Apple iPhone for his mom from Amazon for Christmas, he was hoping to get a steal. Little did he know. This morning, his mom finds a package under the tree and opens it. She is jumping for joy because she now owns an Apple iPhone and while it is refurbished, it is supposed to work and look like new. So she calls Verizon to activate the model and finds out that the unit in her hand was reported stolen. Not exactly the steal that Ben was hoping for.

Being Christmas, you might expect that mom and son found it impossible to contact Amazon. But through the online retailer's "Contact Us" page, they were able to leave a message for the skeleton staff working at Amazon on the holiday. And by typing "STOLEN ITEM" (in caps, of course) under the short summary of issue, the message must have caught someone's attention because Amazon actually called.

After what must have been an interesting conversation, Amazon told Ben to return the phone. We're not sure if Amazon is merely going to credit the son, leaving mom short one Apple iPhone, or if they are going to send out another refurbished unit. Either way, we're sure that Amazon will leave the customer satisfied because a retailer doesn't grow as big as the online retailer has without keeping customers happy.

source: @bendreyfuss via Gizmodo



27. ACRAN127

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

Thats what you get what a waste of money #1 to spend on ANY apple product but #2 on a discontinued referbished 3 year old I phone... who'd be excited about some P.O.S. like that. Some dumb brother from another mother thats who... Should of got her a LG Lucid at the least~ 4G, IPS Display, High Def camera and a dual core processor and easy to use...Jesus Christ...

24. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I've actually dealt with both issues. Someone had gotten my CC info and was going on a spree. One of the places was Amazon, and they were on the ball with setting things right. Mostly I dealt with my bank, but they turned over all the info for the fraudulent transactions to the authorities. I've also had to deal with Verizon's ESN system, but from the other side. I've got a family account, which had my brother and his fiancée on it. Wouldn't you know it things went bad, and she decides she wants to keep the phone. After telling her my intentions, I call VZW and have the device reported lost or stolen. When she left she didn't take the phone with and it was reactivated for another family member. If she would've taken it it would've only been good for parts. So I'm ok with Verizon's setup, less chance for thieves to profit.

21. scolumbu

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 26, 2012

ebay India delivered a stolen iphone to me about 6 months back. . The phone was confiscated by the cops after the IMEI splashed on their monitoring list. The customer support of eBay India washed their hands off when I reported it. Not sure, if ebay US will take this serious enough.

14. Cynipap999

Posts: 138; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

Gotta' love Verizon, they're so on top of everything that once a phone is reported lost or stolen it is useless to the bearer and, if it happens to be an iPhone, it is further iNcapaciTated. Even though, normally, I would laugh in delight and sing songs of joy; I can't help but feel sorry for this poor little boy. T'is the season of giving and spreading good tech'; he gave out an iDud, oh what the heck! Now his Mummy is sad, left high and dry; with no cell phone service but, gave a good try. So back to square one, embarrassed in trite; farewell to you all and to all a goodnight!

4. menny07

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

The device probably had a bad ESN. I don't like CDMA technology. Flashing phone-to carrier sounds more complicated than switching a sim card...

5. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

That happened to me before....but Verizon called it a bad ESN, not stolen. They didnt say it was stolen. I got it refurbed thru insurance. Its more complicated but IMO its more secure. I like that with LTE on Verizon you still might have to call to get it activated.

20. JC557

Posts: 1927; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Not really. When I bought an LTE phone from Craigslist I popped in my SIM and the phone was quickly added to my account. Of course I went to the near-by Verizon store to double check but it seems that it's the same as a regular GSM based phone. I agree that the IMEI thing is a bit more secure so that in the event of a stolen phone it gets blacklisted but it's also bad for legit buyers where the seller claims the phone as stolen soon after the sale.

25. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Maybe it a lil different for family plans or switching phones when you have more than one. I got a lil run around with 2 of my 3 phones. I do remember the first LTE phone I had it was no issues activating it. Trying to switch around phones a few months ago was a lil different. I just issue was the sim card. My Rezound had a different size one than my other phones. Why in the world would manufactures make different size sim cards on the same network?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless