WIPEOUT.

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Hello iPhone users. I bet that the story I’m about to tell you is going to shock you (or, maybe not).

You may remember that I had a rough night a few days before the New Year when I was mugged/robbed/pick-pocketed by someone. I lost my iPhone 5 (or you can say that it was stolen from me).

After the incident, I went to AT&T store and got a replacement phone. A brand new iPhone 5 with 64 GB instead of my usual 32 GB drive.

After a couple of weeks, I was having issues with the new phone where the screen will turn completely white with lines crossing vertically on the screen, and then the screen will turn black which would render the iPhone nonoperational by that point. The only thing that could resolve it is when I reboot the phone.

To me, that was not a serious issue when it happened the first time. Yet, after it happened four more times, I figured that my iPhone is defective and would need to return it.

I went to an Apple Store in Center City Philadelphia to make the exchange. I never had a problem with my iPhone 4 or the iPhone 5 that was stolen so I didn’t know the protocols about returns and / or repairs. Come to find out, I needed an appointment prior to showing up there (Genius Bar Reservation). It’s not as simple as walking in and getting an exchange.

Luckily, the technician had openings that night and I was able to see one within 15 minutes.

He took diagnostics off my iPhone and determined that it does warrant a replacement as opposed to a repair. Normally, they will provide you with a “remanufactured” phone but since the iPhone 5 is fairly new, I got a new one to replace my defective one.

Here’s the kicker. I asked if there’s a way for them to trace the stolen iPhone that I had. I was told, “no”. The Find My iPhone feature on iPads and Macs doesn’t really do anything unless the thief who stole your phone, turns the phone on and / or connect to the internet. So, if a thief decides to not turn your phone on and sells it to someone – you’re pretty much SOL (S*** out of luck!).

It made me wonder then as to how they treat stolen iPhones when it appears at their stores. I was told that they really cannot ask questions that would imply that the iPhone was stolen. All they could do if someone presents them with an iPhone and asked them to wipe out the data is to do just that, WIPE OUT THE DATA. No questions asked.

It begs the question, “What’s all the serial numbers and registration for?” To tell you the truth, it’s pretty much to hold your information in their system. Nothing else.

It doesn’t surprise me why there is a high volume of iPhones being stolen all over the world. It’s a highly-coveted item that sells for hundreds of dollars and easy to get it wiped out, and working in no time at all.

I think that’s a problem. There’s no accountability at all. I can steal an iPhone, turn around and sell it – and no one really cares if the phone was stolen or not. If you offer me a 32 GB iPhone 5 on the street for 150.00 USD, I would definitely buy it. And since there’s nothing to track it with – I’m free to get it unlocked, have the data wiped out, and use it or re-sell it on eBay for a profit.

I guess I just learned a lesson from that experience.

Guard your iPhone with your life!

Chuva

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