iPhone XS Max purchased from Apple Store turned out to be a China Phone
Yesterday at the Apple Store I purchased what I thought would be a brand new iPhone XS Max. The store was quite busy and the whole process took almost half an hour from speaking to someone to them having the phone in my hand. I was already running late thus decided not to open the box in a crowded store as I would rather unbox it in the peace and comfort of my own home.
I live about 15 minutes away and once I was home, I slid open the plastic seal, lift the box and immediately had a moment of shock. I’ve purchased many iPhones before so am quite familiar with Apple’s packaging and what not. There was a phone in the box that resembled the size and shape of an actual XS Max and had a decent weight to it. However, I immediately noticed something was wrong:
– No screen protector on the device
– A couple finger prints on the screen
– Scuff mark on the top left of the screen
I picked up the device and when I turned it on, there was a loud beep and it dropped me right off on the home screen – no regular startup and setup process at all. I realized right away this is a bigger issue than just a phone that hasn’t been packaged properly and could tell by the resolution and software that this isn’t even an Apple device. Now it looked pretty legit but anyone who’s even minimally used an iPhone before would be able to realize within minutes based on the software alone.
It was 8:40PM at this point but I wasn’t about to leave this until tomorrow. I rushed back to the store in a panic and found the sales person that cashed me out. I quickly explained to him what happened to which he connected with a manager – he seemed very concerned but the manager had quite a bit of an attitude when the situation was being explained to her and advised that they won’t be able to do anything about it right now. She stated that they have to investigate and check their cameras, etc. At this point they already scanned the serial number and could identify that this device has had a total of 3 transactions including mine. It was obvious to me that someone purchased this before, replaced the device with the fake and returned it – to which Apple then resold to me.
At the end, they took the information down and went in the back to “investigate” and about 15 minutes later came out to me with a new device. They stated the manager found out this has happened to a couple other stores nearby as well.
It was truly an hour of panic as I thought I was down ~$1,600.
If you’re the specialist that cashed me out and are reading this, thank you for your help with everything! You were a great support.
TLDR: I purchased a brand new iPhone XS Max from the Apple Store – when opened at home it turned out to contain a fake “China iPhone” inside. Was able to take it back to the store and have Apple replace it.
Edit: this happened in Toronto, Canada.
Edit 2: received a bigger response than I thought! To answer some questions:
1. the price for the current iPhone’s drop as soon as the new line of iPhones are announced, hence why I bought the XS Max.
2. the phone I received was shrink wrapped from the Apple store. however, this shrink wrap which is on any iPhone you’d buy right now on the Apple store is more of a wrap that you peel off and if unwrapped carefully, you’d be able to place it back together. Though Apple didn’t directly share the results of the investigation with me, it’s obvious that the phone was purchased by someone before (the serial number of the device had 3 separate receipt transactions) and then returned. When they must have taken it back, they could’ve either returned it to someone they know that works there who’d process the return quickly for them and be in on the scam, or the scammer knew that they wouldn’t open up what appears to be a sealed phone. The Apple specialist mentioned that before they used to open up any device that came in whether it was sealed or not but they stopped doing that recently.