Did Amazon Sell A Stolen iPhone?

Gizmodo Twitter friend Ben Dreyfuss bought his mum an iPhone for Christmas. Ben is a good son! Christmas morning: Mama D. tears open the package, finds a shiny aluminium bundle of joy, and then decides to set it up. One problem: When she called her telco in the US (Verizon, for what it's worth) to activate the thing, they told her that her new iPhone was stolen. Whaaat?

Ben had bought the phone off Amazon, one of their refurbished warehouse deals — which are usually smart buys. (Buying refurbished Apple gear is always a good call.) This time, however, it turned out to be a raw deal. Sorry, Ben's mum; we hope you have a merry Christmas and get issue this resolved quickly — you've got to load up that new phone with awesome apps!

This was probably an honest mistake — Amazon is a stand-up company. We've reached out for comment, but, you know, it's Christmas, so we're not holding our breath. Ben has already contacted Amazon, and they said to return the thing.

If this happens to you — not just with iPhones — with anything, do not pass go: Get on the phone with the relevant customer support line.

Every time I've spoken with Amazon about an issue with an order, they've been super helpful, so there's no reason to expect this to be anything more than an annoyance. We'll keep you updated if the situation changes. Has this happened to anyone else?

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