Gizmodo Twitter friend Ben Dreyfuss. bought his mom an iPhone for Christmas. Ben is a good son! Christmas morning: Mama D. tears open the package, finds a shiny aluminum bundle of joy, and then decides to set it up. One problem: When she called Verizon to activate the thing, they told her that her new iPhone was stolen. Whaaat?
I bought my my Mom an iPhone for Christmas off Amazon and when she tried to activate it they told her it had been stolen.— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) December 25, 2012
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 mom; 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 Day, so we're not holding our breath. Ben has already contacted Amazon, and they said to return the thing.
If this happens to you, do not pass go: Get on the phone with Amazon's customer support line. As an online-focused company, Amazon prefers to communicate over email, but this is a "talk to a real person" moment, and Amazon has people working today. Here's the fastest way to get them:
• Select your item from the list that appears below.
• Fill out Step 2 exactly like this:
• Click the "Call Us" button in step 3, fill out your phone number.
You'll have to give them a phone number, and they'll call you-make sure your phone is not busy; if you're using a cellphone, make sure you have good reception. Once someone sees the all caps, deliberately vague phrase, "STOLEN ITEM," they'll put your case at the top of their list. Have a little patience, though; it's Christmas Day.
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?