AT&T: Being Robbed At Knifepoint Will Not Help You Qualify For The Cheaper iPhone

Reader Anthony was robbed at knifepoint by a jerk with a 10″ blade, but his real complaint is that he feels that AT&T is robbing him again. After he filed a police report and told AT&T that his new iPhone had been stolen, they told him that since he already bought an iPhone he no longer qualified for the subsidized price of $199.

Anthony writes:

My name is Anthony [redacted], and I was just robbed at knifepoint in Queens, NY, for my iPhone. I was walking home fairly late at night and a man walked up to me wielding a 10-inch or so blade and demanded my money and my iPhone.

I am writing you because after reporting the robbery to the police, I called AT&T – my service provider for 3 years – and asked if they could possibly work with the NYPD to track down my phone via the iPhone 3G’s GPS. They said it was not possible to track any closer than the closest cell tower if the iPhone’s functions were used, which kind of defeats the purpose of GPS in many ways. Given the Patriot Act and everything, I figured they can track down where we’re taking a piss at this point.

But the big problem came when we started talking about replacing my iPhone 3G. Now I was an early adopter of the original 8GB iPhone and I just purchased the iPhone 3G in July. So when I asked if there would be a free replacement or a discount of sorts, the woman at customer service responded that since I just purchased the iPhone 3G that I would have not qualify for the discounted $199 iPhone 3G and I would have to purchase the phone at the higher price point of $399.

So after being such a long time AT&T customer and supporter of Apple’s marquee product of the moment, I have been told that despite the fact that I was robbed by someone brandishing what was essentially a mini-machete I am now being robbed by AT&T.

I feel insulted as a customer, and appalled by the customer service at AT&T. This is beyond poor customer service; this is a lack of basic human compassion.

It’s a shame that you’re stuck in a 2-year contract because of a phone that you now no longer have. Ugh! AT&T is probably a dead end, but if you bought the phone with a credit card, you might want to call your credit card company. Many credit cards have 90-day “purchase assurance” or “purchase protection” programs that protect your recent purchases from loss, damage or theft.

Most people don’t think to call their credit card company when something like this happens, which is a shame because they can be very helpful, and certainly more pleasant to deal with than your cellphone company. Don’t delay, however, once the 90-days is over, so is the coverage.

(Photo: jetsetpress )


Edit Your Comment

  1. Audiyoda says:

    So when I asked if there would be a free replacement or a discount of sorts…

    Spoken like a true Macaphite.

    I’m truly sorry for the loss – getting robbed sucks at many levels. But to expect your replacement to be free or even subsidized is expecting a bit much IMO. Maybe your homeowners or renters insurance has a rider to cover such a loss?? And checking with your CC company can’t hurt – maybe you are covered under a buyer protection policy they offer. But free…come on.

    • dover says:

      @Audiyoda: …even subsidized…

      Verizon lets you replace a lost or stolen phone at a discount rate (I think it’s the one-year contract rate, but I’m not sure). Sure, they don’t have to and maybe it’s rude to expect them to, but at least some giant, soul-less corporations have a little compassion.

  2. JN2 says:

    Would your homeowners policy apply for this item? Won’t hurt to ask.

    • ColoradoShark says:

      @JN2: Actually, it could hurt to ask if your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance covers this. Even if they pay out zero because it is below the deductible, they’ll add a little note to your file that says you called and they are likely to jack up your rates or cancel your policy.

      Think of all the screwy stuff credit card companies do and assume the insurance company will do something similar.

    • tmed says:

      @JN2: I would really suggest against filing with the Homeowners’ Insurance. the increase in rates after a claim will far outweigh the cost.

      I filed for a $1500 theft. Allstate dropped me at renewal and I had higher rates for 5 years after the claim.

  3. The_Atomic_Pod says:

    Can’t he just pretend the old phone never existed and buy the new 3G one, effectively signing a new contract?

    • CTXSi says:

      @JN2: I agree it wouldn’t hurt to ask, but I suspect the cost of the replacement phone (even at $399) would be less than the deductible on the homeowners/renters policy.

      It sounds like the OP has only gone through one level of customer service. Why not take it to a customer service manager or beyond?

    • wiggatron says:

      @The_Atomic_Pod: Reading > you. He had a 3G iphone. It got stolen. He already has a 2 year contract to fulfill to pay for the subsidized, stolen phone, which is why he needs to pay full price to replace the phone.

      I gotta agree with others here, this is unfortunate, but expecting a discount or free phone is pretty silly IMO. Go on eBay and buy something else or suck it up and pay retail for another iphone.

  4. Triborough says:

    For something like that insurance on the item would seem like a good idea, just for this sort of situation or dropping the damn thing.

  5. bikeoid says:

    Although I detest the ridiculous ETFs, I’m with AT&T on this one … the only way to qualify for the promotional price would be to buy out the old contract and/or pay the ETF on the old contract.
    This would properly come under the theft coverage on your Homeowner’s policy or Credit card purchase.

    I’m also miffed that the cell phone company cannot permanently disable the stolen iPhone’s serial number, making it 1.) Useless to the thief and 2.) reducing the motivation for future theft.

    • jaydez says:


      If they were to disable to phone that would prevent them from being able to activate it on a new account belonging to the theif thus earning a higher profit!

  6. JustThatGuy3 says:

    While I feel for the guy, this is kind of like asking Honda to give you a new car at a loss after yours was stolen.

    • Fly Girl says:

      @JustThatGuy3: I’m sure that being robbed at knife point sucks but… Remind me again… How is it AT&T’s job to replace his iPhone? Unless, of course, they have gangs of machete wielding, iPhone thieving thugs on the payroll as a part of their evil plot to sell even MORE iPhones. (I wouldn’t put it past ’em!)

      …I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: INSURANCE. It’s there’s for a reason.

      • Fly Girl says:

        @Fly Girl: RE: my tagging of “JustThatGuy3” in my comment– I meant to also say “THIS.” As in you, my friend, are spot on. Because you are. Or at least your analogy was.

      • scoobydoo says:

        @Fly Girl: Uh, if I am not mistaken, the iPhone is the only phone EXCLUDED from the Asurion insurance service AT&T offers.

        And no; your homeowners insurance will usually NOT cover this. You need to add a personal article coverage to an existing insurance plan, it’ll be between $20 and $40 a year.

        • outphase says:

          @scoobydoo: Some of the higher end PDAs are excluded from the insurance offered, also.

          Many CCs have theft-based protection. Look into it ASAP.

        • Fly Girl says:

          @scoobydoo: You could be right about the AT&T insurance. I don’t know. I don’t have AT&T, never have, so I don’t know what their insurance covers. I do know that my renters insurance covers personal electronics, like my iPod and laptop and digital camera, for up to $500 each and I didn’t pay any extra to have that coverage. Although, the deductible makes it unlikely that I’d use my insurance *just* to replace one of those items.

          My comment wasn’t implying that the OP *had* insurance that would cover the phone, it was that if the OP wanted someone to buy him a new phone, or subsidize a new phone, after his was stolen, he should have an insurance policy to cover his phone. That’s the point of insurance, isn’t it? To protect your assets and valuables in the case of theft, destruction, loss, etc…

          The point others have made about checking with the credit card company is a good one– if the OP used an AmEx he’s probably covered.

          If that doesn’t work… The OP can hope that they catch the guy, ’cause if they do he can press charges and they’ll fine him for the iPhone and the stress he caused the OP and everything and then the machete-wielding iPhone bandit will have to pay the OP back through his restitution. It’s a long shot, but it’s probably the only real hope the OP has to getting money for the loss.

  7. snowburnt says:

    It doesn’t sound like the iPhone actually has a GPS if the policeman was telling the truth.

    I have a T-Mobile Dash (work phone…I don’t have to pay for it) and when I use the google maps application to get directions. It has a feature where it can tell you where you are based on the last cell tower you registered with if you don’t have GPS (probably even if you do).

    Either that or with the iPhone it secures it so that the GPS is only turned on if someone using the phone explicitly uses is.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @snowburnt: @cristiana:

      Not quite correct…the phone is constantly talking to the towers to let them know where it is, etc…aka pinging.

      They can track where the phone is and where it’s been based on those pings. T-Mobile will help out if you have a police report, and the one time I lost my phone, they did just that (My phone is e911 capable, but does not have GPS). The said that it was in Norfolk, then Baltimore, then Chicago, all within a few hours of each other – I knew there was only one explanation, I left it on a Southwest airlines plane…which it turns out is exactly what had happened.

      In fact, pings helped police find the body of a murder victim:


      • cristiana says:

        I didn’t fully explain myself, but, by, data event, I also meant to include the tower pings, because those are initiated by the phone, although they occur automatically when the phone is on. But, my post was really meant to be a clarification on how GPS works, and that unless there is communication from the device, GPS is useless for tracking.

  8. starrion says:

    AT&T didn’t rob him. They shouldn’t have to subsidize another handset because he got robbed.

    The suggestion about the credit card is a good idea.

  9. hills says:

    I agree it sucks, BUT when I was under contract and knew I couldn’t replace my phone without adding another year or 2 to my contract, I sucked it up and paid $6/month of insurance so that I could replace the phone if anything happened without involving my contract. Be upset with the dude with the knife, not AT&T.

  10. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Anthony should request that the IMEI on his stolen iphone be blacklisted. That way the phone won’t operate at all on the ATT network.

    • astn says:

      @LatherRinseRepeat: That’s exactly what bikeold and jaydez were referring to. AT&T refuses to blacklist phones that are stolen (even though they have the capability) because then they cannot sell service on that stolen phone–which is what they care about.

      I wish there was some way to FORCE them to do so, but I don’t think it exists. Plus, with a popular phone there will be a way to change the IMEI (illegally) anyway, but it would possibly deter some casual theft (i.e. the script kiddies who steal them to unlock and resell on craigslist.)

      • sketchy says:

        @astn: That sounds like the basis for a class proceeding – something centered around AT&T having knowledge / aiding theft of property. If the IMEI CAN be disabled and they refuse to do it, it would seem that they could at least flag it for investigation if that IMEI is ever activated on their network again. It’s still stolen property even if the new owner THINKS it’s not.

        To the OP – No Insurance? Sorry, about your luck but AT&T have fulfilled their end of the deal, why not look for a used iPhone and have it added to the plan?

    • sven.kirk says:

      @LatherRinseRepeat: AT&T does not blacklist phones unfortunately. But in other countries, they do blacklist it and render it “useless”.

  11. crichton007 says:

    I had a similar experience a few years ago with Verizon. I was on a business trip and while I was out to grab a bit to eat (and I came right back to watch the playoff game between the Red Sox and Yankees) someone stole everything but my clothes from my hotel room. I figured that Verizon could track the location since all theirs phones had GPS in them but I was out of luck.

    On a side note, a girl I work with lost her phone and Sprint was going to charge her full retail to get a new one until she pointed out the vast difference between the ETF and full retail. They didn’t replace her phone with the same one but they did get her another phone for free.

  12. describe_one says:

    This is a bad situation, but ATT has never been my friend either. Don’t make a claim on your homeowners’ insurance for this. BAD IDEA! Your deductible is likely only a bit less than a new Iphone 3g, also it will raise your rates for the next 5 years as a loss on your insurance record (or at least disqualify your policy from some discounts).

  13. aristan says:

    If you have an iPhone 3G in the US you were required to pay for it with a credit card or a debit card and activate in-store. So, there’s at least a 50% chance that Anthony can call his credit card company. His 90 days shouldn’t run out until October 9th.

  14. aristan says:

    (October 9th at the earliest, assuming he bought the iPhone 3G on the release date of July 11th)

  15. macinjosh says:

    “Either that or with the iPhone it secures it so that the GPS is only turned on if someone using the phone explicitly uses is.

    That’s the way it is.

  16. Pylon83 says:

    AT&T is wholly in the right here. It’s pretty absurd of the OP to EXPECT a free or discounted replacement. Yeah, it would be nice if AT&T decided they wanted to offer such a plan, but I imagine the likelihood of abuse and the costs associated with subsidizing the iPhone were determined too much to handle. I just bought an iPhone, and fully understand that there is no insurance available for it (through AT&T at least) and that if I break it/lose it/get robbed, that AT&T will have no obligation to replace it for anything less than the full retail price.

  17. jackal676 says:

    It sucks that this happened to you, but if AT&T’s policy were to give discounts for theft replacement, there would just be a huge spike in phony police reports so people can load up and cash in on ebay.

  18. baristabrawl says:

    I have a friend that used to have a Verizon account and for some reason they pissed him off and he quit paying for his service and they shut his phone off. He had the exact same MotoQ that I had and when I had problems with mine I was just going to have his activated on my account while I was waiting for mine to come in for replacement. Verizon told me that I could no do that because his phone had once belonged to an account that had been disabled and the phone was no longer good.

    SO…if Verizon can do this to a phone, why can’t AT&T? I have an iPhone and I hate it. This phone is the second most disappointing phone I’ve ever had, the RAZR being number one. I keep hoping mine gets stolen or lost or dropped so I can buy out of my contract and go back to Verizon. THAT would make me really happy.

    I say you tell AT&T to suck it and switch carriers.

    • gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

      @baristabrawl: because Verizon is CDMA and AT&is not. Therefore to use the AT&T phone all you have to do is change the sim card.

  19. GyroMight says:

    I don’t get being robbed at Knife point. Maybe it is just me but if there is room he is going to have to catch me first a good sprint and he wont catch up.

    • floraposte says:

      @FoxBearDog: I’ve never heard of a mugging that happens the way you’re imagining, though. They don’t just point the knife at you like it was a gun.

  20. eirrom says:

    My understanding is that there is no insurance for the iPhone, that AT&T is not offering it. They also do not offer insurance on certain smartphones either.

    I guess they were concerned that this would just become to big a problem to deal with in the future. Nice company!

    I just stick with SPRINT! They have never **cough** let me down yet **cough**!

  21. gaberussell says:

    All modern phones have GPS for e911 compatibility, but they only send out the GPS coordinates when you call 911 or use an application with GPS capability. If you use an application, it explicitly asks you whether you want to allow your GPS information to be sent.

    Lets not legitimize the Patriot Act by claiming cell carriers should be able to invade our privacy by tracking our location at their discretion. If you want to track your phone’s GPS, there are services available that put it under your control.

  22. EmperorOfCanada says:


    Assuming AT&T is GSM, and Verizon is CDMA, that would explain why one could do it and not the other. GSM carriers (which is more common, worldwide) use SIM cards that can be easily transfered from phone to phone. When a phone is stolen, the SIM card can be deactivated, but if you put an active SIM card back in the phone, voila, it works.

    With CDMA, the each phone has a unique ESN (Electronic serial number) or IMEI, which identifies the phone on the network. If the ESN is blacklisted, it cant be used later by the thief who brings it in to be activated.

    There are exceptions to the above of course, but in general, that is the reason. Go to link for more details.


    • sketchy says:

      @EmperorOfCanada: Apparently AT&T is GSM – So I’m wrong. Is there no unique identifier for GSM phones?

      • MrEvil says:

        @sketchy: A GSM phone does have an IMEI number, however, providers don’t bother with them in my experience. The point of GSM is that the network access and account info is tied to the SIM not the handset itself to make replacing a handset easy.

  23. joeblack13 says:

    This would be a complete non-issue if AT&T would offer insurance on high end handsets like some of the other carriers do.

  24. AgentTuttle says:

    Not blaming the OP here but if the incident didn’t want to make me poo, as I was handing over the phone I would have said: “My iphone, really? They’ll just use the GPS to track you down.” Maybe a bluff, maybe not.

    If I did poo, I would have yelled it as he ran away. How did he know you had an iphone anyway?

  25. bpclay says:

    I agree that the OP isn’t due a comp’d handset; however, if ATT and Asurion won’t let you insure the phone, they should allow you to purchase one at the subsidized price. I’m sure there would have to be some rules as to how many times you could do this (maybe configure it similar to the limits that asurion has), so the policy doesn’t get abused).

    Maybe ATT and Asurion could have a sliding scale for the insurance premiums…we don’t have one-price for all types of cars to be insured. I for one would pay $10 /month to make sure my little IPhone was replaceable

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    Wait, doesn’t excluding the data-rich phones from Asurion’s insurance make moot the only time that buying said insurance make sense? I dropped my insurance once I figured out that between the deductible and the replacement cost of my (lower-tech) phone, it’d only take six months before my premiums exceeded its value. I thought to myself, “I guess if I had an iPhone, it’d make sense. Oh well.”
    So AT&T removes the only tier that it makes financial sense to buy insurance? Leaving it only for the suckers that can’t compute correctly?
    That seems pretty darned anti-consumerist to me…

  27. aerick79 says:

    On the credit card side of it all. It depends on the level of your credit card ie classic, Gold, and Platinum level. That also might be a VISA OR MC insurance options. Check with them about it. Visa 1800-847-2911, MC 1800622-7747

  28. PermanentStar says:

    Honestly, the best way to try to get AT&T to replace would be to contact their retention dept – and just tell them that it is cheaper to cancel, and pay the $175, and get an iPhone knock-off elsewhere. They may be willing to work with you then…maybe not though, not sure how much they are willing to do for their customers.

  29. Verdigris says:

    So, after reading the comments, let me get this right…

    ATT DOESN’T offer insurance on high-end smart devices? WTF? What kind of business are you running?!?!

    ATT DOESN’T allow you to blacklist ESN’s (or IMEI) if your phone is stolen? *note to self… steal all phones with AT&T logo, flash the phone and change ESN, then sell*

    Why does anyone do business with these jokers? Oh right, the iPhone…

    It’ll be nice to see what happens once their exclusivity runs out on that phone.

  30. zack says:


    This exact same (well, similar) thing happened to me recently. A week after I purchased two iphones for my wife and I, our apt was broken into.
    The iphones were stolen, along with lots of other stuff.
    When I spoke to ATT, they refused to give us phones for the subsidized pricing (not free) based on the fact that shit happens, and why not help a long-time customer.
    They said no.
    They said no all the way up to executive customer service – even after I wrote an email to Steve Jobs and he forwarded it to the VP of Sales and Marketing.
    They still said no.

    Then – I went to my local Apple Store where I bought the phones and explained what happened to the store manager. He said it wasn’t a problem and said he can over-ride the subsidy issue.
    An hour later, I had two new iPhones and a newfound respect for Apple.

    • @zack: Sounds like both Apple and AT&T gave you the runaround. I’d say you should have new found respect for that Apple employee who knew what to do in order to get you what you want. 10 bucks says it was against policy for him/her to do that, which is why you got nowhere with Jobs and his corporate minions. But the frontline employees usually know how to game the system, you probably approached him right, and he hooked you up when he didn’t have to and his bosses had already told you no. So, thank the employee, not corporation.

  31. zack says:

    Oh yeah – we bought the phones on our American Express card, and because they have a 90 day retail protection plan, we won’t be paying for the new phones.

  32. lingum says:

    They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends you to the hospital, you send him to the morgue.

    I miss Sean Connery.

    • macinjosh says:


      “I miss Sean Connery.

      Did you go to summer camp with him or something? He’s not dead, so I’m not sure how you can be “missing” him. :)

  33. mugsywwiii says:

    I don’t know why you’d expect AT&T to subsidize the cost of another phone, they didn’t steal his old one.

    And definitely do NOT try to file a claim with your homeowners insurance provider.

  34. ambrooks16 says:

    Bad consumer!

    At&t pays Apple several hundred dollars for each $199 iPhone. They have no responsibility to do that again just because one of the iPhones is “missing.”

    As many have mentioned, homeowners or credit card insurance the place to check. At&t is in the right for once.

  35. Sockatume says:

    I’m sorry, but this is how it works absolutely everywhere in the world with every kind of phone. You basically get a certain amount of credit towards a phone when you start a new contract, and the phone becomes your property. You bought it. It is yours. If you lose it, it’s not the phone company’s problem, because it didn’t come with any sort of insurance against theft etc. If you want the $200 discount again, you’ll have to start a new contract.

  36. Sockatume says:

    It’s worth pointing out that you can get phone insurance absolutely everywhere. I insure my phone the same way I insure my laptop or my $250 sunglasses. Ignorance is no excuse. The other hundreds of thousands of expensive phone owners manage to protect their investment.

  37. MomInTraining says:

    Maybe Steve Jobs could use his iPhone kill switch for you?

  38. dantsea says:

    Hey, I was robbed too. Can I get a free replacement iPhone?

    So was my friend, Dave. Hook him up, ese!

    Dave’s friend James got robbed, too! Free iPhone for him!

    What’s that? You want the police report numbers? Uh… I’ll have to call you back, man.

    • 1oneWON says:

      @dantsea: Hey, this is Anthony, the OP that’s getting shitted on for buying a new phone with a contract one month ago and simply wanting (fairly) the subsidized price (bring on yet another new contract for all I care) again because a guy put a very large blade to my stomach.

      It’s not a matter of consumer misconduct, but either give him my phone and leave without a wound or get stabbed and lose my phone anyway. I had no choice. And he knew I had something of value in my pocket (likely an iPod for all he knew) because of the headphones.

      Oh and I have a police report, ass, and filed a public safety alert at the nearby St. John’s University to warn others.

      • Pylon83 says:

        Expecting the phone at the subsidized price is in no way “fair”. You got a bum deal, accept it. The fact you were robbed is essentially irrelevant. No different than if you lost it. The phone is gone. It’s not insured. AT&T is not at fault. They should not be expected to lose money by selling you another phone at the subsidized price. The “I got robbed” line is simply a plea for sympathy and a play on the emotions. You shouldn’t expect special treatment just because you went through an (understandably) traumatic event.

      • dantsea says:

        @1oneWON: Listen, ass, anything you include after the fact might as well not be included at all, or consigned to the realms of fabrication.

      • scamps says:

        @1oneWON: Being rude isn’t going to get you anywhere here.

      • dink23 says:

        @1oneWON: When I was 12 I got mugged for $80, based on your logic, I should be able to demand compensation/replacement moneys from my bank (or US Treasury for that matter). The only person responsible for replacing your iPhone is your mugger who stole it, until he is found and prosecuted, you will just have to chalk it up to a life lesson. The school of hard knocks sucks, but we all have spend a few hours in class.

  39. buckeye17 says:

    1) It’s impractical for AT&T to take someone’s word, without proo, that their phone was stolen. A police report is not considered proof that the robbery happened either.

    2) It’s impractical for a carrier to disable phones when someone calls them in as being stolen. That’d be a great way to get back at your ex!

  40. cristiana says:

    There seems to be a bit of misinformation regarding the capabilities of the iPhone’s GPS as well as GPS in general. The iPhone’s GPS (as well as most, if not all consumer navigation devices) cannot be used to track someone in realtime. They just receive the signals from the GPS satellites and then compute your location based on their signals. This data is then stored locally or just displayed. The only way to track someone is if you find the device afterwards, and then read the stored location data. Consumer GPS devices are essentially passive, in that they just receive the signals.
    When it comes to cellphones, the GPS data is only transmitted when a 911 call is placed, and the data is sent through the E911 system. The only other way cellphones can be tracked is when the user places a normal call, or uses their data services. When that happens, the service provider can get an approximate location of the device based upon which towers are receiving the signal.
    So, what ATT told the OP is correct, in that they can only find out which towers the phone is closest to, if and only if some data or call event happens originating from the phone.

  41. Dyscord says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s not really the Death Star’s (C’mon, look at that logo!) responsibility. Sure they could have been a little nicer, but they don’t have to give you a replacement/discount. To them, they have no way of knowing that you were robbed or not. Yeah, they look at you as trying to scam them, that’s usually how some big coporations work.

    No, going through the CC would be the best bet. But even then, you’d probably still have to buy the phone at full price. And someone PLEASE explain to me WHY they don’t let you insure the iPhone?!

  42. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    If it were a windows mobile phone he could have installed Sprite Terminator…

    You use an SMS message to activate it and it turns on the GPS and sends coordinates. GPS my AT&T Tilt zaps the battery, but the phone most certainly never asks me if I want to use it. It also doesn’t send this data to AT&T, but Sprite Terminator uses the phones data connection.

    Now I really should buy this program, but I would rather just shoot the would be robber.

  43. mikecolione says:

    @ outphase:

    Actually, every phone is now insurable with the exception of the iPhone. PDA’s will have a higher deductible beginning in November. iPhones can be insured VIA third party insurance companies ( among others…

    That aside. AT&T should not replace the phone at a subsidized price at all. Even the 399 price point is discounted. Full retail is closer to 600.00, which isn’t available yet. However it would be a sign of good faith to let him purchase it at the 399 price. But on the other hand it’ll open another can of worms. People will be claiming they were robbed left and right to get another phone at a discount that they can then sell at a higher price.

  44. RedwoodFlyer says:

    Interesting…apparently someone got assassinated because a cell phone ping gave his whereabouts away:


  45. bikeoid says:

    @cristiana, Re: GPS locator – This leads to mind that an appropriate app in the Apple iPhone store would be LoJack. It would obtain GPS and transmit it to a central location over the internet, allowing someone to track its location.

  46. 1oneWON says:

    I’m honestly perplexed how I turned into the jerkoff in this scenario for simply wanting to replace my phone at a reasonable price after having a blade pressed against my gut. Somehow it’s all my fault, too bad. Ok… whatever.

    *Looks at new Nokia 2160* ugh…


    • buckeye17 says:

      @1oneWON: It’s not your fault, but it’s not AT&T’s fault either.

    • TheUncleBob says:

      @1oneWON: I’m sorry you went through such a horrible experence.

      But please explain to the audience why it is AT&T’s place to lose $200 on a phone because someone else mugged you.

      Let’s look at it this way – say you sold someone on Craigslist your older 8GB iPhone for $100 after upgrading to the 3G. A month after that, the person you sold the old phone to gets mugged. Should *you* have to replace that person’s older iPhone for free or $100?

      • 1oneWON says:

        @TheUncleBob: No, but I’m also not a corporation, and I feel AT&T gets away with murder because they don’t provide any kind of relief to those who lose their phones or get robbed when they offer that kind of protection on over a dozen other phones.

        • Parting says:

          @1oneWON: Programs offered, differ on the COST of the phone to the company. An expensive gadget, like iPhone, is not a vital tool. Remember when cellphones were used for calling?

        • TheUncleBob says:

          @1oneWON: The simple fact that you would be willing to compare the idea that AT&T won’t hand over $200 to someone forcibly taking the life of another human shows how irrational you’re being about this situation.

    • Parting says:

      @1oneWON: Because you already got a rebate. Your feelings/experience has NOTHING to do with business. You’re asking for a 200$ GIFT using a sob story.

      • 1oneWON says:

        @Victo: I’m not asking for charity. I’m a long time customer who has been an earlier adopter of the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G. In the event that I’m robbed, I would appreciate the offer of the subsidized phone again.

    • dveight says:

      @1oneWON: At no point is anyone saying that you are at fault for your phone getting stolen. However, it is not AT&T’s fault either, and they should not have to be the one that is out $200.

      As a show of good customer service, they should offer you another phone, but then that opens the flood gate for all the other people with sob stories. As it stands, hopefully you purchase that phone with a credit card that has theft protection. If you did, contact that credit card company. With you having a police report, they should be able to get you credited for a replacement iphone.

      If your credit card does not have that protection, chalk this up as a hard life lesson and consider getting a credit card that has theft/accident protection.

      • dveight says:

        @1oneWon: “@Victo: I’m not asking for charity”

        Hmm, sorry, but asking for the discount ($200) IS asking for charity.

        • 1oneWON says:

          @dveight: Well considering I was robbed at knifepoint, pretty much everyone I’ve agreed with has said that repurchasing the phone for the price I paid for it a mere month ago isn’t outlandish. I think it’s fair that if I get robbed I should be able to buy my phone again at the price I paid for it. I’m not looking for a second one (which would be pointless anyway since I only have 1 number) or anything, I just want to replace it.

          • Parting says:

            @1oneWON: Sob story. That very sad, but business has nothing to do with emotions.

            And asking for 200$ in this case IS asking for charity. Especially that companies are there to make money. I guess you think you’re better that other AT&T customers since you owned an iPhone.

            And why a company has to lose money to accomodate you? Why?

            You’ll have more luck creating a website, asking people to donate you money for a new iPhone. At least you’ll be honest, you’re asking for charity.

          • dink23 says:

            @1oneWON: So now you are asking AT&T to fork over shareholder money to compensate customers based on the severity of their misfortunes. It’s one thing to ask AT&T to assist with replacing your phone so you can get back to making phone calls, but the fact that you are demanding a specific device is irrational and unwarranted. After reading you retoric, it’s clear you do not see both sides of the story and I would imagine you are hoping the powers that be read your story and kneel to your demands. Based on the power of public opinion, I would say this will not be happening as it would open the floodgates to a slew of irrational demands.

          • dveight says:

            @1oneWON: Never did I say that it was outlandish. Just stating that what you are asking for IS charity. And of course the people that you have spoken with agrees with you, they are not the ones losing money. How about you ask them to each pitch in $20 dollars to off set the cost of a new iphone. See if they think it’s fair that they foot the bill for the fact that you got robbed, because that is the same thing that you are trying to get AT&T to do.

            Also, as many people have pointed out, the fact that you were robbed sucks, but it is irrelevant to the matter.

            I also will assume that you didn’t purchase the iphone with a credit card that has purchase protection since many people, including myself, has sugguested this avenue and you haven’t mentioned anything about it. Again, chalk this up as a life lesson, and get a credit card that has purchase protection.

  47. SanjulaPhoenix says:

    I used to work as an iPhone tech and received many calls where a
    customer’s phone had been stolen. Although we did have to inform them
    that their Apple warranty did not include a replacement for theft (which
    was never elicited a positive response) there were cases of customers
    escalating to the top tier of Apple’s customer relations and getting a
    new phone out of the deal. Because, in the end, Apple wants to take care
    of their customers. Right? Riiiight.

    Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but it’s worth a shot if
    you’re not getting anywhere with AT&T.

  48. Parting says:

    I hate this type of whining. You got a rebate in exchange of contract. Now you want another one? I’m sorry, but companies are there to make money, not listening to your sob stories.

    They have to recover 200$ somehow, they are not a charity. If you cannot respect a contract you signed, well, that’s too sad.

    There a lot of MORE deserving folks, that could use a rebate. (And I’m thinking about some wireless companies, that participate in free/cheap programs for battered/abused women/children, etc.)

  49. buckeye17 says:

    1oneWON… sorry buddy, but this time you 1057lostLOST.

  50. mattb4rd says:

    10 inch blade? C’mon, you know it was only 3 inches.:)

  51. SurupaCormorant says:

    Just to make this really clear to anyone who’s iPhone is stolen, AT&T WILL NOT sell you a replacement at any price…
    You must do one of the following

    A: Open a new number on your account and get an iPhone on that account. You can later cancel that number and pay the early term charge. Net Cost= $199+tax +$175 decreasing early term fee +$10/mo voice + $30/mo data x #of months before terminating that number (at least one) you may also be required to make a deposit to open a new line, they wanted $300 in my case. Total is greater than $700 for me

    B: Switch a bundle of your home services to AT&T must be two of the following Internet, Voiceline, DirectTV Net Cost: $199 + Tax plus or minus difference in cost of services +time to do so. This option may not be available everywhere and is a one time thing.

    C. This is the one that makes me sick. AT&T condones the purchase of stolen property from Craigslist or eBay. We all pretty much can guess where these handsets came from, that’s right you are buying someone else’s stolen, err, lost phone. Net Cost $350-$600. This is by far the simplest way to get another iPhone, buy a stolen one.

    So, yes, there are options for replacement, just not from AT&T without opening another vein and sending more blood their way. I’m thinking about starting a class action suit so we at least have the option to purchase a new replacement at $400 or maybe $350 for a referb without having to job their system.

  52. rwalford79 says:


    I asked him….

    If you were driving your BMW and someone carjacked you, should the dealer or BMW give you a replacement for free? Nope!

    Granted neither Apple or AT&T offer ANY sort of insurance on this phone specifically to make a buck raping people into buying a new phone, but the real kicker is that if you bought the FIRST phone at FULL PRICE, how could that “lock” you into a contract – This is why Ive revolted against iPhone and AT&T for the last 2 years.

    At the end of the day…

    1. Should have had renters or homeowners insurance or an outside agency insurance if you knew your phone was valuable, irreplaceable, and everyone including you know that iPhone is the hottest thing to be stolen these days, surpassing iPods and laptops.

    2. Should never ever expect any company that already gave you a major discount on a product to “free” replace, or offer a “discount” on a product you already had, stolen or not, without resigning a new contract if you are at the end of the previous one. If not, then you might be better off canceling service, paying the ETF and resigning for a deal.