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Apple asks customer to prove he isn't Saddam Hussein before allowing iPhone refund

By midian182 ยท 15 replies
Nov 1, 2016
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  1. Have you ever purchased an expensive piece of technology only to find you just didn’t like it? If so, then you’ll probably know that some companies will use all sorts of reasons to deny you a refund: you’ve had it too long, there’s nothing wrong with it, we suspect you may be a former Middle Eastern dictator who was executed in 2006.

    While that last excuse may sound unlikely, Apple actually used it on a customer trying to return an iPhone 7. Sharakat Hussain, from Birmingham, UK, bought the latest handset for his sister. It turns out she wasn’t a fan, so her brother tried to get his money back.

    Hussain was initially told that he would receive a refund, but a few weeks later the inevitable happened. He received an email from Apple asking for confirmation that he wasn’t ex-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who, apart from the small matter of being dead for the last ten years, has a name that uses a different spelling and pronunciation.

    Hussain naturally assumed it was spam, but further investigation revealed that it was genuine.

    “I thought the email was spam and was stunned to learn it was real. I was furious being linked to Saddam,” he told the Sun.

    The process was triggered by a requirement to check large refunds against the international sanctions list, but human error resulted in Hussain’s name being mistaken for the deceased despot’s.

    Thankfully, Apple realized the mistake before asking the UK driver if he orchestrated the invasion of Iran ten years before he was born.

    "We offer our sincerest apologies to Mr Hussain. Though we are required to check identity while processing a refund, the letter he received was an error and should not have been sent," An Apple spokesperson told The Independent.

    Hussain eventually got his refund, but the story should serve as a warning to anyone unhappy with their iPhone whose last name is Hitlerr.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,138   +1,556

    Or anyone named Isis
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,153   +3,576

    WOW .... it's a good thing we haven't had a world wide criminal named Smith or Jones ...... whewwwwww...
    GyratingIndy, Reehahs and SalaSSin like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +776

    Lol... that is rather unfortunate he was associated with Sadam. Makes me wonder how Barack Hussein Osama got in office. Oops, meant Obama, not Osama. Sure you can understand how someone would make such a clumsy mistake.
    wizardB and Uncle Al like this.
  5. So I infer that the official 'List Of Bad Guys" STILL has Saddam's name on it a decade after a very public death. When I think of that plus the mistake over this guys name, I feel very comforted to know such highly trained personnel are looking after our security
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. LOL!!
  7. How hasn't this happened with a "Mohammed" yet? Mohammed has to be one of the most commonly referenced names, both first and last but especially last.
  8. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,823   +2,078

    Obama got into office because he was elected

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +776

    How come I didn't think of that!? Wow thanks for such insight. Courageous...
    wizardB likes this.
  10. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TechSpot Staff Posts: 185   +169

    If Saddam's name is on the list, it either means that someone's not sure if he's really dead....or that Apple is using a woefully out of date list. Neither of the two possibilities is of very much comfort.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +776

    For sure... but I think it would be smart for an intelligence team to keep looking for an enemy you think you already took out, particularly with ones of this type. I doubt we would have any forensic data on foreign enemies that are alive such as DNA, fingerprints, etc. Over the course of time peoples appearance change and there is a possibility some of these high profile enemies also have doubles, so it is always possible you didn't get the right guy. I think it is a good idea to always be on the lookout, just in case. Or you could be onto something, and our intelligence communities aren't confident they actually got him.
  12. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +157

    Crapple. From giving up your confidential details through their customer support to plain racism and stupidity.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +776

    What does it have to do with racism?
    wizardB likes this.
  14. GyratingIndy

    GyratingIndy TS Rookie

    Oh, you're one of those...
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,721   +2,080

    I vote woefully out of date.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +776

    Really? Don't be "that guy"... Why don't you answer my question?
    wizardB likes this.

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