Reporting Kurtis Ming
MODESTO (CBS13) — Jenny Jaramillo admits she didn’t know what to expect when she bought her first iPhone — but she expected to be treated fairly.
Weeks after signing her a two-year contract with Verizon Wireless, her iPhone started having screen problems. She brought the phone to an Apple Store — which broke the news to her.
“I was beyond mad,” Jaramillo said. “They told me, ‘Your screws are stripped, and your screen looks like it’s been replaced.’”
She’d been given a refurbished iPhone, despite paying the “new” Verizon promotional price, and her one-year warranty had already expired.
Her receipt proves she paid the One Stop Verizon Authorized Dealer in Modesto $99 for the iPhone — which is supposed to be new.
When she went back to the store, the One Stop manager agreed to replace the phone — but Jaramillo said that one was refurbished too.
“There’s probably tons of people that have went to this store that had been given a refurbished phone that they thought was new,” she said. “That’s screwing them over too.”
A CBS13 Call Kurtis producer paid the store a visit, and was told at least three customer have complained about getting used iPhones — but manager Simon Hermiz blamed the warehouse that supplied his store.
“I can’t assume responsibility for something coming from the warehouse,” Hermiz said.
He wouldn’t tell us the name of the warehouse, but we’ve learned it’s not the same that supplies stores actually run by Verizon Wireless.
But consumer attorney Stuart Talley of Kershaw Cutter and Ratinoff said stores must know the product they’re selling.
“The individual selling the product has a duty to know whether it’s used or new,” Talley said.
Verizon Wireless said stores are required to disclose the condition of phones they sell.
“If agents or their independent dealers sell used, reconditioned or refurbished equipment, they must disclose that fact in writing to their customers,” said Heidi Flato or Verizon Wireless.
Verizon said it is now investigating the store, which could lose its status as an authorized dealer.
“We are taking this matter seriously,” Flato said. “Our priority is delivering an excellent customer experience — whether directly through Verizon Wireless or through an authorized retailer.”
Jaramillo returned the phone for another one from a different Verizon store, but worries others may not notice their phones are refurbished.
“Some people may still be walking around with refurbished phones, saying, ‘Oh, this is my new phone,’” she said, “when it’s not.”
Verizon said if One Stop deceived customers, it could lose its status as a Verizon authorized dealer.