Santa Barbara- S County

Tipline Investigation: What's Really Inside?

A Santa Barbara man discovers his 'new' iPhone isn't new at all.

Tipline Investigation: What's Really Inside?

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - If you've ever bought a brand new iPhone, you know how exciting it is to unwrap the box, open it and see that gleaming new phone for the first time.

Other the other hand, imagine shelling out hundreds of dollars for a brand new iPhone only to find out it's not new and it's hardly an iPhone.

"This is the iPhone 6 that I bought from Best Buy," said Scott Bradford as he held up the phone.

Bradford thought it was a brand new Apple iPhone.

"I had trouble with it just about two weeks after I bought it," said Bradford.

He said he took it back to the Best Buy store in Goleta. The employees there who sold it to him suggested he take the phone to the Apple store and let them look at it.

"When I went to Apple, they told me that there were non-Apple parts in the phone and they couldn't touch it. I did take it back to Best Buy and told them the situation and the only thing they recommended, I get insurance and pay the deductible," said Bradford.

That's exactly  what he did. What about the phone? He paid for a new one, but it appears that's not what he got.

"My frustration wasn't shared by anyone. I was kindda bummed," said Bradford.

That's when he called the NewsChannel Three Tipline for help. I did some checking and found other people have posted similar complaints online. One place is on Best Buy's own website.

One posting had the title, "Refurbished iPhones - not to Apple standards!" The complaint is almost identical to Bradford's. Even more interesting, a person who claimed to have worked for Best Buy's Geek Squad posted this, "wish I could say that this kind of thing did not happen regularly, but it did. countless times."

"That one is heavier. Same phone, screen protector, noticeably heavier," said Jeff Poglitsch a Santa Barbara based master tech as he compared Bradford's phone to another iPhone.

Poglitsch agreed to examine the phone for us. Four days later, he showed us what he found.

"Once I opened it up, there was noticeable corrosion on the shield, speaker. Little giveaways that it had been previously worked on," said Poglitsch.

Poglitsch says the phone Scott Bradford bought new, actually had a replacement screen, non-Apple parts and odd stickers inside the phone.

"I'm not quite sure about that. I opened it up and it just happened to have some weird red stickers pointing down and up in the corner. Never really seen that before. Seemed kindda weird," said Poglitsch.

Another complaint on Best Buy's website mentioned similar stickers inside their device. We asked Poglitsch if he thought Bradford's iPhone was new?

"No, definitely not, no," said Poglitsch.

Next, we contacted Best Buy's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. I explained what we found, and company officials agreed to look into it. About one week later, the Best Buy agreed to give Bradford a new iPhone.

A spokeswoman for Best Buy says the company is still trying to figure out what happened in this case.

NewsChannel Three would like to thank Best buy for making it right for Scott Bradford.

Here are some tips: Make sure they let you unwrap and open the box. If you have any questions about what you're getting check it out as soon as possible. There are plenty of shops around town that will check it out for you. Reconditioned phones can be a great buy, just make sure it's refurbished by the manufacturer.

If you have a problem and need help, call our Tipline at 882-3903.

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