How to navigate an iPhone order gone wrong

Apple sells and ships millions of iPhones, but not every order goes smoothly. Here’s how to resolve an iPhone order gone wrong.

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The transaction began without incident. I placed an order directly with Apple for a new iPhone 11. As part of the purchase, I authorized the corresponding cellular service provider to transfer an existing telephone number to the new device.

Everything proceeded as you’d hope. I received a timely email message confirming the iPhone 11 order. The confirmation included an order number, device details, price, and shipping and delivery information. The message also confirmed the details for returning a trade-in device.

One week later, I received an order update stating the device was shipping earlier than expected. Then I received a message providing a shipment tracking link, followed by another message confirming AppleCare+ proof of coverage for the new device.


Except the box Apple shipped included no iPhone. Mind you, an iPhone 11 box containing a charging block lightning charge cable and earbuds were inside the sealed FedEx box, but there was no iPhone.

What to do? Do you call the cellular service provider? FedEx? Or, should I call Apple? Since the transaction originated with Apple, calling Apple proved the correct choice.

SEE: iPhone 11: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Late on a Saturday evening the Apple customer service worker assured me a new device would be sent within a few days. The customer service employee confirmed there would be no charge for the replacement.

I raised the primary concern I had at that juncture, as the customer service representative didn’t broach the…