iPhone XR Stolen in Vodafone Store Just after I Signed Contract

Hey guys. I need some serious help.

Someone stole my brand new iPhone XR straight from Vodafone store. So as soon as I signed my brand new 24 months contract with Vodafone, the guy dealing with me with in to do some work and I started looking around the shop leaving the unopened box on the table of the store. Out of nowhere, a random guy walked in and took the phone (well I didn't see that myself, one of the customers told me so).

Then I told the store guy about this and he said that it's my fault that the phone which I was supposed to get was stolen from the Vodafone store. Unfortunately I didn't opt in for insurance. They have asked me to file a police report.

P.S. Given a replacement device by Vodafone

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  • +30

    New member, typical controversial post.

    When are you going to become a "DisabledUser" ?

    • +2

      Yes a new user and the reason for creating the account is the very incident mentioned above.
      Thanks anyways.

      • Op the question is, were you done to leave with your phone?
        Yes? Your fault.

        Or the deal wasn't done?
        No? Get Vodafail to replace your phone and update their security practices.

    • Why do they become "DisabledUser" after a few days.

      I would guess that it's either:
      1. Throwaway accounts of existing users deleting after getting answers or solving the problem.
      2. Throwaway accounts of existing users getting banned by site staff for being a second account (I think that's against the rules)
      3. Lurkers or googlers signing up to ask for help, but not wanting to remain on the site once they get what they need, or not handling the banter comments well, and deciding to delete their accounts.

      But I'd rather be told the real reason lol

        • +37

          Post on OzBargain
          Go to the police
          Go to Vodafone head office
          Do anything other than Post on OzBargain

          There, done.

          • +5

            @pais: The store would surely have CCTV evidence.

  • +18

    From their point of view they mightve had similar situations happen in the past where the person who took the phone was an accomplice of the buyer. Who then couldve flipped the phone quick for cash as 'unwanted christmas present' before imei blocked.

    Or you could just be unlucky

    • +4

      before imei blocked

      Only blocks in AU, selling it overseas will mean it's on a different frequency, and will not be blocked.

      iCloud is the only true block.

    • +2

      I'm sure that does happen, but if OP was using an accomplice to steal the phone in order to get a second phone free, wouldn't he have got an XS Max? The XR was received poorly compared to older model iphones

      • Thieves take what they may get.

        • +2

          yeah thieves do, but people in the comments are suggesting that OP is in on it, and his friend took the phone. If he was having his friend steal a phone so he got a new one as a free replacement, wouldn't he try to scam their best phone?

          • @Rhawne: Asking for the best phone almost always raises suspicion as a salesperson. Very few people go for the most expensive model, even moreso today now that the max capacity is 512GB (way overkill) and retails for 2200ish.

          • @Rhawne: I don't think people are suggesting OP did this, only that Vodafone might have had this happen, and have a policy in place to prevent it. So even they might not think OP did this, but they are applying a policy consistently so that they're not accused of "racial- / other- profiling" when they only accuse certain people of doing this.

    • -6

      More likely to be the staff running a scheme. They bring out the phone, go into the back for ages so the customer gets bored and starts wondering about, and then another staff member nabs it. They blame the customer who fits the bill out of guilt, store chalks it up to theft, and the staff members each make a tidy sum. Rinse and repeat every few months

      • +2

        when head office hears that a particular store gets robbed multiple times in a year with the same modus operandi…

        • +5

          Yeah. Because head office is totally on the ball about that kind of thing, especially when its not costing them anything personally.

          Everyone likes to blame the devious stranger when it comes to bad things, but in real life, its almost always the people who are familiar that are responsible. Time and time again that's shown to be the case. And its easy to see why.

          Just imagine that you're a thief, looking to steal a phone. What are you going to do, hang around the store all day, waiting for the right opportunity? That's a pretty narrow window to aim for. Of course there's always the chance that they where coincidentally in the store at the same time OP was, saw a chance, and took it, but coincidences are by their definition unlikely. Whereas the staff are around these phones for many hours a day, many hours a week. Thats enough time to see the opportunity, get excited by it, and wonder if you could get away with it. Only a matter of time before they dare to try it. These aren't cheap devices. Each one is worth a grand, which is more than a bored angry worker earns a week. And whats the risk? If you're spotted, you can just say you were moving it to a safe place.

  • +1

    Who bear the cost now?

    did the shop provide you with the CCTV footage?

    • +1

      They didn't check the CCTV footage straight away since the store manager was not there. Regarding cost , the phone is in 24 months contract so unless they come up with some compensation, I will be paying the monthly premium for something I didn't even take out of the store.

      • -5

        Okay… So everyone on herd is clearly retarded.

        A. You signed the contract meaning it is now your property and your responsibility.

        B. Whether it was stolen in store or not does not change that it becomes solely YOUR responsibility after you sign the contract.

        C. The workers are only workers,not security. What do you expect to happen? Do you want them to chase it down for you, or if the person who stole it is spotted be spear tackled risking their own safety for YOUR property?

        D. No worker is going to steal your phone, as their is CCTV that would be incriminating when chased down.

        E. The CCTV isn't readily available when you want it to be… otherwise they'd have to cut the live feed leaving the shop without any CCTV… (what if it happens when offline for your sake to view the CCTV?)… also, there is protocol to follow.

        F. Remember, the workers are also human, and that does not warrant you any special treatment because you were daft and left it unattended.

  • so the store doesn't have camera ?

    • -1

      They do but according to them, it's my fault that someone stole the phone from the store. And the phone was still seal packed.

      • +34

        I know if I signed a contract I wouldn't be leaving it out of my hands for 2 seconds. especially within first 24 hours - typical behaviour for new high price purchase. Your behaviour does not fit normal human psychology. That is why store will not take responsibility.

        • +5

          Uses real name to make account

          • +1

            @Xiaomi: I guess you're not a Friends fan (the TV show) =P

            • +1

              @thetrain: It happened when he was in the store in the foothills of mount Tibidabo.

              • @kaitovan: I guess the beautiful woman bathing herself distracted him xD

      • It sounds very suspicious to me. Vodafone don't owe you anything IMO, once you have signed it's your responsibility to take care of the device, no matter where you are with your phone.

      • You said the phone box was open. Make your mind up as changing your story doesn't help.

      • They're right - you signed the contract to buy the phone, it's now your property to look after. I mean, if you pay for something in Myer or David Jones, and it gets stolen in the store after you've already paid, that's also your responsibility.

  • +10

    If you signed all the paperwork for a contract to the point that you could not have just walked out the store without any commitments then yes, it's your responsibility. I hope you called the Police straight away and they attended and reviewed security footage. If not, especially with no insurance, then it's your loss and lesson hard learnt.

    • Yee I went to the police station and reported the case straight away. I am not sure if they had reviewed the security footage as of now.

      • +5

        I would have called the police there and then in the store straight away. That's a crime in progress as far as I'm concerned.

        • +8

          You can certainly call the police, but it's not an emergency as such so the chance of them actually attending is very slim. Plus, without a warrant or the store voluntarily handing over CCTV footage and this footage then being forensically examined, there's little scope of Police really doing anything other than taking the OP's report and investigating this later.

        • So your the one wasting taxpayer resources

          • @Geryatric: I'm the one working here, paying all due taxes and expect police to show up to a theft in progress when it occurs, yea.

      • Maybe CC buyer insurance? Some CC offer insurance if item breaks on the way home.

        • On a plan, so not an outright purchase

        • No CC involved

  • +51

    you should not leave the store without the phone, just because somebody said it was stolen, you can just believe it. If it happened to me, I would say to the staff I want my phone or cancel the contract. they can search me but I do not have the phone with me so no. it was happening inside their store so no deal for me (or at least they will show you CCTV footage RIGHT AWAY)

    • +8

      This. And pretty good advice all round in similar situations. Don't leave. Refuse to leave until they start offering solutions.

      • Don't leave. Refuse to leave until they start offering solutions.

        Only way this will help OP is that they'll get the police called on them, so they'll save a trip to the police station to make a report…

    • Say you are inside a bank withdrawing some money, as soon as the teller handed over you the cash, a robber/theif came into the bank and robbed you, should the bank be liable to compensate your loss?

    • Mate just because you are in a store, does not make it the stores fault. OP was in possession of his/her goods that they had signed a contract for. OP left the device unsupervised and it was nicked. OP's fault for leaving an expensive, small, and easily concealed device unsupervised.

      As for seeing CCTV straight away, usually only managers have access to CCTV, if the manager wasn't in how can they show you?

  • +13

    Mind sharing which store this happened at ?

  • +6

    So as soon as I signed my brand new 24 months contract with vodafone, the guy dealing with me with in to do some work and I started looking aroud the shop leaving the unopened box on the table of the store

    Just seems like a really dumb thing for you to do. It seems obvious it was your phone and he clearly left you with it.

    It's like paying for something then just leaving it in the store unattended.

    • +42

      Don't be too harsh on the OP. I would be guttered if that happened to me.
      Have you done anything in your life to be considered as a "dumb thing to do"?

      • +26

        I see your point, but the problem now is that op doesn’t seem to think he/ she is at fault and wants to blame vodafone

        • -2

          The phone has not left the premises with the customer, so I do understand that OP sees Vodafone as guilty as they did not provide a safe place to shop.
          Maybe the seller could have quickly texted a friend that a phone has been sold and conveniently looked away so that his friend can get the phone

          • +3

            @cameldownunder: There is absolutely no way for a shop to prevent a theft from entering, as well as leaving. Any customer could potentially be a theft.
            The way I see it is, no way the Vodafone staff would just leave the phone on the table for op to go and grab. Staff most likely sat down with op, signed the contract and handed over the phone (whether this was done by physically handing over or sliding over the table doesn’t matter). Deal was done so staff left the table and op decided to look around the shop (while leaving the phone on table), then got stolen and now blames the store

            • +1

              @Prince K: Exactly - this story is highly unbelievable. A basic litmus test pokes a major hole in any belief that this isn’t the OP’s fault; one question is all that’s needed:

              Who is more likely to be hyper-vigilant with respect to theft prevention: the staff member who has had specific training drilled into them, who has likely had suspicious persons (attempt to) steal things in the past, and is aware of all the security surrounding the stock of handsets? Or is it the person who only handles phones once every 24 months (at most)?

        • +1

          Vodafone are insured against theft. OP is not.
          Sound like like you had chump staff not empowered to do anything.. Go back and the store manager will sort it out.

          Otherwise start making noise on all social media channels until Vodafone head office shuts you up with 2 phones! J

          • @Geryatric: I'm sure the store is insured for theft, OF THEIR PROPERTY. The phone belonged to the OP now, it is not store property.

            And this is not something that Public Liability insurance will cover, since it was not the store's fault.

      • +6

        Everyone does dumb things, though not everyone wants to take responsibility for it.

      • Gutted? Sure. Try blaming the store? Nope.

    • +19

      Well the store person didn't handed the phone to me. He just brought the phone and put it on the table .

      • -7

        Do you go to restaurants expecting to be fed when food is brought out and put on the table?

        Bit of common sense is needed here regarding looking after your valuables. It hasn't been ceremoniously presented to you yet, but you went into this store with the intention of signing a contract to take ownership of this (expensive) device.

        Why would you leave your soon to be valuables unattended when you admitted to knowing that the employee serving you was busy doing something else?

        • -3

          But normally they would put the device in a bad and hand it to the customer right.

        • +5

          What a load of BS!

          That is nothing like what has been described!

          This is like a waiter putting the food on the pass and then someone taking it!

          To claim that because the OP went into the store wanting to sign an contract and take ownership that somehow the it is his fault just because he was their to do that is completely stupid!

          • +1

            @Namesareapain: Are you suggesting people should abandon their valuables (be it food or a device) and leave it available to others to tamper with or steal?

            Neither party is perfect here and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

            My point was that OP knew the phone was brought out to them and that the employee went elsewhere to do something for them, and OP decides to leave the phone there in the open and go browsing.

            The number of times I have bought phones on contract and the employee had to go print the contract or get receipts, I stayed with my phone so I could check it is brand new and without visible defects or just have a play around with it

            The employee and store are free to be sceptical and refuse handing over another phone as this could have been some elaborate scam where OP's friend was the 'thief' hoping Vodafone would just hand over another handset after the first goes missing and they go sell the extra for profit.

        • +7

          That is a terrible analogy. Usually the store assistant brings it out to record the relevant details for that phone, to imply its the OPs fault if it got stolen at this point is crazy. He hadnt even held the phone!

          Responsibility lies with the shop until they hand him the phone in box with contract all signed.

          • -4


            He hadnt even held the phone!

            The point is that OP knew the phone was there and left it unattended when the employee was busy. Whether he made physical contact with it or not makes little difference. So if he 'holds' the phone and leaves it there to browse around the shop it is now OP's fault and not the shop's?

            Responsibility lies with the shop until they hand him the phone in box with contract all signed.

            Contract was signed as per title. What if the employee was going to get the receipt/bag etc in this time?

            Ultimately, who leaves valuables unattended? It was stated in the post that OP knew the employee left to do something for them and OP decided to walk away as well. Even if the phone wasn't legally OP's yet if contract wasn't signed or transaction wasn't complete etc, OP knew the phone was going to be theirs so leaving it unattended is strange to say the least.

            Like I've said in another comment elsewhere, it will be interesting how this ends either way. Could there be a 'gesture of goodwill' from Vodafone, would OP be let out of the contract if they don't get a replacement? All interesting questions and scenarios but all could have been easily avoided.

      • +26

        If you had not even touched the phone yet, I would be arguing pretty hard that it was not in your possession when it was stolen.

      • +12

        Unless the store person specifically said this is your phone, I dont see why its your fault. It could be a phone for another customer as far as I know

        • +18


          Unless the customer was told that the box contained their phone, how were they to know it was their property, or at which point the phone indeed became their property, as the store hadn’t specifically released it into the care of the customer, and additionally, how is the customer to be aware of the protocol of the store, for instance was Vodafone finished referring to the box, serial numbers or specific details therein, of which the OP surely couldn’t be aware.

          My sense is that it’s pretty tough to put all the blame on the OP when, according to them, Vodafone hadn’t specifically released the phone into their care, but rather put it on the bench in the assumption that the OP was fully aware of Vodafone transaction protocols I.E; this is my phone now, and not Vodafone’s, and similarly you’d expect that Vodafone has a responsibility to provide a secure place of transaction and also would have insurance in such circumstances to provide care for their customers.

          Someone else suggested that Vodafone might suspect that OP somehow orchestrated theft, however I would expect that Vodafone would have to a; prove this, and b; make a police report to that effect to legitimately deny replacement on those grounds.

          This is such a crappy situation for the OP, and the number of people who will happily just jump in and tell them how much of an idiot they are, without any specific details of the event is pretty astonishing. It seems like if one asks for reasonable common sense advice, all people are capable of is admonishment, insult or personal attack.

          • +1

            @Jawanzar: Vodafone should be a little bit understanding because if OP was a smart theif who had planned this then he would probably have had insurance.

        • With Phone contracts it specifies the imei of the phone on it, so its not like oh it might not be my phone and give me another phone with the same model.

      • +1

        Did you have the phone in your hands? Did you look at the other stuff while the store person did put it on the table. Maybe the transaction is only complete if the phone and receipt have been handed to customer.

      • +2

        If they didn't hand the phone to you then it's their fault.

        The salesperson left the phone, you never properly received it

        • The salesperson put the phone on the table where the OP was and where the OP signed the contract.

          Then the salesperson left, then you left to have a look around. We know you didn't take the phone with you… Did you take the contract with you?… or did you leave it next to the phone on the table?

  • +2

    Block the IMEI and a chargeback?

    • A chargeback for stolen goods isn't fraud?

      • -1

        It's for the mobile service.

        • Vodafone are still providing the service though, OP just doesn't have a phone to use it with because they lost it…

      • +2

        Chargeback of $0…

  • Considering that the store reps were present of the phone getting stolen (as evidence) and coupled with a Police report, I was wondering is there a way for the store to show generosity and customer service by opting for insurance after the fact and then you can claim?

    • +2

      That’s insurance fault, it’s a criminal offence.
      If Vodafone pays for this I suspect other people will work in pair to tricks the Vodafone or others.
      I can’t believe someone would leave a brand new phone unattended.
      If other customer saw it why the didn’t speak out!

      • +12

        IMO insurance companies are the biggest legal criminals

    • +1

      Says ozbargain has a toxic culture, suggests fraud

  • +6

    Kenn Adams is like Joey's alias in Friends when he goes out picking up girls.

    • +1

      I've been waiting for someone to pick up on this hehe

      He wouldn't have this issue though he never needed a phone just the "how U doin"

      • +3

        And very cool europe travel story lol.

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