Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Who's on First? And Why Do They Have My Cell Phone?

I feel like I'm stuck inside Abbott and Costello's Whose on First? routine.  Our daughter's iPhone fell out of the golf cart and landed on concrete.  No more screen - not just cracked glass - the screen no longer functions.  Insurance had a new one overnighted and Amanda left on vacation.  I agreed to return the broken phone for her.  All I have to do is mail it in the provided envelope, right?
In order to secure your private information, you must perform a factory reset on any iPhone device you send back.
That seems reasonable.  What do I do?
Reset your device by selecting "Settings" - "General" . . .
Hmmm.  With no screen, that's not going to work.  What is option 2?
Connect your device to any computer running the iTunes program.
My office computer has iTunes (who knows why).  An all-office email located an iPhone cord that I could borrow.  This should only take a few minutes.
iTunes does not recognize this device.  Please sync device with this computer.  
The phone is synced with Amanda's laptop, which is 120 miles away, so I guess I'll have to start over on this computer.  Since we're wiping out the phone anyway, it won't hurt a thing.
To sync the device to this computer, please sign into your iTunes account.
That would be AMANDA'S account - Amanda, who is on vacation.  A couple texts to Amanda provided the associated email account and five potential passwords (who remembers these things?) Number 3 did the trick - Finally, I'm in!  
iTunes can not connect with this iPhone because the phone is locked.  Please enter the lock pass code.
Pay attention, Apple!  I don't have a screen and I can't enter the code without a screen! Now what?
While connected to iTunes, press and hold wake/sleep button and home button until screen goes black . . . iTunes will recognize that you have a phone in recovery mode and allow you to restore the phone.
Let's review:  iTunes won't access phone (even in recovery mode) until it is synced to the computer, can't sync without unlocking the phone, can't unlock because I have no screen!!

Time to call in the experts.  I'm contacting Apple support.  
Choose a product and we'll connect you with an expert.
[Select "iPhone"]
What's happening with your iPhone?  Choose a topic and we'll find you the best support option. 
[Select "Using iPhone with iTunes"]
Please select a more specific topic from this list . . .
[Select "Restore or Update"]
How would you like to get help?
I don't have time for e-mail  [Select "Chat"]
We need your serial number for this solution.  To find your serial number, tap Settings - General . . .
Haven't we been here before?  I DON'T HAVE A SCREEN!  
See more ways to find your serial number.
Get the information from your computer.  Connect your device and open iTunes....

At this point, I'm taking matters into my own hands.  I can delete all personal information in six easy steps.
  1. Place phone in provided mailer.
  2. Carefully align mailer with tires of SUV.
  3. Back over phone
  4. Pull forward over phone.  
  5. Wipe off tire tracks.
  6. Drop in mailbox.
Take that, Apple!  

Now, who's on first?


  1. Oh my word, that is definitely a "whose on first" story!

  2. Orrrr, you could have just driven to Omaha, cause you know we've got all of the great beer places here, and gone to the Apple store. Where you could have punched them in the face if they couldn't grasp your problem. Or gotten my kid who works there to help you. And then gone and gotten a beer with me!