Charlie and I ordered iPhones right after we got back from our honeymoon, at the end of September. He had been using the same phone for 4 years and me for almost 3. We were so excited to get new phones on a family plan together as we began our life as a married couple. At the time we had them put insurance on both phones. We were supposed to get them in 2-4 weeks. Two weeks later Charlie called to check on the status and they said they were still on backorder. Two weeks after that he called them again and they said the same thing. Two more weeks after that he called again and they finally realized something was wrong with the original order. They had to cancel the original order and redo it. At this time we decided to remove the insurance from the phones to lower the bill, and they then overnighted us our phones. We received them on November 7. As I said, we both had iPhone before and were using the old lightning cables to charge the phones nightly. They stayed plugged in by our bed and our new kitten, Moses, never bothered them. The second day we had the new iPhone cables plugged in, he destroyed them both. He must like the 5s. I went to the Apple store at North Park and bought two more cords. Despite our efforts to keep them out of his reach and train him not to play with them, he ruined one of those too. Someone suggested I go back to the Apple store and see if they would replace one or more of the cords. I thought it was worth at least asking, and even if they said no, I needed to buy a replacement. Yesterday, Nov 14, I went there and was pleasantly surprised that they were able to replace all three cords at no charge. In the process of entering my information and confirming my warranty, the Apple store employee had me turn off the “find my phone” feature. Charlie found out later that this is standard; they have to turn it off to get into the system or something. I don’t know, I’m not a tech person. And because I’m not, I neglected to turn it back on. I didn’t really understand what it was for, and I had no notion whatsoever that my phone would need to be found.
That same evening I taught my weekly class for Dirt Cheap Yoga at the Lake Highlands North Rec Center. Class ended at 6:30, and at 6:40 PM I had just gotten into my car to go home. I was parked not too far from the entrance, but it was dark. Suddenly a teenage female knocked on my window. I rolled it down a bit and she asked if she could use my phone. I got out of the car with just my keys and phone, locked it, and stood next to her as she made a call. Then a teenage male walked up who I hadn’t seen before, he must have been hiding off to the side. I started to get a bad feeling so I said, “I have to go, I need my phone back.” I tried to reach for it, but she handed the phone to him and they started walking away. I said, “Oh come on really? Please?” And he responded, “It’s your keys or your phone, I’m taking one,” then they started to run. I was shaken but not hurt, and grateful for that. I went back inside the rec center and called the police, told them exactly what happened, and gave a description of the kids and which way they were heading. I was given the option to stay at the rec center until they came, but they had no idea how long it would take and I figured it would be too late anyway to catch the kids. So they said they would call me back later that night to file the official report. I went home and we immediately called T-Mobile and reported the phone stolen. They disabled it so it can’t be used on any network. At this point the only use for it would be to sell it for parts, which I don’t think the kids even realized when they took it. We told the T-Mobile representatives what happened and they were extremely kind and helpful. Because of the mess of our initial order, the fact that we did have insurance in the beginning, and since we had only had the phones for such a short time, they graciously agreed to retro-activate the insurance plan and have a phone sent to us the next day. We only had to pay the deductible and the monthly insurance payment, so it still cost us money but not nearly as much as a new phone.
Unfortunately, because I did not turn “find my phone” back on, there was no way to track the phone. The only thing I could do would be to file a police report and give them the serial number in hopes that it would be found and reported. It was a long shot, but I wanted to file a report on principle if nothing else. I told Charlie that if they did catch those kids, I would want them to be sentenced to the maximum number of community service hours so they could learn something about compassion and selflessness. The police called me back later that night and I told my story again, with the same details that I reported the first time. This time the representative on the phone told me that my situation does not constitute a theft because I gave the person permission to use the phone. Because I handed the phone over instead of it being snatched from me, I could not report it as stolen. This sound seriously fishy to me, and I don’t understand the point of that kind of loophole in the law, but that is what I was told.
Charlie and I felt that the Apple store needed to know that this scam was happening and that apparently their customers would then have no legal recourse even if the phone was located. We also wanted to request them to change their policy so that their employees remind the customers to turn that feature back on and to explain to those of us that aren’t so tech savvy why it is important. After telling the Apple store manager the whole story, including the fact that we are already getting a replacement phone under our insurance, he still decided to give us a phone for free. I am blown away by the wonderful people who have been so generous and kind as we dealt with these issues. We decided to sell one of the replacement phones to a good friend, just for enough money to recoup our costs from the insurance, and he is still getting an amazing deal on a new iPhone. I will have a working phone again by this afternoon, less than 24 hours after mine was stolen. I try to live a good life, I consider other people’s feelings, and I strive to do the right thing. I sincerely believe that this whole crazy convoluted story is a lesson to believe in karma and trust in the plan. Along the way there were times when I began to doubt, to think, “why me,” or got discouraged. From the delay in getting our phones, to the cords being ruined, to the scary experience of being robbed, things did not seem to be going my way. There were moments when I cried, cursed, and felt defeated. But then I used my yoga and meditation techniques to breathe and trust. We remained positive, took inspired action, asked for what we wanted, and were honest and up front about every detail. Many people forget that karma means simply “action.” It isn’t good or bad, but we perceive it as such. Our actions lead to consequences. Acting from love leads to favorable consequences, and acting from ego leads to unfavorable consequences. So the moral of this story is this: Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it’s instant, but at some point, good or bad, karma’s gonna’ get ya’.