Apple Won't Let UK Sons Unlock Their Deceased Mother's iPad
March 6, 2014 12:44 PM
comment(s) - last by
Grant with the iPad
(Source: BBC News)
Apple wants a court order
Losing someone can be a very difficult time, and we cling to their possessions as a way of holding onto them. But what happens when that possession is an iPad on lockdown?
, 26-year-old Josh Grant from London and his four brothers are experiencing this very issue. Their mother recently passed away from cancer, and left her iPad to the men in her will.
It was decided that the oldest brother, Patrick, should be the one to take the iPad. However, none of them obtained her Apple ID or password before she passed on.
They attempted to show Apple their mother's will, death certificate and solicitor's letter as a way of proving they can have access to the iPad, but Apple said this wasn't enough evidence.
Apple initially asked for written consent from the owner that her five sons can have her login credentials, but that obviously is no longer an option. Now, Apple wants a court order to prove that their mother was the owner of the iPad and the iTunes account.
"I thought we might use it as a shiny placemat," said Grant. "I'm a big fan of Apple, their
are great but we have provided so much evidence.
"At 59, my mum was fairly young, I've already lost my dad and it's a bit cold of them not to treat things on a case-by-case basis."
Apple offers security measures like Activation Lock, which makes it
hard for thieves
to sell a lost or stolen iPhone or iPad. It's apart of Apple's "Find My iPhone" feature, which allows you to find your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using another device.
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3/6/2014 1:15:59 PM
I think this just needs to go a little higher up the chain - and hopefully, with publicity, it will.
I can understand the kids' being annoyed about the whole thing, but from Apple's perspective, someone brought in an unmarked iPad, which on the surface of it, is identical to tens of millions of other iPads in circulation. Sure, the guys have proof that their mother left them an iPad, but how is Apple to determine that the iPad in the will is the iPad that was brought in, and not a stolen device? It's not too difficult to understand why a low level employee wouldn't want to risk doing this.
Now that there's publicity, someone higher up at Apple can take responsibility if things go wrong - and hopefully come up with a reasonable set of procedures for this in the future.
3/6/2014 3:07:59 PM
The thing is, that the iPad has a serial number on it, and that serial number would have been registered to the mother's Apple ID. Apple could have easily just checked the serial number of the iPad and compared it to the information on the registered Apple ID to the information provided on the death certificate, etc. Yeah, we all know that there will be some that will try to do a con and fake a Death Certificate.. but the sons definitely had more than enough proof coming from more than just a death certificate.
As to other posters indicating that it's all about the digital purchases... I don't think so. I would expect that they were looking to obtain the numerous pictures and videos that were recorded on the device to help cherish their memory of their recently deceased mother. I hope that someone higher up the chain in Apple sees this situation and decides to do a little bit more digging that should have already been done and do the decent thing in this situation.
3/6/2014 4:14:34 PM
I'm betting they're going to do what you described going forward. I'm going to guess there probably simply wasn't a policy/procedure in place to do this, and the guy behind the help desk (or his supervisor) didn't want to risk his job by doing something out-of-procedure that could potentially lead to fraud. If the procedure for "Unlocking device for next-of-kin/Power of Attorney" is described on page xx of the service manual, then the line worker has nothing to fear if something goes wrong.
If you've ever worked in (or with) customer service, you quickly realize the most of the best ones have scenarios for almost anything that can happen. It's when something happens that's not in a prescribed scenario (such as this) that things look really bad.
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