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AT&T refurb iPhones arrive with incorrect warranty coverage

Doug Toombs from Howard Forums tipped us off that those refurb AT&T iPhones many TUAW readers bought a few weeks ago might not have properly issued warranties. He sent me over to Apple's warranty self-checking site and sure enough my new iPhone's limited warranty is due to expire on July 22nd.

I gave Apple a call at 1-800-694-7466. I was given the standard Apple line: they do not offer a full year warranty on refurbs. Your warranty ends a year from when the iPhone was originally sold and activated. She then connected me to AT&T, which promptly hung up on me.

So I called back. The sticker on the AT&T box says clearly: "Refurbished iPhones have a full 1 year warranty. You must retain receipt for warranty claims through Apple."

Second time around, I got the most fabulous agent. She contacted the agreement administrator and within a few minutes my warranty was extended to 03/2009, no fuss, no muss. I'm kicking myself though that I did not check into whether I could extend the warranty after that year through AppleCare--so if you find out, do let us know in the comments. Thanks!

Anyway, to summarize: I did need to confirm a valid AT&T account, explaining that I was upgrading from my 4GB to my new 8GB. I offered to send a picture of the sticker on the AT&T box but the agent said this had to be a known problem and that she didn't need either that or the receipt. I also took advantage of the Apple call-you-back service. Instead of waiting on line, they automagically take your number and call it back when you're ready to hit the head of the queue. Very convenient.

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