APPLE HAS had to apologise to a customer who was told that he could not have a refund on his iPhone 7 purchase unless he could prove that he wasn’t deceased despot Saddam Hussein.
Sharakat Hussain (not Hussein), who spells and pronounces his name differently, because he is in fact a different person, is 26 years old, lives in Birmingham and is alive. Saddam Hussein (not Hussain), former dictator of Iraq, was executed for war crimes 10 years ago and is significantly less alive.
After buying an iPhone 7 for his sister, Mr Hussain (not Hussein) decided to return it for reasons unclear and probably irrelevant, but he received a letter asking for proof that he wasn’t an evil corpse after Apple reported him to be on the government’s Denied Parties list.
Now, either Apple was using a very old version of the list, or government budget cuts have meant it hasn’t been updated, but 10 years. And the spelling. And ... just GAH! IDIOTS!
“I thought the email was spam. I was stunned to learn it was real. I was furious to be linked to Saddam,” Hussain (not Hussein) told The Sun.
A spokesperson for Apple told The Independent: "We offer our sincerest apologies to Mr Hussain. Though we are required to check identity while processing a refund, the letter he received was an error and should not have been sent."
The bungle was a human one. When Mr Hussain (not Hussein) returned the phone, which, for some reason, he’s still holding in the picture (ask South West News Service about that. Nothing to do with us), he was told that it had to be done by bank transfer, because laws.
At some point, someone who doesn’t get out much decided that Hussain and Hussein were so similar it must be a misprint and what with it being such an unusual surname that definitely isn’t shared by millions across the world under various spellings, then he must be Saddam Hussein. Simple really. Perfectly logical mistake.
At this point, we feel it’s only appropriate to revive a long-dead turn of phrase as it sums up what we’ve just said perfectly.
NOT. (The last paragraph but one, not the one that we’ve just written explaining this one, because that would be a weird paradoxical loop thing. Sorry, we’re out of practice at using it.)
Anyway. The Sun explained that the email asked Mr Hussain (not Hussein) to tick a box - yes, actually tick a box - reading: 'I am not Saddam Hussein' (not Hussain - keep up). We assume that Apple must have similar checkboxes for 'I have never buried a body under a patio' and 'I have never been the presenter of You’ve Been Framed'.
Daffy Duck has already issued a statement assuring people that he isn’t, and never has been, the ruler of Libya. µ
Or 'why INQ journalists are still slightly better than robots'
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