My best friend got a weird call from a California today ...
Weird in the sense that the number (916) 399 7992 ... if called back ... purports to be Apple Computer.
He immediately called me and asked me what I thought about the call.
He typed the conversation out for me verbatim:
My best friend answers the ring:" Hello, this is (name)"
(916) 399-7992 says: "Are you the owner of a Mac Mini? "
My best friend says: " No I'm not"
(916) 399-7992 says: " Oh, okay"
My best friend says: "I did used to own a Mac mini but I don't anymore. It was several months ago. "
(916) 399-7992 says: " Yes, it was about a year. You had entered "Mac User" as your user name."
My best friend says: " Why do you ask? Did you need something?"
(916) 399-7992 says: " It doesn't matter, you don't own it anymore. It doesn't matter"
My best friend adds this:
"This phone call, from someone that I didn't know from a number that I did not recognize, unnerved me to a degree. What did they want if I DID own it still? I had set it up for a customer of mine and didn't know what name they wanted in it, hence the "Mac User" name instead of my name. I entered my phone number in probably out of habit and assumed that the new user would change it."
After the phone call terminated, I was troubled by all the questions I had, particularly why this person did not identify themselves. I remember that the friend I had given it to [your friendly fixyourthinking Editor] ... to sell had sold it to someone and never gotten fully paid for it, so I thought that might be an issue.
When I called the phone number back I could not get a person, only a recording that ultimately referenced the Apple Store."
Here is the exact wording from the voicemail message that you get:
"Thank you for calling Apple Computer, from time to time we contact customers to introduce them to new products or services. Our call to you is to let you know about Mac OS Ten Tiger, the iMac G5, and AppleCare Protection Plan. To learn more about these and other exciting Apple products, please hang up and call 1-800-MY-APPLE or visit www.apple.com."
Apple hasn't promoted the iMac G5 since mid-January ... it is now almost mid-March. It seems suspicious that they would not have changed the message to say ... the new iMac Core Duo.
I googled the number and surprisingly came up with a couple of forums and blogs that are discussing the phone call and the weird circumstances regarding the caller and the number.
Macrumors forums discussing this number
I couldn't believe what I was reading ... it sounds like to me [conspiracy theory] that the AppleCare/Registration database had been compromised.
Various people apparently have been getting these calls since April of 2004. Yes ... 2004!
I'm writing this article today to hopefully get some real answers to this weird situation and get an answer from Apple for the reason behind the calls and the unprofessional callers making them OR maybe to put a stop to some fraudulent activity.
Apple, must by law [in many states including my own] be upfront with who they are by name and by company if they are a telemarketer, business, or charity.
If you go to switchboard.com and do a phone number reverse lookup you get nothing for:
But for an actual Apple number that I was referenced in a case number for Apple Customer relations:
I get the following information from switchboard.com:
Apple Computer Inc
12545 Reata Vista Circle
Austin TX 78727
ALL Apple numbers that I know of come up as being owned by Apple Computer Inc.
The other interesting find is that the number appears to be from Elk Grove, Califormia [in the 916 telephone area code] ... an Apple warehousing location.
So, I put a call into Apple Customer relations at 1-800-SOS-APPL. I was connected with a customer service associate named Les. He agreed that the story of this number sounded at the least, inappropriate ... he promised to call me back after a few minutes of investigation ... he called me back and escalated the case to a higher tier.
I will update this when I receive my next word back from Apple Customer Relations.
My best guess [non conspiracy theory] is that Apple may be outsourcing AppleCare renewals out to a third party. This third party isn't corporate ... so therefore may be unprofessional and unscripted in their tactics and telemarketing skills. If this is the case I am very disappointed in Apple for doing this ... giving out customer information to "shady unprofessional" businesses.
I'm kinda with my friend on this one ... I want Apple to give him more than just a "we took care of it" call ... he really is owed an explanation and an apology. If the Apple registration database has been hacked into ... this issue might deserve more press.
Have any of you had one of these strange calls?