iPhone purchased, iCloud locked. Help?


Hi all

My poor uncle wanted to surprise his wife and purchased iPhone from cash converters.
Really good quality looking iPhone 6 Plus.
He is a senior and got duped by the sales man saying “it’s icloud locked but you will be able to unlock it at Apple for free”

Uncle went to Apple store and they said they couldn’t help, even after he showed them the proof of purchase.

So he want back to cash converters but they refused to refund saying uncle agreed on it and that’s all there is to it. There are no contact details for the previous owner.

Can it be unlocked?


Stolen phone? I don’t think you can even wipe or format it, if it’s locked centrally. Did he call Apple support to ask for advice?


He personally went to Apple store in Sydney. They said they can’t help. :frowning:


False advertising basically, report them to NSW Fair Trading.


Yeah, Apple doesn’t unlock devices with an activation lock unless you can provide ID and the original proof of purchase. Even then it can be quite a challenge, borderline impossible at times.

That said… it sounds like that Cash Converters could be way out of line as far as the Australian Consumer Law goes. Provided misleading information to secure a sale, and sold goods that were unfit for their intended purpose. Just because it’s second hand doesn’t mean they aren’t bound to the same rules as any other retailer.

My local Cash Converters had no problem refunding for a camera I purchased when I was advised it had an audio line-in, which wasn’t true. Even so, they would have at least offered to swap it for another one in stock if I had simply changed my mind. But from what I understand, Cash Converters stores are operated by individual owners as franchises, so one store can certainly differ significantly from another when it comes to the level of service.

I’d be chasing this up with local consumer affairs or whoever the relevant authority is if they don’t provide a suitable resolution.


If you look at Cash Converter’s webstore, it’s full of “iCloud Locked” iPhones.

There’s a HUGE thread on whirlpool too about the topic. Ultimately - not illegal to sell phones that are iCloud Locked.

And as such it comes down to his word against Cash Converter’s word. Did I say that? No, I think you were mistaken. Look, the receipt says it was iCloud Locked. I clearly remember telling you that.

Some call it capitalism.

Some should be shot. :frowning:


Isn’t Cash Converters basically guilty of receiving stolen property if that’s the case?


Having an iCloud locked phone would not always equate to it being stolen.

Likely, perhaps, but it’s not a smoking gun…

My plan of attack would be to go in when there was a LOT of people in the store, and make a BIG scene… in the hope they placate you to avoid putting off other customers…


Well they’re selling a device that’s useless, only useful to the owner of the iCloud account. At the very least they should have a policy of only receiving and selling unlocked devices.


Havent they heard of the ACCC? They should offer a refund and I am pretty sure that they have to. Its not fit for purpose and they have no argument against that. UNcle needs to go back and make a scene, as suggested.


It’s like selling a car and when you go to pick it up there are no keys.

They absolutely have to refund, they sold a non-working phone dishonestly.


He agreed when the salesman said he can take it to Apple to get it unlocked. This is false, and Apple can’t unlock it. He is entitled to a refund under consumer law as the device is not fit for purpose and was misled into the sale.


Side Note - Well f-me… Gumtree is owned by eBay…

Onto the topic at hand…

The issue to some degree would come down to the local state laws around pawn brokers, but in general it is the pawn broker’s responsibility to ensure that the goods are not stolen. (Har har; I don’t think it’s a hidden reality that a lot of goods sold by pawn brokers are likely stolen…)

In QLD for example pawn brokers are meant to record details like serial numbers, and both the seller and buyer’s details, so in the event that a device is found to be stolen, the goods can potentially be reclaimed for the original owner, and the seller pursued for their part in the transaction (ie selling stolen goods).

The reality is - iPhones can be iCloud locked without being stolen property. As such, until evidence emerges - they aren’t doing anything illegal.

Are Apple supposed to keep track of stolen iPhones in AU? I think they have to in the US? Perhaps your uncle should contact Apple, but this time ask them to check if the device is listed as stolen (explaining his situation of course!). If it IS, then go back to Cashies with that information… (Or the police…) Pretty sure a refund would be forthcoming then…

(I would still try my above option first - Even tell him to “ask” (loudly!) “Does this mean the iPhone was stolen!?”)

Ultimately - sadly, it’s another reason I’m doubting the idea of buying a second hand iPhone again… If there wasn’t enough issues over the likelihood of getting something that’s “3rd party refurb from O/seas”, there’s also the iCloud lock to consider… Apple must love it.


Since 2005.