Apple mistakes Iraqi customer for Saddam Hussein

Published October 31st, 2016 - 01:58 GMT
Deceased Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein - who did not purchase an iPhone in Birmingham, England, this month. (AFP/File)
Deceased Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein - who did not purchase an iPhone in Birmingham, England, this month. (AFP/File)

Trying to get your money back on a previously purchased item can often be a frustrating and bureaucratic process. But for one unlucky Apply customer, this was taken to a whole new level, when he was forced to prove he was not the deceased Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein.

Suspicions at the tech-giant were piqued when Iraqi-born Sharakat Hussain, 26, attempted to get a refund on his £799 iphone. Instead of offering him the refund, Hussain was sent an email claiming he was on the Government’s Denied Party’s list, making it illegal for him to be sold an iPhone in the first place.

Hussain, from Birmingham, England, had purchased the phone for his sister and was trying to get his money back after she did not want the gift. However, sharing a surname with the ex Iraqi President (despite the different spelling and the fact that he died ten years ago), meant that this wasn’t as easy as Hussain had hoped.

After waiting for several weeks and still not receiving a refund, Hussain received an email from Apple in which he was asked to supply proof that he was not in fact the late dictator, who was hanged at an Iraqi army base in 2006.  

“I thought the email was spam, I was stunned to learn it was real. I was furious to be linked to Saddam,” Hussein told The Sun.

Apple on Friday vowed to expedite the refund and a spokeswoman offered the company’s “sincerest apologies” to Mr. Hussain.

AM

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