Talk about mistaken identity. We’ve all had our share of minor mistaken identities every once in a while, being mistaken for someone else’s friend, relative, or you probably look like a singer or actress. So imagine what it feels like to be mistaken for the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in another of Apple’s staff fiascos that isn’t the first. Sharakat Hussain was refused to be given his £799 iPhone refund unless he could prove that he wasn’t the former dictator Saddam Hussein. Logic will dictate that 1) just looking at Hussain’s name will tell you that the spelling of both names is completely different and, 2) Saddam Hussein has long been deceased, so he couldn’t possibly have risen from the grave and bought an iPhone. Sharakat Hussain is 26 years old, married, and is a father of two kids, but still had to prove who he really is to Apple. Hussain was completely boggled when he received an e-mail from Apple claiming that he was on the Government’s Denied Party List so this makes it illegal for him to be sold and iPhone, let alone demand for a refund.
Hussain is from Great Barr in Birmingham. He supposedly bought the gift for his sister but since she had refused the gift, he tried to get a refund and return the phone since it was virtually untouched and unused. Apple accepted Hussain’s request and was told he would receive his money through a bank transfer. After waiting several weeks for the money, he was suddenly surprised to receive an e-mail asking him to prove he was not the former Iraqi dictator. This isn’t surprising since Apple staff have been notoriously known in the past to bungle up and mix up customer requests, orders, and even customer service. Naturally, Hussain thought the e-mail was spam or even a fake or scam, and became adamantly stunned to learn that it was real. Imagine being linked to Saddam and he hadn’t even been anywhere near Iraq.
Thankfully, the story has a happy ending. Apple realized their huge mistake and gave their sincerest apologies to Hussain. They realized that at his age and being a UK citizen, he could not have orchestrated the War on Iran before he was born. Apple went on further to explain that it is their policy to always check identity when processing all refunds and the difference in name spelling should have been obvious. He should not have been sent that e-mail. They then sent Hussain his refund. All’s well that ends well, but can you imagine what would happen if you asked for a refund from Apple and your last name happened to be Hitler or Isis?