Buying a new phone online and having it delivered to your doorstep is convenient and efficient. You can even save money by participating in trade-in programs. However, there is a dark side to this process that many people are unaware of — the risk of theft during transit. It is not uncommon for a phone to mysteriously disappear while in the hands of a shipping company employee. This can be frustrating and potentially costly for the buyer.
The most common scenario in which theft occurs is when sending an old phone as a trade-in. The phone is factory reset, carefully packaged, and sent off to the shipping company. However, problems may arise during the delivery process, resulting in delays or no updates on the tracking details. Then, when the package finally arrives at the destination, the box is empty. This leaves the customer without their trade-in and potentially out of money.
While most phones reach their destination without any issues, there has been a noticeable increase in these theft incidents. It is unclear whether thieves have identified the value of the packages or if more people are simply reporting such incidents. Either way, it is crucial to take precautions to protect your trade-in and ensure its safe delivery.
The most obvious problem is that the content of the package is easily identifiable due to the address. Thieves can easily recognize which boxes contain valuable items. Therefore, it is essential to be smart when packaging your phone for shipment. Although speed is desirable, taking the time to do it right can save you from potential theft.
One effective measure is to document everything in video form. Use your new phone’s camera to record the entire process, from resetting the phone to taping the box shut and dropping it off at the shipping facility. Store these videos securely, such as in Google Photos, so you can provide evidence if necessary. By having visual proof that the package contained the trade-in, you may be able to resolve any disputes and protect your money.
Another step to consider is using tamper-proof tape. You can purchase a roll of such tape from Amazon, which is enough to cover the entire package. Wrap it like a present to make it evident if the package has been tampered with during transit. Remember to film yourself using this tape, adding another layer of protection and evidence.
For added security and assurance, you can also take your package to a FedEx store. Let the staff box it up and attach the label in front of you. They may even allow you to film the process. This way, there can be no doubt about the contents of the package when it leaves your possession.
It is important to note that companies like Samsung are not happy about these incidents either. Although they are not responsible for the thefts, they receive complaints and suffer reputational damage. In response, Samsung has stopped using FedEx Ground after noticing a higher frequency of thefts with packages that spend more time in transit.
In most cases, when customers present evidence of the theft, they eventually receive their trade-in money. However, every incident costs the company money and tarnishes their brand reputation. It is in the best interest of the customers and the companies to prevent these thefts from occurring.
While it is impossible to completely stop a determined thief, taking these precautions can help protect your trade-in and ensure a smooth transaction. By documenting every step and using tamper-proof tape, you reduce the risk of becoming a victim of theft. It may require a little extra effort and expenditure, but it is worth it to secure your trade-in and avoid unnecessary financial loss.