3OYS: Valley woman claims her 'new' Verizon phone is actually used

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- "My phone is my whole life; my world revolves around my phone." 13-year-old Daisy Duke pretty much sums up how most teens feel about their phone.

"I go on Facebook, Instagram, messaging. I love my phone," she says.

And with a house full of teenagers, Daisy's mom Staci knows kids have to have their phone.

"To 13-year-old girls, that's their life. That's their whole social network. That's how they keep in touch with their friends."

With that in mind, Staci decided to it was time to upgrade her daughter's phone.

“I purchased my 13-year-old daughter an iPhone 5c at the Verizon store and it was new. That's what we were told: it was new.”

But Staci and her daughter were shocked when they got the phone home and tried setting it up and activating it.

"And so we brought it home and she got on it trying to sync the iTunes account from our computer to the phone, and this guy’s information popped up," says Staci. "There are emails and text messages and photos and internet history and all kinds of stuff on this phone that just is not ours."

"There are  these emails that I don't think my 13-year-old should be seeing, and there are pictures, and it's just creepy, it's just creepy," she says.

Staci and her daughter couldn't even reset the phone since they didn't know the mystery man's password. So they tuned to Verizon Wireless to see why their new phone seemed to be a used phone.

"Every time we've called, and we said hey, you guys sold us a used phone, they just deny it and say no, we don't sell used phones, this is a brand new phone," she says.

Even when Staci returned to the east Mesa Verizon store, she says Verizon Wireless blamed Apple, and told her to take it up with them.

"We went to the Verizon Wireless store, and they said that that was an Apple issue, and they are still maintaining the fact that this is still a brand new phone," she says.

But Apple also told Staci that the issue was not theirs.

So, 3 On Your Side contacted Verizon Wireless and asked its spokesperson, Jenny Weaver,  to look into the peculiar issue. Weaver stuck to the company's original story, saying the phone was new.

Verizon Wireless wound up giving Staci and her daughter another phone but still charged her for service during those three weeks the family was without a phone.

Well, Verizon Wireless said basically, too bad, we're charging you for those three weeks anyway. They maintain that phone, the one with all the pictures, the one with all the text messages, is new.

"It can't be a brand new phone because phones don't come with other people's information on it,” says Staci.

“I don't think it's fair because we bought a brand new phone, they told us it was brand new, and they weren't loyal, and they said it was new and it wasn't," says Daisy.

With all the information on that phone, 3 On Your Side was able to track down the "mystery man" behind all those text messages, internet searches and cell phone pictures.

That man confirmed he's a Verizon Wireless customer and is puzzled, concerned and upset that his personal information was found on a phone Verizon said is new.

Regardless, Verizon Wireless continues to reiterate that the phone is, in fact, new.