A guy with a stolen iPhone walks into the Apple Store

I just sent a user this story:
A guy walks into an Apple Store and complains that the display of his iPhone sometimes flickers. He wants it repaired for free. The Apple store employees tell him OK, but three days later, they call him, asking him if he bought the phone in this store, because they cannot match up his Apple-ID with the phone. He then admits that he had stolen the phone, from their store, a few weeks before. But he still wants them to repair the phone. For free.

What do you think now happens? Will they repair the phone for free?

While Apple might not have conversions like this, I get this all the time. Also, for game developers this is a known phenomenon. I create specialized software (like this responsive website designer, or this WebGL 3D editor), and I get support requests which are a lot of work. I usually need to debug code for looking into them and it takes a lot of my time.

And in a lot of cases, I discover that this user is using a stolen version of my software, but still has nerve to file a support request. I wonder what I should do in this case. Not answer support requests like these?

I also wonder what these people are thinking. Probably not much? Anyway, for now, I usually still help them to fix their problem, and tell them afterwards that it would probably a nice idea to buy my software instead of pirating it. Which, in a few cases actually happend then. But still, maybe I should change my attitude towards this behavior?

three comments, already:

Good question.

In short any feedback about technical difficulties that users are facing with any software product (including SAAS) is extremely valuable.

Bug reports especially.

Because if there’s anything that might be wrong with the software that I write then I would like to know.

Finding an opportunity to make something better is, well, priceless especially if it increases the userbase.

But stealing still isn’t fair.
Stealing isn't fair - 10 07 17 - 10:45

This is not a problem for any IT company out there, because to request support any customer need to open a ticket, and you only can do that using your support account. To access your support account you must register your product and you can do that ONLY if you have a purcharse number. Bingo, only customers can request support.
agnas - 10 07 17 - 11:03

I always ask for their home address so I can send them the solution. They tend to not bother me again after that.
The Voice - 10 07 17 - 12:52


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