Is Starhub selling refurbished phones to customers who re-contract?


The question of whether local telecommunications operator Starhub sells refurbished phones to customers who re-contract has cropped up online after a customer shared on social media today that she might have been sent a used phone instead of the new device that is supposed to have come with her phone plan.

Facebook user Samantha Tan shared a photo of an iPhone she allegedly bought from a Starhub store in Singapore, that shows that the phone is linked to a supposedly unknown Apple ID. Tagging Starhub’s Facebook page, she said:

“Recontract from StarHub, got my phone delivered to my home. But when i on my iPhone for the first time, this image appeared. So is it Starhub selling refurbished phone?”

Recontract from StarHub, got my phone delivered to my home. But when i on my iPhone for the first time, this image appeared. So is it Starhub selling refurbished phone?

Posted by Samantha Tan on Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Tan later added in a comment that she has proof of purchase and she will be visiting a Starhub store to sort out the issue.

One netizen offered that, perhaps, Starhub staff used the phone before it was sold. It remains unclear whether Starhub really does sell refurbished phones or whether this incident was a one-off mistake.


  1. Definitely refurbished. Recontracted 2 yrs ago, got an iPhone 6s. The bloody phone model is not recognized by Apple when I checked my devices under my Apple account. It shows my MacBook+model, iPhone 5+model but not iPhone 6. It only displays name of my 6. I called Apple, they told me that happens if it’s a refurbished set. Enough to build a case?

  2. Just like the PAP, cannot be trusted. Did starhub copy from PAP or PAP copy starhub or they are both the same, run by people with the same greedy genes?
    Sell or tell you things on the surface to hoodwink you but not truth. Or is it in the fine print, just like shaddy HDB selling flats in the crematorium saga?

  3. I would like to share my recent experience since this article reminds me of my problem. I recontracted my STARHUB line on 2nd Feb 2018 through their online website and got myself a SAMSUNG NOTE 8. It was delivered to me on 6th Feb 2018. Everything is in order and I am quite happy with my purchase. After 5 days, the phone started failing on me. The sensors (accelerometers, proximity, ambient, iris, etc) all failed and self-diagnosis also showed failed sensors. I contacted Starhub about the issue and demanded for 1-to-1 exchange (within 7 days of purchase) and they redirected me to Samsung saying that it is not their problem.

    I checked the S/N of my phone and I found that it was produced in Sept 2017. I purchased it in Feb 2018. Could it be possible that it is just an old stock lying around in STARHUB inventory since launch or something else? I finally got an exchange new set from Samsung yesterday and it was manufactured in Feb 2018. So all is good now.

    Seeing this post, it raises some doubts in my mind as to whether the original phone I received might have been tempered with. Or it could just be me being extremely unlucky to get a bad APPLE (no pun intended). It failed within 1 week. Is there is any way to check the repair history of the phone via S/N or IMEC to confirm whether it’s brand new or refurbished?

    Just wondering……….

  4. I just called Starhub regarding this issue, and the CSO told me that this phone is definitely not a Refurbished set and activation lock is actually the icloud login that is needed. All i have to do is to key in my email and password to unlock it. I told him there’s an email address stated in the activation lock screen (picture posted). He says that is a standard sample everyone will see. (dunno if he thinks im stupid or what) .

    But still, benefit of the doubt. I told him to call me back in 10min time while i try to login using my icloud password.

    I started the phone, it prompted me to select the followings step by step.
    1) Language (English),
    2) my country (default is Thailand dunno why) so i selected Singapore obviously,
    3) keyboard language (English)
    4) Choose wifi network
    It will take a few minutes to activate your iphone
    Activation lock as pictured pops up…

    At 1145am, Starhub CSO called back, i told him it doesnt work. He says with regards to this issue, he highlighted to the higher management and his manager will call me back by today to clarify.

    PS : i told him i will report this matter to the authorities as if it is a refurbished set, it is as good as cheating consumers.

  5. Confirm refurbished set. That staff tried yo smoke you. If an iphone already fixed to one apple ID, no other Apple ID will be recognized by the phone unless factory reset done and icloud account cleared. Which shouldnt be the case if its a new set since you have to set up everything from the start.