Apple refused to refund a father-of-two for a purchase of an iPhone unless the man could prove he was not deceased Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Sharakat Hussain, 26, was dismayed upon receiving an email from the California-based technology giant claiming that he was on the government’s Denied Parties list, which made it illegal for him to be sold an iPhone, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Hussain, a resident of Birmingham who works as a driver, reportedly bought the device for his sister but tried to get his money back when she rejected the gift. He paid £799 for the phone (NIS3,748 or $972).
Due to the high cost of the model he purchased, Hussain was told he would receive his money via bank transfer.
But after waiting for several weeks and still not receiving a refund, Hussain received an email from Apple in which he was asked to supply proof that he was not in fact the late dictator, who was hanged at an Iraqi army base in 2006.
And while the customer’s first name is different and his surname is also spelled differently, Apple staff still managed to confuse the Birmingham resident with the deposed tyrant.
Hussain told The Sun newspaper that he “thought the email was spam, I was stunned to learn it was real. I was furious to be linked to Saddam.”
Apple on Friday vowed to expedite the refund.
A spokeswoman offered the company’s “sincerest apologies” to Mr. Hussain.