BGR says Jobs - customer email exchange real

BGR says Jobs - customer email exchange real

It's down to one person's word against a corporation's, and we will probably never know the truth of the matter. While Apple public relations said that the email exchange purported between Apple CEO Steve Jobs and an angry iPhone 4 customer was faked, BGR, which first reported the incident, is standing by the story, and offered the full email headers for proof.

It is true that the entire exchange seemed rather un-Jobs-like in the first place, with Jobs saying the following in response to increasingly irate comments from the iPhone 4 buyer, called "Tom" as a pseudonym:
  • "No, you are getting all worked up over a few days of rumors. Calm down."
  • "You are most likely in an area with very low signal strength."
  • "You may be working from bad data. Not your fault. Stay tuned. We are working on it."

A huge error on the part of BGR, and one that made people question the authenticity of the story, was when the attributed the comment "Retire, relax, enjoy your family. It is just a phone. Not worth it" to Steve Jobs. It was actually the customer's, though it was far more interesting if said by Jobs, of course.

AppleInsider later commented that "Tom" was really Jason Burford, who "shopped" the story to them, as well. In their follow-up, BGR confirmed Burford's name, and that they had never worked with him before. They admitted paying him, but they called it a "nominal fee of a couple of hundred dollars."

While Steve Jobs has often responded via email directly to customers, it's never been known if it was Jobs or someone monitoring his email inbox. So, as BGR said in the, it's unclear if those email responses were penned by Jobs. However, BGR stated, they definitely came from Jobs email address, because Burford gave BGR access to his Gmail account, and they confirmed the email headers themselves.

BGR itself is a reliable source. Thus, if BGR says they examined the email headers themselves, we believe them. While that doesn't prove it was Jobs himself emailing Burford, it does prove it came from Jobs' email address, which as BGR said, is all that should matter in regards to this story.


We ourselves believe there is little doubt in the matter, based on BGR's "testimony." While it's possible to fake email headers by copying, pasting, and editing them, these and the emails were directly in Burford's account. Here's part of what BGR said:


Well, I personally couldn’t give a damn if this email was with Steve Jobs himself or not. What I care about is whether this was with Steve Jobs’ email box, one that is obviously monitored by a bunch of employees at Apple, either in customer service or PR, or both. So, is it possible that Steve Jobs himself did not write those emails to Jason Burford? Without a doubt. Is it possible that these replies were fabricated, and didn’t come from someone at Apple sending emails to Jason Burford from Steve Jobs’ email address sjobs@apple.com? No. I believe 100% these emails are real, as I have been given access to Jason’s Google Apps email client and verified those headers to be legitimate, undoctored, and kosher. The replies were all real, the timestamps were all matched up, and the thread was consistent. This was not faked in any way whatsoever. Then there is also the logical part of me that would say, “why?” Why would someone waste so much of their time to have their name involved in something so stupid when they are lying about it? To the extent of having their parent’s company now dragged into this, who both probably had no idea of this email exchange?

Let’s go over it one more time… someone who wanted to remain 100% anonymous and only asked to be paid a nominal fee of a couple hundred dollars lied and completely made up this entire thing? Someone who showed me in his AT&T call records more than two calls from Apple representatives (Texas phone numbers, confirmed to be Apple Customer Relations) on the exact dates he said they called trying to resolve the situation after he had emailed Steve Jobs? Someone who repeatedly emailed me and the BGR staff to correct the last line in my story since it wasn’t accurate? Someone who has now had his name revealed to the public via a tasteless article from AppleInsider, and is now being called by reporters non-stop asking about this article and whether his exchange is true or not? They still wouldn’t admit this was fake? No, you know why? Because it wasn’t fake.

Steve Jobs might not have personally sent those messages, but there isn’t any amount of spin Apple PR honcho Steve Dowling could throw on at this point because those email messages came from Steve Jobs’ email box, and that’s all I or Jason care about.

One further point: a Gizmodo reader, examining the headers, wrote them to say:

I just looked at the email header BGR published in support of their claim of authenticity in regards to the leaked Jobs emails. For what it's worth, I used to work for Apple a few years back, and I recognize one of the mail forwarding servers in the header from an email I was once cc'd on.

My job role had it that I was occasionally cc'd on threads that Steve had been on before. So I can confirm for sure that the server names in the header are legit. Whether they are copypasta (sic) from previous, authentic leaks is, again, up to anyone's imagination

As we said, if indeed (and we have no reason to doubt them) BGR examined the emails directly in Burford's Gmail account, we see no way this could have been faked.

Here are the headers. However, while the iPhone's reception problems have become a big issue, as they should be, Burford had it right: it's just a phone. There are plenty of good Android phones out there, without this problem (or at least, to the point of dropping calls), and Apple has suspended its restocking fee. While of course it may be hard to imagine, returning the iPhone 4 is an option.

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Could his email been hacked? unless his emails have that high security... that no one can hack it! (I don't know much about email stuffs so ya.)

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Really,....who cares?

The shiny, new, expensive, iPhone doesn't work properly if you HOLD IT WRONG. That's all that matters here.

ALSO: The fact that they're jacking people for an extra 30 bucks to pay for a band-aid fix for the problem with the iPhone's design is reprehensible too.

That they're actually getting away with this kind of behavior goes beyond belief.

They SUK.

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