A while ago, I reported a couple of times that AT&T was clearing out their refurbished first generation iPhone inventory online and I secured a unit at an amazing $250. This was back in May. When the phone arrived, it came with a sticker on the box saying that my refurbished iPhone has 1 year warranty and to be honored by Apple, so go through Apple store for any issues.
I remembered around that time, one of my favorite blog - TUAW also reported an article about how some of the refurbished iPhones do not have correct 1 year warranty reflected when you look up the warranty yourself.
Well, that is exactly what happened to me. That same refurbished iPhone just completely gave up on its multi-touchscreen one day (no drop, no water damage, just quits on its own). When I took it in, the Apple employee at first gave me an expression that he's never seen the refurbished warranty from AT&T, even after I showed him the label from the refurbished iPhone box I got from AT&T. Secondly, he looked up my phone's record which still shows the returned date of the original owner (last year around October) and tells me that is the starting mark of the 1 year warranty. I proceeded to explain and showed him my receipt of May 2008 is when I got the iPhone, he kept on saying it doesn't work that way.
Long story short, the guy at the Genius Bar was cool enough to swap out another unit for me at the end even though he said he was doing me a favor. I am not sure if this replacement is a new unit or another refurbished, but its in much better physical condition than the AT&T refurb unit which had minor scratches throughout (hard to see but its there) and the serial number actually comes up with zero history as opposed to my ATT refurb iPhone unit which had the original owners warranty date tied to the serial no. The Genius Bar guy also said this replacement unit now has another 90 days of warranty from today which I guess would almost make it a full year in my case (this gives me protection into Feb '09 as opposed to the real 1 year term would have been May '09).
Either way, I am happy that atleast Apple stepped up to replace the broken refurbed iPhone for me, but not very cool that AT&T and Apple didn't work out the details between the two.