For the millions of people who lose their phones each year, locator apps are a lifeline when it comes to getting their devices back.
But the trackers provided no help for Richard Walker, from Suffolk, after informing his that his iPhone had somehow made it all the way to Senegal.
The handset was traced to the tiny, remote village of Birkelane - some 2,800 miles from where it was last seen.
A later, more detailed map, seemed to suggest it had ended up in Birkelane.
If the device was carried there by hand, it would have taken a 100 mile car journey to London before two flights to Dakar via Lisbon, in Portugal.
Once in the Senegalese capital, the device would have been taken on a second car journey of almost 150 miles before arriving in Birkelane.
Standard post from the UK to Senegal typically takes a week to arrive, though can take up to eight, according to Royal Mail.
Mr Walker is a freelance journalist and consultant on digital content and strategy.
He has spent time working in Africa and East Asia, and now advises the likes of the London Business School, Royal Bank of Scotland, and UPS.