No. of Recommendations: 1
It is reasonable that Apple wants to track problems/support to specific phones. Hence they ask a serial number - unless of course they have your product's S/N associated with the Phone number you are calling from.

It is possible that someone at Apple just out of meanness says your phone S/N is not valid, but I doubt that. So if someone at Apple said you gave them an invalid S/N, believe them - they really believe you have provided an invalid S/N.

There are limited possibilities -

You did provide an invalid number - more on that below.

Apple's database has some how lost the S/N of your phone.

The Phone in question was be reported stolen, destroy or something else AND Apple's system for some reason classify/label such phones as "invalid" S/N

The best way to get your phone's S/N if from the phone screen. The numbers on the back are really small. Anybody who can read the back of the phone has eyesight beyond 20/20. So fire up the Phone, go to Settings; General and "About" -- Take a screen shot and be prepared to email that screen shot to Apple when you call.

Next just call AppleCare, tell them your previous contact stated the S/N was not valid and you are ready to email the screen shot so they can see that is the number on your phone if the person you are speaking to also thinks the S/N is not valid.

Here is a site that will show the configuration of my iPhone X from its S/N
https://www.imei.info/apple-sn-check/
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