April 1, 2013
Apple’s Chinese Customers Upset Over Warranty, Cook Apologizes
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Apple normally prefers to think of their iPad as a computer whenever they´re talking about marketshare and sales but not when it comes to their warranty policies for the iPad. Just as it is in America and Europe, Apple´s warranty for iPads in China covers minor components for one year and major components for two years. This has been the catalyst for an emerging storm headed Apple´s way as state-led news sources have orchestrated a targeted attack against Apple.
Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a personal apology to the people of China and attempted to explain the Apple warranty policy while announcing a few minor tweaks here and there.
In a very loosely Google translated version of this apology, Tim Cook acknowledges the amount of heat that´s been rising in the east over the past two weeks.
The warranties for the iPhone 4 and 4S have seen a change as a result of this apology. Going forward, the one-year warranty period for these smartphones will be reset if the device has been replaced or undergone a significant repair. The CEO also said Apple has been working to clarify the warranty policies with the Authorized Service Providers in China, which are different locations from the official Apple Store.
Apple will also begin informing those customers who need a repair when refurbished components have been used. Cook also took the opportunity to fight back a bit against the Chinese government, saying that 90% of customers have “expressed satisfaction with our repair services.”
Last month, the Chinese government launched what looked like an orchestrated attempt to convince the Chinese people that Apple is bad for the country and has been mistreating consumers there.
On March 15, China Central Television, (CCTV) the nations´ largest and state-owned broadcaster aired a special program accusing Apple of using their warranty policies to discriminate against Chinese customers. On the same day, the China Consumer´s Association (CCA) issued a report claiming that a quarter of all complaints they´ve heard about Apple are about their repair policies. The CCA then claimed they had made two requests in 2012 for Apple to revisit their policies but received no help in return.
Following the CCTV story, Chinese Apple fans took to Sina Weibo, the Eastern version of Twitter, and began expressing disbelief and outrage at Apple´s supposedly discriminatory practices.
Later that night, Peter Ho, a Taiwanese-American movie star and Samsung spokesperson posted a message with an interesting tagline:
“#315isLive# Wow, Apple has so many tricks in its after-sales services. As an Apple fan, I'm hurt. You think this would be acceptable to Steve Jobs? Or to those young people who sold their kidneys [to buy iPads]? It's really true that big chains treat customers poorly. Post around 8:20.”
It has since been discovered that CCTV paid Weibo users to post anti-Apple messages at specific times throughout the evening.