Apple warranty ordered changed

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-3-29 0:53:01

Click to see Global Times Daily Specials: People’s Daily criticizes Apple for double-standard warranties


The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said Thursday Apple's after-sales service policies in China violate related regulations and must be rectified.

The announcement came amid a torrent of media reports accusing the American electronics giant of a double standard after-sales service policies which treats consumers in Western countries better than Apple's Chinese customers.

Major Chinese media outlets have taken Apple to task after it was first singled out in a China Central Television (CCTV) exposé broadcast during its World Consumer Rights Day Gala on March 15.

The report said Apple's customers in developed countries who have trouble with their iPhones are given a new one as a replacement, while the phones repaired in China are returned with their old casings so it can avoid extending its warranty on its handheld devices by another year.

China's consumer law stipulates that warranties must be extended another year after repairs are made during the first year warranty.

Apple's handling of the accusations has triggered further consumer backlash. The company only said it highly appreciates its Chinese customers but did not apologize nor acknowledge the double standard.

The administration asked the company Wednesday to extend its one-year warranty to two years to cover processes on its computer products.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce also said Thursday that it has issued a notice asking local watchdogs to investigate and punish illegal acts concerning Apple's warranty policies.

The People's Daily, released four commentaries from Monday to Thursday, criticizing the company's double standards and its arrogance, adding that Apple has been avoiding interviews.

CCTV's flagship newscast Xinwen Lianbo reported that as of Wednesday, over 30 editors-in-chief of mainstream media outlets have published more than 50 editorials lambasting Apple, while the company continues to ignore what some media said is its biggest public relations crisis in China.

Calls by the Global Times to a public relations officer of Apple China went unanswered as of late Thursday.

An Apple employee told the Beijing News that the company's public relations department has been in close communication with other departments within Apple. "That was impossible in the past."

CCTV found itself mired in the controversy after it was alleged to ask influential figures to post pre-written Weibo feeds that were designed to manipulate public opinion. The network sent celebrities the message condemning Apple before its report was broadcast. The effort became apparent when a celebrity failed to delete the last line of the comment which included instruction on when to post it.

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