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Chinese complaining about Apple's unfair repair policy

Staff writer |
Apple sales in China increased by 67% in the first quarter of 2013, with the annual income growth twice that of Japan, but Chinese customers are complaining about unfair repair policy.

Apple's iPhones and iPads are the "must-have" accessory, particularly in urban areas while the company's stores are often overflowing with customers trying out the latest gadgets, writes China Daily, but there's now a scandal brewing over Apple's warranty and repair policy, and concern that Chinese consumers are being given a rough ride.

First, the company offers a global warranty period of one year in every country but Chinese law states that warranties on computer sales must be at least two years.

Lawyer Ge Youshan said for China Daily that "Foreign companies in China should obey Chinese law. If their clauses are better than Chinese regulations, that's ok. But in this case, Apple's warranty clauses apparently violate China's laws."

But the biggest complaints have been about HOW Apple goes about repairing its products. In the US and the UK, defective iPhones can be replaced by a brand-new one during the one-year warranty period. In China, consumers can have the electronics replaced but not the outer-casing. Some think that's unfair. In an announcement on its website on Saturday, Apple denied discriminatory practice in China. But the company didn't refer to the specific allegations over the non-replacement of the outer casing.

Last year, Apple was forced to modify the terms of its after-sales service in South Korea, after a customer sued the company for replacing her defective iPhone with a refurbished one. Some Chinese netizens have called on Chinese consumers to mount a similar challenge, said China Daily.

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