Feeds

back to article Apple blacklisted by Chinese consumer watchdog

A Chinese consumer rights group has slammed Apple’s after-sales service as unfair and placed it on an “integrity blacklist” after numerous complaints about maintenance and support. The China Consumer Association in the southern province of Guangdong released a report into the tech giant’s support policies last week, citing …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Heed the warnings - or else

One the key reasons I bought Apple kit in the past was good support. If Apple messes that one up, it loses a key strength (and ultimately customers). A company that posits itself as delivering 'quality' products should have no problems reflecting that in its warrantees. Anything otherwise looks a bit dodgy.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

It's rare but

I have come across sellers / manufacturers that when they have replaced a faulty product with new they start the warranty again. Most exceptional was a Phillips electrical toothbrush with a two year guarantee, which broke at age 23 months and one week old. It was replaced free of charge with a new unit and came with a full new two year warranty.

As for Apple, it's not unusual to have something repaired with a refurbished item. Dell had problems with XPS laptops nvidia games cards which tended to over heat and burn out. They acknowledged the fault but if it happened during the extended warranty period of two to three years they'd offer a refurbished motherboard, mainly because they stopped producing them.

As for Apple, if they are doing this it is probably because the number of repairs are so great it is a way of cutting costs.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Most shops do nor train their staff in what the rights of a consumer are, that can go right up to management level.

A few years ago I was bought one of the old style 32" JVC from comet.

In the first month the repairman had to come out 5 times to fix it as it had a habit of switching off by itself, and having sound or a picture but not both.

Comet said you cannot return it as they would do all they can to fix it!

The final straw was when the repairman changed the EPROM board telling me it was a problem with dry solder, but installed a board from a 28" model. He left the wrapper behind, and when I tried to adjust the picture for magnetism (32" screens had a facility to straighten and level the picture but the 28" did not have it) several set up menu items were missing.

I called Comet they denied the wrong part was put in and when they finally admitted it courtesy of the wrapper they said the repairman was just doing me a favour to get it working again and would replace the part as soon as possible. They STILL refused to take it back.

Solution: I took the very heavy TV back to the store and left it right in the middle of the automatic entrance doors and told every customer who came in not to buy a television from them.

Ten minutes later the store manager offered a new Sony television and extended 5 year warranty.

Problem solved.

8
0

On the other hand

Took my iPhone in after the lock button stopped working, walked in, booked an appointment, went back next day, showed them the problem, and they replaced it no questions asked. It was a couple months outside the warranty, but they never even asked about it.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

that is pretty shocking, not only a violation of your rights, but bad business

0
0
Unhappy

Re: On the other hand

Ah, but did you have to hand the old one back (as per the article) raising suspicions that they may use to to repair other ones? In China, that makes them sad.

1
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Apple didn't lose 2 billion. They simply didn't gain an extra 2 billion.

7
0

Exactly, in the business world that's what "2bn lost revenue" means....they lost 2bn of what they were expected to earn...

1
0
Bronze badge

Apple Support Selective

My bro bought an Apple laptop a coupla years back and when the hard drive failed the local official Apple dealer in Belgium claimed it was caused by a memory sim failure (wot?) and the warranty had been breached because non-Apple memory had been installed.

This was astonishing to me: a) every laptop has the facility for users to add memory of the correct type, of any brand b) the memory had been installed at the time of purchase by an official Apple dealer c) my bro had paid extra for Apple Care.

After some shouting, they replaced the hard drive, incidentally, leaving the third party memory in place.

A friend returned his iPod to Apple's shop in London just outside the 12 month warranty and rather than repair or replace they merely offered 10% off a new one. Somebody at Apple hadn't looked at UK or European consumer law which (roughly speaking) holds that the retailer's responsibility for consumer durables well exceeds any notional manufacturer warranty.

Arguably, a warranty is simply an undertaking for a fixed period after sale by the manufacturer to underwrite the retailer's responsibility to repair. It's a contract between the maker and the seller. In the US this may be the consumer's only protection, but not in most of Europe -- and we tend to pay more for the same items, partly for that reason. Warranty wording always states that the terms do not affect consumers' normal rights.

3
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

I hater to worry you

but that refund of 10% of the purchase price is actually consistent with European law. Under that law, after 6 months of use if a fault occurs the seller is allowed to declare the device beyond economic repair and refund the purchase price LESS an amount to cover the value of the use that the purchaser received (and the store gets to decide how much that is).

European law warranty isn't as strong as UK law (requiring the consumer to prove that the failure was due to a manufacturing fault after 6 months for example) and certainly isn't as comprehensive as the standard or extended Apple warranty.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: I hater to worry you

ummm actually 2 year waranty is required for electronic goods under EU law (Well it was last time I checked, Apple got in trouble over that a while back IIRC)

2
0
Silver badge

Re: I hater to worry you

No, the two years is ONLY for defects in manufacture. If the device breaks for any other reason after 6 months then you're not covered. You're also required to prove that it was a manufacturing defect (you may be required to provide an independent engineering report).

As I said, the EU warranty in many ways isn't as good as the UK law.

0
2
Silver badge

Warranty extension after repair?

Does that exist elsewhere? It sounds open to abuse…

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Warranty extension after repair?

Romania, I think. Or one of the ex-Eastern Bloc countries. The company I work for had issues there because each replacement you send has to have the same warranty as the original rather than covering the replacement for the remainder of the original's warranty term. Not so much a problem with covering it, our kit is reliable enough, more a problem that it's an unusual situation and all the internal workflows can't account for it.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Warranty extension after repair?

From memory they ARE required to warrant the repair for, IIRC, 3 months. If a repaired bit breaks inside that period (even outside the original warranty) then it should be replaced for free.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

"Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment"

One assumes that nobody at Vulture Central is holding their breath.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Short termism?

Apple's warranty policies are striking in their stinginess. I know several people who've had iPhones on 2 year contracts only for them to break 14 months in. That's when they discovered Apple's unwillingness to even contemplate repairing it, even for a fee!

Fine, so that's just outside the statutory 1 year warranty period here in the UK, but even so. But you would have thought that Apple would be keen to develop a keen and loyal user base through all means possible, including exemplary customer service. As it stands the loyalty of their customers is based entirely on the appeal of their hardware. Now that's not a very substantial foundation for many years of repeat purchases; it means that if there's something more appealing out there (Android?) then there's very little to keep customers on board the Apple bandwagon.

And that's what happened. Apple ended up with a bunch of unhappy people who made damned sure they told as many people as possible about their bad experience, and everyone went off and bought Android phones instead.

Add on to that the company's apparent unwillingness to abide by local law in several countries (Italy?) and you can only conclude that they care not a hoot about their customers' loyalty. OK, so several $billion in the bank every quarter is pretty good evidence that they don't exactly have to care, but they could very easily see that revenue drop off sharply, and there is very little beyond the tenuous appeal of bling to prop that up. Especially as they seem to be about to break the only other-tie in by changing the dock connector on the iPhone 5. Surely a better long term strategy would be to earn a little less per quarter but to do so having bought a lot of genuine goodwill.

2
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Short termism?

They want you to have bought Applecare. While Applecare service is supposed to be very good, they do charge through the nose and I bet its a nice little profit centre for them.

I had a battery fail on a Macbook a week out of warranty after just 50 cycles. Not interested. Yet when I looked into it I found the problem wasn't uncommon and Apple were sending replacements to people..... who had Applecare.

So my next Macbook will have Applecare. I don't like doing it but at least if something goes wrong you aren't a second class citizen.

0
2
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Short termism?

Under UK law you can claim for a reasonable time for it to be "fit for purpose". Yes it's vague, but for example, if you paid 99p for a phone, don't expect a lot of recourse, but £500 for a phone, you could easily argue it should last much longer.

Here how most businesses work.

Customer: Hello, I want a refund / partial refund.

Company: No

Customer: Can I have the name of your legal department, I wish to send a claim for compensation from the small claims court (it's not actually called that BTW).

Company: <insert bullshit>

Customer: Send of form to company:

Wait:

Receive offer in post.

Result.

Done it half a dozen times, never had to go to court once. Think about it, are they really going to send a £100 / hour lawyer to fight a £100 claim.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Short termism?

Only 50 cycles? You only charged it up, in a whole year, a full 50 times?

You must mean 500?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Short termism?

You were unlucky. Apple batteries are expected to last 300+ cycles. They replaced mine from a MacBook Pro that had <100 cycles (it was well outside the Applecare Warranty) with a new one. Early MacBook Pro batteries can have a short life if you leave them on charge all of the time (they also run hot) - Apparently you are meant to let them discharge regularly. The same MacBook Pro also failed with a black screen when it was nearly 5 years old, due to a bad NVIDEA chip - Apple replaced the logic board free of charge. Similarly my 6 year old iPod Nano was replaced for free with the current version because of potential safety problems with the battery.

So all up, no cause for complaint here.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Short termism?

Might the alternative be to not buy a mac next time?

3
1
Bronze badge

Re: Short termism?

Doesn't EU law say it should be two years? After all apple got into a lot of trouble in Italy because of that very thing.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Short termism?

http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/ for information about Apple's 2 year EU warranty.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Short termism?

i've had non apple phones die on me after 18 months and the mobile company fixed it for free...

Personally I avoid apple devices like the plague....

Oh and its not 1 year mandetory waranty, the sale of goods act gives you 6 Months where you guaranteed a replacement, BUT for up to 6 years they are still liable IF the device should last longer, i.e. how long should a phone last? considering there are no moving parts, I would expect a phone to keep working for 10-20 years, battery maybe not...

2
0
WTF?

Re: So my next Macbook will have Applecare

and I'm afraid it is muppets like you that allow companies to get away with doing whatever they want to.

You should be stamping and shouting and shaking your fists and demanding that it is fixed by the organisation that you bought it from as it is clearly defective, clearly as a result of poor manufacturing (as other batteries do not suffer in this way) and that if they don't fix it very quickly there and then then you're going to complain and complain and complain.

I have walked into jewellery shops before now and stood in there for an hour and a half with a bank statement (not their receipt, but a bank statement) showing that I bought the item more than 2 years ago and that the stone has fallen out, it shouldn't fall out, see this here this has a stone and I've had it for six years and it's fine, yet yours is defective and I want it replaced.

a) know your rights

b) know you're right

c) don't pay money for something you've already paid for

Applecare = 100% profit.

(Written on my MacBook Pro with 180 cycles on the battery.)

6
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Short termism?

> Think about it, are they really going to send a £100 / hour lawyer to fight a £100 claim.

Royal Mail claim to have spent far more than that on the claim I made against them. They sent me a ream of paper (mostly legalese), including a breakdown of their costs. And my claim was for very much less than £100.

Once they'd figured out I'm not the sort to be intimidated by that approach, they sent me a cheque.

Vic.

1
0
Gold badge

Re: Short termism?

"...so that's just outside the statutory 1 year warranty period here in the UK...."

I think you'll find that the Sale Of Goods Act revolves around what is considered to be "fit for purpose" when it comes to deciding when liability ends. In the case of something sold on a two year contract, I suspect that you'd find in court that "fit for purpose" there would be a minimum of, er, two years.

However, as the contract is with a mobile telco it's probably their problem rather than Apple's. Certainly worth a punt in the Small Claims Court for anyone in that position I would have thought (assuming that the piss is not being taken and the device looks like it has been treated with reasonable care). I'm sure there will be an actual lawyer along in a moment to clarify this.

2
0

Re: Short termism?

You got stuffed there. The battery on my girlfriends macbook died. It was well out of warranty but she hardly used it so it also had very low full cycles. I called up and pitched the 'long time customer, very disappointed, not what I expect from my fave company etc". I argued that the product had a life span not determined by a calendar. Got the problem kicked up a level where 'on review', they agreed to send out a new battery for free. I've also had an out of warranty iPad swapped when it stopped holding as good a charge.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: So my next Macbook will have Applecare

"and I'm afraid it is muppets like you that allow companies to get away with doing whatever they want to."

Lovely chap aren't you? Perhaps life is too busy to be arguing over a 80 quid battery like Victor Meldrew? Bigger battles to fight than that. Life and death stuff, not a poxy bit of plastic, metal and lithium.

My main reason for Applecare was my 3 year old Macbook had a logic board failure that was very expensive to fix. Applecare would have covered it and saved me about 300 quid. Go figure. I don't like it anymore than you do but something expensive broke and it cost a fortune to fix so my view between that and the battery is somewhat tainted.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Short termism?

"You got stuffed there." - Did an email, a phonecall and a letter. Laid it on thick. Just not interested.

A mate said to go to the local Apple Store (30 mins away + parking) but life is too short. If I was nearby anyway, would have tried it but lost interest.

0
0
Unhappy

Well, Mr C Hill, I must confess that I was gobsmacked

to see you write that «[your] next Macbook will have Applecare». In your place, I should rather have written something on the order of «therefore, I shall never again purchase an Apple product until I hear from reliable sources that Apple is beginning to treat its customers as valuable assets, rather than as dupes to be exploited mercilessly». Now, in any event, I better understand why Apple can get away with its predatory policies - a sufficient number of its customers are willing to continue accepting such treatment, time after time and device after device. Amazing !...

Henri

0
1

Re: Short termism?

"Think about it, are they really going to send a £100 / hour lawyer to fight a £100 claim."

The lawyers you deal with must be very cut rate. A couple of years ago I was paying £300 per hour.

0
0
Silver badge
Childcatcher

Refurb

Don't Apple's T+C's clearly state refurbished parts may be used. Indeed I thought this was standard practice across many manufacturers as parts could be salvaged from returned units. Indeed when I had a hard disk fail, the manufacturer sent me back a unit clearly labelled as refurbished.

In anycase, like it or not, if you want Apple at your beck and call you need Applecare. I am told their attitude changes completely if you are signed up. That's of more concern than a few refurb parts.

2
0
Bronze badge
Alien

Re: Refurb

I see nothing wrong with this, re-using working parts is something I do for our kit out of warranty anyway (I'm a cheapskate and would rather have some spare cash for when someone high-up decides my notebook computer isn't flashy enough)

0
0
Thumb Down

No refurb parts on repairs?

Would they prefer Apple did not reuse parts for repairs and just threw perfectly good ones into some landfill?

What a short-sighted complaint.

0
2
Silver badge

Re: No refurb parts on repairs?

Lets see.

Parts thrown in landfill (most likely actually shipped to China for disposal) Result:

Buy new parts from China: Result

0
0
Silver badge

Re: No refurb parts on repairs?

Forces them to manufacture more.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Beware

Apple are great in terms of in store support. But beware. I once bought an imac from a store many of hundreds of miles from house. My nearest Apple store is about 80 miles away, so it seemed a resonable thing to do. The imac was a DOA. I was told my only option was to take it back to an Apple store.

What they didn't say was that it had to be store that I bought it at.

After a trip to the store 80 miles away and being offered no joy. I had to take another trip to the store 100 odd miles away. By the time I arrived I wasn't a happy camper, so my opening position was to ask for a full refund. I was then told I had exceeded the 15 days for a DOA return. As I could add and the Apple support assistant clearly couldn't (it was 14 days actually).

At this point a lot of yelling ensued. The manager appeared and he quickly agreed to a full refund.

-- I will never buy anyting from an Apple store --

My opinion is they are arrogant arseholes.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Beware

When was this?

Just last year I returned a an iMac with a a slight display problem. I called Apple and confirmed that I could return it to any store in the UK. The other store accepted it without any problems.

Also note the returns period has always been 14 days, not 15.

0
0
WTF?

Re: Beware

Your contract of sale exists with the company who you bought it from. If the Apple stores are not franchised (and I don't imagine for one second that they are) then you can legally take it back to any "Apple (UK) Limited" company.

Ask for the particulars of business (their full company name, limited company number, registered office/address) for store A, and do it again for store B. If they match, it's the same company.

Any company is arrogant if they have your money and you want it back.

2
0

Apple customer satisfaction survey

Key the words above into Google at tell me what you see. From where Im sitting the results look pretty bloody good eh, for Apple that is.

1
3

Surprised?

For years mobile companies have supplied refurb units as replacements, so why all of a sudden are people getting pissed at Apple?

The IT industry have always used refurbished parts for repairs. As for 'you don't get to keep the old parts shit' I can't recall an instance where any manufacturer/retailer offered you the faulty bits back. Often the 'faulty' bits are returned to the manufacturer for repair/test or ultimately if it's completely fecked the bin.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Surprised?

> I can't recall an instance where any manufacturer/retailer offered you the faulty bits back

It comes from things like car repairs - if you take your car into a garage to be fixed, and you *buy new parts to be fitted to it*, the old parts are still your property, and you have the right to have them returned[1].

This, of course, is an entirely different situation to what Apple are doing with warranty repairs.

Vic.

[1] You should generally exercise this right. I've seen garages swear blind to haev replaced parts that they clearly haven't touched[2]. Demanding the old parts back usually forces them to admit the lie...

[2] There was someone on the Citroen XM list a few years back that had taken his car into a repair place. They told him they'd changed the shocks. But XMs don't have shocks...

1
0
Gold badge

Re: Surprised?

Car repairs.

A mate once carefully wound a piece of fine fuse wire around each of his spark plugs, between the compression washer and the body, prior to putting his car in for servicing. After servicing there was, as expected, four plugs on the invoice. Removing the "new" plugs revealed a piece of fine fuse wire wound around each one.....

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Surprised?

More interestingly, I remember the (diesel) ute went in for a service. When the invoice arrived, it clearly said "spark plugs inspected and changed", or something equivalent.

I don't think we were charged for them, but the Service manager had a bit of a splutter trying to explain it when he was asked.

0
0

Re: Surprised?

No idea what happens nowadays, but in the old days when I ran big Volvo estates the Volvo dealer, though they charged an arm and a leg, always returned the parts changed in any service.

0
0
Silver badge

"Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment"

Let me fix that for you

"Apple did not reply instantly to a request for comment"

You're welcome.

0
5

No money in after-sales service

There's nothing to be made from keeping a customer happy after selling an item - at least that seems to be the philosophy of SOME companies I've come acrosss. Never mind that the customer will probably go elsewhere to purchase something new. A very short-sited attitude of Apple and others. Never mind, me dears, Apple only made 8.8.billion dollars last year. Not enough to deal with dissatisfied customers, obviously.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.