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Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes for warranty issues in China, announces changes

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
Apple on Monday published an open letter from Chief Executive Tim Cook in which he formally apologized for what were described as "misunderstandings" over the company's warranty policies, and revealed new changes that aim to better serve iPhone customers.

Warranty


The letter posted to the company's official website in China revealed that officials are reviewing their warranty policies. He said he's aware that Apple's lack of public communication could lead to "misunderstandings," for which he offered Apple's "sincere apologies."

In the letter, Cook set out to clarify Apple's warranty policies, particularly in relation to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Chinese customers had complained that U.S. customers with faulty phones receive a full replacement, while the same handsets in China were repaired with replacement parts.

Apple has now implemented four major adjustments regarding its service in China. The company now has:
  • Improved repair policies for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
  • A new "concise and clear" statement on its website regarding repair and warranty policies.
  • Increased supervision and training of Apple Authorized Service providers.
  • A new feedback service that makes it easier for customers to contact the company with issues or complaints.

Cook noted that nearly 90 percent of Apple customers in China have expressed satisfaction with the company's repair services. He said that customer satisfaction is the "most important criterion" Apple uses in measuring its own success.

Tim Cook


The full, translated letter from Cook is included below:

To our Chinese consumers:

In the past two weeks, we have received a lot of feedback about Apple in China repair and warranty policy. We are not only a profound reflection on these views, together with relevant departments to carefully study the "Three Guarantees", and also look at our maintenance policy communication and combing our management specifications of Apple Authorized Service Provider. We are aware that, due to the lack of external communication in this process and lead to the speculation that Apple arrogance, do not care or do not attach importance to consumer feedback. We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gives consumers.

In order to further improve the level of service, we are implementing the following four major adjustment:

Improved iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair policy
Provide a concise and clear on the website of the official Apple repair and warranty policy statement
Increase the intensity of the supervision and training of Apple Authorized Service Provider
Related issues to ensure that consumers can easily contact Apple Feedback Service
At the same time, we also realize that operating in China, and communicate much we need to learn the place. Here, we assure you, Apple for the commitment and enthusiasm indistinguishable from other countries. Bring the best user experience for consumers and satisfactory service is our ideals, our commitment, and it has been deeply rooted in Apple's corporate culture. We will make unremitting efforts to achieve this goal.

iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair policy improvements are as follows:
So far, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair this in one of three ways: as from the purchase date of 15 days found the problem, we will be entitled to a refund or replacement for consumers recalculated 1 year warranty period iPhone; 15 days after discovery problem, Apple will replace the part depending, such as camera modules or batteries; replacement parts also can not quickly repaired the iPhone, Apple will provide consumers with a part reassembled new parts, retaining only the consumers existing iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S back cover.

Nearly 90% of customers expressed satisfaction with our repair services, and consumer satisfaction is the most important criterion for Apple to measure its own success.

But others suggested that part of the re-assembly of repair almost replace the machine, so the direct replacement of a device will be more beneficial to consumers. Therefore, since April 2013, Apple iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S service pack upgrade for all 1-year warranty on new equipment replacement parts and replacement date recalculated.

Consumer iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider has been part of the re-assembly kit maintenance, we will replace them as whole and for maintenance after the iPhone recalculated from the date of repair year warranty. Apple's warranty system has been updated for the information and, therefore, affected consumers do not need to take any additional action.

Now, all consumers can see on our site clear and comprehensive maintenance and warranty policy terms and conditions.
We are pleased to provide consumers with information who wish to learn more about the after-sales service. For example, we have been to provide 2 year warranty for the MacBook Air and Mac computer motherboards and other major components. Likewise, the the iPad main components has been entitled to a 2-year warranty period, and other components for 1 year warranty.

We realize that our site before this is not clearly stated policy. Hope the following will answer all the questions about Apple provides services.

Apple is to make greater efforts to ensure that Apple Authorized Service Provider to follow our policies, and make every effort to provide consumers with the highest quality service.
Week since March 18, 2013, we made a new training materials for all Apple Authorized Service Provider to ensure that each staff provide services for Apple products is not only familiar with our policies, but also to grasp three guarantees "provisions and related policies. The same time, we have taken the initiative through face-to-face meetings and other forms of verification and to ensure that each Apple Authorized Service Provider have opened training courses to update the knowledge of the staff for the maintenance and warranty policies. We will make unremitting efforts and continuous monitoring of the performance of the Apple Authorized Service Provider to ensure that consumers can get the highest quality service.

Now, the feedback service-related issues is also very convenient.
As the consumers of the services provided by any Apple Store retail store or an Apple authorized service provider doubt, to Welcome www.apple.com.cn/support/service/feedback/ directly get in touch with us. Our goal is to consumers where to buy Apple products or receive services, users can enjoy world-class experience.

Heartfelt thank you to give us valuable feedback, we always harbor immense respect to China, the Chinese consumer is always the top priority of our hearts.


Tim Cook
Apple CEO

post #2 of 89

Unfortunately, I think the Chinese will come back with something else to squeeze Apple.

post #3 of 89

Could you not get a better English translation? I'm not entirely sure what this letter says.

post #4 of 89
It would be good to disclaim that this is a google translation. Otherwise, you need to fire your translator.
post #5 of 89

What the FRICK is this nonsense?! Screw the fricking Chinese. Don't apologize, just give them 2 years by default and kick EVERY product's price up by $50. Shut them up.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #6 of 89
I'm not sure why replacing a failed unit under warranty would trigger a brand new 1 year warranty. Is that a requirement for any item that has a warranty? And what percentage of parts need to be replaced to consider it a new warranty?

I'm thinking things like hard drives would be a huge problem to have this coverage with. If your drive fails, do you get a brand new warranty with that as well? Or is this just for phones?
post #7 of 89

Tim Cook's tone seems a little too apologetic.  This shows how dependent Apple is on China - for manufacturing and sales to end-users.  Not good.  This is just the beginning of more harassment by the Chinese.

post #8 of 89

Maybe it's me but it sounds like a lot of these complaints about these measures (and the letter/apology) are political statements. If that's the case, why? Tim thinks it's valuable feedback and is adjusting the policy. It's news but not a WIN for China or individual Chinese people. It's not a FAIL for Apple. It's evolution and I don't see anything in those four bullet points that is a drawback.

post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Tim Cook's tone seems a little too apologetic.  This shows how dependent Apple is on China - for manufacturing and sales to end-users.  Not good.  This is just the beginning of more harassment by the Chinese.

Yeah. Steve Jobs would never have done that. /s

(Hint: who gave away free bumpers?)
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #10 of 89
Cook needs to keep the Chinese happy until he can move manufacturing to another country.
post #11 of 89

I really think he needs to stop apologizing for everything.

post #12 of 89

Great, a state sanctioned, communist shake down, and Apple just apologizes.

 

What will Apple apologize for next week? I'm not really pissed, since I'm not holding any AAPL at the moment, but I don't think that all of these apologies are a good thing. I am slightly mad that I didn't buy any TSLA this morning, AAPL is pretty much dead for the time being, and apologizing left & right is certainly not helping, IMO.

post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What the FRICK is this nonsense?! Screw the fricking Chinese. Don't apologize, just give them 2 years by default and kick EVERY product's price up by $50. Shut them up.


You do what the Chinese tell you to do. Or else they will kick Apple out of the country. Do what the Romans do when in Rome. This is not the time do be a maverick.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #14 of 89
When you screw up you should apologize and change your actions going forward. Is that such a hard thing to understand. Steve Jobs left us in good hands.
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by applesupertramp View Post

When you screw up you should apologize and change your actions going forward. Is that such a hard thing to understand. Steve Jobs left us in good hands.

Who says Apple screwed up?  This looks like Apple is trying to appease a bully.  That never works.  Unfortunately, Apple is too China dependent.

post #16 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I really think he needs to stop apologizing for everything.

Thankfully for stockholders, Tim Cook, unlike you, doesn't invest his pride in petty battles of wills over whether to apologize or not.  Apple has just been publicly and prominently criticized in China for being 'arrogant', whether it's true or not is beside the point, whether his response reinforces that accusation or not is the key point.  This is China we are talking about, where pretty much anything that happens publicly does so only with government sanction.  You play ball or you don't play at all, and with billions of dollars on the line, you better play ball or you are not doing your duty to safeguard the stockholders' interest.

post #17 of 89
This is exactly what I predicted would happen. In this instance, the smart thing to do.
post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Yeah. Steve Jobs would never have done that. /s

(Hint: who gave away free bumpers?)

There is a difference.  Steve gave away free bumpers to make American consumers happy.  And he pointed about that the issue with iPhone 4 was not unique to iPhone 4.  Other phones had the same problem.

 

Warranty changes in China are being made to placate somebody in the Chinese government.  And, it looks like Tim is agreeing to be bullied.  Of course, he has no choice because he doesn't want the Chinese govt. to screw up Apple's manufacturing there.  And sales.

post #19 of 89
Not sure the xenophobia in this thread is entirely necessary.
post #20 of 89
Unfortunately Apple is increasingly tying their future to China. How many times have we been told how important that market is to them? You can be sure the Chinese government knows it too.

So China pretty much has them over a barrel: Cooperate with what they want or see their way out. I don't see Apple willing to walk away. In the chase for profits, which is what it all comes down to really, maybe they can't. That's the only reason I can see for such a fast apology. In other regions (EU, Australia) they've tried to stand their ground. Not in China.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #21 of 89
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post
You do what the Chinese tell you to do. Or else they will kick Apple out of the country. Do what the Romans do when in Rome. This is not the time do be a maverick.

 

That's fine. There's India and the rest of the planet. Screw copyists, wherever they are.


Originally Posted by qualar View Post
Not sure the xenophobia in this thread is entirely necessary.

 

Not sure there's xenophobia in this thread.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


 

Not sure there's xenophobia in this thread.

 

Nevertheless, I would like to apologize for the xenophobia in this thread.

post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Could you not get a better English translation? I'm not entirely sure what this letter says.


Here's a better English translation:

 

From time to time, Apple screws up. From time to time, Apple should speak up sooner rather than later, but makes a bad decision of speaking up later. This happens because, despite being a highly profitable and innovative company, we are made up of humans and prone to human mistakes. When we recognize these mistakes, we will own them and speak up. We do not need fanboyz and teenagers defending us on websites that really have no impact on our stock price anyhow. We wish these unwanted defenders to get their own lives. This way, they can be constructive human beings, establish rewarding careers and will be able to afford to buy more Apple gear.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Tim Cook

post #24 of 89

It seems that Cook has not directly responded with the criticisms.  One of the criticism is Apple keeps the back of a defective iPhone when replacing it with a new iphone.  Another one is Apple not giving back the bad parts back to the customer.

post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

That's fine. There's India and the rest of the planet. Screw copyists, wherever they are.

 

Not sure there's xenophobia in this thread.

 

If "Screw the fricking Chinese" is not xenophobic, can you enlighten us as to what it is? I am open to a proper characterization.

post #26 of 89
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post
If "Screw the fricking Chinese" is not xenophobic, can you enlighten us as to what it is?

 

Nonsense. I'd say that to anyone trying to pull this nonsense.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Nonsense. I'd say that to anyone trying to pull this nonsense.


Knowing you, I believe it.

 

But words stand on their own context. Imagine someone Chinese reading it, let alone someone from China. Anyhow, give it some thought, if you will.

post #28 of 89
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post
Imagine someone Chinese reading it, let alone someone from China.

 

Then that's their fault for continuing to believe it now that they know the context.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

I am open to a proper characterization.

 

If anybody is guilty of xenophobia, it is China.

post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not sure there's xenophobia in this thread.

Xenophobia is a fundamental Chinese cultural 'value'. Mistrust, suspicion, opportunistic behavior, all characteristic of Chinese culture. Nobody can be trusted except family. So not only are they xeonophobic with respect to foreigners, this distrust extends to everyone. The opportunistic tendencies of Chinese are well known. They are often accused of cheating, from the government officials all the way down to the street vendors. It is common practice for example for a market seller of fish to swap out a fish that a customer has selected from the display case with a lesser quality item by wrapping up the item below the field of view of the customer. Similarly farmers are accused of injecting water into their produce to make it weigh more, and they don't use clean water either. In China you won't see public street signs or traffic signs made out of aluminum or steel. They would be stolen overnight. As in third world countries, you will see bars on residential widows, but unlike other countries, in China the bars go all the way to the top of the building because otherwise thieves will scale even a tall building to break in.

 

I have several Chinese friends in the US. The closest friend regularly visits China and he is the one who shared this information with me.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

If anybody is guilty of xenophobia, it is China.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Xenophobia is a fundamental Chinese cultural 'value'. Mistrust, suspicion, opportunistic behavior, all characteristic of Chinese culture. Nobody can be trusted except family. So not only are they xeonophobic with respect to foreigners, this distrust extends to everyone. The opportunistic tendencies of Chinese are well known. They are often accused of cheating, from the government officials all the way down to the street vendors. It is common practice for example for a market seller of fish to swap out a fish that a customer has selected from the display case with a lesser quality item by wrapping up the item below the field of view of the customer. Similarly farmers are accused of injecting water into their produce to make it weigh more, and they don't use clean water either. In China you won't see street signs or traffic signs made out of aluminum or steel. They would be stolen overnight. As in third world countries, you will see bars on residential widows, but unlike other countries, the bars go all the way to the top of the building because otherwise thieves will scale even a tall building to break in.

 

I have several Chinese friends in the US. The closest friend regularly visits China and he is the one who shared this information with me.

 

Another thread going down the gutter.

 

1oyvey.gif

post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Xenophobia is a fundamental Chinese cultural 'value'. Mistrust, suspicion, opportunistic behavior, all characteristic of Chinese culture. Nobody can be trusted except family. So not only are they xeonophobic with respect to foreigners, this distrust extends to everyone. The opportunistic tendencies of Chinese are well known. They are often accused of cheating, from the government officials all the way down to the street vendors. It is common practice for example for a market seller of fish to swap out a fish that a customer has selected from the display case with a lesser quality item by wrapping up the item below the field of view of the customer. Similarly farmers are accused of injecting water into their produce to make it weigh more, and they don't use clean water either. In China you won't see public street signs or traffic signs made out of aluminum or steel. They would be stolen overnight. As in third world countries, you will see bars on residential widows, but unlike other countries, in China the bars go all the way to the top of the building because otherwise thieves will scale even a tall building to break in.

 

I have several Chinese friends in the US. The closest friend regularly visits China and he is the one who shared this information with me.


What you said is not Chinese culture.  It is the poor people trying to take advantage of other people.  China still has many poor people.  Therefore it is very easy for you to find many instances. I assure you as China's GDP keeps doubling these instances will occur less and less often.

post #33 of 89

I am not surprised really, in fact I was expecting the apology, considering few days ago Apple was accused being Arrogant.  This is something Apple have for many years been accused of and as a result, it’s reputation has been tainted across the globe.  You have to understand, Apple as a brand is under pressure from all directions at the moment, the rise of Android, the lack of innovation and the subsequent fall of Apple shares, these are all important factors that can destroy a company if they are not careful.

There is an old saying "Live today, Fight tomorrow" and I think Tim's apology is exactly that, they need the Chinese for now but I hope they remember this and shift manufacturing slowly back to USA but this cannot happen in one day, it takes years and years to build the factories and train the people, although I am sure, it will happen over time.

 

That's my penny’s worth.....

post #34 of 89
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
…in China the bars go all the way to the top of the building because otherwise thieves will scale even a tall building to break in.

 

Wish they could put that drive into achieving something meaningful instead of copying others' products. And theft, obviously.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Xenophobia is a fundamental Chinese cultural 'value'. Mistrust, suspicion, opportunistic behavior, all characteristic of Chinese culture. Nobody can be trusted except family. So not only are they xeonophobic with respect to foreigners, this distrust extends to everyone. The opportunistic tendencies of Chinese are well known. They are often accused of cheating, from the government officials all the way down to the street vendors. It is common practice for example for a market seller of fish to swap out a fish that a customer has selected from the display case with a lesser quality item by wrapping up the item below the field of view of the customer. Similarly farmers are accused of injecting water into their produce to make it weigh more, and they don't use clean water either. In China you won't see public street signs or traffic signs made out of aluminum or steel. They would be stolen overnight. As in third world countries, you will see bars on residential widows, but unlike other countries, in China the bars go all the way to the top of the building because otherwise thieves will scale even a tall building to break in.

 

I have several Chinese friends in the US. The closest friend regularly visits China and he is the one who shared this information with me.

 

The old "I have XYZ friends and so I cannot be called racist against XYZ" line. Doesn't work. Doesn't excuse anyone from stereotyping. Doesn't belong in any discourse amongst civilized, educated individuals. Doesn't paint a decent picture of utterer.

post #36 of 89
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post
The old "I have XYZ friends and so I cannot be called racist against XYZ" line. Doesn't work. Doesn't excuse anyone from stereotyping. Doesn't belong in any discourse amongst civilized, educated individuals. Doesn't paint a decent picture of utterer.

 

Except there's nothing stereotypical or even xenophobic in what he's saying. Try reading what he said. It's a set of experiences from a location. It could be any location. It happens to be China, since that's what we're talking about.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #37 of 89
Who did Tim Cook have to fire this time because that person refused to sign his/her name under this apology?

Really the Chinese media is a fucktard. Apple says very clearly in the warranty that they may replace faulty iPhones with new parts or refurb units. It's their obsession with "virginity" that drives them to such insane demand that brand new phones must be offered.
post #38 of 89

I really appreciate Tim Cook's approach.  However I fear that the attack on Apple is retaliation for the US Government saying that Chinese tech systems may not be used.

post #39 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenfingers View Post

It would be good to disclaim that this is a google translation. Otherwise, you need to fire your translator.

What? We cannot have Apple Insider admitting they are relying on Google for some services.

 

In all seriousness, the English translation appears to be a word-for-word match when I use Google Translate.  It would be nice for Apple Insider to provide a disclaimer they used a web translator rather than a professional one as this translation barely makes sense in some parts.

post #40 of 89


Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

The old "I have XYZ friends and so I cannot be called racist against XYZ" line. Doesn't work. Doesn't excuse anyone from stereotyping. Doesn't belong in any discourse amongst civilized, educated individuals. Doesn't paint a decent picture of utterer.

That certainly wasn't my intention. I merely stated the part about my friend as a disclaimer that I do not know these things first hand. Perhaps his characterizations are exaggerated, which might be understandable as he was originally an exiled Chinese citizen who was formerly a prominent university professor there as was his father. His father was executed during the cultural revolution. My friend's family was finally able to move to the US. I have known him for 15 years.

 

Edit typos:


Edited by mstone - 4/1/13 at 10:37am

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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