Apple accused of selling refurbished iPhones as new in China

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A well-known consumer rights advocate in China has filed two lawsuits against Apple after customers reported purchasing iPhone 4s from Beijing Apple Stores only to discover their warranties were for less than a year, prompting allegations that the handsets were refurbished.



Wang Hai, known for his 15-year crusade against counterfeit goods in China, delivered indictments against Apple earlier this week, citing the country's "Consumer Protection Act," the Global Times reports.



According to the report, at least six consumers who purchased iPhones in Apple Stores or from authorized dealers in Beijing report that their registered warranties are less than the one year promised by Apple. The shortened warranties have prompted allegations that Apple sold returned or refurbished iPhones to the customers.



Wang has documented the cases of two customers who each purchased new iPhone 4 handsets on at the Xidan Joy City Apple Store in Beijing on July 9. When the customers went home to register their smartphones on Apple's website, they discovered that the deadlines for their devices were listed as January and April of next year, three to six months less than the standard one-year warranty.



Apple warranty shows January 2012 expiration date



Receipt for July 9 purchase of iPhone 4 in Beijing



Some of the customers were offered new iPhones from the Apple Store to resolve the issue, although another consumer reported that the staff "tried to trick her" by extending the date of the warranty.



"It's cheating to sell refurbished products as new ones," Wang said. "It'll be discrimination against Chinese consumers if the case turns out to be true as refurbished cellphones are also sold in other countries, but at a cheaper price."



"It's impossible that we sold refurbished cellphones," said one Chinese Apple Store employee, who refused to give further comments to the reporter. Apple's Chinese public relations office has yet to respond to requests for comment.



The plaintiffs are demanding compensation twice the amount they paid plus legal fees, as well as an apology. The China Consumers Association has said it is paying attention to the cases.



A recent report from southern China discovered that secondhand iPhones were being refurbished and sold in the area's chain stores. Insiders alleged that store employees sometimes repackaged display phones or used devices to sell to customers after "polishing them up."



The lawsuits threaten to undermine confidence in Apple's official retail stores at a time when unauthorized Apple Stores are facing scrutiny. In July, one American blogger published an account of a knockoff Apple Store in Kunming, China. The report sparked a government inquiry that resulted in the closure of a number of unauthorized vendors selling Apple products.



Counterfeit Apple store in China | Credit: BirdAbroad



The most notorious of the counterfeit retail stores recently changed its name to "Smart Store," as noted by mobiSights. Numerous other stores have had to remove or cover unauthorized Apple logo signs.



The counterfeit Apple Store has been rebranded as "Smart Store." | Credit:
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    frankiefrankie Posts: 371member
    I;m sure it's just a mixup or computer glitch or something and Apple will make it right.



    On the other hand, who cares. Maybe the Chinese Government should actually try to stop any of the ridiculous piracy of American products.



    I think the US should add up a rough estimate of how much is actually pirated across all product lines, movies, software, etc and just take that straight off the bill we're supposed to owe them. Better yet=we're even. Next...
  • Reply 2 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankie View Post


    I think the US should add up a rough estimate of how much is actually pirated across all product lines, movies, software, etc and just take that straight off the bill we're supposed to owe them.



    LOL, what's that for a delusional idea



    Oh, and the US is not "supposed to owe them", you "do owe them".

    Thats not a question of "maybe they forgot", its a contract you signed.
  • Reply 3 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to the report, at least six consumers who purchased iPhones in Apple Stores or from authorized dealers in Beijing report that their registered warranties are less than the one year promised by Apple. The shortened warranties have prompted allegations that Apple sold returned or refurbished iPhones to the customers.



    Even refurbished Apple products still have a full one year warranty from the date of purchase.



    There's something else going on here.



    Maybe fake products are being registered under the real serial numbers.
  • Reply 4 of 61
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    There must be some corrupt employees at that store.
  • Reply 5 of 61
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankie View Post


    On the other hand, who cares. Maybe the Chinese Government should actually try to stop any of the ridiculous piracy of American products.



    Apple just figured the Chinese were used to non original products. Just send the secondhand iPhone to the secondhand fake Apple store?[/QUOTE]

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  • Reply 6 of 61
    By the serial number, the phone has been manufactured in week 12, i.e. late March. Thus, its warranty couldn't start in January. It must be a glitch in the system.
  • Reply 7 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankie View Post


    I think the US should add up a rough estimate of how much is actually pirated across all product lines, movies, software, etc and just take that straight off the bill we're supposed to owe them. Better yet=we're even. Next...



    If we are talking about money - don't forget that China practically owns the US. US is a country financed by loans from China and soon they will start making more demands!
  • Reply 8 of 61
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serializer View Post


    If we are talking about money - don't forget that China practically owns the US. US is a country financed by loans from China and soon they will start making more demands!



    Less than 10% of federal debt is owed to China. Does that meet your statement's criteria for accuracy?



    China is kind of squeezed here and will probably buy more debt. \ The arrangement is symbiotic.



    http://www.businessinsider.com/to-wh...e-money-2011-3
  • Reply 9 of 61
    This is why I only shop at fake Apple Stores in China...
  • Reply 10 of 61
    This sounds like a 'consumer advocate' trying to attract attention.



    Greenpeace, anyone?
  • Reply 11 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post


    Even refurbished Apple products still have a full one year warranty from the date of purchase.



    There's something else going on here.



    Maybe fake products are being registered under the real serial numbers.



    That was my first thought. All refurbs in USA have full year, I assume they do in China too. Of course that is from the date of purchase so this smells of resales after initial purchase and leads one to suspect to possible sales by unauthorized dealers.
  • Reply 12 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serializer View Post


    If we are talking about money - don't forget that China practically owns the US. US is a country financed by loans from China and soon they will start making more demands!



    Where on earth do you get your 'facts'? Check out the true facts on who owns the US debt you will find Americans actually still own the most. China came in at 8% last time I checked.
  • Reply 13 of 61
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serializer View Post


    If we are talking about money - don't forget that China practically owns the US. US is a country financed by loans from China and soon they will start making more demands!



    Approx. 1.17 trillion. Thats how much debt China owns of US debt.



    Does this advocate say anything about all the fake Apple stuff there is in China?
  • Reply 14 of 61
    blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    When I read the part about the lady claiming Apple tried to "trick her" by offering to extend the warranty I had flashbacks to ever person from Asia I ever sold a computer. I swear every single one of them were just ridiculous, accusatory, and confrontational -- they'd do crap like try to haggle the price, or get all kinds of things thrown in for free that were absurd. Then when they actually paid for it they want to open it up, go through the packaging, and try to find something wrong with it. They'd sit there and say things like "it's not working right" because it took the computer longer than three seconds to boot up ... The entire time saying "you're cheating me!" They also didn't believe they could bring it back if there was a problem and we'd replace it if necessary.



    I'm fairly convinced it's a cultural thing because where they come from everyone IS trying to cheat you. They come here and expect everything works the same way ... And cannot except it doesn't.
  • Reply 15 of 61
    robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    In the land of fakes and ripoffs, this is a laughable exercise in paranoia. Move on, nothing to see here.
  • Reply 16 of 61
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Well, at least we get to see another photo of the chinese guy in the blue shirt (who still needs a catchy name, btw). It's been a while...
  • Reply 17 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankie View Post




    I think the US should add up a rough estimate of how much is actually pirated across all product lines, movies, software, etc and just take that straight off the bill we're supposed to owe them. Better yet=we're even. Next...





    That would be a great excuse for defaulting on US Treasury securities. Some of your citizens have counterfeited goods! So we will default and refuse our Government obligations!



    Not.
  • Reply 18 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serializer View Post


    If we are talking about money - don't forget that China practically owns the US. US is a country financed by loans from China and soon they will start making more demands!



    China hold about $1 Trillion in US debt. Every year, the US produces about $14 Trillion in new goods and services.



    Facts can be your friends, but too often, delusions make for a better story.



    Fact is, our current account deficit is a huge problem. It is a big enough problem that we need to discuss it rationally, without silliness and fantasy.



    But fantasies and hyperbole can make the ignorant feel smart.
  • Reply 19 of 61
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 652member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    That would be a great excuse for defaulting on US Treasury securities. Some of your citizens have counterfeited goods! So we will default and refuse our Government obligations!



    Not.



    You're playing that all wrong. No need to default. The correct response is "What US Treasury securities? I'm afraid you've gotten some counterfeits."
  • Reply 20 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blursd View Post




    ever person from Asia ... every single one of them were just ridiculous, accusatory, and confrontational... it's a cultural thing ... where they come from everyone IS trying to cheat you.




    Are you sure that it is not a genetic defect?
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