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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90


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

  • Reply 2 of 90


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

  • Reply 3 of 90
    It would be good to disclaim that this is a google translation. Otherwise, you need to fire your translator.
  • Reply 4 of 90
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 5 of 90
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 90


    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.

  • Reply 7 of 90


    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.

  • Reply 8 of 90
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    applegreen wrote: »
    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?)
  • Reply 9 of 90
    Cook needs to keep the Chinese happy until he can move manufacturing to another country.
  • Reply 9 of 90
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member


    I really think he needs to stop apologizing for everything.

  • Reply 11 of 90
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    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.

  • Reply 12 of 90
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 90
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 90

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 90
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,587member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 90
    This is exactly what I predicted would happen. In this instance, the smart thing to do.
  • Reply 17 of 90

    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.

  • Reply 18 of 90
    qualarqualar Posts: 72member
    Not sure the xenophobia in this thread is entirely necessary.
  • Reply 19 of 90
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,312member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 90
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

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