updated 01:17 pm EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
Complaints about iPhone replacements force response
Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted an open letter to Chinese customers, announcing changes to the company's warranty policies in the country. He explains that in the past couple of weeks the company has received a number of complaints, particularly in relation to the iPhone 4 and 4S. The people charged that while customers elsewhere were getting full replacements for faulty hardware, Chinese customers were only getting repairs using replacement parts.
Cook explains that in response, Apple is making four changes to the way it handles Chinese warranty issues. The company is adopting improved repair policies for the 4 and 4S, as well as posting a "concise and clear" statement on repair and warranty policies on its website. Authorized service providers will get more supervision and training, and a new feedback service should make it easier to contact Apple about complaints.
The CEO states that over 90 percent of Apple's Chinese customers have expressed satisfaction with repair services. The company is facing a different situation elsewhere, however; in Australia and Europe some people are reportedly being denied free warranty service past the one-year mark even when local laws guarantee it. Apple has already been hit with legal action in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and Portugal, and the European Commission is urging other member countries to crack down on Apple's practices.