Apple blamed for unfair after-sale clauses

Updated: 2012-07-27 10:01


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Apple blamed for unfair after-sale clauses

A customer select cell phone at an Apple store in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo/Asianewsphoto] 

GUANGZHOU -- Consumer watchdog in South China's Guangdong province has blamed Apple Inc for its unfair clauses provided to consumers in after-sale services.

According to the company's after-sale clauses, customers have to agree that Apple repairers utilize used or reconditioned parts to replace damaged parts on the products of iPhones or iPads during the repair process, the provincial consumers' council found in an industrial investigation and released the result on Tuesday.

The customers also have to agree that replaced parts will be retained by Apple, which is believed to probably reuse these parts to repair other products, the result said.

The company will only offer repair fees as compensation if its repairers fail to fix products for customers and said it would not cover any damage occurring during delivery process, it said.

Chen Beiyuan, an expert on consumer rights protection with the council, said Thursday these clauses violated China's national mobile phone repair and return regulations, the Contract Law as well as the Consumer Right Protection Law.

"These overbearing clauses are imposed on consumers, which are illegal and unreasonable," said Chen.

The council requested the company to notify consumers in written form that all parts used to fix products should be brand new, and replace a new product or refund to customers if it fails to repair products twice under the warranty of such products.

Apple Inc shares tumbled about 3.7 percent local time Wednesday as the tech giant reported a rare miss in the results of its third fiscal quarter ending June 30. The company on Tuesday reported $35 billion in revenue, while net profit was $8.8 billion or $9.32 per share, much lower than expected by analysts.