Apple Inc. has recently revised or deleted its unfair maintenance terms for iPhones sold in China after being criticized by the China Consumers' Association and its local associations in Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Jiangsu, and Shandong. However, some consumers have complained that there are also some ridiculous hidden rules regarding the repair of iPads. For example, Apple will refuse to repair an iPad for free if it has a scratch longer than 4 millimeters.
In order to gain a clear understanding of the hidden rules about the repair of iPads, the reporter posing as a customer went to an Apple Authorized Service Center near the Zhengjia Square in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.
The reporter asked an employee at the service center whether his newly bought iPad2, which had only a few scratches on the surface, could get a free replacement, and the answer was no. The employee explained that Apple's warranty covers only functional defects, and does not cover damage caused by improper use such as shell damage, though customers can pay 1,300 yuan to get a new shell for their iPad. The reporter then asked whether an iPad with a broken shell could get other components such as the screen fixed for free, and the answer was no again. At last, the employee said, "The internal rules specify that any iPad with a shell scratch longer than 4 millimeters will not be repaired for free
The reporter then told a random customer at the center about the rule, who considered it unreasonable. "So I cannot get a free repair for my iPad even if it is simply scratched by keys? Is Apple forcing us to buy the iPad Smart Cover? This is totally product bundling," the customer said angrily.
Chen Beiyuan, legal adviser to the Guangdong Consumer Council, said that Apple's practice of refusing to repair an iPad with a scratch longer than 4 millimeters for free is an obvious violation of China's consumer protection law, and is an obstacle to good customer experience.
Tang Ming from the Guangdong Lingnan law Firm also said that, according the "iPad Maintenance Report," problems caused by force majeure are not included in the guarantee range. However, the scratch on the surface of the iPad product is not a problem caused by force majeure and should be in the guarantee range of the product.
Read the Chinese version: 苹果iPad维修再遇潜规则 划痕超4毫米遭拒修
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