Apple-warranty-China-Tim-Cook-apologyFollowing controversy in China with state-controlled media outlets going after Apple over its warranty policies, Apple CEO Tim Cook today addressed the issue in a letter published to the company’s website in China. Within the letter (translation below), Cook apologized to customers and announced the company would implement a number of changes to “improve the level of service” for Chinese customers.

The controversy originally started after a report from state-controlled media outlets such as China Central Television criticized the company for treating consumers unfairly with its warranty and repair procedures compared to other countries. Following the initial attacks from Chinese media outlets, Apple initially responded to the criticism through a message published on its website clarifying its warranty policies and telling consumers that “Apple’s Chinese warranty is more or less the same as in the U.S. and all over the world.”

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.

Today Cook announced that Apple will be implementing some changes to its warranty policies starting this month. Among the changes, Cook noted that Apple will improve its repair policy for the iPhone 4 and 4S, provide better information about warranties on its website, and improve training for staff:

  • 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

Perhaps the most significant change is the way Apple will handle repairs and replacements of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 going forward, providing new replacement devices for users on Apple’s 1-year warranty in cases where it previously only replaced parts. Many of the controversial reports in China centered around claims that Chinese consumers were provided with replacement parts during repairs, or the original back casing for their device, while consumers in other countries were given new replacements.

Cook also urged customers to reach out to Apple with feedback through its website here.

Cook’s full letter 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