South Korea has become the first country in the world to coerce Apple into re-thinking its global customer service policy concerning handling of faulty iPhones. The country’s regulators have persuaded Apple to replace faulty iPhones with new devices rather than refurbished models, provided customers report defects within a month of purchase, Bloomberg reports.
Korean iPhone buyers have complained Apple only gives devices refurbished with used parts when there are problems with the product, even though its service warranty states customers can get refunds, new phones or free repairs, the commission said. Under the revision, consumers have the right to choose between the options, the regulator said.
The commission acted after Apple refused to provide free repairs to a thirteen-year-old user who pressed charges. Eagle-eyed readers would remember that Apple brushed twice with South Korea in recent history…
In June the company tweaked local App Store rules to allow for a seven-day trial period after purchasing an app. It’s the first such change instituted in the App Store where refunds are not possible and all sales are final the instant users hit the Buy button. A month earlier, user Kim Hyung-suk received 1 million won ($946) in compensation over the Locationgate tracking scandal. That court order had been used as a basis for a class action lawsuit involving 27,000 plaintiffs all seeking the same one million won payout, which adds up to about $26 million in total damages.