Tim Cook made it clear – ‘Apple is sorry…’
At issue were ambiguous wordings in service and warranty information posted on the Apple China website.
Many Chinese consumers felt that the disclosures gave them fewer warranty rights, and less responsive service than customers in many other countries. Some customers took to Chinese social media to decry Apple regarding them as ‘second-class users’. Even media-savvy super-users joined the fray lambasting Apple.
In an apology published on the Apple website in China, Tim Cook offered apology, and clarification:
Dear Chinese consumers:
Over the past two weeks, we have received a lot of feedback about Apple’s repair and warranty policy in China. We have made a profound reflection on these opinions, studied China’s “Three Guarantees” regulations together with government authorities, examined how we communicate about our repair policy, and checked our management practice for Apple’s authorized service providers. We are aware that insufficient communications during this process has led to the perception that Apple is arrogant and disregard, or pays little attention to, consumer feedback. We express our sincere apologies for any concern or misunderstanding arising therefrom.
Meanwhile, we also realize that we still have a lot to learn on operating and communicating in China. Here, we assure you, Apple’s commitment and enthusiasm for China is not different than any other country. Our ideal is to give the best user experience and customer satisfaction, even more it is our promise. It has been deeply rooted in Apple’s corporate culture. We will make unremitting efforts to achieve this goal.
We realize that our website didn’t clarify the policy before. We hope the following statement can answer all the questions about the service provided by Apple.
Apple is making greater efforts to ensure Apple’s service providers to follow our policies and endeavor to offer consumers the highest quality services.
We will make unremitting efforts and continuous monitoring of Apple’s authorized service providers to make sure consumers get the highest quality service.
Now, it’s convenient to give feedback on service-related issues.
We give our heartfelt thanks to everyone for valuable feedback. We always bear immense respect for China and the Chinese consumers are always our priority among priorities.
Tim Cook / Apple CEO
China is of strategic importance for Apple both for its supplier and manufacturing expertise, and as the largest consumer market in the world.
That vital link between Apple and China was made even more obvious when CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced that Apple would be tracking and reporting sales information for the China market segment separate from other international markets.
The announcement was made during Apple’s 1Q 2013 Financial Call in January.