Apple surrenders on refurbished replacements

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Apple surrenders on refurbished replacements

It is now possible for customers to exchange faulty Apple products for new ones after Apple changed its after-sales service policy for Korea last month.

“The Fair Trade Commission is trying to promote the change as the new after-sales service policy has not been widely known,” said Kim Jeong-gi of the FTC’s consumer safety and information division yesterday.

Apple had a worldwide after-sales service policy in which faulty products were replaced by refurbished models.

But now, new iPads, iPhones, iPods and MacBook laptops will be given to consumers whose purchase malfunctions within one month of buying or more than three times within a year.

Apple made that policy change for iPhones last October.

It took six more months for all products to be covered.

Apple gave in on the issue in April. If it hadn’t, it would have had to put a notice on all products’ boxes that read, “Consumers may get less favorable after-sales services for small computing devices than local regulations require,” according to the FTC.

Apple iMac desktop buyers will not benefit from the change.

“We wanted to applaud the company for changing its policy to fit the local regulation,” said Kim.

“And we want other companies to be aware that the FTC is constantly watching the market for the consumer’s benefit.”

The commission said it has a plan to check if other small computing device makers are following the new regulation, but did not say when it would report the result.

By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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