Chinese Consumer Groups Focusing on Apple's Use of Reconditioned Parts for Warranty Repairs

Thursday July 26, 2012 11:36 AM PDT by Eric Slivka
Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that consumer organizations in the country are taking a closer look at Apple's warranty repairs, criticizing the company over a number of policies including the use of reconditioned parts rather than new ones.
According to the company's after-sale clauses, customers have to agree that Apple repairers utilize used or reconditioned parts to replace damaged parts on the products of iPhones or iPads during the repair process, the provincial consumers' council found in an industrial investigation and released the result on Tuesday.

The customers also have to agree that replaced parts will be retained by Apple, which is believed to probably reuse these parts to repair other products, the result said.
Apple has faced similar criticism in other countries, with Apple executive Farrel Farhoudi having testified before the South Korean parliament on the company's use of refurbished devices as warranty replacements. Apple ultimately changed its policies in South Korea, with customers whose iPhones are deemed defective during the warranty period now receiving new units rather than refurbished ones as replacements.

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Posted: 30 months ago
If the repaired unit functions as new and has the same life cycle as a new one what's the difference. I praise Apple for not wasting resources on new parts when existing ones will do just fine. This is a perfectly good way to handle defective units and is environmentally sound.
Rating: 18 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
Why should it matter? So long as the parts are in perfect working condition and similarly guaranteed, who cares? What is Apple supposed to do with all the perfectly good parts on replaced items? Throw them in a landfill?

If a one year old machine is replaced under warranty, why shouldn't the customer get another one year old machine that is in perfect condition and guaranteed just the same as the one he or she replaced?

To me, this is just common sense. I don't get the objections.
Rating: 17 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
And if Apple tossed perfectly good parts into landfills they would be sued for that too. What a joke. I'd rather a company use perfectly good parts instead of wasting more resources and energy to produce "brand new" ones that could just as easily fail.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
If your iPhone becomes defective during the warranty period, you should receive a new unit, not a refurbished one.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
This is not an Apple exclusive practice. IBM has been doing the exact same thing for several years with their AS/400’s, iSeries, now Power Systems and Z series, which are mainframes. And the enterprise customers that have these systems pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in yearly maintenance costs.

The maintenance AND purchase contracts clearly specify that even BRAND NEW MACHINES may contain refurbished parts at IBM’s discretion. This has NEVER been an issue in my many years of experience, and nobody gives it a second thought.

This practice makes perfect sense both from a cost-effectiveness AND an environmental point of view. :cool:
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
As far as I see it, Apple could be like other phone manufacturers and only repair and not replace... I'm happy with the refurbished phones.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
I agree that I should get a new replacement and somebody else should get my old polished up one.

Really though - I'm not sure I'd mind a refurb phone, as it's just a phone.
If you were talking something full of mechanical parts like a washing miachine I think I'd feel a little different.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago

You would have thought so, but this cheap ass approach has been Apples policy for years. How do you think they make so much money. The will churn out used bits for as long as possible. No true cost to them what so ever.

The enterprise IT world has been like this for years. HP, IBM, they all do it. A drive in your $100,000 SAN fails? Sure, they replace it in under four hours, but it could very well be with a refurb.

SOP for many years.

I would add that I have bought a number of Apple refurb products to save money over new. Other than possibly lacking the retail packaging, every one of them has been as new out of the box and performed flawlessly. I will say that based on my experience, Apple is the only company I would be comfortable doing this with.

Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
At times it can be hard enough to get hold of a first buy iPhone/iPad etc.

Imagine the extra strain and wait time added if the supply of new parts/devices had to be used for repairs as well.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
Funny that an article like this should get published today...

I've owned my 2012 11" MBA for exactly 16 days, this morning I noticed a dead pixel in the dead center of the screen. Took it in to the Apple Store today to get the screen replaced, no big deal. They ran a diagnostic test and saw that the battery was also faulty. I was told that both parts would be replaced by refurbished parts if available... that effectively makes my $1600 brand new MBA a $1600 refurbished MBA.

I called up Apple, and the senior staff member was kind enough to work with me to file an engineering investigation for my MBA, due to the faulty battery, and she ordered a new BTO MBA for me.

For me, 2 or 3 months old I probably would not argue fixing my MBA with refurbished parts. It is subjective, because there are people who would argue that the new machine they bought was built to the right quality and standard, and then there are those who don't care if it is fixed with refurbished parts. I happened to get slightly worried when my product was only 16 days old.
Rating: 3 Votes

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