Apple's flagship store in Beijing. (Photo/CNS)
The consumer quality watchdog in China's southern province of Guangdong has included Apple on a "company integrity" blacklist, citing the American gadget maker's after-sales service policies, reports the Chinese-language National Business Daily.
The China Consumer Association took the American firm to task over complaints that its after-sales service in China is not fair to consumers.
The association published a survey of consumer complaints received in the first half of this year. Some foreign firms refused to offer after-sales service, seriously jeopardizing consumers' ability to voice dissatisfaction, the association said.
The nationwide watchdog took Apple's iPhone 4 as an example, citing an owner of the device who found his smartphone was malfunctioning during the warranty period. The company replaced all parts of the device except for the case and battery charger, but refused to renew his warranty.
The association earlier allied with consumer groups in six areas — Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing and the provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong — criticizing Apple's "unfair" support policies. The company has made some changes to its policies to alleviate dissatisfaction.
Local legal experts think Apple's policy changes are not enough to prove that Chinese consumers will be treated fairly. Many still insist that some portions of its policies violate China's consumer protection laws.