Tim Cook apologizes for China customer-service policies

“Apple Inc. issued an apology letter signed by Chief Executive Tim Cook that vowed to revamp aspects of its customer-service policies in China after more than two weeks of pointed attacks by government-run media,” Paul Mozur reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The apology, in the form of a letter written in Chinese and posted to Apple’s Chinese website Monday, underscores the increasing importance of the Chinese consumer in what has become the company’s second-largest market.”

“Mr. Cook said in the letter that the company deeply reflected on recent ‘feedback’ on its warranty policies and apologized for misunderstandings created by poor communication with consumers,” Mozur reports. “‘We are aware that a lack of communications…led to the perception that Apple is arrogant and doesn’t care or attach enough importance to consumer feedback,’ Mr. Cook said, according to the letter. ‘We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gave consumers.'”

Mozur reports, “In the letter, Mr. Cook said the company would amend its warranty policies for the iPhone 4 and 4S, streamline its customer feedback, give further training to Apple authorized resellers on warranty policy, and more clearly post its warranty policy on its website. He added that about 90% of consumers had been satisfied with its earlier repair policy.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

26 Comments

  1. NEXT NEWS ITEM:

    Mr. Cook will be issuing an apology for Mr. Ballmer’s constipation as an explanation why Microsoft has been experiencing difficulty expelling innovative products lately.

    Next on the apology list:

    Apple would like to apologise to parents in Britain are unable to read English to stop unwarranted in-app purchases – because the instructions should have been written in Gaelic and Swahili.

  2. had to happen. China is critical for AAPL to establish a beachhead in Asia. I am sure Tim had good advice about the wording of the letter to convey humility and strength. Like David Carradine.
    dd

  3. Basically he just said, it’s the same policy but we reworked the wording so you fools that make up Bullshit can’t manipulate what we have offered as a Warranty from the beginning.

    Way to go Tim, Turing it up and let it speak for what it is!!

    Apple is getting manipulated by the State run Press, and paid off low life actors and most of all by the haters in the press that have nothing better to do then stick out a hand whoring up for Cash Only.

    Time for Apple to start fighting back, but using the intelligent Read between the lines approach!

  4. Being a North American of asian descent I’ve seen bonks of Chinese movies with the same plot:

    Brave Good Warrior arouses hate and jealousy among the corrupt stupid evil cowardly high lords crowding around the Emperor who want to humiliate and strip him of his power. Brave Good Warrior forced to go the capital and ‘apologize’ ….

    hopefully the movie will go to the ‘typical’ conclusion: Brave Good Warrior smiles secretly while kowtowing knowing that soon he will unleash his ‘secret’ weapons (iPhone 6, iWatch, china Mobile Contract ) and defeat the foolish evil lords ….

  5. The politically inspired negativity shows increasing risks of doing business in China. Both South Korea and Japan are faced with military concerns that could lead to supply disruption. Apple management must be worried sick right now, and they need viable contingency plans. The strategy of building market share and manufacturing capacity in China is akin to putting all the eggs in one basket, albeit one that has done much to improve margins.
    Apple is going to have to create manufacturing capacity elsewhere, such as in India. The big problem is this can’t be done overnight, unless of course Apple has seen the threat and done something about it already. For now, the strategy of kowtowing is akin to paying off kidnappers and hoping the baby will be returned. Fat chance of that.

  6. …while failing to apologize to the 150 million Americans vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage as promoted, endorsed and financially supported with Apple shareholder dollars! Amazing!

  7. Does this mean that the Apple shareholders will get an apology for what Tim Cook and the board has let happen to our investment in Apple stock soon?

  8. Tim Cook is starting to prove why Charisma is an invaluable asset, and also why Apple needs to have someone else handling these press communiques.
    Seems like every time he steps up to apologize untold more damage is done to shareholders.
    I agree with Macdaily – there needs to be someone else to handle the presentations and provide that unmistakeable charisma that was Steve…

    1. With the billions in cash Apple is hoarding I believe they’re going to use it to clone mini-Steve. The clone will be identical in every way, but he will be one-eighth his size.

  9. ‘Like a Chinese Movie’ said:

    “Being a North American of asian descent I’ve seen bonks of Chinese movies with the same plot… Brave Good Warrior arouses hate and jealousy among the corrupt stupid evil cowardly high lords crowding around the Emperor who want to humiliate and strip him of his power. Brave Good Warrior forced to go the capital and ‘apologize’ …. Brave Good Warrior smiles secretly while kowtowing knowing that soon he will unleash his ‘secret’ weapons (iPhone 6, iWatch, china Mobile Contract ) and defeat the foolish evil lords ….”

    You’re closer on this than you may know. The Chinese government is pressuring Apple to become part of their Surveillance State, using iDevices in ways they already use PCs. Google ran afoul of this a number of years ago & even though they caved, the PRC never really let them off the short leash. Microsoft couldn’t stop them on the Windows front even if they wanted to (which they don’t), as the OS is so shot full of holes.

    Apple seems to have been resisting – at least up to now. All this talk on the part of the government about warranty issues is just a means for them to come across as friendly to the people, and to blunt any popular outcry for Apple’s products by implicitly stating upfront that Apple products & business practices can’t be trusted. Tactically, it’s a very good move. Apple, for it’s part, isn’t going to say what it’s really about, since they all along knew they might go along with the government. Purely a mercenary business decision, but one that could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade or so.

    Given this statement from Apple is a] from the CEO, and b] totally supplicating to the powers that be in tone, I would put money on Apple caving, just like Google. The PRC might be a little more magnanimus in this case though – getting compromised iDevices in as many Chinese citizens’ hands as possible would be too tempting to pass up.

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