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Apple revises after-sales care policy for Korean consumers

It is now a lot easier for Apple users here to be compensated for their faulty products as the California-based electronics giant recently revised its after-sales policy in Korea.

Apple, which has maintained a single policy globally with a few exceptions, had already started replacing faulty iPhones with new phones, not refurbished ones, in Korea since October last year.

The company recently agreed to expand the improved after-sales services to all the products they sell in Korea, except its flagship computer iMac, the Fair Trade Commission said Wednesday.

Under the revision, replacement with new products is made when any defect happens within one month from purchase.

Even after the guarantee period, a new gadget can be claimed when it is obvious the malfunction is caused by the manufacturer, not the user.

“Apple confirmed that the renewed policy in Korea is the world’s best level compared to in other countries,” said Kim Chung-ki, a FTC official, at a news conference.

In most countries, Apple decides on their own how to compensate malfunctioning electronic gadgets and in many cases they offer refurbished products.

The rare decision by Apple comes after a revised bill took effect from April 1 to oblige companies to improve their after-sales policy following government standards or show what they miss on the surface of product packaging.

“As other major firms have already met the requirements here, Apple as a global player made a decision after discussions with the FTC,” Kim said.

The official added that the FTC would soon launch an investigation into whether other local and global companies are following the revision properly.

Companies that are found not to be abiding the revision can face fines up to 100 million won ($87,634).

Meanwhile, an Apple Korea spokesperson declined to further elaborate on Wednesday's announcement that came more than one month after the revision's implementation. 

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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