Every couple of years we hear reports of a company refurbishing their broken products, and then selling them again to the purchasing public. Usually these types of purchases also come with a giant warning of “refurbished.” In some cases they don’t, and that’s when people start to get a little cranky, and rightfully so.
A consumer rights advocate in China has filed a lawsuit against Apple for selling refurbished iPhone 4s as new in a Beijing Apple Store. Apparently Wang Hai, the advocate in question, has six consumers who purchased new iPhones, but instead walked out of the store with refurbs.
Long story short, two of the customers purchased an iPhone 4, but soon realized that the warranty was only for 6 months after their purchase, instead of the traditional year. Apple then allegedly offered to extend the warranty in some cases, and in others replaced the phone.
Should this turn out to be true, I can’t exactly blame the people for being irate. It’s one thing to hock refurbs to customers as a cheaper option, but it’s another when you start sending them on their way without even letting them know that the devices aren’t brand new.
In the past Apple has come under scrutiny for replacing broken iPhones with refurbs instead of brand new phones when a replacement is warranted. As always, be aware of what you’re purchasing, and what you’re walking out of the store with before heading home from an Apple Store, or any store for that matter, especially when it comes to purchasing electronics.
It could very well be an honest mistake by employees, but it’s also been rumoured to be a policy for a while now. A lot of companies replace their broken devices with refurbs, not just Apple.