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Apple sued for allegedly swindling customers, selling refurbished iPhones as new in China

Zach Epstein
August 18th, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Two separate lawsuits have been filed against Apple in China, accusing the tech giant of selling refurbished iPhone smartphones as new devices in multiple Beijing Apple Stores. Lead by well-known consumer rights advocate Wang Hai, two customers have filed formal complaints against Apple in a Beijing court. The suits both allege that Apple Store locations sold refurbished iPhones to the complainants under the guise that they were new devices. Only when the customers discovered that their manufacturer warranties expired less than one year from their respective dates of purchase did they realize something was awry. To make matters worse, Wang says that when one such customer went back to the Apple Store to confront them, the staff there allegedly tried to trick her by modifying her warranty expiration date. “It’s cheating to sell refurbished products as new ones,” Wang told Global Times in an interview. “It’ll be discrimination against Chinese consumers if the case turns out to be true as refurbished cellphones are also sold in other countries, but at a cheaper price.” Four other consumers in Beijing have come forward to claim they were duped into purchasing refurbished iPhones as new, however no additional lawsuits have been filed at this time. Images supplied by Wang of a customer receipt and a confirmation that the customer’s warranty expired in less than one year follow below.


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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