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MacRumors
Oct 13, 2010, 12:30 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2010/10/13/apple-executive-to-face-south-korean-parliament-over-iphone-replacement-policies/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2010/10/13/111150-farrel_farhoudi.jpg

Bloomberg reports (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-13/apple-official-to-testify-at-s-korea-parliament-on-oct-21.html) that an Apple executive is set to travel to South Korea next week to testify before members of the country's parliament regarding Apple's policies regarding replacement of defective iPhones. According to the report, the issue stems from Apple's policy of replacing users' faulty iPhones with refurbished units rather than offering new replacements or repairs of customers' existing units.Farrel Farhoudi, senior director for Apple's iPhone service, will appear in parliament on Oct. 21 at the request of lawmakers led by You Won Il, You's assistant Kim Se Ho said by telephone today. Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment.

South Korean buyers of the iPhone have complained that Apple mostly gives refurbished used phones to customers with faulty devices, instead of providing new handsets, free repairs or refunds, Kim said. Apple's local service warranty gives buyers the four options when they have trouble within 14 days of purchase, he said.Farhoudi (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/farrel-farhoudi/3/837/972) has been with Apple for his entire career, beginning in 1993 in an entry-level position fresh out of college and working his way up to senior director of iPod and iPhone service operations.

Article Link: Apple Executive to Face South Korean Parliament Over iPhone Replacement Policies (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2010/10/13/apple-executive-to-face-south-korean-parliament-over-iphone-replacement-policies/)



jav6454
Oct 13, 2010, 12:33 PM
Ideally, the replacement unit should BE a new unit, not refurbished. Refurbished is Apple's way of saving money, but not the right way of doing stuff.

However, it can be argued that Apple's quality control on refurbished units is much higher than brand new units, therefore eliminating/reducing any probable future issue.

triptyx
Oct 13, 2010, 12:53 PM
I have to agree, though, that the idea of a refurbished unit (different than the one you originally sent in) replacing a defective unit that I bought new doesn't really appeal. How it works in practice is another thing, however, I'm not immediately aware of many other electronics companies that do this.

Doctor Q
Oct 13, 2010, 12:57 PM
What is Mr. Farhoudi going to say to them?

kdarling
Oct 13, 2010, 01:01 PM
However, it can be argued that Apple's quality control on refurbished units is much higher than brand new units, therefore eliminating/reducing any probable future issue.

Myth.

Even Apple says that they use the same testing standards with refurbs as they do with new units.

Anyone who actually believes that a refurb is somehow "better" than new, is welcome to buy the iPhone 5 new, keep it in its box for a few weeks, then swap it to me for the cheaper, used iPhone 5 refurb I later buy. Yeah, right.

Apple knows that used devices are not better or even as desirable. That's why they charge so much less for them.

That said, I often buy Apple refurbs because they're cheaper. Not because I foolishly think they're better.

citi
Oct 13, 2010, 02:42 PM
Farrel Farhoudi, senior director for Apple's iPhone service, will appear in parliament on Oct. 21 at the request of lawmakers led by You Won Il

I just want to point out how bad @$$ that guy's name is.

YOU WON? Really....

That's just great on so many levels. :D

ogee
Oct 13, 2010, 04:00 PM
I would much rather have a refurbished replacement in 10 minutes than wait 2 weeks for a defective iphone to be repaired.

orbital
Oct 13, 2010, 04:07 PM
A new phone would be great, but when you think about it logically if you buy a phone and use it for a few months and then it breaks, you still used if for a few months, so wouldn't an equal trade be a referb?

Scooterman1
Oct 13, 2010, 04:14 PM
It's better to Face South Korean Praliament than to
Face North Korean Firing Squad....

tbrinkma
Oct 13, 2010, 05:32 PM
Myth.

Even Apple says that they use the same testing standards with refurbs as they do with new units.

Anyone who actually believes that a refurb is somehow "better" than new, is welcome to buy the iPhone 5 new, keep it in its box for a few weeks, then swap it to me for the cheaper, used iPhone 5 refurb I later buy. Yeah, right.

Apple knows that used devices are not better or even as desirable. That's why they charge so much less for them.

That said, I often buy Apple refurbs because they're cheaper. Not because I foolishly think they're better.

Ok, but even if the testing standards are the same, assuming that the 'refurb' is a repaired unit rather than just a return that can't be sold as new, the refurb had an issue that slipped through once. What are the odds of the same problem happening again, or another *different* problem slipping through the tests twice?

That's what people are talking about when they say refurbs (from a reputable source) have passed through better testing. Imagine a product where a certain marginal part passes a test 50% of the time. The odds of it making it through testing for sale as new is 50%. The odds of it making it through the second round of testing for sale as a refurb is only 25%.

goobot
Oct 13, 2010, 06:26 PM
i hope apple looses. i never needed to replace a device tho if i did i want a new one. especially if i bought it recently

KiraDouji
Oct 14, 2010, 01:03 AM
I hate reading stuff like this.

1. If you used the phone any time outside of the 30 day return period, it's a used phone. You shouldn't expect to give something old and receive something new; that's just silly. And really, if it was working perfectly fine for a month, there's a pretty good chance it stopped working for a reason.

2. The amount of time it takes to replace a unit vs. repairing it is ridiculous. Have any of you been to the Genius Bar? They can swap a phone in a couple of minutes. Tried opening your phone? Yeah, everything's kind of close together, interrelated and difficult to pull out/replace? Gonna take a lot more time.

3. If you break the phone (busted screen, drop it, liquid damage, etc...), you buy a phone. Period. What company is going to make money giving away product? You can always buy a new one if you want to pay full price, Apple isn't limiting you, your wallet is. Frankly, this holds true for all circumstances.

4. The phones are all rebuilt. It's not like they took a phone from someone else, dusted it off, and gave it to you. And, frankly, if it works; who cares?? You're getting the phone replaced because something went wrong, aren't you? Don't you want to have something working? I replaced my old 3G when it stopped working; my replacement came out of a well cushioned box, with protective packaging, straight from the factory and IT WORKED.
:rolleyes:

Stupid.
Kira

rbb
Oct 14, 2010, 01:39 AM
My iPhone broke when I lived in Taiwan. I got it replaced with refurbs 4 times. Disaster. WiFi and GPS did not work, one even had faulty screen. Apple eventually replaced it with a new one. I thank Apple for that. But I hate the fact that they did not fix my own old phone. The experience with the refurbs was terrible.

Rudy

Number 41
Oct 14, 2010, 07:32 AM
But I hate the fact that they did not fix my own old phone.

That's essentially what a refurb is -- a fixed phone. So, if the option were available, you'd turn down a fixed / used phone in order to wait 2+ weeks for YOUR phone to get fixed. There's no guarantee either way that you'll end up with a working phone.

Compile 'em all
Oct 14, 2010, 07:42 AM
I hate reading stuff like this.

1. If you used the phone any time outside of the 30 day return period, it's a used phone. You shouldn't expect to give something old and receive something new; that's just silly. And really, if it was working perfectly fine for a month, there's a pretty good chance it stopped working for a reason.

2. The amount of time it takes to replace a unit vs. repairing it is ridiculous. Have any of you been to the Genius Bar? They can swap a phone in a couple of minutes. Tried opening your phone? Yeah, everything's kind of close together, interrelated and difficult to pull out/replace? Gonna take a lot more time.

Stupid.
Kira

As a customer who paid quite some decent money for an iPhone, I don't give a ratsass how the phone looks on the inside, how hard it is to repair, or why did it stop working. I want it to work. If it stops working then I want it replaced with a brand new one. On the spot.

I am a hardcore Apple fan but on the other hand I don't have time to run around waiting for my phone to "be fixed" or make a "genius appointment". My time also costs money.

kdarling
Oct 14, 2010, 08:12 AM
Ok, but even if the testing standards are the same, assuming that the 'refurb' is a repaired unit rather than just a return that can't be sold as new, the refurb had an issue that slipped through once. What are the odds of the same problem happening again, or another *different* problem slipping through the tests twice?

Remember, they're not replacing individual chips. They're replacing complicated units (or pieces such as a case or volume control).

If a refurb had a problem with a circuit board or LCD, the chances of failure for the replacement unit (if new) are the same as the original new unit.

However, while refurb cases might be new, expensive individual units such as the LCD or circuit board are most likely replaced with parts from other used phones, instead of using new. So yes, I will grant you that those units might have been tested originally in China as a part of one phone, and then got tested again as part of at least one refurb phone.

Yet simply doing the same test (e.g. burn-in) that failed to find a bad part the first time, doesn't overly excite me (electronic designer with experience in manufacturing). It's not being constantly on that usually shows up failures.

tbrinkma
Oct 14, 2010, 09:25 AM
Remember, they're not replacing individual chips. They're replacing complicated units (or pieces such as a case or volume control).

Correct. Doing it any other way, with modern assembly methods would be *more* failure prone. (It's an unholy pain trying to desolder and resolder components from those dinky little boards.)


If a refurb had a problem with a circuit board or LCD, the chances of failure for the replacement unit (if new) are the same as the original new unit.

Again, correct. It's the *other* components that are getting tested twice. It's that extra margin of safety.

However, while refurb cases might be new, expensive individual units such as the LCD or circuit board are most likely replaced with parts from other used phones, instead of using new. So yes, I will grant you that those units might have been tested originally in China as a part of one phone, and then got tested again as part of at least one refurb phone.

Yet simply doing the same test (e.g. burn-in) that failed to find a bad part the first time, doesn't overly excite me (electronic designer with experience in manufacturing). It's not being constantly on that usually shows up failures.

Again, correct. But, again. If a test finds bad or marginal parts, then running the tests twice against the still unknown marginal part is significantly more likely to discover it than just running them once.

If the test suite turns up 99% of bad or marginal parts, then the new device has a 1% chance of containing a missed bad or marginal part. The refurb, where the part in question wasn't replaced, has a significantly lower chance (roughly.1%). No, it's not fool proof there are always going to be parts which fail despite passing testing unless you test each component until it fails (in which case you have nothing to sell), but you're no worse off than you were with a new phone.

(Again, this all assumes a reputable source. It doesn't work when talking about "Joe's Fly-by-Night Refurb Warehouse".)

michaelsviews
Oct 14, 2010, 10:05 AM
So he's going to fly over in the company jet, and goto a hearing and say the same thing that has been said in emails and over the phone ..................

There's a wasted trip. Apples not going to make special arrangements just for South Korea, if they do they'll have to do it for everyone else.

phinsup
Oct 14, 2010, 10:49 AM
Lucky Koreans, now they can wait 2 weeks for their phone to be repaired.

Trius
Oct 14, 2010, 12:13 PM
I hate reading stuff like this.

1. If you used the phone any time outside of the 30 day return period, it's a used phone. You shouldn't expect to give something old and receive something new; that's just silly. And really, if it was working perfectly fine for a month, there's a pretty good chance it stopped working for a reason.

2. The amount of time it takes to replace a unit vs. repairing it is ridiculous. Have any of you been to the Genius Bar? They can swap a phone in a couple of minutes. Tried opening your phone? Yeah, everything's kind of close together, interrelated and difficult to pull out/replace? Gonna take a lot more time.

3. If you break the phone (busted screen, drop it, liquid damage, etc...), you buy a phone. Period. What company is going to make money giving away product? You can always buy a new one if you want to pay full price, Apple isn't limiting you, your wallet is. Frankly, this holds true for all circumstances.

4. The phones are all rebuilt. It's not like they took a phone from someone else, dusted it off, and gave it to you. And, frankly, if it works; who cares?? You're getting the phone replaced because something went wrong, aren't you? Don't you want to have something working? I replaced my old 3G when it stopped working; my replacement came out of a well cushioned box, with protective packaging, straight from the factory and IT WORKED.
:rolleyes:

Stupid.
Kira

I was about to start a rant about how dumb this is...but you did it for me ... I agree completely

As a customer who paid quite some decent money for an iPhone, I don't give a ratsass how the phone looks on the inside, how hard it is to repair, or why did it stop working. I want it to work. If it stops working then I want it replaced with a brand new one. On the spot.

I am a hardcore Apple fan but on the other hand I don't have time to run around waiting for my phone to "be fixed" or make a "genius appointment". My time also costs money.

Ok, so you bring in a USED phone that has stopped working. They replace your USED phone with a different USED phone that does work, on the spot.... and you're seriously complaining..:confused:

Apple has about the best customer service I have ever experienced. I walked into the apple store with a headset that was malfunctioning. I told one of the employees and she proceeded to grab a brand new one off the rack, open the box, and hand me a brand new headset. No questions asked. She didn't even test it out. I'd say that is pretty awesome customer service.

KiraDouji
Oct 14, 2010, 12:41 PM
As a customer who paid quite some decent money for an iPhone, I don't give a ratsass how the phone looks on the inside, how hard it is to repair, or why did it stop working. I want it to work. If it stops working then I want it replaced with a brand new one. On the spot.

I am a hardcore Apple fan but on the other hand I don't have time to run around waiting for my phone to "be fixed" or make a "genius appointment". My time also costs money.

Other than an extreme sense of entitlement, I don't understand how getting an appointment and having something replaced on the spot slows you down. Knowing I can, at any time, get an appointment for malfunctioning product so I have a slice of a tech's time personally reserved before I even set foot in the store is, in a word, priceless. You don't have to guess on how many people are in front of you, and you know that if it's a hardware issue, you're walking out with a working device.

:apple: Kira

Darth.Titan
Oct 14, 2010, 08:35 PM
That's essentially what a refurb is -- a fixed phone. So, if the option were available, you'd turn down a fixed / used phone in order to wait 2+ weeks for YOUR phone to get fixed. There's no guarantee either way that you'll end up with a working phone.

Not necessarily, especially with just released items. A "refurb" could very well be a brand new off the line phone, packed in a less expensive plain brown box expressly for exchanges. Not all refurbs are used.

If you cannot physically tell the difference between a brand new phone and a "refurb" outside of the packaging, what difference does it make anyway?

Glideslope
Oct 15, 2010, 07:03 PM
Ideally, the replacement unit should BE a new unit, not refurbished. Refurbished is Apple's way of saving money, but not the right way of doing stuff.

However, it can be argued that Apple's quality control on refurbished units is much higher than brand new units, therefore eliminating/reducing any probable future issue.

I'd say a "refurb" is more rigorously tested than a new unit. SK are a bunch whiners. Simply jealous of all the manufacturing in China and elsewhere. :apple:

carmenodie
Oct 17, 2010, 02:28 AM
What is Mr. Farhoudi going to say to them?

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLEEE THEWART BLAH BLAH BEEE BEE UGH EFFING BLAH BLAH!!

logitechFan
Oct 22, 2010, 05:23 AM
I'd say a "refurb" is more rigorously tested than a new unit. SK are a bunch whiners. Simply jealous of all the manufacturing in China and elsewhere. :apple:

On what basis are you saying a refurb is more rigorously tested than a new unit? Also SK are a bunch of whiners? no, they are doing what most people would have done if they had found out that the new device they bought actually is an old, albeit cleaned and checked unit, in a national scale and SK should be dang proud of that.

nospeed411
Oct 22, 2010, 06:28 AM
I am in the automotive industry and this question comes up frequently.

In my field of specialty we have a certain pricey component manufactured by Robert Bosch Corp that is know to fail regularly. When replacing said part we ALWAYS use the reman one. We have found that the reman one does in fact last twice as long and has a failure rate that is much less than the new part. To say that manufacturers tend to spend better quality control on the reman part is a genuinely true statement. In our case we have actually been told by the vehicle manufacturer that the reman part purchased directly from Bosch goes through 3 testing phases vs. the new part that is assembled ,tested once and shipped.

Companies tend to roll the dice sometimes with components and assemblies to speed up the process of a part that may be in high demand. Therefore they will "skimp" on quality control in lieu of getting a product to market.

pradap
Oct 22, 2010, 07:48 AM
That said, I often buy Apple refurbs because they're cheaper. Not because I foolishly think they're better.
Ok, but even if the testing standards are the same, assuming that the 'refurb' is a repaired unit rather than just a return that can't be sold as new, the refurb had an issue that slipped through once. What are the odds of the same problem happening again, or another *different* problem slipping through the tests twice?That's what people are talking about when they say refurbs (from a reputable source) have passed through better testing. Imagine a product where a certain marginal part passes a test 50% of the time. The odds of it making it through testing for sale as new is 50%. The odds of it making it through the second round of testing for sale as a refurb is only 25%.

Even Apple says that they use the same testing standards with refurbs as they do with new units.Anyone who actually believes that a refurb is somehow "better" than new, is welcome to buy the iPhone 5 new, keep it in its box for a few weeks, then swap it to me for the cheaper, used iPhone 5 refurb I later buy. Yeah, right.Apple knows that used devices are not better or even as desirable. That's why they charge so much less for them.:D

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shiekh
Oct 23, 2010, 08:54 PM
I sometimes prefer the fixed version on the grounds that the weak point has been identified (through failure) and replaced; chances are that the resultant unit is better than the new (which may still have a weak spot).

Another way to look at it, the slightly aged item may be more reliable than the new as it has effectively undergone an extended burn-in time and so the infant failures have already been removed from the population.

shiekh
Oct 23, 2010, 09:07 PM
I sometimes prefer the fixed version on the grounds that the weak point has been identified (through failure) and replaced; chances are that the resultant unit is better than the new (which may still have a weak spot near failure).

Another way to look at it, the slightly aged item may be more reliable than the new as it has effectively undergone an extended burn-in time and the infant failure components have already been removed from the population.

This reasoning has its flaws that I am sure someone will point out.

Epsilon88
Oct 23, 2010, 10:28 PM
I just hope that the South Koreans aren't as unnecessarily theatrical and self-righteous as the American congress. :rolleyes:

dba7dba
Oct 25, 2010, 12:15 PM
I just hope that the South Koreans aren't as unnecessarily theatrical and self-righteous as the American congress. :rolleyes:

Of course they are. Politicians are the same EVERYWHERE.

shigzeo
Oct 27, 2010, 01:36 AM
I work with an audio company in Seoul that gets lots of returns. South Koreans are notorious for returning items that they damage themselves. I've never seen the sort of abuse to an electronic item before. Earphones that have obviously been stepped on or thrown around, some that are even cut or sand-papered.

If Koreans are upset about getting refurbished units instead of new units, they have their own uses to really hit them over the head, no Apple's policy. Korean Parliament should know this, but since they only opened the country to foreign phones in 2009, they are incredibly NEWBIE and naive concerning the handling of non-Korean devices.

They need to get a grip and look at how their population uses devices before they get mad at any foreign company for shunting refurbished devices.

I hate reading stuff like this.

1. If you used the phone any time outside of the 30 day return period, it's a used phone. You shouldn't expect to give something old and receive something new; that's just silly. And really, if it was working perfectly fine for a month, there's a pretty good chance it stopped working for a reason.

2. The amount of time it takes to replace a unit vs. repairing it is ridiculous. Have any of you been to the Genius Bar? They can swap a phone in a couple of minutes. Tried opening your phone? Yeah, everything's kind of close together, interrelated and difficult to pull out/replace? Gonna take a lot more time.

3. If you break the phone (busted screen, drop it, liquid damage, etc...), you buy a phone. Period. What company is going to make money giving away product? You can always buy a new one if you want to pay full price, Apple isn't limiting you, your wallet is. Frankly, this holds true for all circumstances.

4. The phones are all rebuilt. It's not like they took a phone from someone else, dusted it off, and gave it to you. And, frankly, if it works; who cares?? You're getting the phone replaced because something went wrong, aren't you? Don't you want to have something working? I replaced my old 3G when it stopped working; my replacement came out of a well cushioned box, with protective packaging, straight from the factory and IT WORKED.
:rolleyes:

Stupid.
Kira