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Old Apr 15, 2013, 11:45 AM   #1
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Chinese Repair Shop Employees Scam Apple With Counterfeit iPhone Parts




Tech in Asia highlights a report [Google translation] from Chinese site TechWeb describing how employees at a repair shop in China scammed Apple by turning in counterfeit iPhone parts to be replaced with genuine parts.
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The scam saw a Wenzhou Apple shop owner turning in what he claimed were 121 iPhone 4S BAND parts (the core of the phone, worth about $476 each) that were broken and asking that they be replaced back in December of 2012. Apple complied, but in January discovered that the parts he submitted as broken were actually counterfeits. They reported this to the shop, which claimed innocence and reported the case to the police.
According to the report, one of the shop's engineers and her boyfriend were arrested on April 1 over the scam, with several other employees at the shop also having been arrested after being implicated.

Counterfeit iPhones are prevalent in China, and Apple has reportedly had only mixed success in receiving cooperation from authorities in cracking down on the issue.

Earlier this month, Apple altered its warranty policies for iPhone 4S and 4 repairs in China following criticism from state-run media, ensuring that replacement devices would be entirely new with a full one-year warranty along with offering clearer support information and additional training for service providers.

Article Link: Chinese Repair Shop Employees Scam Apple With Counterfeit iPhone Parts
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 11:54 AM   #2
OtherJesus
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This is happening here too and it disgusts me.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:00 PM   #3
Chuck-Norris
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lolz why am i not surprised
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:03 PM   #4
lotzosushi
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I didn't know Apple could replace just certain parts of the phone without the entire phone being in tact... Isn't there a serial number or something on those chips? I hardly think any Apple store in the US would just give you a new motherboard if you brought in a supposedly faulty one.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lotzosushi View Post
I didn't know Apple could replace just certain parts of the phone without the entire phone being in tact... Isn't there a serial number or something on those chips? I hardly think any Apple store in the US would just give you a new motherboard if you brought in a supposedly faulty one.
This is a repair shop, so they would have just parts to turn in to Apple.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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How can that one part be worth $476?
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:12 PM   #7
Benjamins
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So isn't it harder to spot scams like this now that they have to replace the iPhone entirely?
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rocknblogger View Post
How can that one part be worth $476?
Clearly, the only way a part for a phone that retails at $549 could be worth $476 is on the black market, and even that is unlikely. The original report was in error and Mac Rumours just did an exchange rate conversion on the quoted figure (3000 yuan).
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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It bothers me china gets upset with warranties but still has a very hands off and who cares attitude towards counterfeiting.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
It bothers me china gets upset with warranties but still has a very hands off and who cares attitude towards counterfeiting.
China is a big country, but criminals are ending up in jail for counterfeiting these days, in some cases life sentences :S

Same can be said about the United States attitude towards the war on drugs (easily obtainable), gun violence, prostitution (ter.com), and even counterfeiting too (i.e. NYC street vendors).
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:00 PM   #11
gatearray
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post

Earlier this month, Apple altered its warranty policies for iPhone 4S and 4 repairs in China following criticism from state-run media, ensuring that replacement devices would be entirely new with a full one-year warranty along with offering clearer support information and additional training for service providers.
This part is crazy to me. What other product's warranty ensures that if something on it breaks, you get a full brand new one from the shelf, with an additional 1 year warranty on that one???

Some people are upset because when the volume button stops working on their iPhone, the issue "gets repaired" by replacing it with a re-manufactured phone.

Maybe these folks would be happier if it worked more like when your television breaks? Take away your cell phone from you for two weeks while it's in the shop for repair, sound good? Don't worry, they'll give you a crappy flip-phone as a loaner while they break out the tiny screwdrivers in the back room and get you your scratched up iPhone with an 11 month old battery in it as soon as possible, it'll be just the way you like it except for the shiny new volume + button.

Apple swaps out phones with what is basically a brand new one as a courtesy to get people up and running with an electronics item as essential as a cell phone. It's an efficient process that people take for granted, but nobody was doing this kind of thing before Apple's Genius Bar, and I don't know of anyone else who provides this kind of service. What do people do when a Samsung phone breaks?

In the past, if your fancy electronics item broke within warranty it was a major pain in the ass while you shipped your product back and waited for it to be fixed or you accepted a refurbished one in it's place, still having to wait for it. Any authorized service center could repair your specific iPhone in the shop but it's better for everyone to just give you a "new one" right this second and fix your broken one later.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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I am a Chinese American and trust me, counterfeit problem is no where as bad in here than in china. Also, I totally understand why apple can't offer the same kind of customer services as in America. American stores all offer return policy but no such concept exists in China. When you have a company that is willing to exchange you a new phone if your old one breaks, in a country where no other business does this, you are going to have a lot of people taking advantage of you. Let me give you an example, people could buy this phone above their mean, regret it, then electrically short it then exchange for a new one to sell it. Apple can't find out in the store this was actually user caused damage.
And please don't talk about drug or gun violence or prostitution and compare it to China. You have no idea what you are talking about. Prostitution in China is 100x more rampant than America. As for gun... Seriously?? How can you compare us a gun legal country to china a country even regular police patrolman don't carry gun? They simply kill their criminals and jail their dissenters. Is that better? Lastly, counterfeit in US is nothing compared to china, mainly because people in US are far richer so they care about using the genuine products. Counterfeit products are not the same as the genuine product. Counterfeit product is to simply show off. Are you buying an iPhone to show off in America? No! Anyone can buy an iPhone. You buy it to use its features. But in china when people can't afford it, they really buy something for the purpose of showing off. This goes for fashion as well. Those fake bags and watches do not last like a genuine one and are of inferior quality. Most importantly, you find counterfeit things every city and every industry in china, I am talking about even fake egg, soy sauce, rice, to cars, etc., made by trash or chemical that kill people. Google it.

----------

Fake eggs:
http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/11/06/how-to-make-a-rotten-egg/

I totally agree with the poster above. The swap a phone policy is definitely too generous and always thought to be Apple's discretion, not a policy that you can sue apple for failing to withstand. Chinese media complained that they get inferior treatment but fail to understand the different behaviors their consumers exhibit.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 03:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ladeer View Post
How can you compare us a gun legal country to china a country even regular police patrolman don't carry gun? They simply kill their criminals and jail their dissenters. Is that better?
Last I heard, there is a death penalty in the United States - 3500+ criminals on the list.

China is far from perfect, but to say no steps have been taken against counterfeiting is unfair.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by coolspot18 View Post
Last I heard, there is a death penalty in the United States - 3500+ criminals on the list.

China is far from perfect, but to say no steps have been taken against counterfeiting is unfair.
China executed 5000 ppl a year more than all other nations on earth combined. America executed 43 ppl in 2012
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 09:03 AM   #15
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I think that China should partner with Google.

China, don't be evil.
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 01:29 PM   #16
carlgo
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Does somebody actually take iPhone 5s apart and replace parts? This would have to cost more than new devices made by the 10s of millions in low-cost environments.
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