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MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple updated its purchase policy for Hong Kong today to reflect that all Apple and Beats products purchased at its retail stores in the region cannot be returned or exchanged.

The exact reason for Apple suddenly disallowing returns and exchanges at its five Hong Kong retail locations, and whether it is a temporary move, remains unclear at this time.

Apple previously allowed customers in Hong Kong to return or exchange undamaged products with the original receipt and packaging within 14 days of the date of purchase.

The change was made on the same day iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in Hong Kong, where the smartphones have been reselling on the black market for up to 15,000 Hong Kong dollars, or up to $1,933 in U.S. dollars. CNBC and South China Morning Post both ran articles about these lucrative scalping efforts, which have become commonplace with every iPhone launch, earlier today.

Hong Kong is a hotbed for black market electronics due to the lack of import taxes and duties added to foreign goods purchased, as is the case in neighboring mainland China. Scalpers often attempt to illegally smuggle new iPhones across the border to mainland China to make significant profits, including one smuggler caught with 94 iPhones strapped to his body in 2015.

A tipster informed MacRumors that the return policy change also applies in Macau, another special administrative region of China.

Article Link: Apple Not Accepting Returns or Exchanges in Hong Kong
 

smacrumon

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
2,683
4,010
Take this ---- policy to the courts. Customers have a right to return any product for an exchange or refund.

Don't have confidence in a market, then don't sell the device in that market.
 
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rageguy

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2009
77
76
I'm from HK. The concept of refund and exchange is so foreign to us. When I moved to Canada I was shocked people can change their mind and get a refund. The ability to have refunds and exchanges is a privilege, not a universal right.

A lot of stores in HK do not allow refunds or exchanges. This isn't news.
 
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Admiral

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2015
266
774
I'm from HK. The concept of refund and exchange is so foreign to us. When I moved to Canada I was shocked people can change their mind and get a refund. The ability to have refunds and exchanges is a privilege, not a universal right.

A lot of stores in HK do not allow refunds or exchanges. This isn't news.

I was just going to say, "Tell us where in the Hong Kong Sale of Goods Ordinance this 'right' exists." It doesn't.
 
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akeita

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2016
2
17
The reason is simple.

The majority of iPhones sold in Hong Kong in the early days / weeks after launch are immediately sold to traders who would then smuggle them across the border to China. There is a price premium between the retail price in Hong Kong and the retail price in China, not to mention the enormous demand in China that the supply from official retailers within China can't meet, which may drive up the black market price even more.

This has been happening since the iPhone 4 cycle. Yes. iPhone 4 cycle. 6 years ago. Back when China wasn't even on the initial list of countries where the iPhone was available but Hong Kong usually was. Imagine the supply intended for a city of 7 million trying to meet the demand of a country of 1.3 billion.

By providing a generous return policy in the past, Apple was providing a safety net for those seeking a quick return flipping iPhones. In case the demand from China didn't materialize, as was the case for the past 2 cycles, people trying to flip can return the iPhones to Apple for a full refund, risk free. By eliminating this return policy, then there is now a cost to these quick flipping trades, which is actually a good thing.
 
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marmiteturkey

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2005
728
485
London
Take this ---- policy to the courts. Customers have a right to return any product for an exchange or refund.

Don't have confidence in a market, then don't sell the device in that market.
Not in Hong Kong they don't.

Also, this has nothing to do with Apple's 'confidence' in Hong Kong as a market and likely everything to do with abuse of the policy.
 
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SchneiderMan

macrumors G3
May 25, 2008
8,332
199
I'm from HK. The concept of refund and exchange is so foreign to us. When I moved to Canada I was shocked people can change their mind and get a refund. The ability to have refunds and exchanges is a privilege, not a universal right.

A lot of stores in HK do not allow refunds or exchanges. This isn't news.
One of the things that is great in western culture, and it's slowly being ruined and taken advantage by foreigners.
 
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midnitie

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2015
2
3
Hong Kong
The fact that Apple has allowed returns and exchanges in Hong Kong for so long already shocks me. Very few stores locally offers such a generous policy. It's always been a Caveat Emptor in the retail market here in Hong Kong. Besides, most of the preorders and sales today are going to end up in mainland China due to the currency/taxation differences, hence the scalping opportunity.
 
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KevinMHC

macrumors member
Nov 5, 2012
65
6
Take this ---- policy to the courts. Customers have a right to return any product for an exchange or refund.

Don't have confidence in a market, then don't sell the device in that market.

Apple is not forcing you to buy their products. If you don't like Apple's policy, then don't buy from them.

This will not affect Hong Kong in any way whatsoever. Hong Kong retailers never had a refund or exchange policy to begin with. Having said that, most retailers I've experience do make an effort to exchange if the product is unused with in a reasonable amount of time.
 
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wbrat

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2014
204
149
The reason is simple.

The majority of iPhones sold in Hong Kong in the early days / weeks after launch are immediately sold to traders who would then smuggle them across the border to China. There is a price premium between the retail price in Hong Kong and the retail price in China, not to mention the enormous demand in China that the supply from official retailers within China can't meet, which may drive up the black market price even more.

This has been happening since the iPhone 4 cycle. Yes. iPhone 4 cycle. 6 years ago. Back when China wasn't even on the initial list of countries where the iPhone was available but Hong Kong usually was. Imagine the supply intended for a city of 7 million trying to meet the demand of a country of 1.3 billion.

But in those cases nobody wants to return it, right?
 
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AskMcG

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2014
121
115
Take this ---- policy to the courts. Customers have a right to return any product for an exchange or refund.

Don't have confidence in a market, then don't sell the device in that market.

My friend, please expand your horizon, you are so stuck on the way the US and similar countries work, that anything not in favor of the consumer is considered wrong.

No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to buy it. In many countries, returns are NOT allowed unless there is a problem with a device. You buy it because you want it, you do your research before you buy it if you have any doubts. If you don't like it after the fact, it's not the sellers fault.
 
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smacrumon

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
2,683
4,010
Not in Hong Kong they don't.

Also, this has nothing to do with Apple's 'confidence' in Hong Kong as a market and likely everything to do with abuse of the policy.
They can't have a no returns policy. It's unconscionable. Customers have a right to return products. If Apple sees fit to sell products in the region, it must accept refunds and exchanges.
 
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midnitie

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2015
2
3
Hong Kong
Furthermore, this case is a simple one. There has been instances where the profits to be gained selling to the black market is diminished, and people just use the return/exchange policy as their safety net because they can always guarantee a no-loss scenario in their scalping.

Also, there were cases where people have swapped parts INSIDE the iPhone and then take the phone back for refund.

So yes, Apple is just responding to the abuse of their return/exchange policy.
 
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smacrumon

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
2,683
4,010
To those defending Apple, if Apple sees fit to sell products, it must equally see fit to accept returns. None of this overt rights curtailment in some regions around the world. How disgraceful of those advocating such a discriminatory policy.
 
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WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,183
2,688
Seattle
They can't have a no returns policy. It's unconscionable. Customers have a right to return products. If Apple sees fit to sell products in the region, it must accept refunds and exchanges.

That awkward moment when you realize you're incorrect.
[doublepost=1474010608][/doublepost]
To those defending Apple, if Apple sees fit to sell products, it must equally see fit to accept returns. None of this overt rights curtailment in some regions around the world. How disgraceful of those advocating such a discriminatory policy.

No. You're wrong.
 
Comment

1041958

Suspended
Aug 28, 2016
232
431
To those defending Apple, if Apple sees fit to sell products, it must equally see fit to accept returns. None of this overt rights curtailment in some regions around the world. How disgraceful of those advocating such a discriminatory policy.

Apple only needs to abide by the laws of the country they operate in. By previously allowing returns they were going well above & beyond what's considered normal in Hong Kong. People abused it and now Apple is rolling back to operate the way most other companies do.

If people don't like the policy then they can buy something else. I have a feeling this will have zero impact on their sales since people in Hong Kong are already used to the idea of "all sales final".
 
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AskMcG

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2014
121
115
They can't have a no returns policy. It's unconscionable. Customers have a right to return products. If Apple sees fit to sell products in the region, it must accept refunds and exchanges.
So what you are saying is that customers have the right to be spoiled and take advantage of companies.

I need to run a marathon, let me buy some running shoes, run the marathon, get them all sweaty, then return them knowing the store cannot resell them.


Granted Apple can inspect and sell as refurbished, but the "returning generosity" should not be mandatory to be taken advantage of just because some people have doubts. That's why they have devices you can play with in store, to see if you'll like them.
 
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