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Kontikonsumi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2020
81
16
Hello dear community,

currently I am for vacation in Turkey. What is happening to me since the last days is bugging me so hard, that I need to share it with you. I am so frustated.

Bought an iPhone 11 with Apple Care from Hong Kong. Got service for it around the world (Germany, Italy & Cyprus). Now I am travlling in Turkey. Screen broke and I made an appoinemtn witht the genius bar from the main Offcial Apple Store in Istanbul, Turkey.
Than I got an E-Mail from the Appke Support stating, that I am only eligable for service in Tukrey, if my phone is registered to the BTK in Turkey, otherwiese no support is allowed. WHAT?!

BTK stands for the process that you need to pay around 300$ (in 2021) fees to turkey as a tax fr imported phones from aborad in order to avoid black marketing and to fix ta loop wholes. So far so good. BUT theere are NO expections for tourists and short time stays.

That means if you device does not show up in the central turkish device system (you can only be there if your phon eis bought within turkey or you pay 300 Dollars for your foreig phone) the service provider (even apple or chosen technich services by apple) are not allowed to offer you ANY service for your phone by turkish domestic law.

Result: Apple is not offering me service even though my iPhone has Apple Care!!! This info is official and has been proved by the Apple Store Turkey Support and also by the Apple International Support. Advice was to pay 300$ to the turkish state (and to wait I dont know how many weeks plus have a complicated procedure) or simply go to any other country in the world!

For further information on this issue:

If you get an alert from BTK in Turkey saying that your IMEI isn't registered - Apple Support 1 (english)
Activate an eSIM on your iPhone or iPad in Turkey - Apple Support
Türkiye'deki BTK'dan IMEI numaranızın kayıtlı olmadığına dair bir uyarı alırsanız - Apple Destek (TR)(turkish)

I am so shocked. I have a second backup iPhone which I am using right now, but I will fly to another country soon to get Support for my beloved iPhone and than come back to turkey to continue my travel. But what happened to me is just crazy in my eyes. Also Apple seems not to be willing to pay any extra expenses on my side due to this issue. All they say that they cannot help me at all with this issue in Turkey.

This is just sad. It would be nice if Apple would make a star in the regulations for “worldwide Apple Care iPhone” that there are huge limitations for iPhone services in Turkey. (Please also note that this limiation also applies to the iPad with a Mobile carrier, but does NOT apply to Macbooks or iPads without any mobile carrier. This turkish BTK-rule only applies to devices, which can get mobile data or use a sim card.)

  • See the screenshot below for the regulation Apple Informs you first in your confirmation E-Mail. However this information cannot be found anywhere before!!! So the lesson is than: If you have a device with an Apple Care (Worldwide), you better make a fake appintment with the travel destiniy apple repair service, get a confirmation E-Mail with all the details and than really know, whether you are eligible for service or not! I am also frustated about Apples Apple Care communicationf or iPhones in Turkey. If I would have known this I would have maybe avoided travelling here in the first place.

1628394854011.png
 
Last edited:

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,818
11,181
Same for China AppleCare does not apply to anywhere else in the world. AppleCare “transferability” is very limited. “Worldwide support” is more like “worldwide support for countries that is like USA, Canada etc”.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G4
May 26, 2016
10,825
16,944
Small prints brother. Sorry that you got stuck. But various local laws prevent from a lot of things. I think the worldwide support should be there in US, Canada, Europe at least.
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,971
10,694
Sounds like a legal speciality that Turkey has going on. Which sucks but occasionally there isn’t much else retailers like Apple can do if they want to operate within local rules and regulations.
 
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nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,222
3,212
and to wait I dont know how many weeks plus have a complicated procedure

Having bought a model only sold in Hong Kong and mainland China, this is all you should ever expect, even if you can get service wherever you end up.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,694
2,446
Baltimore, Maryland
Good advice in there about having a spare (probably old) iPhone when traveling abroad. I think if I was traveling and had a spare I wouldn't even bother with trying to get my #1 phone repaired.
 
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Kontikonsumi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2020
81
16
Hi actually the service does not have anything to do with Apple or with an Hong Kong iPhone itself, but rather witht the restrictions of the Turkish Law (applies for all foreign phones and foreign phone repairs.) So dont get confusef with the Hong Kong iPhone. I got service for the Hong Kong iPhone in Germany and Italy (Europe) and basically you can get support with, IF NATIONAL (not APPLE) laws are restricting it.
Also please note that Hong Kong iPhones ARE NOT the same with Chinese iPhones! Hong Kong iPhones are free (no restrictions or limitations in software, usability etc.). They work just like European or USAmerican iPhones. They have a benefit though, that they can have two analogue dual sims (that was the reason why I also bought it from Hong Kong.) Apple in Hong Kong also assured me, that their iPhones dont have any limitation and I can get service with it worldwide, IF national laws in other countries (like Turkey for ALL foreign phones) dont restrict it. So once again, no problem with the precious Hong Kong iPhone, but problem of trukish regulations.
If you are curious about the model check it out here (using it since it came out across Europe, without any limitations or any problems with the transmitters/cellular network!): https://support.apple.com/en-hk/HT209086


What I would like to know now: What kind of other limitations do other countries have regarding "worldwid" Apple Care. In the small prints it just says something general, something like "restrictions due to national law may apply." Thats it, so actually we have to ask indidually for every country we travel to, to the dedicated service. (Apple "general international" Support, also doesnt always know the specific restrcitions for the specific country (the guy from the international Apple suppor told me, that he never heard about such a restriction ever before!).

End of the story: Have a second iPhone (if you want to invest the money) prefearbly with the same specs like your original iPhone or with specs you could "live" for some weeks, until you return to your "homebase" / a place where you have the time and eligable for service.

Because it could happen anytime that national laws change and that we also have similiar restrictions like in turkey currently. Or sometimes they can offer a repair, but it takes too long. e.g. I was planning to fly to Ukraine, but they told me theey first have to order the parts AFTER having a look to my phone, which could take 5 days.

These are things you dont want to encounter during travelling or during stressfull times. I learned my lesson and will buy a second iPhone soon, just for these purposes as a backup.
 

Kontikonsumi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2020
81
16
Having bought a model only sold in Hong Kong and mainland China, this is all you should ever expect, even if you can get service wherever you end up.
Nothing to do with Hong Kong iPhone (read my posts). Chinese iPhones and Hong Kong iPhones are a total different story, when it comes to service or software usage.
 

Kontikonsumi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2020
81
16
Sounds like a legal speciality that Turkey has going on. Which sucks but occasionally there isn’t much else retailers like Apple can do if they want to operate within local rules and regulations.
Thats excatly the point. As a Apple Care customer my wish would be that apple lists all the countries with a limitation in detail (rather than giving a general notice, that I MAY not be eligable in SOME countries). In this way I would be kind of more prepared if I am a frequent traveller to different places around the world.
 

Kontikonsumi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2020
81
16
Small prints brother. Sorry that you got stuck. But various local laws prevent from a lot of things. I think the worldwide support should be there in US, Canada, Europe at least.
Yes, it always depends on the national laws. Apple just should make a detailled list for every country.
 

Kontikonsumi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2020
81
16
Same for China AppleCare does not apply to anywhere else in the world. AppleCare “transferability” is very limited. “Worldwide support” is more like “worldwide support for countries that is like USA, Canada etc”.
Yup, I would be interested about the nitty gritties of this "worldwide" Apple Care.
 

nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,222
3,212
Hi actually the service does not have anything to do with Apple or with an Hong Kong iPhone itself, but rather witht the restrictions of the Turkish Law (applies for all foreign phones and foreign phone repairs.) So dont get confusef with the Hong Kong iPhone. I got service for the Hong Kong iPhone in Germany and Italy (Europe) and basically you can get support with, IF NATIONAL (not APPLE) laws are restricting it.
Also please note that Hong Kong iPhones ARE NOT the same with Chinese iPhones! Hong Kong iPhones are free (no restrictions or limitations in software, usability etc.). They work just like European or USAmerican iPhones. They have a benefit though, that they can have two analogue dual sims (that was the reason why I also bought it from Hong Kong.) Apple in Hong Kong also assured me, that their iPhones dont have any limitation and I can get service with it worldwide, IF national laws in other countries (like Turkey for ALL foreign phones) dont restrict it. So once again, no problem with the precious Hong Kong iPhone, but problem of trukish regulations.
If you are curious about the model check it out here (using it since it came out across Europe, without any limitations or any problems with the transmitters/cellular network!): https://support.apple.com/en-hk/HT209086


What I would like to know now: What kind of other limitations do other countries have regarding "worldwid" Apple Care. In the small prints it just says something general, something like "restrictions due to national law may apply." Thats it, so actually we have to ask indidually for every country we travel to, to the dedicated service. (Apple "general international" Support, also doesnt always know the specific restrcitions for the specific country (the guy from the international Apple suppor told me, that he never heard about such a restriction ever before!).

End of the story: Have a second iPhone (if you want to invest the money) prefearbly with the same specs like your original iPhone or with specs you could "live" for some weeks, until you return to your "homebase" / a place where you have the time and eligable for service.

Because it could happen anytime that national laws change and that we also have similiar restrictions like in turkey currently. Or sometimes they can offer a repair, but it takes too long. e.g. I was planning to fly to Ukraine, but they told me theey first have to order the parts AFTER having a look to my phone, which could take 5 days.

These are things you dont want to encounter during travelling or during stressfull times. I learned my lesson and will buy a second iPhone soon, just for these purposes as a backup.

You've misunderstood my point... I know full well how the HK iPhone is special (the Chinese model is the same, in terms of model number and the physical dual SIM feature... every difference between the HK and China model is in the firmware and software) - and if it ever came to replacement, you'd need to either forgo that for a local model or wait for a HK model to be shipped from China. Hence - potential complications.


The relevant wording from Applecare is: "If you seek service in a country that is not the country of purchase, you must comply with all applicable import and export laws and regulations and be responsible for all custom duties, V.A.T. and other associated sales taxes and charges." They've put the onus on you to find out, rather than them tell you.
 

Kontikonsumi

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2020
81
16
You've misunderstood my point... I know full well how the HK iPhone is special (the Chinese model is the same, in terms of model number and the physical dual SIM feature... every difference between the HK and China model is in the firmware and software) - and if it ever came to replacement, you'd need to either forgo that for a local model or wait for a HK model to be shipped from China. Hence - potential complications.


The relevant wording from Applecare is: "If you seek service in a country that is not the country of purchase, you must comply with all applicable import and export laws and regulations and be responsible for all custom duties, V.A.T. and other associated sales taxes and charges." They've put the onus on you to find out, rather than them tell you.
Chinese Model and Hong Kong Version seem to have the same Model number, but definetly not the same Model Region to be found in the settings – so at the end it is not really the same ... (https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Model_Regions)

And Replacement can take a while yes, but if it is just the screen, like in my case, they replace it without having to wait for shipment of the Model from Hong Kong – not from China.

Thank you for quoting the passage from Apple Care – I Hope that they change their information policy soon.
 

GDTG

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2021
2
0
Chinese Model and Hong Kong Version seem to have the same Model number, but definetly not the same Model Region to be found in the settings – so at the end it is not really the same ... (https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Model_Regions)

And Replacement can take a while yes, but if it is just the screen, like in my case, they replace it without having to wait for shipment of the Model from Hong Kong – not from China.

Thank you for quoting the passage from Apple Care – I Hope that they change their information policy soon.
I have lived in Turkey for many years, this is typical "Turkish" behaviour, the requirement to have the phone registered to get something fixed is a total fabrication.
This requirement relates to allowing your (foreign) phone to be connected to a local mobile service provider using a local SIM card. You are allowed (I think, IIRC) up to 60 days to do so (and pay the approx $250-$300 fee), otherwise you can use a foreign SIM card indefinitely, meaning the use of any make of phone here in Turkey is completely lawful, meaning you also have rights to have repairs made.

For example, if you are visiting for business for say a week or 2 and you need a repair done, it is unreasonable to expect a person to "register" their handset when are not applying for a mobile SIM card in Turkey, this is actually in contravention of your rights provided under the law.

I have 2 mobile (both iPhones) one is a UK phone and I have NEVER had to have it register here as I use a UK provider with roaming (this is for business and when I travel outside of Turkey), my other is an iPhone 7 with a local SIM card (Turkcell).

Turkey is aligned with EU Consumer Law (e.g.: 2 year warranties, etc.) and the same protections apply here as they do in the EU.
Unfortunately your experience stems from:
1. ignorance of the law (most of the employees are clueless, they don't even know that a foreigner can have a Turkish "kimlik" (ID)), and / or
2. utter greed to extract money from people.
 

GDTG

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2021
2
0
One more point to add: the cost and the extreme bureaucracy of pursuing any remedy via a court to access and have confirmed your legal rights in Turkey is enough to stop people doing it, hence this sort of reprehensible behaviour by Turkish businesses (including local subsidiaries of international firms) is allowed to continue unchecked.
 
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