The China Consumer Association (CCA) openly criticized Apple Inc. once again. Last week, the CCA announced the "Analysis on Complaints Received by Nationwide Consumers' Associations on the First Half of 2012," pointing out that the revised after-sales service clauses of Apple Inc. at the beginning of July still are ambiguous and suspected of cheating consumers.
One month ago, the CCA and the consumers' associations of six provinces and cities had jointly issued an "Opinions on Unfair Repair and Maintenance Clauses of Apple Inc.," asking the company to revise its overbearing clauses.
Apple Inc. ignored the CCA's criticism because it knew clearly the "underlying rules" in China. The CCA has not the law enforcement power and cannot replace consumers to take public interest litigation against Apple Inc. What they can do is to support the infringed consumers to sue or denounce the misconducts damaging consumer rights and interests through media outlets. However, the individual consumers are difficult to shake these transnational corporations such as Apple due to hard evidence collecting, high cost and time-consuming, though supported by consumers' associations.
既然消协本身无法对苹果进行追责，那么查处苹果“霸王条款”的责任就顺理成章地落在了职能部门身上，然而奇怪的是，消协点名批评至今，却不见监管部门的任何行动。 Since the consumers' associations have no rights to sue on the overbearing maintenance clauses, supervision departments should undertake the responsibility. However, no supervision departments have taken action.
Are the "overbearing clauses" hardly detected? The clauses that state "refurbished parts can be used for maintenance, the damage caused by maintenance is only compensable by maintenance fees, the damage caused in transportation cannot be repaired free of charge and that failing to take the product on time will be seen as a waiver" have clearly violated China's Consumer Protection Law, Contract Law, Product Quality Law, Property Law and the three guarantees for repair, replacement or compensation of faulty product. Both netizens and consumers' associations can see it. Did not the supervision departments see it? Moreover, Apple Inc. openly uses the double standard on the after-sales repair. As the vice chairman of CCA had said, "Apple products use the 'common version' of maintenance clauses but use 'special items' in such countries as Japan, Australia and Britain. The Apple Inc. specially uses the special items to meet the legal standards of other countries."
Why it abides by the laws of other countries but ignores Chinese law and even establishes arrogant double standard? The financial statement of Apple Inc. in the third quarter of 2012 showed that the total corporate income reached up to 35 billion U.S. dollars as of June 30, with 5.7 billion U.S. dollars gained in China, an increase of 48 percent year-on-year. How can Apple Inc. despise the important "God?"
The conniving of supervision department resulted in the arrogance of Apple Inc., embodying lax law enforcement beneath superficially strict legislation. No any departments dare to give a ticket to Apple and some departments even vindicate the overbearing clauses. These connivances more encouraged arrogant behaviors of Apple Inc. in China.