Wed, Apr 10, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Microsoft follows Apple as China attacks warranty

Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp’s after-sales service of its Surface tablet has attracted criticism from China’s state-owned radio, following similar reports in the past month targeting Apple Inc.

The Surface Pro should follow China’s law requiring notebook computers to have a one-year repair warranty for the whole device and a two-year warranty for main parts, as compared with the company’s one-year warranty for both, China National Radio reported on Monday.

Beijing-based Microsoft spokeswoman Joanna Li said she could not comment on the report.

After a March 15 report by China Central Television criticized Apple’s customer service, Chinese government mouthpiece the People’s Daily published more than a dozen articles on the subject.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook apologized to Chinese consumers on April 2 after two weeks of being lambasted by state-run media for arrogance and poor customer service.

China should not loosen regulations on Apple because of that apology, the People’s Daily said on Monday.

China National Radio reporter Pan Yi (潘毅) said the station looked into the story after listeners complained about Microsoft’s after-sales policies.

“Our story is not really related to CCTV’s Apple story,” Pan said in a telephone interview. “A lot of foreign companies are not very familiar with China’s after-sales policies.”

Microsoft began selling Surface tablets in China in October and made its first global sale in Beijing as the US company tried to win favor with local consumers tired of waiting months for access to the latest Apple products, which are sold in the US first.

In the March 15 report, the state broadcaster said the owners of Volkswagen AG’s cars in China have reported instances of abnormal vibrations, loss of power and sudden acceleration. The problems are related to the cars’ direct-shift gearbox system, it said in its program marking World Consumer Rights Day. Volkswagen said at the time that it will contact the involved customers and make any necessary repairs.

China’s quality watchdog introduced laws this year allowing the government to order investigations and impose fines should manufacturers and importers fail to recall faulty vehicles in a timely manner.

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