AppleCare+ is a paid service that fruit fans are familiar with. When you go to the Apple Store, the clerk may not sell the iPhone, but when you pay, there is a high probability that Amway will get a wave of AppleCare+. To put it bluntly, it is accident insurance. Once the Apple device has problems such as broken screen, immersion, and inability to turn on, you can pay a very low amount for repair or replacement.
Apple Online Store (China)
However, Apple’s AppleCare+ in mainland China has quietly changed recently, and this service has shrunk in disguise. After this incident was stabbed out on the Internet, it quickly aroused heated discussions.
The “regret period” has changed from 60 days to 7 days. Are Chinese users targeted?
To summarize the changes in AppleCare + policy in one sentence:
After mainland users purchase Apple devices, the time for subsequent online purchases of AppleCare + services has been shortened from 60 days after activating the device to 7 days.
Some people may not know that even if they did not start with AppleCare+ when buying Apple products, they can still make up for it in the future. According to the previous policy, within 60 days after the activation of iPhone, iPad and other products, users can purchase AppleCare+ online or in Apple’s offline retail stores.
We all know that although Apple’s domestic Apple Store has expanded on a large scale in recent years, it still covers only a limited number of cities. Moreover, it is obviously much more convenient to apply directly online than to apply offline. Now, Apple has reduced the 60-day period of AppleCare+ to 7 days, which is undoubtedly shrinking this originally convenient service.
Of course, the current policy for purchasing AppleCare + offline has not changed, and there is still a 60-day grace period. If your new Apple device is activated for more than 7 days, you can also go to an offline store to complete the additional purchase of AppleCare +. However, if there is no Apple Store in your city, it will be a lot of trouble.
In addition, the current AppleCare + policy adjustment has caused dissatisfaction among some domestic users, including Apple’s differentiated treatment. Now, a large number of AppleCare+ in overseas regions still support online purchases within 60 days.
JS drills loopholes, users lie down?
Regarding AppleCare + policy adjustments, Apple did not give any relevant explanations. However, outside speculation is generally due to loopholes in AppleCare + online purchases, and Apple has been smashed by many people.
The way to apply to purchase AppleCare+ on Apple devices is generally to send a remote link officially. After the user clicks, Apple will remotely detect the device to determine whether the product itself is faulty. However, due to technical limitations, in many cases, remote detection cannot find all problems. For example, if the iPhone screen is broken, and the user goes to buy AppleCare+ online, the Apple remote detection system will not be able to identify the broken screen.
Taking iPhone 12 as an example, if the phone screen is broken, the out-of-warranty repair price is 2,149 yuan. And if you purchase AppleCare+ (1398 yuan), you only need to pay 188 yuan, and the final cost is only 1586 yuan. Moreover, the AppleCare+ service has been adjusted a while ago, and users can enjoy low-cost repairs/renewals twice a year and four times in two years after purchase.
And if the user’s Apple product is artificially damaged and the activation time is less than 60 days, and he understands the mechanism of online purchase of AppleCare+, driven by profit, the behavior of drilling loopholes and smashing Apple wool may occur.
Of course, if this behavior only occurs in a small group of people, then even if Apple suffers a certain loss, it is still to the extent that Apple can bear it. But obviously, the loopholes of AppleCare + have been spotted by a large number of merchants, and even formed a complete gray industrial chain. JS purchases a large number of Apple products with a certain fault that have been activated for less than 60 days at a low price, and then buys AppleCare+ online, then goes to Apple after-sales for low-price replacement, and finally sells it at a high price to earn the difference. Now, a large number of inactive official replacements in the third-party market are sourced from these channels.
Apple’s start with AppleCare + is also a helpless move in a sense. While cracking down on JS, it also brings some inconvenience to many ordinary users.
Apple’s after-sales policy has been fighting wits and courage with the wool party
Since Apple entered the mainland market, after-sales policies have been adjusted, and the general trend is to keep tightening. In the early days, Apple’s after-sales service was very relaxed, and replacement and repair were the norm. However, in such a huge market, a loose after-sales policy that prioritizes user experience will inevitably be targeted by JS and even form a large-scale gray industrial chain.
Shortly before the AppleCare + policy adjustment, Apple revised the AirPods after-sales rules. Authorized points will not be able to directly provide renewal services, and defective products need to be returned to the factory for repair. We all know that the detachability of AirPods is almost 0. Facts have also proved that the so-called return to the factory for repair is actually a return to the factory for inspection. Apple’s tightening of the right to renew the authorization point is also because there have been a large number of JS replacements with fake AirPods. The method is to engrave the serial number of the real phone on the realistic-looking fake headset in order to cheat for the new. As for these serial numbers, whether they were stolen or purchased for a fee, we don’t know.
Earlier, Apple implemented a replacement-repair policy for a large number of products, including the iPhone. After being broken by JS, they adjusted it to the original machine. In fact, many times now, the products in question can still enjoy the benefits of renewal in the Apple Store. Judging from the experience of Xiao Lei and the experience shared by netizens, if Apple’s after-sales judgment believes that the problematic device is in normal use by ordinary users, in order to ensure user experience, it will often be replaced directly.
From Apple’s official standpoint, how to formulate after-sales policies requires consideration of many factors. On the one hand, we must take into account the experience of ordinary users, and on the other hand, we must guard against JS’s snarling behavior. In 2019, when questioned by members of the US Congress, Apple stated that its after-sales business has been at a loss for the past ten years since 2009. Although the official did not give a specific explanation, the outside world believes that the main reason is post-sale fraud. Of course, this behavior is not limited to the mainland market. Similar situations exist in overseas regions, but the mainland market is larger and the problem appears to be more prominent.
Do we have other options?
As we have said before, after AppleCare + online purchases are restricted, users can only choose offline channels, which is inconvenient for many people. So, do we have other options? AppleCare + is essentially accident insurance. In addition to Apple, many insurance companies also provide similar services to Apple products, such as various types of broken screen insurance.
However, most of the broken screen insurance has more or less defects, such as replacing the third-party screen instead of the original factory, stability and experience will be compromised, and the replacement will also affect the original warranty. However, there are also many Apple broken screen insurances known as “original screens” on the market. After carefully reviewing the relevant terms, Xiao Lei found that after this type of insurance was out of danger, the insurance company would send the user’s device to Apple’s official after-sales service and bear the corresponding costs.
In terms of price, taking the broken screen insurance provided online as an example, the one-year insured price of iPhone 11 is only 100 yuan, which is even cheaper than the 188 yuan screen replacement price after purchasing AppleCare+. However, the broken screen insurance only covers the screen and does not cover other accidental damages, but such a low premium really cannot be demanded too much. If the device you use usually has a shell, a separate broken screen insurance is enough.
This type of broken screen insurance also supports online purchases, but the well-versed insurance company is still smarter than Apple. It requires users to take screen photos of the insured models before buying, which plugs the loopholes of insurance fraud to a certain extent.
In general, Apple’s current AppleCare + policy adjustment, although there are many helpless factors behind it, objectively it does reduce the user experience, and it is inevitable that it will be accused of treating users differently. As ordinary users, what we can do is actually quite limited. If conditions permit and want to provide better protection for the equipment, it is best to purchase AppleCare+ at the same time as buying Apple, or to purchase through offline channels in the future. At the same time, we can also choose lower-priced third-party insurance, and it is recommended that you start with insurance that provides original after-sales service.