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Customers of Fake Apple Store Demand Refunds

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 33 comments

Electronics stores in Kunming are being investigated and customers are demanding receipts following the revelation that fake Apple stores are operating in the area.

Last week blogger BirdAbroad made a huge splash with pictures of a fake Apple store in Kunming, China. However, it seems there were some unhappy customers following the revelation that the shop was a not a legitimate Apple store. Reuters reports that customers were Friday 'berating staff and demanding refunds' following the news coverage.

"When I heard the news I rushed here immediately to get the receipt, I am so upset," one customer told Reuters. "With a store this big, it looks so believable who would have thought it was fake?"

The customer in question was sold a 13-inch MacBook Pro and iPhone 3G by the staff at the store. However, she was never given a receipt, but told to come back and collect it later. An employee spoke to Reuters, complaining about the unfair portrayal of the store in the media.

"The media is painting us to be a fake store but we don't sell fakes, all our products are real, you can check it yourself," he said.

The Associated Press reports that Chinese authorities are investigating electronics stores in the area and have found a total of five fake Apple stores. Two of these locations have been ordered to suspend business pending an investigation. The other three remain open as no fake Apple products were found.

The owner of the store that appeared in photos on the BirdAbroad blog told the Wall Street Journal (via Washington Post) that while his storefront was unauthorized, the products were genuine Apple products. He is said to have declined to reveal his supplier but apparently hopes to become an Apple reseller soon.

"I am sure we will become their authorized reseller in the near future," the man, named only as Li,  told The Wall Street Journal, "After all, we invested a lot in this store."

The investigations carried out at the stores will focus on business licenses, permits of brand use and purchasing channels for each location.

Further Reading

Reuters: Customers Angry, Staff Defiant at China's Fake Apple Store

Washington Post: Fake Apple Store Under Investigation in China

Associated Press (via Yahoo!): China Officials Find Five Fake Apple Stores in One City

Wall Street Journal (subscription required): Copycat Apple Store Prompts China Investigation

Discuss
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  • 28 Hide
    Camikazi , July 26, 2011 1:25 PM
    If the product is real and registerable (for warranty reasons), is it really necessary to try and get a refund? If it checks out can be sent for warranty repairs as if you bought from a real store then just keep the damn thing and be happy, asking for a refund for a perfectly good product just cause it wasn't an official Apple Store is just stupid beyond reason. All it shows is that the people wanted to be able to show off that they got it at a real Apple Store and show how hip they are...
  • 23 Hide
    chick0n , July 26, 2011 1:43 PM
    jackblingAnother legitimate question is why would you angrily return an apple product just because the store isnt sanctioned?


    Because Apple Zealots wants to give as much of their hard earned cash to Steve Jobs. Not some 3rd party.
  • 17 Hide
    mcd023 , July 26, 2011 1:45 PM
    I doubt that they'll make you an authorized reseller after you did it without permission!
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , July 26, 2011 1:15 PM
    This is an interesting concept. If you own a store that mostly sells legitimate Apple products, do you have the right to call yourself an Apple store?
  • 28 Hide
    Camikazi , July 26, 2011 1:25 PM
    If the product is real and registerable (for warranty reasons), is it really necessary to try and get a refund? If it checks out can be sent for warranty repairs as if you bought from a real store then just keep the damn thing and be happy, asking for a refund for a perfectly good product just cause it wasn't an official Apple Store is just stupid beyond reason. All it shows is that the people wanted to be able to show off that they got it at a real Apple Store and show how hip they are...
  • 12 Hide
    jackbling , July 26, 2011 1:28 PM
    Another legitimate question is why would you angrily return an apple product just because the store isnt sanctioned?
  • 7 Hide
    sunflier , July 26, 2011 1:28 PM
    Quote:
    The customer in question was sold a 13-inch MacBook Pro and iPhone 3G by the staff at the store. However, she was never given a receipt, but told to come back and collect it later.

    um. If the store is fake might the receipt also be fake?
  • 2 Hide
    memadmax , July 26, 2011 1:31 PM
    ROFL...
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , July 26, 2011 1:32 PM
    You aren't allowed to sell legitimate Apple products without their permission


  • 23 Hide
    chick0n , July 26, 2011 1:43 PM
    jackblingAnother legitimate question is why would you angrily return an apple product just because the store isnt sanctioned?


    Because Apple Zealots wants to give as much of their hard earned cash to Steve Jobs. Not some 3rd party.
  • 17 Hide
    mcd023 , July 26, 2011 1:45 PM
    I doubt that they'll make you an authorized reseller after you did it without permission!
  • 4 Hide
    christop , July 26, 2011 1:49 PM
    I guess setting up and doing business is way different in China. You are suppose to have a business licenses before opening up a store. Also Apple are control freaks so you might want to make sure they ok you selling their products. Kinda sad that you would have to ask hey is it ok if I sell your overpriced products I would think Apple would love the extra money.
  • 6 Hide
    custodian-1 , July 26, 2011 2:02 PM
    if you don't have a receipt (who would in there right mind leave a store without one) you can't get warranty (like buying of the back of a truck) wounder where they got their stock.
  • 13 Hide
    captaincharisma , July 26, 2011 2:03 PM
    chick0nBecause Apple Zealots wants to give as much of their hard earned cash to Steve Jobs. Not some 3rd party.


    yep that pretty much sums up what an apple fanboy is
  • 15 Hide
    jcesmi , July 26, 2011 2:06 PM
    Shin-sanThis is an interesting concept. If you own a store that mostly sells legitimate Apple products, do you have the right to call yourself an Apple store?


    Apple doesnt allow rights to anyone
  • 7 Hide
    velocityg4 , July 26, 2011 2:08 PM
    jackblingAnother legitimate question is why would you angrily return an apple product just because the store isnt sanctioned?


    Because it will effect your warranty. Warranties on Apple products start on the day they are sold by an Authorized reseller. As for the products those stores are selling their is no telling when the warranty starts. I would assume it would default to whenever they were sold from Apple to the distributor.

    Given that the owner of the store refused to name the supplier. There is no way of knowing if they are stolen.

    Since they set out to deceive their customers. I would not trust anything they said and would demand my money back. Just because of their dishonest business practice.
  • 4 Hide
    cloakster , July 26, 2011 2:29 PM
    mcd023I doubt that they'll make you an authorized reseller after you did it without permission!

    Actually, since Apple has no morals, im pretty sure that as long as the store will make Apple money they would do it.
  • -6 Hide
    chick0n , July 26, 2011 2:31 PM
    They can't even spell "Apple Store" right (on the sign it said "Stoer")

    and they hope they can be an authorized reseller ? LOL
  • 11 Hide
    DSpider , July 26, 2011 2:47 PM
    Apple has 4 stores in all of China and this guy opened 5 stores in one city. He's got some balls, I'll give him that.

    I'd be pissed too. Mainly because of warranty issues! Apple products are not as cracked up as people think they are. Some have manufacturing defects, some die after a few months. They may look pretty on the outside, but the inside is made of some relatively cheap components. I know what you're thinking, "they last so long, they obviously use high quality parts!", right? Wrong. They appear to last longer because most people treat them like jewellery (probably because of the price tag they come with). If you take better care of any[/b] gadget it will last longer.
  • 12 Hide
    drwho1 , July 26, 2011 2:55 PM
    this article reminds me of my first computer, it was a TANDY and I bought it from a Real Radio Shack store LOL!

    In other news genetic apples have been found in local markets, Mother Nature is suing because she says that APPLES are an exclusive from her APPLE Trees.
  • 8 Hide
    alikum , July 26, 2011 2:56 PM
    velocityg4Because it will effect your warranty. Warranties on Apple products start on the day they are sold by an Authorized reseller. As for the products those stores are selling their is no telling when the warranty starts. I would assume it would default to whenever they were sold from Apple to the distributor.Given that the owner of the store refused to name the supplier. There is no way of knowing if they are stolen.Since they set out to deceive their customers. I would not trust anything they said and would demand my money back. Just because of their dishonest business practice.

    It's apple products that we're talking about! We all know that Apples do not break. What's warranty for again?

    /end of trolling
  • -7 Hide
    11796pcs , July 26, 2011 3:01 PM
    anon31415926You aren't allowed to sell legitimate Apple products without their permission

    Who cares who sells the products as long as they are legitimate? I know companies go nuts about what happens from the warehouse to the home but at the end of the day if I had bought something at one of those stores I would have considered myself lucky to even get my hands on an Apple product in China.
    jacekringI agree, what kind of idiot leaves a store with a few hundred dollars of product without a receipt? Oh I know...but I won't say it, because iBoys/iGirls complain about being called that....

    I know you should always get a receipt, but why should you need one for a warranty? Shouldn't there be enough bar codes and serial numbers on the box to qualify for a replacement?
  • 5 Hide
    captaincharisma , July 26, 2011 3:19 PM
    chick0nThey can't even spell "Apple Store" right (on the sign it said "Stoer") and they hope they can be an authorized reseller ? LOL


    apparently then apple fanboys are not that bright. all they need to do is to just see the word "apple" on a sign and look at nothing else
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