15th, March is the International Day for Protecting Consumers’ Rights, every year, CCTV launched a special TV program, in which many firms were accused for the violation of consumers’ right. In 2013, CCTV helps protect consumer’s interests again by pricking bubbles: Apple’s after-sales policy “discriminates” Chinese consumers; Volkswagen’s DSG gearbox problem; and the software of Android steal users’ information.
Discrimination in business world
The exposure of Apple’s discriminating policy leads to a hot debate. In the Chinese market, Apple treats Chinese consumers with a different after-sale policy. Apple claims to “update instead of repair” and ” exchange the whole cell phone”, but the company did not really replace the machine; Apple usually reuses the old phone back cover, in order to escape China Phone Warranty Regulations, which is definitely an anti-consumer behavior.
Volkswagen’s dual-clutch automatic transmission is defective, which brings tremendous security risks to owners. Since March 2012, the State General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has been doing follow-up surveys of Volkswagen’s DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) transmission power interruption failure. Officers have collected more than 10,000 calls of repair, interviewed 3,000 owners, and finally confirmed that it is the DSG transmission’s defects caused power interruption. In fact, for the problem of DSG, Volkswagen has recalled cars in North America,Europeand China Taiwan. Yet in mainlandChina, Volkswagen carries out the DSG software upgrade service, and claims that more than 90% vehicles have completed the software upgrade. However, since then the DSG problem continues to spread.
Close friend? Close thief?
Another serious problem is Android’s “stealing” software. Once the user has installed Android’s mobile phone software, it may become a tool to steal user’s personal information. Unbeknownst to users, these applications transferred the user’s personal information away. Most of the information back to the software developers and advertisers, and also a measured, small part is sent to an unknown third-party.
In the TV program, NetEase cheats users with cookies, Chow Tai Seng adds iridium into gold, JAC uses low-grade steel to make cars. Many other problems were also exposed in the spotlight for the first time.