January 18, 2010 10:09
Consumer complaints over smartphones are increasing amid soaring sales of the devices. According to the Korea Consumer Agency on Sunday, a total of 412 consumer complaints about smartphone services were received last year, including 207 about the Apple iPhone released in Korea at the end of last year.
"Most of the complaints about the iPhone were about Apple's after-sales service policy rather than about the product itself," KCA said. The U.S. company's policy is to replace broken iPhones with refurbished ones rather than fixing the damaged device.
"We're closely monitoring consumer complaints about Apple," the Fair Trade Commission said. "An official investigation will be launched if the company's after-sales service policy is judged to be problematic."
Consumers who complained about Samsung's Omnia I and II smartphones were mostly unhappy about their pricing policy. Of the 205 complaints made last year regarding the Samsung smartphones, 145 came after the iPhone's debut in November.
Samsung reduced the price of the Omnia II by W44,000 two days before the iPhone's launch, while mobile operators raised their subsidies on the Omnia by W300,000 (US$1=W1,125). This led to complaints from those who had purchased the products at much higher prices.
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