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Israeli Apple reseller using biased repair policy?

updated 10:00 am EDT, Thu October 1, 2009

May run against international Apple policy

Apple's Israeli reseller, iDigital, is instituting a discriminatory campaign against imported Apple products, a local protest group claims. Macs sold in the region are said to cost up to twice as much as in the US, prompting some Israelis to buy computers while traveling abroad. In theory, the international warranties provided with Macs should get users repair coverage from any authorized repair site.

iDigital has allegedly adopted unfair rules, as while locally-purchased Macs can be repaired in under a week, it may take a minimum of 21 days before work begins on an imported system. The company is further said to be handling import repairs from a single shop in all of Israel, forcing some people to travel extended distances. Should an import be taken to a normal iDigital store, the company is said to be refusing in-store service.

The protest group, OyDigital, has organized a petition with over 750 signatures so far. Neither Apple nor iDigital has responded to complaints so far.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Apple

    is also refusing to service iPhones sold in countries other than the one in which it is sold, as experienced by myself trying to get an iPhone from the USA repaired in Europe.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Funding and pricing

    Is iDigital getting a slice of Mac sales in Israel to pay for these repairs? If so, that would explain why they're so hostile to repairing Macs brought abroad. It's also a terrible idea. If I visit Israel again, perhaps living on a kibbutz like I did before, I'd be furious to find out that when my Macbook broke, I'd have to wait three weeks before they'd even begin to repair it.

    And what about the inflated pricing? Like Adobe, Apple needs to quit soaking overseas customers. Israel isn't some economic backwater. It's technologically sophisticated with a highly literate population, many of whom speak English. Support for products there shouldn't cost any more than support here. Some surcharge for creating a Hebrew version of the OS makes sense. But there's no way that should double the prices of some Macs.

    Pricing "what the market will bear" never makes sense and makes even less sense in Israel. People are clever enough to find ways around that, particularly Israelis. Most have friends or relatives in the U.S. and visit here often.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Re: Funding

    I don't think they get a cut of sales to pay for the repairs. But from what I gather, Apple reimburses resellers so little for repairs that they're lucky to break even. Most resellers will give good service to their regular customers (those who buy Macs from them), but for the "free-loaders" (those who buy from on-line, then want you to make all the fixes), not so much (but not this bad, either).

  1. israeliguy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    The pricing in Israel is simply outrageous.

    for instance, the iMac 24" costs 9,400 Shekels, which is roughly 2490$, compared to the same product costing 1500$ in the US. With tickets from Tel Aviv to New York City costing about 650$, it's actually cheaper to fly to new york, buy a mac, and fly back.
    It's no wonder so many of us choose to make the smart deal and buy macs outside the country. And now iDigital (or OyDigital, which would be more correct), declared war on apple customers by selling a competing product. We get a minimum of 21 days, they get a maximum of 7. And this is the only Apple Reseller in the country.

  1. kuzya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    In addition to the article + clarification

    The article describes very gently what is going on there ..!!!
    Few more points:
    1 - Even if the computer bought from iDigital but Apple Care not from them (and they don't sell Apple Care they sell only iDigital Care that costs more than AppleCare and valid only in Israel) they still making the repair time very long.
    2- at least in one case they told the clint that they won't repair , free, his computer because they see corrosion inside , he took his computer , booked flight to London and there in 2 days time they repaired it without any charge and no one word about corrosion.
    3- Book flight to USA, buy any apple computer in USA, pay VAT on entrance to Israel and all of this still will be cheaper than buying the same computer from iDigital - it is just crazy.
    4-For all who thinks that iDigital repairing computers for free.... it just not true .. they get money from Apple for making repairs to computers that on international warranty.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    This is almost the same in India except

    in India the service provided was great. I walked into a service provider's office. They were absolute professionals. The price of Macs in India is absolutely outrageous due to the fact that import duties are high and Apple with its distributors charge a premium. Apple India operation sucks big time. I have had a bad experience when traveling to India but the resellers are gems out there. Sometimes they treated me to 'chai', spicy Indian lunch and one of them invited me out for a drink cause it was evening and they were going out. How many do that here.

  1. maximage

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    comment title

    Going back in time a couple of years, so may not be entirely true still, but my understanding was that there is no actual Apple corporate presence in the middle east, and all sales are done by a private importer. As such, they buy at reduced cost from Apple but also wear the cost and risk of repair on the units they sold. They take the risk, and have to buy the stock of spare parts themselves. Thus, repairs on machines they sold are fixed promptly at their expense from their parts, while machines bought elsewhere have to wait for parts to be supplied by Apple, or mybe paid for by Apple US. Only reason I say this is that I have seen the opposite, people with equipment from the Middle East trying to get fixes done here and having to jump thru hoops with Apple as it should really be the importers cost to fix back home.

  1. tombigel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The prices in Israel should not be compared to the

    People are just bitching about the prices here because they think for some reason that Israel is affiliated with the US. It's not:

    iDigital gets its products from Apple France and Apple Ireland.
    If you check the prices on those Apple Stores you'll see that the prices in Israel are only about 7% to 12% higher, which is (unfortunate but) acceptable, remember - iDigital is NOT Apple, it's a third party importer.

    Besides (I was once told, not 100% sure of it) American companies are obliged to sell their products at a cheaper price in the US than in countries they export to, so Apple products in the EU or Middle East will never be as cheap as there.

    I think it is stupid of iDigital not to explain this, as it was stupid of Yeda, the former representative (Which I worked for for a while). They get flamed about this stuff for years now.

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