Apple’s Overseas Service Sucks - Even Apple Gets It Wrong

Apple’s Overseas Service Sucks – Even Apple Gets It Wrong

Written By:

Post Date – Update:

I spend most of my time living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam, but even though I am here, I tend to buy many electronic products, including my Apple products, in the United States. I have always been a great fan of Apple electronic products and the excellent Apple service in the United States.

However, the service provided by Apple’s nominated suppliers in certain locations overseas, such as Vietnam, is frankly disappointing. Repairs take an excessively long time, and the hassle involved is incredibly frustrating. This experience suggests that even a major company like Apple struggles with efficient overseas service, or perhaps they simply don’t prioritize it. Read on as I share more about my experiences.

Table of Contents

My Frustrating Experience With Apple’s Service Providers

If Apple doesn’t have a store in a country where it sells its products, it relies on nominated local service providers to handle repairs. Unfortunately, my experience with these local service providers revealed a lot of red tape and inefficiency.

Frustrated Customer For An Apple Service
Frustrated Customer For An Apple Service

Recently, for some unspoken reason, my Apple Watch stopped recording my heart rate and steps. While it still told time and performed other functions, the fitness tracking features were non-functional.

Since my watch was still under the AppleCare+ service, I knew I had to get this fixed sooner rather than later, as I depend on these features for my fitness routine.

When the heart rate monitor and step tracker stopped working, I went online and followed all the steps Apple recommended. When that didn’t resolve the issue, I called Apple Support in the United States.

The support agent was excellent. He tested my watch remotely and confirmed that the sensors were broken. He informed me that the watch needed to be replaced and that my watch was still under the AppleCare+ warranty.

Apple i-Watch
Apple i-Watch

In the USA, Apple Has Great Service, But Overseas, It Is Lacking

In the United States, this would have been a straightforward process. I would make an appointment at an Apple Genius Bar, take my watch in for testing, and get it replaced. Simple and easy.

However, in a country like Vietnam, it was anything but straightforward. The US agent made an appointment for me to bring my watch to one of Apple’s local Vietnamese service providers.

When I went to the service provider in Vietnam called Cares, they refused to take my watch. They insisted I needed the original receipt from Apple to show that I had purchased the watch and AppleCare+.

Despite having a confirmed appointment, a case number, and confirmation from the US Apple Genius agent that I had AppleCare+ and had purchased the watch, was not good enough for Cares. They demanded the original receipt and a copy of my passport.

This requirement led to a frustrating two-hour journey through Hanoi traffic when I was told they wouldn’t take my watch. I called Apple back to see if I could get a copy of the receipt, but Apple had no copy, and only the original store I purchased it from could provide one.

Furthermore, Apple USA had no idea why the local service provider wouldn’t accept the case number as proof of purchase.

Apple USA Product

Why AppleCare+ Express Replacement Service Overseas Sucks

I found myself stuck. Apple USA couldn’t help me, Cares, the local Vietnamese Apple service provider, refused to take my watch in for replacement. This experience highlighted the inefficiencies and challenges of dealing with Apple’s service providers in countries without Apple stores.

I was then told to call the local Apple telephone number in Vietnam to see if they could help me. So, I called the local number, but since I wanted to speak to someone in English, I was immediately transferred to the Philippines.

When I spoke to the representative in the Philippines, I asked, “How will you be able to help me if you are in the Philippines? Wouldn’t this be the same as talking to a US agent?” She couldn’t provide a clear answer.

I explained to the representative in the Philippines that I had AppleCare+ and should be able to get an express replacement under my service. She confirmed this and set up the process for me.

Apple Sent Me A Form That Was Only In Vietnamese

However, when I received the email about the express replacement, it was entirely Vietnamese. I asked if they could send the email in English, but she said they only had it in Vietnamese.

Apple Express Replacement Email, They Sent Me A Form In Vietnamese As They Had No English
Apple Express Replacement Email, They Sent Me A Form In Vietnamese As They Had No English

I had to get one of my Vietnamese staff members to help me fill out the form and navigate the terms and conditions, all in Vietnamese. It seemed absurd that a company like Apple doesn’t provide at least a bilingual form in English and Vietnamese.

It felt almost like they didn’t want foreigners to repair or purchase Apple products here because it was too difficult.

We filled out the form, but Apple required a deposit as part of the express replacement process until they returned my watch. I had no problem providing a credit card for the deposit, but another issue arose.

Apple’s Online Form Only Allowed Vietnamese-Based Credit Cards

Apple’s online form for the credit card only allowed a Vietnamese-based address and a Vietnamese-based credit card. All my credit cards are based in the United States, so I could not use Apple’s express replacement service simply because Apple wouldn’t allow me to enter a US-based address for my credit card.

The form even blocked out any changes, making using a credit card other than a Vietnamese one impossible. I called Apple back and asked how I could use my US-based credit card, and they essentially told me there was no way to change the system. They said that to use the Apple Express replacement service, I had to have a Vietnamese-based credit card.

In Vietnam, I Am A Second-Class Apple Customer

I was shocked that a company as large as Apple didn’t have a simple form in English for their English-speaking clients overseas or allow a credit card with a non-Vietnamese address.

I felt like a second-class citizen and, more importantly, a second-class Apple customer.

My Frustrating Return To Apple’s Local Service Provider

Now, I am stuck again and have to call Apple back. I wasted days on the phone trying to solve a problem that should have been very simple. This had become a nightmare. My only choice to get my Apple Watch replaced in Vietnam was to return to the Apple service provider in Hanoi.

They told me that the replacement would take at least 2 to 3 weeks—a far cry from the experience in the United States, where a visit to the Genius Bar would take an hour or two, and I’d walk out with a replacement watch. Here in Vietnam, Apple’s “Express” service takes weeks.

I had to dig up my original receipt, which I was lucky enough to find in some old emails on my computer and provide a copy of my passport. Then, I made the two-hour round-trip journey again to hand over my watch so they could take those weeks to replace it.

Through this process, I learned a few things. I realized Apple doesn’t thoroughly vet its service providers overseas to ensure they deliver the type of service Apple customers expect.

It felt like someone at Apple was dropping the ball. If a service provider is going to use Apple’s name, and if customers are used to a certain standard of service from Apple, then having such poor service from these providers tarnishes Apple’s brand and reputation.

Fixing An Apple Watch
Fixing An Apple Watch

My Terrible Experience With An iPad Replacement In Vietnam

When I handed over my Apple Watch for repair, I knew it would be anything but easy and would be full of frustrations. This was because my iPad Pro, which was less than a year old, stopped working the previous summer and needed to be replaced.

I had a similar experience with another Apple service provider in Hanoi, Vietnam. This time, my replacement for the iPad Pro took 45 days. Yes, you read that right—it took them about 45 days—an unbelievably long time.

When I initially told them my iPad Pro wasn’t working, I emphasized that I wanted the same model as a replacement. They assured me I would get the same iPad back, but this was not the case.

When I returned to the United States, I wondered why my T-Mobile SIM card wouldn’t work with my iPad. I thought there might be a problem with the SIM card, so I kept going back to T-Mobile to exchange it.

Finally, T-Mobile tested the card and told me the problem wasn’t the card but my iPad. I then went to the Apple Store near my home in the United States. They looked at my iPad, did some investigating, and discovered that the service provider in Vietnam had replaced my iPad Pro with an Asian model, which wouldn’t work with my SIM card in the United States. Apple had to replace my iPad again so I could have the same model I originally purchased.

This was yet another example of the inferior service provided by Apple overseas compared to the service provided in the United States.

Lessons From My Experience With Apple’s Terrible Overseas Service

I believe some business lessons can be learned from my experience dealing with Apple’s overseas repair. While Apple is a highly respected brand in places like the United States, my experiences abroad, particularly in Vietnam, have shown me that the company struggles to maintain the same level of service quality internationally.

One of the fundamental issues I discovered was language. Even though Apple knew I was an English speaker, they couldn’t send me an email in English for an express replacement in Vietnam—it had to be in Vietnamese.

Moreover, they wouldn’t allow me to use a U.S. credit card for the express replacement. For a company as large as Apple, these seemed like simple fixes: sending emails in the customer’s language and accepting any valid credit card.

These policies made it almost impossible for me, or anyone visiting a country like Vietnam, where there is no Apple Store, to complete any replacement service in a reasonable amount of time. Apple’s policies have made this nearly impossible.

Apple Customer Service
Apple Customer Service

I Blame Apple For This Terrible Customer Service

I honestly blame Apple for this horrendous customer service because they are big enough to change these policies if they want to. Even something as simple as informing U.S. Apple agents about the requirements for Vietnamese service providers could have helped.

The U.S. Apple phone agents had no idea of any of the Vietnamese service providers requirements. They did not know I would need to provide an original receipt and a copy of my passport. This information was nowhere in the Apple system that I could access or that they could tell me about.

This shows that Apple has a long way to go to ensure that its customer service and experience abroad match the standards provided in the United States. As far as I can see, the service is not even close to being the same. It feels like dealing with two entirely different companies.

I love Apple products and am loyal to the service I receive in the United States, but I loathe and hate Apple’s service overseas, especially in Vietnam. My experience here has been anything but good—it’s been outright terrible.

As a foreigner in Vietnam, Apple has made me feel like a second-class Apple customer, and no one likes to feel like a second-class customer.

Listen To Our Podcast About
Is Apple’s Overseas Service Really That Bad? Below or By clicking here.

Is Apple’s Overseas Service Really That Bad?

Find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and furniture products – don’t hesitate to contact me, Anita. Check out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

Mondoro gives out a FREE Lookbook to anyone interested. You can receive a copy of our latest Lookbook by clicking here.

Listen to our Podcast called Global Trade GalYou can find it on all major podcast platforms. Try out listening to one of our podcasts by clicking here. 

Subscribe to our Mondoro Company Limited YouTube Channel with great videos and information by clicking here.

What Is The Mother Of Pearl Shell Used In Home Decor Products?

Mother of pearl, also known by the scientific name of nacre, is a pearl layer on the inner layer of the oyster shell. This pearl layer of the oyster is taken off the outer oyster shell. Then the leftover inner pearl shell is cut into various small shapes and sizes to be glued onto multiple home decor products such as mirrors, boxes, trays, and lamp bases.

You can read our blog on What Is The Mother Of Pearl Shell Used In Home Decor Products? by clicking here.

How Do You Make A Bamboo Lamp Shade? All About Bamboo Lampshades

To manufacture or make bamboo lampshades, you need to 1) properly prepare the bamboo materials, 2) build a metal frame, 3) wrap the metal frame, 4) secure the bamboo onto the metal frame, 5) spray color on top of the bamboo shade if you desire the lampshade to be a color other than natural and 6) spray a top coat on the entire shade to protect the bamboo shade’s finish.

You can read our blog about How Do You Make A Bamboo Lamp Shade? All About Bamboo Lampshades by clicking here.

What Is The Modern Farmhouse Interior Design Style?

The modern farmhouse interior design style has become increasingly popular as people look to create a warm and inviting home that reflects a more straightforward, rustic way of life. Combining classic farmhouse elements with contemporary design touches, this style blends the old and the new to create a comfortable and stylish living space. 

You can discover more by reading What Is The Modern Farmhouse Interior Design Style?, by clicking here.

Anita Hummel
Follow Me

Share Our Post On:

Leave a Reply