South Korea Questions Apple Exec on iPhone Policies

South Korea’s Parliament has summoned Apple senior director of iPhone and iPod service operations, Farrel Farhoudi, to answer questions about the company’s iPhone repair and replacement policies. Local consumers have complained to government officials that Apple isn’t offering them the same options other regions get if they purchase a defective iPhone, according to BusinessWeek.

South Korean iPhone buyers claim they are typically offered only refurbished iPhones instead of also being offered new replacement units, free repairs, or refunds — all of which are listed as options in the company’s local warranty for problems within the first 14 days after purchase.

South Koreans want more than refurb iPhone replacements

Mr. Farhoudi is scheduled to appear before government officials on October 21 to clarify Apple’s warranty repair and return policies. Steve Park, Apple’s local spokesperson in Seoul, previously offered information about the company’s policies to government officials, but his answers apparently weren’t detailed enough.

This marks the first time in over three years that South Korea has summoned a multinational company to answer questions, and the government could potentially sue for failure to appear.

Apple’s compliance with government requests, however, may be little more than symbolic.

“It’s just a one-time gesture,” commented LIG Investment & Securities analyst Kim Young Joon. “There’s no reason to believe that the company will provide Korea with better services as there are bigger market elsewhere and any change locally could trigger same requests from other countries.”

Apple has not commented on the situation.