Chinese Scammers Offer Genius Bar Appointments At A Price

Chinese Scammers Offer Genius Bar Appointments At A Price

The hot new scam in Beijing, China involves monopolizing Apple's Genius Bars, forcing anyone with a legitimate need to visit one to pay exorbitant prices for the privilege.

If you own an Apple computer, an iPhone, or an iPad, you likely already know that if your gadget breaks, your best bet for solving the issue is to pay a visit to the nearest Genius Bar where, unless your gear is out of warranty (or you're a huge jerk), they generally just hand you a new version of whatever device you somehow busted. Here in the States it's a pretty simple process: You go online, set up an appointment, and show up at the allotted time. In my experience it never takes more than an hour to wrap things up, and when there's a major problem, Apple keeps its customers updated on every step of the process.

Unfortunately, Chinese Apple fans aren't so lucky. It seems that a group of enterprising, morally flexible scammers in Beijing have started to flood the local Genius Bars with appointment requests. Once they've locked down all of the possible appointment slots for any given Genius Bar, these spots are then sold piecemeal to needy Apple users for as much as 40 yuan. That roughly translates to about $6.50 USD, which doesn't seem like much to those who live outside of the People's Republic of China, but it's important to remember that the average monthly salary in Beijing is only about $762. In that light, $6.50 is a sizeable chunk of cash.

Apple has yet to act on this information, and all attempts to contact the company on this matter have proven fruitless. We didn't even get a boilerplate "no comment." So now the question becomes: Who will come down on these scammers first, Apple or the notoriously strict Chinese government? Apple owners are generally a wealthy lot, so I have to imagine that some of them have a bit of political clout. As my dear old mother used to say, "You never get between a politician and his ability to watch endless loops of kinky, niche pornography."

Source: 9to5Mac

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Of course, what is Apple SUPPOSED to do? They're probably aware that there's way more appointments being made than normal, but they can't tell the difference between the scams and the real ones until it's too late.

Uh oh, the scammers are getting more creative.

lacktheknack:
Of course, what is Apple SUPPOSED to do? They're probably aware that there's way more appointments being made than normal, but they can't tell the difference between the scams and the real ones until it's too late.

They could stick a captcha on the end of the appointment page, these scammers are using bots to auto book all the slots, it would at least give them a little breathing space.

Or demand a valid product serial number to get an appointment, numbers only being allowed one appointment per week or even month(unless booked in store).

Or charge to make an appointment, refundable on keeping said appointment (although that might just drive up the scam price).

Or, for the really cheap option, appointments made at the desk and at the desk only, name, number, item and photo ID. Less convenient, but much less open to abuse.

Of course, this all assumes that Apple employees aren't somehow in on it, which at a store or local level they may well be. That sounds like a lovely money spinner, give all the slots to your mate, sell to the plebs, make extra beer money.

AstaresPanda:
You're paying out the ass for an overpriced fisher price my first smartphone/computer/tablet. I say fuck them and who cares. Apple rips off their dumbarse customers anyway.

Many people don't buy apple products because the specs. I for one, buy them because the OSs they make are simpler and easier to use then the alternatives (baring Linux). You can save money by buying third party ram and Hard drives.

Furthermore you won't go far on the escapist if you imply that a group is stupid for their practices and beliefs, I'm not offended but you are acting like a fanboy who can't see past his own nose.

Good day sir

Is there anything in China that isn't somehow tied up in one scam or another? Apparently they even have people making fake eggs. Fake eggs! I bet they even have fake air in some places.

Evil Smurf:

AstaresPanda:
You're paying out the ass for an overpriced fisher price my first smartphone/computer/tablet. I say fuck them and who cares. Apple rips off their dumbarse customers anyway.

Many people don't buy apple products because the specs. I for one, buy them because the OSs they make are simpler and easier to use then the alternatives (baring Linux). You can save money by buying third party ram and Hard drives.

Furthermore you won't go far on the escapist if you imply that a group is stupid for their practices and beliefs, I'm not offended but you are acting like a fanboy who can't see past his own nose.

Good day sir

Oh no i know im generalizing here and i know there are people such as yourself that simply prefer the OS or for photoshop, video editing etc etc I know they are out there. But from my experience with everyone that i have met or seen with apple products always fit right into that apple moron stereotype.

and thank you for the polite response dude :)

AstaresPanda:

Evil Smurf:

AstaresPanda:
You're paying out the ass for an overpriced fisher price my first smartphone/computer/tablet. I say fuck them and who cares. Apple rips off their dumbarse customers anyway.

Many people don't buy apple products because the specs. I for one, buy them because the OSs they make are simpler and easier to use then the alternatives (baring Linux). You can save money by buying third party ram and Hard drives.

Furthermore you won't go far on the escapist if you imply that a group is stupid for their practices and beliefs, I'm not offended but you are acting like a fanboy who can't see past his own nose.

Good day sir

Oh no i know im generalizing here and i know there are people such as yourself that simply prefer the OS or for photoshop, video editing etc etc I know they are out there. But from my experience with everyone that i have met or seen with apple products always fit right into that apple moron stereotype.

and thank you for the polite response dude :)

It's cool man. I have no reason to troll, although I do joke my apple products grant me +9 arrogance.

Oh, ticket scalping, for people with broken Apple products.

Makes sense, I guess.

As my dear old mother used to say, "You never get between a politician and his ability to watch endless loops of kinky, niche pornography."

Why does this make me think of David Cameron? Call me paranoid, but I think that is one politician that got caught perusing niche porn by his wife and in penance decided if he couldn't enjoy his porn, no-one in the UK could!

On subject, yeah add a captcha or get customers to put their serial numbers in the application.

Wait a minute. The average pay in CHINA is more than average pay in European country? what the hell people?

Shnoogle:

As my dear old mother used to say, "You never get between a politician and his ability to watch endless loops of kinky, niche pornography."

Why does this make me think of David Cameron? Call me paranoid, but I think that is one politician that got caught perusing niche porn by his wife and in penance decided if he couldn't enjoy his porn, no-one in the UK could!

On subject, yeah add a captcha or get customers to put their serial numbers in the application.

Well Max Moseley (I think thats the name) got caught with a bunch of women who were dressed in a variety of uniform (predominantly nazi uniform).

Earnest Cavalli:
Apple has yet to act on this information, and all attempts to contact the company on this matter have proven fruitless.

Presumably all their contact slots have already been bought up. Have you tried paying a scammer to contact them for you?

Strazdas:
Wait a minute. The average pay in CHINA is more than average pay in European country? what the hell people?

Define "Europe". A few eastern European countries have a lower monthly wage but most, especially in the EU, are way above that. Also note that that's the average wage in Beijing, the capital city and one of the most developed parts of the country. The average pay in China is a very different thing.

And this is why you never buy an Apple product, because when something goes wrong you ain't even allowed to fix it yourself.

Charging an up-front fee to schedule the appointment would stop the spam of fake reservations.

CriticalMiss:
Is there anything in China that isn't somehow tied up in one scam or another? Apparently they even have people making fake eggs. Fake eggs! I bet they even have fake air in some places.

No, not fake air, just no real attempt to make it breathable. I had a persistent cough for the entire 6 months I lived there.

Plus, any McDonalds does fake eggs.

The worst part of this entire thing? Those aren't even official Apple stores. Apple doesn't have legal rights to that name in China. If you go to a Beijing Genius bar you are not talking to Apple staff. So you're paying for something that should be free and not even getting to talk to the company itself about your problems, just some scheisters trading on the name because the factory where they make the HARDWARE ONLY is next door.

The majority of these people know less than nothing about Apple software, since it's developed in Japan.

Kahani:

Earnest Cavalli:
Apple has yet to act on this information, and all attempts to contact the company on this matter have proven fruitless.

Presumably all their contact slots have already been bought up. Have you tried paying a scammer to contact them for you?

Strazdas:
Wait a minute. The average pay in CHINA is more than average pay in European country? what the hell people?

Define "Europe". A few eastern European countries have a lower monthly wage but most, especially in the EU, are way above that. Also note that that's the average wage in Beijing, the capital city and one of the most developed parts of the country. The average pay in China is a very different thing.

i live in lithuania. So yeah eastern europe. We are in EU.
Well ok, the capital city thing may be whats making it tip over, its not that far.

Wait does Apple require appointments to get your computer fixed? Why not just drop it off? Unless you need a phone desperately then why pay these shmucks?

1337mokro:
And this is why you never buy an Apple product, because when something goes wrong you ain't even allowed to fix it yourself.

That's probably the road Apple is heading down with thinner imacs and hard to open macbooks and mac minis with almost all replaceable parts being proprietary. But, I did fix a dead G5 power mac i got off ebay a few years ago by just getting a new power supply, also off ebay. Ended up saving $100+ including shipping compared to getting a working model with the same specs. It still works as a decent comp when I have my game rig in pieces because I'm slow and lazy to upgrade parts. Screw Apple's prices though. OS X is not worth the extra money for a new locked down purdy box.

 

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