3 HK Underhanded Tactics & Ridiculous Info to Customers

3 HK LogoIn the past several days I had been trying to trouble shoot why a follower (“Ms. iPhone”) on Twitter cannot get to iTunes Store from her iPhone. This was the iPhone 3G model on the 3 HK, Apple’s carrier partner in Hong Kong, network.

Ms. iPhone finally complaint to 3 HK Customer Service, and today she tells me what 3 HK Customer Service has told her:

All iPhones purchased in Hong Kong cannot access iTunes Store. The only iPhones that can access the iTunes Store are iPhones purchased outside of Hong Kong and hacked for used in Hong Kong.

What a ridiculous statement.

As many of you know Ms. iPhone’s problem with her iPhone not having access to iTunes Store (music and movies) via the iTunes application on her iPhone is not because she bought her iPhone in Hong Kong. Ms. iPhone problem is that her iTunes Store account is with iTunes Store Hong Kong and iTunes Store HK does not have a music and movie section.

This sort of statements from people selling Apple products is what Apple tried to avoid with the establishment of Apple Store worldwide. Unfortunately, there is no official Apple Store in Hong Kong. Several years ago there was one Apple Authorized Reseller who take pride in delivering good service and doing it the Apple way. Their sales staff would never make up an answer to a customer to a question they do not know the answer to, but simply tell the customer they do not know and will get back to them after they seek out the answer. This sort of sales staff and companies are hard to find.

Aside from the above story, WinAndMac just posted another story about 3 HK that adds to the reasons we should not choose 3 HK as our mobile carrier.

The kind of statement from staff of 3 HK and tactics like those described in WinaAndMac’s article are just two of the many reasons why I recommend people NOT to choose 3 HK as their mobile carrier in Hong Kong. People living in Hong Kong has 5 other carriers to choose from for the iPhone.

Frequent readers of my blog and anyone who have visited Apple Online Store HK will know that officially “SIM unlocked” iPhones are available directly from Apple there and all Authorized Apple Resellers in Hong Kong. All of these iPhones are capable of accessing the iTunes Stores they have access to on their personal computer version of iTunes.

8 Comments

  1. For me it's hard to pinpoint where access is blocked and who is doing it. I suspect it's actually Apple who's blocking 3G network access to iTunes based on the phone's non-US IP address. If i remember correctly, it used to be that the iTunes Store was only available on wifi until Apple reached an agreement with the big carriers (AT&T mostly, I suppose). Perhaps Apple is blocking all IP sorginating from countries where the carrier(s) has not agreed to those arrangement. In any case, maybe it's worth trying for Ms. iPhone to log onto 3HK's wifi network to access iTunes on there. (if she has an US iTunes store account that is)

  2. You are correct iTunes Store US is accessible only on WiFi connection from within the iTunes application on the iPhone.All iPhones are able to access iTunes Stores from the iTunes application on the iPhone via 3G and WiFi connections. Whether it is possible locally depends on the carrier. As you know the carriers have ultimate control of what traffic are allow on their network.

  3. First of all, a long time lurker here, nice blog for local HK Apple related matters!I think it's worth mentioning this:I bought an iPhone 3G from Apple online last year. As you well know, It's completely unlocked. I've been on SmartoneVodafone network since the beginning of using iPhone (including 2G jailbroken) and I have not been able to access the iTunes store section using cellular access on either of the 2G or 3G iPhone. And I do have a working US iTunes store account. However, it does work if you are on wifi. So while it's wrong for the 3HK customer service rep to say categorically that iPhones sold in HK cannot access the iTunes store, it's equally wrong to say, unequivocally, that all iPhones sold in HK can access the iTunes store. You need to be on wifi (at least in my experience with SMV)

  4. I voiced my concerns with hutchison whampoa and three HK. They give 'Value Added Service' another worthless meaning to an already demeaning policies of corporate selection.I'm gladly no longer a 3 HK customer, I cancelled and gone payg until i my iphone arrives direct from apple, imagine a lifetime of service ruined by short sighted greed and policy that they are engaging with.My cousin, walked away from 3 HK with me, they didnt manage to sign a new contract and lost me at the same time.For those who are reading this and wondering whether three are really that bad? maybe there would be 'an app for that' it would be called 3HK

  5. More reasons for not joining 3 HK if I decide to get Iphone. Though I think it´s a bit pricy to buy it is worth later, especially if you enjoy using it with Smartone-Vodafone 🙂

    1. I enjoyed using it on Smartone Vodafone on the first day I received the phone (13 July) but since then, my browsing experience has deteriorated. I get 500 Timeout Errors, and DNS resolution errors:

      “While trying to retrieve the URL: xxxxx, The following error was encountered: Unable to determine IP address from host name for http://www.facebook.com. The dnsserver returned: Timeout. This means that the cache was not able to resolve the hostname presented in the URL. Check if the address is correct. Generated …. by 202.140.101.17″

      Smartone’s internet proxy servers are obviously having a problem routing traffic at the moment – I hope they fix it and I encourage anyone else having the problem to email customer_service@smartone-vodafone.com

  6. That is unthinkable.I think you should also write a letter to Apple Hong Kong complaining 3 HK's tactics.Also, I think you should get your cousin to come here and voice his opinions and treatment of his cousin [you].Why are you putting up with 3 HK for so long? Aside from giving you a free iPhone 3GS what can 3 HK possibly do to keep you any longer. There are 5 other mobile carrier choices for Hong Kong iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS users.More consumers should be voicing their disgust with their wallets, that is the only way any companies who do not care about Customer Service will ever listen to their customers and other consumers.

  7. OOH. Three HK Rants? I am good at this.I just read your other link, and it's true http://www.winandmac.com/news/bad-carrier-3-hon…This is what they did to me!I booked a iphone 3gs at my local store on Monday afternoon, having been told they are not in stock, but to leave my phone no, this i did face to face. In the evening i took my cousin down to the same store to put his name down too, and guess what, as we were discussing the 'unlimited' plan they pulled out one, the sales woman said they were NOT in stock when my cousin first sat down! Imagine the look on my face. I wrote to Three HK, from the customer service questions once they pulled the courage to explain on the telephone, they know this and it is corporate policy, screw the current customers, including out of contract ones and sell to new customers only. they specifically asked me was my cousin a new customer!!!! Three customer service said they would investigate and that the phone was popular. None of the explanation can justify corporate selection. Imagine your doctor deciding to see you or not based on how much medicine you will spend. This was the FOURTH time i put up with 3 HK poor service, there is a FIFTH occassion, it just gets more ridiculous how bad Three are, there is a pattern of shittyness deep in the core of Three Hong Kong, I asked the customer service who was attempting badly to keep my out of contract phone with them longer, and i asked what would you do if you were me!

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