By Matthew Miller
BEIJING (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world's biggest smartphone maker, has apologised to Chinese customers for problems with some mobile phones after a broadcast on China Central Television criticised Samsung repair policies.
"As far as management problems caused inconvenience to our customers, we offer our sincere apologies," Samsung Electronics said in a notice on its Chinese website.
Samsung Electronics is the latest multinational company to be singled out by Chinese state media for what it says are unfair consumer practices. In a 25-minute programme broadcast late on Monday, CCTV said internal multimedia cards cause the software on Samsung Electronics Note and S series smartphones to seize up.
Samsung Electronics said it will fix the Galaxy S3 and Note2 telephones free of charge, and refund customers who already paid for repairs to the devices at authorised service centers. The company also will offer replacements or refunds for phones that could not be repaired.
The broadcast on Samsung Electronics came the day after CCTV aired a programme criticising Starbucks Corp (NSQ:SBUX) for charging higher prices in China than other markets.
In March, CCTV criticised Apple Inc (NSQ:AAPL), the world's second-biggest smartphone maker, for using different warranty and customer service polices in China than in other countries. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook later apologised.
(Reporting by Matthew Miller; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)