Apple to Consumers: Cash Is Not King

Flexo of Consumerism Commentary retweeted a story from a local ABC affiliate website that made my jaw hit the floor.

In order to purchase an Apple iPad, you CANNOT pay in cash.

Are you kidding me?

A disabled woman in Palo Alto, Calif., had saved up her money to buy an iPad, which is small and mobile and would fit her needs perfectly. She went into an Apple store and presented the cash to purchase the item. Instead of going home with an iPad, she was told her money wasn’t any good there. Why? Because you can only pay for one with a credit card or a debit card.

Gift cards don’t work, either, so she couldn’t convert her cash into Apple plastic.

I don’t know exactly what Apple’s aim is here, but encouraging people to put something on credit just seems insane. Of course, debt cards are something many consumers have nowadays (and are linked directly to a checking/savings account, so similiar to cash), but then again, not everyone wants to carry one.

Apple refused to comment on the store policy (piss-poor PR, by the way), but the ABC story says the store clerk believes it’s to “prevent con artists from buying lots of iPads selling them overseas.”

The policy is only for iPads and iPhones, apparently — but you’re “allowed” to use a gift card for the iPhone purchase.

Apple, shame on you for encouraging people to use credit in this day and age.

6 comments to Apple to Consumers: Cash Is Not King

  • At least the lady probably will save $600…I wouldn’t buy one after that…

  • I went in there to buy a sleeve for my iPad. There is a bunch of associates around the store. You just have to walk up to them, hand them your debit/cc and they swipe it with their little hand held device. And they can either print and/or email your reciept. I had them email my reciept – no paper waste here. Did feel wierd walking out of the store w/out a bag and reciept. But I could get used to it.

    Everytime I have been to the store, it has been swamped. So, it made for convenience. I think its just one step up completely digitalizing our finances. Gonna happen sooner or later.

  • What a bunch of baloney. No cash, seriously? Wait til Dave Ramsey gets wind of this! 🙂

  • Red

    How bizarre! I know the Apple employees carry card scanners around their necks so if you want to pay with cash in the store you have to go through the hassle of finding the actual register and paying. (I still don’t know where the register is in our local store. I just always use my card.) But to not allow cash at all for one item? Bogus! Since they have a limit of two iPad purchases per costumer, how could someone “buy a bunch and sell them overseas?” Crazy!

    • Nicole

      @Red: I haven’t shopped in an Apple store more than once or twice (browsing, actually), so I didn’t know the salespeople had the scanners ON them. And at first, I thought the same thing about the two-iPad limit, but I’m going to assume that the credit card requirement allows Apple to track suspect activity (buying two at a time at a number of stores could raise a red flag). So then it becomes a privacy issue, I suppose.

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