Apple has reversed a prior policy requiring iPad purchasers to pay with a credit or debit card at Apple Retail Stores. The company reversed the policy after coverage from KGO San Francisco’s consumer reporter after Diane Campbell was turned away from a San Francisco Apple Store when she tried to pay cash for her iPhone.
Apple senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson told KGO, “We heard about this, you know… we all would love people like Diane [Campbell] to get an iPad, so I called her up and she was very excited and we’re actually on our way to deliver an iPad to her house.”
Apple felt so bad about the whole situation that they gave Ms. Campbell an iPad for free. But why was the policy in place at all? Apple won’t admit it, but company watchers suspect the company was trying to keep folks from buying iPads in bulk and then reselling them overseas for a profit. By requiring the use of a credit card, Apple can keep individual purchasers from buying too many iPads. The no-cash restriction isn’t new either — when the iPhone was still new, users couldn’t purchase more than two of the phones at a time and no one could pay with cash.
Most legal experts agreed that Apple forbidding cash purchases wasn’t illegal, but as Diane Campbell showed, it can look pretty bad to turn down purchases. Now, it seems Apple agrees.