Apple Store refuses cash payment for iPhone!?!

  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    May 13, 2008 2:45 PM GMT
    How could any company do this? It's absolutely shocking, and offensive.

    http://www.technewsworld.com/story/iphone/62973.html

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    A shopper in New York says he was ushered out of an Apple store after clerks repeatedly refused to accept cash as payment for the iPhone he wanted to buy. Alex Palen said he couldn't even pay someone else to buy it for him. Apple's no-cash-for-iPhones policy is within the letter of the law, though some question why it won't take greenbacks. One theory is that Apple tracks credit cards to hinder unauthorized resellers.

    Alex Palen's visit to the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Latest News about Apple Store in the Walden Galleria (Buffalo, N.Y.) last week began as a pleasant one. Walking the electronics retailer's sleek aisles, Palen found the sales staff helpful in selecting the 16 gigabyte iPhone he wanted to buy.

    But when he took the cash from his wallet to pay for the latest must-have gadget, things took a turn for the worse.

    "She looked at my money and said, 'We don't accept cash as a form of payment for the iPhone.' When I asked why, she would only say it was the store's policy that I use a credit card," Palen said.

    Since he doesn't have one, Palen asked another customer if he could give him the $499 plus tax to charge it for him. Store staffers said that was against the rules, and then escorted him -- and his pocket full of bills -- from the store.

    "I was so outraged. I was so humiliated. I just sat in the mall and couldn't even talk for half an hour. I was so surprised this could happen in America," Palen said. "I've never been told that U. S. currency isn't enough to buy a product."
    Debts, Dues and Taxes

    Legally, neither Apple nor any other private company in New York State is required to accept cash.

    According to the Coinage Act of 1965, creditors must accept U. S. currency as legal tender for debts, dues and taxes. However, according to the U. S. Department of the Treasury's Web site, "Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise."

    But, why would Apple discourage business Over 800,000 High Quality Domains Available For Your Business. Click Here. and refuse paper money? No other wireless Blackberry Professional Software from AT&T. Save up to 57% until June 6th. Click to learn more. phone retailer requires the use of credit cards.

    Then again, not every other retailer has customers waiting in line for 30 hours in advance of a phone's release like Apple has for the iPhone. When the phone was first released in June, customers happily dished out US$599 for an 8 gigabyte model, only to see the price slashed by $200 just months later.

    The phone has a stylish interface complete with touch screen and virtual keyboard. It is a phone, camera, iPod, Internet browser, photo album, movie screen and personal digital assistant in one.

    Apple has been tight-lipped about the reasoning behind its no-cash policy, reading the same statement over and over to dozens of media outlets.

    "We require a credit, debit or gift card as payment to discourage unauthorized resellers," said Teresa Brewer, Apple spokesperson.
    Unlocker Blocker

    Some customers have made a quick buck buying and reselling the iPhone at a higher price, especially during the holidays when supply is down and demand is up. In addition, Apple has said that about 250,000 of the 1.4 million iPhones the company has sold so far went to "unlockers."

    As the result of a five-year exclusivity deal, Apple iPhones are programmed to work exclusively on the AT&T (NYSE: T) Latest News about AT&T network New HP LaserJet P4014n Printer Starting at $699 after $100 instant savings. where wireless plans are available for between $59.99 and $119.99 per month. As soon as the phones were released, hackers worked to develop software that would divorce them from AT&T, making it possible to use the iPhone on any network.

    A representative at the Walden Galleria Apple Store said the credit-only policy is in place "to make sure the iPhone is going to the person making the purchase, so that they can be informed of Apple's policies." As part of Apple's sales policy, customers who unlock and activate their iPhones outside of the mandatory two-year AT&T wireless service contract automatically void their warranty.

    The policy also states that Apple can cancel or refuse any order they suspect is intended for resale, and it limits purchases to five phones per person.
    Tracking Purchasers?

    Bloggers, such as those for the Macintosh Latest News about Macintosh News Network's MacNN.com, have speculated that storing customer credit card information enables Apple to track customer purchases, and in turn, enables them to refuse sales to resellers and unlockers on record as multiple purchasers.

    According to Glenn Boyet, a spokespers
  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    May 13, 2008 2:46 PM GMT
    According to Glenn Boyet, a spokesperson for the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, tracking of such purchasing and activation habits does not violate customer privacy laws.

    "As long as they are appropriately securing data and that 16-digit credit card number, making it unreadable so outsiders can't get to it, they are compliant with PCI standards," said Boyet. "Companies want to know who their customers are, and they are perfectly within their rights to do so."

    But when asked exactly how credit or gift cards discourage such resellers, Brewer continually repeated, "I have no further comment."
    Still Want My iPhone

    Apple's reputation among the tech community is a strange one. It has hordes of extremely loyal fans and equally as many detractors. PCWorld.com, the online component of a popular computer and business magazine, published an article last year called "10 Things We Hate About Apple." Among them, authors Narasu Rebbapragada and Alan Stafford outlined how Apple's secretiveness and controlling "big brother" behavior have the tendency to "drive even folks who admire it positively batty."

    Undeniably, Apple customers are passionate enthusiasts. But some wonder, especially those who are protective of their privacy, whether Apple can continue leveraging customer loyalty E-Mail Marketing Software - Free Trial. Click Here. Latest News about Customer Loyalty to suit its needs without hurting demand or jeopardizing its following.

    For Palen, although he is no longer a fan of Apple's customer service, even this latest flap can't keep him away from the company's wildly popular products. "I still want to buy the iPhone," he said. "Unfortunately, it's the best phone on the market. Nothing else compares."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2008 6:40 PM GMT
    Good grief, buy a Visa or AMEX cash card - it's the same thing as a debit card. What's the big deal? And this guy is clearly in a minority group of people who don't own either a credit card or debit card.

    If he wants it bad enough, which clearly he does, he'll figure it out.
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    May 13, 2008 6:59 PM GMT
    And it says they accept gift cards as payment, so buy a gift card at the counter and then buy the phone with that.
    And there shouldn't be a service charge like the the amex or visa cash card.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2008 7:08 PM GMT
    He doesn't even have a debit card?
  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    May 13, 2008 8:33 PM GMT
    but the issue is that Apple is now refusing CASH!?! Cold hard cash is being refused... what kind of world are we living in?!?

    I could be in that situation, cause I live in Toronto and the Walden Galleria is the closest American shopping mall to Toronto. While I use my credit card for all my purchases here in Canada, I prefer to use cash while travelling in the States, cause credit card companies charge outrageous exchange rates and surcharges. So I just found it absolutely shocking that any company would refuse to do business with anyone willing to pay with cash!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2008 8:45 PM GMT
    It's a product mostly designed for rich people, stock brokers and any other elitest numbnut... no offense to anyone else whom actually bought the damn thing. Sure it has a cool display, but it has too many features that'd just have gone to waste and that'd money down the toilet every month.

    Anyhow. It's part of the allure of the product. Like a Movado watch. Not everyone buys them, but those who do feel they're part of something unique and untarnished. Unlike other 'cheap' brand watches, that watch is supposed to be a mark of wealth and sophistication. Not to everybody, but to those who get it. Like being on top of the heap, ahead of the curb, or top of the line.

    If anything, the Apple Comp. is proud to sell such a product. They would like to have nothing more than a loyal customer; and when it comes to the rich and trendy, nothing says cool like an overpriced phone, with more extras they know what to do with, that can only be purchased with plastic. Maybe I'm psycho, but I don't want something just because of the vanity and allure behind it; though I have to admit that I'm not immune to the commercials those bastards make to get people to buy their trendy outdateable gadgets.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    May 13, 2008 9:06 PM GMT
    Well, the Walden Galleria's the largest American shopping mall to Toronto, but not necessarily the closest. Some of the other malls in the Buffalo suburbs could be closer, depending on your route--if you take the 405 over into Niagara Falls and then cross Grand Island, instead of the QEW down into Buffalo itself, you'd make it the Boulevard Mall first, for example. That can sometimes be faster when the traffic's bad on the Peace Bridge.

    (Having grown up in the suburbs of Buffalo, I remember the Walden Galleria as something of a monstrosity, with it being large enough to have things like an indoor miniature golf course.)

    Still, I'm in agreement on two major points: it's bizarre for a company in the US to not accept cash as payment, and the policy is inherently meaningless if they accept gift cards for the cost of the iPhone, because the individual with cash could just buy a gift card and hand it over to purchase the phone.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2008 9:31 PM GMT
    I've heard of a couple of stores, mostly in NYC and LA areas that refuse all cash, preferring Credit and Debit. While these stores do it for security reasons (you can't rob a register with no cash in it) Apple is just furthering thier monopoly over thier systems.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2008 9:33 PM GMT
    OMG, anyone shocked that a company logs credit card transactions and would refer to them in an effort to lessen unlocked product is stupid.

    You know the discount club cards that grocery stores offer? That's not to keep you from having to clip coupons, it's to help them forecast inventory and determine which products to discount, and which to keep priced at a premium.

    People, anytime you pay anyone for anything, there's some record, even if it's just the ATM withdrawal you made the day previous. Gone are the days of cash-only transactions that create little or no record. It's the reality of our debit card world, get used to it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    That is also how Target prints you out coupons that are for things that you buy... but not necessarily on that transaction. I buy all my personal care items (shampoo, soap, etc.) there, and last time I went in I bought a pair of shorts and got a soap coupon!
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    May 14, 2008 12:01 AM GMT
    I've read where walmart was trying out a system that put a camera with facial recognition on the register to track who was using cash to pay also. but that was a few months back and don't remember too many details.

    Back to Apple, with the deal they have with at&t, Apple gets a portion of the monthly airtime, so it's in apple's best interest to keep all phones "legal". Plus since it's an exclusive deal, that at&t made concessions to get. There is probably language in the agreement about keeping track of the phones.

    Plus there was the deal when they added the applications to the ipod touch and charged existing owners $20 for it.
    or the 802.11n wireless update which cost $2, don't remember why it wasn't included origionally, i think the standard wasn't finalized yet, but the hardware was already included. so you had to pay to use the hardware you already had to it's fullest.

    I don't really understand it, but What I've read is that it has to do with the Sarbanes-Oxley act. It's all about accounting responsibility. since with the iphone, you are a "subscriber" they can "add value" to an existing item, the others there is no revenue stream coming in. It's basically to keep public corporations from giving everything away. It all goes back to enron and the dot-com bubble burst several years ago.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2008 12:17 AM GMT
    iPhone licks sticky pussy icon_mad.gif
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    May 14, 2008 12:33 AM GMT
    I thought that refusing legal tender was illegal on the basis that it somehow amounted to softcore treason? As I remember, the reasoning was something like: if you don't accept money printed by the government, you're expressing a lack of faith in that government and undermining its legitimacy... or something. Trying to coerce would-be customers into submitting themselves to the banks or credit card companies sounds somehow like bad free market capitalism at best (we're denying you the choice of keeping your money under your mattress) and bad democracy at worst (by virtue of the government letting them get away with it).

    It's like I keep saying-- if the public/consumers want any real liberty of choice or quality products, we have to storm all the corporate HQs, drag every CEO into the street, hang them from a lamppost and beat them like pinatas until freedom spills out of them, to put the fear of the mob into their underlings. icon_twisted.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2008 12:50 AM GMT
    .. who the hell needs an iPhone? Humanity has endured for a few thousand years, I suppose we can do it a few more without the lifegiving teat that is the iPhone. And I must have missed the new Federal ordinance that states: "All those not possessing an iPhone by 12:00AM May 13, the year of lord 2008, shall be purged."

    The fellow sat in the mall, dejected, for 30 minutes. Doing what? Crying in his Super Squishy? Contemplating Consumer Seppuku? One man got denied a gizmo and so stills his life for 30. Must not have had much to do in his life to be able to feel sorry for himself for half an hour!

    Don't agree with Apple? Don't buy their shit. Real simple.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2008 1:02 AM GMT
    Buckwheet said.. who the hell needs an iPhone? Humanity has endured for a few thousand years, I suppose we can do it a few more without the lifegiving teat that is the iPhone. And I must have missed the new Federal ordinance that states: "All those not possessing an iPhone by 12:00AM May 13, the year of lord 2008, shall be purged."

    The fellow sat in the mall, dejected, for 30 minutes. Doing what? Crying in his Super Squishy? Contemplating Consumer Seppuku? One man got denied a gizmo and so stills his life for 30. Must not have had much to do in his life to be able to feel sorry for himself for half an hour!

    Don't agree with Apple? Don't buy their shit. Real simple.


    Comptemplating a world where money has no value over human beings and you can't simply throw handfuls of greenbacks at a minimum wage sales assistant and have them run to come lick your shoes and just waiting to wake up and for the nightmare to be over...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2008 2:32 AM GMT
    Apple is an extremely annoying company. I got into a huge dispute with them trying to activate my own iPhone. But I just love the thing! It gets me dates! When I'm sitting at the bar with a cocktail browsing RJ profiles and threads on my iPhone. Guys look over my shoulders and say "Wow! Those are the cool guys you 'hang out' with!" And a new conversation is started. Some of you are downright famous thanks to Apple.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    May 14, 2008 2:44 AM GMT
    boiwunderkind1984 saidIt's a product mostly designed for rich people, stock brokers and any other elitest numbnut... no offense to anyone else whom actually bought the damn thing. Sure it has a cool display, but it has too many features that'd just have gone to waste and that'd money down the toilet every month.

    Anyhow. It's part of the allure of the product. Like a Movado watch. Not everyone buys them, but those who do feel they're part of something unique and untarnished. Unlike other 'cheap' brand watches, that watch is supposed to be a mark of wealth and sophistication. Not to everybody, but to those who get it. Like being on top of the heap, ahead of the curb, or top of the line.


    Oh my, I own a Movado (LOVE IT) and the iPhone is going to be my first purchase as an American resident. What does that say about me? icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2008 2:58 AM GMT
    ShawnTO said
    Oh my, I own a Movado (LOVE IT) and the iPhone is going to be my first purchase as an American resident. What does that say about me? icon_wink.gif


    It says you're easy pickin's. Salesdrones must lick their chops when they see you coming. icon_smile.gif
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    May 14, 2008 3:15 AM GMT
    Ain't that the truth!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2008 3:05 PM GMT
    I've been through the barrage of blackberry's, PDA, smartphones, etc. - the iPhone, hands down, is the best I've come across.