When it comes to selling iPads, Apple is truly anti-American (and anti-disadvantaged)

Summary:Apple's policy of not accepting cash is a direct slap in the face to hardworking Americans -- and to our American way of life. United States legal tender is just that -- legal tender.

Major update (5/20): Kudos to Apple: they did it right this time. In response to this situation, and the outcry it caused, Apple has both changed the no-cash policy described below and provided an iPad to the woman in the story. This is the Apple we want to see. --David

You know that elitist image we've all come to tolerate from Apple? The one where Apple products are generally upscale, luxury goods? The one where if you're not stylish enough, svelte enough, or hip enough, Apple products aren't for you?

Turns out it's true.

KGO-TV in San Francisco is running an outrageous story about how an Apple Store in Palo Alto turned away a disabled woman who wanted to buy an iPad.

Her crime? She wanted to pay in cash.

Like tens of millions of Americans, she doesn't have a credit card. Although most members of mainstream society don't realize it, not having plastic isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's hard to go further in debt when you can't charge everything.

According to KGO, a disabled woman named Diane Campbell saved up for months, simply wanting to buy an iPad so she could go online.

Once Ms. Campbell had finally saved up enough, she took her savings to the Palo Alto Apple store, with all her money in her backpack. She brought the iPad up to the counter and presented her money -- and was turned away.

Apple turned away a disabled woman who wanted to use American legal tender to buy an iPad

According to KGO, who contacted Apple for comment, Apple turned her away because their policy is to only sell to people who have a credit or debit card. There are business reasons why this might make sense -- for example billing for iTunes crap -- but it's completely unacceptable as a corporate policy.

This is where Apple has gone too far. Steve Jobs might have a bug up his butt about protecting Americans from porn, but apparently he couldn't care less about disadvantaged Americans.

Apple's policy of not accepting cash is a direct slap in the face to hardworking Americans -- and to our American way of life. United States legal tender is just that -- legal tender. For a major technology company to refuse payment by cash in a retail location is elitist in the worst sense of the word.

It's also un-American.

Apple thinks it can set a standard for morality. Apple thinks it can tell us what we can and can't read. Apple thinks it can tell us what programs we can and can't run.

Apple is dangerous. And, as we saw in the case of Diane Campbell, Apple is becoming an out-of-control, discriminatory monster.

We can not allow Apple to continue this sort of behavior. This time, the company has gone too far.

See also Apple's turns away iPad buyer; points to No Cash policy

Topics: Apple, Banking, iPad, Mobility

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.