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 iPadAccording 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.