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(Image & video courtesy of MacRumors)
While hardly a new policy, Apple has been forcing potential iPad buyers to pay with a credit or debit card, refusing to accept cash. That is, until a news report earlier this week shed light on the situation.
MacRumors is reporting about Apple’s change of heart this week, with the company’s retail stores now accepting cash for iPad purchases. Previously, new iPad buyers were forced to use a credit or debit card to buy the device, in an effort to stem the tide of extra units being purchased to sell on eBay or ship to friends overseas. Apple’s “no cash” policy is nothing new, having first been introduced in October, 2007 in an effort to limit buyers of the original iPhone.
Apple’s policy was viewed in a negative light earlier this week thanks to a news report from KGO-TV in San Francisco, who covered the story of a woman, Diane Campbell, on a fixed income who had managed to save up enough cash over two weeks to purchase the iPad as her first computer.
"It took quite a long time for me to just save up this small amount of money to go down and purchase one," the woman told KGO-TV. "I had my cash in the backpack and I went up proudly to the counter and told them, 'I would like to purchase an iPad.'" As the woman pulled out a “big wad of cash” at the Palo Alto, California Apple Store, the clerk gave her the bad news: “Sorry, we don’t take cash.”
It was a “terrible blow” to the woman, who has no credit or debit card in her name and was therefore unable to buy the device she’d saved so long for. Apple initially held firm to the policy despite the bad PR, but Wednesday they relented, with Apple Senior Vice President for Retail Ron Johnson announcing the company’s change of heart.
“About a month ago, we said we'd like you to use a credit card when you buy your iPad, and that was the best way we could think of to make sure that people only brought two per individual," Johnson told KGO-TV. "And then it came to our attention that Diane [Campbell], through your story, was very interested in buying an iPad with cash, and we made a decision today to change that."
It’s not just the Palo Alto store where the policy has changed, either: The new policy is now in effect in all retail outlets. However, the iPad still has a “two per customer” limit, which will be enforced by having cash customers set up an Apple account at the store, before being able to take the device home.
Two Apple employees even visited Campbell at her home on Wednesday and offered her an iPad, free of charge, as a gesture of goodwill. “I am just so excited,” said Campbell. “Words can’t explain right now.”