Apple doesn't accept cash at the Apple Store, not even for an iPad

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A human interest story, brought to us by the fine people at KGO-TV in San Francisco. It goes something like this: a woman had saved up for a very long time to buy an Apple iPad. So goes into an Apple Store, tells the clerk that she’d like to buy an iPad, then whips out the requisite $600. Six-hundred in cash, mind you. Then the Apple clerk drops a bombshell: sorry, but we don’t accept cash here.

While it may seem unusual, there’s no law on the books that says Apple has to accept your money, cash or otherwise. It’s well within its rights to say, “Yeah, we only accept credit or debit cards here.”

Apple says that’s the policy in order to prevent evildoers from buying a bunch of iPads with cash, then turning around then putting those iPads on the gray market. (Apple limits iPads to two per person. So it swipes your card and says, “Whoa, buddy, says here you already bought two iPads. We can’t sell you this.”

On one hand, I can see people rallying around the woman in the story. Her circumstances are such that you’re quick to say, “Hey, Apple, stop being a bunch of jerks and let the woman have the iPad already. What’s the big deal?”

On the other hand, Apple can simply tap the sign and say “policy is policy.”

You can’t fight City Hall.

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