Your Cash Isn't Good Enough For Apple's Precious iPhone

Four benjamins will no longer get you an iPhone, now that Apple is requiring credit cards for all iPhone purchases. The new policy, which is billed as an anti-piracy initiative, also prevents customers from buying more than two iPhones per visit. Apple claims the policy went into effect this Thursday, however we received the following tip more than a week ago:

I witnessed a distressing situation at my local Apple Store this morning: a customer who wanted to buy 2 iPhones (for her and her husband) was denied the sale, because she wanted to pay with cash. One employee claimed it was due to “the registration system”, stating “it requires a credit card” which is totally bogus. Another employee said it was part of an attempt to prevent people from buying several and unlocking or exporting them. They also said that checks and gift cards are no longer accepted for iPhone purchases, and that he credit card has to have the customer’s name on it.

Apple disclosed this week that up to a quarter-million consumers may have unlocked their iPhones, some with the help of resellers. Apple previously allowed individuals to buy up to five iPhones at once.

Apple Limits Sale of iPhones: Two Per Person and No Cash [AP]
(Photo: Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten)


Edit Your Comment

  1. RottNDude says:

    So, just buy them online and use the one-time credit card numbers that are available from most CC companies.

  2. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    @RottNDude: Hmm… My Discover card does that…

  3. doormat says:

    Hmmm very un-apple. But I guess at $18/mo per iPhone subscriber (per Ars Technica), Apple is missing out on a huge chunk of money for each unlocked phone ($432 over the life of the two year contract).

    This may be a problem come Christmas time, with people gifting iPhones to other people outside their family if the CC used is supposed to be the customer.

    I suppose the next step if Apple continues to see the unlocking continue is mandatory in-store activation a la AT&T.

  4. KingPsyz says:

    Apple is not the altruistic endevour they blow themselves up to be.

    They’re souless whores who have now determined that legal tender isn’t their bag. But racking up $800 in credit card debt and paying an additional percentage is just hunky dory.

    Maybe they get a kickback form CCs too…

  5. bravo369 says:

    i don’t understand this noncash policy. What does the credit card have to do with anything? Even if it was bought with a credit card, it can still be resold.

  6. bravo369 says:

    On another note, many Apple people seem to be anti-Microsoft but alot of things Apple is doing lately seem like things Microsoft does/did to stifle competition. Is this policy also in place at the At&t stores as well as the apple stores?

  7. sunnfun says:

    @bravo369: But this way they can track people using their CC number and prevent them from buying more than a certain amount.

    To me this is all only because they did that contract with AT&T. They should not have locked the phone to just one carrier. But as we can see, demand finds a way. Get ready to see enormous sales soon from france where they have to sell it unlocked by law.

  8. Oshawapilot says:

    Agreed – the fact that you have to use a credit card really has no bearing on Apples ability to do anything once the transaction has been made.

    It’s not as if they’re going to track the phones a few months later, see that they’re not activated, trace the owner of the credit card used to purchase them, and then somehow prosecute them.

    Two at a time is perhaps a problem for resellers – a credit card requirement is hardly a problem though.

  9. maevealleine says:

    Does apple really thank that this will stop people. I mean, think about it, if people are smart enough to crack the stupid phone, don’t you think they’re smart enough to get around the no-cash roadblock.

    I never owned an apple before but always had a bit of respect for the company. The more I hear these stories, the more greedy Apple seems…no different than any other huge company.

  10. KingPsyz says:

    I am sure you’ll see them do something to gimp those phones from ever coming within 500 miles of American shores.

  11. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    People should just wait until the iPhone launches in Europe. The grey market will be flooded with unlocked iPhones. Screw you, AppleT&T. Hahaha.

  12. azntg says:

    Watch the user base growth starting to dwindle. While I’d say other Apple products were hits, this iPhone is starting to look more like a loser…

  13. dasunst3r says:

    Maybe this couple needs to be introduced to some more sophisticated phones. In particular, I would suggest the BlackBerry Curve or anything made by HTC, which features the latest in smartphone innovation: tactile feedback. They can have as many of those suckers as they want.

  14. IphtashuFitz says:

    @sunnfun: But if they hadn’t locked the iPhone to a carrier then one of their big selling points wouldn’t have been available. The visual voicemail feature required support from AT&T to implement. I’m sure that AT&T required lock-in if they were going to invest in developing that feature on the back-end. If Apple hadn’t gone that route then visual voicemail probably wouldn’t have even been created since the chances of convincing most of the major carriers to support it would have been extremely difficult.

  15. IphtashuFitz says:

    @azntg: I wouldn’t call it a loser but I agree that adoption will dwindle. Personally I might consider an iPhone for my next phone when my current one dies, but since my current phone is less than 6 months old I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I may just wait for a second or third generation iPhone to see what the offer. But I’ll definitely consider it in the future, just not any time soon. I’m willing to bet that a lot of people feel the same way, especially with regards to all the knock-offs that companies like Nokia, Motorola, LG, etc. are already starting to roll out.

  16. amejr999 says:

    Can a store legally refuse to accept cash?

  17. humphrmi says:

    Is this even legal? Can they refuse to take legal tender in a transaction in the U.S.?

  18. timmus says:

    What a racket. This kind of crap is why I refuse to upgrade past even the most primitive Tracfone cell phone. Until there’s a “Virgin America” of the cell phone industry, the consumer-hostile cell phone industry and its droids in Bangalore can kiss my ass.

  19. KingPsyz says:


    So are they not going to have visual voicemail in Europe?

    Is it really that good of a function to give up everything else most so called smartphones can do at half the price?

    This all goes back to Apple producing overpriced minimalist garbage and using it’s sway over the ApplexCORExS out there to justify selling a gimped product at an inflated price.

  20. MelL says:

    According to the Treasury Department, private businesses can refuse cash since there are no federal laws forbidding such. However, state laws may apply.


  21. KingPsyz says:

    There’s a Virgin America, subsidized by Sprint…

  22. doormat says:

    The non-cash rule allows Apple to refuse to sell phones to people who have been flagged as buying large volumes of them.

  23. Shijirou says:

    The should officially unlock this thing. I totally understand the CC only purchase but locking it to one carrier, never. Whatever happened to “the customer is always right?” What if I don’t like AT&T and prefer another network? Its just disappointing really.

  24. WraithSama says:

    I’ve never had cash flat-out refused as a form of payment before, but a large A/V store here in town called Ultimate Electronics gave me a *huge* hassle about making a small purchase with cash, up to the point I finally put the item I was going to buy onto the counter, said “Never mind.” and left.

    In my case, though, I think it was because they push hard for customers to get a line of credit with the store. In fact, the checkout area had just as many credit application kiosks as it did registers. To me, that was a pretty big red flag. I’ll probably not return there in the future.

  25. IphtashuFitz says:

    @Shijirou: One of the big reasons it’s not unlocked is that one of the main selling points Apple pushes is the whole visual voicemail thing. The carrier had to make changes on the back end to support this new way of navigating through voicemail and Apple had to convince a carrier to do it. I’m sure that AT&T only offered to support it on an exclusive basis. Same thing probably goes with the exclusive carriers picked in the other countries where the iPhone is going to be made available. This is probably why it’s taking so long for it to show up in those markets. Remember that Apple likes to control the whole user experience, so they want to ensure everything including visual voicemail works the way its supposed to. If you unlock an iPhone and use it on another carrier then visual voicemail won’t work, and Apple doesn’t like that. And since Apple had to convince a carrier like AT&T to support visual voicemail and AT&T likely forced the exclusive tie-in, there’s no incentive for other carriers to implement it unless/until unlocked iPhones reach a critical mass. But then there seem to be plenty of people out there who couldn’t care less about visual voicemail.

  26. Leiterfluid says:

    Quite frankly, Apple’s iPhone isn’t good enough for my cash. I need something that will work out of the box with my company’s Exchange server (which I manage, BTW).

    Windows Mobile 6 FTW.

  27. rochec says:

    Yes it’s perfectly legal for Apple to refuse cash. The only time legal tender comes into play is in the case of debt. As you don’t already owe a debt to Apple since you haven’t purchased an iPhone yet, they can deny any payment they want.

    As for them denying anyone a sale of the iPhone for purchasing more than 2, it’s very unlikely. Limiting 2 per purchase is not the same as 2 ever. I like how everyone calls them greedy pigs like Microsoft and then acts as if they are going to turn down sales.

    Oh and there’s no iPhone shortage, making it even less likely they will.

  28. XTC46 says:

    @Shijirou: lmfao… “the customer is always right” is the biggest load of crap and was never true. I see more wrong customers than right ones.

    I don’t agree with this cc thing though. They cant flag people for buying too many because I have to imagine its illegal to track customers purchases without their permission (via a club card or something similar)and to me, a CC would be what Id be using to resell phones anyway. I’d use my AMEX card with a cash back bonus and make an even larger profit (and not have to walk around with cash)

  29. Karl says:

    @humphrmi: Yes, it’s legal for them to refuse cash. If you look closely at your money, it says, “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” Since they haven’t given you the iPhone yet, you don’t owe them any money, so they can refuse to sell an iPhone to you.

    Now, if you were at a restaurant, you’ve received your goods before they ask you to pay, so you owe them money. They cannot refuse cash in that case (and if they do, the debt is invalidated).

  30. missdona says:

    As if I didn’t need an extra reason to dislike them…

  31. sunnfun says:

    @IphtashuFitz: That might be true but I have been using my unlocked iPhone with T-Mobile for a while now and I love it! I don’t miss Visual Voicemail; the other non-exclusive features of the phone are defintely worth it. It might not be for everyone (Some might like their crackberries better) but it’s a cool phone no doubt. In the end I think this whole lock-in is going to hurt Apples Image; so they will eventually sell the Phone unlocked , I’m sure. I for one travel a lot out of the country and AT&T’s plans are prohibitively expensive compared with T-Mobile. Plus I can use cheap prepaid sims abroad. I have seen people pay $700 for unlocked iPhones to be used outside the US. The demand is there.

  32. Guess Ars Technica was right. The only way AT&T and Apple will sell phones unlocked is through the legislative system and they aren’t going down without kicking and screaming in the process.

  33. uricmu says:

    @RottNDude: It’s still technically traceable.

  34. ShadowFalls says:

    They want to track who is doing what so they can come back on you later incase your unlock your iPhone.

    My bet is that they will place, or already have placed a call home feature in the iPhone’s firmware, that will call back with the serial number and they will know who had purchased and unlock it.

    They might even use this information to prepare litigation against a person.

  35. b-real says:

    There are a few businesses that refuse cash. Can you buy a plane ticket without a credit card?

  36. eimajuno says:

    Yet another reason why I will be sticking with HTC. This big fit that apple is doing with this phone is rediculous. I have been in the cellular industry for years and there has never been a phone manufacturer that has done what apple has done to keep control of a device. I am an Apple fan when it comes to my computer, but for my phones, my money goes to HTC. I recently picked up a HTC TyTn II, which is much better than the iPhone. I have had phones with no keypads, not my cup of tea, I like having actual keys. I also like adding my own applications to make my phone better.

    HTC FTW!

  37. catskyfire says:

    I’m disturbed by this for a number of reasons. First, a lot of people have gift cards, and would prefer to use them. That’s the whole point of a gift card.
    Second, cash is supposed to be ‘legal for all debts, public and private’. To refuse to allow cash…makes me wonder if someone shouldn’t be contacting their local Attorney General.
    Third, there are a lot of people trying to limit credit card usage. that’s hard to do if you’re forced to use it.

    Of course, I’m one of those crazy people who has a cheap phone which is used to just…um…talk to people.

  38. bobbyt666 says:

    What’s the big deal if people buy your product and then do whatever the hell they want with it after the product becomes legally theirs? Honestly, I’ve seen the iPhone, I’ve used the iPhone…hell, it’s just a phone and not a very intuitive one at that. I’ve been trained for the past 35 years to push buttons to dial. Why do I have to re-learn something I’ve done pretty well at for 3 1/2 decades. Also, I’ve had wi-fi on my pda since the palm tx, why do I need it on my music player? Jeezus people, are we all just cattle?

  39. BigNutty says:

    I too thought it was illegal to not accept US Currency at a “brick and mortar” store.

  40. brochington says:

    There is no reason to not accept cash, just require proof of identification when buying an iphone.

  41. Major-General says:

    @WraithSama: Wow, Ultimate turned down a cash sale? I think I would have pulled out my checkbook.

    @ShadowFalls: On what grounds?

    @b-real: Yes, they don’t like it though. You can depending on airline use Western Union or even Paypal. As for cash the last time I did it I had to drive to my closest airport (60+ miles) to have the counter complete the ticketing process that I started on the phone. Exact change only.

  42. dzosh says:

    According to Wikipedia:

    The right, in many jurisdictions, of a trader to refuse to do business with any person means a purchaser cannot demand to make a purchase, and so declaring a legal tender other than for debts would not be effective.

    That being said, it’s still a fairly questionable move on Apple’s part. I wonder what their actual motivation is, as they aren’t actually going to create scarcity through this policy. Perhaps those who cannot obtain a bank account are not viewed as wanted customers.

  43. doormat says:

    Heh, I can already see the news article now:

    Girl Breaks Down Crying in Apple Store

    Today a local 12 year old girl broke down and cried inside a local Apple Store when the store staff told her than the Apple Gift Cards she had collected from various relatives for Christmas could not be used to purchase an iPhone…

  44. InThrees says:

    I’m pretty torn over whether manufacturers and retailers etc should be able to attach these kinds of terms to simple sales.

    But I am not at all torn over my ability to raise my middle finger in the form of refusing to take part. No, you may not have my dollars.

    In fact, !@#$ you Apple, and !@#$ you AT&T. Apple for turning into everything I hate about Microsoft, and AT&T for… well, it’s AT&T. That one is pretty simple. Take everything you like about cute kittens and/or puppies, and you’ll find none of that associated with AT&T.

  45. gniterobot says:

    @doormat: News at 12: Local girl finds out big business is not looking out for her. She then goes and finds out that there are in fact companies who are glad to sell her a phone with same features and less hassle…

  46. Bay State Darren says:

    So people still think the iPhone is cool, huh? I’m taking guesses as to how long before the trendiness wears of and the Paris Hilton-wannabe’s of the world realize what their stuck with. Can I just buy a solid gold, Dolce & Gabana S gizmo for the same effect, or would that be less cool to the people who like this thing?

    A couple weeks ago, I saw my first one outside the context of an Apple Store. My first thought was, “Wow this guy’s an idiot.”

  47. Mr. Gunn says:

    Leiterfluid: There are many activesync clients for Symbian, such as Mail for Exchange and Roadsync. I’m using exchange on my N75 now, and it’s great with the 3G on the phone.

  48. Bay State Darren says:

    @Bay State Darren: Dolce & Gabana Sprint gizmo, this got lost between Firefox crashes.

  49. darkclawsofchaos says:

    they are preventing a few idiots from paying $400 dollars for only a phone? wow, so its a priviledge to pay for overpriced crap as they are doing you a favor? WTF?

  50. quiksilver says:

    @Leiterfluid: it does work with exchange. mine works with my work exchange server.

  51. ogman says:

    This kind of garbage is why I stopped buying Apple computers years ago. Apple just tries to take all of the control away from the consumer.

    As for credit cards, I don’t want any of them and, if I do have to have one, I don’t want to use it. I’m tired of paying a outrageous tax to use my own money.

  52. icruise says:

    To all the people getting outraged about this, do you really think there are lots of legit customers paying cash for iPhones? I never carry more than $100 in cash, and I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything that cost more than that with cash.

    And for the record, the iPhone is a fantastic device. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than any other phone or PDA I’ve ever used. I didn’t buy it to be cool, I bought it because it’s very well designed and lets me do things that were either impossible with my previous phone, or were too difficult to use in real life. Does that make me an idiot?

  53. Charles Duffy says:

    @darkclawsofchaos: @Bay State Darren: The iPhone has the best UI of any mobile web browsing device out there. For some people, that’s worth $400 and a contract.

    Not for me right now — I’ll probably be buying a FIC Neo1973 when the next generation of them comes out, and setting that up run its wifi in host mode (current generation doesn’t have wifi, that’s why I’m waiting) so I can use an iPod Touch for the web browsing. I pay a little more that way, but I get a phone where the creators want me to write my own software, and a separate device with the excellent mobile web experience.

  54. EdConley says:

    I’m fairly certain that this is illegal. A retail establishment can refuse to accept various amounts of currency, such as 500,000,000 pennies for a payment but the cannot refuse to accept cash.

  55. Robobot says:

    This really makes me feel alienated from Apple. I’m in college and I don’t feel like I’m ready to get a credit card yet. (I’ve seen too many people ruin their credit.) I wasn’t planning on getting an iPhone or anything, but it kind of sucks to be told that that I’m not allowed to buy one.

    A lot of people say that it is suspicious to pay in cash, but I feel like it helps me control my spending. Seeing my (hard-earned) cash exchange hands makes the purchase sink in more.

  56. meneye says:

    That’s funny, my money says it’s legal tender for ALL debts, public and private

  57. Scuba Steve says:

    @b-real: You can, but you need identification. You can’t rent a car in most places without cash, unless you purchase an ungodly amount of insurance and put down a 500 dollar deposit.

    As for money, it is legal tender, but the right to refuse service trumps the right to use cash. If they make the sale and you owe, cash can work. If they refuse the sale, as long as its not discrimination against a nationally protected category, it’s perfectly acceptable (state and local laws may apply, this is not legal advice, etc.)

  58. Scuba Steve says:

    *with cash.

    That being said, I love the Iphone for features but the price scares the crap out of me. 400 bucks for a phone. gotta buy insurance on it in case I lose it.

  59. Falconfire says:

    @meneye: Yes but that just means that it can be used to pay debts, not that your allowed to use it. Apple is a private company and thus doesnt have to accept cash, check, or credit cards depending on how it feels.

    What I find funny is this is very common too, so I dont understand the furor. Most cellphone and car rental companys now refuse cash for various reasons. Why its it perfectly fine for them to, but god forbid Apple do it and the entire freaking world goes into a furor for what is common elsewhere.

  60. Snarkysnake says:

    Hey, how’s about changing the name of this little blog to “The Conspicuous Consumerist “?

    I would like to politely suggest that you assholes that are chasing after this stupid little toy like Pavlov’s dogs are the very reason that they can get away with telling you where,when and how you can buy the damn things. In fact , if Steve Jobs decreed that you would have to sing “I’m a little teapot” in a crowded mall to get one,you’d be practicing the lyrics in front of a damn mirror. Wake UP you people ! This is a fucking telephone ! It won’t change your life,it damn sure isn’t making you any smarter and more popular. This is the grown up version of how the “in” crowd in high school told you what to wear,what to watch and what to eat so you could be like “them”.You apparently haven’t learned a thing since.You deserve to pay $400 (plus a two year assfucking from A T & T) for the right to make the same calls that the rest of us can make for almost nothing. This is a rechargeable Cabbage Patch Kid that comes with a two year contract and you can’t wait to get one because, um, “they” told you to.When the nice men come to repossess your house and car because you couldn’t keep up the payments because of useless shit like this,you can at least call your mom on your Iphone and beg her to let you and your hungry kids move in with her.You’ll damn sure do that before you tell Steve Jobs to stick this thing where the sun don’t shine. Yes, “Buffy” (or “Biff”), the reason that you are shocked to read stuff like this is because you need someone,sometime to tell you truth about how easily these companies manipulate you.

    BTW,I would like to apologize for that second sentence. I meant “stupid assholes”

  61. Pink Puppet says:


    I’m probably in that obscure and rare camp of legit consumers that doesn’t feel comfortable with a credit card. (I’m a college student, I try to avoid temptations like one.) While I don’t carry a lot of cash on me, I can and will go to the bank to withdraw whatever sum is needed for a big purchase.

    I thought the iPhone was kind of neat when it first came out, but didn’t want to be one of the early adopters for something that pricy. Now I apparently can’t ‘adopt’ at all, though maybe that’s a good thing with how they’re behaving.

  62. Zombietime says:

    I think instead of buying an iphone… my motorola q does just fine. I’ll buy the new lower priced ps3. Take that apple!

  63. humphrmi says:

    I thought US currency had to be accepted by US Law, however apparently not: []

    However note that it says:

    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.

    (emphasis added).

    So there could still be state laws in play here.

  64. guevera says:

    hate credit cards, have big stack of cash. getting prepaid cc just for online purchases, but I will now never use it to buy from apple. I’ve actually been considering one of those shiny new macbooks as my next god awful expensive toy, but not now.

  65. royal72 says:

    dear apple, you have officially lost your god damned mind and when i say apple i mean you steve. looks like you’ve been swallowing too much of bill’s gerbil juice and figured if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. so please feel free to be the whore you need to be, but don’t expect me to wipe the jizz off your fohead when i get done milking my apple stock and tell you to get the fuck out. it goes without saying that you won’t be paid for your services, as i only pay my whores in cash.

  66. erratapage says:

    1) I agree that the iPhone is a artifact of rampant consumerism. I still think it looks cool. Do I want one? Nope, it doesn’t do what I need a phone to do.

    2) Apple does have the right to refuse cash, although I wonder if maybe the no-cash rule might have a disproportionate affect on a minority group, and it occurs to me that AT&T is a public carrier…. so, maybe there’s a lawsuit in this?

    3) Plenty of legitimate customers don’t use credit. In fact, I question a society in which people who buy on credit are the legitimate customers. Hmmm… I doubt my grandmother even had a credit card.

  67. balthisar says:

    Uh, there’s precedent for refusing cash. Try buying a DirecTV system retail without a credit card, unless you pay absolutely full price (i.e., $200 for a receiver instead of $50).

  68. wring says:

    paying with cash is PIRACY???? alert teh police!

  69. turingtest says:

    Anti-piracy initiative? When did buying something with cash become piracy?

  70. says:

    i love that cat!

  71. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Waiting for the G-phone.
    It has to be better than this.

  72. XTC46 says:

    What is to stop people from buying visa gift card with their cash? And i’m fairly certain they have to take the apple gift card, otherwise it would be against the TOS of the card.

  73. XTC46 says:

    @royal72: wtf? how do you compare not taking credit cards to bill gates? I don’t recall ever not being able to use cash to make a MS purchase. Not to mention the fact that you are bascially saying you don’t like his actions but are ok with it since you will make money…Im pretty sure thats the definition of sellout, which give you no right to comment.

  74. sidescroller says:

    Um… just to inform the Consumerist, there’s actually a number of errors in this report, as far as I know.

    First of all, on the positive side, the policy isn’t that you need to pay the entirety of it on a credit card. Just that a credit card is part of the purchase. Meaning you could pay a dollar on a card and pay the rest in cash. Apple keeps copies of all of it’s credit receipts for your convenience, meaning if you lose it, Apple can retrieve the transaction later for a return or exchange.

    Second of all, on the negative side, you misinterpreted the limit. It’s not two per transaction or day or even month. It’s two EVER. In a lifetime. Period.

    So, I hope that clarifies some things for the Consumerist. I respect the blog. I just wish you’d fact check a little bit more.

  75. sidescroller says:

    And how is this any different than a hotel or internet service requiring a credit card to ensure payment? Apple is ensuring their corporate investment in the phone market by limiting mass resellers. They’re trying to make money.

    Isn’t that the essence of capitalism?

    If a consumer doesn’t like it, or can’t afford it, then they don’t buy one. And if they do like it and can afford it, then they go ahead and buy one.

    Isn’t that the essence of consumerism?

    How is this even an issue?

  76. dextrone says:

    @RottNDude: Precisely, those who want multiple ones will do that, wow……they may also ask for a reissued credit card.

    Wait a moment, I sure hope Apple doesn’t store the credit card number, I don’t think they can by law (is it even legal to do that?). If they store the name, there’s a chance there may be a duplicate too?

  77. rolla says:

    apple should have just made the iphone work for CDMA…this way, they would have bypass the whole unlocking situation.

  78. meehawl says:

    “The visual voicemail feature required support from AT&T to implement.”

    I’m always impressed at how verbatim some people can repeat Jobsian propaganda as if it’s actually natural law. “Visual Voicemail” is pretty simple to implement and was around way before the iphone. One good way to get VV currently is through Google’s GrandCentral phone service – if your phone has a browser you’re good to go. This works on any suitable phone on any carrier.

    Other VV systems are SimulSays, CallWave or GotVoice. Citrix has been selling it and calling it “Visual Voicemail” since 2004. Really, it’s not a herculean implementation unless, apparently, you are Apple, or you want to believe every word of Apple’s marketing.

  79. MYarms says:

    Well here’s one person that won’t be buying one if I can’t use cash. Yeah that’s right Apple, I won’t allow you to put me further into debt than I already am.

  80. MrEvil says:

    @icruise: Just because you don’t like to pay for things with cash doesn’t mean the rest of us think the same. I’d ten times rather pay for something with money I have than money I don’t have. Besides, with cold hard cash in hand at a retailer there’s no disputing weather or not your payment is legitimate (well, so long as you have a counterfeit pen). But hey, it is Apple’s right as a private business to deny sales to anyone paying with cash. It’s my right as a private citizen not to buy their crap. I like my MotoQ more anyway…oh yeah, it does everything the iPhone does too, except for Wi-Fi, which wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

  81. tcp100 says:

    @MYarms: I do not get your mentality. You make no sense, just like every other ignorant tool who acts like credit cards are the work of the devil.

    How does merely putting something on a credit card put you in debt? Is it the credit card company that forces you to not pay your bills and put you “further in debt”? Here’s a tip. Buy on credit card. Write a check to said credit card when you get home. Drop in mail. Difficult? There is no reason in the world that a credit card should be any more debt-incurring than a cash transaction. It’s strictly up to the purchaser.

    Sorry you have no self-control. No, this is not “illegal” – a phrase on currency that an armchair lawyer interprets incorrectly is not the law of the land. YES, the Iphone is overhyped and overpriced, and Apple’s restrictions on it are stupid (but understandable, if you look at how they organized the whole damn deal. Bad business, oh no, did I just criticize His Jobsness?)

    As for the comments about “protection”.. Yeah, there’s no dispute, until you leave the store. People who make a large purchase without the protections of a credit card are fooling themselves into believing cash is “safer”. It isn’t.

    Anything involving the operations of a credit card is separate from your ability to be responsible and pay for it. Sure, credit companies (shock!) make a profit off pf people who don’t pay their cards off. Who’s fault is that?

  82. MacPrince says:

    Wow…*way* too much vicious hate in this thread. Oh, well, it’s Consumerist, gotta have some boogeyman to play Internet Tough Guy about, right?

    Did it ever occur to any of you that maybe the reason I bought an iPhone for $600 (yes, I bought back before the price drop) is that…horror of horrors…I like it? I’ve wanted a device like this for years- phone, media player, and WiFi web access in one device with an non-retarded interface. (Windows Mobile…I’m looking at you.) So when Apple brought it out, I bought one.

    If you don’t like the iPhone, here’s a clue: DON’T BUY ONE!

    Apple’s doing this to keep people from buying iPhones en masse, unlocking them, and selling them for a huge profit. Most stores don’t take kindly if you decide you want to resell their products like that.

    TCP100 has already well dispatched the “OMGEE!! CREDIT CARDS R TEH EVIL!!!!11!” people.

    Man alive…what is it with the comments on the Gawker blogs? Here, Gizmodo, Jalopnik…they’re all going to hell.

  83. dantsea says:

    I love the outraged harrumphing and hilarious assumptions every story on the iPhone bring out. Even more than that are the idiots screeching about how it “must be illegal” for Apple to refuse cash even though it’s been pointed out FIFTEEN FUCKING TIMES ALREADY that they’re free to do so. No wonder companies have no respect for consumers, as a lot we’ve got the savvy and knowledge of a moldy cantaloupe.

    Although I’m fairly certain a DEBIT card would work just as well for such a purchase. Though God forbid, I suppose, since that would call out the banking paranoids who, for the past eleven years, keep insisting that doom and drainage of my bank account are right around the corner.

  84. dantsea says:

    @sidescroller: Save your breath. At least 95 percent of the people oinking out I WILL NEVAR BUY AN APPLE PRODUCT!!!11 never had any intention of doing so in the first place. But the oinking makes them feel good in their tingly places, I guess.

  85. @icruise: No, but the fact that you think using cash is somehow less legitimate than using credit makes you an idiot, though.

  86. Red_Eye says:

    Screw you apple you just insured I will never buy one of your products. I imagine a few thousand Dave Ramsey listeners will agree.

  87. Morgan says:

    Am I the only one that thinks that the big issue here is not accepting gift cards? If you’ve already given them the money for a purchase, how can they limit what items you can buy with it?

  88. gspdark1 says:

    Take your cash, convert it to a Visa, MC, AmEx gift card – problem solved.

  89. vladthepaler says:

    Is that even legal? “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private”

  90. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


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  91. sidescroller says:


    Again, for clarification.

    I just spoke with an Apple manager yesterday. You only have to pay for at least part of your transaction on credit card. Meaning the store would take a gift card, or even cash, as long as you pay for part of it on a credit card.

    Unless the manager is mistaken, which may be the case, given how retail works, this is the nationwide policy.


    As already established, this is legal. They can refuse service to you, they can refuse cash. Unless your state has a local law prohibiting it, then it’s perfectly legal.

  92. Charles Duffy says:

    @meehawl: If iPhone customers had their own, separate voicemail system, that’d be true. If it’s going to integrate with the voicemail provided by the telco (which it does), it needs support from the telco.