Apple Escorts You From The Store For Trying To Purchase An iPhone With Cash

As loyal readers already know, Apple doesn’t accept cash for the iPhone — a policy they say is designed to discourage resellers from getting their grubby little hands on the precious cellphone. This policy does have a tendency to backfire every now and then when a legitimate customer wants to purchase an iPhone with cash. Meet Alex Palen– he was refused an iPhone because he doesn’t have a credit or debit card and was escorted from the store when he asked another customer to accept cash in exchange for charging the phone to their card.

From The Buffalo News:

“She looked at my money and said, ‘We don’t accept cash as a form of payment for the iPhone.’ When I asked why, she would only say it was the store’s policy that I use a credit card,” Palen said.

Since he doesn’t have one, Palen asked another customer if he could give him the $499 plus tax to charge it for him. Store staffers said that was against the rules, and then escorted him — and his pocket full of bills — from the store.

“I was so outraged. I was so humiliated. I just sat in the mall and couldn’t even talk for half an hour. I was so surprised this could happen in America,” Palen said. “I’ve never been told that U. S. currency isn’t enough to buy a product.”

Legally, neither Apple nor any other private company in New York State is required to accept cash.

Apple responded to the news story with the following: ““We require a credit, debit or gift card as payment to discourage unauthorized resellers,” said Teresa Brewer, Apple spokeswoman.” We wonder if they couldn’t have asked him to buy a gift card rather than resorting to tossing him out of the store? Oddly, Alex says the experience hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for Apple… “I still want to buy the iPhone,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s the best phone on the market. Nothing else compares.”

What can cash buy? Not an iPhone [Buffalo News](Thanks, Craig!)
(Photo: hanapbuhay )


Edit Your Comment

  1. dlynch says:

    IIRC, Apple won’t accept a gift card for iPhone purchases either….

  2. dtmoore says:

    He should be thankful he just saved $500 on phone that has the same functionality as the one I bought 3 years ago does.

  3. Edge23 says:

    Apple did nothing wrong. He was escorted for trying to get another customer to charge their credit card for his purchase.

  4. Toof_75_75 says:

    Legal Tender EXCEPT in the Apple Store…Do they accept Euros? ;-)

  5. catskyfire says:

    Can anyone explain how that policy would discourage resellers?

    I mean, I’ve got several credit cards. If I wanted to go from store to store, I could use a different card at each.

    I also have to ask : Why it’s still an issue? I didn’t think they were still in ‘super short supply to make you want it more’.

  6. chrisjames says:

    @catskyfire: The article says so they can track the purchases and make sure whoever bought the iPhone is the same person using the iPhone.

  7. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Toof_75_75: Stores are under no obligation to accept cash of any form for a purchase. They only have to accept cash if you owe them money.

  8. iocane5150 says:

    You know what would serve them right? But an iPhone with a credit card and have the bank do a charge back!

  9. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @Edge23: What business is it of Apple’s what this customer wants to deal with another customer? If they didn’t have that retarded rule it wouldn’t have even come to that. Apple is 100% in the wrong on this one.

  10. Uriel says:

    Someone has been whispering sweet idiocies into your ear Alex. There are many many phones better than the iphone. Don’t patronize those trolls after the way they treated you.

  11. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    The most ridiculous thing about this whole policy is that they wont even accept cash as PART of the payment.

    I tried paying for half the phone with a card, and the rest with cash, they still wouldn’t do it.

    Makes absolutely no sense to me, as the only reason they installed the credit card rule in the first place was so that they could “track” your information.

  12. donnie5 says:

    I understand Apple is not required to take cash, but not taking it is ludicrous. I really wish there was a law that said stores have to accept cash.

  13. jamar0303 says:

    Solution- Come to China. If one vendor won’t take your form of payment for the iPhone, go to the next one a couple meters away. Plus, it’s unlocked and jailbroken too.
    Seriously, the whole card-only thing isn’t working if they’re dime-a-dozen here in China, somewhere they haven’t officially sold it yet.

    (Personally, I think there are lots of better phones on the market; just not the US market. Look over the Pacific)

  14. jamar0303 says:

  15. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    In my opinion it is the best phone on the market, bar none.

    It might not have the most features, but everything that it does it does better than any other phone.

    The OS and touchscreen give it by far the best functionality of any phone.

  16. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Wow, Apple really puts itself really high on a pedestal. And the fact that this guy still wants an iphone after being “humiliated”, just illustrates the fact that people are falling for the hype. I bet Steve Jobs wipes with crisp $100 bills every morning. Haha.

  17. Saboth says:

    Best phone on the market? Strange, my free phone from Sprint makes calls, calculates tips and has an alarm to wake me up from naps. Also, they are happy to accept good old american cash.

    You mean it’s the best “toy” on the market?

  18. GearheadGeek says:

    At this point he’d be stupid to buy the iPhone v.1 in any event, the Apple store arrogantly saved him from buying a soon-to-be obsolete version. In a month or two they should be releasing the 3G iPhone v.2, at which time he can take his cash to an AT&T store and get one.

  19. seldon452 says:

    I’m sorry, does apple not accept American currency anymore? Guess I’ll have to buy it in euros.

  20. dookas says:

    Buying an iPhone days before a new one is release FTW!!!

  21. justinpe says:

    @ kaptainkk

    The link you provided seems to be slightly outdated, just like your piece of shit Nokia.

  22. MeOhMy says:

    We require a credit, debit or gift card…

    (but we’ll only take up to 5 gift cards so all those $50 GCs you’ve been saving still won’t cut it).

    I can see why they don’t want resellers snapping up all of the available supplies but I’m not sure how it helps to not take cash.

  23. flamincheney says:

    Why do I feel this has less to do with resellers and more to do with associating an ID and a serial number to track unlocked devices? Am I being too cynical?

  24. AaronZ says:

    He should count his blessings! It looks like iPhone 2.0 is just around the corner, and he should wait for that one.

    (Also, would they accept a check?)

  25. Scuba Steve says:

    Well it seems the consumerist hit a nerve with that bit about the iphone.

    To be honest it’s a decent phone, but it has it’s downsides.

    No 3G *yet, lack of keyboard, camera quality stinks, 2 year contract on top of 499 fee..

    Don’t understand the fanboy hate though..

  26. Scotus says:

    It sucks that he felt humiliated and will have to jump through hoops to get an iPhone (even though Apple probably did him a favor, seeing as how the 3G models are just a few weeks away). However…it’s 2008. There’s no reason for someone not to have a credit card. They’re convenient, good to have for emergencies, and they help you build credit. Whenever I meet someone who actually takes pride in the fact that they don’t have one, I just shake my head.

    Use it, pay it off every month, don’t live beyond your means, and a credit card is insanely useful. People who think they’re being fiscally responsible or somehow taking a stand against The Man by not getting one, get little sympathy from me.

  27. GearheadGeek says:

    @AaronZ: The check question is interesting, but I’m guessing if the guy had a checking account he’d also have a debit card. These days you’d have to specifically ask NOT to get a debit card from any bank I can think of.

  28. Buran says:

    @Scuba Steve: They’re haters. They equally hate everything.

  29. Canoehead says:

    Not an Apple fanboy, but I do like the iPhone (got it free from work). It is not the best phone one the market – it is the best internet browsing interface in a phone that I am aware of. With 3G, it will be pretty much perfect as a web device.

  30. calvinneal says:

    I thought that American currency is good for all debts, “public and private” Guess not!

  31. BugMeNot2 says:

    “I still want to buy the iPhone,” he said.

    And that’s why he has to bend over. I’ll never have to deal with this problem, because Apple can kiss my ass.

  32. Papagoose says:

    I like the iPhone too, but can’t justify spending that sort of money on any phone – it’s just not that big a deal to me.

    What I really can’t understand is ever wanting to business with Apple after being treated that way. I’ve been a fan of Apple products for a long time and would hate to go a day without my old, outdated yet fully functioning iPod. It’s stories like this that will make me think twice before making an Apple purchase in the future.

  33. radio1 says:

    Well, just wait to the new genration is out and pick up a Green Dot disposable VISA/MC and be done with it.

  34. roadapples says:

    I wonder if they accept iCash

  35. MeOhMy says:


    I thought that American currency is good for all debts, “public and private” Guess not!

    If the store won’t even begin to do business with you, you have not incurred a debt.

  36. PhilR8 says:

    @Saboth: Ah, so true. It’s a toy with functions that you really don’t need, but are cool. I think the “best” phone on the market is the one with the best reception, and I don’t think the iPhone qualifies in that respect.

  37. raleel says:

    Now, while he does say it’s the best phone in the market, there are also a lot of folks saying there are better ones.

    I’d like someone to point me to why some of these phones are better. I’m not even being snarky

  38. Lucky225 says:

    who wants to bet they wanted ID with that credit card to? Where oh where are the naysayers that say I should use cash instead of credit?

  39. VA_White says:

    What IS the best cell phone? I have no idea anymore. I thought the phone I had was pretty good but the damn thing looks like I sent it through a washing machine full of rocks after only a short time.

    I want one that won’t have bits break off randomly and has a qwerty keyboard. And not an effing blackberry. Can’t find one.

    I don’t think there are any good phones left. I despair.

  40. SacraBos says:

    Okay, what if I want to make the iPhone the standard phone for my company, and wanted to buy 50 of them. Would they sell them to me, even if I used a credit card?

    @calvinneal: It wasn’t a debt. It was a sale. The tool doesn’t own Apple anything yet, so Apple doesn’t have to take cash yet.

  41. courtneywoah says:

    When I went to purchase the iphone for my fiance a couple of months ago at the Apple store in Holyoke, Ma I was given the option of cash or credit. I chose to use my debit card because I was under the impression that they didn’t accept cash. Very strange…

  42. justinpe says:


    Pretty subjective. I don’t think there is single “best phone”. People prefer different things, so what is better to you might not be better to me. But, I suppose there are other ways of determining the “best.” You could see which one has the most features, or which one has sold the most.

  43. LibertyReign says:

    Guilty until proven innocent. If you buy with cash you are a criminal who will resell our phone. Nevermind the implications of becoming a cashless society. We wont let you use our product unless we have the same ability to track and trace your purchases as the government does when you register your vehicle. Fascism anyone?

  44. Atticka says:

    Keep in mind people, its called an iPhone but works more like a PDA than anything. SMS, web browsing, notes, calander functions, google maps, etc… while available on many other phones, the touch interface make this thing a dream to use.

    Apple’s take on some features make it unique as well, phone numbers in web pages become links (tap the number to dial), SMS messages scroll like a chat sessions are just a few.

  45. MaliBoo Radley says:


    Nope. He doesn’t accept cash. He only wipes with freshly pressed credit cards.

  46. nicenicehappyman says:

    Most retailers don’t have to accept cash if they don’t want to.
    You can buy and iPhone with mostly cash, but some of it must be on a credit card.

    Apple Employees can ask for ID, but a customer may refuse.
    (there was an iCommunicate article after the big report about Apple Retail requiring IDs) Apple also says that someone using a stolen credit card is, “a risk we’re willing to take.”

  47. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @Atticka: Many phones have touch interfaces. My WinMo phone will link to a phone number in a web page or message. My wife’s Blackberry will do that and also will thread SMS messages.

    The iPhone has very little on Blackberry.

  48. QrazyQat says:

    If you buy with cash you are a criminal who will resell our phone.

    After he buys it it’s his phone; selling it doesn’t make him a criminal. Businesses are trying, and getting really good at, faux criminalizing perfectly ordinary behavior. It actually all started some time back when they were successful at getting people — even this site — to think of themselves as “consumers” instead of “customers”.

  49. Hawk07 says:

    I agree with the commenters that say it’s 2008 and if you don’t have a CC, there’s something wrong with you.

    Yeah, if you misuse it, it can make your life hell with the amount of debt you rack up. However, CCs beat carrying cash around and debit cards have fewer protections against fraud.

    I charge everything on CC since it allows me to actually see where my money is going versus spending cash which leaves no record.

  50. howie_in_az says:

    This is pretty lol, especially considering that anyone can get a prepaid VISA, load it up with cash, and buy numerous iPhones. If the Apple Store says “sorry, this VISA has already been used to buy 20 iPhones”… then get a different preaid VISA and repeat the process.

    Problem solved on the consumer end, problem exacerbated on Apple’s end.

  51. ionerox says:

    @Troy F.: Actually, they can use up to eight different forms of payment on the same transaction :)

  52. joellevand says:

    Solution in three steps:

    1. Go to Apple store and buy a gift card for the exact amount of the iPhone plus tax.

    2. Go home.

    3. Return to store the next day and buy the phone.

    If you’re at a store with decent customer service, you can skip steps two and three and purchase the iPhone in the next transaction. OR:

    1. Go online and buy gift card.

    2. Go to store and buy iPhone.


    Apple is totally wrong for their whole “you can’t use cash” policy, but there are ways around it. Maybe you have a very nice family member that will purchase it “as a gift” for you? Or wait until they’re available at the AT&T retailer near you and see if they know about the no cash policy or not.

  53. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    I like Apple, but that policy is total crap, regardless of the excuses they might offer about stopping this and that reseller.

    I know people who refuse to use credit cards for ANYTHING, and only operate on cash.

    For those people, they are happy to spend their money elsewhere.

  54. S-the-K says:

    Um, could you tell me where these people are that walk around with hundreds of untraceable paper currency in their hands, and when they’ll be there? (Where did I leave my blackjack?)

    Oh, I get it, I’ll just hang around the Apple store and look for people with wads of cash in their hands.

  55. Buran says:

    @SacraBos: So he’s a “tool” just because you don’t share his opinion? Wow.

  56. mammalpants says:

    my advice would be to get a credit card and max it out with nothing but those verizon touch screen iphone killer turds.

    that’ll teach em!

  57. joellevand says:

    @QrazyQat: Very valid point.

    Why must we continue to shop at places (even if they are very pretty, like the Apple store) that treat us like we’re criminals the moment we walk in the door?

    Or where the service sucks?

    There are three Apple stores within 10 miles of my house. I went to the one that was closest to home to buy some software. I had to practically flag down an associate to ring up my purchase and no one bothered greeting me either, even though there were five employees talking in a cluster near the door.

    Next time I need something for my MacBook, I’m heading to one of the other Apple stores. Done.

    Sadly, though, many people will come back to a store where they received bad service for convenience, or fire off complaints to CSRs/corporate who aren’t going to reprimand any one and probably won’t do anything but apologize to you anyway.

    Then again, from the retail aspect, I’m glad companies don’t yell at their employees for every customer complaint they receive. Some people out there expect retail workers to be their slaves and wipe their ass after they’re done kissing it. I still remember the woman who told me she’d have me fired because I wouldn’t honor the promotional coupon she had. The coupon was for a free item that was being given away at a new store in another town she’d just been to–two months before. All of the explanation and pointing out the fine print didn’t really work for her and she swore I’d be fired.

    And eventually I was, a year later, for sticking up for an employee who told a customer off after she physically and verbally assaulted him. He tried to sell her an item where money went to charity, she said she wasn’t interested in that charity (an AIDS/HIV charity) because she was a straight woman and AIDS money is only for “niggers and queers” which made him say to her, “excuse me, but I am gay” to which she smacked him and said he needed to go to church and stop his abominable ways followed by a fire and brimstone sermon about how all gays will go to hell and AIDS is a divine punishment against “the queers” for sin. As she walked away, he said “I hope your husband has an affair and *you* end up with AIDS!”

    Naturally, she filed a complaint.

    For that, I was told to fire him. I said a week’s suspension w/o pay was more in order but I would not fire him after he was assaulted by her and so thoroughly insulted, not to mention he was a good worker who usually did double his sales goal and was loved by many regular customers.

    So they fired us both.

  58. y2julio says:

    still wants an iPhone even after being treated like crap. Someone has been drinking the Apple kool aid.

  59. S-the-K says:

    There are two possible reasons to not have a CC or debit card in this day and age:

    1. You are too poor and have poor financial habits and can’t afford a bank account and/or have been blacklisted from every bank in the country and/or have p*ss-poor FICO.

    2. You are a myrmidon of Ted Kaczynski and are living “off the grid”.

    In either case, you have no business buying an iPhone!

  60. Paul D says:

    Unfortunately, it’s the best phone on the market. Nothing else compares.


  61. seamer says:

    A credit card should not be required for legality reasons in a day and age of a) social security numbers, and b) photographic ID cards.

    That sounds highly of discrimination, isn’t that illegal in America? Did you pursue it?

  62. y2julio says:

    @S-the-K: uh-huh. suuuureeeee. I know lots of people that have money but preffer to pay everything with cash. So now trying to be financially responsible by paying stuff in cash is bad? wow.

  63. sprocket79 says:

    I can’t believe he asked some stranger to use their credit card! That was stupid and ballsy all at the same time. I can see how that set off red flags for the employees, it sounds like a counterfeiting scam. What an idiot.

  64. chrisjames says:

    @S-the-K: Or, (3), you’re attempting to live without credit.

    Why fill the coffers of the credit card companies for a convenience you don’t want? I use credit cards as a trade-off between the benefits of the convenience of not carrying cash and always having enough “money” on-hand for purchases, and the drawback of having to pay interest on all purchases. If someone doesn’t want to pay the interest or other fees, like a private taxation on all purchases, then cash may be the only option left.

  65. SteveZim1017 says:

    I’ll just wait for my android phone…

  66. Rajio says:

    “I was so outraged. I was so humiliated. I just sat in the mall and couldn’t even talk for half an hour. I was so surprised this could happen in America,” Palen said. “I’ve never been told that U. S. currency isn’t enough to buy a product.”


    “you can’t do this to me … I’m an AMERICAN!”

    hahahahahahahahahaha …. *sigh*.


  67. t0fu says:

    Time to get that new blackberry :)

  68. captadam says:

    There’s nothing “wrong” with a person who doesn’t want to use credit cards. (This is coming from a person with lots of credit cards, most of which haven’t seen use in years.) Perhaps a person doesn’t want to carry a credit card … or doesn’t want to have open accounts somewhere … or has figured out how to live just fine without them … or doesn’t want to worry about the cards being stolen and misued. All those are admirable reasons. We shouldn’t criticize a person who doesn’t want one.

  69. dreamcatcher2 says:

    “Unfortunately, it’s the best phone on the market. Nothing else compares.”

    As long as you think like that, companies can continue to treat you however they like. I’m sorry Alex, but there are almost always alternative products. When we’re talking about cell phones, there are definitely alternatives (from the comparable internet phones on down to the phones that hardly do more than place calls and store phone numbers). Half the problem with company-consumer relations is that consumers buy into the brand image so much that they can’t say no, no matter how they’re being treated. Sites like consumerist do a tiny bit to change the balance of power, but the ultimate consumer power is the ability to say “no thank you, I don’t want to buy this”.

  70. kaatn says:

    as i understand it, you are limited to 5 iphones on a US credit/debit card. no cash, no checks.

  71. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Kindly look up the definition of the word “debt”.

  72. kaatn says:

    @Lucky225: i think they changed store policy, they’ll only ask for id if the card is unsigned.

  73. DustoMan says:

    Hey, this guy should just save his money a couple more weeks. They new iPhones are due the first week in June!

  74. redwall_hp says:

    Will you people stop bashing the iPhone is your comments? No one cares about your views on the device. Here’s why he could be buying an iPhone:

    – Mobile web browsing
    – iPod + Phone. In my experiences, there are no good non-Apple mp3 players.
    – He doesn’t want the extra #@%&* they load into phones these days.
    – Apple’s UIs are unmatched in ease of use.

  75. pitere says:

    I do sympathize with you, but what is stopping you from joining the rest of the modern world and getting a free debit card? It’s much safer than carrying around a wad of cash in your pocket…

  76. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    If you really want a “jesus phone”, then wait for the Sony Ericsson Xperia. Coming out this summer. Hardware is made by HTC, so this phone is semi-kosher for all the Sony haters. LOL.

    If you don’t like Windows Mobile, then there’s the Blackberry.

    If you don’t like Blackberry, then go sign up for a credit card and buy an iphone.

  77. y2julio says:

    “- Mobile web browsing”
    My Motorola Q can do that.
    “- iPod + Phone. In my experiences, there are no good non-Apple mp3 players.” Creative players > Apple Players. Who else better to make MP3 players than the best soundcard makers in the industry.
    “- He doesn’t want the extra #@%&* they load into phones these days.”
    What extra shit? My Windows Mobile 5 set up was pretty clean.
    ” Apple’s UIs are unmatched in ease of use. ” So it looks pretty. Big deal. My phone does what I need it do do.
    All for $100 and I didn’t have to go begging to Sprint to sell me the phone.

  78. Lucky225 says:


    Thank you, who cares WHY he is buying it, the fact that it can’t be bought with cash is B.S.

  79. Nylo says:

    … And he still want it?

    iCool= iWanaBeLong… Sooo Bad!

  80. y2julio says:

    @dreamcatcher2: Sadly, Thats how it is when you buy into Apple. You arent buying their product. Your are buying into their supposed “lifestyle”. Kinda like a membership club.

  81. chenry says:

    I’d have just bought a shite load of giftcards.

  82. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Scotus: Why build credit if you may never need it? I’m with you on the emergency thing, but I see no real NEED for credit cards. He should have an atm/debit card though. I mean that is the first thing you get when you get a bank account now isn’t it?

  83. DoubleEcho says:

    “Creative players > Apple Players. Who else better to make MP3 players than the best soundcard makers in the industry.”

    I think you’re going to regret calling Creative “the best soundcard maker”…


  84. teqjack says:

    Hawk07 at 01:26 PM “… debit cards have fewer protections against fraud.”

    Uh, what? Maybe some. The debit card my bank issues can be used either as a true debit card or as a VISA credit card which automatically takes the amount (in full, same as if used as debit, so no interest charge) from my bank account but gives me all the credit-card protections. I think that even used as a debit card the protections are the same, but that may just be my bank which seems to have copied the policy from the credit-card policies.

  85. y2julio says:

    @DoubleEcho: Best in terms of quality.

  86. justinpe says:

    I think it may have something to do with the fact that Apple stores typically do not have cash registers (or just one or two). I’m not sure if this no-cash-policy applies to other apple products, but every time I’ve purchased something at an Apple store I’ve used a card and I am checked out by someone with a handheld windows device (ironically), and they email me my receipt.

    I do agree, however, that not accepting cash is kinda bullshit. Why would Apple want give all those fees to Visa and Mastercard if someone was willing to pay cash? And I don’t really understand how this could prevent people from reselling them.

  87. uncle_fluffy says:

    I ran into this problem at the apple store in vegas. I had just won a bunch of money and told myself that I’d use the winnings to buy iphones for myself and my SO. I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise.

    Imagine my disappointment when I found out that the apple store on the strip in LAS VEGAS didn’t take cash. I stomped out of the store and went to the mall’s customer service desk and bought two prepaid amex cards (they were max 500 per card) and walked back into the store, triumphantly declaring “I would like to exchange money for goods and/or services!”

    They didn’t think it was as funny as I did. They then informed me that my name had to be on the card. They hadn’t told me that before. I wrote my name on the cards with a pen. That wasn’t good enough, apparently.

    After some negotiation, the manager and I settled on this: The gift cards , plus $1 on my personal credit card that had my name associated with it.

    What a pain in the ass.

  88. loudambiance says:

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder if you can goto walmart and get one those reloadable Visa or Master cards, put the money on there and use those. At least you could then argue that it is “technically” a credit card, even if it doesn’t have your name on it.

  89. DoubleEcho says:

    I think you were looking at a different article dude. Creative’s quality has dropped sharply in recent, and not so recent years.

  90. MrEvil says:

    Best phone on the market my eye. Name one thing the iPhone has that is significantly better than any other smart phone on the market apart from Visual voicemail. I get the whole internet on my MotoQ, Google Maps, Winamp and Windows Vista can fill it up with music and video files (many in formats the iPhone doesn’t support), I can type ellipses (…) without 10 keystrokes. The storage on my phone is infinite seeing as how I can keep feeding it Mini SD cards. Oh, and I also don’t have to send my phone to Motorola to replace the battery.

    Best phone on the market… Hardly, best marketed phone, definitely.

  91. moore850 says:

    1. buy a gift card with cash.
    2. buy iphone with the gift card.

    how hard is that?

  92. ludwigk says:

    @SacraBos: Yes. Speak to your Apple Store’s business consultant and they will be able to help you, and can even get you a discount. As long as they can verify that the phones will be activated and used domestically, which is likely necessary for them for ‘due diligence’ issues pertaining to their ATT contract, then they can sell you larger quantities. Of course, if you really needed this sort of answer, you could have asked Apple, and they would have given you the same answer.

  93. kaptainkk says:

    Another reason why Apple along with their iPhone is not ahead of the game. Apple uses Mac OS X Server mainly on their primary website because anything else would look bad for business.
    On their local sites they seem to prefer Solaris and Windows 2000 because of their superior stability compared to OS X. I’ve have used a multitude of devices and Blackberry is by far the best. This guy should wait for the Blackberry Bold which will be coming out soon.

  94. ludwigk says:

    @justinpe: This doesn’t prevent you reselling your (I think its) 2 that you purchase, but it does keep you from coming back and buying 2 more every day because they will deny you the phones after a certain number of transactions with a particular credit card. The credit cards are so they can see how many phones you are buying. The ‘no cash’ policy is because they obviously cannot track cash.

    As silly as this seems, Apple likely has a contractual obligation to limit export of iPhones and activation on other carriers, thus they need to curb after market unlock/resellers.

    Also, you may not be aware of this if you don’t live in an area with a large asian population, but in some areas, such as San Francisco/bay, you’d see people walk into an Apple store (who’ve basically never been in one before), and lay down a wad of cash for 5 iPhones, and they’d come back several times buying 20-40 a week, which translated into tens of thousands of exported iPhones in a matter of months. The only english phrase you could get from them is “for personal use! for personal use!” In this scenario, it’s pretty clear that they’re not using all those iPhones. It’s these really abusive customers that have effectively ruined it for everyone else. If it remained a relatively small % of iPhones, then Apple probably would not have bothered with any policy changes.

  95. Dobernala says:

    @uncle_fluffy: Its amazing how hard it is to get people to even take your money these days. I wonder what the shareholders think.

    They could just do something as simple as take down your name from your driver’s license and put it into a database. I know some people would still complain, but at least you could pay with cash with that option.

    Chalk it up to poor business sense.

  96. Scotus says:

    @Lo-Pan: Could you get by without credit? Yeah, I guess, but as with most things in life, even if you’re 99% sure you won’t ever require it, it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

  97. Gokuhouse says:

    Just wait until Apple Inc. only accepts payments by scanning the bar codes on your left hand or forehead. I wouldn’t be too surprised.

  98. gpatrick902 says:

    Just for info this may violate the credit card policy. The merchant is required not to keep the credit card info after the transaction is completed. This is the new PCI requirement. Right now only big merchants are required to do this. All merchants will be required to do this by 2013 or 2015. In the past you needed a card for refunds, so the merchants decided to keep that info so now you do not needed. Now, in the future you will need the card again.

    This part I do know. If they take normal debit cards that have the Visa or MasterCard symbol on it and refuse to take a Gift card with the symbol on it-they are in direct violation of the Honor all card rule. The honor all card rule was change because on the merchants lawsuit (See Wal-mart lawsuit). Merchants have a choice and the terminal must be set up correctly.

    Take Only Signature based Credit Card (All Forms Gift, Prepaid, etc)

    Take Only Signature based Debit Cards
    (All Forms Gift, Prepaid, etc)

    Pin only based debit cards are always optional and are not required.

  99. gooshwa says:

    no way it’s the best phone on the market. it’s just the one with the most media saturation. it’s actually a cheap knock-off of a smart phone without all the features from a company who treats customers like criminals in stores that are staffed by asshats.

  100. Android8675 says:

    iPhone the best, damn Steve sells some good crack. damn addicts!

  101. thalia says:

    You were humiliated by Apple? You humiliated yourself. Who walks up to a stranger and asks them to purchase you an iPhone with their credit card and you’ll reimburse them with cash? You may have been sincere, but look at it from anyone else’s point of view. To everyone else that would sound like a scam. If I were the stranger, I’d assume you were trying to give me fake money. Apple’s actions were to protect the other customer from potential fraud. You should have just come back with your debit card later.

  102. badgeman46 says:

    Retarded! Why would anyone want spend 500 bucks on a phone that they don’t own?!!!! Apple says it is used to discourge “unauthorized resellers” which presumably means if you try to sell the phone, they will come after you in some form using your CC data. 500 bucks, better spent on investing in stocks, something you actually own and resell, possibly even for more money!

  103. glycolized says:

    there are no good non-Apple mp3 players.


  104. Rogue Justice says:

    A couple of months ago I went to go buy the iPhone at the Apple store. I have a credit card, but I’m young so the limit is pretty low. So basically I go to buy it and there like “sorry, you need to pay with a credit card” and I was shocked basically. The guy was giving me a blank stare so I asked him if there was another way to get the phone. He told me to try the AT&T store. I walked over to it and told them I wanted the iPhone. They took cash for it and no credit card was involved. It was a pretty weird event to be honest. I think it’s dumb to not accept cash, considering how they lost a $400 purchase, plus if I had never been able to get it, they would have lost nearly $500 in other purchases I have made for my iPhone. If Apple is listening, they really should change this policy.

  105. /me cradles his iPhone, which he paid for in cash.

    @MrEvil: I can type ellipses (…) without 10 keystrokes

    So when you’re typing an SMS message, you omit parts of quotations so often that the inability to type an ellipsis is complaint?

  106. j-yo says:

    Perhaps Alex should grow some balls, get a life, establish some credit, or all of the above. Sitting outside an Apple store for half and hour after being kicked out for trying to get another customer to charge your purchase on their credit card strikes me as pathetic. And the fact that he still wants an iPhone is doubly sad.

  107. FHJay says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    He’s stealing from The Best Page in the Universe, don’t mind him.

  108. loganisamonkey says:

    What if Alex were to accidentally damage the iPhone– like opening the box. Will the iPhone then become a debt and he would legally be able to pay cash for it?

  109. krunk4ever says:

    For all those suggesting the use of gift cards, when this policy came into effect, I believe both cash and gift cards were not allowed to be use to purchase an iPhone.

    One easy way around this would be to just purchase a visa gift card and use that to purchase the iPhone.

  110. Not Alvis says:

    Perhaps he is a man of conscience. ANY kind of usury is a sin in all the major religions (even paying off a balance month-to-month).

  111. Buran says:

    @LibertyReign: I don’t even know why they care because they’ve already GOT your money when you walk out one way or the other and don’t have to pay a processing fee on the transaction.

  112. Buran says:

    @joellevand: They fired the guy for being assaulted!?!? I seriously would have been on the phone with the cops.

  113. Televiper says:

    Lighten up Apple fans. You’re often far to amusing putting up with every flaw in every Apple product as if it’s assumed that Apple does what is best for you. You have to at least think twice about buying an iPhone after an experience like that.

  114. Buran says:

    @redwall_hp: Here’s why: because he wants to. Whether or not other people prefer other phones has NOTHING to do with this thread. This is supposed to be about how the store treated a customer, not about how he was supposedly wrong in his choice of phone.

  115. badgeman46 says:

    “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

  116. Televiper says:

    @Buran: Well.. he said he would go back cause he really wants an iPhone saying it’s “the best phone on the market.” It’s a valid response to say “you should reconsider that for bending over.”

  117. I still don’t get the ‘discourage resellers’ thing… if a re-seller buys an iPhone, s/he pays full price, right? Apple has their money, why do they care if someone re-sells it for cheaper or more?

  118. the_wiggle says:

    @LibertyReign: oh yes please. sooner the better so hurry up already!


  119. WallaceRegulus says:

    When Apple used to accept cash for the iPhone, we were logistically
    overburdened. The resellers would come in, each buying 5 phones for 2162.07.
    We would have to empty out the tills every 20 minutes, shutting down
    registers all the time. Also, this dissuades resellers from buying their 5,
    then coming back 10 minutes later and purchasing another 5. Resellers are
    the culprit for the supply shortages throughout the Apple network. The
    people at the store were within reason escorting the young man out of the
    store. It would be madness if we allowed customers to harass other
    customers. What if he had given the other customer fake bills? From a
    liability standpoint, it is simply not right. If it is such a big deal for
    him to pay in cash, he can do it at any AT&T store.
    Note: This is by no means an official Apple response, but merely my personal

  120. nikalseyn says:

    what’s an I phone?

  121. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Exactly, I don’t understand how this would ever discourage resellers, especially if you can use a gift card to buy a phone. Apple arrogance/lunacy?

    BTW, if I ever develop a mental disorder that causes me to spend $500 on an iPhone, I’m unlocking it. It’s bad enough Apple wants to dictate how I can even pay for the phone, but locking me in to a carrier is bullshit.

  122. Corporate-Shill says:

    Has anybody mentioned Prepaid disposable CC’s?

    Ya loose a few bucks in transaction fees, but what the heck the card is good until you run out of $ and then you throw it away.

    I give them to my kids when they are traveling. Usually just $50 which is enough for some emergency gas and burgers, but what the heck you could buy a $500 card and avoid the whole Apple hassle.

  123. Rusted says:

    @Scotus: I’m getting by just fine without credit. For the last four years.

  124. @catskyfire: Can anyone explain how that policy would discourage resellers?

    Cash can’t be traced to a reseller trying to flout the rules.

  125. Don Roberto says:

    @catskyfire: I think it may be because reselling stuff purrchased with a cc is prohibited by many cardmember agreements.

  126. pearl says:

    I find it odd that I can buy my Macbook and AppleCare for around $1500, pay in cash, and yet you can’t get an iPhone for a fifth that in cash. Does Apple even police this credit card matching the user thing?

  127. Buran says:

    @Televiper: That’s probably true for him. It’s rather arrogant of any of us to think we know better than he does what he does and doesn’t want out of a phone and what he does and doesn’t like about the various phones he’s tried.

  128. newfenoix says:

    Federal law….money IS LEGAL TENDER. In some cases, a debit card OR money, etc., can be demanded. But this is a store. State law may let them slide on this but this is just one of the many reasons that I HATE APPLE.

  129. darkryd says:

    “I was so surprised this could happen in America”


    I disagree with Apple’s policy of not accepting cash, but let’s be honest, here, you were trying to complete a 3rd party transaction right inside the store in front of the employees!

    I dont know a business on earth that would let 3rd parties do business inside their office. You should have gone outside before trying this.

  130. femmme.fatal says:

    I think the biggest point here is that apple made this man mute for 30 min!

  131. Breach says:

    At any rate, why not just go to your bank and get a debit card? I doubt this guy pays all his bills in cash and presumably has a checking account…

  132. goatee says:

    People here keep saying apple did nothing wrong, and that the State of New York has no law against this action. Well and good, but read the dollar bill. It is against federal regulations to deny currency printed by the U.S. mint when it is offered as compensation for any debt, private or public. Just a thought for ya’ll.

  133. sp00nix says:

    “Unfortunately, it’s the best phone on the market. Nothing else compares.”

    thats a piss poor attitude!

  134. mariospants says:

    It’s understandable that apple would prefer not to have to deal with cash: it’s easily stolen, you have to count it and store it, you have to drop it off at a bank or have an expensive security detail come and pick it up. not to mention, it totally breaks the design flow of the store.

  135. Mr. Gunn says:

    @SacraBos: “Okay, what if I want to make the iPhone the standard phone for my company, and wanted to buy 50 of them.”

    Well, then you’d have blown your budget on a phone that won’t work with your Exchange system, can’t send multi-recipient IMs or work as a Blackberry, and doesn’t handle attachments properly.

    /You’re fired!

  136. Mr. Gunn says:

    @mariospants: LOL! Not to mention that the form factor of registers with cash drawers is so aesthetically unpleasing!

  137. @bonzombiekitty:

    Stores do *not* have to accept cash if you owe them money. It is why companies can reject coins as a term of payment (i.e., paying in all pennies or dimes or nickels, etc).

  138. Craysh says:

    Unauthorized resellers? Do they mean Second Sale retailers? The people they have no legal control over whatsoever?

  139. NotMe says:

    It drives me crazy when I read these ‘I can’t buy an iPhone with cash’ stories.

    Surprise! The rest of the world knew this months ago, along with the reasonable explanation that, since AT&T revenue is calculated into Apple’s business model, it is necessary for Apple to take action to discourage resellers, who are essentially unwanted partners.

    Want an iPhone? Then play by the rules.

    Oh, by the way, we landed on the moon in 1969, in case you haven’t heard about that either.