Apple Rejects Cold, Hard Cash at its Own Stores

The iPad is opening up computing possibilities for many other non-traditional users, such as dogs, cats and even those nearing 100 years old.

Diane Campbell, who is disabled and on a fixed income, wishes to go onto YouTube to learn some new songs to play on her guitar. Instead of getting a computer, she's been saving up for an iPad. Slowly she saved up $600 in cash and proceeded to the Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif.

"It took quite a long time for me to just save up this small amount of money to go down and purchase one," she said to ABC local station KGO. "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.'"

To her surprise, the Apple store workers told her that cash wasn't a suitable form of payment for the iPad.

"They said, 'Sorry, we don't take cash.' And, so I looked at her and I said OK she's kidding," Campbell recalled. But Apple wasn't kidding, and she wasn't allowed to purchase an iPad without plastic.

The ABC station contacted Apple and was told that the policy is "a limit of two iPads per customer and you must pay by credit or debit card. Gift cards will not work either."

Apple declined to explain its policies, but store workers said it was to curb grey market sales of customers buying iPads in large quantities and selling them overseas at a profit.

Despite cash being "legal tender," the U.S. Treasury Department says that there is nothing in the law that requires businesses to accept cash as payment.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • chunkymonster
    Welcome to the Socialist State of Apple! All hail the mighty iPad!

    This has to be one of the most ...... things I have ever heard of!

    Just another reason to boycott Apple.
  • jchoefer
    Sounds like a case of discrimination to me.

    If you don't have the income level or credit to get a credit card, you can't buy an iPad.
  • Jerky_san
    And this is why we in the US fail.. When companies can reject legal tender for payment..
  • ... pwnd !
    Grandma, get yerself a pc with some neat Radeon or Nvidia card!
  • jquarter06
    I know there are some businesses that do not accept cash for a variety of reasons.

    However, those businesses are usually smaller and don't want the liability of losing the cash. I wonder what reason(s) Apple has for rejecting cash?
  • nforce4max
    What will they take instead, liver? Kidney or perhaps a lung they charge enough for cheaply produced crap as it is. Also are my dollars/euros not good enough in cash? Then don't ask for RFID chip. Directed at Apple , we all know they read the articles and comment sections.
  • cichy69
    If I was in her position, I would tell the cashier to go and I would never buy again from apple. In fact, I never did, and never will.
  • laweinhander
    This is not that big of a deal, its apple's loss.
    You all should be glad they are throwing profits aways like idiots that they truly are.
  • jellico
    My god, why does ANYONE do business with that company?! I swear, Steve Jobs is so uptight!
  • I can hear Job's jackboots in the back round!