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Apple Axes 'No Cash' Policy for iPad Sales


Earlier this week, the spotlight was put on Apple for its policy prohibiting customers from purchasing iPads with cash by a report from KGO-TV in San Francisco noting the case of a woman on fixed income who had saved up cash over a period of weeks to purchase an 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," she said. "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.'"

She was at the Apple store in Palo Alto, about to pull out the big wad of cash and take home her first computer. Instead, she received a terrible blow.

"They said, 'Sorry, we don't take cash.'

With no credit or debit card in her name, she was unable to purchase her iPad, the victim of an Apple policy designed to help prevent customers from circumventing purchase limits in place to deal with tight supplies of the popular device.

Apple initially stood by its policy, but today Apple Senior Vice President for Retail Ron Johnson announced that the company has changed its policy to allow customers to purchase iPads with cash if they set up an Apple account in the store at the time of purchase.

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 bought two per individual," said Johnson. "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."

Johnson said our story triggered a company-wide policy change. As of today, anyone can pay for an iPad with cash as long as they set up their Apple account at the store. Apple accounts are needed for the iPad anyway, so that is not putting anyone out.

As a gesture of goodwill toward Diane Campbell, the woman whose experience brought the issue considerable publicity, two employees visited her home today to offer her an iPad free of charge.

"I am just so excited," said Campbell. "Words can't explain right now."

Apple's "no cash" policy was not unique to the iPad, as the company has introduced it in October 2007 for the iPhone in order to deal with high demand.