iPhone: No Cash, Only Two

October 26, 2007

After weeks of rumors, it’s been confirmed that Apple retail stores are limiting sales of iPhones to two per customer. Store employees have also been instructed to accept only a credit or debit card for iPhone payments–no checks or cash, the policy states. Those expecting to skirt the policy by buying from different Apple stores will find that their purchases are tracked by Apple’s payment system, and over-limit purchases will be refused. Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris told the Associated Press the policy is intended to insure a supply of iPhones into the holiday season. However, past customer buying accounts seem to indicate the policy may also be intended to prevent the purchase and shipment of of iPhones to other countries, including Canada and Russia.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

John Public October 27, 2007 at 1338

To the best of my knowledge, it’s illegal to refuse to accept cash as payment for an item. Cash is legal tender. Key word “legal”.


many have October 27, 2007 at 2112

You are wrong.


Mark Wilson October 27, 2007 at 2205

I think that you could make the arguement that if you walked up to the counter with cash, they refused it, you could than walk out the door with the item. How could you steal something that you tried to pay for? If you tried to pay for your meal at a restaurant and they refused the cash would you just stand there or would you leave.


Cedric Brown October 27, 2007 at 2320

While very well-intentioned. What part of “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private” do they not understand?


joe October 28, 2007 at 1041

The KEY word here is “DEBT”. Only creditors are barred from refusing to take cash. Any business that offers a product or service can implement whatever policy they choose.

” There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. 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.”



Mark Wilson October 28, 2007 at 1212

Here is my understanding of the law.
IF Apple has a sign posted and IF they tell you that this is policy, then it is a private business and you must play by their rules. But if the sign is not there, you have a witness, and if you are stopped outside of the store with the item and state, I have and I am willing to pay cash, then no police will hold you or prosecute you. The money is legal tender for all debts private and public. They would have no case against you. The police may say that this is a private matter and let Apple sue, but the police will take no action against you. The policy is a contract, and the police do not get involved in contract law.
The rules of a private business are not above the law. There must be a sign.


lorenzoq October 31, 2007 at 1428

Joe, you have a good point, but if the store
does sell other items and does accept cash for those items, then it is very illegal. You cannot choose what times to accept cash for. If the entire store does not accept cash, that is one thing, but to select one time..I don’ think so.. And you can purchase other items with cash.


Cameron T. November 1, 2007 at 1544


I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the law does not specifically say whether the store has to be all cash or no cash. In other words, when it says that private business are free to come up with their own policies, it means exactly that: If a private business wants to accept cash for some items but not for others, it is free to do this.

Personally, I have no problem with this, EXCEPT that it appears that Apple won’t accept gift cards, either…which could really bite them in the ass.

How many people actually paid for an iPhone with cash anyway? Most of the people I know don’t carry much cash anymore…


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