A San Francisco area woman who complained to a local television station about Apple’s credit card-only policy for buying iPads now has a free iPad and is receiving credit for a change in Apple’s purchase policy. “I’m just so excited,” said Diane Campbell after learning of the outcome. She visited the Palo Alto (N. Calif.) Apple store last week with $600 to purchase an iPad, but an employee explained the company’s policy to accept only credit cards. The policy is intended to help enforce the company’s two-per-person iPad purchase policy. Campbell took her experience to local ABC-TV consumer reporter Michael Finney, who learned Apple’s policy didn’t violate any laws or consumer regulations. Finney contacted an Apple spokeswoman, who simply referred him back to the company’s sales policy statement. He then did a story about the incident, ending with Campbell saying, “Come on Mr. Jobs, give a sister a break, okay?”
Two days later Sr. V-P Retail Ron Johnson reacted to the story, telling Finney that after hearing Campbell’s complaint, Apple had changed its purchase policy and will now accept cash for iPad purchases. Johnson explained that initially the company wanted to ensure there were enough iPads for everyone.
But after hearing Campbell’s story, “we made a decision today to change that,” he told Finney. He explained that cash iPad buyers would be required to register their iPad before they leave the store, a task every buyer has to perform eventually. Johnson had one more surprise for Finney. “We all would love people like Diane to get an iPad, so I called her up and she was very excited, and we’re actually on our way to deliver an iPad to her house,” Johnson said—for free. Sure enough, two Apple employees arrived at Campbell’s home. Afterwards, she was happy. “What I would like to say to Steve is thank you,” she said.
Watch the original story on Campbell’s Apple store encounter, or the second story below.E-mail this story