Apple Store Refuses to Sell iPad to American Customer Because She Spoke Farsi

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News' started by dgstorm, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    Now, this story isn't directly related to this forum, but it looks like it might turn into one of the big tech news pieces of the day, so it is worth sharing. As you can see in the video above, according to a local news report in the U.S. State of Georgia, a 19-year-old American teenaged girl was discriminated against by an Apple store because she spoke the language Farsi. Apparently, the Apple store employee refused to sell Sahar Sabet an Apple iPad, because the store employee recognized that she was speaking Farsi to her uncle, which is the language spoken in Iran.

    The store employee claimed Apple's policies dictate that Apple products must not be sold for export to Iran, North Korea or other countries that the US has a trade embargo against. The Apple store employee reportedly told her, "I just can't sell this to you. Our countries have such bad relations." When she explained that she was an American citizen and she had no intention of exporting it, the store employee responded with, "This policy relies on the customer being honest," and still refused to sell it to her. Sabet was shocked and dismayed and said the experience was, "Very hurtful, very embarrassing. I actually walked out in tears."

    Ironically, the store employee that refused her service was originally from Iran, which is why he knew that she was speaking Farsi.

    Update: After doing some more digging, there are conflicting reports as to whether she claimed where she was sending it. Some reports claimed she said she was sending it to Iran, while others indicate exactly the opposite, that she had no intention of sending it to Iran. We will have to wait to see how this story develops.

    Sadly, this wasn't an isolated incident either. Here's a quote with more details on a second report of the same nature:

    What do you guys think? Are these just overzealous employees taking things too far, or has Apple simply crossed the line?

    Thanks for the tip, furbearingmammal!

    Source: TheRegister.co.uk and WSBTV
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to believe this is the isolated work of an employee and not Apple as a company. Since Apple is the employer though they will have to address it and will probably make some general statement about their policies. They should probably also ensure that employees actually understand what the policies are and how to apply them. Maybe more training or something like that.

    Of course, you have to take things one step further and wonder if the news was actually reporting something that needed to be addressed or if this was simply a story of sensationalism to draw ratings. If the later it is obviously working.
     
  3. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    True. It has been picked up by a ton of news sites across the web. (although strangely, few of them are tech related)
     
  4. Tom T

    Tom T Senior Member

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    It is interesting, now I suppose if a person came into a store and flat out stated "I'm purchasing these items specifically to export to a country that the US government has placed export restrictions on" might lead a conscientious person to consider refusing the sale but if a person were really intending to do that and voice their intentions in advance they would have to be seriously stupid. There just has to be more to this story, possibly a setup of some sort for a lawsuit against Apple or just a naive salesperson. Geeks aren't really known for their people skills you know ;-)
     
  5. jimmyt

    jimmyt Member

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    It is mandated by the federal Government, for Iran North, Korea, Cuba, etc.. It is the Iranians, Jordanians, North Koreans, etc that want U.S. citizens dead. So too bad about profiling, but it is a fact of life that will be with us for a long time. Get used to it. Sadly the world is being segregated into factions, and it sucks but there are steps people have to take that are intelligent, to try to stop the amount of aggression.
     

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