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apple store refuses to sell to iranian woman (company policy)

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posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:26 PM

A 19-year-old woman in Alpharetta, Ga., claims that her local Apple store refused to sell her anything after she was heard speaking Farsi with her uncle while she was trying to buy an iPhone and iPad.

"When we said 'Farsi, I'm from Iran,' he said, 'I just can't sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations,'" Sahar Sabet told WSB-TV.

According to the report, the Apple store employee cited the company's official policy, which prohibits the sale of their products to countries with which trade is prohibited by U.S. embargo.

Apple makes note of the policy on its website: HERE

PROHIBITED DESTINATIONS The U.S. holds complete embargoes against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria The exportation, reexportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a U.S. person wherever located, of any Apple goods, software, technology (including technical data), or services to any of these countries is strictly prohibited without prior authorization by the U.S. Government. This prohibition also applies to any Apple owned subsidiary or any subsidiary employee worldwide.

THE CONSUMERIST (another source/site) explains why this experience is alarming:

[The] 19-year-old woman is a U.S. citizen living in the country, who just happens to also speak the language spoken in a country that is the subject of a trade embargo. This would be like the Apple store refusing to sell to anyone who speaks Spanish because they might have defected from Cuba. And are Apple employees asking every Korean customer whether they were born in North or South Korea?

while i can understand that apple wants to play nice with the gov't and jump on board with their embargoes and what not...seems like there will be some racial-profiling cases coming down the pipeline for apple if they don't get a grip on this company policy and how it is enforced...

edit on 6/20/12 by ICEKOHLD because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by ICEKOHLD

Sounds like the employee was just an idiot more than anything else....

They were in Georgia, not sure how many middle easterners they have there.

In the DC area though your more likely to hear a foreign language than English, nothing new.

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:32 PM
Well, Steve Jobs did apply for a top secret clearance back in the '80's (that application has been released recently, it's online) though some info on the document is blacked out. Not too far fetched to see that Apple would implement a policy prohibiting trade... that is not the same thing as refusing to sell to a customer in the US. The employee is an idiot.

edit on 20-6-2012 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:33 PM
I guess it's time for her to check out Android's instead of overpriced and overhyped Apple products.

I never liked Apple for many many reasons and this story is just another negative aspect about a company I will never encourage.
edit on 20-6-2012 by theMediator because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:36 PM
The guy is wrong.

it applies to sales to those countries, as in exporting from the US to Iran, or selling items IN Iran.

Not selling to Iranians within the United States. There's no embargo on Iranians, it's a trade embargo on imports and exports.

This guy is gonna loose his job.


posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:38 PM
It does very much appear that the US does have bad relations with its citizens. It is quite sad how the self loathing and personal shame is causing much hate on the outside and amongst the interpersonal relations. People do need to realise that what they fight and attack has the same source as themselves.

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:40 PM
Typically, you can't sell if they tell you they are going to be taking it back or mailing it to the country in question. I believe that this employee jumped the gun on the matter. He (IMO) should have sold the computer in this situation to the girl. If they outright tell you that it is going to a country in question, that is when the sale should be denied.

(They can order it offline and mail it wherever the heck they want to anyway. So this is really a catch that puts store employees in an awkward position.)

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:41 PM

Originally posted by kwakakev
It does very much appear that the US does have bad relations with its citizens.


An ignorant sales associate makes a bad call. That does not equate to the US having bad relations with its citizens. As a matter of fact, that sentence doesn't make sense at all.
edit on 20-6-2012 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi

What about the disappearing middle class, 9/11, the patriot act and the long running war?

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:51 PM
reply to post by kwakakev

All of which has nothing to do with an Apple store employee misunderstanding a company policy. Why change the topic?

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi

Do you not think that cultural values plays a part in the decisions we make?

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:56 PM
another reason not to buy an apple product

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 01:05 PM
reply to post by rikgrimsby

When I bought my Dell they questioned me if it was going to leave the country. When I asked why they needed to know, they stated that they need to know because of the trade embargo. So it isn't just Apple. I do have to say that I love my Studio even if my husband swears by his Mac.

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 03:21 PM
reply to post by Doodle19815

The problem though, is that the employee was wrong.
Now, if she put a ship to address, in Iran, THEN he'd be right...but otherwise, he was wrong to refuse her the sale.

Not sure if people realize though, that it's fine for a private business to discriminate...if they don't meet the criteria discrimination articles apply to. Doesn't make it "right", but is "legal" to do so.

posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 03:44 PM
reply to post by Gazrok

Oh, I totally agree, he was very wrong. Wrong in not selling the item, and wrong to jump to conclusions because of the way the girl spoke or looked. It is very unfortunate that he jumped to the conclusion and used discrimination.

I personally think that he was on a little power trip and mis-used the the standard procedures. I think this is more of an employee error though and not an Apple issue. I know some will want to make this an Apple issue but the OP has the Policy posted for all to read.

At everyone - Blame the employee not Apple

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 01:24 PM

Yep, this is crazy:

An Apple store employee refused to sell an iPad to an Iranian American customer, citing company policy that aims to comply with U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran, WSBTV in Atlanta reported this week. The customer left empty-handed, in tears, and complained of discrimination to the reporter.

The customer was an American!! this is discrimination based on race, I smell a giant lawsuit coming.


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