NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

June 7, 2010 -

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is looking into claims that several Apple stores in New York City discriminated against Asian customers trying to buy iPads prior to the system's launch in other regions outside the United States.

According to Politico, a Queens Assemblywoman tipped off the AG's Civil Rights Bureau after her constituents complained about being a asked series of unusual questions while trying to purchase multiple iPads. The inference is that Apple Store workers seemed suspicious of these purchases and - perhaps - suspected that some were being sent to China. Keep in mind that this allegedly all took place in early May before the iPad was available outside the United States. The stores where this happened were the flagship stores in Soho and on 14th Street in Manhattan.

"Our Office received complaints over the treatment of certain individuals of Asian descent at two Apple stores in New York City," said Cuomo communications director Richard Bamberger in an email to Politico.

An unnamed source familiar with Apple's policy told Politico that the company was "concerned that customers were purchasing multiple iPads for sale abroad" and had "briefly instituted a questionnaire for use in the course of iPad sales, aimed at blocking those illegal exports." But the question is did Apple broadly use this questionnaire on all customers or did the stores specifically target customers of Asian descent? The questionnaire is no longer being used, said the source.

Here's a Daily News story from last month:

Grace Meng (D-Flushing) fired off a letter to the tech giant after she was approached by a handful of disgruntled customers claiming Apple staffers denied them iPads, demanded to see their passports or asked inappropriate questions.

"One person was asked why they wanted one since their English was not so good," Meng said. "I want to get an explanation."

Meng can expect an explanation when the investigation wraps up soon. Ironically iPads are made in China. Apple is cooperating with the AG’s office and the investigation should be finished soon.

Source: Politico

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Comments

Re: NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

Good work gestApple, now we see why you're currently beating Microsoft in the douche race.

Re: NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

 All of Apple's garbage is made in china. What difference does it make if they want to buy what they make, before the release day? 

Let them buy the damn iphone/ipods and maybe they'll have less reason to bootleg everything.

Re: NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone....

 

It's no ones right to buy iPad.

Re: NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

 How exactly did someone with that kind of an attitude come across an ECA site?

Re: NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

It doesn't work that way.  They have a right to refuse service to anyone but they cannot legally exercise that right on the basis or race, color, religion or country of origin (among others factors which can vary depending on location).  Refusing to sell someone an iPad because they look 'Asian,' sound 'Asian,' or are from Asia is 100% illegal everywhere in the US.

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

Yes, the only reason the employees started asking questions was because they had nothing better to do than to harrass a "minority". 

Re: NY AG Investigates Apple Store Discrimination Claims

 I have mixed feelings on this type of action (regardless of even application or targeting specific peoples).  On the one hand, I strongly dislike inteferance with the grey market and regional restrictions in general.  On the other hand, there is the similar issue of people who buy up large quantities in order to starve the market and resell them at marked up prices (i.e. scalpers).... I dislike to.

So profiling aside this touches on the big question of how much control should a company have in the sale of their products....

 
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ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
 

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