Friday, June 22, 2012

Your Turn

By now, you may have heard about the teenager in Georgia who went into an Apple store and tried to buy an iPad that she was going to ship to Iran for one of her cousins. When the store found out where she was going to send it, they refused to sell it. Later, when she came back with a television crew, the store still refused to sell it to her and pulled out a company manual which said Apple products cannot be exported to Iran. Apple has said it is not going to change its policy and says it is following the laws of the United States. Who do you think is right? Would you have sold her the iPad? Do you think Apple should change its policy?

95 comments:

Cindy said...

No, they shouldn't break the law to satisfy one person.

Lisa said...

Exactly, so what if she had a camera crew? It's their policy and it's not like it's new. That's been around for a while.

jg610 said...

Policy is policy. If they specifically say no sales to Iran, why is this even worth writing about?

Lauren said...

Oh how much I loathe people. This bitch thought bringing a TV crew was going to get her what she wanted. Thats all she really cares about anyway-Getting what she wants.

Megan said...

Why didn't she just go to another place to buy an iPad and NOT tell them what she had planned for it? Was she just doing this to prove a point? I feel bad for the employees who had to deal with her, especially in front of camera crews, as they were in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

Erin said...

Why did she even tell them where she was shipping it? If she would've stayed low-profile (not bringing a news crew) she could've gone to another store, bought one, & shipped it without issue.

nolachickee said...

I understand it's a law, but it's not right. There are plenty of wonderful people who live in that country and should be able to enjoy US products. A minority of evil (terrorists) have fucked it up for the majority of good souls in the entire Middle East region.

yawnathon said...

Perfectly put, Megan. I completely agree.

Another Josh said...

It's a messed up law, and they should've sold it her. What she does with it after the purchase is her problem. Apple would not be culpable.

Governments are evil. People are good.

anita_mark said...

She got service in an Apple store?

Skent94 said...

If they are an embargoed country, the policy is policy.....tired of people bullying others into getting their way.....

anita_mark said...

Twice?

FSP said...

I think I'm going to go to a gun store, buy a gun and ask it to be shipped to some drug dealers in Mexico. Oh wait, the government's already done that.

couriergrrrrl said...

The article I read on NPR said nothing about her sending the iPad abroad. It stated that the clerk overheard her speaking Farsi, and then refused to sell it to her purely because she is originally from Iran (she is a US citizen). I would love to know where Enty got that extra bit of info, as it changes everything.

Agent**It said...

The company, the store and everybody there would be under federal investigation if they knowingly participated in that sale. Good for the sales staff who paid attention when they took their mandatory compliance courses. (Yes, even sales clerks are supposed to have red flag training(compliance).

Enty , gee, no, Apple shouldn't change its policy because THEY WILL BE SHUT DOWN ! ?? #thisisstupid

Squeezebox said...

It is tricky, because the law makes the salesclerk and the store legally responsible for violating the US trade sanctions against Iran. The individual and the company both risk prosecution if they end up selling something that goes to Iran in violation of the embargo.

On the other hand, it sounds as though in some of these cases the salesclerks jumped to the conclusion that it was going to Iran just because the customer was speaking Farsi. That's pushing it.

Many years ago when I worked retail, anybody trying to buy a gun who disclosed on the paperwork that they were convicted felons (and thus barred from purchasing a gun) just took back the form, tore it up, filled out a new form checking 'no' this time, and gave the form to a different clerk.

I suppose Iranians could use a similar ploy - either have a friend make the buy, or speak English and don't discuss your plans for your purchase.

angel said...

@nolachickee, agreed. I think she may have a case. Apple was selling just one iPad to her, which she in turn planned on sending as a gift, not as an exporter to terrorists. This falls outside the realm of Apple's policy imo.

Agent**It said...

Not true regarding shipping it to Iran through an alternate manner. The carrier would be responsible and they are required to inspect packages.

This was a set up, and a really stupid one.

Enty, shame

Another Josh said...

LOL @anita_mark

Beth said...

@anita_mark, LOL. That was the news story right there.

While I don't agree with the law, I don't understand why she told them where she was sending it. She could have purchased it online or from another store.

The real asshole in all of this is the news crew. Did no one research this before going to the Apple store?

Agent**It said...

@angel, it's federal laws that the policy is based upon.

Texshan said...

The law is the law, and Apple is bound by it. This chick sounds like an attention whore.

Also, I see what you did there, FSP. Too bad we are never going to know what the real story was with that.

Another Josh said...

@Texshan should Apple really be getting involved in where a customer plans to send something? Apple sold it to a customer on American soil. Their hands are clean at that point, and the customer is responsible for any crimes they choose to commit.

surfer said...

That was very funny, Anita Mark. And so true. People are always lined up out the door at their stores.

Tempestuous Grape said...

They're assuming she's going to buy & ship it, and that's really the first mistake. They don't know that for sure, thus I don't think they should be able to say no.

Nutty_Flavor said...

She claims that the clerks overheard her speaking Farsi and then chose not to sell her the iPad.

Question: do you think the Apple clerks would have been smart enough to know she was speaking Farsi and not, say, Arabic, Pashtun, or Urdu? Probably not, unless they were Iranians themselves.

I live in a neighborhood with a lot of Muslim people and was once engaged to an Iranian, and I don't think I'd be able to tell the languages apart without some visual clues about the speaker.

Jennifer said...

If a person sends a product they bought to a location out of the country, this is not the same as the manufacturing company exporting to that country. There are laws about what can and cannot be sent via mail, but Apple doesn't have any rights to enforce their own preferences. This would have to come from the post office/postal inspectors/customs for it to be legal I do believe.

donner said...

I would think Apple could refuse the sale of any product to anyone. It's their store, their products, if they don't want someone to purchase a product, is that grounds for a lawsuit? Some stores refuse to sell to people without shoes on...they can refuse anyone a sale, right?

Miss X said...

I guess the non-lawyer Enty is posting today? I'm not a lawyer & even I know Iran is on our restricted countries list. An American company can not legally allow anything to be sent to Iran.

Personally, I think Apple should follow the law. What would happen in our country if everyone decided just to pick & choose the laws they want to follow?

Agent**It said...

No, Apple had to fill out a compliance incident report (I forget what the tech name is).

Agent**It said...

I meant'no' to: they do not have a choice.

RenoBlondee said...

Why didn't she just buy it from Amazon or Walmart.com? Mission accomplished.

Magnus 21 Gunz said...

This was a lose/lose situation. Apple should adhere to their policies.... The girl should've kept her mouth shut. There is such a thing as personal liability. Suppose she got caught in customs sending the iPAD to Iran and she casually mentions that she told the Apple salesman she was shipping it to Iran. At that time Apple becomes liable for violating its own policy as well as breaking the law.

From a security standpoint, there is waaaaayyyy too much information that's standard on an iPad that could cause concern. It's not like they can't get their hands on an iPad anyways but they obviously don't want to make it easy either. They are powerful little devices....

Magnus 21 Gunz said...

This was a lose/lose situation. Apple should adhere to their policies.... The girl should've kept her mouth shut. There is such a thing as personal liability. Suppose she got caught in customs sending the iPAD to Iran and she casually mentions that she told the Apple salesman she was shipping it to Iran. At that time Apple becomes liable for violating its own policy as well as breaking the law.

From a security standpoint, there is waaaaayyyy too much information that's standard on an iPad that could cause concern. It's not like they can't get their hands on an iPad anyways but they obviously don't want to make it easy either. They are powerful little devices....

angel said...

@Agent**It, oh ok, thanks. I still think the interpretation of that law is being stretched to a ridiculous extent in this case, but I guess I can't blame Apple for choosing to be ultra safe rather than sorry.

Patty said...

They knew she was Iranian because she spoke Farsi?? Serously? How many of us can pick that one out?

MISCH said...

And if she bought it and shipped it out herself ...who would know ?

Cindy said...

read the EULA (end user's licensing agreement).

pilly said...

No

Merlin D. Bear said...

The original story (I'm in Georgia) had the customer and her uncle in the store to buy an iPad. They were speaking to one another in Farsi, were questioned about it, and when she revealed she was of Iranian descent, the employee refused the sale.

Here is the link to the story:
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/customer-apple-store-denied-me-ipad-speaking-farsi/nPY4p/

sussique said...

Apple is too big for its britches. Yeah, like FedEx is the only way to ship something to Iran. Shut up Apple you suck ass.

Finlay said...

It's none of Apple's business what a customer does with a product after they buy it. Regardless of what you might think about sending items to Iran, it's really none of their business. However, it is their policy and if you're going to tell them what you intend to do with it, they have the right to enforce it, I guess. She could easily have shut her yap and got one elsewhere when she realized they weren't going to sell. I guess she thought it was an unjust policy and wanted to draw attention to it hence the TV crew thing. All in all it's pretty dumb because now no one's going to give her a GD iPad. :)

OMAMA is BROKO said...

I try not to break the law unless it's fundamental that I do so. Such as an unjust law. Which this may be. I simply do not know.

I would have to find out why apple won't export to Iran. And then question if they do export to Israel.
Then I'd make my decision.

Megan said...

OMAMA is BROKO, apple doesn't export to Iran because there is a federal embargo and no US company is able to export goods to Iran.

Texshan said...

Another Josh, please see Magnus's explanation. They explained it better than I could.

Lori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

In reading the article, it states that she did not tell the salesperson that she was going to send the iPad to Iran as a gift. He heard them speaking Farsi and asked what language it was, she said "Farsi, I'm from Iran". He then told her that they couldnt sell to anyone FROM Iran.

Very different story then what is presented here, and clearly discriminatory. If she had stated that she was buying items to ship to Iran, I would think it to be a stretch of the law to deny sale, but I could see some logic behind the decision. However, to say you're from Iran and "our countries have bad relations" and then refuse the sale to an American citizen is ridiculous.

angel said...

Thanks for the clarification. Apple is clearly in the wrong then. They racially profiled and discriminated against her.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

thanks Meghan.

but we do allow export to the sh*t starters of the world, Israel. Go figure.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

**sorry, Megan.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

Gals and guys------ I usually am not one to submit any article, but there is a trippy one, to say the least, over at today's Daily Mail that if I could (my outlook isn't set up) submit for this site, I would....as I am really curious as to what the commenters here would have to say about it.

If you don't mind checking out the link, and maybe the blog holder of this site (ENTY) could make a post on it, it would be wonderful.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163276/Do-know-boy-Federal-agents-ask-publics-help-risk-mystery-teen.html

Thanks and Godbless

car54 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
angel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Snapdragon said...

What Lori said. I chalk this up to poor training/education regarding what the law actually means. Enforcement of (and decisions regarding) embargo law is not the job of sales drones at an Apple store, but of Customs--as I understand it.

Snapdragon said...

Apple is clearly in the wrong then. They racially profiled and discriminated against her.

Let's be clear here that this is not a racist corporate policy, but the unfortunate actions of sales clerks at a single store. The embargo law forbids the transport of these electronics to countries like Iran. As I said, someone needs some retraining, and perhaps Apple's legal team needs to educate their stores' workers about what sales clerks do and do not have the power to decide with regards to embargo laws.

The policy, FWIW:
http://www.apple.com/legal/export.html

Turkish Taffy said...

If Iran is anything like Egypt, where I live, you can easily buy a Chinese knock-off IPad for a lot less. I suspect that the restriction on shipping to Iran has a lot more to do with copyright infringement and a lot less to do with "terrorism".

angel said...

@Snapdragon, I totally agree with you, and did not intend to implicate the entire Apple Corporation.

B. Profane said...

"Enforcement of (and decisions regarding) embargo law is not the job of sales drones at an Apple store, but of Customs--as I understand it."

On the contrary. That company rule is undoubtedly driven by Federal munitions control laws. I've worked in areas of tech dealing with those laws and the burden of enforcement is on the manufacturer/seller. A garden-variety iPad contains cryptographic tech that may be considered a "munition" under Federal law.

It's a damned difficult law to deal with and Apple is just being prudent.

Snapdragon said...

B. Prudent, thank you very much for the clarification--I stand corrected. I still believe in this instance that no mention was made of shipping it anywhere to the sales clerk; there was only an overheard conversation in Farsi and the clerk asking "Are you Iranian?" (to which she answered "Yes", the same way I might answer "Yes" if someone asked me my ethnicity, even though I'm a US citizen)--and making assumptions.

Snapdragon said...

Angel, :)

JoElla said...

Okay a lifetime ago I worked for a major computer company for their flagship call center. (helping people decide what type of computer they want/need and upsell the product)

We went through extensive training not only about the product and how everything about a computer works but also about very strict security laws and rules.

You had to be on your toes about where the billing address was from, and most importantly where the shipping address was. If they told you, or you overheard and the shipping or ultimatly where the product was going was on the nono list.. you backed out of the sale pronto and if you were able to get the shipping address you had proticol in place to flag it in the system. And forward it to security.

Until this training I would have thought.. whats the big deal?! The person prolly wants to watch youtube and play angry birds! But in reality, some people (soooooo not saying this bunch) want the parts to these electronics (cells, notebooks ect) for bombmaking.

Usually the tip off was someone trying to order many items at once..then you would check the address to make sure it wasn't near a major shipping port. I really wouldn't have believed it myself until I went through this training.

So in a nutshell.. there is a very valid reason why they have a no no list folks.

Jamie said...

@Snapdragon: "Enforcement of (and decisions regarding) embargo law is not the job of sales drones at an Apple store, but of Customs--as I understand it."

Dude/ss, you are completely right about the role of Customs, but I would like to high five you - if people do that anymore - for calling the Apple sales clerks (the "geniuses") sales drones. The only genius involved was someone at Apple who persuaded smart people to work for really low wages so that they could use lines like, "I'm an Apple genius."

anita_mark said...

I once watched an Apple Genius stack money in denominational piles and add everything out loud. Impressive. So yeah, these guys can totally detect languages.

I have such anger for the Apple stores. If I need anything Apple related, I buy it at Future Shop or Best Buy.

cojovo said...

OFAC is not something you mess around with

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Foreign_Assets_Control

Janet296 said...

I would not break the law so someone in Iran could get a Ipad. She should have just bought it and said nothing about where it was going.

Boobs U said...

Ha ha...love it!!

Henriette said...

My hubs ships stuff to Iran ALL the time. His parents go each fall with tons of stuff for his relatives. She was a twit for telling the store where she was sending it to. Dumbass.

Henriette said...

@NuttyFlavor
I'm married to a Persian (he won't describe himself as Iranian) and I can tell the difference between Farsi and Arabic.

This is discriminatory if they chose not to sell to her just because she was speaking Farsi.

*Miss_P* said...

From the reports I read, the clerk heard the girl speaking Farsi, asked her what language it was, she said she was from Iran and was buying an iPad and an iPod as gifts for her cousin back in Iran.

Some reports have missed this bit out.

feraltart said...

Have to write, the Apple stores in Australia are awesome. Everyone raves about the service. Last time my husband and I were in New York we would wonder into the Apple store and send emails home. Funny how they can be perceived so differently.

NaughtyNurse said...

There is a reason why there are laws regulating business with as well as the sale and shipment of goods and services to Iran. A lawyer would know that. I'm a big fan of CDaN, but Enty is no lawyer.

Lori said...

the girl said in interviews that she made no mention of the ipad being a gift to the salesperson. She made a very specific point of it. Just as she made a specific point of saying that the salesperson could not sell to someone from Iran, not to someone who would ship the item to Iran.

Popnursing said...

Because the mission was to bring attention to the US embargo of poor, poor Iran. I'm so thrilled our media let themselves be used to spread Iranian propaganda within the U.S. =o/

Sis said...

Oh wow..another misleading story! The reason she brought the media into it was because they denied the sale of an Ipad because she was Iranian. It has nothing to do with embargo shipments at all, she did not say she was shipping the item. This is just blowing smoke from Apple to justify their "decision". This is a clear case of discrimination from the sales clerk. Personally, I'm glad she called in the media and had them film the problem.

Sis said...

Oh wow..another misleading story! The reason she brought the media into it was because they denied the sale of an Ipad because she was Iranian. It has nothing to do with embargo shipments at all, she did not say she was shipping the item. This is just blowing smoke from Apple to justify their "decision". This is a clear case of discrimination from the sales clerk. Personally, I'm glad she called in the media and had them film the problem.

ABlake said...

Yet the gift WAS going to be shipped to Iran.
Odd how people who keep saying "she never told them that" are leaving that out.
Who are you going to believe? The workers who told her no, or her word?
She admitted in later interviews that she was sending it to a country that is embargoed.

I agree with the 'Attention Whore' assessment

Priscilla said...

Um as one who worked for a company that used to get "visits" from the feds about our shipping to even "ok" companies if there was some inkling that the equipment (pretty innocuous medical gizmos to my thinking) was going to Iran or anyone else on the list, you do not want to garner that kind of attention if you want to avoid enormous penalties and IIRC jail time. If you think it's so wrong, get Iran off the restricted list, but don't get a guy fired or a company fined because you don't think the law is "fair."

Priscilla said...

and yeh, I find it hard to believe this was written by a lawyer. I did time in the pink ghetto of law firms (a couple of hideous decades) and I find the idea that a lawyer wrote this post unconvincing.Any lawyer, even a 1L would get the concept.

csproat said...

Any idiot with family in the middle east knows you don't ship stuff...there is a high likelihood that it will be stolen.....
You take it in carry on....Christ I even take Barbie dolls in carry on!
That said....why tell the employees where it's going?...who cares?
It sounds like a set up to me.

fancyscreenname said...

No...Apple should not change its policy......

fancyscreenname said...

She is an Iranian citizen, right?

katsm0711 said...

She was looking for a fight. She knew what she was doing bc who mentions they're shipping something anywhere? Then the tv crew? It fits that she went in knowint the policy and was challending it. The problem I see is that IF Apple is legally allowed to have that policy, they have to sell it to her and If she ships it to Iran then they can charge her with illegal exportation or whatever it is. They can't refuse a sale based on a loose threat against their policy and OMG Yes I"m on my fourth iPhone and love it but they are control freaks which is why I jailbreak EVERYTHING just bc I can and to show them that it's MY property.

Me said...

few years ago my parents sold their house. they had done a lot to it to it and were invested it. selling was hard, but it was time and the price was right. the people who bought it immediatey cut down every tree that my parents had planted and lovingly cared for for YEARS. they took out the roses my mom slaved over and filled in the back yard so that it was all level; no more terraces. no idea what happened on the inside, but i'm guessing it was much the same. my dad was really upset. my mom could not have cared less. she got her $, they got their house; end of story. so i suppose, if you are not looking at the bigger picture it doesn't matter. i'm surprised apple does this, and obviously if she buys it online she can ship it anywhere she wants. both parties here seem to be big on "principle".

Texshan said...

Omama, please do not turn this into an anti-semitic diatribe. Israel has nothing to do with this story.

Saffron said...

Lol @FSP, you just cracked me up with your comment.

Dulcinea said...

Exactly.

Agent**It said...

Folks, none of my comments were political, just trying to educate re compliance as I used to write SARS' for a living.

@ NaughtyNurse @ Priscilla
@ Popnursing - and others,thank you, I was beginning to think I was the only one that understands.

I once cancelled accounts BECAUSE they even questioned buying 'gift cards'to mail to Iran.

As far as the suggestions to "buy it elsewhere, don't tell where it's going to and then ship it"- it will be legally stopped by the shipper.

@FSP, LOL, waiting for somebody to pay for that "little error".

Henriette said...

@Agent**It
I got personal experience with shipping stuff to Iran, and I can DEFINITELY say stuff is not getting "inspected" on our end. Shippers are not always mindful of what is going out. Actually, shipping to Cuba is much harder than shipping to Iran.

Henriette said...

Oh I forgot to mention that it is not our end that is the hardest, but the Iran end. Iran is UBER careful about what comes into their country. A lot of people ship from Canada just for that reason. Persians know how to ship their stuff.

Picasso One said...

regardless if the package is destined for Iran it would or should be inspected by the shipping company. What Apple did was right.

Agent**It said...

Interesting, because in the USA, heavy penalties are imposed.

Henriette said...

@Agent**It
Yeah, if you are caught, but heck we can't even keep lead out of the apple juice from China!

I think you are giving shippers too much credit for actually paying attention to stuff that gets shipped out.

Henriette said...

Also, if this Persian girl mentioned sending gifts to Iran, do you really think it was the first time she shipped something?

Agent**It said...

She was looking for her 15 minutes and she got it.

B. Profane said...

"There is a reason why there are laws regulating business with as well as the sale and shipment of goods and services to Iran. A lawyer would know that. I'm a big fan of CDaN, but Enty is no lawyer."

No, that's wrong. Federal import/export law is a very specialized field. 90% of practicing attorneys would have no reason to know anything about it except for what they might read about it in a newspaper.

I know about Federal munitions law as applied to technology exports because one of my specialties is cryptographic tech. I would not expect any of my attorney friends to know about that stuff.

One of the ghosties may have written that entry, but I am convinced that ur-Enty is someone who has practiced entertainment law or has professional reasons for being well-versed in it (e.g., an agent or a film producer).