An American teenager was refused the sale of an iPad in Atlanta, Georgia because she was Iranian.
Sahar Sabet, aged 19, had visited the store with her uncle in Alpharetta. As she browsed the store she conversed with her Uncle in Farsi, one of the most widely spoken Persian languages.
A few moments later, she tried to buy an iPad, but the sales assistant refused to sell it to her, according to Sahar he said:
‘I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have such bad relations’
The employee was himself Iranian, which makes the whole episode rather confusing. Had he been American, it would have been very easy to label this as a mindless act of discrimination, but it makes no sense to do the same in this case, it would be rather hypocritical to refuse a sale on discriminatory grounds because the assistant shares Ms Sabet’s ethnic background. The method in the madness became more clear when she returned to purchase the iPad a second time, with a TV crew at her back. This time, the assistant produced the company’s store policy, which prohibits the sale of Apple products that will be exported to Iran or any other country the U.S does not trade with, North Korea for example. According to him, the system relies on the honesty of the customer.
Sahar called customer services later that day, and she received and apology, and was told she could purchase an iPad online instead. In an interview with WSBTV Ms Sabet said:
‘It’s discrimination, racial profiling… He didn’t have any business asking which country I was from.’
Ms Sabet said she was embarrassed because she held full U.S. citizenship and because she owned Apple products already, she left the store in tears.
What do you think? Is this an act of discrimination? Or was the assistant simply acting correctly on Apple’s policy, in which case, does that policy need revised? Leave your comments and opinions below as always, but remember that this is a sensitive topic, so please think before you post.