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Australia Businesses Handhelds Apple

Australian Buyers Say They Were Told "No iPad Without Accessories" 412

Posted by timothy
from the side-deal dept.
CuteSteveJobs writes "Australian iPad buyers have been forced to buy all manner of unnecessary add-ons, including screen protectors, docking stations, covers, chargers, and extended warranties, due to a reported official Apple policy. Shoppers reported sales assistants said it was 'company policy' or 'Apple policy' to sell the devices only with accessories, or not at all. A store manager for Authorised Apple Reseller JB Hi-Fi said it was 'a bad policy but it was Apple's policy and they couldn't sell one without it.' Other customers were told they must 'buy a Telstra SIM because the iPad is locked to Telstra,' even though it wasn't. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and Consumer Affairs are investigating the complaints."
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Australian Buyers Say They Were Told "No iPad Without Accessories"

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  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @04:39AM (#32555446)
    He would sort this shit out quick smart!
    • by oztiks (921504) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @06:33AM (#32555798)

      That's not a tablet! This is a tablet!

      http://nozama.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54ed05fc288330128771bd234970c-800wi [typepad.com]

    • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @09:16AM (#32556374) Homepage

      Wotch thes! Oym gonna gow boy an Oypaid without any accessories! Cehful now...heh we go...

  • by WarJolt (990309) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @04:42AM (#32555456)

    no flash... No ads...now no ipad without accessories...it's not so hard to believe

    • by twidarkling (1537077) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @04:45AM (#32555470)

      Not so hard to believe, but I think it's more likely that the retail shops are pawning it off as Apple's doing. It's probably just what they've been told to say. If you asked corporate of those stores, they'd probably justify it by saying "Apple forced us to by not letting us have enough of a margin on the product, so we need to sell accessories or we're practically selling them at a loss!"

      As bad as I think Apple is and can be, I *know* corporate retail is worse.

  • Bad summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13, 2010 @04:45AM (#32555468)

    If you read the article & forum thread, it's pretty clear that this is JB Hi-Fi being assholes, not Apple "official policy"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by elronxenu (117773)

      JB's not bad, but I have learned to never pay their ticket price on electronics. I always ask for, and get, a discount.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sortius_nod (1080919)

        No, JB are bad. They're dodgy people from Keilor East. Thugs and crims, they've been caught up in a few instances of false advertising, and I seem to recall they were in hot water about grey imports/bootlegs a few years back.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kalriath (849904)

          And you should see the shit the get into in New Zealand.

          They've gained themselves quite some derogatory names and slogans.

          "JB Lo-Pay"
          "Always lowest wages"

          I know someone who works there, and they apparently make Dick Smith look angelically ethical by comparison.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      My wife bought her macbook from JB a few months ago. They kept trying to sell her antivirus software. She called me and I told her to tell them absolutely no on the antivirus so she didn't get it but if I hadn't been available she might have.

      She has since dropped herbal tea in the keyboard so its not working. The guy at JB was pretty helpful, suggesting places I can go to get it fixed.

      And BTW: of course after she spilt the fluid she spent five minutes playing with the laptop as different systems went inoper

    • Re:Bad summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cimexus (1355033) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @05:53AM (#32555688)

      Yes I think it's fairly obvious it's not official Apple policy since you can, in fact, buy the iPad from Apple themselves in Australia (online or in an Apple store), and they do not have such a policy...

      This is just the retailer (JB) realising that demand for iPads is so high that they can get away with making a bit of extra money by telling desperate consumers that they'll have to buy some extra crap with it - the customer will usually still make the purchase. When you (or your sales staff) are paid on commission, it's very tempting to do this kind of thing.

      Having said that, they won't get away with it. The ACCC is one of the toughest consumer watchdog organisations in the world when it comes to this kinda crap (and IMO is one Government department that is WELL worth the money spent on it!)

      • by aussie_a (778472) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @06:02AM (#32555720) Journal

        and IMO is one Government department that is WELL worth the money spent on it

        If Americans have taught me anything, its that the government interfering in private companies is ALWAYS bad. So clearly this must be false. Despite the well documented gains from the department. Hopefully Tony Abbott will continue Howard's tradition of becoming more like America. Hail Jesus!

        • by Sparx139 (1460489)

          the government interfering in private companies is ALWAYS bad.

          I'd have to disagree there. I have no problem with the ACCC slamming businesses who try to screw over the general public. It's good to have someone policing the corporations. Prevents another company doing what Microsoft used to do (although, if someone was to point out Telstra then I would have to concede the point)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          On the contrary, government intervention is often necessary and extremely good for the vast majority of people... Otherwise you get monopolies and cartels which lead to high prices and poor service...
          The "free market" just doesn't work without regulation to keep it free, a free market is bad for business and any business that becomes powerful enough will try to cement their position.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13, 2010 @04:53AM (#32555492)

    This isn't about Apple per se, this is about JB Hi Fi being completely dishonest.

    I got really angry with Watergardens JB Hi Fi (in Vic) recently when they sold me a pre-owned Airport Extreme. I know someone else had it before me because it was locked to their username and password*. The thing that really incensed me was that I'd seen that it wasn't shrink wrapped and I'd made the sales guy swear to me that it wasn't pre-owned.

    Yes, you can complain to the store manager, and after arguing with him for 15 minutes you can get a refund, but then he makes you wait for another half an hour, because he can.

    *Yes, I know how to reset it, that's not the point, they shouldn't have been representing used goods as new - if they'd been honest (and offered a suitable discount) I'd have been quite happy to take the 'problem' off their hands.

    • by Sneeze1066 (1574313) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @05:59AM (#32555708)
      I bought a Sony portable DVD player a few years ago from JB HiFi store and when I openen it up at home could hear loose parts inside floating around. Turned out to be parts of the laser mechanism. Took it back less than 24 hours later and flat out said this isn't new and looks like a broken return they've sold me. They were initially skeptical and seemed reluctant to replace it. There's something seriously wrong if they can "accidentally" put faulty returned items back on the shelf and resell them. Also purchased a spindle of blank DVD's and every disk appeared to have greasy speckles all over them obviously from a fault in the manufacturing process. The discs could be written too without first cleaning them with alcohol wipes. Took the spindle back and told them the sitation. They said yes they were aware of it but "couldn't take them off the shelf" for some reason.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy (216950)

      Then you have it backwards. Go to the store when it is full, speak clearly and loudly (but politely) and make sure to talk about how dishonest the policy is, how the competition has lower prices, etc. It always works for me, as they are more afraid of losing business and as long as you are in the right, they just want to get rid of you.

      The only way you can level the field with someone being an asshat is to (politely) be an asshat as well.

  • Illegal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bob Gelumph (715872) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @05:29AM (#32555626)
    In Australia, you aren't allowed to limit the sale of something because a person doesn't also buy something from a different provider.
    The ACCC will rip shit into Apple over this if it is true.
    They'll probably also lay into the retailers that are performing the actual transactions. Any clause like that in an Apple agreement is illegal and therefore void, so the retailers shouldn't be enforcing it.
  • by JonJ (907502) <jon.jahren@gmail.com> on Sunday June 13, 2010 @05:33AM (#32555632)
    I have to say, Apple would never make this an official policy. A reseller just got caught with their pants down and is trying to blame Apple for it. Apple almost never interferes with sales policies at resellers, as long as you don't try to pull a fast one with regards to usage of the logo or other images. We would regularly get yelled at for some of Apples antics in the press, people never seem to be able to distinguish between Apple and resellers. What's more depressing is that nobody on /. seems to be able to either.
    • by dncsky1530 (711564) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @06:05AM (#32555732) Homepage
      I also used to work for an Apple premium reseller and there was never any such policy, as the article states. Further they have mentioned that JB HiFi might be doing this to increase their accessory attachement rate in hopes of being allocated more iPads.

      It is true that Apple collects statistics on accessory attachement rates however that is only for Apple accessories. In some cases resellers may have to purchase a certain percentage of Apple accessories along with their purchase of the iPads. But that percentage (in the past) has never been very high and always seemed to be along the lines of how many accessories were sold anyway.

      JB HiFi had better be careful though because Apple has very strict agreements for resellers and certainly wouldn't appreciate the negative press or customer experience over this. Retail sales staff are usually paid on commission and margins on Apple hardware is very slim so a few accessories could easily double gross profit from an iPad sale (and the salesperson's cut).
  • Wii? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rhizome (115711) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @06:39AM (#32555812) Homepage Journal

    Didn't we see this happening at BestBuy or Walmart or something back when the Wii was hard to find? I remember the whole controversy starting this way, stores saying it was manufacturer's policy, when it then turned out to be 100% store policy only. Maybe it was PS3. Anyway, the PR department of the chain should be releasing a statement in the next few days saying they were isolated incidents.

  • Some people absolutely have to have some product day 1 and retailers know it. So retailers stack up the bundles forcing customers to buy a bunch of shit they don't need.

    As always patience is a virtue. Supply and demand even out and a few weeks or months allows the hype to disappate and consensus to form. If a product is THAT GOOD it will still be on sale, and if it isn't, well you've saved some money.

  • by PeleusX (1456351) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @06:47AM (#32555842)
    I'm actually "Ryan" from the article. Yes I don't believe for a second that this was in any way related to apple, simply because they wouldn't have a policy such as this - and secondly, they wouldn't be trying to force me into buying belkin accessories for their product. To be honest, it wasn't even the money which bothered me as much as the fact I was being forced to purchase accessories that I did not want. Usually I would simply walk out and shop somewhere else when met with behavior such as this, but I had a voucher which restricted my options as to where I could purchase it. The CEO has responded saying that it was no a JB Hifi policy, but rather the actions of individual stores. I would expect him to say nothing less, and essentially comes down to making the statement "No, of course we weren't breaking the law", do you expect anything else? Saying that - I've never heard of the policy of point blank refusal of a sale if you don't purchase accessories of anything else in the past. What are the chances multiple stores suddenly begin refusing sales on iPad's without accessories when they have never had this policy in the past? It seems extremely unlikely multiple stores would magically decide on this policy on the same day. I hope the ACCC really does look into it, but most likely it will result in a "Please explain" and not much more than that without any further evidence (I.e. emails instructing stores to refuse sales unless they have a certain amount of accessories attached).
  • I didn't think there were many of Apple's target demographic [youtube.com] in Australia.

  • by KuRa_Scvls (932317) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @06:51AM (#32555858)

    One on the day of the release, and four more for my overseas relatives. To date, I have bought five iPads from the official Apple store. The only time I bought an accessory was the first time when I asked for the Telstra sim, and I asked it myself, and it wasn't shoehorned into the deal or anything. The other times, when I said I didn't want any accessories, they backed off, leading me straight to the counter, or finalizing the sale right there and then with their portable EFTPOS iPod Touches.

  • by barzok (26681) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @07:22AM (#32555954)

    That's what pisses me off the most. If you don't like the seller's terms, don't buy the damn iPad. There are other places to buy it - online especially, but other stores as well. Walk out, do some research, then buy from someplace that isn't going to ask you to spend another $150 just to get out the door.

    Even if you can see through the bullshit at that store & persuade them to break the "policy", you're still supporting them by buying there - and the next 100 customers may not be so lucky. The store will make up that money they lost on you by getting it from some other sucker.

    • If you want to buy the things then and there you are stuck. Buying it from Hong Kong and waiting for it to ship is obviously better but not many people do that.
      Don't blame me, instead I got a Nokia N900 that is jailbroken by design (it's linux and you have root) and had it shipped in from Hong Kong. I didn't want to have to crack a device just to be able to install some software.
  • So just don't buy an iPad? If I would buy me some hardware and the guy said I need to buy some stupid stuff with it because it's some kind of policy than I would just call him crazy and walk out of the store.
  • by marcushnk (90744) <senectus AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday June 13, 2010 @09:24AM (#32556420) Journal

    I bought from Dick Smiths in Perth CBD, the kid asked if I wanted to buy a cover or extended warrenty. I said no and he was fine with that.
    Sounds like JB Hi-Fi being dishonest scum bags to me.

  • by MistrBlank (1183469) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @10:24AM (#32556692)

    Policy probably promotes stores that had better sales for accessories or turn around on the sims.

    It was probably store management PUSHING sales with these. iPads aren't having a problem selling and people that want them are more likely to buy with them.

    Why is this a big deal, when I bought my Wii the first month of its release, I was forced to buy it in an overpriced bundle with a bunch of games with a final price tag of $700 from Gamestop. EVERY store did this and EVERY store sold out.

    Once again, corporate blamed for the bite from the little snake in the grass.

  • by failedlogic (627314) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @11:42AM (#32557082)

    Here's an easy fix and get your 'revenge' at the same time. Buy iPad + accessories. Go back to your car and put your iPad in the trunk. Accessory in hand, go back to the customer service desk. Tell them, on second thought, this accessory I bought wasn't what I thought it would be. I'd like a refund.

    Now I'm sure they would have to refund you. I doubt their terms and conditions of refund behind their receipt would have any wording that would suggest that the iPad would also need to be refunded.

    Its a PITA. But I'll bet when it starts costing the store thousands and taking up staff time, they will get the message.

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