Aussie man: Apple store employee ‘questioned my intelligence’

“A Sydney dad has accused Apple of ‘stupidity’ after he claimed a staff member in one of its stores made it so difficult to pay he was forced to walk out and buy the exact same product at JB Hi-Fi instead,” reports. “That was despite the fact he was ready and willing to stump up the cash right there and then in the Apple store.”

“Calvin Scott [not his real name] told he felt ‘frustrated and like my intelligence was being questioned’ about the encounter he had at the Apple Store in the Sydney north shore suburb of Chatswood,” reports. “He said he was asked to wait by a staff member. ‘They got super awkward with me standing in front of them, so they asked, ‘Do you have an iPhone?.’ I said ‘Yes … but how is that relevant?’ That’s when they started trying to sell me on this Apple Pay thing. He gave me the impression I had to use the app to buy the product.'”

““Even though I told the guy that I wasn’t interested, he kept going on. I asked him at least three times if he was going to take my money or my credit card, and he just kept deflecting back to Apple Pay,” reports. “Increasingly exasperated at being unable to pay the normal way, Mr Scott took drastic action. ‘I threatened to leave but he said I was being unreasonable. So I put the product down, walked across the street, and purchased the exact same item from JB Hi Fi.’ …’I felt frustrated and I felt like my intelligence was being questioned. I’m not really concerned by the legalities (of whether a store can force you to use a certain payment method) as much as I am the stupidity that transpired.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, now, there’s one side of the story, at least.

Perhaps “Calvin Scott”** had never used Apple Pay and, when asked if he’d like to pay “contactlessly,” he got more than a bit defensive about his “intelligence” and started to perceive slights that simply weren’t there?

Which seems more logical to you? (1) An Apple Retail Store employee who has no reason to be pushing Apple Pay* nonetheless inexplicably pushes Apple Pay to the extreme point of driving a customer out of a store or (2) a customer is asked if they’d like to use Apple Pay, doesn’t know what it is (“this Apple Pay thing”), feels stupid (“super awkward”) and therefore deflects/projects by blaming the employee for “questioning his intelligence” and for being stupid (“the stupidity that transpired”)?

Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who feels stupid and/or uninformed continually accuses others of being stupid and/or uninformed.

Read more about psychological projection via Wikipedia here.

*There are no incentives at Apple Stores for employees to push one payment method over another.
** No, that’s “Scott Calvin.”


    1. Welcome to the Tim Cook era, where every person’s intelligence should be automatically questioned for even thinking about buying poorly made Apple products at Cook’s extortionate prices.

        1. I admit it, the stupid unintelligent person living in Australia is me – Zero Von Randy Greenspan Inshonk von Tribble.

          I am tripolar – I have 17 genders and 29 personalities. I use Windows, iOS, Android and Commodore 64 at the same time, not because I am talented, but because I am a true dweeb.

  1. Since when does Mac Daily News suggest they know more about what happened at that store than what the customer is indicating? Apart from making a story out of nothing, Mac Daily News has basically assumed that the customer is wrong and that they are suffering from psychological projection. I have been oversold a feature whilst waiting at an Apple store for a ridiculously long time for a product to be got from ‘out the back’ and then paid for. I remember having reiterated to the salesman that I do know about AppleCare (in this instance) and do not desire it but 3 times in total I had to say ‘all good thanks’. Oh wait I must be suffering from Psycho projection. Usually have a lot of respect for MDN but those post story comments were ridiculous and uncalled for.

    1. So, Calvin… I mean, “Spod,” you’re saying choice #1 is more logical: “An Apple Retail Store employee who has no reason to be pushing Apple Pay nonetheless inexplicably pushes Apple Pay to the extreme point of driving a customer out of a store.”


      For those of us who’ve worked at least half a day in retail, MDN’s #2 explanation reads like gospel.

      1. Did you consider option #3 or #4? Oh wait there were only 2 offered so there were no other options to be considered so MDN’a take must be the only one. Apple Store employees ARE trained to promote services and a new or undertrained staff member could easily get lost in his or her scripted customer interactions. I know I was a little annoyed at their insistence at pushing AppleCare so keep your unobserved observations close to your chest next time. For the record too, I can assure you I have worked closely with my particular Applestore for sometime and am well versed in their procedures.

        1. The manner in which they do it can make a huge difference between having a product appropriately pushed to a customer or having that customer pissed off by the salesman’s approach. Perhaps that salesman WAS stupid enough not to know when to quit. Waiting for service from an Applestore staff member is not always pleasant as an unnecessarily long time can often become awkward and a more general ‘How was your Xmas?’ or ‘Shocking weather lately eh?’ could fill the void a bit better. A concerned ‘Sorry about the delay. I’ll see if I can hurry them up.’ might not have hurt either.

          One last thing. I have been an Independent Apple Consultant for 20 years and 10 years at an Apple Reseller before that. In recent years I have worked more closely with a specific Apple Store as part of this consultancy. It is in their store that I have experienced these situations so whilst I have a working relationship with them I am quite prepared to point out their failings.

          My original post was to have a dig at MDN about an overly condescending response to this story supported with observations of my own. That’s all I have to say and it is almost guaranteed that some other twit or troll or maybe someone ‘stupid’ will undoubtedly want the last word. Go for it…

          1. Agreed, this is YA example of MDN fanboy-ism.

            FWIW, I recently had a “huh?” moment in my local Apple Store, when the Apple Rep noted (while I was giving my details) that I owned my own domain name.

            What followed was some friendly questions of what kind of business I ran … and invariably, a “Can our Apple Business Group” contact you (for follow-on sales opportunities)?

            I did say yes … but it was to just move on to what this customer wanted, which was to do was to get my iPhone unbricked again, after YA failed update, as quickly as possible.

  2. My last trip to the apple store was a f’ing disaster. No prices were listed so I had to get a salesman when I looked at every product.

    No product names were listed on the display table. I had to turn on the product just to find out what model it was.

    I was so pissed I sent an email to Cook and Ahrendts.

    I was appalled at the experience.

  3. Contactless payment is quite pervasive in Australia, more so than here in the USA, so I suspect this customer, if he even was one, is just a click-bait stooge…

    The real story should have been about the myriad of stores that deliberately prevent use of ApplePay… here’s calling you out In & Out Burger, Home Depot, Lowe’s…

    1. Correct. Pretty much every single Australian credit card issued in the last 8 years is contactless enabled, and contactless is available absolutely everywhere. Here, Apple Pay = contactless. It’s vastly more useful than almost anywhere else in the world.

      The story doesn’t make sense to me because last time I was at an Apple store to buy a Mac, I used my regular contactless credit card with the POS. It wasn’t any hassle at all. Nobody tried to foist Apple Pay on me.

  4. I believe him. In 2011 I needed to buy an ir receiver for my mini. I had a service appointment and was waiting to be checked in. I had the mini with me.

    Along comes a shirt and asks me. If he could help. I said not really. But he insisted. So I popped open the bottom of the mini and this imbecile asked me if I was a Certified Apple Technician and that I just voided my warranty. I politely asked him to eff off, but what if I hadn’t?

    Btw the 2011 had user upgradable ram and the bottom was designed to come off.

  5. This so reminds me of the time I went to by a bicycle at a so called quality bike store down under and asked if they could adjust the brakes the proper way, back brake to the left hand instead of the right.

    When asked why I told him that doing hand signals with the right hand (I had checked to local law requirements) allowed the left hand to remain on the back brake, which is more stable since the back brake is behind the weight and is not connected to the steering, thus allowing better control of the bike.

    The sales person told me that there was no difference between the back brake of a bicycle and the front brake. I said it was simple physics. The sales person who actually was a manager then called his staff and told them that I thought there was a difference between a back brake and a front brake. They all laughed at me. I waved my wad of money and told them that I would never buy a bike down under and that I’d use every opportunity to tell people about my experience.

    So this is for the morons at that Ocean Grove bike shop from wikipedia, “the motion dynamics of a bicycle will cause a transfer of weight to the front wheel during braking, improving the traction on the front wheel. If the front brake is used too hard, momentum may cause the rider and bike to pitch forward – a type of crash sometimes called an “endo””

    There is a third option apart from what the article and MDN comment suggests, and that is that they were both questioning their intelligence and from my experience down under I would not be surprised if both of them failed.

    1. Wow what idiots. Who hasn’t almost flipped over their bike as a kid by braking the front brake too hard ? Its fundamental and obvious, brake hard with the rear you skid, brake hard with front you can flip over the bike !
      I believe the guy. MDN’s 2) option is ridiculous. Nobody tucks their tale and runs because they were asked if they knew about Apple Pay. Get a grip MDN!

  6. My father is in his 80s and is so technology averse that if I wasn’t with him at the Apple Store when he bought his new computer he would have never walked out of there with a computer. For some people it’s just not that easy. I seem to think it’s less about stupidity and more about acceptance of the new norm. Simply put, there a still a big portion of the populace that just want to fork over cash or a credit card and be done with it. I disagree that this guy’s intelligence was questioned – he just didn’t buy into the concept of Apple Pay.

  7. On the flip side, It is quite possible that the sales person was merely trying to introduce him to ApplePay and its benifits, just to have been helpful…….And that this gentelman’s insecurity is what brought about his feelings of ‘his inteligance being questioned’, not the sales persons talk.
    Some people have huge egos and dont want to ever feel they dont know something.

    Not having been there its hard to say!….. just offering another perspective ..

    1. Very highly unlikely a man gets upset about being introduced to Apple pay for the first time, leaves the store over it and then complains to the media. Something got him riled up, he says they dude kept deflecting back to Apple Pay and I believe him 100%.

  8. The customer was ready to make a purchase at the Apple Store and only needed a salesman to take his credit card. If the Apple Store operates in Australia as it does in the US then swiping his card is the fastest means of closing the sale and moving to another customer.

    Since the customer had an iPhone he was an established customer – and there is long term value in that. Why blow that relationship? Think he will want to come back to that store?

    Hate to say it, but some sales staff in ANY store can be an ass. There may be push on to move people to Apple Pay but there is no need to treat a customer to the point that they walk out, leaving an unmade purchase.

    I’ve worked in retail years ago and can remember that customers should be served with respect. I’ve also been a customer often during my 74 years and can relate to both excellent t customer service and poor service. My experience at Apple had been outstanding so I’ll assume that this guy’s salesman will be working Some,ewhere else in the future.

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