A Farsi-speaking customer says Apple Store sales representatives refused to sell her an iPad because she was speaking the foreign language, Channel 2 reported on Monday. The incident happened last Thursday when an employee at the Apple Store inside North Pointe shopping centre in Alpharetta, Georgia, refused to sell an iPad to Sahar Sabet and her uncle after overhearing them speaking Farsi. The 19-year-old is a U.S. citizen. She studies at the University of Georgia. Sabet told Channel 2 Action News she was very "hurt", "embarrassed" and "walked out in tears" after the Apple employee denied her the product. "When we said, ‘Farsi, I'm from Iran,' he said, ‘I just can't sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations,' " Sabet told Channel 2. "I would say if you're trying to buy an iPhone, don't tell them anything about Iran. That would be your best bet," Channel 2 quoted Zack Jafarzadeh, who reportedly had a similar experience. Jafarzadeh was helping a friend from Iran who is studying in the U.S to buy an iPhone when they were denied the product. "We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that. He was just speaking full-fledged Farsi and the representative came back and denied our sale," Jafarzadeh said. A manager at the shopping centre later showed Channel 2 Apple's policy, which states that the exportation, sale or supply from the U.S. to Iran of any Apple goods is strictly prohibited without authorization by the U.S. government.
"I feel like this is a bit of racial profiling against Iranians and I'm appalled," Jafarzadeh told Channel 2 before adding that no one asked him where the phone was going but only asked about his ethnicity. "Discrimination. Racially profiled. He didn't have any business asking me what country I was from," Sabet said. The 19-year-old called the corporate customer relations who told her she could buy the iPad online.