back to article Aussies rage at 'strings attached' iPad sales

Aussie iPad buyers are raging at an electronics chain they claimed refused to sell them the fondle slabs unless they bought a bag load of superfluous accessories too. JB Hi-Fi has had to publicly affirm it had no such policy, and has offered refunds to any buyers who feel they have been stuck with redundant kit. iPad coveters …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Commision based sales perhaps?

    Staff problem or management problem. You decide

  2. Anonymous Coward

    You have feet...

    use them and buy from somewhere else then.... duh

  3. Shady

    "Fondle slabs"

    LOL - that moniker is here to stay!

  4. Rob 50

    "unless they bought a bag load of superfluous accessories too"

    you mean.. you could only buy iPads in bulk?

  5. purplefloyd

    "Telstra Sims"

    Will Wright must be clutching at straws if that's the latest addition to the series.

    But I guess it still sounds more enjoyable than Farmville. Though in all likelihood most of the game would be spent controlling your Sim who is playing Farmville on Telstra time...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm... not unlike Currys

    Antipodean personal electronics store salesmen are a little bit scummy you say?

    Have you ever tried to buy a TV from a UK Currys?

    I was buying my 70yr old father a new LCD TV on special offer at Currys last year, but had the most difficult time getting past the checkout.

    I had three salesmen and the store's manager (or deputy manager, I'm not entirely sure) trying to convince me that I needed to buy £50 HDMI cables. I knew I had perfectly good HDMI1.3 cables at home that I ordered for £9.99 online, so I was unwilling to spend an additional £50. It took me threatening to cancel the entire sale before they left me alone. I'm a big guy, but I felt extremely intimidated by their hounding and high pressure sales technique.

    1. Ascylto

      Currys, Shmurrys!

      Currys Digital (hee, hee) have Macs for sale here in our big shopping 'Mall'. They have running adverts on them for Microsoft Office and for Norton Antivirus products.

      Currys, Dixons or whatever their latest incarnation, are interested in selling you ANYTHING they can pin on the actual device you want ... extra unnecessary software and, very importantly, 'care' packages that cost more than just about anybody else. One example is their £7.99 a month package which, over 2 years, will cost you over £190 as against Apple's own care package which is £85 for the same 2 years (for the iPad).

      Just avoid them. If there are antipodean equivalents, tell 'em to get stuffed or I'm sure there is an Australian equivalent.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who made them buy one?

    Who forced these customers to buy them? The retailer made the buyer an offer and the buyer accepted. It's a bit late at that stage to be complaining. It's not as if you got home and realised you had been mis-sold the product or that it was defective. You were told what the deal was and agreed instead of walking out when you had the chance.

    This sounds to me like the retailer knew the first load of customers would be sad cases with no adult-like self control, too desperate to buy an iPad so they'd agree to anything. A but like an infatuated punter at a brothel being duped by the madame that his favourite whore is unavailable... but because he's such a special and valued 'client', she's willing to let him jump the (imaginary) queue, for an extra £20.

    Imagine if the customer successfully haggled for a better price only for the sales assistant to call the police the next day and report fraud or theft. We'd soon be bashing the retailer for that too.

    Sorry, but I've walked into many shops before, seen their prices and walked straight out again. if you don't like the offer, go elsewhere. If they're doing something wrong, their sales will suffer and they'll be forced to respond.

    1. Gannon (J.) Dick
      IT Angle

      Respectfully Disagree

      I have heard the "Survival of the Fittest" argument many times before. The problem is not that it is good or bad Business, the problem is that it is faulty Biology. We laugh at the Darwin Awards because unnatural death is a bug not a feature. Yet, species extinction is an evolutionary feature and not a bug. Big kids liked the Apple ][ at one time, but it is extinct. Steve Jobs has his definition of fitness. OTOH, little kids like dinosaurs, which we don't have, much better than they like mosquitoes of which we have plenty.

      Nature has its own definition of fitness which has never had a successful human implementation.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Currys. Dixons. Situation normal.

    3. Wallyb132

      Hmm sounds like...

      Sound to me like you must be an employee/manager/owner of a retail electronics shop that uses shady tactics in order to screw customers into buying redundant and sometimes useless crap.

      You cant be serious? so its perfectly ok for people force others to buy crap they dont want or need to just to be able to purchase an item they do? remind me to never shop at your place of business.

      I can see it now, a man walks in to a pharmacy to purchase some medication needed to correct a potentially life threatening illness, and the pharmacist tells him, sir i understand that your doctor only wrote the prescription for super_duper_medicine_01 but its our store policy that in order to purchase super_duper_medicine_01 you must also purchase a daily pill dispenser, a calendar to remind you to take your pills, several bottles of water in order to wash your pills down. super_duper_medicine_01 has a possible side effect of causing a rash, you must also buy this rash cream and since this medication must be taken with food, you also have to buy three weeks worth of groceries since this prescription is for three weeks worth of super_duper_medicine_01, otherwise you cant buy super_duper_medicine_01, its store policy...

      That would go over like a nun in a whorehouse...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Must work in/own a shop

        No I don't, and yes I'm serious.

        You used that term again - "force". No one forces any of these people to buy one from that shop. They gave in because they were weak. It's the same reason people end up massively in debt and we all endure a recession followed by huge tax increases.

        There's only one reason those people agreed to the offer made to them by the retailer (an offer is all it was), and that's because they were purchasing a lifestyle. There's no logical reason to pick an iPad over other devices, as clinical reason dictates that alternatives are either cheaper, better equipped or more useful.

        People buy iPads because they really, really, want to own and fondle one, and have it as their very own. It makes them feel good to own and use one, and that makes it a lifestyle product. And for those, you always pay a premium. So these early adopters should either learn a little self control and go somewhere else or accept that, in the words of Kraftwerk, "for beauty we will pay".

        No one forced anyone to buy an iPad. Too many people keep using words like 'forced' or 'made'.

        I remember going to a rave in 1991 and there was a stall selling ice polls for £1. The going rate in newsagents was 10p tops. So what, people either put up or shut up rather than go to the trading standards and moan. Actually, most people at the time were quite happy for them to be £1 because it meant they didn;t have to jump around for the next few hours with pocket fulls of shrapnel. That made them partially a lifestyle product that ravers were willing to pay extra for in order to get the 'convenience' of having no change from one small coin. Or a note, if you were buying for you and your mates.

        1. Mark O

          Yes I'm serious???

          I think you are forgetting that these people weren't "offered" the extra crap - they were told that they were obliged to buy it (some of them were told it was Apple policy and thus would have assumed that the same rule applied everywhere else) It sounds to me like they were lied to by the salesmen, which is illegal.

          Your claim that "People buy iPads because they really, really, want to own and fondle one" gives away your real reason for slagging off these buyers - I don't own any apple products, but I don't share your fan-boy bashing hatred of the people who do.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            'Forced' again

            As are you forgetting that no one made them accept the shop's offer. They weren't told they *had* to buy the extras, they were told that was what the shop was offering.

            Did they say 'no thanks' and leave? No. Did they have the patience to go away and look into it more and see if other shops were saying the same? No. They ***neeeeeeeded*** an iPad right there and then and couldn't wait another second. That's a lifestyle product. Expect lifestyle prices.

            Which bit of this do people have such a problem with? No one *needs* and iPad. No one. No more than they *need* a Chanel coat or BMW.

        2. Anthony 13

          Huh? As the article says ...

          ... it is against Australian Consumer law to do what they did i.e. force the customer into buying a bundle of products. Perhaps people are prepared to pay "too much" for a supposed lifestyle product - but they weren't complaining about that, they were complaining about having to buy the superflous crap. Overall this has absolutely nothing to do with the supply and demand price argument you are babbling about.

          Finally, I should note, JB Hi-Fi are not really comparable to Currys or Dixons - they are mostly noted for selling a vast variety of CDs at relatively cheap prices. At some point they moved into the stack-em-high mid-range AV electricals market. I have always thought their numbers just didn't add up, but somehow they just keep growing - perhaps it just shows how much people have been paying over the odds for music (and AV) all this time (and how limited Internet shopping in Australia is - if you are curious as to why; think about the cost of delivery ...).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            'Forced' yet again.

            They didn't force them. The customers accepted the offer. None of them *needed* an iPad, like they need water, food, clothes or heating.

    4. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Paris Hilton


      "A but like an infatuated punter at a brothel being duped by the madame that his favourite whore is unavailable... but because he's such a special and valued 'client', she's willing to let him jump the (imaginary) queue, for an extra £20."

      Is that what really happens?

      How do you come to possess such familiarity with the industry ?

      Innocent minds would like to know :P

      (Paris... seemed like the best icon to pick)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we assume

    The App store will only sell non superflous products from now on?

    Or was JB HI-FI just following the Jobsian lead?

  9. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    In The USA It's Two Words...

    ..."extended warranty."

    or worse, "Monster Cable"

    1. Tom 35

      Sales quotas

      A friend got fired from his sales job even though he was #1 in sales 3 months running. Didn't sell enough extended warranties and over priced cables. Selling a $300 DVD player was nothing, you had to sell a $69 DVD player with a $120 Monster cable set, and a $30 extended warranty for it to be a good sale.

      Here is a story that BestBuy/Futureshop in Canada HATE... :)

      Want to buy HDMI calbes without getting ripped off? Try

  10. Mr Young

    How long is the piece of string?

    Do I need 2 ipads and a stringy accessory as well? Maybe I just need help with the el reg units

  11. Chris_B
    Paris Hilton

    iFondle down under

    Not that you'd be able to use the iFondle down-under anyway. The internet is so censored there's nothing worth looking at anyway :)

    1. adrian sietsma

      one word


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It's not the 'strings attached' that you should be worried about!

    It's the golden manacle around your ankle. Ahhh it's nice and shiney.

  13. Gumby1
    Thumb Down

    profit making bastards

    The mark up on extra goodies is like 150%, As the price of the iFondle is determined by sapple the next way to make income is by selling accessories. Case covers for the jesus phone sell in the outlets for 40-50 $AUD but you can but them from the warehouse for 4-5$ AUD. Hence the push to sell the extras.

  14. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


    So a sales assistant saw a solid gold opportunity to take some of their more gullible and suggestible customers for as much as they thought they could get away with at the point of sale?

    The only thing about this article that's newsworthy is that it was JB and not usual suspect Harvey Norman doing the rorting.

  15. Goat Jam

    Low margin sales

    The margin (for retailers) on iProducts is razor thin.

    Management hates razor thin margins.

    The markup on cables, carry bags, extended warranties and all that peripiheral crap can be as high as 90% however.

    Management love insanely high margins.

    Hence, the word will be sent out to all the stores that selling iProducts on their own is a losing proposition and that the sales droids had better do their darndest to "value add" the sale and that management will be watching their efforts closely.

    Been there, done that. They do the same with cameras and laptops all the time.

    There is no "official" edict that says you can't sell an item sans the cruft, but the sales droids are certainly made aware that a failure to value add sales will be looked at in a potentially career destroying manner.

    So, next time some poor hapless sales drone is attempting to flog you an extended warranty be firm and say "no" but don't be rude, usually he doesn't want to sell it to you either.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    I work for a competing chain which picked up an iPad contract in Aus and all that was asked of us was that we do not discount, based on the premise that the next person would be willing to pay full price. I haven't personally sold one, but generally with Apple products (and most televisions and computers) there is very little margin to play with, and accessories generally are the way to go. The important thing is to OFFER them to the customer, ask how they're going to use it, make suggestions based on that, being a jerk about it is only going to bring up stories like this.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    JB HiFi

    Not renowned for the lowest prices so assume a below average customer IQ. Easy meat.

  18. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    JB HI-FI

    Used to be a kick-ass store. Seems they have gone the way of the other chain retailers...

  19. Burrakooka

    Gain social skills and toughen up on the NO's

    That doesn't surprise me. They do it to get bigger sales. When I bought my iMac 27" they told me I had to buy this and that to go with it, no excuses and it's in their policy. So, I told them to show me this policy in writing and in the end they ended up selling me the computer by itself as I wanted it in the first place.

    But it's simple. If you don't want the extra stuff than either refuse it. I mean REFUSE it, don't be all "thankyou, but no" tell them straight. Or lie, and say you've got al that ( I do it all the time :) )... Or go elsewhere.

  20. Rex Alfie Lee

    Kind of similar to trade manipulation of costs

    A-holes & liars.

  21. Willum08
    Jobs Horns

    The Extras.....

    ..are probably of more use than the Fondle Slab !

  22. Anonymous Coward

    I used to work for Currys.

    Many years ago. One of the shops had a particularly smarmy sales git. One day a customer came in and bought a mind-numbingly expensive projector TV. He happily accepted that he needed a new VCR with it (a mind-numbingly expensive one, obviously). And some cables. And some tapes. And the extended warranty on the whole lot. And the humungo-commission earning HP agreement. The only thing he stressed is that the whole shebang be delivered the next day in time for some televised sports event or other.

    Smarmy Git got fawned over by the store manager having just broken all commission records.

    Enter man with 3 ton truck, aka me, to be given detailed instructions by Smarmy Git not to fuck this one up and to ensure that it was delivered no matter what. All accompanied by dire warnings as to what would happen were any of it to come back.

    I took great delight on my return in relaying these instructions to the store manager while the present Smarmy Git justified these with the size of the sale. He was rather less smug and a great deal less smarmy when I pointed out that, as the whole lot had just gone to a part-furnished council flat on a rundown estate, they stood as much chance of seeing the money as of winning the football pools.

    Smarmy Git broke Rule 1: Never piss off the delivery driver.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Oh deary me

    Pity the poor fanbois having to buy such crap.

    The iPad that is.

  24. Sweeping Brush
    Thumb Up

    Cost Price on Shelf Labels?

    Wouldn't that be nice

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