What you need to know
- Apple's UK iPhone Upgrade Program requires someone visit an Apple Store to sign a loan agreement with Barclays.
- Some disabled people are unable to make that visit, preventing them from signing up. The situation is now being investigated.
The UK's Financial Ombudsman is looking into whether Apple or finance partner Barclays are breaking anti-discrimination laws by requiring iPhone Upgrade Program customers to visit an Apple Store to take part. Local laws required companies to take steps to ensure disabled people are not discriminated against and the requirement for an Apple Store visit might break those laws.
As reported by 9to5Mac, London-based Colin Hughes, a quadriplegic Apple user, has had to deal with Apple requiring him to visit the Regent Street Apple Store to sign up for, or renew, the iPhone Upgrade Program.
Apple is pointing the finger at Barclays, its finance partner in the UK. Barclays requires people sign paperwork in-store in order to take out credit with the company – leaving Apple in a tough spot. The Financial Ombudsman has confirmed that te case has now been assigned an investigator and that both Apple and Barclays will be looked at to see whether they are breaking any laws.
Whether they are or not, the fact still remains – there has to be a better way. In fact, Hughes has already made suggestions as to what could be done here.
That all seems fair enough to me!
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.