Milwaukee bishop says he was refused business at Best Buy after trying to buy iPads for church

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FOX POINT, Wis. (CBS 58)-- A Milwaukee bishop says he was refused business when he tried to buy more than a dozen iPads for his church at a Best Buy in Fox Point.

Bishop Daniels wanted to buy 21 iPads at the Best Buy in June to incorporate technology into church related programs. Amazon had iPads on sale, and he hoped to take advantage of Best Buy’s price match system.

Bishop Daniels says he thought it was smooth sailing until one associate interfered.

“One person said ‘yes we’ll get them, someone bring the key back and let’s open the box so we can sell you the iPads,’ but then another person came and said ‘we’re not selling you the iPads, you can’t purchase 21 of them,’” said Bishop Sedgwick Daniels with Holy Redeemer Church.

Bishop Daniels said the situation began to take a turn.

“I said 'well may I speak with a manager?' He said ‘well we contacted the manager, we don’t know what you’re going to do with these iPads, and so we’ve decided we’re not selling to you, and we have a right to refuse business to anyone that we choose,’” Daniels said.  

The bishop says he felt discriminated against. He was only able to get two iPads that day.

”It was evident, and I identified and said, ‘do you realize that what you are now doing and the way you are talking is profiling and discriminatory?’” adds Daniels.

Best Buy says this was not a case of profiling, but instead a misunderstanding of company policy. The policy says each customer gets only one price matched item.

In a statement Best Buy says, “We were happy to work with Bishop Daniels and his associates to sell them the iPads individually in accordance with our policy. We apologize to Bishop Daniels for any inconvenience and if he felt disrespected in any way.”

After Bishop Daniels spoke to Best Buy’s customer service line, he was advised to speak to the manager the next day. The manager offered to sell each person from the church one price matched iPad, as long as they had their own individual forms of payment.

The next day Bishop Daniels brought more than 20 people into the store cash in hand, and got the iPads he needed for the church.

“When you have a mission and you have a task that you’re given, don’t allow barriers to hinder you from achieving those goals,” said Daniels.

Bishop Daniels says Best Buy has not reached out to him personally.

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