The head of Safety Warehouse defended the controversial gift yesterday in Otea Square, saying it was unfairly described as an event with “fake money”.
Chaos erupted at an Oakland event when a crowd rushed forward to pick up what they thought was part of a $ 100,000 promotional called “The Drop”. At least 1,000 people gathered at Aotea Square, but few reported receiving real money and only small denominations.
Instead, participants shied away from $ 5 bill-like coupons, giving customers discounts on Safety Warehouse products. Many were upset, and angry crowds demanded “real money”.
Managing Director Andrew Thorne said that his company distributed “real money” and that he had been “unfairly described” as having allegedly infringed on fake money.
“In fact, real money donated as expected. The coupons that were also presented at the event were in addition to the money awarded. It was never possible to expect the inclusion of the coupons to create such hostility and
“There was no intention to deny, mislead, or embarrass anyone of any demographic or ethnic group.
“We wanted anyone and everyone to attend and be part of a great event.
“It was the first of this size in New Zealand and unfortunately, a group destroyed it for everyone.
“Warehouse Safety stands by our marketing and released at the event.”
Although some people said they had to pay for The Drop tickets, Thorn said it was a free event to give thanks to the people of New Zealand.
“The actions of a few individuals and various onlookers were not characteristic
He said, “The general mood of the event.” A select few ruined the tone of the day for everyone, but they were by no means the norm – just a few people who didn’t get the same value they had hoped for, for whatever reason. “
The man who traveled from Palmerston North to his sick son offered a helping hand
Meanwhile, a man from Palmerston North who had traveled to Oakland hoping to get money for his sick son was confused when a stranger offered real money.
Wayne Lynch was one of more than 1,000 people who gathered yesterday at Otea Square in Auckland.
Lynch said he was hoping for unexpected gains for his son after taking care of eye surgery after driving him to town yesterday with his partner.
However, after collecting a handful of $ 5 discount coupons to look like $ 5 banknotes, Lynch wasn’t sure if he could even return to Palmerston North.
“We were stressing that as well as the overall pressure of the surgery,” he told Newshub.
Fortunately for Lynch, David Letelli heard about his misfortune and stepped in with $ 1,200, food and accommodation, saying, “These aren’t hands, it’s help, brother.”
Lynch said he wants to hold the organizers of what he calls fake cash escapes.
Preparing the payment petition
Attended another nasty file started Change.org Petition Asking people with vouchers to pay real money and plan a police complaint.
Levin’s John Murphy described the event as a waste of time, and claimed that many of the attendees were from poor backgrounds who felt cheated.
But Murphy said attendees only received coupons designed to look like $ 5 banknotes.
“I attended the event and expected it to be the highlight of my short trip to Auckland, just to be a disaster,” said Murphy.
He has since begun a petition, signed by more than 280 people, asking The Safety Warehouse to convert the vouchers that were spent at the event into real money.
“I know people outside of Oakland who are stranded. Many of us, including myself, have suffered injuries,” Murphy added.
“People pushed, pushed, and threw themselves over each other in an effort to get what appeared to be real money.”
He said someone who appeared to be an organizer shared a laughable suggestion that $ 5 vouchers could be exchanged for real money at the bank.
Murphy also said he would ask the police to investigate whether the coupons could be declared false papers.
He said that an employee was taken to the hospital after the crowd got angry, and he threw an object through the back window of one of the company’s cars, and the glass shattered in his eyes.
A marketing professor at Massey University said the company should apologize and hire a good PR firm to help salvage its reputation.
Malcolm Wright told Radio New Zealand that the trick betrayed customer confidence.
“I don’t think they would have initiated the deception, of course they wouldn’t have initiated the deception. Someone oversold and went a little too far.”
But some of those present were furious.
“I wasted my petrol, my time and my money … I could have spent the day doing something more productive,” one Papakura woman wrote in Murphy’s petition.
Another signatory said, “Time is lost, the children are injured, they deceived us all, they made us look like fools.”
Cam Hor wrote, “What a bloody shame. Everyone who attended this event should be compensated and the company should be fined for misleading people.”
Consumer NZ CEO John Duffy said any company running a promotion must ensure that it can honor the terms of the promotion.
“If the company didn’t actually donate $ 100,000 in cash at the event, it may have violated the Fair Trade Act bait advertising provisions.”
The Fair Trade Act prohibits anyone from advertising goods or services at a specified price if they do not intend to supply those goods.
“A bait ad is where you advertise something that’s really a good show to get people to the door,” said Duffy, “but don’t follow them after that.”
“Once you get it there, you try to sell it to something else.”
“We understand that people were getting coupons with fake money distributed here that gave them some kind of special deals,” Duffy added.
“If that was all that was on the show, then this show might be misleading. I think we’ll just have to figure out what happens.
“I haven’t seen the actual money [but] It appears that the event did not go the way the company had hoped.
“And people clearly didn’t get what they thought they would get.”
The event was ostensibly held to thank New Zealanders for their support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thorne said he started the Safety Warehouse project through his Christchurch-based Greenback Capital to supply workwear, then switched to masks, hand sanitizer and other equipment when the Covid-19 pandemic began.