Monday , March 8 2021

Safety Warehouse boss, Andrew Thorn, denied the claims of counterfeit money as the reaction grew



The criticized Safety Warehouse boss has defended yesterday’s controversial gift at Aotea Square, saying it had been unfairly characterized as an event with “fake money”.

Chaos erupted at the Auckland event as crowds surged forward to capture what they thought was part of a $ 100,000 cash prize promotion called “The Drop”. At least 1000 people packed Aotea Square but only a few reported receiving real money and those who did received only small denominations.

Instead attendees leave with vouchers that look similar to the $ 5 bill, giving customers a discount on a Safety Warehouse product. Many were upset, and the angry crowd demanded “real money.”

Managing Director Andrew Thorn said his company did distribute “real money” and that the show had been “unfairly characterized” as a counterfeit show.

“In fact, real funds were provided as anticipated. The vouchers that were also given at the event were in addition to the cash given. We never thought that the inclusion of a voucher would create such hostility and
misunderstood narrative.

“There is no intention of eliminating, misleading or embarrassing anyone of any demographic or race.

“We want everyone to come and be part of a great event.

“This is the first of this scale in New Zealand and unfortunately, a group of people spoiled it for all.

“The Safety Warehouse supports our marketing and what’s put out at the event.”

Even though some said they had to pay for tickets to The Drop, Thorn said it was a free event to thank the people of New Zealand.

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening Aotea Square.  Photo / via Facebook
Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening Aotea Square. Photo / via Facebook

“The actions of several individuals and various audiences are not characteristic of
the atmosphere of the whole event, “he said.” A select few ruined the mood of the day for everyone, but they weren’t the norm at all – just a few people who didn’t get as much value as they expected, for anything. reason.”

The man who traveled from Palmerston North for his sick son was given a helping hand

Meanwhile, a Palmerston North man traveling to Auckland hopes to earn money for his sick son who is overwhelmed when a stranger arrives with real money.

Wayne Lynch is one of more than 1000 people who gathered at Aotea Square Auckland yesterday.

Vouchers.  Photo / Provided
Vouchers. Photo / Provided

Lynch said he was expecting a windfall for his son following treatment from eye surgery after driving to town yesterday with his partner.

Safety Warehouse’s cash-dropping stunt took a turn for the worse when the crowd discovered the money wasn’t real. Video / Haki Ani TePaea

However, after collecting several $ 5 discount vouchers made to look like $ 5 bills, Lynch isn’t sure if she can afford to make it back to Palmerston North.

“We stress about that and all the pressure from the operation too,” he told Newshub.

Fortunately for Lynch, David Letele heard about his bad luck and walked in with $ 1,200, food and accommodation, saying “it’s not a favor, it’s a hand, brother”.

Lynch said he wanted the organizers of what he described as handing over counterfeit bills to be held accountable.

Pay back the petition that was prepared

Another disgusted participant had started a Change.org petition demanding that people with vouchers be paid real money and plotting police complaints.

Safety Warehouse’s cash drop took a turn for the worse when the crowd discovered the money wasn’t real. Video / Haki Ani TePaea

Levin ‘s John Murphy, called the event a waste of time, and claimed many attendees from poor backgrounds felt cheated.

John Murphy says people thought this first "voucher" is the original $ 5 bill.  Photo / Provided
John Murphy said people initially thought these “vouchers” were genuine $ 5 bills. Photo / Provided

But Murphy said attendees only received coupons designed to look like $ 5 bills.

“I attended the event in the hope that it would be the highlight of my short trip to Auckland, simply because it was a disaster,” Murphy said.

Since then, he’s filed a petition, which has more than 280 signatories, demanding The Safety Warehouse turn the vouchers distributed at the event into cash.

“I know people from outside Auckland who are stranded. Many of us including myself have been injured,” added Murphy.

“People pushed, pushed and knocked over each other in an attempt to get what looked like real money.”

He said one person who appeared to be the organizer shared a ridiculous suggestion that a $ 5 voucher could be exchanged for real money at the bank.

Murphy also said he would ask police to investigate whether the vouchers could be found to be fake.

And he said an employee was hospitalized after the crowd became angry and an object thrown through the back window of a company car shattered his eye glass.

The ‘oversold’ hoax

A Massey University marketing professor said the company should apologize, and hire a good public relations firm to help save its reputation.

Malcolm Wright told Radio New Zealand that the stunt had violated customer trust.

“I don’t think they will cheat, of course they don’t mean to cheat. Someone is just selling too much and going a little way.”

But some of the participants were very angry.

“It’s a waste of gas, my time and my money … I could spend the day doing something more productive,” wrote one Papakura woman on the Murphy petition.

“Time is wasted, babies are sick, deceiving us all, making us look like idiots,” said another signer.

Cam Hore wrote: “What a shame. Everyone attending this event should be compensated and the company should be fined for misleading people.”

Jon Duffy, chief executive of Consumer NZ, said any company running a promotion must ensure that it can comply with the terms of the promotion.

“If the company doesn’t actually hand out $ 100,000 in cash at this event, then they may be violating the feed advertising provisions of the Fair Trading Act.”

Fair trade laws prohibit anyone from advertising goods or services for a certain price if they do not intend to supply the goods.

“Bait advertising is where you advertise something that’s a really good deal to get people to the door, but then don’t act,” says Duffy.

“Once you get it in there, you try and sell it to something else.”

“And we understand that people get vouchers with counterfeit bills being handed out here which gives them a kind of special deal,” Duffy added.

“If that’s all that’s being offered, then this offer could be misleading. I think we just have to see what happens.

“I haven’t seen the real money [but] it looks like the event didn’t go the way the company expected.

“And obviously, people don’t get what they think they’re getting.”

The event was ostensibly held to thank New Zealanders for their support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thorn said he started his Safety Warehouse business through his Christchurch-based company, Greenback Capital, to supply work clothing, then switched to masks, hand sanitizer and other equipment when the Covid-19 pandemic began.




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