The fall in counterfeit money has provoked a backlash, calling for a boycott of The Safety Warehouse and demanding real cash.
A disgusting participant has launched a petition on Change.org demanding real money from people who have coupons, and planned a police complaint saying coupons reminiscent of $ 5 banknotes were scattered to the crowd in Auckea Square in Auckland.
At noon yesterday, more than 1,000 people gathered in the square after the company promoted a plan to drop $ 100,000 from the sky.
But chaos erupted as the crowd flowed forward to catch the counterfeit money fired from what looked like a weapon.
Outraged members of the public, including Levin John Murphy, described the event as a waste of time and claimed that many visitors were from poor backgrounds who felt deceived.
Andrew Torn, the owner of the business, said earlier that he had actually returned $ 100,000.
But Murphy said visitors only received coupons designed to look like 5 dollar bills.
“I attended the event, expecting it to be the highlight of my short Auckland trip, just to make it a disaster,” Murphy said.
Since then, he has launched a petition with more than 280 signatories demanding that The Safety Warehouse convert the coupons issued at the event into real money.
“I know people outside Auckland who have reached a dead end. Many of us, including me, have suffered injuries,” Murphy added.
“People pushed, pushed and rushed on top of each other, trying to get what looked like real money.”
He said one person who appeared to be the organizer shared a funny suggestion that $ 5 vouchers could be redeemed at the bank for real money.
Murphy also said he would ask police to investigate whether the coupons could be declared counterfeit.
The tower did not answer his phone or send a message on Sunday.
But he previously said the company had already returned real money, with counterfeit money discounts and 40,000 coupons printed on top.
And he said the employee was hospitalized after the crowd became angry and an object thrown through the rear window of the official car smashed the glass.
A professor of marketing at Masses University said the company should apologize and hire a good public relations firm to help save its reputation.
Prof Malcolm Wright told Radio New Zealand that the trick has broken customer confidence.
“I don’t think they’ve been cheating, of course they wouldn’t have been cheating. Someone just sold it and went a little far.”
But some present were furious.
“I wasted my gasoline, time and money … I could have spent the day doing something more productive,” the paprika writes on Murphy’s petition.
“Time wasted, the babies hurt, everyone cheated, made us look stupid,” said another signatory.
Cam Hore wrote, “How bloody shame. Everyone who attended the event should receive compensation, and the company should be fined for misleading people.”
John Duffy, CEO of Consumer NZ, said any company that holds a share must ensure that it can comply with the terms of the share.
“If the company didn’t actually return $ 100,000 in cash at the event, they could be violating the Fair Trade Act’s bait rules.”
The Fair Trade Act prohibited anyone from advertising goods or services at a certain price if they did not intend to deliver those goods.
“Bait advertising is a place where you advertise something that is a really good offer to get people to the door, but then don’t follow,” Duffy said.
“Once you’ve got them, you’re trying to sell them to someone else.”
“And we understand that people received coupons with counterfeit money that was distributed here, which gave them a kind of special deal,” Dafy added.
“If that’s all that was offered, then this offer could be misleading. I think we’ll just have to look at what’s in play.”
“I have not seen any real money [but] sounds like the event didn’t go as the company had hoped. “
“And obviously people didn’t get what they thought they were getting.”
The event allegedly took place to thank the New Zealanders for their support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tower said he had started a Security Warehouse business to supply workwear with his Christchurch-based company Greenback Capital, moving to masks, hand sanitation and other equipment after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.