I am absolutely ashamed to admit this. I was there for the one on January 9th. I stayed for the entire thing. And I actually participated.
The first guy was taken over by a Middle Eastern guy named Tony.
I didn't realize there were plants in the audience. Can you describe them? One guy at mine spent hundreds of pounds on every piece of crap. He was Israeli, he had two kids with him (teens) and his name was Yossi. I feel so horribly for him. His wife probably murdered him. Literally.
I don't know why I fell for this. I really believed at points that we would get cool stuff. I also thought it was just a show and they weren't really going to take our money. If some of these people that spent so much were actually plants, they were fucking good at it.
So anyway, at one point I offered up 40 pounds for a "lot" and it was given back to me. I noticed how some people offered a large amount, he took it and then gave it back. Those could be the plants! To make us think that and put the idea in our heads. Fuck, I'm stupid. I'd also like to note that the main players were foreign people of colour. I was being completely ignored in the beginning and I think I now know why. He thought I was from London. I'm a white guy so he probably didn't suspect I was foreign. He eventually spoke to me and acknowledged me when I was close to the front. I told him where I was from and from that point on he would acknowledge me. Fuck fuck I'm so stupid.
So anyway, there came a point where I stopped giving money. I had finally opened the gift bag I had paid for. It was a black garbage bag filled with different ear phones. Cheap old ear phones, a power bank, small Bluetooth speaker, batteries, all the crap he probably gave away to his plants at the beginning. I was holding bags and boxes of genuine crap. I had given him 100 pounds and not been given a single decent item. The final "gift from him" was wrapped up at least two or three times and in a bag so opening it would take time and I saw them walking around telling people not to peek. When I saw it was just more perfume, that's where I finally realized my mistake.
He finished it up. He really rushed towards the end. They started making everyone leave. I just stood there. Dumbfounded. I couldn’t just leave this and accept it. I went up to one of the staff members and politely said that I didn’t want any of it and that I’d like my money back. They told me there’s no refunds, it’s over, leave. I refused. I kept saying I don’t want it, I want my money back and I stopped being so polite. They were being such assholes. More people came to me and just tried to get me to leave. Tony then came to see what was happening and he told me to fuck off. I got really scared. What if they got violent with me? I still just couldn’t leave it. So I decided to fake a panic attack. I then think I really started to have one. I was honestly faking it in the beginning because I thought that if I appeared to perhaps be “mentally upset” about losing my money, maybe they wouldn’t hurt me and would be more likely to just give me my money back because I was losing it. Also I hoped they would just give it back because they would think that it really was the only way to make me leave.
At first they were offering to give me back 20 pounds, then 40 pounds, but I insisted I need it all back because it’s all the money I have for my trip. Which was basically true. I started crying, I was actually getting very emotional and hyperventilating. So many people appeared from behind the curtain in the back to see what was going on. Men and women. Then the guy who would collect money from people came up to me and gave me my money back. All of it. He pointed me in the direction of the door. One guy said pull yourself together and don’t let Oxford Street see you like this. I said okay, genuinely thanked them for giving it back, I couldn’t believe it. And then I left. And walked away. I am still so upset about this. He stole so much money from people. No one else except me got my money back. And they will continue to do this.
It’s also worth noting that the main items he offered to people were a PS4, PS4 VR, Nintendo Switch, Acer Laptop, iPad Air, Samsung S8 and iPhone 7’s amongst others. None of that stuff was ever given to anyone. I suspect those boxes are actually all empty. Except the phones. They kept showing that the phones were in there. To give you an example of the slimy way they perform this show, at one point Tony kept saying there would be an iPhone XR and when he tried showing it to everyone after the guy with him behind the counter handed it to him, he pointed out how the box was for an iPhone 7. The person behind the counter who handed it to him said the XR is inside. And so it was. Or was it?
I just can’t get over this. I’m so happy that I decided to Google it again and find this post so I could tell you all this. Please can we get these people arrested?