Watch this shopper 'accidentally' destroy four brand new smart TVs, causing $6000 worth of damage

By midian182 · 69 replies
Oct 14, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. Accidentally destroying something while browsing in a store can be a nightmare. Not only is it embarrassing for the customer, but most places will charge for the breakages. So imagine how you’d feel if you knocked over four brand new televisions worth over $6000.

    The incident took place at the HBH Woolacotts store in St Austell, which is in Cornwall, UK. It was caught on CCTV and posted on the store’s Twitter account.

    The video shows the customer walking over to the four TVs on display, before kneeling down to have a closer look at one. It’s not clear exactly how he did it, but the hapless shopper manages to push over the curved television.

    Like the world’s most expensive dominoes, the TV falls backward and knocks over the one behind it. If things had ended at this point, the damage could have been limited to a couple of thousand dollars. But no. Horrified and no doubt wishing he’d looked with his eyes and not his hands, our hero reels back in shock, only to knock over yet another expensive TV. Again, it tips backward and drags another set down with it.

    The store's assistant manager, Mike Collins, said: "Staff were devastated when it happened - I had been on a day off but came back and watched the footage. My manager just said 'you will never guess what has happened'. I was very shocked."

    Collins said there was £5000 (around $6100) worth of damage done to the smart TVs, which included a curved Samsung OLED TV and two Panasonic models. He wouldn’t say if the customer had been billed.

    As is always the case when this sort of thing appears online, there have been questions over whether the incident was faked. The way the televisions have been placed does look very suspicious, and just what was the guy doing that caused the TV to fall backward?

    Credit: HBH Woolacotts

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    Customer: legendary fail

    Supervisor in charge of setting those up: epic fail

    At no point should a $1,000 television be put on display without a proper mount, to prevent just this sort of thing.

    That said, the video is amusing. 10/10 on that front.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,349   +1,991

    Not being there it is hard to tell, but it didn't appear that the shopper pushed or tried to cause that accident and frankly, the store was stupid to arrange such a tight display. Doubtful the store would be able to make the consumer pay for damages since they did not properly secure their display; in fact that shopper could possibly file suite against them for unnecessarily endangering him. The stores have legal obligation to protect shoppers from such accidents. Hope the bloke has a good lawyer and he shows them this tape!
    liammac002 and JohnMD1022 like this.
  4. SteveC47

    SteveC47 TS Rookie

    Working in retail for a few years, that is the most dumbest setup I ever seen. It was an accident waiting to happen. What if it was a little child under one of those tv's that fell? Normally I would say this would be a honest mistake by the person in charge setting this up, but not in this case. I could bet $20 that it was store manager or the assistant store manager that set this up.
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    It doesn't look accidental, at all. The dude intentionally goes back and pushes the TV and it's obvious.

    When you accidentally knock something over what is your instinct reaction? Try to hold it, put your hand, how many of you have sent your phone flying over after clumsily dropping it and trying to "catch" it with your foot? Like it was a ball and you an expert futbol player lol.

    Even on work related injuries, people with heavy machinery tend to get injured because when something fails their instinct kicks in and they get their hands or feet get caught in it.

    It looks like he lost balance and tried to use the tv to get it... lol. Then instead of trying to avoid it actually falling, he jumps back and pushes the other one with his hand. This does not clear the store for not securing the tvs though, that's basic, but the dude actually pushed the tvs 'accidentally'.
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,022   +662

    If it is large, I back up.
    liammac002, JohnMD1022 and Darth Shiv like this.
  7. Shawn Knight

    Shawn Knight TechSpot Staff Posts: 9,467   +100

    My immediate reaction is that this is staged. The sets are placed in an unnatural position plus they aren't even on. I'm not sure that I've ever been to an electronics store and seen televisions for sale that aren't powered on. What's more, the actions of the 'shopper' aren't natural as Kibaruk mentioned.

    The TV furthest to the right somehow falls without its base attached. Bases are usually screwed on and would fall over with the set. The 'shopper' clearly pushes the two sets behind him over with his left hand. The sales attendant just happened to be in the perfect position to watch it all go down. And last but not least, comments are disabled for the video on YouTube (because they knew they would get a lot of "this is fake" comments).
    Timonius, DaveBG, liammac002 and 4 others like this.
  8. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,080

    This has to be some kind of setup. First off, if there is/was lawsuit, this would not be on the internet. Unless, the UK is just weird.

    I have never seen a store display TVs like that. Being that they are so close to the entrance, most stores would probably face the screens towards the doors to attract attention. Actually most stores wouldn't have TVs or small expensive devices near the door to reduce the risk of theft.

    As what I can see, he is pushing on the screen of the first TV, which would make no sense unless it was a touch screen which I would highly doubt. Being that it is a TV and it is off. Assuming the first bit was an opps, I would highly doubt that you would swing your arm back that far. It would be more believable if he bumped it with his butt.

    Concluding thoughts, I believe that something is not right here. I feel like the knocking over of the TVs was intentional. The real question is, was this some sort of PR stunt done by the store or was the guy just being a jerk. I'm leaning more toward it being a PR stunt.
  9. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Addict Posts: 145   +133

    This is so fake. Anyone that thinks otherwise is unbelievably gullible.
    How can a TV remove itself from its stand when simply touched/knocked against?
  10. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 570   +372

    Fake like the Kardashians.

    Why put expensive TVs unplugged and not securely strapped. This might do harm to toddlers you know. People these days will do anything just to have a million views and have their name in websites.
  11. General Sam

    General Sam TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +13

    The TVs aren't even attached to their stands.

    I doubt any person putting these out would set this up so wrong.

    Also high price items at the door of the store? Yeah right.
    JohnMD1022 and Tekkaraiden like this.
  12. FF222

    FF222 TS Booster Posts: 93   +33

    My guess is that these units were somehow damaged by staff prior to this accident. And because they didn't want to take responsibility for the damage, they setup is this scenario with a help of a friend, posing as a customer, who "accidentally" pushed them.

    Now they had a plausible explanation for the damages on the units, which seemingly didn't involve malice on their part, only negligence, at best. And they know that either per law and/or company policy neither them, nor the supposed customer could have been held liable for the damages.

    So, this is just a cover up for some **** the staff did to the TVs.
    JohnMD1022 likes this.
  13. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    Lets do like the dominoes world record. New Guinness World Record for hdtv is 4
  14. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,080

    tis plausible, but why would they post online though...?
    TheHeights likes this.
  15. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Lots of plausible explanations already posted, could be any of them and we'll likely never know. The previously damaged goods one is my favorite for sure, and I wouldn't put it past an electronics store for trying it, received them damaged in transport but the guy receiving them didn't notice so they we're stuck with them so they needed a plausible scenario for the damage.

    However this could just simply be very much negligence on the staffs part, setting up the displays in the worst possible location and then not attaching the stands because they felt sturdy enough. The customer could be a ham fisted buffoon and was just trying to power on the TV and was simply feeling for a power switch, maybe there is one in the place he was pushing and simply didn't realize they weren't plugged in and tried to hard. Then as he jumped backwards in shock lost his balance, I don't know about any of you but if I'm falling backwards I instinctively throw my hands behind me to catch my fall..., but he forgot about yet more poorly places TVs.

    What catches me as suspicious is the other customer in the store who was talking with the staff, he seems almost unfazed by what just went down and just casually strolls off, personally I would go over to at least observe the carnage and not simply walk away like nothing serious just happened. Maybe he was also a plant and this is the most elaborate TV prank choreographed for nothing more than internet views and publicity. Although I would never trust purchasing a TV from a store who would do this with TVs, HBH Woolacotts has lost me as a potential customer.
  16. Girus

    Girus TS Rookie

    Definitely fake. If you look closely when he backs up and throws his arm back, he actually uses his hand to push the TV even harder. I don't think anyone backs up like that unless they're "special".
  17. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Booster Posts: 101   +42

    Good it was an adult, otherwise the first kid walking there would got a trauma.
  18. ryan29121

    ryan29121 TS Booster Posts: 174

    Totally fake
    Tekkaraiden likes this.
  19. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 576   +185

    What retail store would have a $2,000 tv unsecured 10 ft from the door? Who ever runs LP for the chain either is retarded or get's to fire a manager for being retarded.
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  20. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Booster Posts: 117   +44

    Super fake, and if this does happen for real, insurance takes care of it.
  21. gobbybobby

    gobbybobby TS Guru Posts: 555   +9

    £5000 is only worth $6100. Haven't we fell far. Usually in the UK at a chain store you break something the customer is always right and not charged unless its intentional.
  22. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    If the store really set those TV screens out for display like that, then they are *****s. They would be in all kinds of deep poop if a child was there and it fell on to it. This whole thing doesn't add up. Those screens have to be properly secured, which clearly they were not.
  23. Michael7

    Michael7 TS Rookie

    The arrangement looks stupid or it was staged. If it's real then the workers as as much to blame as the customer. And why would they charge the customer - aren't the TVs supposed to be insured against such an incident?
  24. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    Classic three stooges film fare. Well done. It would have been even funnier with about 25 TV's in a line. :)
  25. badmood

    badmood TS Rookie

    Further undermining credibility, Samsung doesn't make OLED TVs.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...