Disgruntled customer destroys T-Mobile UK store

A man in Manchester was denied a refund by a T-Mobile store, so he destroyed it, smashing fixtures and spraying around with a fire extinguisher. He's apparently up on criminal damages charges. There's not really any excuse for this kind of thing, but mobile phone operators... Well, I suspect that many people have fantasized about doing exactly this.

T-Mobile Store Rampage Caught On Video For Everyone To Enjoy


      1. hero? the man threw a tantrum. we have no idea whether he was, in fact, eligible for a refund. he A – destroyed a bunch of stuff that took precious resources (like rare earth elements) to produce; B – cost the company and insurers money to replace the damaged fixtures and goods, effectively raising prices for everyone: C – forced the closure of the store until the mess is cleaned and repaired, possibly costing the employees their wages. 

        a real hero would’ve taken the company to court over their returns policy, making things better for everyone. this guy just wrecked a bunch of stuff. 

        1. Sorry, your contract bound you to binding arbitration run by a company who rules in the favour of the cell phone company 99.94% of the time.

          1. Fortunately we don’t have that problem in the UK. Arbitration clauses in standard contracts are unlikely to be enforceable against consumers because they are (usually) unfair.

  1. What a moron! He spoke to the police afterwards!?

    Everyone knows you should always wait for your lawyer… Are things different in the UK, actually, than in the US?

    1.  Not that different.  Arrested = shut up and wait for your lawyer, pretty much anywhere.

      1.  Don’t do that! 
        Don’t wait until you’re arrested with your shutting up when talking to cops. 

      2. Decades of watching British police procedurals have impressed upon me the following:
        You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
        The second phrase is the tricky one. In the US, anything you do say will be either construed against you or inadmissible as hearsay.

        1. This is partly right. It’s true in general that when a suspect is silent under questioning, a court or jury can draw adverse inferences from that silence.

          However, if a suspect wants to exercise their right to legal advice, the police generally can’t interview them (or continue to do so) until they’ve received such advice. If the police continue to question the suspect in these circumstances, the ability of a jury or court to draw adverse inferences from silence is restricted.

          So basically, “arrested = shut up and wait for your lawyer” (together with the proviso from Ipo that you shouldn’t wait until you’re arrested before shutting up) holds true in the UK as well.

    2. What defence is he going to use that talking to police would have damaged?

      “Your honour, it was my evil twin. You should have seen what he did to my wife.”

      Given his level of calm during the arrest, and, really, while wrecking the place he made a conscious choice to go in there, have his “voice” heard and accept the consequences. 

      A strange mix of maturity, logic and batshit crazy all in one. 

  2. That is some seriously casual, yet determined destruction.

    Also, what’s up with the vigilante guys? Devoted T-Mobile fans?

    1. I thought they were plain clothes officers that happened to respond first – if they have that sort of thing, like the Paris metro does, or shopping districts where they are used when shoplifting issues arise.

    2. Did he really destroy anything, or just make a mess?  I’m thinking that he’ll have to pay to have the carpet cleaned, do some community service and his gripe will get international attention.

  3. On a day when UK cops said they were worried that government cuts to police manpower plus the social unrest engendered by austerity measures could lead to a repeat of last year’s riots, it looks like this guy could have sparked it off single-handedly.
    But the ‘audience’ seemed in a good mood!

    Manchester! My town and I love it!

  4. Well, I for one have never “fantasized” about wanton destruction, mostly because jail does not appeal. If it’s accepted human behaviour to “fantasize” about this kind of thing, then I ain’t human.

      1. No, just alien. Maybe it’s that I’m unable to divorce the action from its consequences. Maybe it’s because people who can engage that that level of nonchalant destruction scare the almighty shit out of me. 

        1. Then be afraid, be very afraid.  Because violent fantasies are a part of normal human psychology. 

          1. I often like to visualize what malls and other places would look like if they were to cave in or otherwise be struck by disaster. It’s calming, almost, but mainly a good trick if you’re bored. I love disaster movies.

        2. Yep, Ken, as the man said, “part of normal human psychology.” You have just been diagnosed an aberration. Pretty soon we’ll have you and your ilk listed in the DSM.

          A little warning though, if you go into the therapist’s office saying you are a god, as Navin suggested, you’ll still be in there when the bridges are burning.

    1.  Sooo – you never play violent (even mildly violent) video games, or think about knocking over sand castles? Some moderate violence is completely human.

    1. He’s methodical and detail-oriented.  In fact, it’s kind of a pity he doesn’t work for T-Mobile UK.  Then at least someone there would be.

  5. From The President’s Analyst (1967):

    Dr. Sidney Schaefer:
    You know, one thing I learned from my patients… they all hate the phone company. It’s interesting; even the stock holders of the phone company hate the phone company!

    V.I. Kydor Kropotkin:
    I know. Bedouins hate the phone company. Matter of fact, I’ve never been in a country where everybody didn’t hate the phone company.

    Nothing has changed…

  6. this has got to be the most boring act of vandalism ever.  he looked pretty calm, just knocking shit over like hes cleaning his goddamn garage. 10pts for crazy

    1. He looks and acts like Tor Johnson in all of his Ed Wood and Coleman Francis films.

  7. But honestly: legal ramifications, morality, ethics, and stylistic shortcomings aside, can you blame him? Can you?

    1. I recently watched T-Mobile royally screw a friend who had worked pretty damned tirelessly for them. So my only objection to this vandalism is that I wish it had happened in an executive’s office or home instead. Fuck those guys, I’m so glad they’re going down the tubes, and I’ll cheer for anything negative that happens to them.

    2.  I like him. 
      There wasn’t enough fire and breaking glass. 

      He didn’t do this because he snapped, he isn’t crazed. 
      He did it because he really felt they deserved it, that he deserved to retaliate. 
      He wanted his righteous anger to be recognized. 

      Yes, I have dealt with that magenta syndicate. 

      I completely understand him. 

    1. From what I’ve heard from ex-employees, I’m pretty sure that’s their new CEO implementing their new long-term growth strategy. See, I thought he only meant it figuratively. :)

  8. What I don’t get about this video is why the perspective keeps bending so badly?

    Is the phone in a vise or something?  Is there radiation screwing with the CCD?  Or was it just edited with a filter designed to be a huge distraction?

    I honestly don’t get why the whole image keeps bending.

    1. it’s pretty standard for cheapo mobile phone cameras. the lens can’t possibly be that awful, so i guess it’s linearly interpolating between frames to fake a higher frame rate than it’s actually sampling at.

      1. @boingboing-430cc6899313afb79f799dc72fb58493:disqus it’s not frame rate interpolation or even the “rolling shutter” of cheap CMOS sensor video capture (see a detailed explanation here).

        It’s a smoothing filter designed to take shaky input video and make it look like it was shot with a steadicam. Obviously it’s imperfect technology… it’s only useful in certain applications. But I guess it’s not that bad here, it eliminates the shaky hand-held video look and it’s not important in this context to have distortion-free video.

        1. ah, yes, that makes more sense! i wish i could turn it off, though. i expect shakiness in video, but this flowing-wobble effect just makes me pine for care-free days long past, if you get what i mean.

          1. If it’s built into the device, that’d be interesting. Not surprised but didn’t know they were doing that. If it’s an Android phone you’d be able to turn it off by getting a different videocam app, if nothing else :)

  9. Why does there happen to be SO MANY people outside looking at this? That, combined with the casualness of the actions taking place, speaks to me of something staged…

    1. Never underestimate how quickly a lookeeloo crowd can assemble especially in an already crowded area. In this modern age of the spectacle it’s a wonder a crush/stampede didn’t happen as folks jostled to be the first to capture it and then post it to youtube.

  10. Seems like this might be a publicity stunt. I just watched the pilot of Mad Men, so as far as I’m concerned, every altercation occurring in a place of commerce is now a publicity stunt.

    1. Yes, it was publicity stunt. It’s just that nobody realized it at the time, including the “stunt” man, the franchise owner, or T-Mobile. The guy will be doing T-Mobile ads once they all figure out the utter brilliance of it. “Mental for Mobile!” or some such.

  11. Shouldn’t they have tased him? I mean he may have tried to leisurely spray them with a fire extinguisher or gently pushed at them.

    1.  Had that been in the US, that calm vandal might have died in a hail of badly aimed bullets. 

      1. In the US, the proper corrective measures when dealing with calm and collected madmen is to beat them into a state of extreme agitation, then finish them off with electrocution when they complain. That way the mildly crazed or modestly disturbed will never gain the upper hand with their non-combative tactics.

  12. I like his smile at the end there. This was probably very cathartic for him. And, vicariously for the clerk and the crowd outside.

  13. I’m impressed by the demeanor of the police. They stroll in and handcuff him, and even chat a little. He smiles and answers back. In the US, the cops would have gone right to wrestling him down to the floor of the store while beating him and yelling “don’t fucking move, stop resisting”, etc.

  14. I don’t think the police in the U.S. would do anything different.  Everybody’s afraid of lawsuits.  Especially when it filmed.

      1. Indeed. And who watches the watchers watching cops? More cops. It just never ends, does it? 

  15. Oh my GOD! He didn’t hurt the T-mobile ad girl in the pink dress, did he? Please say she survived.

    1. And with the arrival of our first ironic concern troll, this thread has officially achieved parody status. What next? “What Would Angry T-Mobile Man Do?” t-shirts? Somebody is going to make money from this, we just need to figure out how, and quick.

  16. He’s apparently up on criminal damages charges.

    No kidding?  The fact that they charged him just goes to show how bad their customer service is!

  17. In his dfens, perhaps he was stuck in traffic earlier that day, was too late to get the breakfast menu at his local fast-food joint or was ripped off for a can of cola ?

    1. Sounds like the lady who yelled at me for several minutes (using the word “fuck” several times and concluding with “you’d better accept Jesus or you know where you’re going” as if to avoid saying the word “hell”) at the post office earlier because I politely asked if she was in line because it wasn’t clear if she was or not.

      Having a shitty day is not an excuse for venting by lashing out on an innocent victim for a perceived slight.

      In T-Mobile’s case, I can sort of understand, but still :)

  18. Well, according to one of the placards in the background of the store as he was being arrested, he will have the option to “Pay Monthly”. Ironic bemusement transmitted.

  19. I see  anew Spokesperson auditioning in this recording – Mr T-Mobile ” I pity da fool that don’t honor ma refund!”  Now there’s a T-shirt…gotta run!

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