Mishaps can sometimes occur in retail stores due to an unfortunate combination of circumstances — there’s a reason why “once broken considered sold” signs are so common.
Making customers bear the burden of such incidents, however, is not always the solution.
This was recently the case in Hong Kong when a toy store, KK Plus, accused a boy of kicking and breaking a golden Teletubby figure. The boy’s father had to fork out the exorbitant amount of S$5,900 (HK$33,600) as compensation.
The incident sparked a public outcry, especially after footage revealed that the boy may not have been at fault. As a result, KK Plus has apologised to the family and given them a refund as well.
On Tuesday (24 May), South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that KK Plus has issued an apology and a full refund to the family involved.
Local media published a statement saying that KK Plus operator Kidsland International Holdings Limited had written an apology to the family and returned the money in full.
According to Hong Kong Free Press, the manager of KK Plus admitted that the shop did not take the necessary precautions to prevent such an incident.
He added that they have removed all toys over one metre tall from the store and will conduct an internal review.
KK Plus had also posted an initial statement on Facebook. They explained that the doll had been at the same spot since Nov 2021 and that it never caused any prior inconveniences.
The store claimed to have dealt with the incident promptly, resolving it amicably with the consent of all parties involved.
They ended their statement by saying they will contact the family to follow up on the incident and that they will learn from the incident to prevent such things from happening again.
However, the post has since been deleted.
The incident occurred on 22 May in a KK Plus outlet at Mong Kok, Hong Kong.
According to China Press, the boy’s mother was shopping when she heard a loud crash behind her. Turning around, she noticed her child standing near a broken Teletubby figure.
Putting two and two together, an employee at the store accused her son of deliberately damaging the figure and demanded compensation.
Both parents accepted the snap judgement, reprimanding the young child and paying the store over S$5,800 (HK$33,600).
However, the mother later realised that the employee may have wrongly accused her son.
Footage from a netizen shows the boy merely learning lightly into the figurine, likely believing it would support his weight.
The next thing he knew, it crashed to the floor and shattered into pieces.
The incident sparked a public outcry from netizens, most of whom felt that the shop did not handle the situation well.
Some also accused KK Plus of scamming the family, while others felt the placement of the figure was an accident waiting to happen.
This whole situation has undoubtedly been stressful for the family, who had to compensate heavily for an unlucky incident and deal with so much attention.
Fortunately, they got their money back and will hopefully be able to move on from this dramatic experience.
We hope the store will stick to its promise and take measures to ensure the prevention of similar incidents in the future.
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