Holidaying to Camber Sands Holiday Park, East Sussex, 34-year-old Cheryl Holden happened across an arcade when she was with her five-month-old son, Ashton.
Obviously she wanted to win the little tyke a toy, so she took to the infamous claw machine. Now we all know that if you go to a claw machine, the chances are you aren’t winning anything and after, say, three quid, you throw your arms up and accept that you’re not the victor today.
Cheryl burned through £40 unsuccessfully and livid, she complained to one of the workers at the arcade. The worker then proceeded to change the settings on the claw machine and lo and behold, Cheryl won instantly after that.
With a new Dumbo plushie to her name, the arcade worker changed the claw machine settings back, but Cheryl still had a taste for victory and acrylic fur.
She spent another £60 on trying to win another toy for her son.
I don’t know what made her 50% more forgiving the second time around, but after the £60 left her wallet, she complained again. She explained:
“I was not abusive or anything, I raised my voice because I was angry, but I was trying to make it clear to other parents it’s not possible to win a teddy bear and it’s rigged.“
Taken to the office, Cheryl spotted the manager’s phone number and called him up. She went on:
“I phoned the manager, I asked when would this be getting resolved. He said, ‘how did you get my number?’.
He laughed it off and said my complaint form won’t get me anywhere. He said, ‘you can put as much money in, £100, but you still won’t win it’.“
Cheryl said how that holiday park had been in her life since she was a child, loving the place, but now she’s having second thoughts.
“My son is five months old, but if he was old enough, he would probably be upset.“
Playnation – the company who run the arcade – said they won’t be able to comment on the predicament, but stated:
“Please be advised that Playnation Limited is a professional organisation which takes all customer complaints seriously.
We operate in a highly regulated sector and are licensed by the Gambling Commission and the Local Authority to do so we take our licence obligations very seriously.
We are fully committed to keeping crime out of gaming, ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and to protecting children and other vulnerable adults from being harmed or exploited.“
It’s a claw machine. Why are we putting “crime” in the same context as a claw machine. Everyone knows they’re rigged and that’s why they give up after three pounds.
That said, I did once win a basketball from a claw machine on my first go. Maybe I’m just special.
I don’t know, this whole story and interview reads like a scene that was cut from The Office. “I phoned the manager, I asked when would this be getting resolved. He said, ‘how did you get my number?’” genuinely made me laugh out loud.
You can’t write stuff like that.
If you want a toy, buy a toy.
Images via Getty
Alfie Powell joined as an apprentice and was probably hired because he was likely the only person who applied. He's been blagging his way through writing articles for four years now and he's definitely showing signs of slowing down. When not writing for The Hook, Alfie finds time to indulge in his favourite hobbies, such as drinking and sitting down. You can contact Alfie at [email protected]Follow