A Northern Irish man woke up to the hangover of a lifetime when he discovered receipts for 13 credit card payments, made in quick succession and totalling thousands of pounds, made in a Spearmint Rhino Gentleman’s club.
The transactions, which totalled a third of the man’s yearly salary, included two payments of £1,176, taken just two minutes apart, £2,304 taken in three separate transactions eight minutes apart and £2,928 in three transactions six minutes apart. Most of the money was claimed for “chips” used to pay for private dances, but one was reportedly for a £1,500 “tip” and a further £300 was charged for paying by card.
The unnamed man says that he was heavily intoxicated on arrival at the club in the English seaside town of Bournemouth, where he was celebrating a friend’s stag do. While his friends were kept together, he was apparently isolated from them and taken to a booth, where he was plied with more alcohol and encouraged to sign for a series of credit card purchases that maxed out all three credit card contained in his wallet.
Although the man says that he was “foolish” to enter the club when drunk, the issue has raised questions over professional ethics involved in accepting card payments from customers that are arguably not in a conscious enough state to make a purchasing decision. The club’s own receipts include a list of bullet points above the customer signature that claim: “I have not been coerced or persuaded to make this purchase” and “I am in full control of all my faculties” – yet the man in question says that he was too drunk even to remember signing them.
“Someone being foolish does not excuse in any way the actions of the club and its employees and the way they grossly exploited a person in a vulnerable position,” commented the man.
Despite a year’s worth of attempts by the man to negotiate, the club has refused to reimburse any of the money charged, even though local councillors say that it may lose its licence as a result.
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