Hold The Front Page! Vending Company In Customer Refund Shocker!

Hold The Front Page! Here’s a great example of the dumbing down of journalism and the constant, tedious casting of vending machines as ‘the bad guy’.

James Andrew is Money Editor at The Mirror. Rather than waste his column inches on something trivial, (such as the relative strength of the pound against the Euro), or (and this is more likely) to justify the time he idles away at his desk on Social Media, he wrote a story with this arresting headline:

Woman manages to get refund from vending machine after crisps get stuck

Hold The Front Page! Yes, it’s award-winning stuff. And then an alleged journalist from Kent Live, namely Neil Shaw, got on the bandwagon. He copied and pasted Mr. Andrew’s story – without changing a single word, mind you – and then had the temerity to add his own by-line to it. The story carrying his name also crops up in Cambridgeshire Live.

So, Hold The Front Page! Since ‘what’s sauce for the goose…’ and all that, I’ve performed the same cut and paste; but I’ve added a few observations of my own for your pleasure. Here we go…


A woman has been hailed a hero after getting justice in the war against vending machines.

What war’s that then? Who declared it? No passaran!

Sophie Gadd, 27, gained much praise for her actions after losing £1 in a machine when she tried to buy a bag of Cool Original Doritos. Sophie’s actions were simple, but effective, and she is the hero we need right now.

HoldThe Front Page
This means WAR!

Yes! With a European Trade deal to negotiate, global warming threatening to end life as we know it and a killer disease on the loose, thank the stars for sending Sophie to save us! She’s right up there with Marie Curie, St. Joan of Arc; Mother Theresa, Dora The Explorer…

Posting on social media, 27-year-old Sophie Gadd said: “Complained about my Doritos getting stuck in a vending machine and they’ve sent me a refund what a victory for the consumer.’

How is this a victory for the consumer when giving a refund when something goes wrong is part of the deal all vending operators sign-up to? (It’s also the second time we’ve been told how old the heroine is. That’s scrupulous editing for you, right there).

“Was it worth the 3 minutes I spent looking up there email and sending it? Absolutely.

So that’s what she did! She gave, without thought of personal safety, three whole minutes of her important and fulfilled life to enjoin the war against inanimate objects! Talk about valour beyond the call of duty! Those policemen who single-handedly take on machete wielding nutcases; the Aussie bush fire-fighters; our brave armed forces… She puts them all to shame. (And by the way, it’s ‘their’ not ‘there’. Just sayin’)

Sophie was particularly impressed with the way there refund arrived, reports the Mirror. Decorum Vending replied with a note reading: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused by one of our vending machines and enclose herewith a refund as requested.”

The b******s! How could they! What a low-down dirty trick that is! Promptly and politely refunding a disgruntled customer, no questions asked! It’s a scandal and a disgrace! (By the way, full marks to Decorum Vending. They didn’t put a foot wrong).

“I just love the passive aggressiveness of the sellotaped £1 exactly and no more. Not like those companies who send you a gift card.”

‘Passive aggressive’? What a phrase! Maybe our hero should have done some research into its meaning… examples of passive-aggressive behaviour might include avoiding direct or clear communication, (not guilty) evading problems, (not guilty) fear of intimacy or competition, (not guilty) making excuses, (not guilty) blaming others, (not guilty) obstructionism, (not guilty) playing the victim, (not guilty) feigning compliance with requests, (not guilty) sarcasm, (not guilty) backhanded compliments, (not guilty) and hiding anger (not guilty). And what did she expect? A rest cure at Champneys, maybe? Dinner at The Ritz? A night out with Philip Schofield?

Hold The Front Page
Passive Aggressive? I think not…

And people were seriously impressed with her work

My two-year-old grandson is seriously impressed when, by removing the plug, water flows out of the bathtub. I think we’re on about the same level here…

Hold The Front Page!

Nick Reilly wrote: “This is heroic. Watchdog should be scouting you out at once.”

(To be fair to Nick, this has a suspicious ring of irony about it, albeit too subtle to disturb the creative flow of the somnolent writer of the story).

Sally Cope added: “Yesssss!! Well done you.”Madaleine Spink added: “True Justice! And just to make it even sweeter, two weeks later she got a surprise from a different vending machine:”A vending machine just gave us two packs of crisps instead of one! Balance is finally restored to the universe,” Sophie Tweeted.

You lose your money; the vending company pays you back. You come into possession of their property by accident; you return it. Er, no… you keep it. Yep, that’s balance, right there!

“Oh no,” Eileen replied. “You need to post one back.”

Damned right! We’ll never know if Sophie did return the packet of crisps, but my guess is probably the same as yours. You just couldn’t make it up, could you?


It is pleasing, though, that if a customer is looking for a provider of vending services that is both efficient and has customer care at its heart, they now know exactly where to go… There’s a link below if you’d like to contact Decorum Vending. They’re partnered with Mars and Britvic, and they’re based near Christchurch in Dorset.

Hold The Front Page! (And in case you were wondering why I’ve used the phrase ‘Hold The Front Page!’ so many times, it’s all to do with the black arts of Search Engine Optimisation).

Like, share and re-tweet, vending people of the UK. Let’s see if Messrs Andrew and Shaw have it within themselves to blush…

More vending news on Planet Vending, HERE



About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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