Black Friday often makes people act absolutely crazy. This is well-documented. Still, you don’t expect to see consumer-driven insanity go down in countries that don’t celebrate Turkey day and its accompanying shopfest. And that’s not where the surprises ended this morning in Indonesia.
A crowd of 3,000 people waited in line today in Jakarta, Indonesia for a new smartphone. In fact, the group got so out of control that riot police had to be brought in to calm the masses.
They weren’t waiting on the new iPhone 4S. Nope, not a random early Indonesian release of the Galaxy Nexus (which would be a surprise in itself), either. These people were waiting on none other than the BlackBerry Bold 9790, RIM’s latest attempt at being competitive in the smartphone arena. Actually, since RIM’s been sucking some fierce wind over here in the States we often forget that BlackBerrys are still one of the most popular brands in other countries.
In any case, RIM may have bitten off more than it could chew this morning promising a 50 percent discount on the handset for the first 1,000 buyers. Turns out, about 3,000 people wanted to be one of those lucky thousand, and when the announcement came that the phone had sold out… Well, things got ugly. According to the Press Association, the masses were “rattling the gates” and later “went crazy” after hearing they would not only miss out on the discount, but the phone entirely.
Here in the said-to-be civilized U.S. of A., things got even more ridiculous. Perhaps taking a cue from the police forces dealing with OccupyWallStreet (or casually pepper spraying cop), a woman in a Walmart took Black Friday shopping to an entirely different level last night in Los Angeles. At 10:20pm, the massive line was let inside the store at which point madness ensued. “People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray,” Alejandra Seminario told the Daily News.
Yep, pepper spray. Some lady, who we shall henceforth refer to as “casually pepper spraying consumer,” whipped out a pepper spray can and let it rip to keep other (probably crazy) consumers away from the half-off electronics she’d been eyeing.
Seriously. I really don’t even know what to say other than I’m scared, and I’m not having children.