Watch brazen pair launch 'hairy pizza' scam in popular Sunderland pub
This is the moment two 'hair-brained' women launched a cheeky pub plot to try and get a free meal.
But their attempted scam was thwarted when staff at The Peacock 'combed' CCTV footage and realised foul play was afoot.
The pair had told staff at the popular Sunderland pub, in High Street West, that their pizza had been served up with an extra topping of human hair.
Assuming the complaint was genuine, staff apologised to the pair and offered them a refund.
But after looking into how the hair could have ended up in the pizza, staff suspicions were aroused when it quickly became clear it did not match with any of the people working in the pub at that time.
And a check on the pub’s CCTV footage, quickly revealed the true cause of the hairy pizza as the pair could clearly be seen not only plotting the scam, but also pulling out their own hair and adding it to the pizza.
Today, the pub's owners slammed the 'cynical stunt' carried out over a £7 pizza for the sake of free drinks.
Joe Smith, operations director at Pub Culture Ltd, which owns the pub, said: "Working in the hospitality industry, you always have to be prepared to resolve any issues and we’re always very focused on that, but you can’t really prepare for something like this.
"Our first reaction to the complaint was surprise, as we are a team of perfectionists and we’re really focused on excellent food preparation and service, but you would never suspect that someone would be malicious enough to do something like this.
"Naturally, we assumed they were genuine, offered my sincere apologies and tried to offer the women a refund and free drinks, as well as investigating the complaint. The golden rule of great service is to put the customer first, which is exactly what we did.
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"We discussed it with the kitchen and waiting staff to see how this could possibly have happened, which is when the alarm bells started to ring.
"It was clear that the hair on the pizza was a completely different colour to that of any of our staff members on shift.
"Our staff went into the office to check the CCTV and couldn’t believe what they saw. It’s shocking that people actually try to pull off scams like this, which could be so detrimental to a local business that is working hard to deliver a high-quality offer to people in the city.
"Pub Culture prides itself on its family friendly approach, great food and fair prices.
"It’s so disappointing that people could stoop so low as to pull off such a cynical stunt to save money on a £7 pizza.
"I find it unbelievable that people would be willing to go to such extreme lengths in order to score a few free drinks.
"It’s testament to our great staff that they not only got to the bottom of the issue but, despite their concerns, still managed to treat the customer with the utmost respect until they had the
evidence they needed to prove exactly what they had done."