Ripped off by a Soho clip joint… what to do? Watch

This discussion is closed.
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#1
This is a long post, so to summarise: Yesterday, I went into a place in Soho agreeing to pay £5 for a strip tease, then, once in, agreed to pay £40 to have sex with a prostitute, but was given a bill for £395 before anything happened, had my wallet emptied of £70, was kept in a room for about half an hour after which they eventually let me leave – minus my £70.

I’d appreciate it if someone could tell whether the clip joint has broken the law, and whether I should go to the police. I’d also appreciate it if I remain anonymous in this thread, although if I do go to the police I won’t have that option of course. I don’t care about the £70 I lost – I have plenty of money. But I do hate swindlers, and don’t want others to have their money stolen like I did. If this is illegal – which it must surely be? – I would like to know what laws precisely have been broken.

(What I would NOT like to know in this thread is your opinion on guys who use prostitutes, thanks.)

--

Walking past “Twilight” in Rupert Street, Soho, a young black woman called out to me offering £5 for a “striptease”. I replied “No thanks.” She then pointed out that they had a licence of some sort from the council, so there would be no “funny business,” or something to that effect. I said “OK then”. Despite being only 18 years old, and fairly young looking for my age, I was not asked for age identification.

I was taken down the stairs to a small, dark room with two leather sofas. The same woman who called out to me on the door made general conversation, asking my name, how my studies were going (I am a first-year university student), etc. Then a man came in, and pointed out the menu on the wall – written in small block-capital print on an A4 piece of paper.

The woman then talked through what they charged for various things (I assumed that they were the things that would be written on the menu), including £40 for sex, which I then asked for. I handed over £40 to her. She asked me what “type” I was looking for, I replied blondes. She bought two in, one after another, neither of whom it appeared could speak any English. I chose the second, and then both women left the room, for about three or four minutes. Then the black woman came back in with the man. The man asked me “did you read the menu?” I replied “no.” He then presented a bill for £395, which included (I think) “hostess fees” and “membership”. I said that I hadn’t asked for these things. He replied that they were obligatory, and pointed to the “menu” on the wall, which indicated so.

I said that I hadn’t bought anything, hadn’t even touched the prostitute, wanted to cancel, and asked for my £40 back. The black woman said that I had already “bought” the hostess fees on entering the building. I said that I had never agreed to do any such thing, and that she had never made it clear that I would be paying for her company. I was asked to sign the “bill”, but refused to do so. I said something like “if I sign, that is effectively accepting that what I have been charged is legitimate, so I’ll have a legal obligation to pay.”

The man said that I would be taken to court if I refused to pay the rest, “so you’ll have to pay anyway…and your parents will find out and everything.” I replied that I didn’t have that much money, and my parents wouldn’t care anyway (the latter is certainly not true). I attempted to walk out, but was physically pushed by the man, who had been standing at the door all of this time, into the woman. She then screamed “what are you doing, you just kicked me!” The man then said that he would also take me to court for assaulting the woman, and pointed to the CCTV camera in the corner. I replied that I had not intended to fall on the woman – I believe that I was deliberately pushed into her, but didn’t say this – and that holding someone prisoner in a room against their will falls within common law definition of assault, so if anyone was guilty, it was him. (I’m not actually sure of what is legal and what isn’t, but think this may be correct.)

The man asked me to open my wallet again, and, fearing for my own physical safety, I agreed, and handed over the remaining £30, and said “I’ll get this back when it goes to court then.” He replied, again insisting that I would be the one forced to pay. I was then told that I would have to go to a bank account to withdraw to pay the rest, and that if I didn’t have enough, whatever was left in my account would be accepted as payment. I refused. He said, “I’m going to double the bill, because you’re wasting my time here as well, but if you sign the original bill now, I’ll let you off though.” Again, I refused to sign either bill.

He threatened to phone the police “now”. I said, “OK, phone the police then,” not actually expecting him to do so. He went out of the room for a few minutes, leaving me and the black woman there. She said, “I bet you think you’re so smart, don’t you?” I said, “yeah, I do actually.” She said, “well if you were that smart you would have read the menu on the door before you came in.” (I didn’t see it – it was not positioned prominently, for obvious reasons.) The man came back, and said that he’d phoned the police, and that they would be here in ten or fifteen minutes. I expected that they were bluffing, and said “OK, let’s wait for them.” About five minutes later, another man came to the door, and said “can you come through.” He then told me to leave. I asked for my £70 back, but he said “you can’t cancel.” I gave up and left.

I walked to the police station. But, on getting there, I just turned back and went home.
0
stevo23e
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#2
Report 11 years ago
#2
Harsh stuff.

Dont think they've broken the law though as "the menu" may not have been placed prominently but was still there. You know small print is still print and all that.
0
Ichamackalooloo
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#3
Report 11 years ago
#3
If you google this its infact very popular. Just consider yourself another pervie man that got ripped off by beefy bouncers.
1
Good bloke
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 11 years ago
#4
It is amazing how supposedly intelligent people could fall for this kind of thing. It has been fairly well publicised in the papers over the years and is pretty obvious. Perhaps it depends on which part of your body you keep your brain in.

It is essentially blackmail (demanding money with menaces), assault, false imprisonment and so on, and is obviously illegal. They are banking on you not wanting anyone to find out about your activities. There was no contract created by the menu, which is merely a means to appear slightly legitimate. If you wish to do something about it you should go to the police and make a statement. Trading standards might also be a useful means of recourse. Either of these would help to stamp out this kind of thing. Of course, it will be your word against theirs - the CCTV is unlikely to be real, and they never did call the police. You, perhaps, should have done so at the time but that would have led to the smashing of your telephone and, perhaps, parts of your body.

All the best lessons are learned from mistakes. The trick is to make sure they are someone else's mistakes and not your own.
0
34253
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5
Report 11 years ago
#5
Say you went in purely for a strip, then got done over for extras? Don't admit liability on your part.
0
Tomber
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#6
Report 11 years ago
#6
Count your losses, chalk it up to experience and learn from it.
0
jose
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#7
Report 11 years ago
#7
(Original post by Anonymous)
She said, “I bet you think you’re so smart, don’t you?” I said, “yeah, I do actually.”
Quality comeback. I might write that one down. :cool:
0
The Boosh
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#8
Report 11 years ago
#8
i originally thought this was a joke but i can see you are sincere. i think you did the right thing in keeping your cool (either on purpose or because you were scared - i would be) and managing to get out of there without getting into a fight. i've heard about this happening a lot. i assume you know that prostitution is illegal but i don't know if "intent to pay for sex" is illegal. perhaps you should report it anyway - there could be further problems with other members of the public and (perhaps) more importantly, there may be a deeper sex trafficking industry beneath it all. sorry to hear about your problems. try googling sex trafficking and see if there is anyway of making an anonymous report so the case is documented and raised to consciousness.
0
34253
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#9
Report 11 years ago
#9
Yeah actually, I think you should just learn from your mistake, **** everybody else.
0
Psyk
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#10
Report 11 years ago
#10
(Original post by The Boosh)
i assume you know that prostitution is illegal but i don't know if "intent to pay for sex" is illegal.
Prostitution is not illegal. In this situation the OP did not actively look for prostitutes (ie. he wasn't soliciting) and as far as I know it's not illegal to pay for a prostitute in a brothel, even though the brothel itself is probably illegal.

Yeah anyway. Sorry, you got screwed, in a bad way obviously. Not much you can do really. Clearly what they did was illegal, but I don't suppose the police will have much sympathy unfortunately. If operating a brothel was legal, they might do something. But the way it is now, you get screwed, and so do the victims of sex trafficking.
0
The Boosh
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#11
Report 11 years ago
#11
(Original post by Psyk)
Prostitution is not illegal. In this situation the OP did not actively look for prostitutes (ie. he wasn't soliciting) and as far as I know it's not illegal to pay for a prostitute in a brothel, even though the brothel itself is probably illegal..
gosh, didn't know that!
0
mollymustard
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#12
Report 11 years ago
#12
To be honest, most people who pay for sex probably get ripped off. Its the nature of the trade!

If you reported the whole thing, you wouldn't get your money back and you would lose alot of dignity. Personally, it wouldn't get you anywhere and it just wouldn't be worth it.

Just know to avoid the place in future...
0
Good bloke
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#13
Report 11 years ago
#13
(Original post by mollymustard)
you would lose alot of dignity.
I think he may already have lost his dignity, actually.:rolleyes:
0
tomoli
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#14
Report 11 years ago
#14
Bad luck mate. Sorry to hear you got robbed but you kind of walked into it.
0
Clubber Lang
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#15
Report 11 years ago
#15
you have 2 options

take it on the chin

go back with covert equipment.

you will prob find some elements are lgeal - i.e the small print and basically conning u into gettign stuck i nthat sitation but forcing u to stay in the room isnt
0
Segat1
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#16
Report 11 years ago
#16
Well, go to to the cops. At least you asked. What do you have to lose?
0
Nadinus
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#17
Report 11 years ago
#17
I read an article about this in the Sunday times. If you think you could get something done about the police it's worth reporting. Might prevent it happening to other people (but I say it serves them all right in the first place :\)
0
Christien
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#18
Report 11 years ago
#18
well, i personally would not go down the serial killer route as a form of retribution

just deal with it, and don't trust people in seedy business with your money
0
The Boosh
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#19
Report 11 years ago
#19
(Original post by Anonymous)

(What I would NOT like to know in this thread is your opinion on guys who use prostitutes, thanks.)
lol i'm afraid this one has been blown out of the water - you have to expect these moralist reactions on tsr.
0
Stealth-Mode
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#20
Report 11 years ago
#20
(Original post by Anonymous)
This is a long post, so to summarise: Yesterday, I went into a place in Soho agreeing to pay £5 for a strip tease, then, once in, agreed to pay £40 to have sex with a prostitute, but was given a bill for £395 before anything happened, had my wallet emptied of £70, was kept in a room for about half an hour after which they eventually let me leave – minus my £70.

I’d appreciate it if someone could tell whether the clip joint has broken the law, and whether I should go to the police. I’d also appreciate it if I remain anonymous in this thread, although if I do go to the police I won’t have that option of course. I don’t care about the £70 I lost – I have plenty of money. But I do hate swindlers, and don’t want others to have their money stolen like I did. If this is illegal – which it must surely be? – I would like to know what laws precisely have been broken.

(What I would NOT like to know in this thread is your opinion on guys who use prostitutes, thanks.)

--

Walking past “Twilight” in Rupert Street, Soho, a young black woman called out to me offering £5 for a “striptease”. I replied “No thanks.” She then pointed out that they had a licence of some sort from the council, so there would be no “funny business,” or something to that effect. I said “OK then”. Despite being only 18 years old, and fairly young looking for my age, I was not asked for age identification.

I was taken down the stairs to a small, dark room with two leather sofas. The same woman who called out to me on the door made general conversation, asking my name, how my studies were going (I am a first-year university student), etc. Then a man came in, and pointed out the menu on the wall – written in small block-capital print on an A4 piece of paper.

The woman then talked through what they charged for various things (I assumed that they were the things that would be written on the menu), including £40 for sex, which I then asked for. I handed over £40 to her. She asked me what “type” I was looking for, I replied blondes. She bought two in, one after another, neither of whom it appeared could speak any English. I chose the second, and then both women left the room, for about three or four minutes. Then the black woman came back in with the man. The man asked me “did you read the menu?” I replied “no.” He then presented a bill for £395, which included (I think) “hostess fees” and “membership”. I said that I hadn’t asked for these things. He replied that they were obligatory, and pointed to the “menu” on the wall, which indicated so.

I said that I hadn’t bought anything, hadn’t even touched the prostitute, wanted to cancel, and asked for my £40 back. The black woman said that I had already “bought” the hostess fees on entering the building. I said that I had never agreed to do any such thing, and that she had never made it clear that I would be paying for her company. I was asked to sign the “bill”, but refused to do so. I said something like “if I sign, that is effectively accepting that what I have been charged is legitimate, so I’ll have a legal obligation to pay.”

The man said that I would be taken to court if I refused to pay the rest, “so you’ll have to pay anyway…and your parents will find out and everything.” I replied that I didn’t have that much money, and my parents wouldn’t care anyway (the latter is certainly not true). I attempted to walk out, but was physically pushed by the man, who had been standing at the door all of this time, into the woman. She then screamed “what are you doing, you just kicked me!” The man then said that he would also take me to court for assaulting the woman, and pointed to the CCTV camera in the corner. I replied that I had not intended to fall on the woman – I believe that I was deliberately pushed into her, but didn’t say this – and that holding someone prisoner in a room against their will falls within common law definition of assault, so if anyone was guilty, it was him. (I’m not actually sure of what is legal and what isn’t, but think this may be correct.)

The man asked me to open my wallet again, and, fearing for my own physical safety, I agreed, and handed over the remaining £30, and said “I’ll get this back when it goes to court then.” He replied, again insisting that I would be the one forced to pay. I was then told that I would have to go to a bank account to withdraw to pay the rest, and that if I didn’t have enough, whatever was left in my account would be accepted as payment. I refused. He said, “I’m going to double the bill, because you’re wasting my time here as well, but if you sign the original bill now, I’ll let you off though.” Again, I refused to sign either bill.

He threatened to phone the police “now”. I said, “OK, phone the police then,” not actually expecting him to do so. He went out of the room for a few minutes, leaving me and the black woman there. She said, “I bet you think you’re so smart, don’t you?” I said, “yeah, I do actually.” She said, “well if you were that smart you would have read the menu on the door before you came in.” (I didn’t see it – it was not positioned prominently, for obvious reasons.) The man came back, and said that he’d phoned the police, and that they would be here in ten or fifteen minutes. I expected that they were bluffing, and said “OK, let’s wait for them.” About five minutes later, another man came to the door, and said “can you come through.” He then told me to leave. I asked for my £70 back, but he said “you can’t cancel.” I gave up and left.

I walked to the police station. But, on getting there, I just turned back and went home.

assualt; false imprisonment; theft; ..maybe more

They have broke the law. You haven't. Prostitution isn't a crime. Soliciting for the purpose is (and more recently picking up women off the street who are soliciting).

You have been well and truly swindled. They saw you coming a mile off and probably do the same thing to other suspected losers i'm afraid. You can go to the police and they probably won't be able to do anything seeing as though you were alone...(were you?)- nobody to back up your story....CPS may not have eneogh to go on to charge...but its always possible. Report them anyway as the police may clamp down on their shady operation anyway which is always a good thing.

But i guess this is just an episode you will have to learn from...and you will probably re-tell it at parties a few years down the line...amusing everyone no end
0
X
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you registered to vote?

Yes! (552)
37.81%
No - but I will (115)
7.88%
No - I don't want to (102)
6.99%
No - I can't vote (<18, not in UK, etc) (691)
47.33%

Watched Threads

View All