Both Apple and Penguin publishing have received refund demands from customers after allegations that cancer survivor, Belle Gibson, fabricated her story.
Customers who purchased the best selling food app from the Apple app store and purchased The Whole Pantry from bookstores are starting to ask for refunds after the allegations came to light and inaccuracies were found in the story Ms Gibson used to build her stardom.
“The book came out in November last year and we still have some on the shelf,” Craig Garrioch, manager of Collins Bookstore Sunbury, told The Newsroom. “We’ve sold half a dozen copies since its release, but we haven’t yet had any recalls for the book.”
Many angry consumers have taken to the official Facebook page, The Whole Pantry – Live Healthy, to express their own opinions on the book and the recent claims.
Facebook user Andrea Kerekes wrote: “Appalling – your [sic] an organisation not the media. Money for charity doesn’t go into ‘cash flow’ – that is beyond unethical, surely it’s illegal?”
The manager of the page replied to every comment following this post, but to no avail. More angry users are expressing their disdain on the post, which shared an article written by The Age.
“I asked Apple for a refund once I read the articles and realised that Belle was making all of this up,” Zapphira Annabelle, a 35-year-old who bought the app, told The Newsroom. “It’s not official at this stage, but it is implied. Apple got back to me and said they can refund it, but also suggested controlling what apps I download from my account, because I think they get a lot of kids downloading apps onto their parents phones.”
Next month’s international release of The Whole Pantry is in doubt, with US publisher Simon & Schuster confirming it will examine Ms Gibson’s biography and charitable donations.
– Report and photo by Sarah Batt