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Barber shop weary of Pokémon: We’re not an arcade

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A sign reading ‘Pokémon are for paying customers only” is up at Sorrento Barbers on East Hastings.

Similar signs have also started popping up at businesses in other cities as the augmented reality Pokémon Go app keeps gaining popularity.

Fred the Barber says he has nothing against the game but he is seeing people burst into his business, rambunctiously looking for digital creatures.

“Just today, we had, I’m not kidding you, an unrepentant, comes in here, not for a haircut, not to give us business but because he’s chasing a pidgey. I don’t even know what a pidgey is but he’s chasing a pidgey. It’s embarrassing for him,” he says.

“If they just want to mess around with their phone like a toddler, this isn’t what we’re here for. We’re a business and we like to connect with our community but we’re not a video arcade.”

The Vancouver Police Department has put out some guidelines for Pokémon Go players which encourages them to use public space.

The Better Business Bureau is also out with some cautionary tales for players.

You can eat through data quickly, as you likely won’t be able to connect to Wi-Fi the whole time you’re walking around trying to find Pokémon, gyms, and special items.

Evan Kelly, senior communications advisor with the BBB for Mainland BC, says you may want to check you have enough data to support gameplay before you end up with a hefty overage bill.

People are also running into problems by downloading fake versions of the augmented realty app.

“They contain malware that we’ve heard about. Obviously if you have concern about your hardware you might want to just wait until you can actually download it from the official app stores or the website so you can do it all above board and you’re not going to risk your hardware.”

Kelly also encourages you to be careful with anyone trying to make money off this game.

“We’ve seen on Craigslist in BC, people are offering their driving services for $25 dollars an hour to chauffeur people around to look for these Pokémon characters. We suspect that these are not legitimate business, they’re not licensed to do that. You don’t know who you’re getting in the car with.”

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