Carlisle family's Christmas in tatters after festive savings blow
Last updated at 08:45, Tuesday, 27 November 2012
A married mum-of-six says her family’s Christmas is ruined after cash she handed over for a festive savings scheme vanished.
Alex Storey, 25, believes she is one of at least four people who have been left without cash.
From February of this year, she has been handing over a weekly payment of £20 to a woman who she said claimed to be acting as an agent for the Park Christmas savings firm.
But when her vouchers failed to materialise, Alex, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, contacted the firm, only to be told that they had never heard of the woman.
Alex told how she faced the difficult task of explaining that her family now face a particularly lean Christmas to her older children – Callum, nine, Lewis, eight, and Calvin, six. She and her husband Michael, an assistant cook, are also parents to Layton, three, two-year-old Haydon, and Sophie, just six months old.
“It’s absolutely devastating,” she said.
“We’d promised our boys all sorts of stuff for Christmas and they’re absolutely gutted, but they’re trying to be brave about it.
“They have told me not to worry, and that it will be okay, but it’s so unfair.”
The family has also had to cancel a holiday to Ireland because there isn’t enough money. I’d been paying for the vouchers since February, handing over £20 a week, but they never arrived,” Alex said.
“I was given all sorts of excuses.
“When I finally rang Park about them, they said they had no record of an agent working for them with this woman’s name. So I called the police.
“I have absolutely no idea what sort of Christmas we will have. We were going to get the boys new bikes from Halfords but we can’t afford it now. I’ve been scurrying around trying to find what presents we can.
“It’s ruined our Christmas.”
Alex said that her research on the Facebook networking site suggested that she was one of four people who have suffered a similar fate. She added: “I’ve spoken to the News & Star so that people know about what can happen.
“I’ve heard about one woman who has lost £900 and she has four children.”
A spokeswoman for Park said that the firm had never heard of the agent who Mrs Storey said had taken her weekly £20 payments for Christmas vouchers.
Cumbria police confirmed the allegation was being investigated.
First published at 08:42, Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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