A little boy was left ‘heartbroken’ on Christmas Day when the games console bought by his parents turned out to be an unwanted Eminem autobiography.
When Chris and Michelle Sandham, from Jepps Avenue in Barton, near Preston, purchased a Sony PlayStation 4 from Smyth’s Toys for their 10-year-old son Thomas, they thought they were giving him the best Christmas present ever.
But when Thomas opened his present on Christmas Day, he found the box stuffed with second-hand novels, including musician Eminem’s 2003 book’, Steven Gerrard’s autobiography, ‘1,000 Airlines in Colour’, and a book about the rise and fall of the gangster Curtis Warren.
It appeared the £299.99 game console had been taken from the box and its weight made up with books before being shipped.
Mr Sandham, 54, said: “It was just so disappointing for him. At first my wife thought I was playing a prank. Then it dawned on us that someone had stolen it from its box. We had to pinch ourselves - we just couldn’t believe it.
“It’s a horrible, nasty trick to play on a little boy getting what has to be the biggest present of his life.
It’s a horrible, nasty trick to play on a little boy getting what has to be the biggest present of his life
“We made sure the PlayStation was the last present he had to open so we were building up the excitement.
“But all we got was a few tatty, unwanted second-hand books - not at all appropriate reading for a 10-year-old. Imagine a little lad squealing with delight and then he pulls off the paper and finds this.
“Thomas was heartbroken and there were tears. It was very upsetting for all of us.”
Since then, Smyths have replaced the PlayStation but Mr Sandham believes the company could have done more.
He said: “We had to go and pick it up from the Blackburn store and I had expected they’d have done something for Thomas to make it up a little bit. All they did was hand over the console and I really think it wouldn’t have been too much to ask to do a little something extra for him. It’s at home and he loves it so that’s what’s important but it won’t make up for the look of disappointment he had on Christmas Day, that’ll haunt me forever.”
A Smyth’s spokesman said: “We have since resolved the issue with the customer.”