Bloggers tend to moan about poor service they receive; blogger Facebook groups often have people sharing posts, tweets, or Facebook updates which bemoan bad customer service. They ask for more bloggers to share, so the moan is seen by more people, and I guess shame the company into sorting things out.

This isn’t one of those posts, not at all.

Symths Toys, one of the UK’s biggest toy shops saved our Christmas, and I thought I’d tell you how. We’re all so quick to bitch and moan on social, so – I thought in the spirit of Christmas, I’d share something positive. If you’re wondering how Christmas has been saved already, then you might want to catch-up here. Long story short, we’ve had our Christmas with the kids already.




Georgia asked for a remote control car for Christmas. We were more than happy to oblige – 15-year-olds tend to want more ‘financial’ based presents – Money, Gift Cards, Google Play Credit etc. I was happy to get her something proper that she could open and enjoy immediately. We’d looked around for some decent remote control cars, I wanted something with minimal faff. I’d seen some online that might be good. However, I wanted to SEE it before buying. We took a trip to Symths in Colchester to have a look at their range. They didn’t have masses in stock, however in a display away from the shelves, was a BEAST of a car – Georgia said something like a Monster Truck would be good. This fitted that brief –

It was enormous, so big it didn’t fit in the boot of Vicki’s car, and boy, it was a pain to hide once we got it home.

Georgia opened it on our Christmas Day, and was utterly thrilled – we got it out of the box and charged up and took it outside.

“It’s not moving forwards Dad, the right side doesn’t go”

I took the control, and sure enough – she was right, it would move in circles, and a straight line backwards, but forwards – nope. She looked gutted, properly gutted, and I felt similar – I wanted her to have some fun with it, but that wasn’t going to happen. Vicki suggested I take it back to Smyths and see what they can do. So she put our Christmas lunch on hold while I rushed to Colchester to get it sorted. I put it all in the car and drove back to the store.

No Receipt

I was fretting the whole way, and I didn’t have the receipt, all I had was a transaction on my Revolut card app – I hoped that would be enough.

When I got to the store it was HEAVING, I didn’t imagine the last Saturday before Christmas would be quiet, but this was INSANE. Thankfully, no queue at the Customer Services desk – I explained the issue to a nice member of staff called Bobbie who tried the car for herself before calling a manager. As we waited for the manager she asked for my receipt; I explained that I didn’t have one and just had some details on my phone. It didn’t seem to be an issue. The manager came and tapped away into the computer –

“It says we have one in stock in the store, but it’s not where it should be – so I don’t think we can replace it.”

My heart sank. They did have other cars, but not quite the size, or cost of the original.

With the details from my app, he was able to find the original transaction on their system and re-print the receipt so I could get a refund. That was good news, but I didn’t want to go home with money and no car.

“Can I look for a replacement and do an exchange instead?” I asked.

“Of course! Actually, I’ll have a look to check to see if we can find the last one that SHOULD be in stock.” replied the manager. He whizzed off and I went back to the display of RC Cars. As I suspected, they had some that looked okay, but not as good as what I chose originally. The manager appeared next to me, and started dismantling one of the displays, right at the bottom, under a pile of cars was the elusive Jeep! I was over the moon. We went back to the till and in a few moments the exchange had been done, and I was on my way home to the kids. I was in and out in under 10 minutes – they were wonderful.

Georgia was so happy when I came back with the replacement, and after lunch, her and James were in the fields playing with it together – it was lovely.

So, thank you Smyths Toys for saving our Christmas – Bobbie and the manager (whose name I forgot to ask), thank you too for sorting it all out so quickly at one of the busiest times of the year.

Happy Christmas!

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