Wigan granny’s special delivery

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A WIGAN grandmother who was denied the chance to send her grandchildren Christmas presents has been given the chance to fly out to deliver the gifts in person.

Barbara Roche, 57, of Shevington, had carefully selected almost £200-worth of toys and presents to send to her three grandchildren in Australia using Debenhams’ international delivery service, but was mortified to discover they would not arrive there.

After around 20 emails and long dialogues, the firm said the gifts could not be delivered in time for Christmas, but could not offer an explanation.

But after Barbara contacted a national newspaper, bosses at Debenhams agreed to refund the money, offered her gift vouchers and have even promised to pay for her flight out with her husband, Stephen, to Australia to see her son Phil, his wife, Sue, both 33, and their three children, Neisha, eight, Tobia, two and newborn Shelby.

Barbara, a mother-of-four, said: “I ordered various toys at the beginning of November and I was really proud of myself for being organised.

“I then got an email saying three items would not be delivered, but I was given no explanation.

“There was about 20 emails going back and forth and then I received one email that said some of the items had been received, but when I checked with my son, they had not arrived.

“I was really frustrated and one of my friends worked for a national newspaper and suggested we do a story, which may help.

“Although it is all sorted now, I was disappointed the children did not get anything from us on Christmas Day.

“Instead my son and daughter-in-law bought bits to give to the children from us, but they toys are not as good as they are over here.

“It was just a catalogue of errors and a glitch on Debenhams’ part. We have used Debenhams before and they have been amazing.

“But we are really pleased with the outcome, and are really grateful to the newspaper for helping, especially as now we will get to see the children.

“We probably would not have been able to see them for a long time.

“I am not sure when we will go to Australia, but we will bring some presents out with us.”

A spokesman for Debenhams said: “We pride ourselves on offering our customers a first-class service.”