A MUM claims her 10-year-old son's birthday was "ruined" after Argos handed his present to a stranger.
Paige Jeffrey was furious after ordering a Sony PlayStation 5 online only for it to be given to "a random man" – and bosses still want her to pay.
Paige purchased the console via the store's app on December 21 and received an email confirming it would be ready to pick up the following day.
But 40 minutes later she received another message to say it had been collected from the shop in Pipps Hill in Basildon, Essex.
The mum immediately contacted Argos to complain – but the catalogue retailer said there was nothing they could do and she must still cough up.
Paige, whose stepson's birthday is in just two weeks, told the Echo: "I feel gutted because we haven’t told him what has happened yet.
"We don’t want to disappoint him as I know he would really want one, and it is his 10th birthday so we wanted to make it special for him, but Argos have ruined it."
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She added: "I contacted Argos straight after the email saying it had been collected, telling them it wasn’t me and that I can’t understand how someone can collect it when it isn’t ready either.
"They kept blaming me and telling me I must have sent someone to collect it, even though I have an email saying it wouldn’t be ready until the 22nd.
"They checked the CCTV which showed it was handed over to a random gentleman, without even showing the Argos Card that I used to order it, even though that is their policy.
"Yet they still won’t help me."
Paige posted about the ordeal on Facebook and was met with a flood of comments agreeing the situation was "a joke".
One person commented: "This is disgusting," while another simply said: "Appalling Argos".
A spokesperson for Argos said: "We’re in touch with Paige to explain that items can only be collected using the code and pin that is sent to the contact details which are provided by the customer at the time of purchase.
"We’ve recommended she reports this incident to the police, and we’ll support the investigation in any way we can."
The incident has now been reported to Action Fraud.
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