Farepak victim is still out of pocket after five years

Jackie Southby
Jackie Southby

A MOTHER who lost almost £8,500 after a Christmas saving scheme went bust has still not received a penny back – five years on.

Jackie Southby, 65, of Harrow Lane, administered saving schemes for herself, her single-parent daughter, her 90-year-old mother and several elderly friends and lost the cash when she sent off money to Farepak, a catalogue firm which sold gifts, food, hampers and vouchers.

The company went bust in October 2006 and administrators moved in.

But Mrs Southby has yet to receive any of the money she has been told she is entitled to, which is around 15p to every pound she spent.

The news comes as victims of Farepak mark the fifth anniversary of the company’s collapse.

Mrs Southby is one of nearly 120,000 people who are owed almost £37 million in total across the UK.

The Farepak Victims Committee (FVC) is marking the fifth anniversary with plans to launch an online petition to demand the remaining money is repaid and those responsible are held to account.

The group needs 100,000 signatures to prompt a discussion in the House of Commons.

Mrs Southby said: “It’s been five years and I last heard from the administrators a year ago.

“It stinks and it’s not just me because lots of people have been affected by this.

“I’m waiting every day for the postman to bring the cheque for what I’m entitled to. It’s really choking, as each time I go to the door, I think there is a letter with the cheque, but there isn’t.

“All of this seems to have been swept under the carpet.”

Lisa Cooper, a mum who also lives in Harrow Lane, set up saving schemes for herself, members of her family and friends and sent more than £19,000 to Farepak. She also has yet to see any of the money she is entitled to.

Sadly, another customer, Joan Thorp, of Roundwood Road, St Leonards, died in February. She had spent £450 and never saw a penny returned to her.

Farepak’s nine former chiefs face disqualification from acting as directors after the Insolvency Service lodged an application in the High Court in London in February on behalf of Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The case is continuing.