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Parents-to-be left hundreds of pounds out of pocket
DISTRAUGHT parents-to-be fear they have been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket as a North-East baby equipment store appears to have closed.
The pram and nursery specialist store Baby On Board, in Bishop Auckland, has been closed without explanation since last Monday.
Anxious customers who paid for prams, pushchairs, car seats and nursery furniture at the shop, on Newgate Street, say their phone calls, emails and social media messages have been unanswered over the last week.
The business also has a popular website which is used by expectant parents across the country and was still live last night.
People were still ordering items from the shop and paying for goods up until last weekend and several have contacted The Northern Echo.
One couple, who did not want to be named, paid £620 upfront for a pram and car chair for their first granddaughter, who was born last week, and paid another £200 towards them last Saturday.
They were told the items would be ready to pick up sometime last week, but have heard nothing since.
The grandfather said: “We feel awful, as it is our first grandchild and she has got no pram to come home to.
“My daughter is very upset as you would imagine. I don’t know how they could do this without giving us an explanation.
“We were there last Saturday to pay £200 and they must have known then but they still took our money.
“I know of at least four or five other people with the same problem.”
Bethany Moody and her partner Martin Gregory, from Evenwood Gate, in County Durham, spent more than £1,000 on a travel system in readiness for the birth of their baby girl, who is due in three weeks.
They bought the product in June and were told someone would be in touch with them a month before the baby was due, but alarm bells rang when they heard nothing as September drew to a close.
Miss Moody said: “We are absolutely devastated. We have been ringing them since last Monday and sent emails and Facebook messages but heard nothing.”
Mr Gregory added: “The worst part is not knowing anything. There is nothing there, no signs, the shop is just shuttered up.
“We ordered in June because we didn’t want to be worrying about anything at the end. We have been trying to enjoy the last few weeks but now this has happened.”
The Northern Echo has been unable to contact Baby On Board for a comment, but it is believed the business owners may have been in touch with some customers via Facebook.
It is understood letters will be sent out to all those affected over the next few days.
Although the business’s Facebook page has been taken down, its website is still live and appears to still be accepting orders for some goods.
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