A mystery shopper has paid off all lay-bys at a toy store in Brisbane, leaving customers in shock and calling the generous act a late ‘Christmas mirac
Several customers received a surprise call from Mr Toys Toyworld in Rothwell, north of Brisbane, on December 28 with the news their lay-bys had been paid in full.
Kara Hanan, 46, from Kippa-Ring, told The Courier Mail the welcome news had excited her young daughter as she was able to get her Squishmallows present earlier than expected.
Ms Hanan said the realisation she no longer had a debt to pay for the gift left her both ‘shocked and happy’.
‘It helped me a lot because we have a lot of bills this time of year,’ she said.
A Secret Santa has surprised customers at a Brisbane toy store by paying off their outstanding lay-buys in an incredible act of kindness (pictured, receipt of a customer’s paid lay-by)
Amy Dixon, 33, from Deception Bay, said the fast-tracked toys for her children would help to keep them entertained during the school holidays.
Ms Dixon said she had considered cancelling the lay-by because she couldn’t afford it.
‘The kids and I were so happy,’ she said.
‘Christmas was very hard this year, especially being a mum of four boys and a uni student.’
Anthony Barden, 40, from Griffin, initially ‘froze in shock’ upon hearing his outstanding lay-by had been wiped by an unknown shopper.
‘It’s saved me over $600, so at this time with cost of living issues it’s just amazing,’ he said.
Customers of Mr Toys Toyworld in Rothwell, Queensland, were left shocked upon finding out from the store that a mystery person had paid off their lay-by debt (image of Mr Toys Toyworld, Rothwell, pictured)
This is not the first time a Secret Santa has dropped by the Rothwell toy store.
In December 2020, an unknown woman walked into the store and paid off all customer lay-bys, dropping a whopping $17,000.
News of the mystery customer’s generosity comes as welfare and consumer groups called on the federal government to enact tighter regulation of the buy now, pay later industry, warning it was harming Australians and causing spiralling debt.
The payment schemes, which were unheard of a decade ago, can be used on just about anything including clothing, cosmetic treatments, travel, and even groceries.
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Payments System Board reported in November there were around seven million active buy now, pay later accounts in the 2021-22 financial year and $16billion in transactions, an increase of 37 per cent on the previous financial year.
Buy now, pay later schemes are not currently covered by the National Credit Code, meaning service providers are not legally required to check a customer’s capacity to repay debts, or offer adequate hardship support.