Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes Winter Wonderland: PayPal offers refunds

One of the Santa's seeing two children
Image caption Customers at the Winter Wonderland event complained Santas looked like they were wearing 'outfits from Poundland'

Online payment service PayPal has promised refunds to customers of a "winter wonderland" that shut after it was inundated with complaints.

The event in Milton Keynes closed after just a day and trading standards are investigating after complaints about the Santas, ice rink and reindeers.

PayPal said it was offering "goodwill refunds" to customers who bought tickets for the event in Campbell Park.

Organiser Lorenzo Franco has also promised to refund ticket-holders.

Customers complained Santa's Grotto at the event was staffed by young, thin men who looked like they were wearing "outfits from Poundland".

'Delighted with refund'

They said the gifts were poor quality and described an ice rink as "a few plastic sheets".

Catherine Collins, from Leighton Buzzard, visited the event on Saturday with her husband Declan and daughter Lacey, four, spending £47 on ice skating and circus tickets.

Image caption Catherine Collins said she would take her daughter Lacey to see Santa elsewhere

"I had written off that money and didn't expect to see it again," she said.

"But I was delighted to receive a email from PayPal saying they are refunding my money and we're now hoping to spend it taking Lacey to see Santa elsewhere."

Bus company Arriva and MK Dons FC were listed as "supporters" of the event and their logos were used on its website.

An Arriva spokeswoman said: "We were not a supporter and did not endorse the event in anyway or give them permission to use our logo."

She said the company had been in contact with Mr Franco and had posters of the event on its buses to encourage visitors to use public transport.

A spokeswoman for MK Dons also said the club had never been an official supporter of the event and that its logo had been used without permission.

"The club has stepped in to ensure Sue Coles' School of Dance, who were due to perform at Winter Wonderland throughout the week, will be able to put on a show their hard work deserves with a performance at stadium:mk this weekend," she added.

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