In May 2022 it was announced that toy subscription service, Whirli, were going into administration due to a lack of funding. Existing customers stand to lose their subscription money and you might even be wondering if you can keep any toys that you are currently renting. Let’s discover all about the Whirli administration.
Who are Whirli?
Whirli are (or rather, were) a toy subscription service who promoted sustainability with its subscription model.
Parents, carers or friends and family could sign up for a monthly subscription or pay annually or biannually to borrow toys, plus have the chance to boost the value of toys they could borrow by paying more.
Whirli was used by over 10,000 customers before it went into administration.
Can I get a refund for my Whirli subscription?
There are two ways to go about getting a refund from Whirli going into administration.
The first is to apply to the administrators for a refund and the second is to try a chargeback or Section 75.
The administrators, FRP Advisory is encouraging Whirli customers to get in touch and register as a creditor. However this method usually puts consumers at the bottom of the list of creditors that Whirli owe money to.
You can get a form to complete from email@example.com. If you have paid via Direct Debit then complete the form to register as a debtor.
Another option is to look at a Section 75 claim if you paid using a credit card for a subscription costing over £100, or submit a chargeback claim if your subscription cost less than £100 and you paid using a credit card or a debit card.
Whirli administration – can I keep the toys I currently have?
The Whirli administrators are asking that toys be returned or paid for, but we can understand why many of you would prefer not to return the toys you have on loan, especially if you are owed money by Whirli.
Some subscribers currently have toys that are of a higher value than what has been paid to Whirli so far, whereas others are owed money.
Some toys are large toys that are too big to be sent via Royal Mail, who Whirli use for returns. In these cases some people have been able to negotiate a cheaper payment to purchase the toys – I’ve been someone negotiate £160 worth of toys down to just £20.
We cannot advise whether you should keep the toys or not, especially if Whirli are asking you to return them at a cost to yourself, and we can understand why you would be tempted to keep the toys.
Whirli asking you to buy the toys at ‘inflated’ prices
The Whirli administration team are asking users to pay for the toys they currently have, however the prices that they are quoting are close to, or higher than the RRP for new toys, despite most of them being used toys.
Some users are disputing these amounts and finding that the administrators are taking 12+ days to get back to them.
Don’t forget to double-check your Direct Debit
If you had a subscription via Direct Debit then these should have been cancelled when Whirli went into administration, however it is worth taking a moment to double check that these have been cancelled.
You can do this easily by logging in to your banking app and checking through payments for your existing Direct Debits.
If there is still one active to Whirli then you can usually cancel it within your banking app.
Get more support for the Whirli administration
If you need more support then you can get in touch with the Whirli customer services team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or with the administrators directly at email@example.com.
Sometimes just chatting to others in a similar situation and seeing what they do can help your situation. Plus it allows you to vent. There is a Facebook group with over 1,400 members who are struggling with the Whirli Administration. You can join the unofficial Facebook group, ilrihw users here. There are useful email templates and it is easy to see what others are being told about their situation.
Alternatives to Whirli
Now that Whirli are in administration you might be considering other alternatives.
Check to see if your local area has a toy library – you typically pay to sign up then pay a small rental fee per toy.
Borrow and Nest are a great sustainable option. Here’s what they say:
“Borrow and Nest make mindful parenting easy with a sustainable solution to playrooms full of unloved toys.
Borrow from a curated collection of wooden toys by award-winning designers like Wee Gallery, Bezisa, and The Little Coach House.
Enjoy toys until they no longer have a place in your home, then swap them with ones that do. Delivered to your door in 100% plastic-free packaging.”
Toy Box Club is another monthly toy subscription where you receive new toys monthly, with the old ones being sent back.