Find rat. Get rat. Argos rat.

Dead rodent discovered inside new bike packaging

by Mark Appleton   July 22, 2011  

Lindsey Rhodes with her son Malakai daughter Mia godmother Lauren Ingle and the decomposed rat found dead in the packaging pic courtesy The Star.JPG

It’s not unusual to get a complimentary gift when you buy a new bike or accessories from one of the larger online or physical retailers.

A pedal spanner, a multi-tool or some sweets usually go down a treat when they arrive with your purchase and might even inspire a degree of customer loyalty.

Some freebies, however, are less appealing than others.

When 25-year old Lindsey Rhodes from Sheffield bought a £90 Disney Princess kiddie bike for her 3-year old daughter Mia at her local Argos store, the retailer thoughtfully included a free pet…possibly.

Sadly the creature, a rat, was well past its expiry date and dropped, lifeless, from the box when Lindsey’s friend went to assemble the bike, reports The Star.

Said Lindsey: “Mia’s godmother, my friend Lauren Ingle, had offered to put the bike together and had started to unpack it when the rat fell out.

“We were horrified and quickly dragged the kids away. I’m just so glad Mia didn’t open the box.”

Lauren said of the expired rodent: “It was absolutely disgusting and it made me physically sick. It smelt atrocious. It must have been in there for ages.”

Argos offered Lindsey a £50 gift voucher as compensation for their error, an offer which has been accepted.

A spokesman for Argos told The Star: “A colleague in customer services has contacted Mrs Rhodes to apologise for any distress caused and discuss an appropriate gesture of goodwill as we conduct a thorough internal investigation.

“We are a large company and we are aware that, from time to time, things can go wrong. When this happens we try to improve our systems and services to ensure issues of this nature do not happen again.”


19 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Great headline. Good work.

Rodent or rident?

posted by Coleman [331 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 11:00

1 Like

It's not a new collaboration from Cinelli under the Bootleg Bikes collection is it?

Mystic Rats, Racing Rats, Hoy Hoy Rats, Dos Rats... Disney Princess Rats...?

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9507 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 11:49

1 Like

A dead rat?

Bargain - more useful than a Halfords bike - was it correctly assembled?

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [418 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 11:53


Argos offered Lindsey a £50 gift voucher

She could get 50 more rats for that. They are on page 1172 of the catalogue, between the Sorny MP3 players and the tents made of recycled shopping bags.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 12:06


I love the pics that they take of the families in instances like this. "Right, look miserable for the camera..." to the family that is standing in front of their burnt down house....

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [525 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 12:07


And apparently, although the mother was horrified that her child might have opened the box and seen the rat, she is happy to have the child (and her baby sibling) pose for the camera a couple of feet from the rat and with full sight of it.

Can't help but feel argos are a bit hard done by here - rats get everywhere, especially in warehouses, and the thing probably just ran in as the box was being packed and then got shut in and died. It's unfortunate, but its a bike, not food. A £50 voucher seems like a pretty good deal - I'll happily get a rat with my next bike if I get £50 for it...

posted by step-hent [718 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 12:18

1 Like

Whose job was it to move the rat for the photo-shoot, do you think?

I think the little girl is wondering if she'd enjoy playing with the ex-rodent more than riding the BSO...

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [418 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 12:22

1 Like

Toddler is licking his lips.....


posted by arrieredupeleton [587 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 13:29


It's actually a free special edition rapha rat. Note the pink accent (lolling tongue) and the impeccable embroidery. RRP: £120. It's been a long week.


posted by arrieredupeleton [587 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 13:32


^ #Like

posted by dlp [51 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 14:18


Question is, was it an Argos rat, or one from the woman's house? Not the first time someone's tried it on.
Mmm... rat in white sauce.

posted by Cauld Lubter [131 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 21:42

1 Like

If the bike had been a tandem I'd have felt cheated. Ratatouille...? I'll get my coat. ..

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1220 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 23:09

1 Like

Cooks wrote:
I love the pics that they take of the families in instances like this. "Right, look miserable for the camera..." to the family that is standing in front of their burnt down house....

You're going to love the Angry People In Local Newspapers blog:

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9507 posts]
23rd July 2011 - 11:26


I agree with Simon... here's my latest proud submission that I spotted in my local rag:

I also enjoy when people pose angrily and then voluntarily send it to Alastair (the site owner) so that he can put it on the site.

Chutzpah's picture

posted by Chutzpah [72 posts]
23rd July 2011 - 12:00

1 Like

I suppose that it was delivered in some kind of box shaped delivery vehicle... Rat au van.

posted by CarbonBreaker [92 posts]
23rd July 2011 - 12:04

1 Like

I'm sure that the courier can rat-ify that fact.

posted by nigel_s [38 posts]
25th July 2011 - 16:02

1 Like

This is on its way to becoming another urban myth along with the Kentucky Fried Rat. The thing is, did the woman not notice the smell as soon as she picked up the box? Cardboard boxes are not particularly airtight.

BTW - as a former local newspaper photographer I can verify that I did indeed take my share of angry people pics. The editor's idea of a good photo was to get as many people as possible in each photo and, if it was a negateive story, get them looking well brassed-off. Needless to say, we had our artistic differences.


posted by OldRidgeback [2581 posts]
25th July 2011 - 16:04

1 Like

The baby's obviously in training for his future role as protector of the ladies. He's saying 'Oi, rat face, you want some? Think yer 'ard enough?'

posted by bikeylikey [194 posts]
26th July 2011 - 8:21


Disney Princess Bike
M I C K E Y M O U S E...mickeymouse.....mickeymouse...


The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [642 posts]
10th August 2011 - 16:48

1 Like