Kmart Clarifies Layaway Rules For Closing Stores, No One Tells Kmart Employees

store_ClosingEarlier this week, we shared with you the complaint of some Kmart customers in Ohio who placed items on layaway before learning that the store they had visited was about to close. This affected their payoff date and payments, but a Sears Holdings representative contacted media outlets sharing this story and explained that this is not Kmart’s policy. Unfortunately, nobody bothered to tell people who work at this Kmart.

One customer, who was interviewed on the air, explained that she was told she had to pay her contract off by November 1st. That was a month earlier than she had plans, which interfered with her ability to make the payments on about $1,000 worth of merchandise she had put on layaway for holiday gifts. She was initially told that she could transferring to another store was a possibility, then that it wasn’t. Transferring her payment plan online would extend the term until December 23, which she finds too close to Christmas. She managed to get the deadline pushed back to November 7, which is slightly better.

Kmart’s parent company, Sears Holdings, followed up with the TV station (and with Consumerist) to explain that there was no November 1st deadline, and that layaway customers had the option to transfer their contracts to a different store or to That was great news for customers, so a WDTN staffer went back inside the store and inquired about layaway contracts. A manager explained that the deadline is still November 1st, contradicting what the Sears spokesperson had said.

We can’t blame people who are about to lose their jobs for not keeping up with the freshest and latest training materials available in the store. At the same time, this one customer got really frustrated. “Limbo, complete miscommunication, no faith in what they say,” she told the TV station. “I don’t have anything holding them to what they’re saying. If they change what they say, I can’t do much about it.”

K-Mart releases statement on layaway policy [WDTN]

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