So far this year, we’ve mostly shared tales of people complaining about the process of purchasing items at Kmart using layaway. Last year, something inspiring started to happen. People, including our very own readers, would walk up to the customer service desk at their local Kmart and offer to pay off the layaway balance of a random family. The “layaway angels,” media outlets began to call them. The idea spread nationwide, mostly in Kmart stores. This year, Kmart has built an ad campaign around them.
Caroline’s Kmart layaway order was wrong. After she placed the order online, the contract came back $92 more than it was supposed to be. Well, okay, no problem: she could just call up Kmart and straighten it out. That’s why stores have a huge customer service staff. Except for how she called up Kmart and they told her to direct her problems to her local store. For an online layaway order. She’s been struggling with Kmart for a month now. The staff at her local store have been extremely helpful, but that doesn’t solve her core problem: she’s been overcharged for an order that still hasn’t shipped after being paid in full. [More]
Betty is trying really hard to make Kmart honor what she thought were the terms of the layaway agreement. She was supposed to pay the original price and not have any layaway fees. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right? Not for Betty, and she’s incredibly frustrated. [More]
Toys “R” Us is going gangbusters this holiday season in its effort to be the go-to destination for parents seeking out the hottest toys, gadgets and gizmos for their little ones. Along with the amount of layaway business it’s targeting with its retooled program this year, Toys “R” Us said it will open 24 departments in Macy’s stores this holiday season.
This holiday season, when your child looks up at you with tears welling in their eyes because they didn’t get that one toy they had really been hoping for, you can do two things: Tell him/her to grow the heck up and realize that you don’t always get everything you ask for, or blame all the parents who put toys on layaway in September and October.
UPDATE: A rep for Kmart and Sears tells us that the report we cited has it kinda wrong — right now the free layaway is only on for Kmart, and not Sears. Bummer!
If you’re into shopping really really early for the holidays — and there are only 111 days until Christmas — Toys ‘R’ Us is determined to woo you with a head start on layaway this year. Not only will the program start way ahead of the prime shopping season (as in right now), but layaway will be free for part of that time.
Walmart customers who rely on its layaway program to get all that holiday shopping done will surely be grateful for a little extra time this year to buy gifts and pay them off in time. The store announced that layaway will return a month earlier than it did last year, and tweaked a few of the program’s rules in the process.
Call it holiday cheer or call it the best bandwagon we’ve ever seen, but yet another kind-hearted consumer has plunked down cash to make the season a bit brighter for his fellow humans. A man in Laguna Beach, Calif. shelled out almost $16,000 of his own money to pay for layaway items of 1,000 Kmart shoppers.
The biggest trend this holiday season appears to be people who have some money doing something nice for those who might need it by anonymously paying for layaway purchases. But when a woman in Houston attempted to do this at two of her local Walmarts, managers at both stores turned her away, citing a nonexistent company policy.
This time of year, it’s not out of this world to hear about generous folks going around and dropping coins in parking meters or picking up a round of drinks for strangers at the bar. But some truly secret Santa has helped out three Michigan Kmart customers by picking up their layaway tabs.
Apparently it’s not just Walmart that’s trying to seduce customers by offering layaway as an option this holiday season.
Retailers are trying to push layaway this holiday season as a way to buy stuff you don’t immediately have the money for. For people without available credit, this can be a way to eventually get what they can’t afford now. But NY Sen. Chuck Schumer is warning that layaway fees can add up to be a much higher interest rate than any credit card would be allowed to charge.
Five years after Walmart stopped offering customers the option to put most purchases on layaway, the nation’s largest retailer has decided to bring it back for brief run during the 2011 holiday shopping season. Of course, this being Walmart, the holiday shopping season begins in October.
It appears that when the FTC filed a contempt charge against scamtastic consumer electronics purveyor Bluehippo, the company’s bank took notice and froze their accounts. Now Bluehippo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, claiming that they can’t repay their creditors, what with the frozen bank accounts and all. This will not end well.
Sears and Toys R Us are among retailers who have brought back layaway programs to help boost sales, reports Eve Mitchell at the San Jose Mercury News. Not all stores think it’s worth the effort, so you won’t find it at JCPenney, Target, or Walmart. However, if you want to use layaway at retailers that don’t offer it, there are now websites that can help.
Layaway is back this year. What’s that? It’s where you buy an item at a store, but don’t pay for it completely right away. The store puts the purchase item aside for you. You then make regular payments and once they add up to the full price tag, you get your item. Imagine that, saving up and only buying something once you can afford to pay for it in cash. Layaway plans used to be more popular but were overtaken by the ease and instant gratification of credit cards. Unlike credit cards, you don’t pay any interest, although sometimes there is a base fee. Now that credit lines are being cut and thrift is the new black, layaway is making a comeback. Kmart is featuring it in their Christmas ads, and Oprah talked about it on her show recently.