At a time of year when most retailers are desperately trying to get your business, Kmart is angering customers with actions that seem designed to drive them away. Some Kmart shoppers who planned ahead by putting their holiday gifts on layaway and paying them off before the December 14 deadline have been informed that their orders have been cancelled. As if that wasn’t bad enough, refunds may not arrive in time to use the cash on replacing the lost gifts. Understandably, customers are angry.
The Consumerist has been flooded with complaints from Kmart customers who had this nasty little lump of coal dumped into their stockings just a week before Christmas. These unlucky shoppers were informed via email on Sunday that their orders would not be shipped and the items were out of stock. Irate customers have turned to Kmart’s Facebook page as well as their local news outlets to express their rage and get answers from the company.
So far, the only official word from Kmart has been this: “We are very disappointed to hear that you had to go through this experience with your layaway order. Please let us know if you do not see your refund within 5-7 business days.”
That’s absolutely no help to the parent who put one of the season’s most in-demand toys on layaway several weeks ago and now will not only be missing the toy, they will not receive the money to replace it until after Christmas. If that toy in one of the several that are totally out of stock everywhere, this parent’s kid will not be having a very merry Christmas.
A few customers have received personal answers from Kmart but only after rattling the right cages. One disgruntled shopper in Indiana turned to the consumer reporter at Call 6 in Indianapolis and did get 10 of her 12 layaway items sent plus a $50 Kmart gift card.
Whether this is a new policy or just a computer glitch, Kmart needs to get on top of it and satisfy their irate layaway customers.