Denver, CO – December 1, 2011 – Layaway has become increasingly popular with the challenging economic times. Many find it very helpful during the holidays to be able to space out payments. However, putting an item on layaway may result in a loss of money or the item itself if you do not read the contract carefully.
BBBs around the country have received complaints in the last year from consumers whose layaway purchase did not turn out the way they anticipated.
Consumers mainly place furniture, toys, electronics, and jewelry on layaway and do so at a variety of stores, including national chains, local retailers, and pawn shops.
“It’s important to know the policies up front. Problems can be avoided if customers get the agreement in writing, understand it and ask questions if anything is unclear or missing,” said Dale Mingilton, president and CEO of the BBB Serving Denver/Boulder. “Also, the worst thing that can happen with layaway is the company going out of business. So be sure to only sign up with a reliable retailer.”
The BBB suggests that consumers consider the following when using layaway this holiday season:
Ask the company for a written contract for the layaway and read it carefully. Keep in mind that each company may have a different layaway policy. Check for:
It’s important to know that some items have a time limit and once that time is up, the item is returned back to the store for someone else to purchase.
If the item is not held for you, it may be inadvertently sold to another customer.
The contract may specify when payments must be made and that, if a payment is not made by that date, the layaway item can be sold to another consumer.
Consumers report not being able to obtain a refund or a store credit if they change their mind about buying the item put on layaway. In addition, complaints state that restocking fees of 10% or more are often charged.
Consumers report that even after the last payment is made the product is not available, as it is then ordered and sometimes is delayed for weeks or months.
· Delivery timeframe should be determined up front. Consumers report that after the last payment, delivery has been delayed due to the product not being available or other consumers having their delivery dates scheduled before layaway customers. # # # # About the BBB
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Consumers report that after the last payment, delivery has been delayed due to the product not being available or other consumers having their delivery dates scheduled before layaway customers.
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About the BBB