Closing WVC Kmart forces woman to cancel layway order, face $20 fee

Posted at 5:57 AM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 12:22:46-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - Dozens of Kmart stores are getting ready to close nationwide, including two in the greater Salt Lake area.

Now, one West Valley City mother says the closure left her in layaway limbo.

Kelly Wilkins was told her items on layaway at the West Valley City store had to be paid for by Oct. 21, more than a month earlier than she'd planned.

She couldn't afford to do that so her only other option was to cancel her layaway contract and face a $20 fee. It’s something Wilkins said isn't fair.

"I had some toys, she loves princess stuff so she had a bunch of princess stuff, bedding and I had clothes on there," Wilkins said.

Wilkins, a mother of three, was preparing early for the holidays. Her layaway order included her children’s Christmas presents. When she went to make a payment on that order, Saturday, Wilkins learned the store was closing.

"The manager came up and I said, ‘What happens to my layaway since you’re closing,' and she said, ‘Oh, well, you have to have it out by Oct. 21,’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s not what my contract says,’" Wilkins recalled.

Wilkins’ contract indicated she had until Nov. 25 to pay her order in full.

Wilkins said the manager told her if she couldn't pay her layaway bill in full by closing her only other option was to cancel.

"And she handed me a receipt showing that they were giving me back $87 and some change and I said, ‘Well, wait a minute, I paid $117.93,’ and she said, ‘Oh, well, there’s a cancellation fee of $20,’ and I said, ‘A cancellation fee? You guys are closing, this isn’t my fault,’” Wilkins said.

The West Valley City mother then tried to fight the fee.

"I said, 'Well, I would like to speak to somebody higher up,' and she said, 'Well, I`ll contact my store manager," and I said, 'OK.' She went in the back, I waited for about an hour and she came back and said, 'He said no,'" Wilkins said.

She then tried Kmart’s corporate office and was transferred to four different people.

Wilkins said she was later told by a West Valley City Kmart employee she could have just transferred her layaway to a store that wasn't closing.

Wilkins said she wished she would have had the option to transfer her order to another store and continue to pay on that layaway but she says she was never given that option.

Management at the Kmart provided no comment about the layaway policy. Corporate officials say they're working on getting Wilkins a full refund.

They also say if you have any concerns about your layaway contract, you can visit the store and talk to a manager.