Kmart’s Online Layaway Program Ruins The Holiday For Many…

KMartSucksIf you are a Kmart customer with an online layaway contract you might be unpleasantly surprised this week. At this writing there are about 704 angry consumers battling Kmart over their unfulfilled layaway contracts.

Unfortunately, we happen to be one of them. It seems Kmart did a piss-poor job of reconciling the online layaway order contracts with the actual warehouse inventory and now paid in full online initiated layaway customers and being left high and dry when the time comes to ship the goods.


Kmart sends out confusing emails about layaway contracts being cancelled… Here is the one we got:



Then they automatically issue a refund without any further contact or efforts to assist the customer. Folks expecting that their online Kmart purchases were locked in and that their holiday shopping was complete are terribly wrong. Kmart feels they don’t owe you anything. cant get their shit together (see update below)!

From the get-go I’ve had issues shopping on their website. Initially I placed an order for a Barbie type doll from the Tangled movie, Flynn to be specific. When it arrived it was the wrong character and it was all smashed up from being crushed in transit.

I reached out to customer service to simply have it replaced. There was nothing simple about the interaction. I was refunded my purchase amount, then invoiced a higher price for my replacement item and charged for shipping. After about 45min of back and fourth the customer service rep finally agreed to not charge me for shipping and to honor the original purchase price on my replacement item. Unfortunately, when it came it was still the WRONG character. I simply sold it on Ebay and bought the correct character from

When I paid off my layaway contract in full just before thanksgiving I figured I’d be all set with my items before the rush of last minute shopping began for Kmart. I was wrong about that too.

My order somehow got lost in the fulfillment department for two weeks and nothing was shipped to me. I reached out to customer service three times before I got the first dreaded “Your layaway contract has been cancelled” emails.

When I reached out to them the response was ” apologies, the items are no longer in stock”.

So, if you think your online layaway contract has secured you a certain price and that the item is now reserved for you, think again. Kmart has other ideas about layaway order fulfillment it seems.

12/7/14 Update:


Kmart sent out the following email:

“We deeply apologize for cancelation of your online layaway. Here are the steps we are taking immediately:

First, we have processed your refund for canceled items and you will receive this refund soon, if you haven’t already.

Second, we are working to find the items that were identified as out of stock – and if we can find them we will provide those items to you for free and ship to you for free. If we don’t have those items, we will provide you with an e-gift card that you can use towards the purchase of another item or items.

Please call us at 877-810-5891 as soon as possible (before 6 pm CST, Sunday, December 21st so we can get the items to you in a timely manner). Our customer service representatives are available from 6 am CST to 10 pm CST to help you.

We regret this happened at all. We know this is a special time of year for you and your family and we want to assure you we are working hard to make this right.

Best regards,
Imran Jooma
EVP & President, Marketing and Online”

I called in like instructed, waiting and then spoke to a pleasantly efficient and knowledgeable rep whom located one of my cancelled items and issued courtesy gift cards for the other items that I said were cancelled and not received by me – I make the “not received by me” distinction because my entire online layaway orders showed as cancelled but some items were sent and fulfilled before the cancellation emails sent out. 

Like promised, I did get two courtesy gift cards for future purchases, in addition to being refunded for my cancelled items (I paid them via paypal so my refund wasn’t so delayed). I tried ordering different replacement items on the afternoon of 12/19/14. These were replacement items bought with the issued gift cards. I was feeling good about how I was still well within the shipping time frame for holiday arrival, I found some items, checked out & got an order confirmation success page with an order number.


I went about my day having that handled. Later that night, when I checked my email I realized my order confirmation WASN’T ever emailed to me. The next day I logged in to and also didn’t see my order reflected in my account which made me think it didn’t process and that it is NOT shipping for arrival before 12/25.

After talking two different service reps (web chat and by telephone) who both said my order didn’t really exist, I decided to try resubmitting my order online last night. This new order rendered a new confirmation number and success page (that I remembered to print this time) it was said to arrive by 12/24. Yet again I’ve not received an email confirmation and the order isn’t in my order history. I’m betting it never comes.

Also, the items that were found from my cancelled layaway order and supposedly 2nd day shipped out to me aren’t here and I’ve gotten NO email correspondences regarding them either. What is going on with the Kmart online system?

I’m just beyond frustrated at this point. I’ve spent far too much time trying to get this all to work out and I’ve got zero hope for actually seeing any of my items because I just can’t spend anymore time trying to get Kmart/ Sears customer service reps to understand or care about what is really happening. The Kmart/ Sears online ordering system and inventory management system is REALLY messed up!

I told them in an email: “In a perfect situation you guys would pull my items from stock at my local Kmart, wrap them up and let me come pick them up-thus bypassing your malfunctioning online ordering system and ensuring my items are here for Christmas… but nobody that I’ve spoken to since Friday has seemed particularly interested in going above and beyond for the customer in remedying this situation.

Please let me know how you will attempt to remedy this.” but I’m not really holding my breath for them to go above and beyond. What has your experience been?


<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

3 thoughts on “Kmart’s Online Layaway Program Ruins The Holiday For Many…

  1. This just happened to me!! I got those emails after I paid the final payment on the 10th. Emails started on the 11th and I called (12th)and was told it would take 14 days to refund my money and that would be after Christmas! After a couple hours and many many phone calls to out of country customer service people that have no freaking clue what Christmas is I had my order shipped, less 4 items, shipping upgraded and my refund for the 4 items to be issued in 3 days. I can’t believe what a pain it was and the fact they were not going to give me my money back any quicker than 14 days. I will never ever ever shop at Sears, or kmart or any of their other companies, EVER. I know now why they are going out of business….

  2. My experience still isn’t over with Kmart and I still haven’t gotten my money back. I paid my layaway off on Dec 8th. All of my cancellation emails went to my junk mail box so I didn’t really know what was going on until I started looking for my shipment on the 18th. I was refunded my money for 1 item that was “out of stock” while the rest of my layaway was shipped to a store an hour away instead being shipped to my house. After following the ups tracking # to the store my layaway was delivered to I called that store only to be told they had no records of my layaway. WHAT? Now these stupid people are telling me that it takes longer to get my $ back because my layaway was a store layaway and the store has to issue my refund. I haven’t stepped foot in that store and my layaway was done online so what is the problem? I have made so many phone calls and been on hold for so many hours that I am absolutely sick to my stomach. My call on Jan 2nd had the phone rep telling me that I would have my $ refunded in 24 to 48 hrs and that I would get a gift card that would match the amount to make up for my time. Now today I have an email saying that it will be 5 to 7 days and there will be no gift card but instead 10% off my next online order. REALLY!! Do they really think I will ever order anything from them online again? And while if they would have stuck to the gift card and worked on getting my $ back in a timely manner, I might could have forgiven this and continued to shop in store. Now not only will I never shop at Sears or Kmart again but I am looking for others who would like to join me in getting a lawsuit against them. If you still have unresolved problems with them please reply to this so we can join our efforts and let a lawyer handle this. I feel sure they will regret the way they’ve handled this when they also have to pay for attorney fees along with retribution.

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