Big W's decision to triple layby fees sparks outrage among shoppers

Big W is feeling the heat after angry customers blasted the company over a significant layby price hike.

The retail giant previously charged customers a $5 non-refundable service fee for lay-bys but tripled that rate to $15 in June, with lay-by cancellation fees also increasing from $12 to $20.

For a few of our members who are familiar with layby programs, the retailer basically lets you secure the items you want to purchase from them and pay them off over time.



Unsurprisingly, shoppers were not happy about the price hike, with many taking to social media to express their outrage.

“Rather than make your staff tell every customer that there was an increase to $15.00 for lay-by fees, maybe you could put a post on here,” one customer, who claimed to have been caught unaware during her last shop at her local Big W, wrote on the retailer's official Facebook page.

Another added: “Don’t pass the buck to employees, it’s poor business practice and disrespectful to your staff. Take responsibility and put up a post.”

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Shoppers are enraged over Big W’s decision to increase the fee of its layby program. Credit: news.com.au.

It should also be noted that earlier this month, a shopper shared the details of the price hikes on a popular Facebook group, prompting Big W fans to air their frustration over the retailer's layby program.

One woman wrote: “Holy shomoses that’s ludicrous, I definitely won’t be making any lay-bys.”

“That’s bloody ridiculous. I’ll be thinking twice about doing a lay-by now. Might just put money aside and do a big shop when another decent sale comes on,” another said.



A Big W spokesperson explained that the company is feeling the pinch of the rising costs of its items, blaming this complication as the cause for the tripling of the layby fees in recent weeks.

The spokesperson said: “While we try our best to avoid any increase in administration and cancellation fees, this has come into effect due to an increase in the costs of managing and storing goods for lay-by, as well as a rise in the number of orders that are later cancelled.”

“Ahead of Toy Mania commencing, we advised customers on our website as well as added signage at the service desk."

“For those looking for alternatives to lay-by, we offer buy now, pay later options including Afterpay and Zip Pay.“

The current economic situation has many people worried about their future prospects. Inflation is on the rise, and there is no end in sight. Ironically, the rising costs of living have caught up with the programs that supposedly allow us to feel financial relief.



We understand that layby programs can tempt us into buying more items than we can manage to pay. So, we would like to share with you some tips on how to make the most out of these schemes:

1. Do your research

Not all layby programs are created equal. Some may have hidden fees or require that you pay a deposit upfront. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the layby program before signing up.

2. Set a budget

It’s important to have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend on your purchase. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make regular payments over an extended period of time, so make sure your budget can accommodate this.

3. Shop around

Compare layby programs from different retailers to find the best deal. Keep in mind that some retailers may offer discounts for signing up for their layby program.

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You can take advantage of layby programs by planning your budget ahead. Credit: Startupguys.net.

4. Stay organised

Keep track of your payments and make sure you don’t miss any. Missing a payment could result in your layby being cancelled, so it’s important to stay on top of things.

5. Be patient

It can take a while to pay off your purchase, but it’s important to be patient. Once you’ve made the final payment, you’ll be able to enjoy your new purchase without having to worry about debt.

6. Avoid impulse buys

It can be tempting to add more items to your layby, but resist the urge to do so. Stick to your original plan and you’ll be less likely to get into financial trouble.

7. Use layby to your advantage

Some retailers offer discounts for customers who use their layby program. Take advantage of these deals to save money on your purchase.



8. Be prepared for fees

Most layby programs charge a small fee, so be prepared for this. The fee is usually a percentage of the total purchase price, so it’s important to factor this into your budget.

9. Don’t forget about interest

Some layby programs charge interest on the outstanding balance. This can add up over time, so make sure you factor this into your budget.

10. Know when to walk away

If you’re not comfortable with the terms of a layby program, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other options available, so don’t feel like you have to sign up for a program just because it’s offered.

So, there you have it, folks! What are your thoughts on this? Do you think signing up for a layby program is worth it or does it only tempt you into thinking that you have more purchasing power than what you can manage? Let us know your insights in the comments below!
 
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Sean

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Ricci

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2021
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I'm old school, I have never used layby. I still work to the maxim that if you can't buy it outright you can't afford it. Apart from my mortgage I have only ever had 1 interest free loan (for my solar) which I could have paid for outright but was advised against doing so and I don't think I've missed out on anything major. There are enough sales or purchasing options throughout the year that you never have to pay the full price for anything anyway.:)
 

Imbi

Member
Nov 17, 2021
50
92
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I'm old school, I have never used layby. I still work to the maxim that if you can't buy it outright you can't afford it. Apart from my mortgage I have only ever had 1 interest free loan (for my solar) which I could have paid for outright but was advised against doing so and I don't think I've missed out on anything major. There are enough sales or purchasing options throughout the year that you never have to pay the full price for anything anyway.:)
I am so with you on this. Shop within your means, if you can't afford to pay cash straight up, put money aside for future, sales.
 
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mylittletibbies

New member
Jun 24, 2022
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I'm old school, I have never used layby. I still work to the maxim that if you can't buy it outright you can't afford it. Apart from my mortgage I have only ever had 1 interest free loan (for my solar) which I could have paid for outright but was advised against doing so and I don't think I've missed out on anything major. There are enough sales or purchasing options throughout the year that you never have to pay the full price for anything anyway.:)
 

ElleJay

Active member
Nov 1, 2021
89
132
33
I think layby is a responsible way to shop, I've been doing it for years. You only get to take the item home once it's fully paid for, unlike credit cards. I certainly wouldn't pay a fee for it, but plenty of smaller clothing and shoe shops offer free layby. I even put my glasses on layby because they were so expensive!
 
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DiMcg

Member
Jan 13, 2022
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Yes, my daughter works part time at Big W and she was shocked as much as the customer😲Poor thing she had to take the brunt of it from the customers and it is so unfair for the workers to have to deal with the outrage👎
 
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Lynette Finnigan

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2021
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I guess there were a lot of closed lay-bys when the pinch was on through covid... and I get that they have to hold goods instead of getting their money straight away, but huge price increases like that are a bit harsh...as it's usually pensioners and low income on tight budgets that need to use a payment system.
 

NotPhilips

Member
Jan 24, 2022
62
55
18
I haven't used lay-by but in case I ever need it, do they check your credit rating or ask for proof of income?
 
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