BIG W has reversed its decision to charge customers a $15 non-refundable service fee on lay-bys, reducing the unpopular charge to just $3.
In June last year, the retailers quietly hiked its lay-by service fee from $5 to $15, not long before its popular Toy Mania Sale. The cancellation fee also leapt from $12 to $20, raising the ire of lay-by regulars.
A post detailing the changes last year attracted hundreds of comments in the BIG W MUMS AUSTRALIA Facebook group, with the move labelled as ‘pure profit greed’.
“Holy shomoses that’s ludicrous, I definitely won’t be making any lay-bys.”
“Wow, that’s a huge service fee just to place a lay-by!”
“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.”
Irate shoppers have also taken to the BIG W Facebook page to voice their concern.
“When was BIG W going to post the lay-by changes absolutely ridiculous increase $5. to $15.00? Not everyone has finance and the elderly who use it a lot. Shame BIG W.”
“Elderly don’t have Zip or Afterpay and every BIG W near myself store all Xmas lay-by etc on site. Absolutely ridiculous.”
However, there are also plenty of shoppers who support the fee increases.
“I feel like it’s to stop people lay-bying and then constantly cancelling them to get better deals.”
“See I agree with it. So many people lay by a ridiculous amount of items that they won’t pay off / collect. This may deter a few of those people. They store the lay by for 6 months so it works out $2.50 a month for the convenience of being able to pay it off and having somewhere to store it.”
A BIG W spokesperson told Mouths of Mums at the time that there are several reasons behind the fee increases.
“Whilst 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.
“These changes will ensure we can maintain our ability to continue to offer Lay-by as an option. For those looking for alternatives to Lay-by, we offer buy now, pay later options including Afterpay and Zip Pay.”
However, it now appears BIG W has reversed this decision, with its lay-by page confirming each lay-by will now attract a one-off, non-refundable $3 service fee. The $20 cancellation fee remains.
Did the fee increases put you off lay-bys at BIG W? Let us know in the comments below.We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.