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.”

BIG W Lay-By Fee changes

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.

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  • I no longer lay by anything due to afterpay but I feel so sorry for people that do lay-bys because they need to pay it off as they can’t afford it. I honestly think that’s to expensive to do a layby


  • I never use lay-by so it doesn’t affect me. I do agree that people should have to pay if they change their minds though.


  • I never use lay by anyway.


  • I’ve never considered lay-by before and now I think this is something to look into. I would agree with Big W’s decision to increase the cancellation fee if people are cancelling and their items are being stored for ages which means other people miss out.


  • I don’t think I have ever used layby, but glad they have put the prices back down for those who do


  • Well thank you Big W for finally for coming to your senses maybe no one was using Lay by thats why they changed it back hahahahaa


  • This is good news. I don’t use lay-bys but honestly dont think its fair to charge people so much if they do.


  • I’m glad to see this go, it made specials not quite so special when the fee was added in there.


  • Crazy to be charging amounts like that. I’m sure they lost quite a few customers after that. I personally don’t use layby.


  • Common sense comes through! $15 can be a steep price to a household right now. Most large companies just don’t get it.


  • I think I only ever have done lay by once. It’s not something I’ve used before. My worry is I’ll forget to make a payment.


  • Charge to lay by ? whats going on are they all following the government with new taxes .What next will they be selling tickets to enter the store .They need me more than I need them.


  • I just paid the $15 fee twice on two laybuys this week it certainly was a shock but I didn’t have a choice as I had to lay by the item ???????? being on a pension it hits hard


  • I can understand the cancellation fees, but layby should always be free- AfterPay and all those services don’t charge a fee and neither should stores.


  • A really great outcome for those that use this option


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