Disclosing Layaway Terms
There are good business reasons to give your layaway customers written disclosures:
- they help assure that customers understand their payment obligations;
- they give notice to customers of your layaway policies;
- they help ensure that all customers receive the same information; and
- they help prevent misunderstandings and disputes.
Important Matters to Disclose
There are some particularly important aspects of layaway plans to consider disclosing. These include: cancellation and refund policies; payment plans; service or layaway charges; and the location, availability, and identification of layaway merchandise.
Cancellation and Refund Policies
It is always a good business practice to inform customers about your cancellation and refund policies because the absence of cancellation and refund information can be a great source of customer dissatisfaction. By disclosing these policies in writing, you may significantly reduce customer complaints and the possibility of dissatisfied customers taking their business elsewhere.
Retailers use a number of different refund policies for layaway transactions. Some give full or partial cash refunds if layaways are not completed. Others give credit toward future purchases. State law may dictate what refund policy you must follow.
When you describe your cancellation and refund policy, use clear, simple, and direct language. If you do not give full refunds, clearly state how much, if anything, you will charge for the incomplete layaway transaction. However, you should check the laws in your state. Some states limit the amount retailers may charge. By disclosing refund information, your customers will know what to expect if they do not complete the layaway purchase.
Read on to learn more on layaway payments and charges.