A lot has been made about Kmart shoppers miraculously having their layaways paid off by ‘Secret Santas.’ This may, in fact, be a jump to conclusions. I have a personal story of Kmart actually mismanaging layaways that may be the actual cause of mysterious payoffs.
Recently, my mother called me to ask for some information on shipping presents up to my house for Christmas. We’ve recently relocated, and she is visiting for the holidays.
She’s been using Kmart layaway to purchase the gifts she wants to send up here.
More recently, my mom called to tell me about a disastrous trip to Kmart to pick up those presents. Kmart had put her purchased items back on the shelf. The reason, non-payment. My mom had all of her receipts, and proof that her merchandise had actually been paid in full. Kmart stated that they hadn’t received a payment since she put them on layaway. She was forced to leave the store without the merchandise she’d paid for until the issue could be resolved.
Eventually, it was discovered that Kmart’s layaway system had mixed up my mom’s layaway account number with another customer’s. My mom’s layaway payments were applied to the other person’s account without either party knowing about it. So my mom became this other person’s ‘Secret Santa.’ It wasn’t out of charity, it was due to an error in Kmart’s layaway system.
Kmart is working to resolve the issue with my mom now, but there’s no guarantee that she’ll get the merchandise she paid for. It may no longer be in stock.
Given this information, it is entirely possible that there are far less people acting as a ‘Secret Santa’ than believed. It may be a series of flaws in Kmart’s layaway system creating the false impression of charity. Perhaps the person who received credit for my mom’s payments came in one day and was rewarded with a fully paid off account. It is very likely the same situation has repeated itself across the country.
Sorry to burst your bubble. I’m not saying that no ‘Secret Santas’ exist, but there is a chance some of this is a misunderstanding. I’d encourage everyone who is paying off Kmart layaway to check with the store the items were purchased at to make sure they still have your stuff, and your account balance is correct.
- Anonymous Donors Pay Off Kmart Layaway Accounts (maboulette.wordpress.com)
- Nameless ‘Layaway Santas’ pay off Kmart accounts of families buying toys (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Anonymous donors pay strangers’ layaway accounts (boston.com)
- -Secret Santa Pays for Needy Families’ Layaway Gifts at Kmart (answersforthefaith.com)