By Bahle Gama | 2020-05-24
A number of department stores in the country have given a holiday period on lay-byes for their customers countrywide.
Customers have been allowed to pay for their lay-byes anytime during the duration of the coronavirus pandemic despite the set expiry dates.
Stores which confirmed this include Legit, Contempo, Ackerman’s and Jet Stores.
Customers and managers in the different stores confirmed that the extension was active and had been effected when the pandemic escalated in the country.
A customer at Legit said she had rushed to pay for her lay-bye because it had expired when she was told that the store was extending the payment period.
“I was told that I could pay for my lay-bye at any time during the pandemic and if there were any changes I would be notified,” she said.
A manager at Jet Stores also confirmed that they were exercising the same leniency towards their customers. She said that they understood that customers were going through a difficult time during the pandemic, especially when it came to finances. “We understand the current situation the country and every individual is facing. We intend to lessen the pressure on our customers by allowing them to pay for their laybys at their convenience. However, we would like to urge them to not sit back for an extended period because of this leniency. We expect that they meet us halfway and come to make their payments at the store in any of the days that we are opened,” she said.
Contempo and Ackerman’s also shared the same sentiments adding that they kept an open line of communication with their customers to make payment arrangements and advised them where necessary on how long they could keep their lay-bye in the store. The managers at both stores said they understood that some of their customers were at work during their operating hours while others resided at far places.
However, all stores revealed that they were not allowing their customers to make lay-byes for the time being until the pandemic subsided.
Meanwhile, Edgars Store’s manager, who asked not to be named, said they had not implemented this practice despite requests from their customers.
“We have received requests from our customers asking that we do not label their lay-byes as expired. We are currently waiting for our headquarters in South Africa to make a decision in this regard and will then notify them. Otherwise we consider this a reasonable and sensible request,” he said.
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