DANVERS, MASSACHUSETTS -- I am writing to you about an incident that happened to my 2 year old son at the Danvers, MA Costco. On April 12th, my son and I were shopping at Costco, when he had his finger stuck in one of the holes on the metal post of the shelves that can be found all over Costco. When he struggled to free his finger, he cut his thumb on the metal edge of the hole which caused it to bleed heavily.
Since the laceration was made near the tendon area where there is not much flesh to protect it, we were very concerned that he had injured his tendon. In addition, the cut was made on a piece of metal, so there is a chance he needs a tetanus shot. My husband and I took him to the ER immediately after the incident.
While controlling one's child is ultimately a parent's responsibility, Costco has a responsibility to ensure that it is safe for all age visitors or visitors should have been warned in advance of the unsafe areas. My son was using the property normally when the injury was made. The metal post that had inflicted his injury was not marked unsafe by any sign of warning, which indicates that Costco was not aware or not concerned of its potential danger. But just because you close your eyes to danger doesn't mean the danger don't exist, and that is where the liability law comes in play.
I have communicated with the claim adjustor Ms ** for several months since the incident. When I told her my son had experienced pain and stress because of his injury, she brushed it off by saying "kids don't feel stress" and "they don't remember pain". No need to say how offended I was. She was not there to witness when my son cried in pain while the nurse treated his wound, his disappointment when he couldn't play with his little friends at the playground because it hurts every time he used his left hand to hold on; or his disappointment when the weather is finally nice, yet he still couldn't play with his favorite water table because he wasn't supposed to get his injured thumb wet.
Ms ** has many times ensured me that Costco is not at all liable for the incident because Costco was not aware of any danger in the area where the incident had occurred. What kind of reasoning is that? There is always a first for everything. Plus, if what she said is true then there is no need for liability law since anyone can just claim they weren't aware of danger so they can get away with anything.
When I suggested that Costco should do something to prevent this happening again, Ms ** quickly replied with "there is nothing Costco can do". On the contrary, there are things you can do to fix the issue. For example, a very simple solution to this problem would be to wrap the lower section of the metal post with plastic tarp. My whole experience talking with Ms **, left me with the disgusting feeling have been bullied.
I think Costco should take this opportunity to think about how to fix this issue rather than trying to escape its responsibility. We have been loyal customer of Costco and have recommend Costco to many friends and family. I hope Costco can be reasonable in resolving this case, so we can continue to enjoy your service long after.
I am writing this as a saddened long time fan of Costco. I like buying from Costco because I travel a lot and have always thought Costco takes care of product issues. I shop at the Costco in Kailua-Kona, HI whenever there and in Burlington, WA when I used to live there.
To make a long story short, I bought a brand new laptop from Costco in Kennesaw, Georgia, Store #189 on 2-8-2010, I paid with my AmEx Costco Card. I build websites for a living and I thought the computer was awesome, I had read a ton of online reviews and they were all great. It has a giant screen which I thought would be great when traveling because I have 2 desktops and they both have big screens, and they are both great machines. My old laptop was 4 years old so I replaced it.
I didn't use the laptop much because obviously I have 2 desktops and all my graphics, etc. other programs are on my desktop. I flew out to Los Angeles on 02-06-2010 because my husband was going to be here on an extended business trip and the weather is better than Georgia this time of year.
Now, when I saw I build websites, I am not talking about "dragging and dropping" and whatever people think, I have code to type when modifying and I have to type CSS and PHP quickly. While in LA working on one of my clients sites I found the keys periodically skipped. I would find letters here and there missing when I typed a long slew of code. It cost me HOURS to go through all the lines of code and try to find where I was missing letters, colons, etc. It was extremely frustrating.
I thought, "hm, I must be tired" and put it away. The next day after a couple hours of use it started doing it again. Again, I thought maybe it was just my touch was off on a new keyboard I hadn't used. I put it away. Later that day my husband was using it to work on his screen play and after a while I hear him swearing.. Now, my husband types with only 2 fingers, very slow. I ask him what is wrong and he said, "The keyboard keeps missing letters when I'm typing. Watch." And I watched as he poked various keys and sometimes the keyboard responded and sometimes it didn't.
I told him it was doing that to me too. We found it does it sporadically. Sometimes it works just like a new laptop should, sometimes it doesn't. I checked online for any complaints online, found none. Then I called the Costco in Van Nuys, CA, the closest to where we are staying right off Mulholland Drive. I asked to speak to someone, a manager or something. I asked him if had this problem with this model, he said no. I told him I bought this in Atlanta, CA, he said it didn't matter, he would exchange it and he wanted me to be happy.
I went in on 2-8-2010, to the Van Nuys store. They were very busy, the line for returns went down the side of the building. We finally got to the front and the girl had someone come up from wherever and you could tell he was trying to see if there was something wrong with the keyboard. Then the girl tells me she can't exchange it because she thinks it came with a disk. I told her I was pretty sure it didn't come with a disk. It was the best laptop I had ever bought in terms of setting up, I just turned it on, entered some stuff and voila!
She said she can't get credit from HP without a disk. I told her I was sure they had the same model, she said they don't. She said take it back to Atlanta and just buy a new one here. UNBELIEVABLE!! I was pretty sure it didn't come with a disk, and I didn't need the box or anything else, I just needed a new computer. She said she would call someone over to the laptops to help me pick one out. SO!! I go over there and wait. Guess what? No one came. And my husband and I held my laptop up to 2 of the big laptops and they looked IDENTICAL. I mean same exact everything!
So I can't afford this to happen again, I have deadlines, I have clients. So I bought the smaller one but still $799. I don't care as long as I have a computer that works. So after a hectic checkout and having to get my out of state check verified twice because whoever did it the first time didn't initial it or whatever. Then I stood at the cage for quite a while because they couldn't find the computer. Finally they found it and I was able to go home. Guess what???? NO DISK!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like I told the gal IN Costco I was pretty sure it had NO DISK!
The story gets worse!! Not only do I have to lug 2 laptops across the continent. I get in the DAY MY 60 DAYS IS UP!!!! And I don't live anywhere NEAR Costco!! I leave at midnight on 2-1 and land at 7:00 AM on 2-2!!!! I live an hour and a half away from the airport!! So I have to get a little nap and drive the one hour each way to the Costco in Kennesaw, GA to return this laptop!!!! Why?????
This is sad and complete madness. I can't believe Costco doesn't have a customer care or help center because this is just not reasonable!!!!! So Costco, are you sure I can't return it before I fly? And the Costco in Kennesaw better take this back no problem. Surprise, this laptop has had no problems. I am severely disgusted, sick to my stomach over this disgraceful debacle. Shame on you Costco.
CLACKAMAS, OREGON -- Recently when I was considering the purchase of a new set of Michelin Tires I had to evaluate my relationship and experiences with two different Costco stores. I feel that I am a loyal Costco customer shopping at Costco a couple of times a month. Living in Portland Oregon there are several Costco stores to choose from. The first store is the Costco Airport Store located at 4849 NE 138th Ave Portland Oregon 97230 (503) 258-3700. The telephone number for the Costco Airport Tire Center is (503) 258-3708.
My experiences with the Costco airport tire center have always been amiable; the staff managed by Tire Center manager ** knows how to sell. His product knowledge is the best I have experienced in the Portland Oregon metropolitan area and the Costco Airport Tire Center staff is always eager to please. The Costco Tire Center staff located at 4849 NE 138th Ave Portland Oregon 97230 seems genuinely interested in making you happy and does not have any problem making small comfort settings in the nitrogen pressure. Nothing that will cause serious safety or reliability issues and that demonstrates they want their customers to be happy.
Next is the Costco Store located at 13130 SE 84th Avenue Clackamas Oregon 97015 (503) 794-5500. The telephone number for the Clackamas Oregon Costco Tire Center is (503) 794-5513. On one balance and rotation job the Clackamas Tire center returned my car with a variance of four to five pounds per tire. This is a dangerous driving condition and is strongly advised against by the Michelin man. I used a side reading high quality American made tire gauge to check my nitrogen pressure. I always double check the air pressure myself to verify Costco's work quality.
On another balance and rotation job the Clackamas Oregon Tire center returned my car with cracked green tire valve caps. Costco admitted there was a known issue with the green tire valve caps cracking. The Clackamas store had an ample supply of new replacement green tire valve caps yet inexplicably elected not to replace them.
Cracked or broken tire valve caps will allow dirt and debris to get into the tire valves potentially causing a slow nitrogen leak which could result in a low pressure thread separation scenario reminiscent of the massive tire failures that plagued Firestone tires on Ford vehicles. On a routine nitrogen refill at the Clackamas Oregon Tire center I asked for a one pound accommodation in my nitrogen pressure for comfort. The employee ignored my request and set the nitrogen inflation pump to the pressure that he thought was best.
It's my back in that driver's seat not his. When I pointed this out he became disingenuous and tried to further deceive me. Being overbearing and inflexible is not the best approach if you want to sell product and build customer loyalty. If the Costco executives located at 999 Lake Drive Issaquah, Washington 98027 want to know why the Clackamas Tire Center is underperforming in their monthly tire sales you need look no further than their point of view.
In baseball you get three strikes and you are out. The Clackamas Tire Center employees appear to be following the store management's strict instructions and appear fearful of contradicting the administrative manager. The administrative manager at the Clackamas Store appears to be the source of the antagonistic behavior. Fast ** as he is known does appear a little too tightly wrapped and in the past has demonstrated obvious contempt and disrespect for his customers.
These are not good management traits if you are trying to motivate the staff and build customer loyalty. Personalities are very important as it's much easier to do business with a store when their management and employees are pleasant and respect you.
VICTORIA -- Wow! So this is how you deal with escalated matters concerning consumer complaints???? I was told that I would at least get the courtesy of a phone call; instead, you emailed the wrong person dealing with this matter, which is an extraordinary display of incompetence. Talk about tragic customer service. You don't even have the integrity to attach your name as you pawn off this matter, cowardly to say the least.
Your response is filled with irrelevant information, which my previous correspondence had already prefaced. You clearly were unable to comprehend the issue at hand. Your response merely reiterated Costco policy which is not new to me. "The following is for the record and likely outside the scope of your comprehension," said Resolution Specialist.
The reason we purchased a hot tub from Costco and not a local retailer specializing in hot tubs was for the following reason only. We have experienced a past Costco policy that would include unparalleled customer service and backing of the products sold. This perception confirmed by other members I've spoken with is based on your past policy, issues concerning Lemons was satisfaction guaranteed, i.e. replacement and/or and unparalleled refund policy.
Since you know nothing of the details of my situation as your response clearly states, please don't once again waste my time pointing out the matter of warranty, which we have already clarified for you. It certainly is my fault for not being aware of your new corporate policy... a painful lesson contradictory to your now unfounded reputation for customer service and product responsibility. At this point my only recourse is to make sure that your members are educated to the new corporate policy and to dispel the myth that surrounds Costco.
As a business owner in this community, even as a small fish in a big pond, I am able to wield a fair amount of influence, and through multiple sources, including social media such as Facebook, blogs, websites, and newsletters, we will ensure to tell this story to help provide perspective to our clients and local constituents. Please note that we will be terminating our membership. In addition, we have 11 other card-carrying family members who also will be terminating their Costco membership. It would have been in your best interest to have shown customer courtesy by properly investigating this matter.
Your losses will far exceed the cost of dealing with matter professionally. The financial impact my re-education program will have in the short term to this company will be negligible. The long-term effect my proactive insight as to what Costco is really about most definably will be costly. As a Resolutions Specialist, these points are beyond your comprehension thus your station in this matter, Costco shareholders likely will think otherwise.
We are not interested in your uninformed, too late too little approach to this matter, we have already repaired the lemon your company is promoting (at our cost of course). Please note that we had an expert remove and examine the malfunctioned heater, the consensus was a defective heater (the second of which in less than 2 years), substandard quality element based on its state of deterioration. Thanks you for your consideration to these facts.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Every time I go to a Costco, I never have any positive experience. I swear bad chi followed me around whenever I went to a Costco! My sister and I, went there for a simple purchase, 2 package of toilet paper, 1 watermelon, 1 package of canned chicken, and 1 box of beer and upon paying for the purchases, the cashier girl asked for my sister's id since she was paying. Once she saw that the name on the card was not my sister, she asked who was the card belong to, and we told her that it was our mother's. However at the time, our mother was not with us to make these purchases. Mind you, my sister and my mother looked alike, plus we have the same last name.
So the cashier proceed to explain the Costco's policy to us, and basically told us that the only thing we could purchase, was the box of beer without the membership. Plus our mother's card would be confiscated, and that our mother would need to make a special trip out of her way to pick up her card. When asked why could we only get the alcohol, cause if anything, we care less about the liquor, the cashier told us that under the state law, they can't refused a sale of alcohol. That's bull, really we don't care about the box of beer!!! Then the cashier told my sister that the card was Costco property now.
My sister refused to leave the card in Costco and requested to ask for a manager, so cashier called for one, and shortly a supervisor showed up. He proceed to explain the policy to us again, but at the moment, my sister was like I am not leaving here without my card. The card was in the cashier's hand, but my sister's quick hands snatched it away from the cashier. In fear, the cashier thought my sister was going to hit her, plus the supervisor as well. He told my sister to calm down, and that it's not way she should treat the Costco cashier that way. So at the moment, I got mad, and said "well, that's no way of Costco treating us that way either."
My sister and I were not criminals, who was the one paying for the bill? Who gives the right to Costco to take the card away because of its ridiculous policy? The membership policy should be re-establish and allow the offspring to use. We were the one having to pay for the damn membership and same billing address family member can't even use the card? Also at the entrance door, why do we have to show the membership card upon stepping foot into that property which people pay to get in??
We get it that only membership holders could get in, must we need to reach into our pockets/wallet/ purse to proof that? If the entrance door was only for incoming customers, then why do the workers took the Liberty to exit out of the incoming traffic of people trying to getting into Costco?? I once was yell at for using the entrance doors as exit when there was no one getting into Costco!
In another incident, on a rainy day before we step inside to another Costco, my sister slip and fell in front of the entrance, and the door greeter, do not even say anything or do anything.. At the time, I was mad because I felt like the least the door greeter could do, was to acknowledge that my sister was okay. The door greeter was looking right at us, and she was like I saw nothing. My mother and I complain to the supervisor, at the time, took an incident report, but it was bull, Costco don't care about anything but themselves.
The supervisor was like since my sister fell outside of Costco, it was not Costco property once it's outside of the Costco prison doors. Are you kidding me? Not Costco property?!!? No one followed up anything and good thing my sister was not hurt otherwise I would sue Costco.
I have many more horrible stories from Costco, but too long to continue on. If it's up to my lonesome decision, I would care less for this communist faculty. To this day, I don't know why my mother would continue to put up these rude jack rabbits that work there.
LAKE IN THE HILLS, ILLINOIS -- Last fall, I bought new tires for my car at Costco. Of course, I had to pay an additional $60 for the installation package which included free tire rotation for the life of the tires. After 5000 miles elapsed, I went in and tried to have them rotate my tires. They quoted me a two hour wait. Since I wasn't able to wait that long, I declined and left. By the time I went back, another 5000 miles had elapsed. This time, they told me they couldn't do it because they were an hour away from closing. I asked to see the manager and I threw a small fit (not that I'm proud of it) and they had my tires rotated in less than 30 minutes.
Which brings me to this weekend. It was time for yet another rotation so I headed for Costco on Saturday only to be told that there were already nine cars in line and they couldn't even give me a time estimate. I said I would come back in the morning. Since the store opened at 10, ** and I were at the store 20 minutes early, at the door 10 minutes early, only to be practically mowed down by 4 other shoppers heading for the tire center when the doors opened (I was carrying ** and wearing high heels so I couldn't run terribly fast). By the time I got to the front of the counter (20 minutes later), they told me that because 4 other people were in line first, it would be a 2 hour wait!
The combination of my aching feet, the overly long wait, and the fussy and wiggly toddler I held forced me to the brink. I asked why they couldn't get 4 cars serviced in less time than that and their response was that it was the first day of their sale and they only had two people working. I know it wasn't the person at the register's fault, but why didn't they think to have an extra person or two on hand to handle the obvious influx of customers a tire sale is going to bring in and they had no one who could do a simple tire rotation. The guy just said "sorry." I stormed out and left.
I called the store manager and read him the riot act and told him that I have gotten faster service at Walmart and they're slow enough as it is. The manager just kept saying "sorry I can't help you." Finally I just hung up because driving angry is never a good thing. I went home and wrote a complaint on their website. I'm sure I'll never hear a thing from them, but it felt good to vent. After I did that I called up the local CarX and they were able to get me in right away. Ten minutes and $10 later, my tires were rotated and I was on my way home again. I still have to go to Costco and get them inflated with nitrogen, but hopefully they have someone who can do that relatively quick.
Bottom line is that from here on out, I would rather pay to have my tires rotated by friendly staff than get the blank stares and insincere apologies that I have constantly gotten from Costco tire center.
GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA -- I will no longer buy tires from the Costco Tire department. I have been a loyal customer of Costco for many, many years but the service at the tire department is just horrible, especially at the Glendale, Ca location. Recently I purchased a set of tires because my front tires needed to be replaced. The Costco employee helping me told me that my rear tires had to be moved to the front and the new set would have to be put in the rear. My old rear tires are mismatched so I wanted them to stay in the rear and have my new tires in the front.
The employee said that would not be possible because of their policy, but that after driving 5,000 miles or more, I could come in for a free rotation at which time my new tires would be moved to the front and the front tires would be moved to the rear. Well I went back to Costco after driving around 7,000 miles. As soon as I tried explaining why I was here to the employee, named **, he cut me off and told me to “show” him in a snappy tone.
So I showed him and then explained to him why I was here one more time and he flat out said he would not rotate my tires. I asked him "why not?" and he just kept on saying he could take my car to inspect the tires but that he would not rotate them. I told him "that made no sense" and then he started yelling at me and then told me “I'm done. I'm not talking to you anymore.” At this point I told ** to call the warehouse manager, named ** to which ** said "he wasn't here today." This explained why ** was walking around acting like he owned the place and speaking rudely to customers - his boss wasn't there.
Finally the store manager named ** arrived but as soon as he did, ** ran to him and pulled him away into the garage and spoke with him privately for 10 minutes, lying to him about when had happened. After the 10 minutes, I finally got to speak to ** but by then it was obvious that it was a lost cause. Either way, I told him what had really happened and he “encouraged” me file a complaint with the corporate office which I will do next. I have never been treated so badly as a customer.
Even though ** won't get into any real trouble, he was still scared apparently because when I returned after shopping to get his business card, he pretended to not have any left when I had seen a bunch of cards on the counter before. I also caught a glimpse of the store manager ** yelling at ** for his treatment of customers.
I had heard about bad customer service at Costco tire departments, particularly this location in Glendale, Ca, but I didn't think it could be this bad. Oh was I wrong. And after telling friends and family and coworkers about what happened, I got a few stories told to me about horrible treatment from ** and the tire department. I will NEVER be a Costco tire customer again. Even Costco as a whole is debatable.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- BACKGROUND: This is the Costco store in San Francisco on 10th and Harrison St Intersection. This is a complaint about a member of Costco and also an employee of Costco. My wife is Korean, I'm Chinese. The woman who rammed her cart into my wife is white, and so is the Costco employee who defended her actions.
SUMMARY: I was shopping with my wife and mother-in-law in Costco when all of a sudden somebody hit my wife with their cart. I didn't see anything preceding this event, but I did see that a cart hit my wife. Just a normal accident right? Happens all the time type of thing, right? Well, not really. The woman who hit my wife apparently did it intentionally, and there are several good reasons to back up my claim.
When my wife was hit I can tell it wasn't normal because my wife yelled at the woman "WTF". Right away, I knew something was different because she never uses those words. Then I see the white lady speeding off with her cart without even turning her head. Apparently, she knew she hit somebody and didn't give a damn. So naturally, I yelled at her and confronted her.
Her explanation was that my wife was blocking her way on purpose, and that she accidentally hit my wife. She then said that my wife should "be aware of her surroundings." She kept asserting it was an accident but that my wife deserved it for not being aware of her surroundings. That's the lady's point of view, in her exact words. My wife's story matches with hers, except that obviously she was not blocking her on purpose but was trying to get out of the way by going into the aisle. The lady then veered into the aisle on purpose and hit my wife.
It seems clear to me that the woman was for whatever mad at my wife just for being where she was, and intentionally rammed her. It was apparent that it was no minor bump when my wife showed me the bruise, it looked pretty bad. So I confronted the woman again and called over some Costco employees (forgetting that they are not the brightest people in the world. Immediately, without even hearing more than a few sentences, one of the Costco employees, a white female told us that it is impossible to get a bruise right away after getting hit. Wow.
Without even knowing when the event happened, without any information she automatically assumed that it was an accident and that my wife and I were making up a story about how she got injured. I cussed her out and asked her name so I could report her. She refused to identify herself not turning over her identity card.
The Costco employees said there was nothing that they can do. I asked them if it's okay to assault someone with a shopping cart. The white woman immediately assumed that my hypothetical was a real threat and got angry at me saying that, "That's assault! you better not."
"um...it's a hypothetical, idiot. But are you saying you CAN do something if I assault someone with a shopping cart, but if she did this to my wife who has an obvious injury, you can't do anything? In addition, you assume my wife and I made up this story and you believe we are just after money?"
In addition the lady who bumped my wife lied and said that I laid my hands on her. The employees all immediately believed her and said "ooooo... that's bad" but when my wife gets assaulted by an angry person with a cart, it's an "accident" and they "can't do anything about it?"
Sure, to the employee, it's a he-said / she-said story, but the Costco employee would only believe one side. Seems she is either racist or stupid. The other employees were not much better. The lady who ran into my wife just took off so I couldn't call the cops on her. The lady refused to apologize, which is all we asked for, and for some reason thought injuring someone is okay. Costco seemed okay that other people can use their carts to injure people too.
In retrospect I wish I could have just ran my cart into her for retaliation and called it an "accident". What happened was unfair and the treatment from Costco employees was lined with racial-tension. Rather than tell the store, I just want the world to know that based on the complaints I have read and my own experience, Costco is a low-class organization with scumbag employees. But I guess that's how you profit right, hiring idiots and not training them properly.
We ordered an Infinity Spa from Costco.Com for $3000 which included curbside delivery. The Costco contracted driver told us that it would cost $245 to bring the spa to our backyard and attach it to our wired receptacle (which we had wired to receive this spa for $500). It was delivered at 5 PM on July 24th and we gladly paid the driver $245 to get it brought to and hooked up in our backyard. We filled the spa with water added the recommended amount of chlorine and decided to go to bed and turn it on for the first time in the morning.
In the morning we were horrified to see all the water (except for a 2 inch deep puddle on the bottom) had left the spa and drained all over our perennial flower bed .. chlorine and all. Most of the plants are now dead. I called Costco on 7/25 to tell them of their non-functional spa. It was suggested that we remove the front panel to see if in fact the drain hose was unplugged in transit. It was not but we did see a loose hose inside the spa which was hanging attached to nothing and with no plug. Costco passed us along to ** who was handling the Infinity Spa end for Costco. He contacted me that afternoon on 7/25 and said that an Infinity technician would be in touch with me.
On 7/29 when I had not heard from anyone I called ** and left a voice message asking for the status. I sent and email also the same day to ** asking the same thing. No response. I repeated the process on 7/30. Again, no response. On 8/2 I left another msg and sent another email. Finally on 8/4 I asked ** via email and voicemail to have this DOA spa picked up ASAP. Finally on 8/4 I got a message from ** that a technician would be in touch with us within 72 hours to repair the spa. I said fine and actually commended him on his taking care of the situation. The technician never called.
I called them (TC Enterprises) on 8/6 and spoke to **, the lead technician. He had no idea about this issue and said, furthermore, they only dealt with spa surface repair. I immediately called ** and left a voicemail and email for him to please come and get this DOA spa. He finally returned my call on 8/8 leaving a message that I had to pay again to have this dead spa delivered from my backyard to curbside. I have had it.
We have been here with a non-functioning spa in our yard, dead perennials from the chlorine that was leaked and we are still expected to pay the $3000 on our Costco Amex card, assume the loss for the $245 backyard delivery, and never even mentioning all of our perennials. And now they want us to pay to get the dead spa shipped back.
We bought this brand new spa from Costco. Costco delivered the item DOA and has done nothing to undo the damage. We are executive members of Costco and have been members for over 15 years without a complaint. We are canceling our membership when it expires in September. Costco, you were the shining star in our book. What is happening to you?
ISSAQUAH, WASHINGTON -- During my divorce, I followed lawyer's advice and called my creditors to get all my account numbers changed. One of these was COSTCO, whom I called in June of last year for this purpose. I was told that they "can't do that," and that I would have to start all over and apply for a new account. This upset me somewhat, since I'd been using this account for over 12 years, and no other creditors had any such problem with my request. So I said that if that's the case, maybe the account should just be closed entirely and I will just stop shopping there. Suddenly, they were much more attentive....
I was then talked into a different action -- having only the account's second (now invalid and missing) card cancelled. I was then assured both by phone, and later by mail, that this had been done. But evidently some step in the procedure was missed by a processing clerk, or someone, and THE CARD WAS NEVER REALLY DEACTIVATED. And apparently there is no Quality Control, or verification process for Costco to ensure that such important procedures are actually completed.
Not only did Costco allow this supposedly cancelled card to be used by someone to max out my account, at four stores over a 3-day period in September-- one or more of their stores actually allowed the card to be charged to $400 PAST THE CREDIT LIMIT for that account! Talk about sloppy policy.
No notice was sent to me regarding the VERY unusual activity in this account. I didn't find out until I got my normal statement, almost a month later. If there is a more obvious indication of possible identity theft or fraud than this sort of huge, fast account-draining, I've never heard of it. In this day and age of rampant identity theft, that lack of communication is inexcusable for a company of this size!
I've already filed BBB and FTC complaints regarding Costco and HSBC (see below), over this issue. Apparently, HSBC (USA branch) handles all account finances, and "dispute" claims for Costco. Since my first phone call (about eight months ago, now), I have been getting correspondence from HSBC regarding this issue. What I have been subjected to is an almost laughable, never-ending campaign of dodging, denying, pretense and just plain annoyance apparently designed to frustrate me to the point that I just give up and pay for Costco's mistakes!
They use a whole "delay and annoy" strategy... such as sending formal letters stating that if there are any "questions" I should call a phone number --the general customer service number for Costco/HSBC-- where I am informed that the "dispute department doesn't accept phone replies," such as repeatedly sending letters pretending that the amount in dispute is either the entire account balance, or a much smaller amount than is in actual dispute.
(I have been informed on several occasions by sympathetic customer service rep's that there are notes and comments all over this file identifying what is actually in dispute-- so either HSBC is not investigating at all, or their job actually entails intentionally attempting to delay, frustrate and aggravate complainants until they simply give up in disgust). And such as continuously and intentionally ignoring the actual facts of the dispute, sending letters saying "all charges seem to be in order," and pretending that this resolves everything... and oh yes by the way, I'm now back to owing the entire amount again, have a nice day.
Whenever I call HSBC, I get the same run-around -- the customer service rep claims that s/he can't do anything except enter data into the case file, and that either the "dispute or fraud departments" are who I need to contact. When I do that, I get another letter, with yet another version of the story.
To date, I have not heard a single HSBC or Costco person acknowledge that Costco screwed up; or anyone from either group willing to accept responsibility for the errors. They obviously intend only to wear me down. It is clear to me that 1--HSBC has NOT really investigated this issue, and is simply following a formula designed to "make it go away," and 2--Neither company intends to ever resolve this issue, fairly.