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.
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.
WHARTON NJ -- My wife was going to work on the interstate last Thursday when a 1 month old Michelin tire blew out. She's a new manager on a tight schedule so, to keep her from having to wait for road service, I went myself to put on the spare for her.
I took the damaged tire - which had blown out through the sidewall without having hit anything - and brought it back to the Wharton NJ Costco tire department where it was purchased. The staff there was surly and distracted, as though a heated disagreement was in progress, and although this was a regular weekday morning, the line for service went all the way out the door. When my turn finally came up, I calmly explained to Kerrie, the supervisor on duty, what had happened. She turned without a word and went to look at the tire, which I'd left in the service area. She returned, again without saying a word to me, and barked to a subordinate, "Lock that back door - I don't want any more customers coming in that way!" Finally, I asked her if she was going to replace the tire, and she said yes. I asked her if she could have it put it on the wheel and balanced, and my wife would come that evening between 6 and 7 to have it mounted on the car; she said that was OK. Because the communication seemed so strained, I repeated again, "She'll be here between 6 and 7 to have it mounted on the car, are you sure that's OK?" - she answered "Yes" again, and I left.
When my wife arrived at 6:30 to have the tire mounted, she was told, "You missed your 6:00 appointment - you'll have to wait until we close at 9:00". My wife called me at around 6:40 to tell me what had happened, and I called the tire department back and explained to the counter person that there was a misunderstanding - the agreement was that the tire would be mounted when my wife arrived between 6 and 7, and that she had other appointments and couldn't wait until 9.
He replied that the note Kerrie left said that the appointment was at 6, she'd missed it, and there was nothing that could be done. My wife put the replacement tire in the trunk and drove the 20 minutes home. Meanwhile, I called the store again and this time spoke to Mike, the assistant store manager on duty, who told me to bring the car back, and offered, "We'll see if we can fit you in." I replied that a) we'd had an agreement, b) it would have taken only 5 minutes to mount the wheel at the agreed upon time, and c) after all the time we'd wasted, I'd only make the 40 minute r/t again if he assured me that the tire would be mounted promptly. But I got the same "We'll see if we can fit you in."
Frankly, buying tires at Costco isn't such a steal; most of the same tires are available at similar prices at many local dealers. My wife and I have tight schedules and little free time, and had hoped to at least get civilized, professional service at Costco. But I ended up jacking up the car and remounting the replacement tire myself, in the dark, in my driveway.
I don't know what kind of service can be expected at other Costco tire departments, but I would certainly advise Costco members to avoid the tire department at the Wharton NJ store.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN -- Earlier this year, I bought an HP All-in-One printer from Costco, and it really just did not meet my needs. After more than nine months, I was done messing with it and decided to get a new All-in-One. I checked Costco's Return Policy online, and did not see any restrictions specifically cited for printers. Just in case, I called their Customer Service line, and they assured me I could return the printer, despite how long I had had it in my possession.
I boxed it up (original box), took it in (with my receipt), and, without question, they accepted the return and gave me my money back. I bought a new All-in-One (from Costco) and love it (Cannon). Then I remembered that I had bought a bunch of ink for the original printer -- ink I no longer needed nor could even use. I also had NO receipt for the ink, which cost more than $100 (minus $20 because I had bought it with a coupon).
One day, now it was more than 10 or 11 months since I had bought the ink, but one day when I was at Costco, I stopped by the Customer Service desk and asked if it was possible to return the ink WITHOUT a receipt. They said sure, as long as it was still in the original packaging. A few days later I returned with the ink, they accepted the return and refunded my money (just a bit over $90, as I recall). No questions asked.
They did, of course, pull up my account and confirm the purchase and all before accepting it back, and what I was returning was still in the original packaging, had not expired (I'm pretty sure there was an expiration date on it), and was good to just place back on the shelf. Bravo, Costco! What a great way to treat your customers. I am proud to be a member and encourage others to join as well!
MATTHEWS, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have read several anti-Costco reviews and I think it is time for us satisfied Costco customers to speak up. Costco is simply the best retailer I've ever encountered, regardless of pricing. It offers very good quality and very reasonable prices which adds up to great value. Its customer service is superb. I mean, how can you not like a company with a policy that allows customers to return anything (aside from electronics) at anytime for any reason for a full refund, no questions asked.
What's more, Costco treats its employees well (average pay of about $16 an hour) and it shows when you come in contact with them. Costco employees are almost always well informed and helpful.
Let me give you a few examples of Costco's service: --A friend bought a $400 water slide for his kids and shortly thereafter ran over it with his lawnmower. When he called his local Costco store to find out where he could buy a new one (the store was no longer selling it), a Costco employee told him to bring the slide in for a full refund. The guy carefully explained that it was HIS fault, not Costco's, and the merchandise was not defective. But the Costco employee said that didn't matter. My friend got a full $400 refund.
--I once discovered that a patio furniture set that I had purchased for $1,200 four months earlier had been reduced to $900. I went to Member services and not only got a $300 refund but $600. Seems the merchandise had been marked down again, this time to $600, but the lower price hadn't been posted on the floor. If the Costco manager hadn't told me, I would not have known it.
--Another guy bought three wooden bar stools from Costco and after four years two of them had broken and one was near collapse. He took them back, got a full refund and bought three new bar stools from the same store for the same price. The new ones were metal.
Let me add that I have never, not once, encountered a rude employee at my local Costco store and I have always been greeted pleasantly when I enter or leave that store. Costco is truly a great organization. No wonder it is so successful. My guess is that most of the people who gripe about Costco are chronic complainers. They are the types who display "attitude" at the first sign of a problem. While I am no shrinking violet, I begin any dealings with any store in a reasonable, measured manner.
I rarely have to escalate and I usually get what I want. Then again, I don't make outrageous demands. As the old saying goes, you reap what you sow.
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- On Sunday, April 30, I attended the Arlington Virginia store. Never have I been so dismayed at customer service.
I went to the store to open an account and do some grocery and electronics shopping. The employees that assisted in membership were very polite. However, upon checking out, I left my cart with my roommate to go out to the car and get the parking ticket so that it could be validated by your store. Upon attempting to re-enter, I came back in through the exit in hopes to proceed to the check out to finish the transaction. While attempting to enter the exit, a plain clothes gentleman grabbed me and told me the store was closed. I immediately told him to get off of me and stated he had no right to grab me. I then stated I was going to the register to meet up with my roommate. He continued to use his elbow and shoulder to nudge/push me out the door. I asked who the hell he thought he was touching me and he said he worked there. He was not in uniform or no name tag. He told me I could wait outside for my party. After another minute of exchanging words with him and his friends surrounding me and getting in my face, I asked his name and he said he didn't have one. I then asked an identifiable employee to speak with the manager. The manager came with a name badge inside a sweatshirt that read Lorenzo and asked what's up. I told him what had happened and he agreed with the employees actions and said he was a LP worker which I assumed was loss prevention floor walker. That was his reason for not being identifiable. I said OK, that's fine but he still had no business grabbing a customer and not even identifying himself as an employee. All he had to do was ask if he could help me with something and state the store was closing. I would have given my reason for entry and he should have presumably let me enter. Not tell me to wait outside after physically removing me from the store. The manager was not reassuring in the least. He simply restated that the store was closing. I said thank you, you have been a huge help and walked away. He then proceeded to the employee and began joking and laughing with the witnessing employees.
I will find it very difficult to ever desire to step foot inside that store again and I will find it even more difficult not to spread the word about the horrible treatment and unprofessional actions displayed at that store. I desired a membership to Costco based on word of mouth and I am very disappointed in the result.