Since buying a Costco membership one year ago I couldn't be more pleased. As a former BJ's and Sam's Club member Costco has them beat. The in store and online product selection is far superior. They offer great pricing, excellent customer service and 90 day returns. There are two memberships available. The standard cost $55.00 which is well worth the money. With the huge savings you will recoup this quickly.
Then they have an Executive Membership for $110.00. This is where you get the perks. You get 2% cash-back on all of your purchases. This adds up fast. It also makes available to you the full buying power of Costco. Auto & Home Insurance, Auto Program, ID Protection, Mortgage & Refinancing, Online Investing... the list goes on & on.
Here's the AMEX deal only available to Costco members. Zero percent interest for the first 6 months. Earn a $55 statement credit after your first purchase. No annual fee. Cash Back for the following. 3% for gasoline, 2% for restaurants, 2% for travel and 1% for everything else. Plus you still get the 2% Executive Reward.
If you only spend a few hundred dollars total this will be meaningless to you. However if you combine all of your purchases using this card and take advantage of the cash back the savings are significant. Something to consider if you want to save some money.
I currently have a four year old Samsung 46 inch LCD HDTV that has been completely trouble free. Recently while shopping at Costco I was quite impressed with their wide selection of HD TVs, Blue Ray disc players and Wall Mounts. On display was the new Samsung LED 55 inch Smart TV. OMG the picture quality was jaw dropping. Built-in Wi-Fi, Skype, Apps and able to display full 3D movies, glasses included. It's only 1.2 inches thick with a frame-less boarder. Regular wholesale price was $2700, on sale that week for $2000. I checked Amazon pricing and they had the older model which did not include the 3D glasses for $1850. It was close.
Here's where Costco has them beat. When you buy any TV from Costco they automatically give you a second year warranty for free. Then you can purchase an in home zero deductible three year extended warranty for $100 bucks. I'm not done. Also included is their free tech service. They give you an 800 number to call that will assist you with any problem. This is service and treating the customer right. Are you listening Sears and BestBuy? The yearly membership cost is only $50 bucks, I definitely got my money's worth.
CHICAGO -- I recently was thinking of renewing my membership at your Lincoln Park location on Clyborn in Chicago, IL. However, my thoughts were instantly changed by the Customer Service, or should I say lack thereof.
I had heard that Costco offered great pricing on Birthday cakes, so I decided to call and place an order. After calling and trying to explain what I needed to the only Costco representative who answered, I was quickly cut off before finishing my wants and needs to your representative saying "I don't handle this, let me transfer you." I felt completely unacknowledged. Then, after being instantly transferred, all I got was ring tone after ring tone. Imagine my frustration.
I then phoned back and explained to the young lady on the line in the Food Court that I needed assistance and that the extension she transferred me had no employees on the other end. She then transferred me to the photo department who then said they could not help me. By this time I was so appalled by your Customer Service, that I knew I would not renew my membership through Costco.
Trying to keep my word to a friend to help order her a cake, I then phoned one more time to your Administration who seemed to be of cooperation. The woman kindly took my order and said that she would put it in through bakery.
To be assured that my cake order would be ready, I phoned back today, 02/19/2009 and phoned Administration, knowing I would get an actual representative and not ring tone after ring tone, and the woman who answered was so extremely rude right away. From the way she answered her phone representing Costco, to her loud sigh when I asked her to help me, to her slamming the phone and putting me on instant hold when I asked her to reach a bakery attendant for me.
I am completely unsatisfied with Costco Lincoln Park Customer Service. I feel as though Costco could hire more adequate employees willing to offer their customer service skills. Very Unsatisfied Customer!
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.
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.