MATTHEWS, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have read several anti-Costo 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.