Shopping Discussion

Costco Employees b.s.'ing about Costco return policy

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Nov 17, 2007
6365 posts
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Cheap Cat wrote: Yes, the OP should call corporate because they should not have received their money back.



Agreed, the manager should never have given in to them.



Costco began providing warranty service because they sold a lot of grey market products (electronics) that would not otherwise have warranty coverage. I did not join Costco for warranty coverage, I joined to buy items at wholesale prices. It wasn't even until I joined RFD and started hearing of people bragging about abusing Costco's return policies that I even realized this was possible because it would never have dawned on me to return something that broke after a month of use, let alone 18 months. In 20 years as a Costco member, I have never returned a defective product nor have I needed to. Unless it comes out of the box broken, you should be dealing with the manufacturer not the retailer.

I have an 8 year cordless phone set that I bought at Sams Club in the US, that will no longer charge despite changing the batteries. Based on your logic, should I be able to return it? I guess I should have bought it at Costco but it wasn't available in Canada when I purchased it.

So true. I was with Costco for years before I realized that they had this fabulous return policy. My husband's cousin had purchased a rather expensive outdoor patio set. After a few years of use, and leaving it outside, the glass cracked. Cousin went in to find out the information on the manufacturer so that he could get it repaired, or get new glass, and the CSR said "just bring it back". Cousin said, well, I used the thing for years, we don't even have the receipt anymore. I just want the name of the manufacturer". The CSR said "just bring it back". Cousin said "are you serious?" CSR said "yes, just bring it back|. Cousin went home, loaded the whole set in his truck and returned it for a full refund. He was really taken aback and didn't even feel all that good about it but the CSR was very clear that he should bring it back. He took the money and later purchased another set for a cheaper price. Similar thing happened with a friend of mine. She had a pair of sunglasses from Costco. She accidentally put some sort of mark on the lens. Her fault. She went in to see if there was any sort of "fix" to correct the problem. The person behind the counter said "bring it back". Same scenario about "bring it back". Friend brought it back but also felt a bit odd about doing so. These things happened a few years ago.
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Aug 26, 2010
500 posts
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Toronto
deltone wrote: So true. I was with Costco for years before I realized that they had this fabulous return policy. My husband's cousin had purchased a rather expensive outdoor patio set. After a few years of use, and leaving it outside, the glass cracked. Cousin went in to find out the information on the manufacturer so that he could get it repaired, or get new glass, and the CSR said "just bring it back". Cousin said, well, I used the thing for years, we don't even have the receipt anymore. I just want the name of the manufacturer". The CSR said "just bring it back". Cousin said "are you serious?" CSR said "yes, just bring it back|. Cousin went home, loaded the whole set in his truck and returned it for a full refund. He was really taken aback and didn't even feel all that good about it but the CSR was very clear that he should bring it back. He took the money and later purchased another set for a cheaper price. Similar thing happened with a friend of mine. She had a pair of sunglasses from Costco. She accidentally put some sort of mark on the lens. Her fault. She went in to see if there was any sort of "fix" to correct the problem. The person behind the counter said "bring it back". Same scenario about "bring it back". Friend brought it back but also felt a bit odd about doing so. These things happened a few years ago.

I haven't experienced the 'bring it back' from the CSRs at Costco. I was just asking at the CS desk last week about a two pack of Purex laundry detergent that I'd bought just before I'd had to switch washing machines [old machine took regular purex, new machine requires HE detergent] and was told that it'd be entirely up to manager's discretion on whether they'd accept the return. NB: the two pack was unopened (sat behind some more stuff for all these years) and could only have been picked up at Costco -- I didn't buy laundry detergent elsewhere, and the SKU/article number showed up in my purchasing history [March 2006 apparently, on sale (-4$ coupon).]

I figure, I might slowly be able to use up the two 5.91L bottles of Purex with a lot of handwashed clothing... :facepalm:
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Jan 7, 2011
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hsz wrote: I haven't experienced the 'bring it back' from the CSRs at Costco. I was just asking at the CS desk last week about a two pack of Purex laundry detergent that I'd bought just before I'd had to switch washing machines [old machine took regular purex, new machine requires HE detergent] and was told that it'd be entirely up to manager's discretion on whether they'd accept the return. NB: the two pack was unopened (sat behind some more stuff for all these years) and could only have been picked up at Costco -- I didn't buy laundry detergent elsewhere, and the SKU/article number showed up in my purchasing history [March 2006 apparently, on sale (-4$ coupon).]

I figure, I might slowly be able to use up the two 5.91L bottles of Purex with a lot of handwashed clothing... :facepalm:

lol I would feel way to cheap and embarrassed bringing back 5 year old detergent. Just give it to somebody with a regular washing machine.
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2008
1441 posts
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Yeah, I remember the "bring it back" days at Costco. My friend owned a few apartment buildings and he hired me and some of his other friends to help
maintain the apartments. Anyways he had bought some security cameras etc. from costco, he had them about 3-4 years and the central recording monitor went down at one of the buildings. He had me try and track down the manufacturer but I figured I would just call Costco and see if they still dealt with them and would buy a new one for the time being. Costco didn't sell the exact model anymore but had newer recording devices. To my surprise they said "just bring the old one back, we'll get a new one ready for you". Still had the receipt so we went in and they returned the old one and he bought the new one and got $$$ back! I was really impressed with the level of service.
But nowadays, you'll rarely ever find a lenient retaiiler when it comes to returns and even when they do return something well beyong the policy, people complain about it, right OP?
Jr. Member
Dec 15, 2007
181 posts
10 upvotes
Tijuana wrote: For anyone that thinks a cordless phone isn't an electronic device, please jump off a cliff. We have too many people on Earth as it is. Better start getting rid of the idiots first...

AMEN...

the Manager just tried to avoid confrontation that's why he gave the refund because it's people like this that are hard to reason with...
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Jan 10, 2009
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I'm fairly certain telephones work via telepathic dwarf hamsters hidden inside the handset, so no wonder they're not an electronic device.
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May 30, 2005
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Richmond Hill
Rehan wrote: That is exactly what the service desk employee and the manager implied -- if it was under warranty, they would have accepted the return. That's what most of us understand the Costco return policy to be, even if they don't state it explicitly.

But the phone was 18 months old and no longer under warranty... So what Costco did in this situation is pretty much what most people would expect.

I thought Costco warranties their electronics for 2 years?
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Oct 20, 2001
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Jon Lai wrote: I thought Costco warranties their electronics for 2 years?
Only for computers, TVs and projectors according to this (but other items, like digital cameras, also qualify if you look at their product pages at Costco.ca). I think cordless phones don't fall under the 90 day return policy either. http://www.costco.ca/Service/FeaturePag ... o=10045100 says: "The following must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a refund: televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPOD / MP3 players and cellular phones." ... If all phones qualified for this, this wouldn't have said "cellular phones" specifically.
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Feb 26, 2003
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Tahsis
First off, whether the phone is an electronic device or not is immaterial. The return policy says:

Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell and will refund your purchase price, with the following exceptions:

1. Electronics: Costco will accept returns within 90 days from the date of purchase for televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPod®/MP3 players and cellular phones and other products identified by Costco from time to time.

So, for "televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPod®/MP3 players and cellular phones" I think we'll all agree that it's 90 days. I think we can also agree that Costco may identify other products from time to time as well, but as pointed out numerous times in this thread, those restrictions must be made on the receipt at the point of sale.
spf1971 wrote: They told the Op that it was an electronic device so obviously they have identified it as such. :facepalm:
Tijuana wrote: For anyone that thinks a cordless phone isn't an electronic device, please jump off a cliff. We have too many people on Earth as it is. Better start getting rid of the idiots first...
thrifthunter wrote: Even if you want to argue that a cordless phone doesn't fall under electronics, then it would fall under this part of their return policy:

We ask that you return all other merchandise within 30 days with a Costco receipt and in the original packaging.


So either way, whether it is 90 days or 30 days, the op brought it back after like 550 days! lol
"We ask that you return all other merchandise within 30 days with a Costco receipt and in the original packaging." is clearly not a requirement, especially when the first line of the return policy is:

Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell and will refund your purchase price, with the following exceptions:
thrifthunter wrote: Oh and not only that, but if you go to their website, you will clearly see phones listed under electronics. When you click you will see cordless phones. And if you go into their store, you will see cordless phones stocked in the electronics area. I don't see how anybody can have any doubt that a cordless phone will fall under their electronics return policy..

If it's not a NAMED electronic good you can return it at any time as per their return policy.

Whether this is an honest thing to do, whether it is abuse, whether it will force Costco into changing their policies, I can't say.

But, seeing as I had a conversation with a Costco front end Manager about the return policy on a PS3 that I was about to purchase, and that I was told that electronics that were not named by the policy could be returned at any time for any reason, I'm going to stand by my interpretation.
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Aug 26, 2010
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thrifthunter wrote: lol I would feel way to cheap and embarrassed bringing back 5 year old detergent. Just give it to somebody with a regular washing machine.
Ah, I wasn't gonna lug the box back and forth. I stopped by and asked to see what the policy was. I asked, they answered. I think my local charity will be getting detergent since I did ask around to see who has a non-HE machine and got no response. It's that, or else, a lot of handwashing.
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Oct 28, 2004
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hsz wrote: Ah, I wasn't gonna lug the box back and forth. I stopped by and asked to see what the policy was. I asked, they answered. I think my local charity will be getting detergent since I did ask around to see who has a non-HE machine and got no response. It's that, or else, a lot of handwashing.
damn, give it to me....my parent's washing machine is old school and doesn't require only HE detergent....lol...

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Dec 18, 2006
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What about Monitors or printers, do they fall under the computer category in terms of returning or do only PCs and laptop count?
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Oct 6, 2005
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iamnotamerican.com wrote: So why didn't you contact the manufacturer and ask them to follow up on their warranty?

I contacted one manufacturer... guess what they said "just return it to costco".

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