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Costco / poor customer service

Arlington, VA, United States Review updated:
2
Costco has the most miserable customer service I have ever experienced. I once spent about 2 hours shopping, and was set to spend over 200 dollars. I waited in the long line and the cashier scanned all my stuff. I tried to pay with a VISA (most widely accepted credit card in the world) credit card, which apparently is not taken by Costco. It was the only form of payment I brought, and the cashiers would not take it. I asked to speak with the manager, who then repeatedly rolled his eyes when I explained to him my situation. As I began offering alternatives, he would just say NO without even hearing my entire explanation. I do realize that it was my own fault for not bringing the correct form of payment, but don't get angry at me for doing everything I can to save myself over 2 hours of my time.

After this experience with the manager, I immediately called the Costco customer service call center to complain about the way I was treated. I got on the phone and explained my situation about being inconvenienced both by their credit card policy and by the store manager. I explained that I was paying a flat fee to shop at a place that doesn't accept a form of payment that is very convenient for me, and that I was very angry about the way I was treated by the manager, and that the flat fee I'm paying isn't worth it for such poor service. I was expecting a discounted membership, or maybe set of coupons, but the low IQ people on the line did not know how to do their jobs very well. One of their main functions is to be sure that they do not lose customers, because it costs 10 times more to get a new customer than to hold on to an existing customer. However, after going three levels up the chain of command, I realized that they were not going to give.

These are my last words during a conversation with their main supervisor at the call center

Me: "I really enjoy shopping at Costco, I think they have great prices and I'd rather not cancel my membership. Is there any way you all can work with me to compensate me for the time I lost in your warehouse tonight as well as for the treatment I received from the store manager."

Supervisor: "I really don't know what you mean by "work with you".

Me: "How about a discounted membership or some coupons".

Supervisor: "Here at Costco we don't really do that. We at customer service don't give stuff like that".

Me: "Ok, cancel my membership"

I'm now a loyal Sam's club member, and their service is much better than Costco.
Va
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Ma
  8th of Jun, 2007
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I had a terrible experience at Costco Whitemarsh (Baltimore, MD)... the sales employee (Megan) was very rude... snubbed my question, shoved the paper in front of me, and was obviously not interested to deal with a cute minority like me... was chatting with this boy who works at Costco too and maybe flirting... who knows???
Di
  20th of Aug, 2007
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My complaint goes a bit further. My friend and I went into costco to shop and for me to get my new costco card. I was excited to join since I had some shopping, the stock up kind of shopping. I use cash and check to purchase things I need. I, therefore, asked if I could write a check for my items. The clerk told no problem. I wrote a check for the membership with no problem, got my funny looking sorta looks like me picture taken and I was off and shopping. Before I left the area I asked again if I could write a check for my purchases and once again I was told of course. I tootled around the store carefully gathering the things I needed. It took me about two hours. This was after a long day at work. I unloaded my things, cases of drinks, new towels, ice cream, toothpaste, and much more. I was feeling great, I even used the coupons. I was having fun. The cashier gave the amount and I wrote out the check. She left the area and returned with a very rude lady. She told me that since I have just joined, that I cannot write a check for over 100.00 dollars. I mentioned that I had asked if I could write a check when I first got my membership. She told me very rudely it is our policy. The matter of the all is the check money is automatically taken out, no waiting. The fifty dollar check had already gone threw. I went to the customer service and asked for my money back on my membership. The guy that helped me told me she did not know the policy and was sorry. One of the leader behind the counter was extremely, rude, and uncaring about the inconvenience a new customer had just experienced, poor customer service.
Bo
  18th of Feb, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
So who said you are a cute minority. Obviously you are not capable of judging your own craziness. Please don't waste people's time by posting illegitmate complaints. Your comments prove you are in the wrong. You would be able to see through that if you were capable of logic.
Mi
  30th of Mar, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Sometimes, customer service was horrible!!! Especial, a terrible supervisor who is a Mexican Male works at Merchandise Pickup Sector at Costco-Mountain View.
Ke
  18th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
Costco has the most miserable customer service I have ever experienced. I once spent about 2 hours shopping, and was set to spend over 200 dollars. I waited in the long line and the cashier scanned all my stuff. I tried to pay with a VISA (most widely accepted credit card in the world) credit card, which apparently is not taken by Costco. It was the only form of payment I brought, and the cashiers would not take it. I asked to speak with the manager, who then repeatedly rolled his eyes when I explained to him my situation. As I began offering alternatives, he would just say NO without even hearing my entire explanation. I do realize that it was my own fault for not bringing the correct form of payment, but don't get angry at me for doing everything I can to save myself over 2 hours of my time.

After this experience with the manager, I immediately called the Costco customer service call center to complain about the way I was treated. I got on the phone and explained my situation about being inconvenienced both by their credit card policy and by the store manager. I explained that I was paying a flat fee to shop at a place that doesn't accept a form of payment that is very convenient for me, and that I was very angry about the way I was treated by the manager, and that the flat fee I'm paying isn't worth it for such poor service. I was expecting a discounted membership, or maybe set of coupons, but the low IQ people on the line did not know how to do their jobs very well. One of their main functions is to be sure that they do not lose customers, because it costs 10 times more to get a new customer than to hold on to an existing customer. However, after going three levels up the chain of command, I realized that they were not going to give.

These are my last words during a conversation with their main supervisor at the call center

Me: "I really enjoy shopping at Costco, I think they have great prices and I'd rather not cancel my membership. Is there any way you all can work with me to compensate me for the time I lost in your warehouse tonight as well as for the treatment I received from the store manager."

Supervisor: "I really don't know what you mean by "work with you".

Me: "How about a discounted membership or some coupons".

Supervisor: "Here at Costco we don't really do that. We at customer service don't give stuff like that".

Me: "Ok, cancel my membership"

I'm now a loyal Sam's club member, and their service is much better than Costco.
Da
  1st of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Perhaps when you signed up as a new member, you did not see the huge signs everywhere for American Express. All registers display, AMEX, debit, or checks. Part of the reason for the low cost at Costco is that they don't have to pay fees to all these other credit card companies.
Do
  1st of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Posted: 2008-12-04 by Debbie Duncan [send email]
Poor customer service
Complaint Rating:
Company information:
Costco
Arlington, Virginia
United States

Costco has the most miserable customer service I have ever experienced. I once spent about 2 hours shopping, and was set to spend over 200 dollars. I waited in the long line and the cashier scanned all my stuff. I tried to pay with a VISA (most widely accepted credit card in the world) credit card, which apparently is not taken by Costco.
I do realize that it was my own fault for not bringing the correct form of payment, but don't get angry at me for doing everything I can to save myself over 2 hours of my time.

I was expecting a discounted membership, or maybe set of coupons, but the low IQ people on the line did not know how to do their jobs very well. One of their main functions is to be sure that they do not lose customers, because it costs 10 times more to get a new customer than to hold on to an existing customer. However, after going three levels up the chain of command, I realized that they were not going to give.

Me: "How about a discounted membership or some coupons".

Supervisor: "Here at Costco we don't really do that. We at customer service don't give stuff like that".

Me: "Ok, cancel my membership"
=================================================================
YOU readily admitted it was YOUR OWN FAULT for not bringing the correct payment...so what are you ### for??? Bottom line is...you were looking for something free...TYPICAL! When you walk in the warehouse all you see is American Express. You filled out the membership application which said AMERICAN EXPRESS. The employee would have told you they only took AMERICAN EXPRESS. The welcome book tells you they only take AMERICAN EXPRESS...READING..."PRICELESS"

You did the best thing by canceling your membership. Now you are BOTH happy.
Mk
  17th of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I agree with your complaint because I got my membership online and there wasn't any information about the fact that Costco does not accept all credit cards. Who in the world does not accept credit cards especially Visa? We have to pay so much for a membership and then we have to pay the high prices at Costco. It can get expensive shopping at Costco buying in bulk. It sounds like Costco is making a lot of money since they do not provide convenience to the customer by accepting credit cards. They are thinking about themselves. I will probably also not stay with Costco, I have not decided.
Jl
  5th of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
Apparently 'Keith ' cannot read. The store has posted what forms of payment they will accept. The Complaint has no merit. He was just trying to get something for nothing. How absurd!
Rn
  24th of Jul, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
YOU didn't bring the right form of payment and want THEM to compensate you for your mistake? Have you never been in any kind of business before? Costco does not give things away to people because they did not take the 30 seconds it would require to find out what payment was acceptable. If a merchant does not accept Visa there is no way they can make an exception. Do you not carry checks or debit. I KNOW they accept those. I am glad you are now a happy Sam's Club customer. They are better set up to deal with your type.
Gs
  31st of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My problem with Costco is that they use American Express. I tried to pay my bill online and did not realize it took 30 days for them to process an automative payment. I know it was my fault for not reading the fine print but I received 3 different emails from American Express confirming the authomative payment and they did not state it would take 30 days. I was charged a 15.00 late payment fee which they would not waive. gsk
Bi
  18th of Nov, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Thank you, I was on the fence about signing up for Costco but if I can't use my Visa credit card then I'll stay at Sams Club. In my opinion the folks working at Costco are happier than the people working at Sams Club and Costco seems to have different products on the shelves and I'd rather shop there but with my Visa credit card I get points from my issuer.
Jo
  5th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
It is real simple. Use cash, check, Costco/AmEx card OR use your personal bank "debit card" as same as cash or if you want to get cash back. The Costco/AmEx card has no annual cost but does carry about a 15% interest which is about average. Be smart and never charge more than you can afford to pay back in one payment. Also AmEx pays you a rebate of 3%, 2% or 1% for different categories of charges (gas, restaurant, products, etc) either at Costco or anywhere else. My annual rebate usually pays my Executive membership cost o $100. Therefore, my membership is usually free. Sure it is aggravating that you didn't have cash or the AmEx card, but that is very clearly stated and the writer above clearly knew this even though she is trying to make a case otherwise.

RE the person that claims that AmEx took 30 days to clear their "automative" payment and then charged a late fee: if that is truly not just some bogus comment on your part, then you need to call AmEX and explain how they were at fault (if true) and if it was clearly not your fault, then they should take the late charge off. Be nice and don't try to pull the wool over their eyes with some bogus argument (though I suspect it to be the case).
Bo
  7th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I feel your pain. I was at Costco 2 weeks ago and I loaded a flat bed cart with 2 55" plasma televisions, 2 Blu-ray DVD players and a washer and dryer. My wife also loaded 2 carts with food, clothes and cleaning supplies. When we went through the line we realized that we didn't bring any cash nor did we currently have any funds available in the bank. However we wrote out an IOU and presented it to them with our promise to come back and pay for it when the economy improves. Apparently they DO NOT accept IOU's. Outrageous! Maddening! I was appalled and dumbfounded! Apparently we are as stupid as you are! They could at least give us some coupons or free gas or something. I mean I wasted 2 hours of my time shopping. I'm gonna go to Sam's also. They like us stupid people. Oh by the way, you are an idiot if you seriously think they even owe you an explanation. Your life must be utterly painful!
Ja
  22nd of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Three weeks ago I went to Costco to order eye glasses. They have a numbered queue system, which should have been my first clue that they don't mind making customer wait a long time. When I arrived and took my number there were about six numbers ahead of me. More than 20 minutes passed before they finally called my number. The girls working there had served two young guys out of sequence. So not only do they make you wait, if the girls working there aren't interested in flirting with you then you wait even longer.

Finally I was able to get service and within a few minutes was able to place my order with them.

They told me that my order would be filled within two weeks. After three weeks I called them to find out what was going on. To which they responded that my glasses had been ready since December 4th, but I never got a call.

I drove the 30 minute to Issaquah to pick-up my glasses. When I arrived there were dozens of customers in the queue in front of me. From my previous experience I knew that this meant that my wait would be nearly an hour. Since all I wanted was to pick-up my glasses, I asked the connected optometrist's office to help me collect my glasses. They were only too happy to inform me that none of the four people standing around doing nothing could help me.

Since I could not wait, I went back to my office and called them to ask that they mail my order to me. They informed me that there is a $5 charge for this and that I can only pay with American Express. I don't have an America Express card so they told me that I can drive the 30 minute back there and wait in line to pay the $5 fee.?? In response to this I canceled my order. This seemed to delight the girl I was speaking with. However, she initially informed me that they could only be refunded to an American Express card. When I reminded them that I can accept a check they finally agreed to mail me a check.

Upset with having wasted so much time and been treated so poorly, I attempted to file a complaint through the Costco web site. However, the complaint page is broken. Based on my experience, the fact that they have no means of collecting customer feedback is not a surprise.


In Summary:

- Extremely long wait times.

- Aloof, indifferent, and downright rude staff.

- Poor customer service policy.

- Broken customer feedback web page.
Ru
  26th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Costco leases out these functions to other businesses, so the only control they have is to not renew the leases.

At one time our store had an excellent optical company which pulled out, and was replaced with a poor service company.

You will find it hit and miss at all of their stores. Rudy Vacek
Ke
  14th of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Dear Debbie Duncan,
Sam's Club does not accept VISA as a credit card. How do you not know this if you shop at Sam's? (like you say you do) I can't begin to fathom the egg on your face when you ran into the same exact problem. Wait! I'm sure it went down just like this:

Cashier: "Hi! Did you find what you were looking for?"
Debbie: "Does it look like it?"
Cashier with a frown starts to scan all products
Debbie: "Oh by the way I need you to lift these heavy items onto the belt for me. I could do them myself but I'd rather you get paid to work"
Cashier lifts heavy items and finishes scanning
Cashier: "Alright that will be $XXX.XX"
Debbie scans her VISA card
Cashier: "Oh I'm so sorry we don't accept VISA as a credit card, only as a Debit card. We accept Discover and Mastercard and you can also write a check. Oh and cash is also acceptable"
Debbie: "Who doesn't accept VISA?!! Get you manager!! I think you're lying"
Manager arrives
Manager: "Yes what is the problem?"
Debbie: "Your store does not accept VISA and I don't have any other form of payment!!"
Manager: "Well we can solve that easily. Why don't we write down how much you order is and have you go get a Wal-Mart gift card. You can use your VISA to fill it up. We can suspend the transaction and when you get back have you pay and go off on your way. Now how does that sound?"
Debbie: "It sounds horrible!!! I think, for my time, YOU should give ME all my items for free AND a $10 gift card. It's not MY fault that I don't pay attention when I sign up for memberships. It's not MY fault I can't read signs posted all over your store. NOR is it MY fault I'm too stubborn to take your advice that I find helpful and convenient!! THIS IS ABOUT THE PRINCIPLE!! I WANT MY REFUND!!!
Ge
  4th of Aug, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Biff- IDK what youre smoking, but Sam's Club doest except Visa. only Master Card and Discover

Secondly, if that was the only payment type you brought, how were they supposed to help you? "Ooooh you only have Visa? ill take you to our special machine that processes that". Youre a douche, i hope you never go grocery shopping again because no one deserves the disrespect you cause while shopping.
Bm
  21st of Aug, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Costco has good price for certain items that you buy in "bulk" however, it has few selections and choices, and I don't see any organic items on the shelf. Because, Costco is not specialize in Electronic, it is not specialize in Kitchenware, it's not specializing in clothing like a department store, it's not specializing in grocery like a grocery store. Bottom line is, you have to buy in Bulk with few selections and in flexible payment method. Become a member only if you will spend 5K or more per year, otherwise, is the membership fee worth it?
Ke
  19th of Mar, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I noticed they were selling carrot juice last time I was there about 3 weeks ago. Having just stocked up I figured I'd buy theirs next round.So, I went there today and picked up a 3 pack of carrot juice and noticed it had 2 days left on expiration and all 4 cases in the cooler were the same. This stuff ships with at least 30 days on it maybe 35. This is my problem with this store. Most of the perishables they sell are fairly big packs so good dates are important unless you can use everything in 2-3 days which I'm sure is no problem for a big family. Also, I had sliced apples, spinach and sushi on my list but short dates kept me from buying. I'm pretty sure Costco doesn't really care about this issue because after phone calls, emails and a letter no response

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Costco Wholesale Corporation Logo Costco Wholesale Corporation
Customer Service
Overall Satisfaction Rating

1278 Reviews
P. O. Box 34622
Seattle
WA
United States - 98124
+1 800 774 2678
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