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Costco Membership / costco membership scam

United States Review updated:
3.9
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I joined Costco in February of 2006. When February 2007 rolled around, I decided not to rejoin. I rejoined in September of 2007. When I used my membership card in February of 2008 I was told I had to pay again. WHAT??? They said it wasn't their fault I didn't use my membership for 7 months. That is a bunch of bullsh**. My new membership should be from September 07-September 08.
Va
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Le
  26th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The Costco stores in the valley (Phoenix AZ) operate this same scam. They always try to use the analogy of 'It's like a gym membership ...'. They train their employees to say the same analogy (Last year, several Costco employees used the same analogy ...hmmmmm.). This is completely ridiculous. Believe me, you are not the first person that has called Costco on this unfair and deceptive business practice.

After disputing this unfair practice last year, Costco member services finally conceded (after a 45 minute discussion.) that I could cancel and start a new membership. However, they stated it would like "suspicious" on why I had opened and cancelled memberships. I asked them to explain how this would look suspicious. They stated it would appear I was trying to defraud them of membership dues (????!!!). I told them to enter a note explaining why the membership was cancelled. They also offered a 'One time exception' to reset the issue date (Only one time?). I called Costco headquarters (Seattle WA), and issued a complaint. The person admitted they receive a large volume of calls regarding this "policy". Despite this volume of calls, Costco continues this money making "policy". I doubt my complaint went any further than that telephone conversation.

This year, Costco membership and a manager told me that cancelling a membership and opening a new membership would not work. After pressing the manager, she admitted that I could cancel and open a new account, but it would need to be approved by managers higher than herself.

It is plain and simple: If I purchase a 1 year contract, I expect 1 year of service (not more or less.). If I decide to let my membership lapse and renew several months later, you bet I expect to get what I paid for (1 year of service.).

This is a HUGE money making scam operated by Costco. For the most part, Costco employees are trained to "shutdown" customer complaints and remain unflexible.

Money speaks louder than words. Like another poster stated, tell the manager you WILL take your business elsewhere. Also complain to Costco headquarters in Seattle WA.

Everyone that has encountered this scam needs to post everywhere possible on the internet.
Sl
  17th of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Pay your bills when they are due. Does the power company allow you to only pay when you feel like it.
Ki
  28th of Aug, 2009
Agree Disagree -4 Votes
take a cart, put some vulnerable staffs, like eggs, glass, flour in it and vandalize them while u go around in the costco and leave them inside and come out and have a cheap hot-dog and pop and go home...
Co
  4th of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
costco already changed their policy about this issue. i believe after 3 months without renewing your membership they will change your renewal date to the date you renewed.
Ro
  30th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
How does my mother find out if her card expired?
Mc
  22nd of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
If i re-new my gym membership, I get the 12 months from the re-newal date. Its not like a gym membership as you are being charged for the inactive term. When you dont renew, you cant shop until you pay for the renewal.

Costco got sued over this and as a result of the lawsuit agreed to limit the backdating to 2.5 months.

Their legal department publicly claimed that the stores will give you the full 12 months if you ask. I have tried to no avail. If i pay for 12 months I expect 12 months.

The store where I went to insisted it was like a gym membership. I explained, i dont get charged for months that membership lapsed.
Ms
  15th of Feb, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Oh my gosh...the same thing just happened to me...and the Employee did say it was like a gym membership. Of course that BS didn't sit well with me, as I used to work in the Accounting office of a gym. AND it is not the same.

I paid in March and expected to have a full year of membership...just like everyone else who came into Costco in March & purchased a membership. It is not like they were giving me a discount for being a member for the past 5 years. I had to pay what every other Joe paid. I was so upset I ended up returning my purchases (I paid at the checkout & then went to Customer Svs). At the stores Customer Service refused to extend my membership until March...however when I called the Corporate Customer Svs., they extended it & told me that they are changing the policy...Now, who knows how long that will take to change.

I hope they actually do change this policy & soon because I feel that this can not be legal. To charge the same price but penalize prior members has got to be against the law, doesn't it? Something tells me there must be a Class Action Lawsuit going on somewhere...and I would love to get my name on that list. I am still so upset with this company!!!
Ma
  23rd of Mar, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I allowed my membership to lapse for several years, then re-located & re-jointed in August 2008. The following June, at checkout they told me my membership was expired. I argued & was told unless I could provide the receipt showing an August payment I would have to pay the renewal right then. In March 2010 I receive a statement showing my membership expires APRIL 2010 AND while the statement indicates I have a regular membership, they are billing me for an executive membership for TWICE the fee of the regular. Apparently they are getting even more scheming about their practices & giving only 10 months membership for the price of twelve. Who saves their register receipts in order to demonstrate they are being scammed a year later??? If not for the fact that I can place the membership in the timeframe of a relocation, I would never have even noticed. I'm sure the vast majority of their members don't even notice they are being scammed.
Ce
  26th of May, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My sister and I have a membership at Costco. She is the primary member, however, while I was on line last year, I was approached by a Costco employee to upgrade my membership from Gold to Executive since I shop there quite a bit. One year later, the membership expired and I decided that the executive membership was not worth it to me, so I decided to downgrade to Gold. I was told that I need the primary member to be present to downgrade. However, I pointed out to them that I did not need the primary member to upgrade, why should I need the primary member to downgrade? Can you believe it, this is their policy. You can upgrade for 2X the cost but you cannot downgrade. I just left my card at the counter and walked out of the store, never to return. If more members did this, Costco would change the way that they did business.
Ge
  3rd of Aug, 2010
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
still better than Sam's Club...
In
  14th of Mar, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Costco representatives sell the Executive Membership pretty hard when they see you approach the register with a large cart of groceries. The sales pitch is usually "the rebate check at the end of the year will exceed your initial $100 membership fee." I guess Costco never heard of the time-value of money. In this period of high cost-push inflation, why should I give Costco a $100 zero-interest loan just for the privilege to shop in their store? It's a small scam.
Jo
  30th of Mar, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
They are rough in selling executive membership. It has come to the point that I am just going to use a cell phone to tape the [censor] these people are talking and put in youtube if it happens again. Yesterday I was asked to join b/c I am throwing money away, "I cannot believe that you are guarantee to earn the $ but you refuse". I highly encourage that everyone from now on when they forced you to join, just say " I am not interested. Which word in my sentence you do not understand?"
Pe
  31st of Mar, 2011
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I have been being soliciting big time to upgrade to execute membership lately in Kirkland and Issaquah. If you find it bothering, please call up 1-800-774-2678 and told them to put a note to don't bother you to do the upgrade. Tell them this is America, you have the choice to decide you want to upgrade or not and they should never bother you like the poor kids in the 3rd world countries asking you for spare change.
An
  28th of Sep, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Westbury< New York: I encountered a Costco employee who came down an aisle with a full pallet of Poland Spring water. This was a near miss which could have been avoided by manuvering this pallet in a safe manner. What was even more scary was the manner in which I was spoken to. After he swerved to avoid hitting me, he became IRATE and THREATENING towards me. I was being blamed for not stoppping to give him the right away..."are you kidding me" On a Saturday evening with wall to wall customers (with Children)???? I believe the CUSTOMER should have the right away... Does Costco train their employees that SAFETY is always FIRST??? What kind of training do they receive prior to getting hired? Hey, how about Customer Service??? Obviously this employee needs anger management classes. My concern is that this employee will get someone hurt by his reckless work habits or physically hurt a co-worker or customer. This ordeal is very unsettling...I wonder if BJ'S is any better.
Ja
  23rd of Mar, 2016
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Let's all start a class action suit against Costco. I ordered some over the count drugs my wife takes on March 16th. On March 21st Costco informed me my membership expired on February 29th and my order was canceled. I spent the next day trying to renew my membership on line with no success. Their web site is so screwed up! I finally talked to a customer service rep that renewed my membership on the phone. The membership went active March 23rd. When I went into the website on membership status my membership start date was back dated to February 29th. I did not have the use of the Costco membership for 24 days but I was charged for it. I have been a member for 29 years. Who keeps track of their Costco membership expiration date? The rep told me it was just like a gym membership. Costco is ripping off their members by making selve-serving rules. Sue the ###!

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

1275 Reviews
P. O. Box 34622
Seattle
WA
United States - 98124
+1 800 774 2678
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