Costco / service/discrimination

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My husband and I have been a Customer Member ([protected]) for over 20 years. I am black, educated (with a Masters Degree in Accounting) and I have always shopped at Costco and my purchase records would bear that out. On Monday November 20th around 8:15 pm I went to Costco Warehouse number 374 to make some purchases as I have always done. I had my coat on as it was about 35 degrees. At Checkout this particular cashier refused to start ringing up my purchases she first wanted to ring up my coat I had on which I purchased two weeks earlier. I was shocked and I said no. She started insisting loudly and belligerently to have her ring up the coat first. After I adamantly refused and asked her why she wanted to again ring up the coat I had purchase on November 5th, to which she replied that since I still had the tag on my coat that was zipped down half way exposing the tag at the back I had stolen it. I told her I never thought of removing the tag and it was inside the coat. Beside, there was no posted or written policy in the store to do so. She started talking loudly again implying that I had stolen the coat. I asked her why she was profiling me and because I am black. She insisted that she would not serve me until I took off the coat and paid again for it. I stood my ground because by this time I was deeply embarrassed and annoyed. I said to her why would I steal a coat and leave the tag hanging for you to see. I know she is a cashier but common sense should prevail. The first thing one would do if the coat had been stolen is to get rid of the tag. Why would I want to leave a tag on a coat exposed if it has been stolen to go through such embarrassment. That is absurd! I yelled back at her and asked for the store manager at the time. They both did not know what to do until I suggested for them to check my purchasing history as recently as two weeks ago. That was when they started scrambling to do something. By this time the people behind me in line who were all white were ganging up against me confirming that I had stolen the coat. I yelled back at them because at the time I was the only black person in line. Nobody came to my rescue. I then suggested to them to check the video surveillance and it will show that I walked in with the coat and never went to the coat area while I was in the store. I don't understand that a store like Costco which I have always admired and given rave review on every major site could not have a policy in placeto address such mishap. Anyway this situation went on for about 20 mins before they finally pulled up my purchase history showing that I purchased the coat on November 5, 2016 along with two other coats totalling $214.93. By then I had been thoroughly embarrassed and gotten in a shouting match with couple of white people behind me. They even tried to call the police on me. For me, I am deathly afraid of the police knowing of the current wave of senseless police killings of minorities especially black people for mostly standing up for their rights. I said to one white lady who was 20 ft behind me and was not privy to any of the conversations threatening to call the police on me. I told her she would have killed me herself if she had the opportunity but it is easier to call a dirty cop to pull the trigger on me who was innocent of the charges. One guy who was directly behind me even assaulted me by shoving me. Why would a place like Costco allow a customer of over 20 years be treated this way. Why would a white man have the audacity to put his hands on me. I have evidence of my purchase which matches the sku number on both the receipt and coat. I need this matter to be throughly investigated immediately and appropriate actions be taken before I seek legal action. I know we are living in a different and tenuous political climate where racist have been given the licenses to be racists, but I believe Costco whom I have always loved and given my business should not stand for this assault and discrimination. I will give your company a chance to do the right thing for now. I already spoke with the Store General Manager Melody who promised to pay for my next year's membership fees. For me that is not enough. I am an accountant and I could have lost everything last night including my life if the cops had been called on me because of an uneducated misguided cashier who willfully profiled me for theft and did not know how to de-escalate the situation. What happened last night shouldn't have happened especially from a company like Costco. I await to hear from you as soon as possible. I intend to contact every board member of Costco and any news media outlet that would hear my complaint until it is resolved.


Nov 22, 2016

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