8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Abuse Costco’s Return Policy

4 min read

Over the years, Costco has experienced what is well known around the world as “scamming.” This is due to its too generous policy on the return of goods.

Many people abuse the system because it is so open to satisfying a customer to ensure that they have a great experience. They are just trying to trick the company! Immoral actions can lead to the $60 per month membership being canceled.

A reasonable consumer returns an item at a reasonable time, with the item in the condition they bought it or close to it. We have been told some shocking stories of Costco customers abusing the return policy.

Continue reading to find out nine reasons why you shouldn’t abuse Costo’s return policy.

8. You’re a Reasonable Person

There have been some cases of trickery from customers that are simply unethical. For example, Christmas trees have been returned in January as being unsatisfactory after they were enjoyed throughout the Christmas season!

The fact that Costco’s return policy is so open and vague allows for these actions. The time period to return is not well defined, so people take advantage of that gray area to get free use of products as they return them whenever they wish and get that refund. If you are a reasonable and ethical person, you won’t take part in such actions.

7. You Follow Costco’s Policy

The wholesale chain giants guarantee their customers satisfaction on every item they sell and will refund the purchase price if you are not satisfied. The guaranteed satisfaction on all items makes it hard to turn people away with their returned items, used or unused! Their policy document, however, outlines some exceptions.

Diamonds should be returned within 48 hours, while selected electronic items must be returned within 90 days. Alcohol, cigarettes and custom items will not be accepted as returns, and items with limited life expectancy attract special warranties.

6. Too Many Returns Will Get You in Trouble

Although what exactly constitutes violations of the return policy is not explicitly outlined on their website, some members have gotten in trouble. They have had their membership canceled because of too many returns or taking too long to return a product.

It stands to reason that if you are not satisfied with their products and keep returning them and collecting refunds, they just can’t please you. They can cancel your membership and return your membership fee!

5. Taking Advantage of the Situation

The policy extends to the manager’s discretion when a customer returns a questionable item. But even if and when a manager knows that he should flatly refuse certain items when abuse is staring him in the face, the situation can be dicey.

Lawsuits are a dime a dozen, and it’s a return anything any time policy, with the few exceptions, of course. Many club members and employees get confused when these situations arise. So, the problem is never brought to the manager’s attention.

4. It’s Used For Enticing Customers

Costco’s generous and lenient return policy is to entice customers to flock to their business, and people do flock to them for this sweet deal! Who wouldn’t? Marketing strategies come in many strange forms, and although people are enticed to become Costco members, they are also enticed to abuse, cheat and deceive. Don’t be that customer!

3. You Might Lose Your Membership

A Costco member reported that she brought back a printer she bought in 2010…2010! She lost her membership! The printer falls under the no return on electronics, but after all this time, she returned it, and nobody bent the rule for her! Costco’s staff must have been happy to say a straightforward “No” finally!

The manager at the Fairfax store in Virginia also had a list ready, from which he had information that she had made too many returns already! He stood his ground and would not be swayed, even amid her protest.

The Costco member then reportedly called customer service and spoke to Costco’s Senior Vice President of Northeast Operations. He informed her that her membership would be canceled. They refunded her for the printer, the ink she purchased and her annual fee.

2. Different Policies

Some Costco locations have different interpretations of the return policy. For example, at two locations in Virginia, customer service said that there were no limits on returning items and that you were not in any danger of losing your membership if you did too many returns.

But checking in New York and Texas, customer service reps stated that, yes, the company did monitor the number of returns a customer made, and those making frequent returns on high dollar items are of special interest!

1. Making It Harder for Others

Since so many customers were abusing Costco’s generous return policy, the company was forced to put some tighter restrictions on items. Their lenient policy was causing the company to lose money and create confusing moments for all stakeholders. This propelled L.L. Bean, Costco’s founder, to put a stop to its fabulous lifetime return policy and only give a one-year coverage on items.

An email sent to Costco’s customers by Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman of the company and grandson of L.L. Bean, said that a small but growing number of customers are misinterpreting the original intent of the return policy. He said that there was a view that it was a lifetime product replacement program, where people expected to receive refunds for worn items used over many years.

Get Value in an Ethical Way!

Costco has always been good to its public, and its valued customers will likely remain loyal. It’s part of human nature to want perks, but it is also part of human nature to abuse privileges. Get value for your money while staying true to yourself.

If you love warehouse clubs and great deals, check out this special Sam’s Club Membership offer that includes free food on All Time Lists shop!

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