Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Costco return policy is only as good as employees

The return policy is listed on a sign at the front counter of my Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

By Victor E. Sasson

The return policy on merchandise purchased at Costco Wholesale is one of the best in the retail world:

"We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell, with a full refund."

But on July 22, at the front counter of my Hackensack warehouse store, I ran into an employee who basically asked me to jump through hoops to return a carton of Tropicana orange juice I bought a week earlier.

No safety seal

I had twisted off the cap of the half-gallon carton, only to find the inner seal missing.

That was strange, considering the inner seals were intact on the 3 other half-gallons in the special Costco pack.

I took the full carton back to the store, along with a bag of Forelle Pears that hadn't ripened on my kitchen counter in the 2 weeks since I bought them.

I got an immediate $7.49 credit on my American Express card for the pears, but the male employee said he couldn't give me credit for a single carton of OJ.

However, he said, if I bought another 4-carton pack of Tropicana ($11.79), he'd take one out and credit me. Go figure.

I didn't need more orange juice, but I did need another pair of fully lined men's shorts, deodorant and Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix.

I left the OJ at the return counter, went home with my purchases and e-mailed about my experience.

A couple of days later, I got a call from the Hackensack store general manager, a woman named Joey, who apologized and said I should come in and she would give me a 4-pack of Tropicana for free.

I did return on Monday, but still didn't need orange juice.

When I checked out with $64.21 in other food -- including fruit, pesto, quinoa and sliced cheese -- I knocked on the office door and asked for the general manager.

She came out and looked over what I had bought, but again said when I buy a 4-pack of OJ, she'll give it to me for free.

This seems too inflexible. Why can't I just get a $10 credit, and finish with this nonsense? 

I returned on Tuesday for fresh wild sockeye salmon, frozen hake fillets and more Organic Spring Mix, but no OJ.

After I checked out, I didn't bother knocking on the office door. 


  1. I've had a forelle pear sitting in my kitchen for three months now and it still hasn't ripened. Your gripe isn't with Costco, it should be with the genetic engineers who injected the pears with dna from a rock.

  2. LOL. Good to hear from you. I've been taking the summer off from rye. Have you sworn off wry?

  3. No I haven't sworn off wry, but from the lack of comments on your blog, maybe it's time for you to start giving the editors nicknames again.

  4. I'll entertain anonymous contributions from readers. Comments may be down, but readership has been way up since I ran for City Council in Hackensack.

  5. Wanted to ask wats advantages for executive members

    1. Executive members get an extra 2% rebate on their purchases with the American Express-Costco card, plus some Costco travel discounts,

      If you are a regular shopper, you'll get two or three times more than your annual membership back in rebates.


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