|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 Costco.com 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.