Costco Return Policy: Changing for the Stricter

Illustration for article titled Costco Return Policy: Changing for the Stricter

According to an exclusive by our delightfully jaded friends at The Consumerist, if you have some old Costco merchandise that you've been meaning to return, do it before Jan 1.

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Because on Jan 1, Costco may be changing their lenient return policy due to abuse, especially in the realm of computers (and other technology we are assuming). This seems like a fair play, considering the rate at which technology depreciates. And having worked in retail, I know firsthand how cheap people can be, even after owning something for two years. But I've been blabbing on all day. What do you think?

Exclusive [theconsumerist]


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DISCUSSION

Bought a $400+ Panasonic digital camera through an online retailer, hadn't really looked at the warranty: parts, one year, but not labor. Originally figured I had the extended warranty through my platinum card. Of course the camera stops functioning at 1 year and a few days, so as punishment for my stupidity, I have to deal with the automated telephone service from hell. Everyone pays $160 up front, unless they pay $260 up front. And, it must be sent to some town in Illinois, for which I have to do an extensive internet search just to figure out how to spell the computer generated and pronounced address. That voice keeps promising a real person, but unless you lie, it tricks you, and sends you back to itself again, and again..., and that address.... Nagging thought in the back of my head— If I'd bought it at Costco, this wouldn't be happening.

Bottom line is that this is not the price range of a disposable camera. If the engineering and design are shoddy, then Costco has been in the position of an advocate for their members. Perhaps there are a lot of manufacturers out there who would like to destroy that paradigm.

The contrast is that about ten months ago, I returned a CRT monitor, protected behind a UPC, that went south for no apparent reason. It was upsale for its time, and in the second year of a 3 year warranty which, had I needed to navigate the complex warranty claims process by myself, I'd have kicked it to the side of the road, and eaten the loss. Costco gave me full price back. I happily turned around, plunked down an extra $150 and bought the 19" LCD I'm using to write this. Unless Costco's policy changes drastically, I'll buy from them before I buy anywhere else. Wholesale clubs like Costco help keep manufacturers producing quality stuff, and help level that playing field, for the consumer.