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February 26, 2007

Costco Return Policy Tightens Today

Costco has long been heralded as having one of the most consumer friendly return policies, allowing anything to be returned at any time, with or without a receipt, or even packing materials! You only have to be a member.

However, today Costco is quietly introducing a new return policy for Electronics. The policy is outlined in a PDF document on their web site.

Costco will accept returns within 90 days from the date of purchase for the following items:

  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Cameras
  • Camcorders
  • iPod/MP3 players
  • Cellular phones

The policy change only affects these items if bought after Feb 25, 2007.

I'm not at all surprised; I've heard that some people buy computers and return them every 6 months or when it got a virus or spyware infection, whichever came sooner. I've also heard people bragging about "upgrading" their TV or laptop every time a new model came out. Using Costco's liberal return policy like this is very abusive. I'm willing to bet it is the reason behind the change.

Personally, I've utilized their return policy a few times, but only to return products that were very poorly made and broke/wore out months later. In one case, years later I did return a battery backup UPS that started smoking. No product should ever smoke or catch fire, no matter how old it is.

Generally Costco's Customer Service staff is very polite and won't bug you about returns but they could use an attitude adjustment when it comes to checking out the product while processing the return. Some of the staff display a very poor attitude when it comes to comparing the serial number on the box of a product with the product itself. In one case they outright implied that I was guilty of doing something wrong, that is until they re-verified that the S/N did in fact match.

I certainly understand the need for the checks of these things because of the growing problems associated with return fraud, but they shouldn't presume and act like that every customer returning something is up to no good.

Posted in Product Reviews & Purchases by usrbingeek at 2007-02-26 11:36 ET (GMT-5) | 1 Comments | Permalink


Unfortunately, I think those sales associates are victims of just the types of abuse you're talking about, Steve. When they see people day in and day out returning stuff every six months claiming there is an issue when there isn't one, I'm sure it gets old. This policy won't end the people returning lawn decorations on December 26th with the grass and dirt sticking out of them, but it will close the loophole of the most frustrating aspect for those of us who play by the rules--ethically.

Posted by: Angel at February 26, 2007 02:58 PM

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