Sunday, August 02, 2009

If You Can Imagine It, Then It Can Be Returned to Costco

A friend of mine - who will remain anonymous in case the Costco Gestapo is monitoring this blog – recently tested Costco’s famous return policy. According to their website:

Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell with a full refund. The following must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a refund: televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPOD / MP3 players and cellular phones.

How to Return: For an immediate refund (including shipping and handling), simply return your purchase at any one of our Costco warehouses worldwide. If you are unable to return your order at one of our warehouses, please email customer service or call our customer service center….

If you request an item be picked up for return, the item must be packaged and available for pick up in the same manner as it was delivered.
If your order was delivered “curb side,” it will need to be available for curb side pick up.
If the item arrived to you in a box, it will need to be in a box at the time of pick up.

Not only can you return anything at any time – except for certain electronics – but they’ll even pick it up from your house!! It sounds too good to be true. But is it?

So our good unnamed friend – let’s call him Diego Montoya Villa Lobos – decided to give it a try. Diego had purchased a set of golf clubs at Costco – 4 years ago – and was looking to buy a new set. He was no longer satisfied with the old clubs because they were, well, old I guess – and no longer shiny. And who wants 2 sets lying around the house anyway? Why not return the old, used set for a full refund, and use that money towards a brand new set?

But hadn’t Mr. Montoya Villa Lobos used the clubs in the interim? Wouldn’t Costco be crazy to accept these old, used, scuffed up clubs as a return? Hadn’t he used the five-iron to clean out his gutters, and the sand wedge to probe for….well, never mind.

Yes, yes, yes and you don’t want to know.

Furthermore, he didn’t have the receipt and may have bought the clubs using someone else’s membership card. He really couldn’t remember. It had been 4 years, for God’s sake.

And as crazy as it sounded, and with enough egging on, our good friend Diego gave it a shot. What did he have to lose, after all? The return policy is right there in black and white.

So without subjecting you to any further suspense, Mr. D.M.V. Lobos was indeed able to return the clubs for a full refund. They didn’t even check the condition of the sand wedge or the five-iron. They just counted the clubs to make sure they were all present and accounted for.

The moral of this story is most definitely that you can pretty much return anything you ever bought at Costco at any point in the future, no matter what. Receipt or not. Half-eaten or not. Burned by fire, damaged by the wind, covered in molten rock. It makes no difference. Costco will take it back.

And that is why, my friends, we should all shop at Costco.

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David said...

It really is amazing what they will accept as returns.

Dennis said...

This Diego character sounds like an awesome guy.

I would LOVE to hang out with him or invite him to lunch.

Anonymous said...

This is why so many companies aren't like Costco. I hope your "friend" shops somewhere else now. Leave Costco to the rest of us.