Costco Tells Me It's Tweaking Return Policy

Shannon says Costco’s unreal return policy is about to get a little more sensible, if a lot less awesome. It seems the warehouse wholesaler is implementing something of a 2-year time limit on returns, according to what she hears from the company’s legal department.

She writes:

Our Costco, in [redacted], WA, has implemented a new way to process returns. I was told by the store manager this policy will be adopted nationwide. The two VPs I spoke to at corporate gave me the impression that they were getting tired of endless returns. This is from Costco’s legal department after I filed a complaint with our state attorney general:

Costco is dedicated to offering the best products at the best prices to
our members. Our advertised return policy states, “We guarantee your
satisfaction on every product we sell, and will refund your purchase
price [if not satisfied]”. We offer this extremely generous return
policy because we recognize that in rare instances there are defects in
products we sell, or a member may decide that they purchased the wrong
item for their needs or the member decides that the product does not
perform as the member expected. Our return policy is the most lenient
in the marketplace to accommodate our members in these rare instances.

At the Bellingham warehouse, the employees who handle returns are
authorized to make returns on any merchandise that is less than two
years old (other than certain electronic products) if the member is not
satisfied with their purchase. Returns of merchandise over two years
old, if the member is not satisfied with their purchase, require manager
approval.

In my experience, the manager determines whether you got enough use out of the product. He or she also may or may not look at your return history before making a final decision. So, at least in Bellingham, they have a two year return policy but they will not post it.

So just as every Costco lover knew would happen, the bad apples seemed to have ruined it for everyone. But even with the change Costco’s return policy is among the most consumer-friendly.