Costco's Lifetime Return Policy Only Applies To Actual Members

When one of the suitcases from Jon’s decade-old Kirkland (Costco house brand) luggage set broke, he didn’t fret. Why, Costco has one of the greatest return policies in the world! Maybe in the universe! When he attempted to bring the item back, though, he learned the hard way that the famed warranty only applies to the original member who bought the item. Which can be a little awkward when the item was a gift.

He explains:

About ten+ years ago I received a set of Kirkland brand luggage as a gift from my parents to celebrate my high school graduation. We had been Costco members for over a decade, and this was our third set of Kirkland luggage.

Last year the telescoping handle on the largest piece of luggage became stuck in the “up” position, rendering the luggage unusable. As Costco has a notoriously amendable returns policy, we planned on returning it for a new piece.

Last week I called to confirm that I could return this luggage, but their phone system hung up on me twice. We drove over to the Costco location next to [redacted] with the luggage and tried the return, but were told that we needed to return with a member in order to get the store credit.

Today we returned to the Costco location [redacted] with a family member who is a Costco member. The woman by returns was openly hostile, beginning the exchange by questioning whether this was in fact a Kirkland bag. Once she had ascertained that this was a Kirkland bag (every zipper says “Kirkland”), she stopped to talk with some friends for about five minutes. She then came back to ask us for our Costco card, and then left to talk with friends for another few minutes. After 15 minutes from our initial exchange, she explained that the warranty is only valid for the original Costco member who purchased the item.

We explained that this was a gift, and was purchased by a family member who is a Costco member. They called over a manager. The manager explained that Cotsco’s warranties ONLY cover Costco members.

In other words, don’t buy gifts for friends or family at Costco. It may come with a lifetime warranty, but your friends and family will experience only frustration and financial loss when trying to use this warranty.