Let’s say you’re in a rush after buying a fan at Costco. You look past the line packed with people and carts and spy a lone employee standing by the exit. Do you walk over and show your receipt? What’s the worst that could happen? Let’s ask Reader Shay.
On June 23, 2010 at the [redacted] Costco Center at around 11am I made a quick stop in to return a couple items and to pick a fan. Both the returns process and the checkout went wonderfully as usual. It only took me 2 minutes to get in line and pay for the one item I had.
However when I reached the exit door there was a line of 8 people with baskets of stuff waiting to get out the door. So I went to the other door which does have exit illuminated above it and showed the lady standing there my receipt and one item. She shook her head at me and pointed at the line. When I started to walk out the exit anyways she grabbed a hold of my arm and told me to go to the other line. I told her that I was already running late and the line was moving very slowly, so I continued out the exit. At this point her hand slipped off of my arm and she grabbed a hold of my purse. The first time I politely asked her to let go of me, to which she promptly ignored me. So I continued to walk out the door as she still held onto my purse, eventually grabbing onto it with a second hand and began tugging it. I finally started yelling at her to let go of me when we were in front of the exit area (directly center to both entrances). Even after people started stopping and staring at us, She continued to tug on my purse and would not let go no matter how loud I yelled. She finally let go when I knocked her hands off of my purse with pretty reasonable force.
I was honestly pretty shaken up over this. I really couldn’t believe someone would do this in a public place especially an employee of that store. I sat in my car for about 5 minutes and calmed down. Then I had to find the number for Costco, because no where on my receipt does it list a phone number. I finally got a hold of the stores assistant manger and explained what had happened. He was polite and apologetic and end up meeting me in front of the store so I could point out who had done this to me. He said that he would speak with this Employee and that the Store Manger would call me when he came in.
True to his word the store manger did give me a call a few hours later. He once again apologized for the situation. I explained to what had happened and he confirmed that the statement that the employee had to fill out stated exactly what I had told him.
I have also mailed a letter to the regional manger letting him know exactly what happen as well. This should have never happen to me and I will continue writing to members of Costco Management, to ensure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. There should be a Zero Tolerance Policy for this type of employee behavior.
The lone employee may not have been a loss prevention officer, but that doesn’t excuse her from using common sense. Still, was Shay wrong for trying to cut the line? Should Costco do anything else? Let us know in the comments.