Costco Warehouse

Posted on Friday, April 14th, 2006 at 11:47pm CDT by ab8bd7b5

Company: Costco Warehouse

Category: Other

Costco Warehouse, Bellingham, Washington.

If this is published on your web site, Please keep my name CONFIDENTIAL.

Here is an email I sent to Costco's customer service detailing my complaint:

Hello,

Today I had a very unpleasant situation in your warehouse. I require the use of a Service Dog that is specially trained to perform tasks related to my disability. He wears a badge that identifies him as a Service Dog. The task that he performs requires him to be within reach of my hand(s) when I am standing and walking around the warehouse. The most ergonomic place for him to be within my manual reach when I have to push a shopping cart is in the top seat, where children, toddlers & babies often ride - with leaky diapers and pants, germs, etc.

I understand that Costco has concerns about health codes. I do see a conflict (bordering on discrimination) with health codes when toddlers are allowed to spread germs freely in the cart's upper seat, leaky diapers and all - yet trained, certified, health-certificate-bearing Service Dogs cannot touch the carts.

In spite of the seeming irrationality of that policy, I wanted to comply with your policy. This is why I purchased a special fabric cover that prevents my Service Dog from coming into contact - physically - with the cart. I placed the hygienic cover lining the top seat of the cart so that he would be within my manual reach, yet would not come into physical contact with the actual cart.

Today two employees on separate occasions confronted me. Both said the dog was not allowed in the warehouse, despite the badge he was wearing identifying him as a Service Dog. When I told them verbally that he was a Service Dog, they each said that he had to be on leash and walking on the floor in order to be in the warehouse. I showed them that he was indeed on a leash that was attached to me, and also showed them his Service Dog badge, that was attached to his halter. They each insisted that he could not ride in the cart for Health Code reasons, and insisted that he must walk on the floor. I specifically told them that my Service Dog could NOT perform his tasks for me while on the floor walking along side the card. They each argued, saying that every time I come to Costco I will have the same response - he is not allowed to be in the store riding on the cart - for health reasons. One employee said she was going to call the manager, and she walked off, and didn't return. I waited there for awhile, and then went about my shopping.

Upon checkout, I asked to speak to the manager. I had hoped to ask for some sort of letter that I could show in the future should I be confronted by employees in the future, saying I didn't want to go through this distress and embarrassment again if this could be prevented. The manager told me that the Service Dog did NOT have to be walking on the floor, but that if it was not walking on the floor, I would have to carry him on my body in a "pouch" of some sort.

I am writing now to ask for help. My Service Dog weighs about 17 pounds. I cannot carry him on my body for more than about 20 minutes. I tried. Would you please guide me with a concrete suggestion that would ensure I meet your health codes, yet which also allows me access per the ADA? There must be some way that he can sit in the "toddler seat" while protecting the cart from his "dog germs." Why wasn't my idea of covering the cart a reasonable accommodation?

I truly want to resolve this amicably. I also want to avoid future confrontations from uneducated and terribly insensitive employees. I would like something in writing that I can carry with me to your warehouses that will allow me access.


1 Comment

ebc315aa, 2009-06-19, 09:22AM CDT

I believe that if there are leaky diapers and germs from toddlers sitting in those toddler seats, then as their customer, you should be allowed to put your service dog in the seat area of the cart. If you have proof that he's a service dog, there should be no question about letting your service dog in that seat. He is a priority to you as a person with a disability, and if you're paying $50 to just come into Costco, you shouldn't be treated like this. Even if you need wipe the seat off with a antibacterial wipe, you should be able to have your service dog in that seat with the seat cover. I don't expect this level of poor service in a Costco and am extremely disappointed to hear about your experience. I hope that your problems at Costco can be resolved and wish the best to you.

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