Costco - No longer a competitive store - I'm writing this letter because I wanted to express my opinion regarding some changes you've made recently to Costco membership.

Posted on Sunday, October 31st, 2004 at 12:00am CDT by ccd63bd1

Company: Costco - No longer a competitive store - I'm writing this letter because I wanted to express my opinion regarding some changes you've made recently to Costco membership.

Category: Other

Costco - No longer a competitive store - I'm writing this letter because I wanted to express my opinion regarding some changes you've made recently to Costco membership.

Costco - No longer a competitive store

To: Costco Corporation PO Box 34331

Seattle, WA 98124 Member Services:

800-774-2678 COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_67032# Web address: Costco Customer service, I'm writing this letter because I wanted to express my opinion regarding some changes you've made recently to Costco membership. I've been a member of Costco (previously Price Club) for over 24 years (1980). For many years Costco offered unbeatable value and prices on products we all use. There was a time when I wouldn't need to shop price if it was offered at Costco, because seldom would any other store beat your prices. Over the last few years, your prices have consistently crept upward to the point where I have found better buys at a few of the larger outlets such as WalMart, not to even speak of the Internet. Even your gas prices can be matched around town now! Last month I was shopping for a 60" big screen DLP TV, a Samsung model your store carries.

I found it for several hundred dollars less at a discount store in Phoenix and Los Angeles. After mentioning a competitor’s price to your store manager, there was no interest in trying to compete for my business, so it was worth it for me to drive the distance and buy from them, which I did. Is this what I pay a membership fee for? The only area where your store offers a better buy (and not necessarily always) is with larger quantity items, but as our family has shrunk in size that isn't a benefit any longer. Along with your prices not being as competitive, you've recently cut one of your main membership benefits that has kept me as a Costco customer over the last few years. I'm speaking of the tire department’s free flat tire repair for members, even if the tires weren't purchased from Costco. This has been a great benefit and one of the only reasons I've continued to renew my membership over the last couple of years, even though I've only had two flat tires in the last five year! My wife and her sister (physically disabled) who is also a new member, ran over a nail a couple of weeks ago with her car and just happened to be in Costco's parking lot. What could have been a quick and easy experience turned out to be a very unhappy event! Costco refused to repair the flat since her tires weren't purchased from you, then they had to call AAA to have the tire removed and taken over to "Discount Tire" for repair. Two helpless women who both support your company were in a bind in your parking lot and your company couldn't even give them help for a service you perform everyday. I went to the manager to complain and express my extreme discontent for this action, I was then told of your new policy that stopped repairing flats for customers who didn't buy the tires from your store. In my opinion, this is one of the final membership benefits you've cut that will hurt your business in a big way. If you want to reconsider your decision, I'll wait to hear from you personally. If not, I plan to go on the Internet and post this letter to thousands of readers who probably feel just as I do about your companies declining reputation for value. Many friends have already expressed the same opinion! Unfortunately my annual membership fee was just renewed before this event happened, otherwise I would not have renewed it again. Considering the added cost for a membership fee and your prices not being competitive as in the past, plus cutting benefits as aforementioned, it's just not an advantage to be a Costco member any longer. If a competitor like Sam's Club or similar moves to Prescott, I know I and many other friends have already expressed switching our membership to them. I hope you will reconsider not only this last policy change, but also your effort to be more competitive with your pricing. I look forward to your response. Sincerely, Ed F Prescott, AZ 86303 Costco response 10-26-04 Dear Mr. F, Thank you for your email. We always appreciate and encourage communication from our members. Your comments and concerns have been forwarded to our Executives for their review. I am unable to research your specific concern with the pricing on the Samsung TV without additional details. However, if you could provide me with a model number, I would be happy to research the price with our buying office. Costco's goal is to provide the highest quality of merchandise with the best possible price. With regards to our recent change to tire service policy, as a service to our membership base, effective August 30th, 2004, we will no longer perform tire installations or maintenance services on vehicles that are not equipped with Costco purchased tires. The purpose of this change is to ensure that we meet the service standards for Costco Members that purchase tires from us. Over the years the increasing demand for no charge services on Non-Costco tires has made it difficult for us to adhere to our one-hour wait standard. This change will assure efficient service for our members'. Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns.

Sincerely, Stephanie B.


Ed F

Click this link to e-mail the above consumer: COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_68914# Consumer


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6a46f6a6, 2008-04-26, 01:35PM CDT

I just got online to see what are the benefits of becoming a Costco customer. I'm not sure I want a membership now.

cf32d3b0, 2008-05-13, 03:35PM CDT

After reading the complaint above regarding Costco's new tire policy It's pretty evident that this consumer has very little business management experience/skills. With margins as tight as they are it would only cost the member MORE to continue to service EVERY members tires. Why would anyone feel compelled to service tires that were purchased from a competitor. It's simple: Buy your tires at Costco, receive the service you expected all along.

As a former employee/manager for Costco(15 yrs) I can assure the public that Jim Sinegal and the upper management staff are constantly seeking ways to benefit the members, take care of the employees and the shareholders.

In my opinion,there's NO retailer that compares!

c8b14316, 2008-08-21, 10:11AM CDT

i also was considering becoming a costco member, after reading this letter , and talking with other members of costco, and listning to them about how the price savings are no better than other stores . i don't see why a membership is any good.. tim....

c9576d04, 2008-09-03, 06:05PM CDT

yes. the costco membership is not worth.

Only thing cheap there is Olive Oil.

and Walmart gives far better service than Costco.

2a8912a5, 2008-12-21, 03:34PM CST

This decided it for me. I was just about to sign up. Thanks for the heads-up.

1346b563, 2008-12-28, 12:08PM CST

I joined for one year (most of 2007) and I did not find any competitive advantages that was worth the membership fee, the checkout line waits, no boxes, having someone paw through my purchases before I could leave the store, etc. Electronics can all be found cheaper elsewhere or online. Food is available cheaper almost anywhere. Clothing was not a deal. They must have been competitive at some point in their history but certainly not now. I did not renew my membership.

7aa27b11, 2009-07-20, 04:33PM CDT

I have been a member of this store since they opened an out let in Regina sask, around 16 years my vehicle just incurred a $1000 bill for poor servicing apparently they don't check diff's oil in tyranny or grease any thing when they say oil change that is all you get air filter as everyone knows should be looked at every oil change I was told sorry its not are policy, I live out of town about 1 1/2 hrs Its not there policy to book in your oil or tire work because the poorly trained service personal have no idea how to run a proper service department. My membership also has not been renewed costco has cost me hundreds of dollars in damage to my vehicle and in fuel because i have gotten there and got the sorry maybe if you can just stop tomorrow we might have time to get it in. I have seen people sit around all day and end up getting told they can get it done but they still well not run the shop like a real business and have a service manager that books in jobs and looks after (customers)members well as far as i have seen costco has really gone more retail you get way better service from a real retail out let with out the membership fee

For all of you thinking of getting into the meber ship club becouse of the great sevice becouse you are a member those days are gone there was a time when this was true I was prowed to be a member those days have passed into high prices and long lines crowed parking lots and poor sevice !!

I beening a member who just this year 2009 did not renew there is no point in paying for a member ship when there are places like best buy, rona, even co-op has ofered better pricing if you are looking for food whole sale club,supper store no mebership fee required affers better pricing on many of there item then costco and there is no yearly fee.

22bc5dae, 2009-10-03, 03:51AM CDT

I have been a member in the past. The organic juice was my biggest love there, when I couldn't purchase it elsewhere, & Xmas time getting the alcohol/cordial chocolates.

I just moved & now am in a location where a Costco is near. Was tempted to buy another membership, was comparing with Sams club. Costco's card is $10 more.

I can now get the same juice at most other grocers. Walmart does kick their butts in pricing by a major amount. I find that even the bulk is not any savings. If you watch the ads for your many other chain grocers, you'll certainly get a better deal. These warehouses donnot offer sales.

With the Internet, I can buy anything electronic cheaper online, tax in the warehouse, pretty much is equivalent or higher than shipping cost via Internet. No tax on out of state purchases, as well there are several places that offer included shipping. is a great resource that pools these retailers into your search, enter your zip code & you'll know who's selling whatever item cheapest (including shipping).

It's sad. I'd love to shop at Costco, however paying $10 more, $50 a year, am I really saving enough to even cover that $50? The answer is: "Heck NO!"

Anyone who thinks they are saving money over the other grocers, their sales, internet... Is a complete tool. Code for, an ignorant fool.


-Mandi F.

149375d2, 2010-03-02, 01:06PM CST

A little research and use of public knowledge shows that if you just just get an american express card you don't have to pay $50 bucks a year for membership fees. As for their tire service if they kept doing it for free you would eventually have to pay more than $50 a year. It easily costs a company more than $0.00 an hour to fix a tire. Good companies are run by people who know that doing things for free or under cost doesn't ensure the longevity of the company.

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