The Number One Cause Behind Revoked Costco Memberships

Costco can be a lifesaver at times. We all enjoy getting things in bulk, and for relatively cheap as well. The employees are generally friendly, and although they can be a labyrinth to walk through, the stores are seemingly full of everything you could ever want or need. On top of that, if you don't like something, Costco's return policy is generally friendly enough for you to return anything. Sadly, this has led to some abuse of the policy.

Although most of us enjoy Costco for all of these perks, a few bad apples try to spoil the bunch, and Costco has been forced to take action. According to their Membership Privileges and Conditions, they reserve the right to revoke your membership for anything they deem fit. And it turns out that the number one reason people get their Costco memberships revoked is for taking advantage of the return policy. So how does Costco classify this abuse, and how can you make sure you stay in their good graces? Don't sweat it, most of it comes down to common sense.

Bend the rules and Costco will take notice

Costco is known to be pretty generous, both with its price tags, and when it comes to customer returns. Employees have recounted some of the most extreme examples of this, including one woman who returned a used Christmas tree in January after it was dead. And yes, she got a full refund. Another couple came in with a used chicken coop (with excrement and all) and asked for a refund. According to an employee, their request was granted.

Costco's official return policy is to guarantee 100% customer satisfaction, which we all know can be difficult from time to time. Costco doesn't limit customer returns to a specific time frame on most items. And it allows for lengthy periods to return certain specialty products like electronics, which have a 90-day time frame for people to bring back their purchases. 

However, optimizing customer satisfaction comes at a cost, and the fact is some individuals will try to abuse the system to their advantage. So how does Costco flag these policies, and is there a way for you to avoid having your membership revoked? Like a lot of things in life, it mainly comes down to plain old common sense, which can be a little lacking in today's world. If you're excessively returning multiple items on every trip to Costco, chances are you're going to look suspicious. And at the end of the day, it comes down to what you are returning and why. 

Don't abuse the Costco return policy

There are no set and stone rules as to what will get you flagged for going overboard with Costco returns. Costco really lets its managers make the last call about whether or not they should revoke customers' memberships. To make sure that you aren't flagged for abusing their return policy, just think about whether or not something rightfully deserves to be returned. Is your used chicken coop worth the same as it was brand new one year ago? Or are the empty bottles of wine the same price as they were when they were full?

Turning in a product that was not what you wanted is normally okay unless Costco changes its terms and agreements in the future. You aren't going to get in trouble for returning items even slightly used if there's a legitimate reason behind the choice. And on the bright side, if for some reason you ever do lose your membership (possibly for bending the rules), Costco will refund you for your membership. 

Overall, next time you go shopping or return an item in Costco, be thoughtful, kind, and reasonable, and you shouldn't have to worry about anything.