Crazy Returns

So I am in the “returns” line at Costco last week.  The lady in front of me has a shopping cart with two large white plastic trash bags filled up with mangled wires, and 17 empty boxes of Christmas Lights.  Yes, 17 empty boxes of Christmas Lights.  She tells the young cashier “I’m returning these Christmas Lights because I don’t like them.  I didn’t even bother putting the lights back in the boxes because I figured you guys can do that.”  The cashier accepted the merchandise return and refunded her $270.

My hat is off to both the return lady and the cashier.  The cashier first, because he was patient with her when I would have probably told her “You’re kidding right???  Its mid-January and these lights have been hanging outside your house since Thanksgiving and now you want your money back??!!”  Hats off to the lady for having the gonads to even return 17 boxes of Christmas Lights.  I would have had too much shame and embarassment to even try to pull off something like that. 

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4 responses to “Crazy Returns

  1. This is probably a regular occurrence at Costco. Costco has a reputation for having the most generous return policy. I know people who intentionally buy flat screens and other electronic equipment with the goal of returning it in little less than a year for a full refund and/or free upgrade to a much better model. It’s crazy. There must be alot more honest people in the world than dishonest, cuz I can’t see how they continue to make money doing it.

  2. You are correct about the return policy. However, as of a couple of months ago, the return policy changed for TVs and electronics. Its now 90 days. Before, people were actually getting paid to upgrade TVs. That is, if you bought a $2,000 flat screen a year ago, you returned it this year for a better model that only costs $1000. In short, Costco paid you to upgrade your TV. As nothing good lasts forever, they have changed the policy to 90 days. Its still the best place to buy big ticket items because if you don’t like your purchase you can return it easily without hassle.

    My guess is that the cost of the return policy is built in to their other source of Massive Income: Membership Fees. You have to pay Costco $50 to $100 annually to shop there. So my membership fee probably paid for a few of that lady’s Christmas Lights.

  3. Wow. And I just go to Costco for the hot dogs and samples.

  4. Wow. Then you don’t want to hear my story of returning a tv with a dvd/vcr combo that I had for about a year….or a tent that I took to Ensenada and camped a whole week with but had a couple tiny holes in the mesh window, so I took it back and got a new one…and a vacuum that lost it’s suction power…and…you get the picture. I will return what I can. Even worn chonies. I am shameless. If I have to, I will. My husband hates. I feel it is my consumer right. Only if something is defective, though, not because I want to upgrade.

    And cindylu, pass up the dogs and go for the chicken bakes sister. It’s a heart attack and cellulite in a warm, cheesy crust. That is how Costco gets you back for returning the worn chonies…they lure you with cheap food and then kill you with calories! 😉

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