Friday, December 29, 2006

RANT: COSTCOnian Madness

I used to work in retail, so I know that this time of the year is a rough time to be working. However, I was always told, and continue to believe, that the customer comes FIRST. I know that the customer is not always right (even though your manager might tell you otherwise), but the customer does need to come first and needs to be respected. This brings me to my latest rant.

I love Costco. Costco is the coolest place on earth. You can get everything you need in once place and I did much of my Christmas shopping there this year. I love their food (particularly their produce and their meat) and they have so many wonderful things that you can't get anywhere else. (For example, yesterday hubby stumbled upon the coolest over the sink cutting board with a basket. I used it last night and I was in heaven. It saved counterspace and made cutting and cleaning veggies a breeze.)

Anyway, normally I am very satisfied with my Costco shopping experience. Until yesterday.

About two months ago, I bought Cody a Power Rangers sweatsuit in a size five which he's just now starting to fit into. At the first washing, however, it completely shrunk. Like go and dig clams out of an ocean kind of shrinkage. Knowing that Costco has a great return policy, I decided to take it back. I realize I chose a busy week to return it, but that was my choice. I'm the customer.

The store was crowded and the line long, but the woman helping me was very nice. She was having a hard time finding the purchase in the computer, so she told me to start shopping and check back with her when we were ready to check out.

When I did go back to follow up with her, a very curt woman met my request with this c0mment. "WELL. She's on her break. I don't know anything about this!" I sort of looked at her, waiting for her to finish. But she didn't say anything. So I said, "Can we find her and ask her about it, or's my membership card. Maybe you can look it up." She opened up her mouth and out came, "You'll have to go into the break room and find her to talk to her about this. Do you know where that is (woman wildly gesturing to the OTHER SIDE of the Costco store)...what was she wearing, do you remember? Oh yeah. Her name is Patti. Go talk to Patti." And on her heel she turned, leaving me incredulous....looking in the general direction of the break room.

If you have ever been to Costco, you know that a trek to the other side of the store is like a ten minute walk because the place is so huge...not to mention the fact that the CUSTOMER should not have to be the one to track down an employee!!!!!!!


Patti was in the break room, eating her lunch no less. I felt so stupid walking in there asking for her. She gave me instructions on what to tell the yahoos up front and apologized that she didn't get to help me earlier. Of course, I forgave her. After all, she did her job!

Back to the front of the store I walked with the information needed to get me my $17.98 refund.

Curt lady was there. As I approached her, I kindly said, "Patti told me to tell you that the information you need is on the shelf by the register. "

Snarl. Snort. "UGH!!!" "I don't know what I'M supposed to do about it!"

Patiently, I tried explaining (AGAIN) our plight with the sweatsuit that went wrong in the wash. (nice calm Happi is beginning to lose her cool...)

Scuffle. Snort some more. Stomping on the inside, I'm sure. Curt lady finally finds the information she needs, processes the information and hands me my refund.

"Thank you," says me. "You're welcome," says her.

Back to the registers I go where family is waiting for me, wondering what in the heck happened to me in the twenty minutes it took me to get my measly refund.

On the way out, I knew I had to say something.

Nice Patti was off her break now and kindly asked,"Did you get it taken care of?"

Increasingly annoyed Happi snaps.

"Listen, you were so nice, but you need to know. I was told to come and find you in the break room to resolve this issue. I was sent across the store to track down something that was there the whole time and more than that, this woman was rude to me. I just wanted you to know."

Nice Patti responded, "That's the STUPIDEST thing I've ever heard!!!! I can't believe they sent you to come find me! I'm so sorry!"

"I agree. That's why I finally am saying something. Please let someone know about it."

Now, I'm sure I'll be going back to Costco. I have been known to pull my patronage from places I used to eat at/shop at for the same type of behavior. But, this was a first at Costco. I will give them another shot. I love Costco. I'm not going to stop shopping there just because of one bad experience. You know me. I just needed to vent. And I really, REALLY can't stand poor customer service. I was right. She was wrong. No question. And now you know how I really feel. Aren't you glad you visited my blog???

And please. Don't stop shopping at Costco (right Lori?).


Glass Half Full said...

You know that I think Costco totally rules!! Obviously that "curt lady" needs to find another job!!!

I am going there tomorrow...hope for the best....

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Ha- I have still yet to shop at Costco but know how much Lori loves it!! I will get there someday!

I have been boycotting Walmart for many reasons, and tonight thought I'd give them One.More.Try. LEARNED MY LESSON. I won't be back.

The lines were huge. I did the self checkout instead. Barcode on one of my items was ripped and wouldn't ring up. The girl watching the self checkouts couldn't get it to work but said that she couldn't leave her station. She asked me to go get another one.

Normally I am a nicey nice person but this was not the right mood. I snapped "No. You didn't have half the things I needed and I won't walk all the way back to get another one of these. I want this one. You'll have to ask someone to go get it then."

Then I finished checking myself out and waited for them to bring it to me. Then I had to check that item out, and then was on my way out of there FOR GOOD!!!