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Jun 14, 2005 03:59 PM

Change in coupon policy at Costco

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Costco no longer is automatically applying the coupon discount to the items you purchase. You need to have the coupon (they mail them out and hand them out at the entrance) and provide it to them to get the discounted price. Another case of skewer the customer fatten the margins. This is evidently a directive out of their corporate office and contrary to what they have done in the past.

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  1. Ok, so it's a change in policy. However, as you noted, you 1) have the coupons mailed to you 2) have a second opportunity to pick up the coupon as you walk in the door. I really don't see how this is "skewering" the customer.

    6 Replies
    1. re: lala

      I spend lots of $ at Costco (I'm sure many members do). I enjoyed the seller-take-care approach to customer service. Now it is a buyer-beware approach to customer service.

      I guess what annoyed the most is that it was an unannounced change. When you spend hundreds at a time, $15 or $20 in discounts not showing up may not catch your eye. That is what Costco is counting on.

      I'm not opposed to change, just announce it. I brought it up in this forum to make others aware so they would not have to endure the coupon refund process that is on the rise at Costco right now.

      1. re: lala

        Costco does not hand out the coupons at the door nor do they hand them out freely at the front desk. I couldn't find the coupons that were mailed to my home, but because I had been told you didn't have to actually have the coupon anymore, I didn't spend too much time looking for them. When I got to the store, I immediately got in line to ask for another coupon booklet so I could carry it around the store as I shopped. The person at the desk asked if I had not received the coupons in the mail. I was honest and told her I had but simply misplaced them (I think if I had said I had not received them, then she would have reluctantly given me another set). She told me they don't hand out additional coupons since the vendors have gone through the expense of mailing them out. I was not satisfied with that since I had been told months ago that you didn't even need the actual coupon anymore. That was when I was told that was no longer the policy. If I had been aware of the change, I would have kept up with my valuable book of coupons. Still, unsatisfied with basically being told I would not get to benefit from the use of this month's coupons, I asked to speak to a manager. Another person came to discuss this matter with me and he gave me the same song and dance. My point was simply that since I had been unaware of the policy change, I felt they should give me a new book of coupons. When he realized I wasn't taking no for an answer, he reluctantly gave me the coupons but told me that he could lose his job for doing so. I really felt both Costco employees have been programmed to say "NO! NO! NO!" to handing out additional coupons to prevent people from using multiple coupons. That was not what I was trying to do so I feel that each request should be handled differently based on the situation.

        1. re: pompeiipurple

          It must be your Costco because mine gives them out whenever you questions asked.

        2. re: lala

          Books of Coupons are mailed for certain items and coupons for OTHER items, ususally large ticket items are given at the door. NOT the coupon book that is mailed to you. I have not received my book in the past and they gave me a really hard time in getting one from the "Customer Service" counter. Another time I had my infant with me and had left the coupons in my car, it was extremely cold and windy that day so I went to the customer service counter and asked if I could get a book that I had left mine in the car but they DENIED me a coupon book. I was told last week that I spend on average 1,200 per month at Costco. Given that you would think that I would have been spared the hassle of taking my baby back out in the weather when they had STACKS of them right at their finger tips they they will most likely throw away or give to others. So, I agree in them "SKEWERING" the customer!

          1. re: wmilloway

            I have never had a problem asking the checkout person to apply a coupon code - they often volunteer to do it.

            1. re: ferret

              Neither have I at our local Costco, but it seems this practice along with general coupon policies vary quite a bit from store to store (and probably region to region) based on posters' responses.

        3. Does'nt surprise me. I refuse to purchase a membership(as a single) when they charge the same as for a couple.Discrimination seems to be just one of their faults! I agree the coupon change will only benefit the corporation!

          7 Replies
          1. re: marti

            Why not join with another single friend? That's what I did when I was a singleton.

            1. re: ElBee

              Exactly! I joined with a friend - it's even cheaper than the corporate rate I get at work.

              1. re: lala

                My Ex-husband and I use the same account.

                1. re: Janet

                  I used to have an account with an old friend, I had the second card she was the main name on the account. She wanted to cancel the account and I was told I would need to open a new account under my name to stay a member. My BF and I shop all teh time together at Costco so we figured I would just get a second card on his account and was told that I had to live at the same address - grr!! The Customer Service lady said there policy had changed to having to live at the same address, so I put down my $45 because I am addicted. There, I admitted it!

            2. re: marti

              ACtually, Costco allows you to join with an unrelated person. Doesn't even have to live at the same address. THere is no discrimination of that sort.

              1. re: marti

                I suddenly and somewhat conveniently married a friend. They said we didn't have to have the same name,
                (edit - oops, I didn't realise the post was ancient history)

                1. re: Peg

                  Nope, don't have to have the same name. I'm married and a member with my mom, not DH, and mom and I don't have the same name anymore. No one's ever questioned it.

              2. They never gave me a discount unless I had the coupon (Fullerton store). Consider yourself lucky to have gotten the discount previously, without a coupon!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Funwithfood
                  Amin (London Foodie '''')

                  yeah. I prefer costco to the other supermarkets
                  for the quality and the price. No complaints here.
                  Costco send out a booklet of coupons to us (and if
                  it is not received in the post for some reason, we
                  have the choice of picking up another book at the
                  store). They also send out a monthly (or quarterley)
                  newsletter which I never bother to read, but its got
                  lovely pictures and all.

                  Have never received a discount from them without the
                  coupons, and dont see how it would work, as the goods
                  show the full price at the register, then the bar code
                  on the coupon reduces the discount amount. makes sense
                  no ?

                  I stock up on toilet rolls (incase of a shortage),
                  cheese, EVOO, bottled water, and a host of other items
                  from costco

                  ps: Will someone do me a favour please ? I have posted
                  a post on the general board yesterday titled ''Winter
                  or Holiday foods/ingredients'' . I hate it when no one
                  responds to my post, as it makes me feel as if no one
                  loves me, so please send in atleast 2 lines
                  -thanks in advance.

                2. I've *never* heard of any store giving a discounted price without a scanned or computer-input coupon price. Guess your Costco is now following the usual coupon protocol as 99.99% of other stores already do. And if they're mailing you the coupon booklet or giving you the coupons when you walk in the door, how hard is it to just hand them over?

                  1. I have been a member for over 10 years at several COstcos in several different states (Florida Texas Cali) and never have they just applied discount without the coupon. sounds like sour grapes to me.