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Costco return policy

njlnjl Posts: 865
edited June 2012 in Off Topic
My 4 year old Roomba died recently.  Some googling suggested the problem was a defective/failed bump sensor.  Basically, it thinks its run into a wall, all the time, even when no wall is nearby.  So, all it does is spin in place, back up about an inch, spin, repeat.  Some more googling suggested I could fix it for reasonably cheap (about $30 in parts), but I'd have to pretty much fully gut it and do some soldering.

"No problem" I thought, it's from Costco...and they have an updated model now anyway...I'll just return it and get the new one.  At the returns desk, the guy looked at my receipt (I keep Costco receipts for all "major" purchases just for such eventualities) and said you've had this 4 years, why are you returning it.  I explained that it was no longer functional.  He said I'd had it too long, and he'd have to go talk to a manager.  He eventually came back and said that "I've been a good customer" so they're going to do the return, but that I should not expect to be able to return things after this long.  Maybe they were just checking my purchase/returns history to see if I was a Costco return policy gamer...or maybe they really are clamping down on their returns policy.

Some may say "hey, it was 4 years old, what do you expect?"  Well, it's a vacuum cleaner.  I expect that since it runs on a rechargeable battery pack, that I will have to replace the battery occasionally (I did once in that unit), but other than that, I expect it to work for quite some time.  I have an upright vacuum that's several times the roomba's age and other than belts and bags, hasn't needed anything.

I mention this here, since Costco briefly carried the BGE, and BGE corporate announced they would not honor the BGE warranty for Costco sold eggs.  People probably assumed "no problem, Costco is my warranty"...but that may not be the case.  If your Costco MBGE cracks in a few years, you may be SOL with BGE saying you have no warranty, and Costco saying "you've had it too long, we won't take it back".

I actually have one of those Costco purchased MBGEs and given my experience there today, I'm absolutely going to return it.  I don't need the medium (haven't had it out of the box except to verify it was all there and intact), and it wasn't a good enough deal to keep it with the prospect of having no warranty down the road.
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Comments

  • womauswomaus Posts: 37
    I'm in the same boat as you today. I'm a member of BJs Wholesale Club, much the same as Costco. Picked up a LBGE with nest for $640, talked with the front desk people, they assured me that the full warranty would be in effect, I would just need to register it online. The Egg was assembled, no packing box, etc. Appears to be an older model (came with the feet, the DVD (2005?), but missing the cookbook from that era). Emails went out to BGE corporate and BJs corporate. Heard back from BGE, they will not offer any warranty on this item due to where it was sold. Heard partially from BJs, they acknowledge that they are not an authorized dealer of BGE but that "they will make things right".
    I'm debating how to go forward about this. Is the warranty that necessary? Is the warranty worth the $250 I saved?
    Any words of wisdom out there?
    And, how do the "Big Box" stores get these to sell on their floors? 
    First post by the way....joined to get some info, tips etc about this device. I've been lusting for one for years now, the deal at BJs swayed me. Too good to be true? 
  • Mr_PigoMr_Pigo Posts: 13
    I am confused. Costco took back the vacuum after using it for 4 years and you are complaining about their return policy.
  • MikeGMikeG Posts: 174
    I am confused. Costco took back the vacuum after using it for 4 years and you are complaining about their return policy.




    Some people just aren't reasonable to do business with.  4 years service out of a battery powered device should meet any reasonable consumers standard of proper value.  IMO anyway.  God knows the mfr wouldn't have felt compelled to give the matter serious consideration.

    Here's another costco story:

    I bought one of those crap "Geldestein and Wurwerstrameiner" (whatever) chinese 10" slicing knives from their seasonal show a couple months back.   Immediately on opening it I hated the poor balance and tiny handle so took it back the next day.  Waiting in the short return line I pulled the receipt out of my wallet and found that I'd been charged for TWO of them.   And it was the only item I bought that trip.

    The desk mgr was called over and took a quick look at my profile and refunded me for both units, including the one I had no way to prove I hadn't received. 

    And they took back this guys 4 year old vacuum. 

     

  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 1,677
    he probably buys $1000 tables, too
    Large BGE and Medium BGE-- Greensboro!


  • njlnjl Posts: 865
    I am confused. Costco took back the vacuum after using it for 4 years and you are complaining about their return policy.
    Like I said, I expect to have to replace the battery pack...but other than that, I expect to get more than 3.5 years out of a $300 vacuum cleaner.

    Regardless, the point is, Costco may not be offering a lifetime warranty on things [anymore], including the eggs they sold...so if you bought one figuring worst case, if anything ever went wrong with it, you'd just take it back to Costco, you might want to have a conversation with your store's manager about the fact that BGEs normally have a lifetime warranty, but that BGE corporate has said the ones sold by Costco/Sams/BJs have no warranty, and what will the store's policy be if several years down the road one of the major parts cracks?  "I'm no longer satisfied with it because it's broken" may not fly.

  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,049
    I'm in the same boat as you today. I'm a member of BJs Wholesale Club, much the same as Costco. Picked up a LBGE with nest for $640, talked with the front desk people, they assured me that the full warranty would be in effect, I would just need to register it online. The Egg was assembled, no packing box, etc. Appears to be an older model (came with the feet, the DVD (2005?), but missing the cookbook from that era). Emails went out to BGE corporate and BJs corporate. Heard back from BGE, they will not offer any warranty on this item due to where it was sold. Heard partially from BJs, they acknowledge that they are not an authorized dealer of BGE but that "they will make things right".
    I'm debating how to go forward about this. Is the warranty that necessary? Is the warranty worth the $250 I saved?

    Any words of wisdom out there?

    And, how do the "Big Box" stores get these to sell on their floors? 

    First post by the way....joined to get some info, tips etc about this device. I've been lusting for one for years now, the deal at BJs swayed me. Too good to be true? 
    I had my XL for 66 days and it cracked.  The mothership has sent the replacement base to my BGE authorized dealer and they are coming out Thursday to swap out the broken base.  No charge for anything.  Will Costco or BJ's do that or will they just have you return the unit and get your money back?

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    just a thought. Costco only takes personal checks or american express. If costco won't stand behind their return policy, i'd bet an egg that American Express will stand behind the purchase. 
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,032
    edited June 2012
    Personally, I think some items will inevitably break and shouldn't be refunded by costco.

    The bge's firebox or fire ring may crack...or even a base. Those items should be replaced. The problem is that costco may not understand that and you "could" run into a problem down the road.
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • njlnjl Posts: 865
    AFAIK, Costco has no access to replacement parts for the BGE (other than buying them retail), so my assumption would be that if anything goes wrong with a Cosco sold BGE, your only options will be return it to Costco for a full refund (if they're willing) or contact BGE or an authorized dealer and buy whatever replacement parts you need.  I guess you could try to negotiate with Costco and have them issue a credit to cover your cost for replacement parts if/when any break...but I don't think they'd go for that.

    OTOH, they may conclude that since the product was supposed to have a lifetime manufacturer's warranty, they'll have to give you a lifetime return window on it...but I'd want to get that (preferably in writing) from a store manager (or even higher up).
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    edited June 2012
    just a thought. Costco only takes personal checks or american express. If costco won't stand behind their return policy, i'd bet an egg that American Express will stand behind the purchase. 

    Costco has a lifetime "satisfaction warranty".  It is not a lifetime warranty against failure.  What's the difference?  Well Costco ultimately gets to decide if you really are "dissatisfied" or just being cheap.  The managers have the discretion to "fire the customer" if they feel that the bad customer is abusing the return policy ... and conversely, they also have the discretion to honor unreasonable warranty requests for good customers.   In the case, the latter is what probably what happened. 

  • SantanaSantana Posts: 58
    The woman ahead of me at the Returns desk last week was returning some packaged milk (individual servings in plastic containers).  When it was my turn, I commented to the clerk that it seemed like it wasn't complete and asked if she can return them.  She said "Yes, if you are returning more than half.  The package has 18 drinks and she was returning 10.  She did it last week too".

    Some people just take advantage of a good thing, and will end up ruining it for the rest of the people.
  • butwhymalemodelsbutwhymalemodels Posts: 267
    edited June 2012

    In my dealings with Costco, I look at the manufacturer's warranty on whatever item I'm purchasing. If that item breaks within the warrantly period, I'll return it to Costco rather than dealing with the manufacturer itself. I do this because many times, Costco is not an "authorized retailer" of the products it is selling so in my mind, it is taking on the risk of offering that warranty.

    For a Roomba, it looks like the newer ones are guaranteed for two years (parts) and one year (battery). The older models had one year (parts) and six months (battery). Yours worked well beyond the manufacturer's warranty period. So in my mind, you got to use a vacuum cleaner for free for four years. Costco returned 100% of your deposit.

    Also, in my mind, you returning a used, broken, four year old, $300 vacuum cleaner and an opened, $550 barbecue grill could, and should, get you on the bad returns list.

    Again, just my opinion.

    A muslim, a socialist and an illegal immigrant walk into a bar 

    Blogging: Never before have so many with so little to say said so much to so few.

  • njlnjl Posts: 865
    What's wrong with returning a new in the box few months old grill?  Especially given the realization that this egg really doesn't have much of a warranty, when it should (if sold by an authorized dealer) have a lifetime warranty?
  • In and of itself, nothing. But you did say you opened the boxes and removed the grill, right? Semantics, but that doesn't count as new in the box to me. Either way, returning a $300 vacuum and a $550 grill within a short period would raise flags, I'd think.

    A muslim, a socialist and an illegal immigrant walk into a bar 

    Blogging: Never before have so many with so little to say said so much to so few.

  • walleyvwalleyv Posts: 147
    In and of itself, nothing. But you did say you opened the boxes and removed the grill, right? Semantics, but that doesn't count as new in the box to me. Either way, returning a $300 vacuum and a $550 grill within a short period would raise flags, I'd think.
    You can bet it will raise flags.
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I wouldn't worry.  He has a very very good reason for returning the Egg.  If he is concerned about the lack of warranty on a $550 grill made of ceramic, I think he is wise to return it at the risk of being put on the bad list.  Once you know you are on it you can plan your future purchases accordingly.  It would be silly to get on a black list over lots of little things, but it is probably worth it for a major item.
    The Naked Whiz
  • njlnjl Posts: 865
    I returned the egg today.  At the returns desk, I explained the BGE/Costco/Sams/BJs thing to the woman handling the return, and said that initially I'd assumed not having the standard lifetime warranty from BGE wouldn't be an issue because Costco "was my warranty", but that if the thing cracked in 5 years, I was guessing now that they wouldn't want it back, and she agreed, returning it used and broken after that long would probably not fly.

    It'll be interesting to see if it ends up on the sales floor (long enough for me to see it there) or if they dispose of it in some other way.  The 8 that they sold back when they got them didn't go all that fast.
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    Sorry, but in my opinion Costco should not have replaced your vaccum. The retailer didn't make the machine. Costco's warranty is great, but there have to be limits. Would GM, Honda, Ford, etc. replace your car after 4 years because it doesn't perform like new? Nope. As far as returning the egg after assembly and use and then returning, that is consumer fraud and its illegal.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Not at all.  If Costco's satisfaction guarantee allows you to do so, then so be it.  How can it be illegal to ask Costco to consider taking something back under their guarantee as long as you don't misrepresent the facts?

    The Naked Whiz
  • Whiz, my beef with this current thread, is the following thread from a few days ago:

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1191760/#Comment_1191760

    A muslim, a socialist and an illegal immigrant walk into a bar 

    Blogging: Never before have so many with so little to say said so much to so few.

  • njlnjl Posts: 865
    If they offered an unconditional 100% satisfaction guarantee with no stated time limit, they'd probably be forced to.  There's a reason they have that guarantee posted on the wall, with the noted exceptions directly under it (TVs, Computers, Cameras, etc.).  If they want to change that, fine...but as it is right now, they've made their bed.

    And on the vacuum...the truth is, we very lightly (rarely) used it.  The kids typically leave so many small toys out all over that letting the robot vacuum loose just doesn't happen.  So, it was a couple years old, but it probably got less use than one might typically get in one year.

    Just to make things even more interesting, I've got a rather large piece of furniture (from Costco) that's coming apart after 15 months.  I spoke to the manager about it this morning to see what, if anything, Costco would do for us and am waiting for a call from him.  It's not something that can be easily repaired AFAIK, and I certainly don't think it's reasonable to expect something of its size and cost to be junked in just over a year.  If necessary, I'm happy to rent a truck to haul it back to the store (same way I got it home), but I wasn't about to do that without first getting the manager's approval.
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    I get what you're saying about the furniture. And yes, if Costco takes it back, then that is on them. My issue with the egg is this. Are you truly dissatisfied with the product? If it is performing exactly as expected, then how can you be dissatisfied? That would be more of a moral debate that you'll have to decide for yourself. I'm not here to start an argument, just giving my 2 cents. I'll get off my soap box now.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,538
    if costco sold those eggs with a big sign theat read, NO LIFETIME WARRANTEE, NO WARRANTEE AT ALL, then i could see a no return policy. im betting the eggs were sold and the warrantee was submitted to bge, and bge never contacted the new bge owner and told them costco was an illegitimate dealer and that their warrantee wouldnt be covered. you cant be satisfied once you found out you were duped
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I get what you're saying about the furniture. And yes, if Costco takes it back, then that is on them. My issue with the egg is this. Are you truly dissatisfied with the product? If it is performing exactly as expected, then how can you be dissatisfied? That would be more of a moral debate that you'll have to decide for yourself. I'm not here to start an argument, just giving my 2 cents. I'll get off my soap box now.
    If I bought an Egg from Costco thinking it had a warranty from BGE and then found out it did not, I'd be most dissatisfied with that particular Egg.
    The Naked Whiz
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    between costco satisfaction warranty(which will let you return your COSTCO card if not happy with the shopping experience) and the fact you can only pay by cash, check or AMEX. I've said it before, i'll say it again, if costco won't stand behind the lifetime warranty, a quick call to american express will have them standing up for you, trust me. They've stood up for me on numerous occasions.
  • njlnjl Posts: 865
    I get what you're saying about the furniture. And yes, if Costco takes it back, then that is on them. My issue with the egg is this. Are you truly dissatisfied with the product? If it is performing exactly as expected, then how can you be dissatisfied? That would be more of a moral debate that you'll have to decide for yourself. I'm not here to start an argument, just giving my 2 cents. I'll get off my soap box now.
    If I bought an Egg from Costco thinking it had a warranty from BGE and then found out it did not, I'd be most dissatisfied with that particular Egg.
    I explained to the woman at the store that without the manufacturer's lifetime warranty (or the belief now that Costco would stand behind it indefinitely) it just wasn't a good enough deal.  From Costco, the egg and nest was only around $100 cheaper than buying an egg and nest from a local BGE dealer.  Saving $100 on a $700 ceramic cooker and going from lifetime warranty to none: not worth it IMO.  The Amex angle is an interesting one, but still a gamble in my opinion.  Sure, they might extend the warranty some...but I doubt they'd be of much help in 5-10 years if the base cracked.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    issue seems to be figuring out who is wholesaling these to Costco.
    You'd think a cease and desist would be in order.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    njl, I agree!
    The Naked Whiz
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,497
    Speaking of Costco.. any NorCal eggers.. Costco in Concord has a few mediums, lol
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,497
    I get what you're saying about the furniture. And yes, if Costco takes it back, then that is on them. My issue with the egg is this. Are you truly dissatisfied with the product? If it is performing exactly as expected, then how can you be dissatisfied? That would be more of a moral debate that you'll have to decide for yourself. I'm not here to start an argument, just giving my 2 cents. I'll get off my soap box now.
    If I bought an Egg from Costco thinking it had a warranty from BGE and then found out it did not, I'd be most dissatisfied with that particular Egg.
    I explained to the woman at the store that without the manufacturer's lifetime warranty (or the belief now that Costco would stand behind it indefinitely) it just wasn't a good enough deal.  From Costco, the egg and nest was only around $100 cheaper than buying an egg and nest from a local BGE dealer.  Saving $100 on a $700 ceramic cooker and going from lifetime warranty to none: not worth it IMO.  The Amex angle is an interesting one, but still a gamble in my opinion.  Sure, they might extend the warranty some...but I doubt they'd be of much help in 5-10 years if the base cracked.
    Local Costco here had a medium for $579 with stand and nest. 

    CA prices for a medium egg are as follows.  $699 for egg, $100 for nest, and $100 for the stand.  Saving about $320, but no lifetime warranty makes you think about it.. $320 for the warranty, or risk it and buy replacement parts when required. 
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