While Costco may have a famously lax return policy, there’s an area where the company is significantly more strict: memberships.
For context, Costco requires shoppers to have a membership at the store. Those trying to shop without a membership, or using the membership of a friend or family member, can face issues, as TikTok user Willa (@willaeigo) recently revealed.
In a clip with over 202,000 views, Willa claims that she had been shopping with her husband at Costco, with whom she shares a membership. When they got to the checkout, she showed her membership card while her husband got ready to pay.
According to Willa, the checkout employee refused to serve them until she could verify that her husband was also on the membership.
“We held up the entire line for a solid 10 minutes doing that,” Willa recalls. “Costco security is tighter than TSA.”
@willaeigo #stitch with @butthatsmyopinion I obviously love costco but this was next level insane. #costco #costcomembership #costcosecurity ♬ original sound – Willa
In January of this year, a user on TikTok shared a similar story, claiming that their purchase was declined because they attempted to use their mom’s Costco card.
While some commenters claimed that they had faced comparable scrutiny at their local Costco, others shared that their Costco was fairly relaxed about membership enforcement.
“When I take my daughter she gives me her debit card before we go in,” stated a commenter. “It’s my membership but I pay with her card and no one ever says anything.”
“I always shop with my bf and he pays half of the time and only I have a membership,” alleged another. “they’ve never said anything yet.”
“I have never heard of this rule before. My parents have been with me and I paid for stuff many [times],” offered a third.
Some users proposed solutions to membership card troubles.
“We need to be able to get a family portrait taken and put it on the card so everyone from the household can use it,” joked a user.
“download the app on your phone and you’ll always have your card with you,” suggested a second.
The Daily Dot reached out to Costco via its media contact form and Willa via email.
Update 2:03pm CT, Jun. 26, 2023:
In an email to the Daily Dot, Willa noted that she and her husband are frequent Costco-goers, even buying their wedding cake from the store.
“This experience happened last year and it was less than ideal,” she explains. “We both have Costco cards and share a membership, but we both don’t always carry them with us, which I think is true for a lot of couples. We had never had an issue with one of us scanning a card and the other paying before, but that day we did. I was surprised, especially because we both are on the membership and share bank accounts, and I even asked the cashier just to pull up the membership.”
“No hate to the cashier—I understand that she has to follow a policy, but the attitude of the manager was uncalled for,” she continues. “He rolled his eyes at us and took my Costco card, husband’s ID, and husband’s credit card to the back to ‘make sure we weren’t lying.’ When he came back there was no apology.”
That said, Willa notes that it hasn’t put her and her husband off from shopping at Costco in the future.
“Overall it was a bad experience only because of lack of customer service, but we still shop there,” she states. “We mostly just go through the self-checkout now.”