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Arise, Costco Customers of the World!

Welp, we apparently can’t do much about the mess in Washington. But… we can make an impression on even the most mega of megastores. To wit: if enough customers complain, eventually management will get the message. Like, say, the management of Costco.

This will require a LOT of people to complain about an issue, and to do so regularly and vociferously.

What is the issue? Consumer-proof packaging. We Costco customers, as a group, need to complain long and loud about the layers and layers of landfill-jamming plastic and the hard plastic-and-cardboard clamshells that cannot be opened without a stick of dynamite. Not only is this stuff a nuisance, it’s a vast menace to the environment. None of this armor, with the possible exception of the sheets of advertising cardboard (which are permeated with toxic inks) is biodegradable. A million years hence, archeologists from the next species to inherit the earth will find geologic layers of this crap buried in the earth, in exactly the form in which we deposited it. And most of it is utterly unnecessary.

If Amazon can make its vendors present their products in packaging that the buyer can get into easily, Costco surely can do the same. There’s just no excuse for a person to have to use a wrench and an Exacto Knife to get into a stupid package. And today…jeez.

Yesterday I bought a pair of bottles of Costco hand lotion, the kind that comes in a bottle with a pump top. Tried to open the pump top on the first one, after having wrestled with the obnoxious environmentally nasty plastic shrink wrap that holds the two bottles together. No luck. When you try to unscrew it the way other such tops work, it does nothing but spin the entire inside assembly. The pump will not come open to work. Got a wrench to hold the inside assembly steady whilst trying to manipulate the handle. No luck.

Why? Really, what IS their excuse for selling products that are unusable because their packaging can’t be opened? Now I have to drag this stuff back to Costco, and I guess I’ll have to order something from Amazon or traipse to Walmart to find a replacement. Like I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO WITH MY TIME!

Costco has no chat line, nor is it possible to find an email address. They force you to call one of a myriad 800 numbers to try to get through to a human: a vast time waster that will send you climbing around a phone tree like the monkey they apparently think you are. One customer remarked this morning that reaching them by phone entails a 47-minute wait!

However…you can reach them at their Facebook page. Here, they try to discourage people from commenting — especially from posting complaints. So what you do is scroll down past the “status” line where they invite you to post a comment (but then will not accept it) to one of Costco’s advertising/customer rah-rah posts.

Every time you have to do battle with their consumer-proof packaging, go to their Facebook page and post a complaint!

If you go there right this minute, BTW (9 a.m. Thursday, December 7 — ah! the Day of Infamy!), you will find customers posting that the Costco website — the one where you order things online — has been compromised. Says one correspondent:

I think your website might be compromised. I was going to order something today, and someone else’s credit card info, name, shipping address and membership number popped up. I can’t email you with a screenshot of Neil Gallagher’s info and your FB won’t let me share it with you. I can’t even post it directly on your page, so I hope you see it here. If you do have a membership with Neil who lives in Lovelock, NV and has a member number ending in 517, you might need to check to see if your website has been hacked.

Several other Costco members posted the same. Just a few minutes ago Costco disabled access to its customer sign-in. So: if you’ve ever ordered anything from Costco online, keep an eye on your credit card statements…now and evermore.

Postscript: A Costco clerk figured out, with some difficulty, how to get the darned lotion pump gadgets open and managed to get BOTH of them working. Twasn’t easy, but she did it.

2 thoughts on “Arise, Costco Customers of the World!”

  1. Ouch! I didn’t know that Costco’s packaging was so challenging. I seldom order anything online from any business. I’ll continue that policy indefinitely because if the current hacker problem continues, EVERY retailer on the planet will be hacked.

  2. Yah, I think hacking is part of the cost of doing business. About the only way around it is to pay cash at brick-&-board stores, and never to let your employer direct deposit. And…who has time for that???

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