ENOUGH, already, with shopping at Costco. I’ve had it, and I’m NOT goin’ back there!
Whaaaa? ask ye who are familiar with Funny’s Costco love affair.
Well, I do hafta say that my patience with Costco wears thin every now and then, and yeah, every now and again I vow never to return. But this time, it’s stickin’…bigawd!
Only two exceptions:
1. To buy gasoline (sometimes: if I happen to be in the vicinity and the lines don’t stretch halfway to Yuma)
2. To keep access to their tire shop
Otherwise, I…yam…DONE. Not going into the store ever again, and never, ever again making a special traipse across the city to buy gas.
Whither this withering insight, you ask?
Well. This morning I took it into my dizzy little head to go in and talk with their CSRs about the screwup I experienced there a couple weeks ago. I’d gone into the store in Paradise Valley, wasted some unholy amount of my priceless time roaming around the store and collecting a basketful of goods, wasted some more time standing interminably in a checkout line, and stood there while the (excellent! all their staffers, by the way, are beyond excellent) cashier racked up a couple hundred bucks worth of purchases, and then handed over my debit card.
The same debit card with which I always pay for Costco purchases.
You need to know that Costco does not accept American Express, which is my credit card of choice. Both the business and the personal charge accounts are with AMEX. When this charming decision came down, I acceded to signing up with their Visa or Mastercard (don’t recall which, after all this time), and that devolved into a headache of Brobdinagian proportions. Canceled that annoying card and resorted to using my debit card, which is issued through my credit union.
This worked fine until a week or so ago, when the check-out clerk said she couldn’t take my credit union’s debit card — it was no good!
So now I shoot down to the CU, haul the card in, tell them this sad story, and ask them WTF?
Their answer is, indeed, WTF?
They have no idea why Costco has suddenly decided to quit accepting a debit card on a checking account that has, shall we say, a balance that measures in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Maybe they just don’t believe than anyone who’s not a scam artist would deposit a year’s worth of spending money in their checking account? How might that be any of Costco’s bidness, anyway?
The CU’s agent says there’s nothing wrong with the debit card and hands it back.
Eventually I decide to traipse over to the Costco on the west side, barge up to their customer service desk, and ASK them what is their problem. That’s when I get the suggestion that I should kill some more of my time farting around in their store and repeating the fiasco that I would like to have resolved.
WHEN did Costco forget that customer service is a key part of retailing?
Well, thought I, their gas is still the cheapest in town. I’ll keep my card so I can buy gas here.
First, to get to a Costco store from the Funny Farm, now that they’ve closed their outlet that was centrally located in Phoenix, you have to drive way to Hell and gone into Scottsdale, or else you have to drive way to Hell and gone up the I-17 freeway, halfway to Flagstaff.
I have NOTHING ELSE TO DO IN EITHER OF THOSE PARTS, now that I’m not working at ASU West and no longer have pals living in Moon Valley. So you wanna know what I ain’t doin’? I ain’t drivin’ halfway to Flag, and I ain’t drivin’ to Snotsdale West, just to save maybe $1.50 on merchandise I don’t much need anyway. Fry’s has a mega-supermarket on the fringe of Snotsdale West, much closer to my house, which peddles just about everything Costco does.
Soooo…why, pray tell, should I keep a Costco membership that requires me to burn vast quantities of overpriced gasoline in order to spend vast quantities of cash?
Which brings us to Second: Practically around the corner, QT has not one but TWO gas stations, each generously equipped with pumps.
Are they the cheapest gas in town?
Probably not. Costco usually claims that honor.
But by the time I’ve burned a gallon or three driving up the freeway to a Costco gas station, how cheap — really — is CC’s gas?
My guess is, the price ultimately is about the same. As for the aggravation factor? Any day I d’ruther spend a few cents more at a QT than drive halfway across the city to stand in line 20 minutes and then be told my membership card doesn’t work (which is what happened the last time I tried to buy gas at Costco).
I’ve spent my last dollar in Costco. Alas!