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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 02-28-2007, 02:25 PM   #21
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Pockets
In a small town it doesn't take the businesses long to learn who cannot be trusted, and word gets out. There was a guy who bought two spark plugs for his tractor at the John Deere dealer, and a week later returned the boxes for a refund (with the old spark plugs in them). From that day on he was cash & carry at every place in town with no returns allowed. 35 years later people still talk about it.
NOW... that is a small town....
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 02-28-2007, 02:26 PM   #22
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
No kidding. I cant walk into a warehouse store without Gabe pointing at the free food sample area wildly and yelling at me to go get him some snacks. He's in love with the people that hand out the sample stuff.
And how many people actually go to the store and ONLY eat It is a way they can get you in and sell you 'something'.... probably cheaper than advertising in the paper or TV..
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 02-28-2007, 02:56 PM   #23
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Pockets
In a small town it doesn't take the businesses long to learn who cannot be trusted, and word gets out.
My folks retired to a small town in Arkansas where my mom was originally from. In the mid-80's, our house in the Chicago suburbs was broken into and one of the missing items was a spare key to their safety deposit box at their local bank. I called the bank to explain and to have the locks changed. My call was transfered to the bank president who said: "Mr. youbet, I know your folks, everyone here at the bank does. We'd look forward to meeting anyone who came in with their key and tried to present themselves as being your folks! Don't worry about changing the locks."

Just one of the little advantages to small town life I guess.........

My folks are gone now but I still visit down there as the town is near two of my favorite trout fishing rivers, the North Fork and the White. It's totally different today. I'm sure some drone at the bank (now a branch of some Little Rock bank) would have just told me to send $50 and they'd change the locks.

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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 02-28-2007, 04:14 PM   #24
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

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...pointing at the free food sample area wildly and yelling...
What a coincidence, that's exactly what I do.
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 02-28-2007, 05:32 PM   #25
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

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And how many people actually go to the store and ONLY eat It is a way they can get you in and sell you 'something'.... probably cheaper than advertising in the paper or TV..
No ****. I was in a costco down by my dads house (miles and miles o' subdivisions as far as the eye can see) and you couldnt even get your cart through the quarter of the store in the back where they were giving out the samples. There was a whole fleet of vultures standing in front of a couple of them grabbing pieces of ham and pizza slices and then circling back around again.

After having to ask the fourth person to get the hell out of my way, I loudly asked "Dont you guys think you should get a fake mustache or a different shirt or something to use for your third or fourth trip? You do know the whole slice is only a buck and a half WITH a drink, right?" Everyone looked embarrassed and the servers all tried hard to stifle themselves...
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 02-28-2007, 08:46 PM   #26
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

I rarely return any merchandise unless it is defective or wrong (e.g., size). I do not exploit their generous return policy because it is intended to attract customers. They cannot afford too many customers who abuse the policy. Thank heaven that most of us are honest and ethical. We should feel fortunate that major department stores honor return policy in this country. I came from a country that once you paid for a merchandise, it's yours with no chance of return and exchange. I am thankful for the generous return or exchange policies but do not abuse them. If I ever become a business owner, I definitely do not want the business from whose who abuse the system.
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 02-28-2007, 09:25 PM   #27
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

RE: Costco finally cries Uncle!

This is good news for Costco shoppers. One way or another, the abusers raise the prices for other shoppers.

A reasonable return policy for honest customers is good. Too liberal and it is a gift to jerks, and we all pay for it.

Makes no difference if the returns are covered by their suppliers, there is no free lunch. The suppliers have that factored into their prices to Costco. It gets passed on to the consumer either way.

-ERD50
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 12:10 AM   #28
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

Ah, but isn't this type of policy, very similar to the ones where you can buy something super cheap (Computers, TVs, etc) for a manufacturerers rebate, with the stores full expectation based on consumers habits of never applying for the rebate. Not asking for return of product = not asking for rebate back. Seems they factor in this cost, with the understanding that the stupid consumer will not ask for their money back. in the case of the rebate, it runs something like 80% of the consumers not filing for rebates. Wonder what the percentage that Costco planned on for consumers not bringing something back after a period of time. Not speaking to the reasonableness of the time for the consumer to bring it back, only the cost to Costco that they factor into their cost of doing business.
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 03:43 AM   #29
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

I fail to see connection or correlation between rebate and return policy. Certainly statistics is available to predict the probability of rebates being claimed and merchandise return.

I normally do not file for small rebates (e.g., less than $2) but will for larger amount. I prefer instant rebates than those that you have to prepare the paperwork and wait for 2 months before getting the check. Sometimes you have to call them because of delay of processing or simply the paperwork is lost. Thus, it is always a good idea to keep a copy of the paperwork. My hit rate is about 80% that you actually receive the rebate without calling them. It seems that manufacturers intentionally make the process a little bit inconvenient to discourage consumers from claiming the rebates.
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 09:24 AM   #30
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

I see the connection like this: In both cases the deal seems too good to be true, but most consumers don't follow through. Thus, the company gets to advertise something really attractive (Free After Rebate or Return It Anytime), but usually doesn't have to follow through.

I hate rebates, but use them because, being retired, my time is worthless. I'm going to pick up some free after rebate toothbrushes today. They will be paid for by all the people who don't follow through with the annoying rebate details.
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 10:46 AM   #31
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I hate rebates, but use them because, being retired, my time is worthless.
Yes, but my health is priceless. The last couple mail-in rebates I've dealt with raised my blood pressure too much.

On the phone at least 4 times for a $50 cell phone rebate. On every call they agreed that I had filled the forms out correctly, and the rebate would be 're-submitted' for processing. It got rejected twice, took over three months and several hours on the phone to get the money that was due in '4-6 weeks'.

What would happen if I was late paying my bill for 2 months? Could I tell them to just re-submit the bill for processing, and see what happens in 4-6 weeks? Sure.

The other was an offer of $14 rebate for a memory card - good for two per household. I fill out everything as asked, I get a check for $14, not $28. So, another call. Oh, I didn't submit two copies of the receipt? Well, does it ask for two copies? No sir, it doesn't. I bought the two cards on the same order, I even circled the 'qty 2' and made a note. OK sir, you are correct, just fax us all your paperwork and we will resubmit it for processing. You should get your check in 4-6 weeks. Grrrrrrrrr. How much you want to bet I need to call again?

It becomes a matter of principle at some point, more than the $. As you say, many people do not bother to fill them out, or don't cross the t's and dot the i's on the form. I figure, if you do take the time to do it right, they least they can do is pay w/o hassling you.

And what's up with 4-6 weeks other than they just want to hold your money, or not pay and hope you forget? Isn't it odd that when I buy something on-line it almost always ships within 24 hours, often the same day, and my credit card is charged accordingly? Hmmm, they can do that but can't process a rebate, let alone correct their error on something already submitted in less than 4-6 weeks? Give me a break!

When I get asked to renew my cell contract, they are going to be told, just give me the phone mail-in rebate as an immediate credit, or I'm walking.

-ERD50

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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 10:48 AM   #32
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

Hmm. I see Costco's refund policy and, say, Best Buy's rebate policy as being polar opposites. Costco's refunds have been, when I used them, remarkably easy and cheerfully done. Best Buy's refunds or rebates have been tortuous, grudgingly executed, time consuming, and flat out painfull. Costco's treatment of it's employees is exemplary. I enjoy being in Costco and hate visiting Best Buy. Costco's deal is not too good to be true and unfortunately some people took advantage. Unfortunate, as I like an area where all does not have to be parsed by lawyers, but depends on the rational golden rule theory.
IMO Costco's wisdom lies in engendering an owner mentality in it's customers - they have to buy their way in to membership and gain unique rights at different levels of ownership. I nearly always return shopping carts - at Costco I neaten them. The 2% + 1% AMEX refund executive level works out real well for us, their stock is one of the handfull of stocks we own, their $20 champagne is pretty fair, their chicken figures large in our diet... shoot, it's time for someone to pipe up:"if you love it so much why don't you marry it"?
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 01:35 PM   #33
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

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Originally Posted by calmloki
Hmm. I see Costco's refund policy and, say, Best Buy's rebate policy as being polar opposites. Costco's refunds have been, when I used them, remarkably easy and cheerfully done. Best Buy's refunds or rebates have been tortuous, grudgingly executed, time consuming, and flat out painfull. Costco's treatment of it's employees is exemplary. I enjoy being in Costco and hate visiting Best Buy. Costco's deal is not too good to be true and unfortunately some people took advantage. Unfortunate, as I like an area where all does not have to be parsed by lawyers, but depends on the rational golden rule theory.
IMO Costco's wisdom lies in engendering an owner mentality in it's customers - they have to buy their way in to membership and gain unique rights at different levels of ownership. I nearly always return shopping carts - at Costco I neaten them. The 2% + 1% AMEX refund executive level works out real well for us, their stock is one of the handfull of stocks we own, their $20 champagne is pretty fair, their chicken figures large in our diet... shoot, it's time for someone to pipe up:"if you love it so much why don't you marry it"?
Which is why I don't go to Best Buy... they screwed me out on $15 of rebates... great customer service...

Now, I did use Fry's and got rejected for a company rebate.. submitted a couple of times again... nothing... FINALLY went to Fry's and the guy called up and the manufacturer said the time was over... I said "Fine, here is all my paperwork. YOU make a choice, I will not shop here again until I get a check for $75... your choice on keeping a customer"... He was surprised I did not want my paperwork back... but low and behold... I got the money...

Now, most seem to be doing it online and I have not had a problem on any of them...
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 03:15 PM   #34
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

What would be interesting to me would be if costco would try to use peer pressure to keep people from abusing their return policy. After all, the main reason most people don't abuse the policy is that they don't feel it would be right. The main way people decide what feels right is by seeing what their peers are doing.

It might be as simple as having costco explicitly say what they consider abuse. E.g. returning when the only reason for being dissatisfied is that the product is old, used, depreciated, or obsolete. This would be completely unenforceable, but I think there are a lot of people who now return abusively just because costco says it's okay.

If they wanted to go further they could start an advertising campaign to shame return abusers, or contribute money to churches to inspire sermons on the evil of costco return abuse.
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 07:51 PM   #35
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

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Originally Posted by Spanky
I fail to see connection or correlation between rebate and return policy. Certainly statistics is available to predict the probability of rebates being claimed and merchandise return.

I normally do not file for small rebates (e.g., less than $2) but will for larger amount.
I purchased a laptop computer from Office Depot on one of their rebate specials, which amounted to $250 worth of rebates. When talking to the manager, he claimed that they fully expect that about 70-80% of the people will NOT claim the rebate.
Now to me, that is not a small rebate, but apparently there are a lot of people that feel it is too much trouble to get $250 back. In the interest of full disclosure, I did wait for 2 whole days before I got my rebate request in the mail, so maybe I'm somewhat guilty as well
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!
Old 03-01-2007, 08:06 PM   #36
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Re: Costco finally cries Uncle!

Too much trouble to send in the paperwork for $250? Wow, these people must be rich or they really value their time or simply lazy.

OT - I tried to convince my daughter to apply for merit scholarship with an annual award of $7,000 for 4 years. She says it is too much work writing essays and filling out applications and therefore it isn't worth the effort. I told her that you have work at McDonald's for many, many hours to earn that amount.

She does have one point - the probability of getting the award my not be that great. You might end up with nothing after a lots of efforts.
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