Many that have been reading my blog have discovered that there are some companies I really love and some, well, I don't.
We all know that Costco is one of my favorite retailers because of their wonderful warranty and return policies on all the products they sell. Often, I think they are too liberal and I have seen a number of situations that have really irked me. Once I saw a woman return a dead bunch of cut flowers and receive a refund. Recently I saw a customer return a dead tomato plant in September that she had in a flower pot and enjoyed during the summer growing season.
For this reason, I just couldn't stand there and let this person abuse one of my favorite stores. After watching this return take place I decided to step in and say something. Hey, Costco employees can't say a thing even though it must kill them when they have to abide by the rules and take the return without question. They have to be nice to all of their customers, but I don't.
I assume I got my message across and even if Costco didn't give her a hard time, she will think a bit more before pulling another one of her scams against my favorite store...at least I would hope so.
I also realize that on some items they may not have the lowest prices in town. Maybe that higher price helps them maintain a profitable business, even with what has to be the high costs of running their exceptional return policy and offering world class customer service.
To me the answer is NO. I would rather pay a bit more (on some items) and buy it at Costco. I feel that the small extra cost is the cost of my insurance that will enable me to evaluate the product to make sure I will be happy with my purchase. How many stores ask you to take their optional insurance on a product and charge you another 10% or more for it...at Costco it is free and in most cases goes way beyond the normal manufacturers warranty period.
I had a power washer that I bought last summer 2007, used it possibly 4-5 times for maybe 5 hours of total use. This year, when I attempted to use it again, it just wouldn't work. I brought it back to Costco, and they refunded my full purchase price, no hassle, no problems. Any other store might have told me to contact the manufacturer and deal with them. In many cases that might involve shipping this heavy unit back to them at my cost or dealing with their parts department and trying to do the repair myself.
Imagine what our world would be like if every company followed Costco's lead? If they did...Would they all go out of business? Would the world come to an end? Or would manufacturers simply have to make a better product to live up to their claims?
If we bought a product and it delivered what the manufacturer promised we wouldn't have to return them, thus saving the company money on repairs or replacements. We would be happier to buy that brand again, because we would get what we expected. The manufacturer of course would be rewarded by increased sales from a strong and loyal customer base.
Not everything you buy should be dictated by price alone. There are a number of companies I have found that believe in the same philosophy as Costco. Please go to my two posts in this blog, one on Grohe and the other on Levolor to see two such manufacturers. I can think of some others too, Lexus, Apple (computer) and USAA (United Services Automobile Association),
These are three other companies that I rate 5 stars out of 5 in producing products and services that are second to none.
I would also be remiss if I didn't mention some of the people that have given me the exceptional service and now friendship at Costco, Hazlet, NJ. I truly feel we have become friends over the years. Frankly, I see these people more then I do my own family.
A Big Thank You Goes Out To These Hazlet, NJ Costco Employees
My friend Geri, John, Becky, Karen, Pam, Ann in marketing, Amanda, Tracy in Tires, Debbie the manager and so many others that I can't come up with their names right now. I promise to expand this list the next time I am there and will write their names down. After all at 65, I find it hard to remember where I put just about anything, so names are always a challenge :-)
It is all of you and the Costco policies, great products, value and guarantee, that have prompted me to not only acknowledge your hard work and your exceptional devotion to customer care, in this blog, but because you are all the products of the vision of your co-founder and CEO, Jim Sinegal.
Please take a moment to read more about this remarkable man (center, shirt open) and how he differs from many of the greedy corporate executives we have learned to loathe at this link. I am a true believer that people like Jim and their strong commitment to their employees and customers have made Costco the largest and best retailer in the country.
Thank you Jim, for passing your passion and great work ethics to all of the good people that work for you. Keep up the good work and try to teach some of the other CEO's and politicians how they too can become winners for both their companies and for their country.