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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

does anyone have any experience with Costco?

I am not a member but have heard of Costco accepting any return that they sell you.

Could this be dne with a plasma if I choose to upgrade to the new series in 1 year or so?
 

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Animalchin,


No disrespect intended, but the action you're suggesting is at best unethical and at worst borders on illegal. Costco is a great place to shop. However, generous return policies (and I don't know if they're that generous) can be destroyed by people who abuse them.


Lookup how much it would cost you to rent a Plasma display for a year. That's the dollar amount of damage you're looking at causing to your fellow Costco members if you took this course of action.
 

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No direspect to you phoenix.

You pay to be a member at costco. You get perks for this payment, especially the perk about being completely satisfied with any purchase you make at costco.


If the man wants to buy a plasma, and return it in the future because he feels it is inferior to what is out, then he can.


You can have your opinions, but don't tell someone they are unethical. We didn't make up the rules costco did.
 

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...Costco needs to learn a lesson with their return policy.

Maybe their store prices would be better if they're weren't losing serious dollars from exchanges/returns.

They don't need to be THAT loose with their customer satisfaction, they could tighten it up (save millions), and probably not lose one customer.


People will abuse it...especially with plasma technology changing...and pricing continuously dropping...alot happens in a year.
 

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"No disrespect intended, but the action you're suggesting is at best unethical and at worst borders on illegal. "



I love it when people act like you are doing something wrong when you are simply using a stores return policy to your advantage. If the store doesn't want people returning tvs a year after they buy it than they should change their return policy. The customer is certainly not doing anything unethical and absoultely not doing ANYTHING illegal. :)


Some people just love to act like they are the ethics police of the electroincs world and anyone who takes advantage of a return policy or even goes as far as negotiating a good deal is a bad person. :D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tigerriot
"No disrespect intended, but the action you're suggesting is at best unethical and at worst borders on illegal. "



I love it when people act like you are doing something wrong when you are simply using a stores return policy to your advantage. If the store doesn't want people returning tvs a year after they buy it than they should change their return policy. The customer is certainly not doing anything unethical and absoultely not doing ANYTHING illegal. :)


Some people just love to act like they are the ethics police of the electroincs world and anyone who takes advantage of a return policy or even goes as far as negotiating a good deal is a bad person. :D
Agreed! Would I do it? Maybe..maybe not. But the fact of the matter is that Costco has the policy.


Would you feel unethical about buying gas for 50 cents a gallon, knowing that the gas station is losing money? Not I....especially if that is their policy!
 

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Believe me...a billion dollar company like costco has spent plenty of time and $$ examining their return policy. The second it is a financial liability for them you can believe that they will change it.


To suggest that taking advantage of this policy is immoral unethical or illegal is simply ridiculous. That's precisely why they have the policy in the first place -- so people can take advantage of it.
 

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It's the vendor that takes the hit for returns. I was talking to a vendor that sells high end rugs through Costco. He had to take back a rug a year and a half later because the customer was getting a divorce and didn't want the rug. He's still selling the rugs through Costco. Costco moves a lot of product so I'm sure Akai and the rest are happy to take the hit. Plus they can still recoup money on second sales, etc. It's not like the plasmas are thrown away.


The return on computers was one year also, but that has changed to six months.
 

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I emailed Costco customer service and they said that for tv's a customer may need to see it in their home for 1-2 years in order to judge if the purchase is right for them. I joined Costco just for their return policy on plasma TVs's. Then I bought my 42" Akai plasma from them.


I just bought the panny 42" from CC and did a side by side comparision in my house. The panny went back and I kept the Akai because I thought the PQ was so close but the price was so far apart $1800 with an EW that to me the best deal is at Costco.


Since then I have purchased a lot from Costco that they would not have gotten from me had it not been for their return policy. I intend to fully utilize their policy. Since I can not buy an EW for 5 years from them, I intend to return the TV within the 5 year window for an exchange or upgrade if my TV fails. Seems fair to me and to Costco as well.
 

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Maybe it isn't unethical to most, nor illegal, but to me it just would not seem "right"...at least for the reasons given by animalchin.
 

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I buy a lot of stuff there. Things that I truly am not happy with I return - like a humidifier that was way too noisy, an LCD tv which had developed a speaker buzz, and a mosquito trap that didn't. When my 4 year old inkjet that I paid $120 for at Costco died I threw it in the trash as I figured I got a decent run out of it, although I'm sure they would have taken it back. Costco sees a lot more sales because of their policy. I bought a $600 photo printer there last year as I knew I could return it if I didn't like it. I still have it and will keep it, but I would never have bought it if they hadn't minimized my risks. My personal threshold is, if I feel embarassed returning it, I don't.
 

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Mike52 and 90c4,


Thanks for restoring a little bit of my faith in humanity. I was starting to wonder if anyone out there understood the difference between "legal" and "ethical".


I appreciate Costco's return policies for the same reason as 90c4. If I am truly dissatisfied with a product, I am confident I can return it without an issue.


If people make a regular pattern of abusing this policy, they will destroy it for the rest of us, or, they will raise prices for the rest of us.


For those who truly feel that what they're doing is not unethical, then make sure that when asked why you are returning the plasma set after 11 months you say "because I can buy a better set now for the same or less money".
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chazk13


To suggest that taking advantage of this policy is immoral unethical or illegal is simply ridiculous.


That's precisely why they have the policy in the first place -- so people can take advantage of it.
Well... I agree with Chaz to a certain point... The first part of his statement, IMHO, is correct... They do it for their members... A kind-of "privilege" for being part of, and paying for, Costco membership...


The second part would be something not to do regularly... Remember that the policy is a "privilege" and should not be abused...


One thing to really consider would be the fact that they DO review your membership account when alot of returns have been done... Trust me, they can tell when thier return policy is being abused.... And with doing so, they will ultimately stop your "return privileges"... And, perhaps, everyone elses...


All I'm saying, and I've posted on this board regarding Costco's open return policy, is that it's a privilege and should not be abused (with the result of Costco changing their open return policy to it's members)...


- Air B :cool:
 

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AVS LCD/Plasma Forum is for discussion of technical issues


This type of discussion may not be appropriate on AVS


disclaimer: I am a Costco member


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well..thanks for the replies and I am sorry if I have offended anyone.

I was basically debating on if spending more at Costco was worth it so I can upgrade later (if I choose to).

I'm still not sure which direction to go since the same plasma is about 20% more at Costco than it is at any of the forum internet shops listed above.

I just like the option of seeing what the 7 series Panny has over the 6 series and If I want to upgrade I simply can..no questions asked.
 

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I bought and returned (within a month) a plasma from Costco. No hassle at all. Costco returns the item to the vendor for resale as a refurb, so they suffer little to no loss. Not sure what happens to 1-2+ year old returns. I would expect Costco eats those. There are many other good reasons to be a Costco member, but it's not appropriate to discuss that here.


Bill
 

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Keep in mind that Costco isn't the only player in town with this generous "no questions asked, no time limit" return policy. Sams Club is the same, which I recently joined and have started purchasing supplies from them for this very "peace of mind" policy.


As for my purchase of the Akai unit at Costco some months ago, the jury is still out on whether I'll keep it or not. I'm waiting to see if the new DirecTV HD Tivo unit will improve the SD signal enough for me to keep it, since the connection will be via DVI instead of the previous S-cable connection to my existing DirecTV box (just need to get my hands on a unit). And it's this kind of "peace of mind" that will earn Costco and Sams Club my business for years to come.
 

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I look at the Costco return policy as an extended warranty. I once asked one of the associates if Costco sold extended warranties. He replied that my satisfaction was guaranteed or the item could be returned, period.


When I buy a product at Costco, I figure that if it costs more there I am basically getting an extended warranty with my purchase. I figure that I can buy a four year EW on most products, so since most consumer electronics have a one year manufacturer's warranty, I get a five year total warranty. If something I buy at Costco breaks in the first five years, they get it back. All things being equal, I will pay a little more for a Costco item, because it comes with a built in extended warranty.


Once I did use the policy for other than a warranty concern:

They lowered the price of the Akai plasma I owned at the time by 16% (coupon) in three months. They wouldn't give me a direct refund, but did let me bring back the set and purchase a new one for the new price. The second one buzzed, the third one could not be adjusted (no contrast), and the Vizio 46" that I tried on a Friday went back the next day (LOUD buzzing). I finally just took my money back and moved on, but I was very glad to have a satisfaction guaranteed, return policy.


As far as using the policy as an upgrade path, unless a new and better item comes out very shortly after my purchase, I cannot see myself using the policy simply as upgrade insurance. My plasma incident that I mentioned earlier wasn't meant to be an upgrade, I just wanted to be able to use a current coupon three months after my purchase. I called and spoke to the manager, and he actually told me that he could not do a direct refund, but would be happy to return the set, and let me buy a new one.


I think that if you think of the Costco policy as an extended warranty you cannot go wrong. Also, like 90c4 said earlier, if you feel embarrassed to return it, don't.


-Brian
 
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