Costco Member Returns TV From 2002 Under Retailer’s “Unlimited Grace Period” Policy

Social media is reeling from a post about a person from Pennsylvania returning a big screen TV to Costco under it’s “unlimited grace period” policy. Costco’s return policy hit the headlines in January when a video emerged of a woman returning her 2-year-old couch without a receipt and obtaining a full refund. After the return policy made in heaven became a living hell for Costco, the retailer changed the policy on electronics to require that they be returned within 90 days of purchase. Fortunately for the person returning the big screen TV, it was grandfathered in because the set was purchased prior to the policy change. Products that do not qualify under the return policy include diamonds, cigarettes, alcohol, airline and live performance tickets, gift cards, and its famous gold bars. So, how can Costco allow for such a liberal return policy? A former employee of Costco explained that the company knows customers are spending way more than they’re returning. In fact, the company’s records show that on average returns are a fraction of what customers buy. The liberal return policy is bringing customers back into the store, where they will undoubtedly buy more. The company does, however, maintain a list of everything a customer has ever purchased, as well as what they’ve returned. This allows staff to determine if a customer is abusing the policy. As for what happens to all the items that are returned, some things are returned to the vendor, while others are donated.