Costco Auto Program: Consumer Gets Shorthanded at Costco Tire Center
Costco shopppers and consumers, help me redress a wrong caused by Costco. If one of us gets ripped off or suffers, all of us will some day suffer!
I had been shopping around for a new car. I thought it would be a good idea to check the Costco Auto program. My wife concurred. After all, her sister and in-laws, their friends and she have been members of this organization for a very long time. Why not trust a firm that makes shopping so easy for one's family? We do receive the Costco Auto magazine every month. We keep looking for the best deals we can find. After various contacts with the local dealerships, we decided to compare their offerings with the price offered by the Costco program. In the meantime, we continued to do our homework. That's a recommendation that nobody should take lightly. We found out that the Costco price is summarized as the dealer invoice plus $500. Now, if you are dealing with a crooked dealer, you may expect some other fees. We were interested in a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE. After using the Nissan Quest without any problems, we became stuck on the brand. Why not buy another Nissan after all? However, even with the Costco's reputation of valuing its customers, a shopper should always be on his/her guard. The following is my experience with the Costco Auto shop and tire and service department.
After deciding to postpone the purchase of the car, we decided to change all four tires on the Honda. The store was running a deal on the Michelin, BF Goodrich and Bridgestone tires. We bought the 4 new tires for close to $400.00, signed the papers, turned in our keys and waited about 3 hours before returning to the store to pick up the car. As we were leaving the car, there were no mentions of dings, scratches and dents on the car. In fact, we left the car with any of the dents and scratches we later found. Beware of the following: Whether you agree there are dents on your car or not, you'd have to agree with their observation to start with. When and if they do it in your absence, that's like a shot in the back. Costco is more interested in covering their back than providing you with satisfaction and customer care. That I'll find out later.
Before going back to the Costco Tire section, we called them to make sure that the installation was complete. We were thinking that a two-hour timeframe was enough time for them to mount the tire. We were wrong. It was a Saturday after a major holiday. Every Costco member showed up to get their work done. We had to wait 1 more hour. When it was time to retrieve the car, my wife dropped me off. I waited a few minutes before the employee could print the paperwork and hand me my keys. While I was talking to him, my wife waited for me by my Honda. That's when she discovered the fresh dents, scratches and dings on the rear of the car. I informed the employee of my wife's findings. He accompanied me to the parking lot where the car was parked. My wife, the employee and I noticed that the car was not properly parked (meaning between the lot). The employee who completed the installation of the tires did not park the car properly. That opened the door to anybody who wanted to park close to my car to put the dents, dings and scratches there. Bear in my mind up to this point, Costco was supposed to be responsible for my car. For up to 4 hours, they were in complete possession of the vehicle!
Costco is not willing to take responsibility for the damage
What can a small guy do to a giant we can't live without?
The Costco clerk asked me whether I wanted to file a claim. I followed him to the Tire section. He asked me for a copy of my receipt which did not have any mentions of dents, scratches and dings. He disappeared for what seemed to be a good 15 minutes to make copies of my receipt. When he came back, I noticed the presence of dents, dings and scratches on the form. The words must have been typewritten because some of the letters were on top of the remark words in the pre-existing empty box. When the clerk finally said that these dings were observed by the tire-mounting employee, I said I did not believe him. I expressed to him my dissatisfaction. I bid him farewell knowing that he did his best to protect his company. After all, the damage was caused during his shift. By the time I made it back to my car, my wife had already gone home to get our camera. She took some shots of the car in the position it was parked by the Costco employee.
The clerk gave me a claim form to fill out. When I was close to completing it, he realized it was the wrong form. He apologized and gave me the right one. Here I was filling out a new form. Unwilling to give me the name of the "Costco Wholesale Liability Insurance," he told me somebody would call me. An employee from the insurance company did give me a call and left me this 1-800-409-1099 ext. 15 . After a few days later, I called Josh Judge back at the same number. He was all defensive. He was covering the back of his company. He wanted to have proof. I could either e-mail him some pictures or send him the film pics via snail mail. Once the pictures were developed, we mailed them to him. In the meantime, we were communicating via e-mail. For a few weeks, I did not hear anything from Josh Judge. So I sent an e-mail to JJudge@costco.com to find out what was up. In case I was not available, I gave him my wife's number. For a number of days, neither my wife nor I heard from him. I told my wife to call him. All I wanted was for them to accept responsibility for the damage their employee caused to my car. They could pay to have it painted!
Costco only cares about its own profits, sends customers to hell! It offers customer service to get into our pockets
The company's reps will chase you around to get you to sign up with them. They'll give you incentives until they get you. Once that happens, they forget about you. If you think I didn't like the company all along, please read my other review. The company's practices tend to wake us up, consumers. How many of us are in the same situation? Yes, you can return any merchandise with no hassle. You can shop as much as you can pay. But the way its reps are treating the small guys likes us, consumers is not right.
Josh Judge examined the pictures and called my wife. "I will not pay you anything," he said to her.
The car you buy from them may be damaged during service! You're on your own! Shop At your own RISK!
David went against Goliath. This small fish that I am can't go against Costco! I need help from you, readers and consumers!
Let's band together, Costco consumers, so that arrogance does not triumph. Let's get together to make Costco do the right thing! Paying for my car to get a fresh layer of paint would not put a dent into their coffers.
Please e-mail or call Josh Judge to help a small guy like me! I only have the morale of my story and my words to correct a wrong.
Just ask me for help the next time you get wronged! I'll be there for you!
Please help, help, help! A Big Fish Wants To Swallow Me Alive! That's a rip-off!
Are customers always right? In this case, I know I am right. Please what you can to get their attention on this unresolved matter.
Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst
at 12:21 PM
Updated: Saturday, 23 October 2004 6:44 AM