Reviewing Costco.com’s Review Policy

August 11th, 2009 · 25 Comments

So, I’ve received several rather unfavorable comments about Costco.com’s new user reviews.  And more importantly, how much people dislike it.  It seems that people are upset about the wait time before reviews start showing up online, they feel like they’re screening for only good reviews, that they might be removing reviews, and in general how much of a disservice Costco is doing to its customers.  So, I decided to look into it.

Turns out that the Costco.com policy on reviews is a little odd, and not really in line with other retailers or places that offer user reviews.  They require that there be at least three reviews made for an item before they will show any reviews for it.  So, if you buy something that doesn’t have reviews, you and two other people will need to submit reviews before any of them show up.  Why, you might ask.  I did just that, putting the question to the online customer service people, and here is the response that I got:

We work to ensure that our items have more than 1 review to provide our members with a range of experiences and opinions to assist them in making their purchase decisions.

While I can see what they are trying to achieve with this, I don’t really agree that it is a good idea.  I think this is going to lead to confusion by the first two reviewers, not as many shoppers will find useful reviews before making purchases, and also it makes it look like they have far fewer people posting reviews on their site.  And, from the comments I’ve gotten I’d say that is certainly the case.  Not to mention, even one review can be useful if it contains a good piece of information that might be helpful to anyone buying the item.  As is the case for one complaint I received from a reader here, Todd, who sent a polite email to the customer service people regarding his comment not showing up:

This is an expensive item that requires assembly.  By waiting for the third review to arrive before you post anything, you do a disservice to your members.  Please reconsider this policy for expensive items that require assembly.  The info I provided will be crucial to folks purchasing this item.  I rated the item 5 stars but provided important information people who purchase this item will need to know upon receipt.

You risk returns if you don’t allow informative reviews to be posted immediately upon review instead of holding them until you have 3 reviews.

Todd certainly raises an excellent point about how helpful reviews can be, even if there are just one or two users doing the reviewing.  Most people are used to reading reviews on a myriad of sites now, so you pretty quickly develop the ability to pick out the useful details and weigh them with your own opinions.  I mean, they are someone’s opinion and everyone recognizes that, so I’m not really sure why Costco doesn’t get that and assumes that if you see just one or two reviews you will base your whole decision on those opinions.  Meanwhile, people could be missing out on useful little tidbits or better product descriptions or explanations than the product information provides online because they hold off on posting reviews.

I wanted to see how clearly they convey this policy to a user that is making a comment on a product with no posted reviews.  Not so well, as it turns out.  The only place they mention it is in some little text in the right-hand column under the heading “Review writing notes’; this would easily be missed or overlooked by someone that has written reviews before or someone that can easily discern from the form what they are supposed to do.  For me this is kind of bad policy mixed with bad usability.  If they were my usability client, I would suggest that they put something at the top of the page, or in line with the form fields regarding this policy on reviews that do not have posted reviews.  Easy to do, and then you can head off user confusion about why their review is not showing up, not to mention you’d really cut down on customer support emails and complaints.

I also asked the customer support people about Tampa Slim’s issue of having a review removed.  They claim that no review is ever removed once it has been approved and posted on Costco.com.  Here’s what they say:

Product reviews, both positive and negative, will be screened prior to posting to insure they comply with our Terms of Use. … The one answer you may not find in this information is whether or not they are ever removed, and the answer to that question is ‘no,’ the review is permanent. … Approved ratings & reviews are posted to the site within 72 hours.

If you haven’t read the Terms of Use for Costco.com Reviews, you can zip through it pretty quickly.  It’s fairly standard stuff where they want to make sure that you are writing your own thoughts, not plaigarizing, not infringing on anyone’s copyright or patents, not being paid to do a review, not being a total ass in your review (hateful, racial or religiously offensive, threatening), and things such as that.  So, obviously, if you write something that goes against those guidelines they won’t be approving it or posting it.

I’ve seen a number of one star reviews at Costco.com, so I do believe that they actually follow through and post really negative reviews.  Almost everything I’ve looked at that has had reviews, has had at least one, and sometimes more, one star review. Here’s a good example of a product that has been reviewed unfavorably, it’s got ratings from one to five stars, but most of the reviews only give it two stars.

However, do they keep negative reviews up forever?  I’m not sure because I haven’t caught them removing negative reviews or changing them or anything like that.  I’d like to think that Costco would not go down that road, that they would not take part in something so ethically dodgy.

I’m curious how most people view user reviews.  I know when I go to a site that has them, I will look through them and try to get the general feeling about the item – good or bad – taking into account how many reviews have been posted.  I also throw out any outliers that sound like they either work for the company or the competition or are totally crazy (you know you’ve read these types of reviews).  Most people just want to help out other would-be purchasers by giving their opinion, good or bad, of the products they’ve used. And most people that are reading the reviews, just want a little more information before they make a purchase.

In the end, I’d have to say that the review of Costco.com Reviews is at about 2.5 stars for me at the moment: not great and a little below middle of the road.  It’s could be better if they would just let all reviews be posted, within their Terms of Service guidelines of course, and not wait until there are three or more reviews before any are posted.  And why do they need three?  Maybe just two would be sufficient because if there are two people that have the same problems, wouldn’t that be useful?  And if there are two people that have completely opposing views, what is to say that the third person will clear it all up with their review?   I just feel like Costco has made a bit of a mistake with this policy.  Since they are new to the review game, they really should have done a little research into policies used by other online retailers and sites that offer user reviews.  I’m pretty sure if they had done that they would have realized that most places do not wait for three reviews and that users would not expect a completely different set of rules at Costco.com.  This is especially true because they do not clearly post on the review form page that they require three reviews before any will be posted.

For now we can all hope that  they’ll think about changing the policy if they keep receiving negative emails about it.

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25 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 thatguythere // 2015.05.14 at 8:05 am

    I’ve given up writing reviews on costco.com. They either don’t get published or they disappear after a time. For instance, they will sell a product in the spring, discontinue and then sell again in the fall. I prefer to leave a review on amazon if the product is also available there. Seems like costco would address this though. Recently I bought a large expensive item on costco.com. I not only didn’t get what was advertised but the company behind it couldn’t even answer some simple questions. What with the cost of shipping and it being a return which they can’t sell in the store, it would seem I was saving them by writing a detailed review, but they wouldn’t publish it.

  2. 2 Jill // 2013.01.29 at 12:59 am

    I am about to give a review for the Costco on 3836 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas.

    I have been a Costco member for quite some time. I love my Costco, love the items that I wanted are sold there at a good price. Everyone is very very friendly. The folks at the pharmacy are extremely friendly as well. But today I am here to share a very unpleasant experience.

    I was standing in line at the self check out counter when I witnessed an old lady (who is at the check out register next to me) having trouble with a 4 heavy case of Capri Sun. All she had in her cart were 4 cases, plus 1 big cases of Kirkland’s water under the cart. That’s it.

    Usually whenever I checked out either at the self register or the regular register, there is almost always someone who will come around to tell me to leave the heavier stuffs in the cart so they can scan it for me. Especially at the self check out registers (there are 2 of them, left and right) there is ALWAYS at least one attendant. This old lady was clearly having trouble with scanning her items, and the mean looking attendant just stood there doing nothing and yet looking PISSED. So I kept on watching what the attendant would do. She came up to the old lady, and she Ridiculed her by saying in a childish tone that SHE needed to put the case back on the cart first before she can re scan. If it’s a smaller item, no big deal. Clearly this case is too heavy for her to lift.
    The attendant then went back to her post looking like angry, yet not helping. Please note, all the while, there were not many people standing in line initially, but because of this old lady having trouble and the attendant’s refusal to help, the line grew quite long. The ironic part is, SHE HAS THE BAR CODE SCANNER with her all the time. Not being used. She could have just helped this poor old lady and just scanned it for her. The line would have been shorter if she would have done that.
    Everybody was looking at the scene and I guessed she felt embarrassed so she went up to the lady, kind of shoved her to the side angrily, and helped her SCAN one of the Capri Sun case. Then she went back to her post. I saw the lady trying to lift up the heavy case of water, and that was it. I stepped in and offered to help her haul her stuffs to her cart. Right then the attendant was in front of me and I asked her, Couldn’t you just scan this for her??? She replied to me angrily, I AM! Yes she was. Whatever dude.

    I am ashamed of not helping sooner, but I wanted to make sure first the attendant wasn’t about to do it anyways. Turned out nope. She neglected her duty.

    I went up to the manager and told them what happened. The manager was really nice and she was apologetic. She asked me around what time frame, I showed her my receipt and she said they were going to review the video surveillance. I’m glad I stepped in to help, so on the surveillance at least they can see that I criss crossed to the opposite lane Just because the attendant was not helping. If I did not step in, it would be harder for them to see what’s going on the surveillance.

    I hope she gets reprimanded. I have never experienced that kind of treatment when I shopped at Costco. Never at all. I hope the problem is narrowed down to this mean lady alone. I shopped there at least twice a week. I have never seen her face.

    This is not Costco’s fault. Not at all. I still love my Costco.
    However, if Costco plans to keep that kind of uneducated employees, it will be a poor reflection on them.

    • 3 Bonnie Hargrave // 2016.06.02 at 4:25 pm

      I bet that employee does not last long there. Out of hundreds of experiences in the 2 local Costco warehouses in Colorado Springs over a period of years, I only recall 2 somewhat rude employees — neither nearly as bad as what you describe. I returned a space heater, box unopened, thinking it would be easier for Costco to reshelve it if I left it intact after I decided not to keep it based on reviews I later read. Attendant unsmilingly asked “Well, did you even TRY it?” She wasn’t there next time I shopped there. Another, more recently, was slightly rude when I asked if my TV was past the date when I could buy the 2 year service plan. I had a lot going on in my life at the time, and less critical matters were getting a backseat. The attendant implied I was somewhat stupid for even asking because it was a couple months past the 30 day, or was it a 90 day, limit. Well excuuuuuse me :) Oh yes,and they do have one security checker at the Westside of town warehouse who has done that job for years and lately looks completely bored out of her skull, angry at all of us annoying customers, and I try to avoid getting in her line so she won’t bark at me to move faster (me, the impatient one who thinks everyone at Costco moves too slowly, especially when they’re in front of me, ha!)

      But all said, if that’s the worst I can say about Costco customer service then I am bless to have 2 excellent warehouses in my vicinity. Generally they all bust their little keisters to serve efficiently and in a friendly manner.

  3. 4 priyM // 2013.01.18 at 8:49 pm

    One of the worst customer experience I had in my life time. I ordered a Cash Card from them online which took months to reach me after multiple resends and follow ups. When it finally reached me, I was told that the card is inactivated and my money is refunded to my account. The customer support team didn’t not know about it and I almost spent 2 months with multiple calls, mails which made me loose my cool, mental peace etc for nothing as eventually speaking, its as good as Costco refused to give me a cash card!!! The reason I say this is that they tried to send it multiple times but always at incomplete address and finally when they managed to send one, the card was a closed card and whatever I paid was refunded almost before the card even reached me!!!PM

  4. 5 Bob // 2013.01.08 at 10:55 am

    I left a review for a very dangerous propane heater. Not only did it never get published, they removed all the other reviews on the heater so that it made it look like there were no other reviews at all. It then said be the first to review. I reviewed it again, and no posting whatsoever. They’ve lost my trust relative to any reviews specifically, and the website in general. Their interests lie with themselves, not the consumer. Amazon is the gold standard for reviews, good, bad, or crazy. At least they post all of them, unless you cross into crude or poor taste behavior.

    • 6 Kimberly // 2013.01.08 at 12:49 pm

      @Bob – Would you like to post your review here? I’ll put it up, even if it is negative. I think it is especially important to get that kind of information shared about something that poses a safety hazard. So, if you have details and a review you would be willing to share, please email me: kimberly@addictedtocostco.com.

      • 7 Bob // 2013.01.08 at 1:12 pm

        The heater I referred to is this one: http://www.costco.com/ProTemp®-Radiant-32%2c000-BTU-Propane-Tank-Top-Heater.product.11612226.html

        In my opinion, it is poorly made (in China) with poor materials, won’t stay lit because of low quality thermocouples, and will occasionally create a burst of fire when igniting, which several times singed the hair on my hands, arms and head. I used it probably a total of 5 times. Avoid this unit at all costs. Costco did not publish my review after I had attempted to review twice. In general I like Costco, but their review police policy is very unsettling and certainly leads to customer distrust.

  5. 8 Sara Lynne // 2011.04.16 at 2:31 pm

    @Kimberly, exactly. It really just makes them seem pretty shady about the whole review system. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still shop there, but on larger important purchases this may definitely sway me. As they do have quality stuff but not always the best price or deal.

    I would say we probably won’t spend the 6k there this year that we did last. But who knows?
    Great return policy and customer service (except the vision center), no more honest than any other retailer out there.

    Sara

  6. 9 Sara Lynne // 2011.04.14 at 1:14 pm

    I recently made a purchase of the Stott pilates reformer at Costco when it was on sale for $1499, I made this purchase based on the 18 customer reviews , with mostly positive remarks, a few negatives that were posted. After having it for a month I decided to post my review thus far, and how customer service dealt with a service issue. It was both positive and negative.

    When I posted the review I noticed the price had increased to $1799.99 and ALL the previous reviews were deleted! I did contact customer service about it and asked why and received the same form letter a poster above did-and never anything further.

    I posted my review anyway and it was never displayed. Only two generic-yeah it’s great reviews. Nothing that points out serious function issues of this product.

    Your best bet, check Amazon for reviews. I used to have a lot more respect for Costco, but they appear to be somewhat dishonest like every other retailer out there. They have their goodpoints (easy returns) but buyer beware.

    • 10 Kimberly // 2011.04.16 at 3:42 am

      @Sara – I’m really frustrated by how many stories I hear from people along these same lines. I don’t know why Costco would keep messing with the reviews because it makes them look really bad. The only thing I can think of is that there are changes to the product numbers and when that happens the reviews don’t transfer because they are associated with the original product number. However, this isn’t really an excuse because all that means is that they need to link to the old product number.

  7. 11 Dennis // 2010.08.29 at 7:37 pm

    Costco’s reviews are obviously a scam. Look at most of the high dollar stuff that they sell tens of thousands of…then be “the first to review”. Reviews that have to be approved are obviously crap in the first place. I was just “first to review” again an HP computer I bought a year and a half ago…imagine that! Wanna bet that my review will ever show?

  8. 12 Scott // 2010.07.21 at 1:38 pm

    They removed my post on the Karcher pressure washer. (There were no other reviews when I made mine. I assumed it would be the 1st.)

    I wrote a middle rated review of the wahser as I couldn’t get the handle and hose connection to connect.

    Later I found that it is possible to do but requires a little more pressure to push the two together. So I bought another and have had no problems with it.

    Feeling that my original review wasn’t 100% fair I decided to go back and add a higher rated review with details of the connection issue for anyone else that might need to know….as all the instructions show is a picture with a “click” sound bubble. What I find is a single review…which makes reference to mine…but with mine removed. Plus shouldn’t there be a minimum of three posts…assuming they waited until there were three.

    Yes…something isn’t right with their product review setup. They are definately removing posts that fall inside their acceptance policy. Whatever the reason for this, it doesn’t instill confidence in their product reviews.

    At least their return policy is great….and the large parking spaces too. :-)

    • 13 Kimberly // 2010.07.26 at 1:23 am

      Scott, do you remember when you wrote the initial review? Costco was updated their review policy, not long after I wrote that post, to no longer require the 3 reviews before posting them. But they really do swear that they never remove reviews unless they are in violation of their policies about content. I doubt yours was full of curse words and links to outside stuff though, so I’m wondering what happened to it. It took me a minute to figure out that you were on Costco.ca (not Costco.com). However, they appear to have the same policies, so unless your review was against their terms of use, I can’t imagine why they would take it down. Because as you said, the other reviewer obviously saw your review. It’s very odd. I’m just curious, did you write to their online customer service people and ask what happened to your review?

  9. 14 WoodinVirginia // 2010.06.12 at 8:59 am

    Gee, I thought I was the only one that saw Reviews of Products get Deleted by Costco.com. This leads me to believe that the Marketing department or the Vendors have complained that people are ACCURATELY rating their products. I know I have rated a few products especially products that dont come with what is listed in the advertised product details. Thus far 2 of my reviews that have been up for 9 months have now been mysteriously deleted & the reviewing button has been disabled.Now I didn’t come to Rag on any products on this forum But I think will No longer believe that Costco is objective source for reviews , if that happens the whole TRUST issue betwwen the customer & COSTCO is blown. PS, I bought every product I reviewed too.

  10. 15 doubting thomas // 2010.05.14 at 11:19 am

    I posted a fair, polite, but negative review about a product I bought @ costco.com
    They NEVER posted it.
    Consequently, my opinion of Costco has droopped significantly, and I will never again bother to read their obviously cherrypicked reviews.

  11. 16 Dan // 2010.03.05 at 2:47 pm

    Frankly, I am not surprised to read some of these reviews. I can see now that I am not alone in feeling disgusted when dealing with Costco’s review policy.
    Some months back, I was following the Q-See security cameras that were on sale, and saw many negative reviews on the product. I kept checking back to read the reviews, looking for some positive comments when I found that all the reviews had disappeared. I contacted Costco about it and got the same canned response. A second attempt got a flat denial that they screen the reviews and remove negative comments.
    Lately, another security camera came on sale at Costco.com, the Lorex Link 8Ch H.264 Pentaplex DVR. There was one review, I read it and found a detailed horror story about the Lorex customer service (or lack thereof). Since that was the only review, I Googled the product and found many customers on other review sites, with the same complaint about that company. When I returned to Costco.com this morning, the negative review I had read the previous day, had mysteriously disappeared.
    After seeing this happen more than once myself, and reading other accounts of similar shady actions, I simply will never trust the reviews at Costco.com again.
    My advice is, don’t trust the Costco Reviews! Do your homework, Google the product and read reviews at other sites such as Amazon, Cnet, Epinions, etc., before making any final decision about purchasing.

    • 17 Dan // 2013.02.08 at 7:11 pm

      This is a follow up comment on my original review on 3/5/10.

      …Here it is three years later and things have not changed much. A couple of months ago, just before Christmas, I was shopping for a flashlight to give as a gift. I looked on the Costco website at the “Life+Gear 1000 Lumen LED Flashlight with Flasher”. There were a few reviews that were not very favorable and because of those, I decided on a different model of flashlight.

      Today, I was again searching for a flashlight and when the results came up, the 1000 Lumen light that I had rejected was still for sale, but mysteriously didn’t show there were any reviews. I clicked on the product to be sure, and got a blurb telling me to “be the first to review”.

      Clearly, when things aren’t selling well, someone at Costco is manipulating the review results. I’ve complained to Costco, but all I ever get is a form letter referring to their review policy. Any arguments fall on deaf ears.

      So to reinforce what I have said in the past, do your homework, Google the product and read reviews at other sites such as Amazon, Cnet, Epinions, etc., before making any final decision about purchasing.

      • 18 Bob // 2013.02.09 at 4:27 am

        And for these types of tactics, Costco.com has forever lost my trust; and when that happens, they forever lose my business. Very manipulative, dishonest and misleading on their part.

      • 19 Kimberly // 2013.02.09 at 5:29 pm

        @Dan – This really annoys me. Why do they not realize the value of keeping the good or bad customer reviews intact? I wonder if there are changes in the product and they are giving them a new product number and therefore they seem like they aren’t the same product to the review database, but to normal human beings they are the same. That is the only plausible excuse I can come up with to defend Costco in this scenario.

        I really do think they are going about the handling of their review policy in a completely misguided fashion. It really pains me to say that since I love Costco so much. But they have to know this is a huge problem, and should have fixed it in the last several years, not just ignored it and hoped no one would notice.

  12. 20 Jane // 2010.02.13 at 8:52 pm

    Costco’s review policy is maddening because their “policy” seems absolutely arbitrary. Frankly I’m beginning to think it’s a sham. Here is an exchange I had with customer service. Has anyone else had problem?
    ……………..
    Note this message was submitted through the costco.com web site customer suggestion page on 02/12/2010 19:27:07 PST

    Comment/Suggestion/Request/Question Text:

    Hello,

    I noticed that you removed all customer reviews of the Nikon Coolpix S630. Why?
    There were four posted reviews when I added my own comments and gave the camera a 1-Star. By the way, at least three of those reviews (other than my own) were 1-star. Customers HATED this camera. Not only did you remove the comments, but the option to post a review for that item has been disabled. I would hate to think that you removed the unfavorable reviews and removed the option of posting a review as an indirect method of encouraging customers to buy that camera.

    There’s a reason that camera has gotten terrible reviews. It’s a terrible camera.

    Costco wins when customers know what they are buying. It’s saves on your stocking and shipping costs and it saves the customers the headache of buying a lousy product.

    Hope to hear from you soon. You should probably know that many Costco’s customers have noticed that you don’t seem terribly upfront about customer reviews.
    …………………..

    Dear (name removed),

    Thank you for your e-mail to Costco Wholesale. Product Reviews are posted on our site once we have collected at least 3 or more approved reviews. We work to ensure that our items have more than 1 review to provide our members with a range of experiences and opinions to assist them in making their purchase decisions. Product reviews, both positive and negative, will be screened prior to posting to insure they comply with our Terms of Use. Please read our Review Guidelines or Terms of Use for more information. Approved ratings & reviews are posted to the site within 72 hours. To view our Terms and Conditions of Use, please visit http://www.costco.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Terms and Conditions.

    Often times reviews get posted that are not complying with the terms and conditions and for this reason do get removed. Also if we get feedback the there are consumers who are posting reviews without having purchased the product or posting more then once under different email addresses and names.

    http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11314582/termsandconditions.htm
    …………………….

    Dear Stacy,

    I couldn’t tell if you actually wrote that email or if it’s the standard one you send out. If you read my email, you’ll realize that when I had posted, there already were 4 reviews.

    My complaint isn’t so much that MY review wasn’t posted, but that ALL the reviews were removed after I sent in my 1-star review. Additionally, there now is no opportunity to post a review of the Nikon Coolpix S630 because that option had been disabled. And yes, I did read your terms and conditions, and I believe I was in compliance with them.

    I’m a loyal Costco customer, but I must admit that Costco’s actions have been very perplexing to me. I am very dissatisfied with your answer.

    Thank you,

  13. 21 Guest Post: In Defense of Costco | Addicted To Costco! // 2009.08.19 at 9:01 am

    […] has been a Costco member since 1991 (impressive, huh?).  You may recall that I mentioned him in my post about the Costco.com Review Policy.  His guest post adds another voice to the Costco.com Review Policy discussion and an interesting […]

  14. 22 Tampa Slim // 2009.08.13 at 3:41 pm

    Kimberly

    Thank you for a very fair and balanced review of the Costco Review Policy. You did justice to the topic. But I’d like to add more details about my experience with the Online Review System.

    I bought two main items within the last 4 months that I felt I needed to review. One was a dishwasher (Whirlpool GU2475XTVB Super Capacity Dishwasher Energy Star Qualified Black Finish Item# 394387 – ordered on 4/30/09 and the other one was an inside fountain ($199.99 After $50 OFF Kenroy Home 45″ Chronos Natural Slate Floor Fountain – Item# 394708 1 5/17/2009). The Fountain happened to be an anniversary gift for my wife.

    I wrote extremely detailed and positive reviews of each to assist other Costco Members. The only evidence or history to show that I wrote those is my correspondence regardless of what Costco told you – they did indeed remove or delete not only my review but all 3 reviews about the fountain. I don’t believe enough reviews were generated with the dishwasher.

    The following is my email cut/pasted that I sent to Costco:

    On Jul 17, 2009, at 4:56 PM, Costco Customer Service wrote:

    Dear (my name),
    Thank you for your e-mail to Costco Wholesale.

    We only post our reviews once there have been 3 collected in order to ensure a rounded view of the item. If you have placed a review on an item that is currently showing no reviews then it is waiting to be posted once 3 reviews have been collected.

    Thank you,
    Michael
    Costco Wholesale Corporation

    Note this message was submitted through the costco.com web site customer suggestion page on 07/16/2009 12:16:05 PST

    Comment/Suggestion/Request/Question Text:

    Dear Costco:
    I have left quality reviews on your web page several times only to find out later that they are missing or deleted.
    Why? They were highly rated and very positive reviews for other members and not garbage reviews. I thought the whole purpose of the new review process was to help members.

    Personal Information:
    First Name: (deleted by me)
    Last Name: (deleted by me)
    E-mail Address: deleted by me)
    Telephone Number:deleted by me)
    Costco Member Number: deleted by me
    Order Number:

    Their response again the next day was a canned response:

    Saturday, July 18, 2009 9:50 AM
    Dear (my name),
    Thank you for your e-mail to Costco Wholesale.

    Product reviews, both positive and negative, will be screened prior to posting to insure they comply with our Terms of Use. Please read our Review Guidelines or Terms of Use for more information. To view our Terms and Conditions of Use, please visit http://www.costco.com , scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Terms and Conditions.

    http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11314582/termsandconditions.htm

    If you reviews met the terms and conditions I don’t know why they would not have been posted. I would recommend posting again as they should post within 72 hours if there are already 3 posts available.

    Thank you,
    Michael
    Costco Wholesale Corporation

    Dear Costco:
    Funny I posted a review first which now shows 3 other reviews.
    Your system is off?
    (my name)

    So why would I write or go to the trouble of writing these email’s (which I will be happy to send to you upon request) if it didn’t happen?

    Costco lied about removal of reviews. I contend that they don’t know what they are doing with their review system or have a poor management system in place. A company (like Costco) that charges members a fee to join and calls them “members” should be extremely interested in what “members” think. At least that is the “stick” we hear in the Costco Magazine.

    Again – thank you thank you thank you for a well written article. I hope Costco changes their policy.
    It’s really weak!!!
    Tampa Slim

  15. 23 Fred // 2009.08.12 at 1:51 pm

    I submitted several reviews for the items I purchased from Costco warehouse and online. I wrote about the pros and cons of purchasing the items and how useful they are. The first review I left already had a few reviews on the webpage. But it took them a month to publish my review. The 72 hour notice is just bull-crap. I wondered why it takes them so long. I felt that they do not realize how important these reviews are. My review was a positive one which would have helped Costco sell more of the item. Recently I left a review for a Motorola Two-way radio I bought from the warehouse. They had those on sale and they are also available online. I was wondering why they haven’t published my review yet. Thanks to the above article, I realized why. There may not be enough reviews to publish yet. I also agree that the Minimum-Three-Review-Rule makes no sense. Costco is loosing out.
    Some suggestions:
    The item web page should show how many people have submitted a review but not enough to publish. For example, if 2 people have submitted their reviews, the web page should say Reviews submitted 2, requires 1 more to make them visible. This way, shoppers will be encouraged to write.
    Second suggestions, additional value coupons or following year membership discount for those who submit quality reviews. Some incentives for customers to write quality reviews.

  16. 24 banquet manager // 2009.08.12 at 6:36 am

    I just posted a funny joke about waiting in line at COSTCO. Read it here:
    http://soyouwanttobeabanquetmanager.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-trip-to-costco.html

  17. 25 Dave // 2009.08.11 at 11:18 am

    IMO, the biggest problem with this policy is it pushes me toward NOT writing a review for any product that isn’t already showing reviews. Why would I want to take the time to write something that possibly will never show up??? Who would ever want to write that first review besides someone who doesn’t know that it won’t show up until at least two others write a review?

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