[This guest post/rant is courtesy of frequent guest writer, Rick Vanover. He usually writes for IT topics and he also maintains the @Addicted2Costco Twitter feed). Rick’s tone is a bit of a step away from my usual Costco love-fest here, but there are definitely things that we all find annoying about Costco, even though we love it, so sometimes you just have to rant a bit.]
Don’t get me wrong, I am ADDICTED TO COSTCO. I love Costco, but you can probably agree there are a few things that can get a bit irritating about Costco. Here is my list of 5 things I dislike about Costco:
1. Back to back checkout proximity. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of personal space. That’s odd, considering I travel the world over and personal space is very much an American thing. I don’t like it when two back-to-back checkout lanes are open at Costco. Take this view here, if both 13 and 14 are open, I feel cramped with the action in the other lane to my back. When I checkout, I do my best to pick a lane that does not have the opposite side open; even if there is a longer line there. I’ll wait longer to get my personal space and Costco checkouts are very quick. Lastly, in my market the newer warehouse I believe has reduced the space in between the two checkouts. I may bring my tape measure next time, but you can see in this example that the width is a bit larger than a typical cart.
2. Sometimes things move! I’m all business, I come in and need to get what I need. Sure, I’ll try a new thing at Costco, but I don’t like it when my regular items have moved. If a single item moves, usually I can find it easily in an endcap display; so I am indeed adapting. One of my primary warehouses has moved the bread section three times I think since 2007; I roll my eyes each time they do that! Related to moving items, I also don’t like it when non-seasonal items go away then will return. In my market, Cottonelle toilet paper does that. It only is in stock when it is on the coupon sale!
3. The payment card situation. I’m still not right with the American Express situation. I’m a 20+ year hardcore loyal American Express customer, arguably one of their biggest fans. When I joined Costco, the American Express program was a real plus for me to get started. Oh, and by the way, Sam’s Club now will accept American Express effective October 1, 2015!
I’m not going to switch to Sam’s, but I’m very upset that American Express is off the table at Costco. Sure, I do have a MasterCard and a Visa, but I really don’t use them at all except for some of the international destinations I visit. From January 1, 2015 until September 16, 2015 I’ve spent $8,168.06 at Costco warehouses, Costco fuel and Costco.com (washing machine, window treatments this year).
I currently use the Costco True Earnings card for my Costco purchases, an American Express Business card for my extensive work travel and a SkyMiles card for my family purchases. I have a good system here, but we’ll likely see the TrueEarnings card go. I’m not sure if I’ll get the new Costco program card. I’ll get over this, but it really still doesn’t sit well with me.
4. The new mobile app sucks. I can only speak for the Android user base, but about a year or so ago the mobile app was significantly changed to basically re-display the mobile website. The old application was a proper mobile application. The new one is horrible, don’t do it.
5. The “either side” gas station pumps. I nearly exclusively purchase fuel from Costco and enjoy the value they have, plus it’s a large space, so even if it is crowded, you can still have your personal space (there I go again!!).Did you know that the fuel pumps can pump on either side? The hoses are equipped with a tension release where they’ll provide an extra length segment of hose so you can pump on either side of the vehicle from either pump. I appreciate the engineering, but I don’t like to do it.One time I was waiting for a pump to become open, but “side” gas pump lanes were open and the fuel attendant told me to go over there. I said no, I told him I’m aware that it does that but I don’t like to do it. I said it nicely and I’d rather wait.
That’s my top 5 list of things I hate about Costco, I’ll admit it, this is a softball list. I’m Addicted To Costco, don’t mistake it. However, there will always be some things we don’t quite like. What do you NOT like about Costco? Share below, rants are welcome and encouraged!