Costco Employees Dish on the Most Outrageous Revoked Membership Stories



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costco membership
Walker A./Yelp

Outrageous Behavior

Costco is known for its generous return policy, which allows customers to return just about any purchase — regardless of its condition — and without a receipt. The big-box retailer even cancels and refunds membership fees for some dissatisfied customers. Nevertheless, some customers stretch the limits to what even Costco will allow, which sometimes results in the retailer canceling their memberships, according to the r/Costco subreddit, where Costco employees describe some of the most outrageous reasons why customers had their Costco memberships canceled. 

Costco Tire Center provide tire change and other services for Costco members.
Costco Membership Card

The Membership Switcher

Another Costco worker from a store in the Midwest said a customer once admitted to canceling his Costco membership for a full refund each year, just to then immediately sign back up using the money he was just reimbursed to pay the yearly fee. "I don't believe in membership fees," the customer said, according to the employee. The worker said he then refunded that customer's membership in a way that would "require management to review his history and approve him signing up again." 

Kirkland Signature bath tissue package

Pandemic Threats Unwelcome

An employee described how during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a customer once came in demanding to buy large quantities of limited products. After staff explained that the store had set purchasing limits on some items — such as toilet paper and sanitizing supplies — the man went ballistic and proceeded to tell employees that he hoped they would all catch COVID. He then marched to the store's customer service counter, and yelled at an employee there before having his membership canceled. 

Costco Furniture
Costco Furniture by Robert of Fairfax (CC BY-NC-ND)

Abusing the System

A Costco employee from a store in the Northwest recalled how a couple would regularly purchase patio furniture worth over $1,500, and then return it at the end of the summer. After three instances, the couple was warned that another return wouldn't be accepted. When the couple tried to return used furniture for a fourth time and were refused, they "went insane on the crew to the point our general manager heard them yelling from the office," the employee said. The pair then had their membership terminated and were banned from shopping at that Costco again. 

Man stealing a car

Blame It On Your Twin

One man was seen stealing cones from a Costco gas station, and when confronted about it, said it was his "evil twin" who had done it. The employee said his manager banned him from the store and revoked his membership, but the man still came back two months later and acted like nothing had happened. 

Frustrated angry man reading a text message on his smartphone blowing steam coming out of ears

Cameras Don't Lie

While working as a cashier, one employee said a customer once "purposely slammed his cart into the back of my legs," because he wasn't pleased with the way his groceries had been packed. After the cashier called for a supervisor, the man became aggravated and said, "You can't prove anything," to which the employee replied with, "Sir, we have cameras." The store manager then pulled the footage and revoked the man's membership.

If you have a Costco membership story you'd like to share, post it in the comments.