Costco, the popular warehouse retailer, has recently implemented stricter measures to prevent people from sharing their membership cards with others. One TikTok creator, Angelo Castillo, shared his mother’s experience of being banned from Costco after attempting to use her husband’s membership card to make a purchase.
Castillo’s video went viral, garnering over 1 million views and sparking discussions about the enforcement of Costco’s membership policy.
According to Castillo, his mother encountered trouble at the self-checkout area when she scanned her husband’s membership card. Costco employees immediately approached her, requesting identification and verifying the ownership of the card.
Once it was confirmed that the card did not belong to her, Castillo claimed that the staff informed his mother that she would be prohibited from returning to that particular store.
Castillo explained that Costco’s Gold Star members are allowed to have two people on their account, but he had taken his father’s spot on the family card when he went off to college. His mother had managed to use the Costco membership for a while, but the enforcement of the policy had become stricter.
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However, Castillo noted that depending on the state, viewers without a membership may still be able to shop at Costco by using a Costco gift card or solely purchasing alcohol.
The response to Costco’s strict enforcement of its no-sharing policy varied among viewers. Some compared it to Netflix’s restrictions on password-sharing, expressing their disagreement with Costco’s stance on sharing cards among family members living at the same address. Others suggested that Costco should introduce authorized users for an additional fee.
In response to the video, some commenters shared additional insights. One individual mentioned that Costco usually issues warnings before taking more severe actions like banning or revoking memberships.
Another commenter mentioned that the ability to use gift cards for purchases at Costco might be ending soon, based on information from a relative who works as a supervisor at the retailer.
While some viewers expressed frustration with Costco’s policy, others defended the company, stating that the no-sharing policy has always been in place. Several commenters recommended Sam’s Club, a competitor of Costco, as an alternative with fewer restrictions.
Costco’s recent crackdown on membership sharing is reportedly a response to the increased use of self-checkout lanes in their stores. Customers utilizing these lanes are required to present their member card and a photo ID. Costco stated that they believe non-members should not receive the same benefits and pricing as their members.
Angelo Castillo shared the story on TikTok because he found it ridiculous when his mother told him about her ban from Costco.
He clarified that he understands Costco’s need to enforce its long-standing policy and has no ill feelings toward the company. Castillo acknowledged that they were attempting to bend the rules and save money by sharing the membership, and admitted that they were technically in the wrong.
Ultimately, Castillo and his mother found humor in a TikTok viewer’s suggestion that he should get his own membership and reinstate his mother on the original family membership.
Castillo emphasized that he has no hard feelings towards Costco, as he recognizes that the company operates on a membership-based business model and there are alternative ways to shop at Costco without violating the policy, such as going with a friend and reimbursing them or using a shop card.
As Costco continues to enforce its membership policy, customers are reminded to adhere to the guidelines to avoid any disruptions or bans from the retailer.
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