Does Costco Revoke Memberships? Let’s Find Out

Costco is like a blessing as you can get almost everything you need (both online and in nearby stores). The biggest thing that makes people like this retailer is their membership privileges, like massive discounts.

That is why thousands of people prefer to get their own memberships to enjoy lots of leverage. But before making a purchase, a question comes to mind: Does Costco terminate the membership We purchase? Well, yes.

Costco does revoke memberships if you abuse their return policy, try to steal from them, or threaten the staff. All of these things might lead to a possible lifetime ban too.

Want more info?

Here, we are explaining the top reasons why Costco revokes memberships and also sharing some life stories. So, continue reading. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Costco hardly revokes memberships, but the unfair actions of people make them terminate their memberships.
  • The biggest reason why Costco revokes membership is when someone tries to take undeserving advantage of the return policy.
  • Threatening Costco Staff and Stealing from the store also resulted in membership termination and a lifetime ban.
  • Make sure you check the return policy before you purchase any item from Costco.

Why Does Costco Revoke Memberships? Top Reasons

According To Costco’s terms and policies, the company reserves the right to revoke the membership of any customer at any time without any notice. However, it hardly does so as it wants every person to enjoy shopping.

But if you start abusing Costco’s niceness, then your membership is in trouble.

Reason #01: If You Exploit Return Policy

The main reason why Costco terminates memberships is when members try to exploit the return policy. That is why We are discussing this reason in detail (so that you don’t do anything silly that might also lead to your membership cancellation).

There is no doubt that Costco’s return policy is one of the best, and most customer-friendly you can think of. You can return almost everything after the purchase if you think it is not good enough.

According to Costco’s terms and conditions, the number of returns a consumer may make is limitless. If you don’t like a product, you can always return it to the warehouse store at any time.

This is what Bad people exploit.

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People have started leveraging this offer and returning almost every other thing they purchased. When they did this, they got all of their money back. So, Costco started revoking their memberships.

Costco & Return Policy Abuse- How The Whole Thing Escalated?

The whole thing got in the news when people started asking questions to Costco’s employees on different social media platforms (particularly Reddit) about what is the weirdest things that people ever returned.

The answers were truly shocking.

A Costco employee commented that a person returned a dead Christmas tree after Christmas was over. Another said that a woman returned an empty bottle of wine. A guy also returned a half-eaten cake.

So, it became clear that a lot of “smart heads’ started abusing Costco’s Return policy.

The company started going hard on them by revoking the membership of those who frequently returned the purchased items.

What Does Costco Say About Return Policy Exploitation?

Costco also did not stay quiet about the whole misuse of the return policy.

A spokesman at Costo says, “We guarantee your pleasure and satisfaction on every product you buy from Costco. We will reimburse your money if you want to return a genuine product. But, keep in mind that Costco can ban any member from membership, without cause, and membership may be revoked at any time if you abuse the policy.”

Note: Costco also blacklists customers from ever purchasing another membership.

Another Costco spokesman stated that there are indeed some circumstances in which a member may be terminated.

“If the members do not want to continue their membership at Costco, they can cancel it at any time. We will refund their membership card fees. But, if members abuse the terms and Conditions of the membership card, we have all rights to revoke their card.”

Reason #02: If You Try To Steal From Costco

Anyone who steals from Costco’s local stores or tries to hack their way online will lose their memberships with immediate effect.

In fact, Costco might also initiate a police inquiry on such people.

Reason #03: If You threaten Anyone or Cause Any Disturbance

If you go to any Costco store or warehouse and try to threaten anyone, it is highly likely that the retailer will revoke your membership.

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Threatening includes:

  • Carrying a weapon
  • Pointing a weapon
  • Using words about taking someone else’s life

Also, any kind of disturbances, like:

  • Shouting at a location manager
  • Not letting the staff do their job etc., will also give Costco a reason to terminate your membership.

So, if anyone has any problem with Costco, they should communicate in a professional and civilized way.

Long story short, don’t abuse Costco’s return policy, never try to steal from them, and never threaten them or cause any disturbances. If you do, then Costco will revoke your membership.

Who Decides to Revoke Costco Membership?

The Location Manager decides whether membership should be revoked or not. Whenever you return any item, the manager will check whether it is touched or untouched.

Then, he will also inspect whether there are any missing parts or not. If you return an object with some parts missing, then Costco Location Manager might contact you or terminate the membership on the spot.

In addition to examining these items, the location managers also check your return history.

If they find that the returns are frequent, you will lose your membership.

That is why We suggest you never abuse Costco’s privileges to save some bucks.

Here’s an interesting true story about the whole point.

Maryam Nicksolat And Costco

On Business Insider, one of the members of Costco’s membership card, Maryam Nicksolat, explains how her card was terminated.

Nickolas stated that the printer experienced problems shortly after she purchased it in 2010, but she didn’t return it until eight years later. She did this because Costco’s return policy does not have a time limit for most items.

Because printers are also a part of Costco’s electronics return policy, Nicksolat thought she was within her rights to make a return at that moment.

However, when she sought to do so at a Costco in Fairfax, Virginia, the cashier informed her that she would be unable to.

According to Maryam, Costco managers looked up her account history and told her she couldn’t return it since she had a history of making frequent returns.

When she objected, the manager stated that it was his choice and would not process her return request.

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She immediately called customer service and was connected with Jeff Long (Costco’s senior vice president of Northeast operations).

According to Nickolas, Long informed her that Costco would terminate her membership and that he would follow up with a letter.

That’s how she lost her Costco membership.

You should know that returning an item to Costco isn’t a crime. If you want to return something, you should.

Wondering are there any limits on returning the purchased items on Costco? Then the next part is for you.

What are the Limits of Returning Expensive Products at Costco?

You may generally return any Costco purchase at any time, either in-store or online. You can contact Costco online or return the item to any warehouse and get your money back. How many times you should return depends on your own decision.

Before you decide, you should also first check what your return history is. If you are returning a purchased item for the first time, then there should not be any problem. If you have done it quite often, we suggest you be careful.

Still, if you decide to return and Costco cancels your membership, you will get your refund.

Also, it is better if you know beforehand about Costco’s policy on different items to avoid undesirable situations. Here’s a table:

ItemsReturn Policy
Electronics90-day return policy
Diamonds48-hour return window
Cigarette and alcohol policies vary by state
Custom ProductsCannot be Returned

Products designated with limited warranty do not fall under the standard return policy.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Costco has the right to cancel your membership at any time. However, the retail chain hardly does it as it prioritizes every customer’s satisfaction.

But your membership will be terminated if you try to take advantage of Costco’s return policy.

In addition, stealing at a local store and threatening the staff will also result in losing the membership.

Similarly, don’t cause any disturbance and try to stop the staff from doing their job. If you do, then the location manager might also decide to revoke your membership.

Generally, the abuse of the return policy leads to Costco membership termination.

So, if you’re thinking of returning any used item, think twice, as you could end up on Costco’s blacklist, or worse, you could be lifetime banned from ever purchasing a Costco membership.