Buying from Costco.com? Don’t.

I’m more than a little annoyed today. I’ve been planning on purchasing a new flatscreen to replace the at least 10 year old tube tv for a while and was waiting for the right one to come along. My wife and I finally decided to get one over the labor day weekend and take advantage of some of the deals being offered on TV’s. We spent about 1/2 a day visiting a few stores and about 3 hours online researching the TV we wanted and finally found the one we liked and one that had all the features we wanted. There were 3 stores that had the TV we wanted, all around the same price. Amazon, BestBuy and Costco.com.

I am a Costco member. I pay a yearly subscription fee to be a Costco member, and so we decided to buy our TV from Costco. I’d assumed that they would have a certain reputation for treating their paying members well. I placed the order on Saturday and have been waiting eagerly for the TV to ship.

When I checked the order status this morning (the following Thursday) I saw that the oder had been cancelled. No, I had not received any sort of notification or email about the cancellation. I did end up receiving one later this afternoon.

Customer service informed me that they had run out of stock. I’m flabbergasted. No where during the sales process was I informed that the purchase was contingent on there being enough stock to fulfill the order. If I had known that, I would never have purchased the TV from Costco to begin with; Instead I would have gone with Amazon where I am a Prime Member. Alas, Now i’m screwed. I don’t have a TV, and the deals that were available over the weekend are no longer available.

If I had known that the sale was not confirmed I would never have bought it from Costco. I would have bought it from Amazon, where I’ve never had this issue before.

I’m sorry to say Costco, you really let me down and have totally left me hanging. Not cool.

I don’t know about others, but when I shop online and buy something and get a confirmation email, I expect you to have enough stock to fulfill that order. YOU NEED TO HAVE A REAL TIME INVENTORY SYSTEM that checks to see if your out of stock. It is the basics on online commerce.

Two co-workers asked me about buying a TV from Costco today and my advice to them. DON’T. You can’t trust that you will get it. Get one from Amazon instead. I know, I wish I had.

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Update 1 – 6, Sept 2012 AM:
First customer rep I spoke to said that she was was very sorry for the situation and that they would not want to leave me hanging like that and that they would try to substitute the purchase with something else. they had a newer model that was a little more that they might be able to substitute it with.

Update 2 – 6, Sept 2012 PM:
Second rep I talked to said that she saw the notes from the first rep but wont be able to do that. Offered me an additional $100 off if I wanted to purchase a more expensive larger TV that was $600 bucks more than the one I originally wanted.  :-(  . Basically No TV for me I guess.

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About Yusuf Asgerally

I am a User Experience Designer. I help make the internet better. I am fascinated by the world of Magic, the Mystic and Mysterious, the Unexplained, the Bizarre. The culinary arts, Good food, Graphics Design and Digital Photography. Jewelry and Jewelry Design. I also like to put my two cents worth in on anything that interests me. Hence existence of this blog. If you see something you like, don't be a stranger. Leave a comment or share the article.

5 thoughts on “Buying from Costco.com? Don’t.

  1. Ashley

    I totally agree! This was a big shock as we had a confirmation email and another saying our order had gone to the fulfillment center. Then, 3 days later, its cancelled. We definitely will not be getting big ticket items from costco.com as they just can’t guarantee they’ll actually have what you order. Amazon.com doesnt have these problems. You cant be an online retailer who can’t keep accurate inventory.

  2. AW

    I have had a different experience with buying a TV from Costco. I bought a 55” for work, but I bought it in store. On the particular model that I was looking at the price would drop by $100 every week that I went into the store ?. The first one I brought back and setup was DOA, Costco took it back exchanged for a new one without any issues. The only issue I had was that if you do not pay cash or card and want to purchase via a purchase order they charge you $25 for processing.