Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rant of the week

Costco. Seriously. Once a year or so, as you're checking out your oversized shopping cart full o' bulk items, there's an extra person standing with the cashier. He'll show you how much you spent at Costco in the last 12 months, and then try to sell you an executive membership that gives you cash back on purchases.

Today it was my turn. And for the second year in a row, the amount of money Costco's marketing department says I spent at the Mommy of All Warehouses is about $1200 more than I've actually spent. And THAT'S the part that bugs me.

See, I know how much money I've spent at Costco. I know this because I'm, well, rather anal-retentive, and also because I'm married to an accountant who likes to keep track of where we've spent all our money. So I can pull up Pocket Quicken on my Palm Pilot, do a quick report, and know to the penny how much I've spent there. (Okay, maybe not to the penny. I don't track what we spend on hot dogs and soft drinks. But then, since I don't have to have my membership card scanned when I pay cash for my completely unhealthy dinner, neither does Costco.)

This year (September 1, 2008 through August 31, 2009), my total: $3423.55 Costco's total:  around $4600.

(Note: Before you pass out from looking at those numbers, keep in mind that I buy almost everything in bulk. Bread and milk? Check. Frozen chicken? Check. Socks for my husband? Chocolate chips? Cereal? Diapers? Excedrin? Check. And then there's Scott and the whole DVD/electronics thing.)

We don't lend anyone our Costco membership card. (Seriously. Who would we lend it to? Everyone we know shops at Costco.) We don't pay cash for anything we buy there. Absolutely everything shows up in Quicken. So there are only two reasons that Costco's numbers shouldn't match my numbers, allowing for a few errors. 1) Someone in the marketing department is consciously adding to everyone's yearly total in order to convince them they need to buy an executive membership, or 2) Someone in the marketing department is too dumb to run a simple database query. Either way, that someone should be fired.


Michelle said...

Did you confront them right away about it? What did they say? I hate the way they constantly hound me about the executive upgrade.

Libby said...

Yep, pulled up Pocket Quicken on my Palm and showed the guy how much we'd spent, then suggested that perhaps the corporate marketing department wasn't giving him correct numbers. He spent a good five minutes (even following me toward the door) trying to convince me that he was right. Grrr.

Marcia said...

I have a friend who has boycotted Costco for three years now because she was asked EVERY time she went if she wanted to upgrade her card. And they were very rude about it too. Funny thing is that I have been asked only once.

Alex said...

Are you sure Scott is hiding fancy Costco electronics in the closet? Because my husband does that. If they told me my family's total for the year was more than I thought it was...I'd believe them. Sneaky electronics buying husband.