A Costco customer posted a TikTok video saying his mother was banned from the store for using her husband’s card.
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The move comes as Costco recently cracked down on non-member shoppers, the New York Post reports.
At the beginning of the month, the company even announced the end of sharing its membership cards.
Mr. Castillo, who lives in California, explains in his video that his father has a “Gold Star” membership card, which is worth C$80.
This is Costco’s lowest membership level, which allows two licensed users in total.
“When I went to university, my father allowed me to be a user instead of my mother,” the young man explains in his video, which has been viewed more than three million times.
Mr. Castillo explains that his mother has been able to shop at Costco without problems for years.
But about two months ago, when her mother scanned the card at the checkout, the staff “rushed” to ask for her ID.
“After making sure it wasn’t her card, they told her she couldn’t go back to that store again,” he explains in his TikTok video.
After contacting Fox Business, a Costco Wholesale spokesperson addressed the situation in a statement: “Costco is able to keep its prices as low as possible because the membership fee helps offset our operating expenses.”
“Costco’s membership policy has not changed. We have always asked for membership cards at checkout when we check out,” the press release continues.
“Our membership policy states that our membership cards are not transferable, and since implementing self-service payments, we have noticed non-member customers using membership cards that do not belong to them.” We’re still reading.
The Company believes that it is unfair to non-Members to receive the same benefits and rates as Members who pay an annual fee to obtain benefits related to their purchases.
“Since we already ask for a membership card at checkout, we now require to see their membership card with their photo at self-service checkout,” a Costco spokesperson explained.
“If the membership card does not contain a photo, we require a photo ID,” he said.
TikTok users are divided on this issue.
Some think Costco should make it easier to add authorized users to the card, while others think the company should expand membership to all residents of the same address.
Mr. Castillo told Fox Business that he and his family did not blame Costco for enforcing its policy.
But they believe the retailer could do more to clarify membership terms.
“My husband is often on business trips and we only need to go to Costco once a month to buy household essentials, food, and toiletries,” Mr. Castillo said in a statement provided to Fox Business.
“We should be able to share this membership because we both benefit from these products and share the bills,” she pleads.
However, her son concedes that “technically,” his mother was indeed in the wrong, and that she “actually had a warning” in the past, which she “might have forgotten.”
“We don’t have any animosity toward Costco,” he says.
Although Costco’s rules may seem unclear, the company’s website clearly states that the Gold Star membership card, which Mr. Castillo’s father allegedly holds, allows up to two users.
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