It seems you can return anything at Los Angeles’ Costco. You can even return your dead Christmas tree.
This is exactly what a woman did on January 4th of this year. She decided to return her Christmas tree because it was dead—her own words.
Seriously, that’s what she said. She was upset that the tree is not in the same living state as it was when she first purchased it.
You’d think a cashier or a store manager would have laughed at her. Well, instead, she walked out the store with a refund.
This would be like returning dead flowers, or even an empty wine bottle. Actually, believe it or not, the empty wine bottle case is real.
According to some records, employees at Costco did refund a customer who brought back an empty bottle of wine. The dead Christmas tree refund does not seem so bizarre now, does it?
Actually, it still seems pretty bizarre.
Well, considering Costco has such customer friendly management, it probably shouldn’t come as a total surprise that people will take advantage of it in dubious ways. Now all of the people in line behind the woman know for certain just what they can get away with there.
Apparently, Costco’s return policy is one of the most generous in the whole retail industry, and this woman probably knows it up and down, as witnesses state that she was quite confident the whole time.
One of them, Scott Bentley, was the one who was so shocked by what he witnessed; he took photos of the woman behind the pay desk and posted them on Facebook, letting the social media know what people are capable of.
He shared his thoughts on occasion, blowing up the internet. In his own words, he couldn’t believe that a woman is returning her dead Christmas tree, describing her behavior as immoral and conscienceless.
He called her a loser. He believes that other people will agree with him.
He even added that he was heartbroken, thinking the woman is so desperate that she was willing to lose her self-respect over a bit of money.
Apparently, people who waited on the line at the same time were mostly shocked by the thoughtlessness of the woman, as if returning a dead plant and expecting a refund is normal behavior.
Their shock is understandable; how often do you get to see a customer at the store, dragging in a massive dead coniferous tree to the counter, complaining about the fact that it’s dead?
As seen in the photos, the tree was cut off, which means it was already dead when it was bought; otherwise, the woman would have brought it back inside the pot. Or at least she should have, had that been the case. We probably shouldn’t be trying to apply common sense here.
According to Scott Bentley’s post, the woman was only asked by staff to verify the purchase on her account, and then she got her money back.
After all, the woman did show some guilt in the end; but still, it did not stop her from demanding her money back.
According to some Costco employees, refund demands such as this one happen all the time. Some people get a refund for a dead Christmas tree without bringing the tree back to the store.
We can only guess at the primary reason that led the woman do such a thing. Nevertheless, it made some people’s day, and it provided a good story for social media outlets.
It’s a well-known fact that at Costco you can return almost anything. The only exception is electronics. You can return electronics within 90 days, as long as you have the receipt.
At most places, you have only 30 days to return electronics.
Furthermore, as written in the return policy itself, there is no time limit for an item to be returned at Costco’s stores, excluding computers, cameras, televisions, and all of the rest of the products covered by Electronics Return Policy.
In this case, it’s questionable who is to blame— the over the top demanding customers or the retailers who allow such ridiculous returns.
Seasonal items, empty wine bottle, photo prints, an old fish, and a used chicken coop had already been on the Costco list of returned items. Well, the dead Christmas tree is now among them.
This whole case probably will become an example for other wholesalers; maybe it is best to have a stricter management and return policy, instead of trying to fulfill every customer’s bizarre expectations.