Costco is bringing out technology to limit non-members shopping at the chain’s stores, but some shoppers don’t like a high-tech version of the Membership Police greeting them at the door.
As noted by CBS, members currently have to show a membership card when they enter a Costco store. Cards are not transferrable, although the company allows two per household.
But the company has been finding that, particularly in the age of self-checkout, non-members are using the cards of Costco members to do their shopping.
Costco tried to fight that by requiring cards to be scanned at checkout time, but it’s experimenting with a new approach.
Costco finance chief Richard Galanti said that since the pandemic, the company has seen a spike in the number of people sharing membership, according to CNN.
And so, it will try scanning at the store entrance.
“It speeds up the process at entry and speeds up the process at the checkout,” Galanti said, according to CNN. “That’s what we believe and we’re going to pilot it.”
Costco Insider recently posted on its Instagram page that a scanner was being used in Issaquah, Washington, about 20 miles east of Seattle.
View this post on Instagram
“This test is to match members to their cards at the door prior to shopping for an improved member experience,” Costco said in a statement, according to USA Today.
But responses to the Instagram post showed many shoppers were not happy.
“I think it will steer away a lot of customers,” one user wrote. “There’s too many going in to have to stop and scan. Some people will have a hard time scanning and that will take time. I have my pic ID on my Costco App. so I use that. When something works, don’t change it!! If it works, DON’T FIX IT!!!!”
Another commenter carped that, “I feel this is crazy. I pay a lot of money to be a member why do we have to jump threw hoops to get in the place? its bad enough trying to make your purchases and get out in a reasonable time frame …”
However, some posters defended Costco.
“I pay a lot of money to be a member. I’m fine with them verifying that the paid member is the one shopping,” one commenter wrote.
“It’s a Costco membership. Like most memberships like a gym membership, proof of ID is required. Otherwise, what’s to prevent non members access to the benefits of membership?” the commenter wrote.