Shopping Club Membership Fees

Here’s one for you to consider: Shopping Club Membership Fees. What do you think of the fact that stores like Sam’s Club, BJ’s, and Costco charge you to shop there?

Yes, I like the fact that one can shop at these clubs and pay excellent prices on items. In fact, they put most grocery store chain prices to shame.

However, the idea of having to pay a fee to shop somewhere is a little bit ridiculous. I don’t see how the stores make money with those fees considering the amount of back office work (computer systems, accounting, employees) needed to run a membership program as well as the unnecessary strain exerted on the in-store customer service personnel by keeping up with all those membership issues.

One thing I can’t stand is the policy of at least one shopping club chain in reference to renewals. An example will make the policy and its impropriety/non customer orientation clear.

If your membership card expires in February and you don’t go back to the store until April for the renewal, they renew it based on the February date! You can’t start the membership over on the day you are actually renewing it. You have to let the membership lapse for at least three months.

I inquired about simply canceling the membership altogether and then creating a new one. No, that won’t work either. They said that entering the same account information in to the computer, even under a new account number, will tie the new account to the old one and that the original renewal date will still apply.

Not only do they have the nerve to charge you to shop there (charging you for the “privilege” of paying them for items), but they also have the nerve to charge you for a time period in which you never even entered the store. That takes colossal nerve.

Overall, since one can save so much money at shopping clubs, I guess we have to say, grudgingly, that the fees are barely worth it.

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