On Veteran's day, I was going to take the 2:50pm bus from Sand City, Seaside, CA to Monterey. There is a Costco there. As I had some time, I dropped in. A friend of mine had sent me a gift card. I still have some money in it. I have been to Costco with this card without any problem. But today, as I had left and was unlocking my bike, I saw a lady mumbling something to me. At first I thought she wanted me to take her into the store, but she showed me a whitish card with some red strokes on it saying: I am the theft prevention something (specialist, I guess). She introduced herself as D something (if I remembered correctly, D as in Debrah. She asked me if I had a membership card and said she noticed me going in, eating something and not buying anything. I showed her the gift card and told her I had used it without any problem before. "Do you think I stole anything?" I said. She said no, but then she asked: " Did you steal anything?" "You can check if you like," I told her. I then told her my bus was leaving and I could come back and talk to her later. She held my card and started calling her boss to verify the rule as the use of gift card. In her talking with her boss, she said:" he has not stolen anything." I felt greatly insulted by this statement and said:"Yet!".
Now if Costco does not admit gift card, make a written sign at the door and tell the door keepers so. Better, stop issuing gift card, since if the customer cannot use a gift card alone, what is the point? If the friend or family member is at the same location of a gift card receiver, the latter does not need one in the first place. He/she might have just gone to the store with the one who has a membership card. My gift card was sent to me by a friend who was then in Hawaii. You expect me to wait for my friend to come back to California to get into Costco?
If you want me to get my membership card in order to use my gift card, it is even more absurd, isn't?
She complained that I ate something. Yes, some samples. Then Costco needs to tell the sample presenters to check everyone's membership card before issuing any sample.
The same rule, then, should be applied to the pizza and hot dog place. Only in this way can Costco not lose any profit from samples and pizzas and hot dogs etc. Or is Costco losing profit from the samples or the producers? I do not know.