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Costco Now Banning Customers Violating Its Strict Member Policy, Shopper Says

A customer was recently banned after being busted with someone else's card.

Don't mess with Costco's strict membership policy–or you might be asked to never come back. At least that's what allegedly happened to a Costco customer who was recently caught using someone else's membership card.

In a viral TikTok this week with more than two million views, @profitplug revealed that his local Costco banned his mother after she tried to use his father's Costco card at self-checkout. Only actual Costco members are allowed to purchase items, but Costco does allow two people from each household to shop under one membership. The TikToker explained that he took his family's second membership slot when he went away to college.

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My Mom Got Banned From Costco 🤦🏽‍♂️

♬ Quirky – Oleg Kirilkov

He said his mother still likes to browse around Costco sometimes even though she's not included in their family membership. And she recently got into trouble after taking it a step further and trying to buy some groceries at self-checkout.

"As soon as she scanned the card, employees rushed her and started asking for her ID and membership," the TikToker said. "After confirming that it wasn't her card, they later told her that she could never go back to that location again."

He added that his mom was able to get away with shopping at Costco with his father's card for a while before now. However, Costco recently made it much harder for customers to bend the membership rules with a strict card-sharing crackdown at self-checkout lines.

Shoppers have been reporting intense rounds of questioning from employees at self-checkout despite doing anything wrong. Some members even said that workers questioned their identities and refused to believe them after providing proof.

To be clear, Costco has never permitted membership sharing among customers. But after customers began calling out Costco for its intensified membership checks last month, the company issued a statement saying it was trying to combat an increase in membership fraud at self-checkout.

"Our membership policy states that our membership cards are not transferable and since expanding our self-service checkout, we've noticed that non-member shoppers have been using membership cards that do not belong to them," the statement read. "We don't feel it's right that non members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members. As we already ask for the membership card at checkout, we are now asking to see their membership card with their photo at our self-service checkout registers."

While customers can't get away with card-sharing nowadays, there are a couple of ways that non-members can shop at Costco without committing to a membership. Anyone can order same-day grocery deliveries from Costco through Instacart, though non-members have to pay more than members.

Non-members can also shop at Costco with preloaded Costco gift cards. The catch with this method is that only actual Costco members can purchase Costco Shop Cards, so non-members will have to enlist the help of a family member or friend in order to get their hands on one.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe