Costco Shoppers Will Soon Be Able To Buy Mobile Phones Again
Last month, Costco shoppers and employees alike were surprised to learn that Wireless Advocates LLC, the company responsible for selling cell phone services at the big-box wholesale retailer, had abruptly ceased operations.
This sudden shuttering of the cell phone kiosks at Costco left would-be buyers without a place to sign up for service plans and wondering if they would need to seek alternate options in the future. But the issue has now been resolved as a new mobile service provider strikes a partnership with chain.
It has been revealed this week that the mobile communications company T-Mobile will now be the exclusive wireless provider in approximately 30% of all Costco locations, according to T-Mo Report. The wireless service provider will now have a presence at 178 Costco warehouses, offering both personal cell phone and internet plans.
At this time, T-Mobile will be offering "Ship-To" services, meaning that if you were to sign up for new phones and a new service plan, the phones will be shipped directly to your home and will not be available for in-store pickup.
Costco members will also have new added incentives to sign up for cell service through T-Mobile at their local warehouse. That is because T-Mobile will waive its regular $35 Device Connection Charge if customers sign up at Costco, in addition to a 90-day return window for all purchases (according to T-Mo Report, that is two months longer than regular purchases made at T-Mobile stores).
It is also reported by T-Mo Report that Costco Business members may soon be able to handle their accounts through T-Mobile kiosks as well, though the exact details are yet to be confirmed.
It remains to be seen what the permanent solution is for Costco's plans to offer cell phone services to members. According to T-Mo Report, there are other Costco locations where AT&T is the current exclusive cell service provider, so it is possible that these companies are vying for exclusive rights across all of Costco's locations. This closely mirrors what one Redditor suspected when Wireless Advocates LLC vanished overnight, hypothesizing that Costco may be seeking to work directly with the cell providers rather than partner with another third party.
Until we learn more about the long-term cell provider plans, members can be on the lookout for T-Mobile representatives and the newly-updated cell phone kiosks on their next Costco run.