Costco customer says questioning triggered by new ID policy violated her – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

CENTERVILLE – Longtime Costco customer Leronda Jackson was offended Wednesday when an employee at the retailer’s Centerville store claimed Jackson’s face did not match the face on the back of her membership card.

Costco nationwide recently announced a new policy requiring employees to check store membership ID cards against the person using them, particularly at the self-checkout registers, because non-members have used someone else’s card.

On Wednesday night, Jackson talked about his experience with News Center 7 Investigative Reporter John Bedell. It all started with a casual questioning at the self-scan registers, Jackson said, and tensions rose from there.

“The young lady just said, ̵[ads1]6;I need to check your card. We work with facial recognition. That’s our new policy. I said: Yes, I heard about it.”

So the Englewood woman said she gave the employee her membership card — complete with the color photo of Jackson on the back.

“She said, ‘Well, this isn’t you. ‘”

“And I said, It says Leronda Jackson. That’s me. So she said, ‘No, I’m saying this picture is not the person I’m looking at.’ “

“So I was offended. So I thought: Excuse me?

“I said, Look, it’s me, it’s my card. And when my voice started to rise, she said, ‘Well, I’m sorry, it’s the lighting in the store and maybe I don’t have good eyes today.’ “

Jackson finished scanning and paying for her items and left. She returned some time later to speak to an assistant manager, who offered an apology. The assistant manager chalked it up to a “training issue,” Jackson said.

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She said she was told someone from the corporate office would call her on Thursday. News Center 7’s request for comment from Costco corporate officials has so far not been answered.

The employee never asked for a new ID, Jackson said, which would have solved the problem.

The membership model is crucial to Costco’s business, according to CNN. The fees help boost the company’s profits and offset expenses, allowing Costco to keep prices down. Costco is known for offering some of the lowest prices in the retail industry. Annual membership fees range from $60 to $120. Costco has high customer loyalty, claiming a global membership renewal rate of 90 percent by the end of 2022. Those fees pulled in $4.2 billion of the retailer’s $223 billion in fiscal 2022.

Costco operates nearly 900 warehouses worldwide, more than half in the United States, the Washington Post reports. As of May, Costco recorded more than 124 million cardholders.

Jackson said she has also shared her experience on her Facebook page, which is called “Black Women Who Love Costco.”

“You’d be surprised how many people have experienced this,” Jackson said.

What does she want on the other side of what happened?

“I want the policy to change. Find another way. Or just ask everyone about theirs [membership] card and ID. Or turn off self-scan.”

No one checked on her when she pumped gas at the Centerville Costco, she said. “Nobody was out there asking if this was really her getting this gas,” she noted.

“If the concern is people shopping at Costco who shouldn’t be, more than making customers happy, then everyone shows an ID and everyone shows their membership card. Don’t pick and choose [customers to confront] and don’t cherry pick [customers to confront]”, Jackson said.

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