Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Cautionary Tale

I know there are more important things to worry about, Bush, with the referendum in Iraq and so on--but I don't have any news of the results there yet, and so, instead... this cautionary tale.

Being a trusting soul by nature, I don't often check the totals at the checkout desk when I go to my local Costco, or Walmart, or Home Depot... But not any more. On our way home from Costco last night, I happened to ask my wife the total for the two new flat screen televisions we had just bought there (one of the dire and pitiable consequences, Bush, of moving: updating our two fifteen-year old sets. What a thing to have to worry about!) Ellie found the receipt--she had been the one to check out with the credit card--and told me the total was $3,500. Didn't sound right, Bush. One set was around $1,600, the other less than $800. How could that be?

Once home, we dragged out the calculator and checked the arithmetic. There were "fees", we noticed, unexplained to us before. And a $45 charge for GLD STR REN. What could that be? But we had been overcharged, we reckoned, by nearly $800. Hmmm. A computer error? We put so much faith in them.

Well, it was too late to do anything last night, so we decided to go back this morning and confront the management with their mistake. Now, though, this morning, examining the receipt more closely, I discover that an ink mark (by the checker?) had concealed a number, and that we had in fact been charged TWICE for the lower-priced set! Now I have to go back and persuade them that we only bought one, and trust that they'll believe me.

I don't make a habit of discussing my personal finances in public, nor my purchases. This time, however, I thought the cautionary tale a valuable one: ALWAYS check the receipt, even when you feel so weary that you could fall over, as we both were last night. NEVER accept anything on pure trust, even from the corporate computer. More on this story when I find out if the store is going to trust me. Or not...


Anonymous said...

That $45 charge is the Costco membership renewal fee for Goldstar Members.


Patrick said...

I am grateful for this post and the response. It helped me decipher the $50 charge for GLD STR REN on my latest Costco receipt several months after the fact!

Anonymous said...

Ditto... I was just looking at a receipt from over a month ago and just saw the $50 GLD STR REN also. Funny thing is tho, Costco keeps sending me renewal information. Do they want me to pay twice??

lagunagyrl said...

thank you for this post. my husband bought some things from costco and there was a $100 charge for GLD STR REN. I was thinking, did he buy bulk beer for $100 or something???? lol But now I understand and am relieved.