Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Costco Carpet - Not Such a Good Deal

Wednesday, July 6, 2011




Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Costco. It stands behind its products, is an excellent employer and is a good corporate citizen. But we learned to be very careful when buying carpeting, which is sold from one of the kiosks that are lined up on the way out of the stores. Our first experience with a product from a kiosk was window treatments. We bought Hunter Douglas blinds last year and were very satisfied with the product and the price. So, when we decided to get new carpeting, we went back to the Costco kiosks. We were in for quite a surprise.

The way Costco sells carpeting is through “designers” with whom it contracts. The designers go to a customer’s home, measure and help the customer select an appropriate carpet. In our case, the first problem was that our designer over-measured our carpeting by 405 square feet! For those of you who aren’t paying attention, that’s a 20’ x 20’ room! And as she measured, she mentioned that she’d won awards for her measuring. I’ll bet.

Then she detailed the $13,600 cost, which included $39 per room for moving a maximum of five pieces of furniture; $400 for labor on the stairs (curved staircase), $115 for the staircase spindles and $1,168 to remove our existing carpeting. Oh, and they tacked on a $10 fuel charge. Wouldn’t you think that on an almost $14,000 order, they could waive their stinking fuel charge?

Needless to say, we didn’t get the carpeting from Costco. We spoke with an owner of a local floor covering store, and he told us that he’d had other customers complain that a Costco designer had over-measured their homes. (The over-measuring may be a problem in this area only – we don’t know.) Anyway, we ended up getting comparable carpeting for almost $3,000 less from Georgia Quality Carpet Outlet in Holly, MI (http://www.georgiaqualitycarpetoutlet.com/). So if you need carpeting, check out Georgia Carpet’s website. If they have what you want, call their installer, Bill O’Neal, at 810-234-8318. He’ll give you an even better price than you’ll get in the store.

So now I’m wondering if Costco compares actual carpet purchases with customer appointments booked. I suspect that Costco’s designers’ rip-off installation fees and, if applicable, over-measuring could be driving potential customers away. Hey, Costco, it might be beneficial to know what percentage of appointments result in a sale. This time, you might be in for a surprise.

Photo by: Sandy Laurence©

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Jhony Walker said...
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