Wed 20 May 2015
I’ve been a big fan of Costco but lately I am starting to have serious doubts about their entire business model and practices. The latest thing may not be Costco’s fault or then again maybe it is so let’s run through what happened and you decide.
I got a call from a Norwegian Cruises agent out of the blue about a deal on European cruises. I am interested in cruising Europe this summer so I listened to the sales pitch. The agent told me I could get a mini-suite for about $5,000 for two people. I said I would think it over and call her back. I then went on to CostcoTravel.com to check the prices of that exact same cruise. The first time I just clicked through the various options and was presented with these choices:
The price for the cruise mini-suite is about 5k but Costco will grant you a $215 shipboard credit. The “deal” the agent was giving me wasn’t that much of a deal it seemed. When I went back to check prices again, I then noticed a little tick box that read,
|Past Cruise Traveler Fare|
So I clicked that little box and was hoping to get a better deal but boy was I disappointed. The prices for the exact same cruise actually INCREASED!
The prices essentially went up $500 for being a loyal customer! At first I thought maybe the price of the cruise had just gone up due to demand but I cleared my cookies on my browser and started the search again WITHOUT clicking the “At least one traveler in my stateroom has cruised before” button and got the same low prices as before.
I’m not sure who is to blame here, Costco or Norwegian for trying to scam customers like this but it certainly isn’t right.
As of right now, I feel disgusted by the whole thing and will probably just decide to do a river cruise with another outfit altogether (and NOT book through Costco) but it just goes to show you that it pays to do multiple searches in multiple ways to get the best deal. Sorry Costco but I think you’re starting to get downright lazy in not looking out for the best interests of your customers. I’ve had other issues with Costco that I may write about later but for now we’ll call this issue strike one.