Why Costco Shoppers Are Complaining Store Security Is "Worse Than TSA"

The big-box retailer has been under fire for stepping up in-store security measures.

Costco has built a cult following over the years thanks to its warehouse pricing and beloved food court. But recently some shoppers have said they'll be shopping at other retailers due to rising complaints about the in-store experience. Over the past few months, customers claim that they've had hand scanners yanked out of their hands by employees, and even been banned from stores over shared memberships. Now, one shopper is calling Costco security "worse than TSA" after a recent incident. Read on to find out what prompted the comparison.

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A Costco shopper said she was recently yelled at for using her sister's Apple Pay.

A customer by the name of Jessica shared her troublesome recent shopping experience at Costco in a viral video posted to her TikTok account @jess_x166 on Aug. 1.

At the beginning of the video, Jessica shows herself browsing through the aisles of one of the retailer's stores with a companion. In text overlaying the footage, she indicates that this was her first time going to Costco with her own membership.

Jessica says the trip did not go as expected, however.

"Guys, never mind. Don't get a Costco membership, this is too stressful," Jessica says in her TikTok. "Like they were screaming at us at self-checkout because I was paying with my sister's Apple Pay."

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The retailer's store security is being called "worse than TSA."

Self checkout lanes in a Costco Wholesale store in Tigard, a southwestern suburb within the Portland metro area. Staff uniform is seen advertising Costco App.
Shutterstock

Costco memberships are not transferable, and "only Costco Members may purchase items," according to the retailer's website. However, Costco doesn't explicitly state that members can't use another person's Apple Pay while checking out at the store.

But despite having her own membership card, Jessica claims employees gave her a hard time for trying to pay with her sister's Apple Pay.

"They were like, 'Do you have your membership? Costco doesn't know that. I don't know that.' Like OK, sorry," she shares in her video.

"This is worse than any airport I've ever been to," her companion says at the end of the video. Jessica reiterated this by captioning her TikTok, "Worse than TSA."

Best Life has reached out to Costco about Jessica's experience, and we will update this story with their response.

RELATED: Costco Shopper Says He Never Shows Receipt at Exit—Here's Why.

The strictness of Costco's security is pushing shoppers to leave.

A Costco storefront exterior
iStock / slobo

Jessica's TikTok has already garnered over 604,000 views in just two days, with hundreds of users chiming in with similar experiences.

"I left Costco because I gave my mom my wallet to hold, and when she gave me my wallet [back], they told me I can't buy anything when it was my wallet," one person responded.

Another commented, "My mom was sick in the hospital and I had to bring a literal doctors note & hand written letter stating I was buying for her. I wanted to cry."

Others say they've jumped ship because of Costco's strict policies. "Honestly I'm a Sam's girl now. I got treated the same way at Costco, haven't returned since," one person commented.

Another wrote, "This is literally why I went to Sam's. The self-checkout at Costco is so hectic and crowded. At Sam's, I just scan on the app and leave."

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Costco said it's been cracking down to benefit its members.

costco.com sign in store
Tada Images / Shutterstock

Costco may be making many shoppers mad, but the company appears to be standing behind its recent moves. A Costco spokesperson previously told Best Life that it has not changed its membership policy, as members have always been asked to present their cards at the register when checking out. The only difference now is that the retailer is also requiring customers to do the same when using self-checkout.

"Our membership policy states that our membership cards are not transferable and since expanding our self-service checkout, we've noticed that non-member shoppers have been using membership cards that do not belong to them," the spokesperson said. "We don't feel it's right that non members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members. As we already ask for the membership card at checkout, we are now asking to see their membership card with their photo at our self-service checkout registers."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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