I am an Executive Member at Costco and for those who don't belong that means we pay $100 annually for the privilege of walking in their doors. I have been a Costco advocate for many years, in fact, I used to love them. But the bloom is definitely off the rose.
I received a HP tx1000z on 2/24/2008 as a gift. Almost a year to the day, my beloved and extremely necessary for my business, laptop stopped booting. It also stopped charging and got so hot I could have used it to fry eggs. HP was absolutely no help because my laptop was out of warranty.
Costco, however, provides their members with a "free" second year of coverage. I put the free in quotes because the shop that Costco wanted me to send my laptop to is Cybertest. Yes, THAT Cybertest. I naturally refused and asked for a secondary choice. The second shop, MicroMedics, yes, THAT Micomedics was also nixed with an unsatisfactory. I am getting it repaired myself, out of my own pocket, at a local shop with a "B" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Costco also refused to reimburse me for the out of network repair; but I would rather my laptop be safe.
This episode led to some very important information. Apparently, Costco has never received a negative report from a Costco member about Cybertest. I understand this to mean that Cybertest is specifically choosing to be less than careful with PCs from other stores. So, for Costco members, be warned: That "free" second year is absolutely worthless unless you are willing to risk sending your valuable gear to the Cybertests of this world. And for everyone else, maybe you should try and claim you bought your laptop or what have you from Costco.
The main thing I got out of this was an extreme amount of disappointment with Costco, but also surprise that they don't vet their business partners. Usually companies with good reputations want to make sure that their business partners are also good to their customers. In this regard, I feel that Costco has seriously dropped the ball.
Front Royal, Virginia