Posted January 02, 2019 06:37:23A Hawaii supermarket shopper says she has to pay $3 more for her groceries than other shoppers because she does not have a Costco card.
Kate Rafferty is part of a growing number of Hawaii shoppers who are forced to pay higher prices for their groceries because Costco is not a participating cardholder in the state.
“I’ve had to pay about $20 more than the usual,” she said.
“That’s just because I don’t have a card.
They’re charging me for it.
I’ve just had to put my money into a savings account instead.”
Rafferty, who works at a supermarket in Maui, said Costco has been making adjustments to its membership policy to allow it to sell groceries to those who don’t hold the Costco Card.
But Costco doesn’t allow anyone to use the card to shop at the supermarket.
Costco spokesperson Jody Meeks said the retailer has been working with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to improve its participation policy for Costco membership holders.
“While we have not changed the Costco membership process for members, we have made changes to our retail membership and the terms of service to better ensure the best service and benefits for our members,” she wrote in an email.
Raffery said she has been paying $1 more for everything at the grocery store since Costco started selling groceries through the program last month.
“It’s like the only thing I can’t buy is food,” she told KHON2.
“I think it’s the only place where I can get it.
It’s a lot of work.
I don [think] the Costco card will help.”KHON2 spoke to Costco customers who have complained that Costco does not participate in their grocery shopping and the Hawaii State Department of Health is now investigating.
The department said it will issue a warning to Costco if it fails to make improvements to its participation policies.
“Our department is concerned that Costco may be engaging in deceptive or fraudulent practices that will negatively affect the health and safety of Hawaiians and the Costco brand,” the department wrote in a statement.
“The department will be investigating any potential violations.”
Rauf, the Hawaii state representative, said she is concerned about the state’s ability to monitor the state and the grocery industry, especially after last year’s deadly outbreak of the coronavirus.
“They’re the people that are really behind the food chain,” she says.
“If the state has a problem with something like this, then we have to deal with that.”