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MEMBERSHIP CONDITIONS AND REGULATIONS
March 1, 2013
Note: that in this document we will use the name Costco to describe Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. and its affiliated companies. Acceptance of membership constitutes an agreement to comply with the following conditions and regulations. These conditions and regulations may be amended by Costco without prior written notice to or consent of the member, but in such case, the changes made will apply upon the renewal of your Costco membership.
- Membership is available to qualifying individuals 18 years of age or older.
- Membership is non-transferable. Costco membership cards can only be used by the individuals to whom they are issued.
- Costco reserves the right to refuse membership to any applicant.
- Failure to comply with these conditions and regulations or abuse of your membership privileges may result in your membership being terminated or certain privileges being curtailed.
- Gold Star Membership fee is $55 per 12-month period from the date of enrollment. This entitles the primary member to one personalized membership card and Spouse card, available to a spouse or a family member 18 years of age or older living at the same address.
- Business Membership fee is $55 per 12-month period from the date of enrollment. This entitles the primary member to one personalized membership card and Spouse card, available to a
spouse or a family member 18 years of age or older living at the same address. Each primary member may name up to 6 secondary cardholders for $55 each and corresponding Spouse cardholders at no additional cost.
- Executive Membership is $110 per 12-month period from the date of enrollment. This entitles the primary member to one personalized membership card and Spouse card, available to a spouse or a family member 18 years of age or older living at the same address. If upgrading from a Gold Star Membership or Business Membership, upgrade amount will be prorated based on the months remaining on your current membership. Secondary cardholders on an
existing Business Membership account that is being upgraded can choose to remain as add-ons or purchase a Gold Star or Executive Membership on their own.
- All membership fees are subject to appropriate taxes.
PRODUCT AND MEMBERSHIP GUARANTEE
- On Membership: We will refund your membership fee in full if you are dissatisfied.
- On Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction with every product we sell and will refund your purchase price, with the following exceptions:
1. Electronics: Costco will accept returns within 90 days from the date of purchase for televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, tablets, camcorders, mp3 players, cellular phones and other electronic products identified by Costco from time to time.
2. Diamonds: When returning items containing a 1.00 ct diamond or larger, Costco warehouses will require additional time to verify the diamond, in which case a refund will be approved upon positive verification. This process will require approximately 2 to 5 business days.
- Costco may in the future restrict its return policy regarding other products. Restrictions will be shown at the point of purchase.
RENEWING, ADDING OR DELETING MEMBERSHIP
- Renewal cardholder changes, including additions or deletions, must be authorized by the original primary member.
- Renewal of membership must be completed for all cardholders when renewal is processed, regardless of the membership start date of individual secondary members. Only the primary member and his/her spouse may renew the membership.
- Renewal is for a 12-month period based on the month of initial enrollment, whether or not shopping privileges have been exercised.
PURCHASING PRIVILEGES, GUESTS AND OTHER RULES
- No sales will be made to any person unless such person has a valid membership card.
- Each cardholder may bring two guests. However, guests do NOT have purchasing privileges.
- Costco can refuse entry to anyone at any time at its discretion. This includes members who do not display their Costco membership cards when requested.
- Members will be required to purchase any packages or products opened or damaged by them or their guests.
TERMS OF PAYMENT
- All purchases must be made by cash, debit card, Costco gift certificate, Costco Cash card, preprinted personal cheque or by American Express Card. Costco does not accept any other credit card as form of payment. Business Members can make purchases with preprinted business cheques. To obtain cheque writing privileges, applicants must present two appropriate pieces of identification with their membership application. The information collected at that time will be used and retained for (1) fraud detection, (2) identification purposes, (3) a credit check, which may be conducted if you choose to pay by cheque and (4) the uses described in our Privacy Statement including sections 5, 7 and 12. Cheques must be in the exact amount. All cheques must be issued on member's chequing account. Cheques must be drawn on a Canadian financial institution account and preprinted with the member's name, address and
telephone number. Any exceptions to cheque cashing rules must be pre-approved in writing by a representative of Costco.
- Transferable company cards (a “Company card”) can be used by specified employees of the company. Company cards are no longer being issued. Purchases with the Company card must be made by preprinted business cheque, cash or American Express corporate card. Purchases made with this card are for business use exclusively.
- Costco reserves the right to limit payment from certain members to cash only.
- When paying for purchases by cheque, the member may be required to show identification for fraud detection and identification purposes. Only the type of identification will be noted on the back of the cheque.
- Costco's out-of-pocket expenses will be payable by the member for any cheque returned by the member's financial institution.
- The primary member is responsible for all his/her personal cheques and is jointly and severally (solidarily) liable for all cheques issued by his/her spouse and the business.
- Each secondary member is responsible for his/her personal cheques and is jointly and severally (solidarily) liable for cheques issued by his/her spouse.
- Title to all merchandise passes to the member at the check stand after merchandise has been paid for and checked out. Thereafter, the member bears the risk of loss for such merchandise, except for wilful or negligent acts of Costco or its employees. See our policy regarding Receipts below.
SALES TAX (BUSINESS MEMBERS)
- Sales tax (GST, HST, QST or PST) will be charged on all taxable transactions in accordance with all applicable laws. The member agrees, in the event of his/her failure to pay Costco such tax, to hold Costco harmless and indemnify Costco from any claim, loss, assessment, or expense occasioned by such non-payment. Members purchasing merchandise for resale must advise the cashier of this before the sale is recorded in the cash register. If the member is
purchasing for resale, he/she will need to complete the appropriate application certificate at the time of his/her purchase. Sales tax will not be charged at the time of purchase only on those products the member states are specifically for resale.
- If any product is purchased on a sales tax exemption basis and is used in any manner which qualifies it as a taxable item, the member agrees to report and pay any tax due, including any penalties.
- Depending on the applicable provincial law, primary members must present, when signing up, proof of their provincial tax number or of their tobacco tax number regarding merchandise they desire to purchase for resale on a tax-exempt basis or in the case that they desire to purchase tobacco for resale. In the event that secondary members will need to use these tax numbers, the primary member must give Costco written permission of this at the time of signing up.
CALCULATION OF EXECUTIVE MEMBERSHIP
The 2% Reward is based on the annual Costco Wholesale purchases (see “Calculation of Reward” below) made by the primary and spouse cardholders on the membership account. The Reward coupon is mailed to the primary member with the annual membership renewal notice and may only be used by the primary member toward Costco Wholesale purchases.
The Reward Program is subject to the following restrictions. Costco Wholesale reserves the right at its discretion to discontinue the Reward Program at any time and to make changes to the program that will apply upon renewal of your membership. Failure to comply with these conditions and regulations or abuse of your membership privileges may result in the cancellation of your membership or curtailment of certain privileges. A member must be an active, paid Executive Member at the time the Reward is earned and issued in order to receive the annual 2% Reward. Only purchases made by the primary and spouse cardholders are used to calculate the Reward.
Calculation of Reward*
The Reward is approximately 2% of pre-tax purchases of most merchandise, and will be calculated on purchases by Canadian residents of merchandise through the front-end registers at Costco Wholesale warehouses in Canada and the United States and online at Costco.ca. In Canada, Rewards will not be calculated: (i) on purchases of cigarettes or other tobacco-related products; (ii) on purchases that are not recorded through Costco Wholesale's front-end registers, such as services, purchases at Costco Wholesale's gas stations, food courts, optical centres (Quebec only), and pharmacies; (iii) on purchases of alcoholic beverages; (iv) on membership fees; (v) on miscellaneous fees, deposits and taxes, including applicable sales tax and goods and services tax; (vi) on purchases of services, including travel, auto and other services; (vii) on purchases where prohibited by legal or regulatory restrictions; (viii) on certain other categories as determined from time to time at Costco Wholesale's sole discretion; or (ix) on purchases made by anyone other than the Executive Membership account's primary and spouse cardholders. Costco Wholesale warehouses outside Canada can provide a list of exclusions specific to those locations. The period of calculation will run approximately from the date of the member's paid upgrade to Executive Membership through the date approximately three months prior to the member's renewal date. Purchases from the last three months will be added to the following year's Reward calculation. Calculation of a Reward is capped at, and will not exceed, $750 for any 12-month period. A complete list of exclusions from the calculation of the Reward is available on Costco.ca and at the Membership Counter in each of our warehouses. Executive Members who downgrade to Gold Star or Business status or cancel their membership and receive a refund of their membership fees may not receive a Reward.
Use of Reward
Reward coupons will be mailed with membership renewal notices. Reward coupons may be redeemed by the primary member toward purchases of most merchandise through the front-end registers at Costco Wholesale warehouses throughout Canada only. Reward coupons may be used toward purchases of merchandise only; they have no independent cash value. Reward coupons may not be used: (i) toward purchases of certain merchandise such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or other tobacco-related products; (ii) toward purchases that are not recorded through Costco Wholesale's front-end registers, such as purchases at Costco Wholesale's gas stations, food courts, optical centres (Quebec only), pharmacies and online at Costco.ca; (iii) toward purchases of services, including travel, auto and other services; (iv) toward purchases where prohibited by legal or regulatory restrictions; or (v) toward certain other purchases as determined from time to time at Costco Wholesale's discretion. Reward coupons will not be replaced if lost or stolen. A complete list of products and services that cannot be purchased with Reward coupons is available on Costco.ca and at the membership counter in each of our warehouses.
CHANGES OF ADDRESS, ETC.
Please advise a staff member at the warehouse Membership Counter of any change of address, email address, phone number or company name so our records remain accurate.
LOST OR STOLEN CARDS
If a membership card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must immediately notify the Membership Counter or phone us at 1-800-463-3783. If an American Express Card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must immediately call American Express at 1-800-869-3016.
Costco is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers. See Customer Privacy Statement, opposite.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
- Every member using a shopping cart to carry his/her purchases from the warehouse to his/her vehicle has the obligation to return the cart to the enclosure identified for this purpose in the parking lot in order to facilitate the retrieval of same, as well as to avoid carts from becoming an obstacle to the traffic flow of other members' vehicles.
- Costco is not responsible for damage or loss caused by a shopping cart to any vehicle of a member or of any guest.
- Parents are responsible for their chidren at all times.
- All children placed in the shopping carts must be secured in the child restraint seats.
Costco reserves the right to inspect any container, backpack, briefcase, bag or other package when our members and their guests enter or leave our warehouses. Our members and their guests consent to such inspections when they enter our warehouses.
You will be required to show your receipt for the items you purchased at the warehouse exit. This ensures that our cashiers processed the items you purchased correctly and that you have been properly charged for your purchases. It is also one of our most effective methods of maintaining accuracy in inventory control.
- Use of cameras or tape recorders, or recording of prices in any manner is not permitted. Offenders will be asked to leave the premises and their membership may be revoked.
- There shall be no solicitation for any purpose on Costco premises, nor interference with employees. Offenders will be asked to leave the premises and their membership may be revoked.
- Smoking is prohibited at Costco.
If you choose to pay by cheque or request the extension of credit from Costco, you authorize Costco to disclose, collect and retain personal information relating to your credit history and credit status to and from credit-reporting agencies, credit bureaus and financial institutions in order to assess your creditworthiness and to process the transaction. If you choose to pay by debit or credit card, you authorize Costco to disclose and collect personal information to and from the debit card and/or credit card issuer in order to process the transaction
Costco may realize a profit or receive rebates, discounts or other allowances in respect of contracts with suppliers of member services which Costco shall be entitled to retain for its own use/credit without accounting to members.
* See warehouse for a complete list of exclusions.
1. Costco's Commitment to Privacy.Costco is committed to protecting the privacy of our customers. We have and will take measures that protect the privacy of personal information and personal health information held by us.
Children: We encourage parents to take an active interest in their children's use of the Internet. We do not intend to collect information from children who are under 18 years of age. If you are under 18, please do not provide information on our Web site.
2. What is personal information?In general terms, personal information means any information about an identifiable individual. For example, this includes your name, postal and e-mail address, telephone number, credit card number, the photograph included on your Costco membership card and if you request it and are approved, the Costco/American Express dual brand card, demographic information and purchasing history. A special category of personal information is "personal health information", which we describe in Section 3 below.
Personal information does not include aggregate information (data about a group or category of products, services or customers, from which individual customer identities have been removed). For example, information about how you use a service may be collected and combined with information about how others use the same service, but no personal information will be included in the resulting data. Likewise, information about the products you purchase may be collected and combined with information about the products purchased by others. Aggregate information about product purchases helps us understand trends and customer needs, and assists us in product selection, product ordering and sizing and the introduction of new products and services. It can also assist us in determining where it would be appropriate to build new warehouses by looking at the geographic location of members or to build new Web site functions by looking at member Web site browsing activities.
3. What is personal health information?Personal health information means any information relating to your physical or mental health collected or generated in the course of our providing you with the health services you request, such as optical, pharmacy and hearing aid services, and prescription profiles for fulfilment of pharmacy orders. Examples of personal health information may include your medical history, drug prescription information, eyeglass prescription information, or health insurance information, which we may require in order to provide you with pharmacy, hearing aid, optical and other health-related services. It may also include information you provide to Costco health services personnel when receiving counselling or advice, or when contacting Costco with a comment, question or complaint about our health services.
5. How we use personal information.As part of our business operations, we hold and use certain personal information pertaining to you in order to process your requests, provide you with Member Services, and to understand your needs so that we can serve you better. If you ask us to, we will also tell you about opportunities we think will be of interest to you, such as our promotional programs and our "Costco Connection" magazine. Specifically, we may use personal information for the following purposes:
We may use personal information to create aggregate information as well.
- Notifying you of recalls or safety issues;
- Approving you as a member when you apply for membership;
- Managing the provision of goods, services and privileges to you, including monitoring your membership, to conduct a credit check if you choose to pay by cheque, to determine your credit status and for fraud detection and identification purposes;
- Managing invoicing, accounting and information security services related to our transactions with you;
- Monitoring your satisfaction with our programs, including the Executive Membership Program, the services offered by our suppliers of Member Services and contacting you regarding the status of such programs and services (for example, to inform you of changes to or the termination of particular Member Services);
- As described in our "On-line privacy practices" in Section 12 below; and
- If you ask us to, promoting, offering or marketing additional products, goods and services we offer.
From time to time we engage unaffiliated third parties and their affiliates, agents and subcontractors ("Service Providers") to perform certain technological or administrative services. For example, a Service Provider may be asked to perform credit card processing services, administer a contest or be asked to run a computer program that identifies which of our members purchased a particular product so we can notify those members of special programs regarding the same or similar products. We also may use a Service Provider to host and administer one or more of our Web sites, process and store data, and fulfill similar technology-related functions on our behalf. In these circumstances, the personal information that the Service Provider receives is limited to only the personal information held by us that they need in order to render their service to us. The companies that are provided with the personal information are first required to sign an agreement that obligates them to keep the information confidential and secure and prohibits them from using it for unauthorized purposes.
We also may engage Service Providers to provide us with cloud computing services. Cloud computing is the provision of network-based services, located on remote computers, that allow individuals and businesses to use software and hardware operated by third parties. Examples of these services include online file storage, webmail and online business applications. Service Providers have policies and processes in place to ensure that the confidentiality of information in their care is properly safeguarded at all times.
You acknowledge that if Service Providers are located in the United States or the European Union, your personal information and personal health information may be processed and stored in the United States or the European Union and the governments, courts or law enforcement or regulatory agencies of the United States or the European Union may be able to obtain disclosure of your personal information and personal health information through a lawful order made where the information is located.
As outlined above, Member Services (such as rebates, the Executive Membership Program, and other business and consumer services) may be provided by Service Providers. When you sign up for Member Services, we will share your name, membership status, membership number and type and such other personal information as is necessary with the Service Provider so they can confirm your eligibility for the Member Service you requested. Service Providers who are suppliers of Member Services can only use the personal information that we share with them to provide the Member Services or, if you have consented, to notify you of their offerings and to evaluate new and existing products, offerings or services. We are not responsible for any additional information you provide directly to these Service Providers, and we encourage you to become familiar with their privacy and security practices and policies before disclosing information to them. There may be instances when we provide information relating to our business customers to various suppliers such as tobacco companies, so they can conduct market studies and other promotional activities. In the case of tobacco products, the information we provide is the business customer's name, address, the brand name of the tobacco products purchased and the amount of tobacco products purchased.
When you apply for a Costco/American Express dual brand Card, we will share with American Express the information you provide on the American Express application form and if approved by American Express, the company name (if applicable), the Costco membership number(s), Costco membership photograph(s) that will appear on the dual brand card, the Costco membership start date(s), resale permit number if applicable and type and status of Costco Membership.
We will also disclose personal information in accordance with Section 12 below when the information is collected on-line at Costco.ca and/or may disclose personal information or personal health information without your knowledge or consent if a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order legally authorizes us or requires us to do so. We may also disclose personal information or personal health information to protect the rights, property or personal safety of Costco, its customers, employees or other members of the public.
Except as set out above, we do not sell, rent, share or disclose the personal information or personal health information we hold or make our membership list available to others for a fee without your consent.
8. How long do we hold personal information and personal health information?Personal information and personal health information is retained only for so long as is necessary for the purposes set out above. When no longer required, we will destroy, erase or de-personalize the personal information. Legal requirements may necessitate our retaining some or all of the personal information and personal health information we hold for a period of time that is longer than we might otherwise hold it. However, Costco will restrict access to such information to prevent it from being used except for the fulfilment of these legal requirements.
9. Accuracy.To ensure that the personal information and personal health information you provided is accurate, complete and up-to-date, we urge you to provide us with updates regarding such information and to inform us of any errors affecting the personal information and personal health information we hold. You may update, review or correct your Costco.ca on-line account information at any time by accessing your password-protected registration page via the "My Account" area of the Web site. To update any other information, please visit the Membership Counter in any of our warehouses with your membership card to confirm your identity.
10. Security measures.We will continue to keep in place security measures in an effort to protect personal information and personal health information held by us from unauthorized use, access, disclosure, distribution, loss or alteration. We employ physical, administrative, contractual and technological safeguards to protect personal information, and insist that our Service Providers do the same. Access to personal information and personal health information will be restricted to authorized personnel who require the information in order to perform their duties properly. In addition, access will be limited to only that information that is strictly necessary for the performance of those duties. Please also see our "On-line privacy practices" in Section 12 below.
We periodically update our policies regarding information security measures in an effort to protect the personal information and personal health information held by us in the most effective manner possible.
11. Accessing personal information and personal health information.Our customers are entitled to access the personal information and personal health information held by us concerning them. In recognition of the importance we attach to each customer's information, you can only access personal information and personal health information we hold about you, but not personal information and personal health information about your spouse or others who may have been issued a membership card on your account. Under limited circumstances, we may give you access to personal information or personal health information that we hold about others, but only if required or permitted by law (for example, a parent or guardian may, in certain instances, be given access to the personal information or personal health information of a child or a person who requires a substitute decision maker). You can access the personal information and personal health information you provided to us by showing your membership card at the Membership Counter in each warehouse to confirm your identity and completing a written request for such information on a form we provide. We will generally respond to your request for information within thirty (30) days, unless, for reasons beyond our control, a longer response time is necessary, in which case you will be advised accordingly. While our response will generally be provided at no cost, you will be informed in advance of any charges that apply in connection with the information request. Charges may relate to the transcription, reproduction or transmission of personal information or personal health information held by us. Personal information and personal health information may be stored by Costco or Costco Affiliates in Canada, in the United States or in the European Union. You acknowledge that if Service Providers are located in the United States, or the European Union, your personal information and personal health information may be processed and stored in the United States or the European Union, and the governments, courts or law enforcement or regulatory agencies in the United States or the European Union may be able to obtain disclosure of your personal information and personal health information through a lawful order made where the information is located.
In very limited circumstances, we may not be able to supply personal information and personal health information for reasons of a legal nature, including privileged communications between professional and client or a pending judicial proceeding. In each case, we will provide written reasons outlining why your request for access has not been granted by us.
Use: We use personal information and personal health information collected on-line as described in Sections 5 and 7 above. In addition, we use personal information and personal health information: (a) to facilitate and monitor certain features of our Web site that you choose to interact with, such as on-line forums, feeds and chatrooms; (b) to respond to your questions and concerns and to understand your needs and preferences; (c) to conduct surveys and other research; (d) to provide you with customized Web site content and advertising; (e) to fulfill your on-line orders for products and services and to facilitate product deliveries, pickups and returns; (f) to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, or (g) protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Costco, its users or the public as required or permitted by law.
Sharing: We share personal information and personal health information collected on-line as described in Sections 6 and 7 above. In addition, we may provide Service Providers with certain information that is necessary to fulfill an order you have placed with us. For example, if you request shipment for a purchase, we may provide your address to the shipping carrier and customs service provider, and if you pay by credit or debit card, your card number and sales transaction information are passed to the card processor and/or issuer (including their service providers such as fraud verification services). We also may use Service Providers to host and administer the Web site, process and store data, and fulfill other technology-related functions on our behalf. However, we only give or permit access to vendors, suppliers and other Service Providers involved in Web site administration and the commerce distribution chain the limited information needed to perform their duties and provide you with the products and services you order. We are not responsible for any additional information you provide directly to these parties.
Protection: Personal information and personal health information we collect on our Web site is stored electronically, and may be combined with other off-line information. Personal information and personal health information entered on our Web site is encrypted using a security protocol called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL encrypts information entered on our site before it is sent over the Internet. SSL also allows you to view securely your on-line account and registration information. Account information is accessible on-line only through the use of a password. To protect the confidentiality of personal information and personal health information, you must keep your password confidential and not disclose it to any other person. You are responsible for all uses of our Web site by any person using your password. You are advised that, unlike communication within our Web site, we have no control over the privacy of your e-mail communications with us while in transit. We recommend that you do not include confidential, proprietary, personal or personal health information in e-mails, including credit card numbers, passwords, prescriptions and other similar information. Also, if other people have access to your e-mail account, they may be able to access your password and obtain personal information about you (such as your credit card information), or change information about your user profile. You should not use an e-mail account operated by your employer because many employers have the legal right to access such e-mail accounts. Please advise us immediately by e-mail at email@example.com or by dialling 1-888-426-7826 if you believe your password has been misused.
Children: We encourage parents to take an active interest in their children's use of the Internet. We do not intend to collect information from children who are under 18 years of age. If you are under 18, please do not provide information on our Web site.
14. Choice.If you (1) previously consented to receive promotional information from Costco about our products, offerings or Member Services, (2) previously consented to the sharing of the personal information you provided, or (3) are a Business Member and you do not want us to disclose information about your tobacco purchases, you can change your mind by:
- Contacting us at any Membership Counter at any Canadian Costco warehouse location;
- Calling our Member Service representatives at 1-800-463-3783;
- E-mailing Customer Service;
- Writing us at: Member Service, 415 West Hunt Club Road, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 1C5 Attention: Privacy Officer.