02 April 2010

The many flavors of Costco stores...

Mike's old Dell laptop died. Actually, he literally pulled the plug on it seeing as how the plug was part of the problem. The laptop itself had been degenerating at an alarming rate for the past several months but like most things in life, we just limped along with it hoping it would hold out just that much longer. Well, HE did. If it had been MY laptop, I'd have launched a huge and full-blown campaign to replace it at the first sign of trouble. But then, I'm a Mac. And I fear he may be a PC. So I don't really have trouble with my laptop. And he always has trouble with his so probably didn't see the writing on the wall - until he really couldn't see the writing, not on the wall, but on the screen.

But my intent with this missive was not to extol the obvious virtues of Macs over PCs but to say we went to Costco today to buy him a new one (contrary to my pleas to get him to consider the One True Laptop, a MacBook Pro). And as we were going to Morton's Steakhouse for a celebratory dinner this evening, decided to go to the new (well, to us anyway) Costco on Richmond near the Galleria. On a Friday evening. On a holiday.

It was crowded, but laid out pretty much like every other Costco we've ever been in. But other than the very nice gentleman who helped Mike decide between the various laptops on offer, I noticed that this Costco, for wont of a better term, was "frosty". I usually shop at the Costco in Southlake, TX - near Keller where, those of you who know anything about me know, I am half the time. Lovely store, friendly people work there, even the customers are nice. and if you want the full scale "howdy-may-I-help-you" treatment, go to the one in Fort Worth. Usually we go to the one on I-10 here in Houston - they're okay. Not overly warm but not "frosty".

But this one in the Galleria area? F-R-O-S-T-Y! Even the customers were "don't get in my way". I honestly don't know what the problem was - couldn't put my finger on it. But I felt it was a shame. And I also think it's a stinkin' shame that there are TWO Costco's in Houston relatively close to each other when all of us out here in the west Houston area, the Energy Corridor for Pete's sake, could really use one out this side of town (we have two Sam's Clubs, but not one Costco). I have a sneaking suspicion that if we had a Katy Costco it would rival the Fort Worth store in friendliness on both fronts - clientele and employees. So, if any of you Costco execs out there run blog searches on customer satisfaction, I hope you find this and (a) tell the Galleria Costco to loosen up a bit and smile every once in a while and (b) open a store in west Houston asap!

Oh, and a Central Market would be nice too (although I doubt Costco could do anything about that....)

As for Mike's new laptop, he got a great deal on an HP - and - when we went to get it from Customer Service, the box was huge causing me to question if it was the right product. Turns out we got a free printer as well. But I'd rather have a friendlier store environment personally. Yeah, I'm weird like that.

I still think he should have bought a Mac, however. Sigh...


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the Frostco - it's the same here in Austin, where everybody supposedly knows your name. Really they just want you to get out of the way of the organic frozen items. Makes me miss the good old Katy Fwy Costco of my former life. They're partially thawed, at least.

But, alas, I have Central Market. Peace.

Glad to have discovered you.

Glenda said...

If you want to come on over to this side of the DFW area sometime, we have a "frost-free" Costco in Rockwall. On second thought, it's still pretty new, so maybe they haven't been exposed to freezer burn(out) yet!