Buyer Beware - BJ's Wholesale Club "Free Pass" not exactly Free
I have nothing against BJ's Wholesale Club, but......
I am a little bit pissed off. I went into the brand new BJ's Club in Watertown, MA right near my house today with a "Free Pass" voucher I received in the mail a week or so ago. Great, right? I get to go into this awesome new BJ's and not only look around but shop as well!
I went up to the service counter to redeem my one day pass, and all was well. There was no hassle or sales pitch to get me to join.
So I'm walking along the aisles of wonderment. Looking at Paper Towel packs the size of humans, M&M bags the size of basketballs, and pepperonis as big as baseball bats. I have been wholesale shopping for years, but it never gets old. Marveling at the sheer size of some of the consumables they have for sale....
Why I'm Mad...
So I went in just to look. As usual, I left the store, like most others, with an over-flowing cart of goods that cost me almost $300! This is nothing new to other wholesale shoppers who go in for toothpaste and spaghetti sauce, and end up buying half the store. I was happy with all that I purchased, but here comes my frustration. At the bottom of the receipt, I noticed that Bj's had tacked on a "sur-charge" of 5% on my total bill! I was charged $13.86 in sur-charge fees for shopping as a non-member!
Normally this would be fine, if someone had told me! The whole reason I'm sure they even issue the free pass (or not so free pass, I guess) is to lure you into the store, spend an ass-load of money and then hit you with the extra fee so that you just say
"Oh wow, a $13.86 sur-charge fee?! That's a third of the membership cost for the whole year! May as well just sign me up!"
That whole idea is a bit misleading for my liking. Not to mention, mean. They should just be up front about this sur0charge nonsense. I returned home and looked again at the free pass I had received. There was no mention of any fee on the coupon, nor did the service desk say a word about it when I went to redeem it and start looking around.
I didn't sign up today, and I'm not too sure I will after all of that. This particular BJ's has no pharmacy, where the Costco in Waltham does. (Waltham is right next to Watertown where this BJ's is, and it's where I am a current member)
The BJ's I was at, was very nice, and the staff was quite helpful, but I may just ride out my membership with Costco and see what happens after that.
Moral of the Story
There is nothing wrong with BJ's, I simply want to put the word to out to you fellow consumers that you should take the "free pass" coupon from BJ''s with a grain of salt.
I guess nothing is really free anymore. (Except for the food samples at the backs of the clubs! woot!)