Costco has had some pretty large-scale scandals in the headlines. They've centered around everything from their pharmacy to their hot dogs, but their customers have mostly stuck with them through it all. These are the biggest scandals Costco has endured.
In 2013, jewelry giant Tiffany & Co. filed a lawsuit against Costco. According to the suit, Costco's in-store signage identified their rings as "Tiffany", and misled customers into thinking they were buying authentic Tiffany jewelry. The problem? Tiffany had no agreement whatsoever with Costco, and the lower-priced rings weren't actually from Tiffany.
Costco claimed they were simply using the term "Tiffany" to refer to the style of the ring and not the brand. They never branded any rings, bags, or boxes with the Tiffany name or logo, didn't use the well-known blue packaging, and didn't use the name on their web site. Tiffany used that all against them, arguing that made it easier for them to slip under the radar.
In 2015, CNN reported that a judge had ruled Costco was guilty of, quote, "trademark infringement and trademark counterfeiting." They were hit with a massive fine of more than $19 million, which Bloomberg reported they were appealing. Costco faced an uphill battle, because it's been declared that their signage and their imitation of Tiffany styles represented, quote, "a bad faith intent to deceive customers," which is never good for a business.
Watch the video to learn about the biggest scandals to ever hit Costco!
Selling fake Tiffany rings | #
Shrimp and slave labor | #
The drug company payments scandal | #
Egg conditions at a Costco supplier | #