I replaced my Costco battery with a Costco Interstate battery for a 2005 Honda Odyssey that was starting to have problems starting this vehicle. I just missed the free replacement warranty, but was prorated the remaining months. (No problem here, I just wished that I had did something when I first noticed the problem).
Problem #1-What surprised me was that Costco charged sales tax for the core, and didn't return the sales tax when the core was returned!
Problem #2-The next battery I purchased I brought my old battery with me to avoid the "non refundable sales tax on the core" problem. To my surprise, they still charged me for a core charge and sales tax on the core. I asked them "not to charge me for the core since I have the old battery here". They explained that they will refund the core charge separately. When I asked to refund the sales tax, they said they informed me that Costco keeps the sales tax on the core.
I had to speak with the Costco Tire Center Manager to resolve the matter. He explain that they always do it this way even when the old battery is brought in. "It's programmed into their register program". I believe the manager refunded my full core/sales tax charges just to keep me happy as a customer.
I also believe this practice is illegal in the state of California, and Costco is charging customers "sales tax on core charges" illegally. The reason I believe this practice is illegal, is when your purchase other items from an automotive parts store and charge you a core charge, there is no tax involved.
Also, I have ask about this practice to a Bureau of Automotive Repair rep. (BAR). He replied "they shouldn't have".
I would like to know if others have had the same experience at their local Costco locations, and what they did.