Sam’s Club shocked its customers and employees this past week, by quietly shuttering 63 of its locations and laying off 10,000 of its employees, without notice. No warning. No thank you’s. Just break off the keys and run.
This would be annoying and objectionable in any news cycle, but in light of Walmart (Sam’s Club’s parent company) receiving a juicy taxpayer-funded handout in the form of a roughly $2.87 billion annual tax cut (projected, based on their $20.5 billion in pre-tax income in 2017) from the Republican tax plan just 3 weeks earlier – it is comically insulting. Hey Walmart – the Jerk Store called. It turns out they were YOU.
In related news – the job-creating and wage-growing economic trickle-down from the corporate tax cuts must be coming so fast now that there is no longer a need to shop at discount warehouses!
Walmart/Sam’s has never been an employee-friendly organization, but this latest move also spits in the face of its customers. And, as a result, its customers should respond appropriately. Whether directly impacted by a local store closing or not, it’s time to take action.
Can you Get Your Sam’s Club Membership Fee Refunded?
The first question worth asking is “Can you get your Sam’s Club membership fee back?”
“The Sam’s Club Membership has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If at any time a member is not satisfied with their membership, Sam’s Club will refund the entire membership fee.”
Lovely. And it applies to all three Sam’s Club membership options:
- Sam’s Savings membership: $45 fee
- Sam’s Business membership: $45 fee
- Sam’s Plus membership: $100 fee
How to Get a Sam’s Club Membership Fee Refund
Now that we’ve established that you can get your Sam’s club membership refunded, let’s discuss how to get it refunded. There are 3 options available to you.
1. Request a refund at the membership customer service desk in any Sam’s Club store
Simple enough. However, this requires there actually being an open store near you, which may no longer be the case. If there is not (or you don’t want to waste the time/money to go there), there are other options…
2. Call Sam’s Club customer service to cancel your membership and request a membership fee refund
The phone number is: 1-888-746-7726.
3. Request a refund online
The easiest and quickest option. There is a new Sam’s Club membership cancellation page, where you are presented with 3 options:
- A free 3-month membership extension for members of the closing Sam’s Club stores: effective within 7 days of request. You will still be able to cancel your membership and request a refund anytime.
- A full refund by e-gift card: by email within 7 days.
- A full refund by check: within 6 weeks.
Switching from Sam’s Club to Costco
If you’re left wanting for a membership warehouse to fill all of your 32 oz peanut butter jar needs, I would also like to suggest that you give Costco a look. Costco pays its employees significantly more than Sam’s does, for starters. But the biggest thing you’ll notice is that Costco is just… better.
I’ve been both a Sam’s Club and Costco member and previously wrote a comprehensive Sam’s Club versus Costco review, where Costco did (and still does) come out ahead in most categories.
If you want a no-risk way to check out Costco, there are many ways that you can get yourself in the door and shop at Costco without a membership. Among other things, Costco is superior to Sam’s Club in its:
- Food quality: a superior collection of organic and high quality food.
- Low-Cost Kirkland Signature house brands – including an extensive Kirkland Signature alcohol selection.
- Pharmacy: where it offers low-cost prescriptions and the cheapest flu shots of any retailer.
- Costco credit card: 2% cash back, versus 1% cash back at Sam’s. And a free 4-year extended on PC, TV, and appliances.
You probably won’t look back.