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WARNING: Contents May Burst Under Pressure (Steve Maller)

My friend Stuart Zall sent this actual letter to the Chairman of the Board
of Price Costco. He has yet to hear a response.

June 19, 1996

Mr. Jeff Brotman
Chairman of the Board, Price Costco
999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, Washington 98027

Dear Mr. Brotman,

I am writing this letter to tell you how Price Costco has changed my life.
I have been an active customer since 1989 when I moved to San Francisco
from Denver to start a new job. My wife worked for First Interstate Bank,
and her affiliation with the bank allowed me to join the club. What a great
delight, to work the isles buying products that I either didn't really need
or that would decompose before I finished half the box. Living in San
Francisco at the time, the Price Club was like manna from heaven, the
prices at the "Club" helped compensate for the high cost of living in the
Bay Area.

I have been a loyal Price Club customer for several years and was a little
nervous after the merger with your company, Costco. I must say the stores
have been upgraded, the lines moved faster thanks to scanning, I can pay
with my discover card, and your snack bar offers great dining values.

About a year ago, I noticed that your stores were carrying condoms. I joked
with my wife that buying condoms at Price Costco cheapens sex, a double
entendre. On December 6, 1995, I was in your Redwood City store buying
diapers and other necessities for my two children, when I made the big
mistake of finding Ramses Ultra Thin condoms. I could not believe the
price, four dozen for $11.95. Not only did Price Costco cheapen sex, but in
one shopping trip I could buy enough to last through the millennium, (one a
month). My wife was very reluctant about buying the condoms at your store,
as this was not our regular brand. She questioned me about the likelihood
of breakage. I told her that Price Costco is very selective about their
products and with Ramses being a national brand we had little to fear.
Driven by the shear value of the deal, I ignored her pleas. That night
after putting the Kirkland brand laundry detergent, toilet paper and
children's' products away, we opened a condom and let it work magic. I will
leave out the intimate details but to be blunt the product failed. What
started out looking like a cylinder ended up a rubber band. It was a
complete blow out. My wife freaked. Desperately trying to calm her down, I
replied, "It was only one time, the odds of you getting pregnant are
minute". Sure enough one month later, we got the news she was PREGNANT!.
She is due to have the baby in August.

With two children and a dog, we have already maximized our living space in
our tiny San Carlos, California, home. We were forced to look for a larger
house. After searching the San Francisco Bay Area without much success, we
have decided to move back to Denver were the housing is more affordable.

Since so much change has happen in my life directly because of Price
Costco, I began to ponder the following question: Does a company that sells
a huge amount of infant products and relies on the buying power of a family
like mine have a conflict of interest selling condoms? One more year and I
would have been diaper free. As it stands, at least sixty percent of the
items I buy in your store are related to my children. To complicate
matters, I recently came across the Consumer Report on Rating Latex Condoms
and the Ultra Thin Ramses Brand had a burst index 65, the lowest on the
chart (see attached). I am not a conspiracy theory nut but it does make you

Price Costco and the Zall family are now partners in the "love child" and
since our move to Denver is directly related to the increase in family
size, I believe that Price Costco has a fiduciary responsibility to do the

1. Maintain adequate Free Sampling in the Denver stores so we can feed the

2. Complimentary new appliances for our Denver house ( washer, dryer, and

3. Two year supply of Kirkland brand diapers.

4. Condiments and paper products for our new son's bris, I'll pay for the deli.

In return we will name the child Jeff, Price or Sol, but not Sam or BJ.

If the proposal is unacceptable to you can we at least have unlimited food

Despite the problems with the condoms, we have had wonderful shopping
experiences in your store. We believe your product selection and prices are
the best and look forward to shopping at your Denver stores. However, in
the future, management should personally test the products before offering
them to the general public.


Stuart F. Zall

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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