CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Costco posts signs announcing no returns on toilet paper and other essentials, Amazon removes more price-gougers, and Netflix's traffic spikes

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Costco and other retailers not allowing returns on toilet paper, water & more

Some Costco stores have been displaying signs saying they will no longer be accepting returns on toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizing wipes, water, rice and Lysol.

Stores across the country saw these items fly off the shelves since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Some customers on social media are speculating that these signs in Costcos are a way to combat hoarding, preventing hoarders from being able to return excess products. It is unclear if the policy is company-wide or on a store-by-store basis.

Some Walmart stores have also followed suit, banning returns on toilet paper and water. Meanwhile Safeway and Foods Co. have put a hold on all returns, citing health risks. Alternately, Target is extending return periods at certain locations.

Consumers are advised to check with their local stores about their return policies.



Amazon removes even more sellers for price-gouging during coronavirus crisis

Amazon has announced another round of takedowns of price-gouging sellers.

On Monday, the online retailer said in a blog post that it removed about 3,900 selling accounts for "violating our fair pricing policies." This is in addition to the nearly half-million individual product listings that were also taken down for sky-high prices, meant to exploit shoppers' coronavirus fears.

Consumers and advocates have criticized Amazon for not taking more action against price-gouging sellers. In their post, Amazon said it has "has proactively reached out to every state attorney general in the country" to combat such activity.

Amazon goes on to say it "strictly prohibits sellers from exploiting an emergency by charging excessively high prices on products and shipping" and that it is "issuing regular reminders to our sellers about these longstanding policies." Previously, Amazon said it removed a million coronavirus-related listings for violating their policies.



Netflix sees record-breaking traffic as people stay home, stream video

With everyone staying at home over the weekend, video streaming service Netflix saw unprecedented levels of traffic.

According to a press release from AT&T, the carrier saw Netflix traffic at "all-time highs" last Friday and Saturday. Watching Netflix while stuck at home is popular worldwide during the crisis -- so much so the company announced it would scale back its bandwidth 25% in Europe to keep up with demand.

AT&T also announced that its own network broke previous records for data traffic on Friday, according to Forbes.



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