If you’ve been anywhere on social media, you’ve probably seen this post supposedly showing Costco clapping back at a customer complaining about the chain’s mask policy.
“Thank you for taking such a brave stand, Sharon. We look forward to the documentary they will make about you some day,” an account called “Costco Wholesale” fires back at a person named Sharon.
Costco recently instituted a policy requiring that all customers wear protective masks while shopping. That sparked a backlash, with people saying they would boycott the chain, which in turn sparked a backlash to the backlash of people supporting Costco.
It’s been quite the mess, which is why supporters of the policy were so tickled to see what appeared to be Costco sassing this anti-mask Sharon.
But Costco never posted the comments. It’s all the work of a 33-year-old comedian in Los Angeles named Ben Palmer.
One of Palmer’s bits is parodying customer service responses. He has a page on Facebook, Hope This Helps, which is where the screenshot of the fake Costco comments originated.
“Someone on my TikTok account said you should go respond to people who are complaining about the mask policy that Costco made so I went over there and responded,” Palmer told BuzzFeed News.
This isn’t the first time his work has gone viral. In 2018, he made a City of Atlanta parody Facebook page, which got shut down after he posted that the city would implode Stone Mountain.
It’s not like he’s keeping his trolling a secret. He posts about his work on YouTube as well as TikTok.
But he still thinks it’s very funny when people think his work is real. This time, the Costco post has really taken on a life of its own, even receiving its own Snopes debunk.
“Usually there’s a decent amount of people who know it’s not real but this time it seems like it’s a larger amount of people who think it’s real,” he said.
The post has been shared all over social media, and customers are even posting it to Costco’s real Facebook page thanking them for their candor.
“I have all these people that support me and follow my stuff who know what’s going on. They always get a kick out of it because they see their friends share it and they know that it’s me,” said Palmer.
“It’s kind of just like a fun little joke that we share.”
He does wonder what Costco thinks of it all. It seems to be drumming up support for the store with some people commenting that they’d renew their membership because of the fake post. Costco didn’t return a request for comment.
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