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No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby GeezerClimber » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:06 am

If you are a member, you should be supportive of any effort to reduce costs. Having run my own retail business for decades I can say from experience that changes in customer service policies are always a balancing act. There are always customers that cost a business more than they are worth. Minimizing their impact is smart. I found in business that the vast majority of people are honest and would not abuse a system like REI's but there are always a few.

Dave

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Jay521 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:46 pm

SteveBonowski wrote:Interesting and even humorous thread. I joined REI when they came to Denver in 1983 (or was it '84). In that time, I've spent thousands of dollars at REI ("he or she who dies with the most toys wins").

In 2010, I returned a Steri-Pen because the cap wouldn't screw back on due to the threads being stripped (at the time I bought it). Guess I'm lucky to have needed to return only 1 item in 30 years. Steve

Like you, Steve, I joined REI in the early 80's. Remember that old store on Alameda back behind the Organ Grinder Pizza place? And I too have spent a lot of money with REI over the years but have yet to return anything that was defective. Good outfit with great people.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:57 pm

I've only returned one thing to REI, and that was when I screwed up and got pants without zip-offs. They took them back, and even let me apply the 20% coupon to the difference in price. I've also scored some great stuff at garage sales back before they became too well-known, like a new bivy sack with a 2" tear for 75% off. Personally, I'm no less likely to shop there if they crack down on the abusers.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Falcon3 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:01 pm

I can also confirm this rumor of REI changing their return policy. I bought a pair of Vibram 5Fingers about 10 months ago. I used them for a few months running on roads, then got injured (unrelated to the shoes :), I swear) and didn't run for about 6 months. I started back up a few months ago, and within a week of running in the VFF's, two of the toes delaminated from the sole and the upper mesh was getting holey. I log all my miles on my shoes, and the VFF's had less than 100 miles of clean road running on them. Vibram states these shoes should last at least 500 miles. Even regular foam running shoes last at least 250 miles with regular care. I returned my VFFs to REI, and got real attitude from the customer service rep who told me that they no longer take any returns- that their return policy is now for anyone that buys equipment and brings it back within a few weeks/months after they buy it because it's not working for them. I have since started buying all my outdoor gear from Backcountry.com.

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Presto » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:06 pm

by Falcon3 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:01 pm
I can also confirm this rumor of REI changing their return policy. I bought a pair of Vibram 5Fingers about 10 months ago. I used them for a few months running on roads, then got injured (unrelated to the shoes :), I swear) and didn't run for about 6 months. I started back up a few months ago, and within a week of running in the VFF's, two of the toes delaminated from the sole and the upper mesh was getting holey. I log all my miles on my shoes, and the VFF's had less than 100 miles of clean road running on them. Vibram states these shoes should last at least 500 miles. Even regular foam running shoes last at least 250 miles with regular care. I returned my VFFs to REI, and got real attitude from the customer service rep who told me that they no longer take any returns- that their return policy is now for anyone that buys equipment and brings it back within a few weeks/months after they buy it because it's not working for them. I have since started buying all my outdoor gear from Backcountry.com.


Just an FYI regarding the company that makes that product ... http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/faq/warranty_returns.htm

They would not have taken them back either at that point in time.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Falcon3 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:16 pm

Presto wrote:
Just an FYI regarding the company that makes that product ... http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/faq/warranty_returns.htm

They would not have taken them back either at that point in time.


Exactly the point of (previously) shopping at REI for their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee- it's supposed to cover things that the manufacturer warranty does not in order to give you peace of mind and get you to return to the store. Putting 100 miles and having the sole catastrophically delaminate on a $100 pair of shoes that are supposed to last several hundred does not equal 100% satisfaction to me....

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Roald » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:36 pm

Dex wrote:
ajkagy wrote:
Dex wrote:That is why I like shopping at WalMart for groceries - no sales, or cards to get a good price.



www.peopleofwalmart.com
chrismjx wrote:

Roald, in that one sentence you managed to demonstrate that A) you're an idiot and B) you're a hypocrite, and a perfect example of the cause of the modern-day problems in this country.

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby DArcyS » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:53 pm

REI is a co-op, which means it is jointly owned and contolled by the people who use it. I'm not so certain the abusers' actions are consistent with the good faith I'd expect in a co-op.

Many years ago I bought a pair of boots that kept giving me blisters. I tried to make them work, but after about 3 months I took them back to REI. They offered a full refund, but I only took 50% of the refund to apply towards a new set of boots. That seemed fair to me, although it did shock the clerk a little. Some of you who might run into similar situations in the future might try that approach under their new policy.

As this policy was concluding, I began to think of the best and most ridiculous way to scam REI in the spirit of the abusers. My best thought was to have REI pay for all my meals on a Weminuche backpack. I eat all their food and return the empty packages with such complaints as the carrots in the freeze-dried beef stew were not orange enough, the freeze-dried lasagna was too cheesy, the energy bars didn't boost my energy as I expected, etc. Oh, the fun I could have had.

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Presto » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:03 pm

Many years ago, I bought a pair of Raichle's leather boots from REI. After about 30 climbs (less than a year), the sole started peeling off one of the boots (the right one to be exact). I took it to a guy up in Boulder who glued it all back together. It's a great brand ... just a quirk in a pair of boots. Never occurred to me to return or exchange the boots ... heck, I'd already spent several months breaking them in. Didn't cost that much at all. They ended up lasting me quite a long time. I realize, though, that some "quirks" are not so easily mended or repaired, and return or exchange is the only way to go.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby climbingaggie03 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:19 pm

I'll admit to having abused the REI return policy in the past. Salomon's lacing system used to break a lace (I used to break them every 4-6 months) so I'd return them to REI. I'd have been happy with just a replacement lace, but since that wasn't an option, REI kept giving me a new pair.

I also had a tent that I bought at the beginning of a 2 month road/climbing trip. When I set the tent up for the first time, it seemed like the poles were too long, they flexed out weird and the floor developed weird wrinkles. Since I was already on the road I figured I'd just return it when I could which would most likely be when I got back. So I ended up using the tent for 2 months and then returning it. I don't know if this counts as an abuse since I intended to return it from the get go but couldn't, but I did feel a bit shady returning a tent with a solid 2 months of use on it.

I've also been frustrated by their return policy, I had a sleeping bag that the zipper broke, I just wanted to get the zipper fixed, I would have even paid for the repair, instead they offered me a $65 credit for a $300 sleeping bag, and this was years ago. I had a couple of experiences like this in the mid 2000's. I haven't returned anything in a couple of years, I've bought less gear and I haven't felt like having to deal with the hassle.

So I consider myself a reformed returner :) I've seen the error in my ways, but I do admit that I like having the option to return things if I'm not happy with them.

Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Bean » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:26 pm

inthemtns wrote:REI is a co-op, which means it is jointly owned and contolled by the people who use it. I'm not so certain the abusers' actions are consistent with the good faith I'd expect in a co-op.


REI is not what it once was. From their wikipedia page: "While the Andersons originally established the co-op structure in order to secure reduced prices for its members, REI today models itself instead as a full-service retailer" and "Though REI is owned by its membership and the board ostensibly serves at the members' pleasure, there is no path to board membership without the approval of the Board Nomination and Governance Committee."

They also claim to offer free meeting space to non-profits, though from what I've seen it's not worth the trouble.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby GregMiller » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:33 pm

I had the same issue with the lacing system on the Salomon shoes. Best fitting pair of trail running shoes I ever had, but first the laces broke (got a replacement kit from the Boulder REI), and then the grommets broke (REI replaced the shoe). However, I wouldnt consider that abuse, as it happened early in the shoe's reasonable life, and the REI folks said they'd been having lots of trouble with those shoes and laces.

I just hope they don't lose the spirit of the 100% guarantee, and give employees leeway for dealing with unabusive but unusual situations.

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