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No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby MountainHiker » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:36 pm

climbingaggie03 wrote: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 have a pair of boots with a knot in the middle of one lace where it frayed through. I didn’t know I could avoid living with such hardship! #-o
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:03 pm

I've had several pairs of the Salomons, and on the first pair the laces kept breaking and I just tied knots in them. Boy, am I a sucker. :) They apparently toughened them up a few years ago.
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Oldman » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:24 pm

Gee, it worked when they had the one store in Seattle, and a second store in Berkeley, and a mail order business. Now that they have stores everywhere their (it was suppose to be my) business model must be failing, and they can no longer stand behind their merchandise? Go figure! :evil: Other the 30+ years I have been a member I have spent thousands of dollars, and returned a few items like a jacket when the Gore Tex delaminated, or a pair of snow shoes I would have gladly paid to have repaired if they could have been, or the water purifier they chose to discontinue carrying filters for. It was worth paying the few extra bucks for that kind of service. Probably, won't be doing that much more. How about putting it to a vote of the membership?
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Buckie06 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:24 pm

so if I bought an item before this crackdown really started under the 100% lifetime guarantee, and now they won't honor it, isn't that some kind of fraud or something?

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby MUni Rider » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:38 pm

Buckie06 wrote:so if I bought an item before this crackdown really started under the 100% lifetime guarantee, and now they won't honor it, isn't that some kind of fraud or something?


Guessing that walking into REI and asking them there will result in a better answer than a random person on the internet.
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:29 pm

Buckie06 wrote:so if I bought an item before this crackdown really started under the 100% lifetime guarantee, and now they won't honor it, isn't that some kind of fraud or something?

I assume they want to keep your business so they'll be likely to accommodate you if you bring up this point.

But they're a private business, they can change their policies if they want to. I'm also guessing they're not gonna do away with the "100% Satisfaction Guarantee", they're just going to add some caveats to it.
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Bean » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:56 pm

MUni Rider wrote:
Buckie06 wrote:so if I bought an item before this crackdown really started under the 100% lifetime guarantee, and now they won't honor it, isn't that some kind of fraud or something?


Guessing that walking into REI and asking them there will result in a better answer than a random person on the internet.

Better, sure, but wild speculation is way more fun.
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby pseudoghost » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:03 am

Honestly, the lifetime guarantee has been gradually eroding for quite a while now anyways as they've been prorating returns past a certain time frame.

I would prefer REI switch to a satisfaction guaranteed WITHIN 90 days kind of framework. It just doesn't seem reasonable to expect to be able to return something years down the road in general. Besides, most of REI's "returns" are sent back to the manufacturer for coverage under their warranty. On those returns that are outside the manufacturer's warranty, they eat the cost.

I just can't see needing to return something more than a year down the road. If you didn't like it, you should have known within a few months. If it broke, then that's life. No one insures against failure in outdoor gear for a good reason: the gear is abused.

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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Johnson » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:02 am

pseudoghost wrote:I would prefer REI switch to a satisfaction guaranteed WITHIN 90 days kind of framework. It just doesn't seem reasonable to expect to be able to return something years down the road in general. Besides, most of REI's "returns" are sent back to the manufacturer for coverage under their warranty. On those returns that are outside the manufacturer's warranty, they eat the cost.

I just can't see needing to return something more than a year down the road. If you didn't like it, you should have known within a few months. If it broke, then that's life. No one insures against failure in outdoor gear for a good reason: the gear is abused.


I bought a stove several years ago that one "gear of the year" from Backpacker magazine. Through a twist of providence, I used it only 3 times in a 1.5 year timeframe. The final time I realized that this thing was severely lacking in overall usefullness. I exchanged it for another one. A pair of trail runners or hiking boots that are used several times a month differ in abuse and use as compared to mountaineering boots... for some people that is. In other words, if I get out for 6 winter climbs in mounaineering boots per winter and 30 hikes/ climbs in my hiking boots there is a difference in usage and time spent in the gear. Some gear is just used more frequently and thus it is easier to asertain whether there is an issue with it. There has to be some "common sense" and "reasonableness" on the part of both the store reps and us customers as to what is "abusing" the return policy. There are too many variables to put a time limit on it if it is truly 100% Gaurantee IMHO. Blah, blah, blah... sorry.
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby crestone14ers » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:28 am

I've been a member since 1973 and my membership number begins with... 4.

REI has always been a good friend to me but for the last fifteen years, I have ventured away at many times to places like Backcountry.com and many of the smaller/boutique climbing stores around the internet... and especially Neptunes where I've been buying gear for many years. Now that Neptunes has been sold... I'm re-figuring out my allegiance to them.

I have been astounded when I hear and read that folks have used snowshoes and tents for ten years and return them to REI. Really blows my mind away! [-X

Over the years, I have returned only a handful of items that either quit working right after I purchased them or they ripped out the first time I wore 'em.

For the beginning adventurer, hiker and outdoors person, REI offers A LOT of information and very good products. Even for the advanced person, REI is still a fine place to shop.

I've been ordering Icebreaker direct from the company. Darn Tough Socks from socksaddict.com Climbing gear and apparel from Backcountry, Mountain Gear and Neptunes. Boots I buy in person from Bent Gate.

The whole climbing/retail scene has changed in the last forty years and I miss the old REI, Holubar, Forrest, Bob Culp, Boulder Mountaineer, Frostline.

Forgot to mention: I buy my backpack and climbing packs directly from the top pack maker in the country... Dan McHale. A true artisan and climber. www.mchalepacks.com =D>
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Re: No longer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -REI

Postby Presto » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:53 am

:shock: :wft: :shock: :wft: :shock: :wft:
:barf off: :barf: :barf off: :barf: :barf off: :barf:
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 JB99 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:59 pm

Johnson wrote:
pseudoghost wrote:I would prefer REI switch to a satisfaction guaranteed WITHIN 90 days kind of framework. It just doesn't seem reasonable to expect to be able to return something years down the road in general. Besides, most of REI's "returns" are sent back to the manufacturer for coverage under their warranty. On those returns that are outside the manufacturer's warranty, they eat the cost.

I just can't see needing to return something more than a year down the road. If you didn't like it, you should have known within a few months. If it broke, then that's life. No one insures against failure in outdoor gear for a good reason: the gear is abused.


I bought a stove several years ago that one "gear of the year" from Backpacker magazine. Through a twist of providence, I used it only 3 times in a 1.5 year timeframe. The final time I realized that this thing was severely lacking in overall usefullness. I exchanged it for another one. A pair of trail runners or hiking boots that are used several times a month differ in abuse and use as compared to mountaineering boots... for some people that is. In other words, if I get out for 6 winter climbs in mounaineering boots per winter and 30 hikes/ climbs in my hiking boots there is a difference in usage and time spent in the gear. Some gear is just used more frequently and thus it is easier to asertain whether there is an issue with it. There has to be some "common sense" and "reasonableness" on the part of both the store reps and us customers as to what is "abusing" the return policy. There are too many variables to put a time limit on it if it is truly 100% Gaurantee IMHO. Blah, blah, blah... sorry.


This is well-put and sums up why a time limit on returns would seem arbitrary to me. Another example, I bought snowshoes on clearance a summer or two ago and have barely used them. The nice thing about buying from REI, and part of my consideration in purchasing there, is that if I find out this spring that I am not happy with them, they break etc. I can take them back. And it's not like REI is just out of luck when stuff is returned, even if you buy something at the garage sale for 60-80% off its original price REI is probably still making their money back on the item.

I'm all for a policy to stop abusers, limit returns based on wear-and-tear, flag abusers and then scrutinize or limit their returns per year... but an arbitrary time limit would send me to Backcountry even more often; until they change their policy at least.
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