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Testing the REI return policy limits...

post #1 of 132
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for confirmation that I can get away with this. I want to see how far I can stretch the REI return policy.

I bought an REI soft shell jacket on sale about 2 months ago. I've worn it twice and I don't like it. The jacket itself is pefectly fine in every way except the collar is funkie. It sticks up into my chin and is just uncomfortable. I could go into extensive anatomical detail, but let's just leave it at 'not comfortable'.

You think REI will take it back?
post #2 of 132
You're not stretching return policy much at all. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't take it back.
post #3 of 132
REI has a 30-day non sale return policy, you violate both... how much did u pay for it?
post #4 of 132
I've returned stuff a lot more than 30 days after purchase from REI - my record is 4 months on a pair of unmounted skis - but never something I used. Call and ask; not like they're the CIA.
post #5 of 132
I bought an REI jacket last fall for about $180 that I returned at least 3 months later - I never wore it out but my girlfriend did a few times. REI took it back no questions, no hassle.
post #6 of 132
that's a pretty fair return, I'd say. long ago ('91-'93) I worked at the College Park MD REI and even back then with their more loyal customer base, people returned stuff that was just about used up and worn out. their return policy is super generous ...just about stupid and too generous if you ask me... but still it takes into account that there are people like you to balance out the snagging greedy folks who "return" something when it's time to discard it from overuse.

the upside is that well-treated barely used returns make lots of REI part time employees happy when it comes time for the scratch/dent/returns table sales during the year. part timers often don't get pro deal pricing so they can hope for the table sales. you might make a poor part time REI employee happy with your return.
post #7 of 132
They'll take it back. You just need to tell them the problem with it/defect... shouldn't be any problem.
post #8 of 132
Return Equipment Inc.
post #9 of 132
REI does have a very good return policy in my experience. I once bought a pair of running shoes and in my opinion they wore out too soon, maybe 6 months. I went back to REI (no receipt) and they replaced them for a new pair without questions. I don't abuse the policy (or generosity) but I patronize them because of it.
post #10 of 132
there is not a 30-day return policy at REI.

You can return anything you are dissatisfied with at any time, without a receipt. I returned a jacket after 9 months because it did live up to what I wanted out of it, they took it back with no questions asked. I know others who have returned things much older than that. This is not abusing their policy, it IS their policy. Its why I shop at REI .
post #11 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebraun
...This is not abusing their policy, it IS their policy. Its why I shop at REI .
What I mean by not abusing their policy is that I would not go there and buy a pair of skis, try them for a few days, then go return them, get a new pair, try them and return them.... you know what I mean, using them as a demo shop.
post #12 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilife
What I mean by not abusing their policy is that I would not go there and buy a pair of skis, try them for a few days, then go return them, get a new pair, try them and return them.... you know what I mean, using them as a demo shop.
Agreed...thats lame.
post #13 of 132
my experience is that rei has the best return policy i've ever seen. i don't abuse it but try to buy stuff there first since i know i'll be ok down the line.
post #14 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilife
I once bought a pair of running shoes and in my opinion they wore out too soon, maybe 6 months. {...then I returned them...}

I don't abuse the policy (or generosity) but I patronize them because of it.
the first sentence indicates abuse of the policy.

the second sentence indicates hypocrisy.
post #15 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
the first sentence indicates abuse of the policy.

the second sentence indicates hypocrisy.
It is not abuse of their policy if they agree to take them back.

They are the ones who came up with the policy. If they aren't willing to take back 6 month old shoes, they should word their policy accordingly.
post #16 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbgarrett
It is not abuse of their policy if they agree to take them back.

They are the ones who came up with the policy. If they aren't willing to take back 6 month old shoes, they should word their policy accordingly.
the policy doesn't say, "please use our goods until you're bored with them and then return them."

nor does it say, "please use our goods until you can fabricate a BS reason for disliking them, then return them."

nor does it say, "please use our goods for the weekend trip you want to take but can't afford the gear for, and then fabricate a reason to return them."

does it?
post #17 of 132
Don't sweat the return. In Berkeley, they have the usual once a month yard sales where 500 people get in line at 7am just for the chance to buy that $150 jacket for $60.
post #18 of 132
I bought a helmet in January, wore it three times, didn't really like it because it sucked with any goggles I've tried, and fit funny anyway. I bought a new helmet last week on closeout at a local shop. I was going to put mine on ebay, but when I grabbed the box, I found my receipt. Called REI, told them the story, and they said "go ahead and bring it back". Pretty cool, considering it's technically used. Almost 4 months passed...
post #19 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
the policy doesn't say, "please use our goods until you're bored with them and then return them."

nor does it say, "please use our goods until you can fabricate a BS reason for disliking them, then return them."

nor does it say, "please use our goods for the weekend trip you want to take but can't afford the gear for, and then fabricate a reason to return them."

does it?
Nope.

It says if you are not satisified with your purchase, you can return it. If I pay top dollar for something, and it breaks or is worn out in a month, or does not perform up to satisfaction, it can be returned.

If you aren't buying it with the express intent of using it and returning it, you aren't abusing their policy.

REI isn't the only company with this policy, Nordstrom has it too. In fact, people I know who work at the REI hq have told me they model their policies after Nordstrom because it drives customer satisfaction and dedication, and increases sales in the end.
post #20 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebraun
Nope.

It says if you are not satisified with your purchase, you can return it. If I pay top dollar for something, and it breaks or is worn out in a month, or does not perform up to satisfaction, it can be returned.

If you aren't buying it with the express intent of using it an returning it, you aren't abusing their policy.

REI isn't the only company with this policy, Nordstrom has it to. In fact, people I know who work at the REI hq have told me they model their policies after Nordstrom because it drives customer satisfaction and dedication, and increases sales in the end.
Thank you ebraun. And as cbgarrett said it not abuse of their policy because they took it back. And like I said, that's why I shop there. That's why spend thousand of dollars at REI a year. I'm allow to return something that is not working. That's is what you call customer service. Maybe someone at REI read http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/068...Fencoding=UTF8 and decided that Raving Fans are better than just satisfied customers. A book I recommend to anyone in the service industry.
post #21 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiStarr90
REI has a 30-day non sale return policy, you violate both... how much did u pay for it?
No, no the don't.

They are very generous, more so with members.
post #22 of 132
to some degree their policy relies on the good faith of their customers--if enough people abuse the policy they won't be able to afford to offer it. i buy full price stuff from them partly because of the policy, and very little of it goes back (except just about everything i buy for my wife, but that's a different issue!). i also buy a bunch of stuff that they put on sale, which also comes under the same policy.

i have had one experience with their return policy that was just amazing--they replaced a used (i mean really used) pair of mtn bike shoes that broke in a way that wasn't wear and tear...i never expected a replacement by rei, just to send them back to the manufacturer...instead they let me have a new pair, the third i had purchased from them.

over all i guess most people use common sense as rei seems to be doing pretty well.
post #23 of 132
Accepting that the REI return policy is more than generous, it seems to me that people should be able to determine whether something fits before they use it. If you use it you keep it, unless it is defective.
post #24 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenfive
to some degree their policy relies on the good faith of their customers--if enough people abuse the policy they won't be able to afford to offer it. i buy full price stuff from them partly because of the policy, and very little of it goes back (except just about everything i buy for my wife, but that's a different issue!). i also buy a bunch of stuff that they put on sale, which also comes under the same policy.
exactly my point. the return policy depends on some honor among those who return items.

if you purposely try to take advantage of the "return" and instead of returning something that didn't fit or is defective, you use it as much as you want and then "return" it, you aren't really "returning" anything. you're cheating the system out of its intended purpose.

but hey, cheating is an honor, just ask our President and his Admin!

or ebraun!
post #25 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebraun
Nope.

It says if you are not satisified with your purchase, you can return it. If I pay top dollar for something, and it breaks or is worn out in a month, or does not perform up to satisfaction, it can be returned.

If you aren't buying it with the express intent of using it and returning it, you aren't abusing their policy.

REI isn't the only company with this policy, Nordstrom has it too. In fact, people I know who work at the REI hq have told me they model their policies after Nordstrom because it drives customer satisfaction and dedication, and increases sales in the end.
nice speech that destroys a strawman facsimile of a fictional characterization of my perspective and position. so in your estimation, you can determine when you have paid "top dollar" for an item, and then that "top dollar" entitles you to steal value from the store? IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY? I'm trying to understand because you're debating a phantom.

why don't you try debating me, instead of a phantom?

anyway, your position is stealing value from the store. you are doing what ought to be a "gear rental" and you ought to pay value accordingly. when you intentionally "buy" something with the intent of "returning" it when you're bored with it, you're not buying or returning. you're stealing value.

so what was your argument again, remind me please.
post #26 of 132
Again, their policy is THEIR policy. They made it up.

Right off their web site: 'If you're ever dissatisfied with an item, you may return or exchange your REI.com purchases at any REI store or through mail order. Our 100% guarantee ensures that every item you purchase at REI meets your high standards or you can return it for a replacement or refund.'

People have different levels of satisfaction. And it doesn't say anything about a time limit.

I don 't know how anyone can say it is stealing when THEY made up the policy.

Besides, they are obviously doing well financially (even with THEIR policy).
post #27 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
nice speech that destroys a strawman facsimile of a fictional characterization of my perspective and position. so in your estimation, you can determine when you have paid "top dollar" for an item, and then that "top dollar" entitles you to steal value from the store? IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY? I'm trying to understand because you're debating a phantom.

why don't you try debating me, instead of a phantom?

anyway, your position is stealing value from the store. you are doing what ought to be a "gear rental" and you ought to pay value accordingly. when you intentionally "buy" something with the intent of "returning" it when you're bored with it, you're not buying or returning. you're stealing value.

so what was your argument again, remind me please.
huh? Do you even shop at REI?

I have no interest in 'debating' you, if that is what you call your response.

My post was clear, read it again if you are confused.
post #28 of 132
Thread Starter 
Well, at the risk of interrupting the argument that has since sprung forth, allow me to report that I have successfully returned said item. They were pleased as punch to have an opportunity to serve. Or so I imagined.

Please, return to the regularly scheduled program...
post #29 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
Well, at the risk of interrupting the argument that has since sprung forth, allow me to report that I have successfully returned said item. They were pleased as punch to have an opportunity to serve. Or so I imagined.

Please, return to the regularly scheduled program...

Glad to hear it. YOU THIEF!!!!

just kidding....
post #30 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB
Accepting that the REI return policy is more than generous, it seems to me that people should be able to determine whether something fits before they use it. If you use it you keep it, unless it is defective.
Not always that cut & dried. With my helmet (Giro 9.9 if you care), they did not have the one I needed in the store. I tried the Fuse, and all the other Giro helmets they had, and decided on the size. The size was okay, but there was no way I could have known that all of the goggles I have were going to fit THAT poorly with that helmet, and since I bought it a couple days before a trip, I didn't have the opportunity to try it before I left. A helmet in the store doesn't always equate to a helmet in use. Things need to be tighter/looser, etc., and unless you've somehow managed to put it through those tests & checks in the store (good luck!), it's tough to know exactly how well it will work. The worst issue I had was that no matter what I did, I always ended up with about a 1/2" - 3/4" gap between the top of my goggles and the rim of the helmet. Not a good fit, not comfortable, and definitely a bummer when it's REALLY cold. Can I say "ice cream headache"? So I was more than happy when they took it back after using it a couple times. Unfortunately, they didn't have any helmets left in-store, so I didn't buy another there, but if they had had some left, I would have surely exchanged it for something else. That said, I'm glad they let me return it, although I was fully ready to put it on eBay as I did not expect they would take it back.

All in all, a story of great customer service, IMHO. That's why I've been a member for nearly 20 years, and continue to buy from them quite often!
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