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Testing the REI return policy limits... - Page 3

post #61 of 132

I've had various things from REI that I've beaten to an inch of their life, and I never really thought about returning them.  I can only remember returning one thing, a pair of shoes that felt fine indoors but after one brief hike I realized weren't going to work, so I brought them back.  REI took them back, no questions asked.

 

I did have an experience yesterday with Patagonia gear.  I have a ~15-year old rain jacket from them, but the liner is disintegrating.  Patagonia asks (on their website) to not throw out used-up gear but to repair / recycle / etc.  So I brought it into the Patagonia store to see what my options were.  They told me to "take another one off the rack" and apologized for:

  1. Having made a defective product that lasted "only 15 years"
  2. Having changed the color slightly, as the new one isn't an exact match of the old one.

 

eek.gif   Patagonia has a customer-for-life in me.  They might have lost a little $$$ in that particular transaction, but I'm sure they'll make it up in the future.  Treat your customers right and they'll keep coming back.

post #62 of 132



fixed it for you , i come here for an escape from politics...

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud View Post

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.
but hey, cheating is an honor, just ask ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL OR LOBBYIST FROM THE LAST 30 YEARS!

or ebraun!


 

post #63 of 132

I wonder how much money I've spent at REI over the years?  I first joined in 1981 (when my membership cost five dollars), and currently I drop an average of somewhere around $3000-$4000 per year on stuff from there. I think for every one item I return I must keep 10. 

 

Same thing with Patagonia. I have so many Patagonia garments that it's kind of embarrassing.  My first Patagonia garment was a fleece pullover back in 1982.   I'm looking around my office here and I see two pairs of Patagonia shoes, a pair of Patagonia pants, and Patagonia jacket. My two ski jackets are both Patagonia, and I have two pair of Gore-Tex Patagonia ski pants from this season. LOL!  I don't think I have ever taken advantage of their return policy on gear failure though. I probably should.

post #64 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2skier View Post



fixed it for you , i come here for an escape from politics...



 



Then you probably shouldn't quote vaguely political posts from 5 years ago eek.gif

post #65 of 132


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

 

I don't know anything about Costco, but sounds like a different animal. The unlimited lifetime guarantee is industry standard for outdoor gear, both in terms of retailers and manufacturers. Also, instead of just any Joe Public, you're dealing with a smaller, more niche demographic. Most outdoor folks seem to have some kind of ethics, and also want to keep gear that works. I think this thread is a glimpse into that mentality.


They're definitely different situations.  (Costco is a members-only warehouse club like Sam's Club or BJ's.)  For outdoor gear this kind of return policy makes a LOT of sense, since it is often impossible to tell how something you try on in the store or your house is really going to work in a variety of real-world situations.  Clearly it's worked for REI for a long time.

 

I'm just pointing out that 'eh, they should expect abuse with that kind of return policy' is not a justification for abusing it.  In some cases widespread abuse has lead to the policies being changed.

post #66 of 132

REI has the margins to support a generous return policy. If it didn't work they wouldn't do it. I had two Items I purchased from REI outlet that I considered returning to REI. One was a helmet that never worked well with goggles as it just pushed every pair far down the bridge of my nose. Ultimately I did not return it because I used it for a season and it was not defective. The other item was a pair of waterproof ski pants in which the crotch sewing started coming undone after two seasons. I tried to sew it up myself but that didn't work out and I left it in my closet for a few more years until I moved to somewhere where an REI was close by. In the end I returned it with receipt about five years after purchase. and bought a bunch of other stuff.

post #67 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by aschick View Post

One was a helmet that never worked well with goggles as it just pushed every pair far down the bridge of my nose.

 

That sounds more like a goggle problem than a helmet problem.

post #68 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

That sounds more like a goggle problem than a helmet problem.



No, the helmet came down to my eyebrows, even though the fit was otherwise fine. If you notice, in newer Giro helmets there is a sort of  height/tilt adjustment that solves this very problem.

post #69 of 132

i saw a woman about $500 of very used clothing...they took it back without a fuss...although i saw her in the parking lot and bitched out for "renting"...

 

it's people like that ..that ruin it for all of us

post #70 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecon82 View Post

i saw a woman about $500 of very used clothing...they took it back without a fuss...although i saw her in the parking lot and bitched out for "renting"...

 

it's people like that ..that ruin it for all of us



 

You had no right. Regardless of her potentially renting, she was within her rights. After all, REI did return her $, didn't they?

 

If you have a real problem why don't you tell REI to change their policies & not refund anything that obviously looks used? 

 

Didnt think so...

post #71 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velobuff View Post



 

You had no right. Regardless of her potentially renting, she was within her rights. After all, REI did return her $, didn't they?

 

If you have a real problem why don't you tell REI to change their policies & not refund anything that obviously looks used? 

 

Didnt think so...

actually I did...maybe that's why the policy has changed? LOL

 

and i have every right as a moral citizen to bitch out an immoral one. Anyhow, she got what she deserved....won't get much into it...
 

 

post #72 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post

the retailer buys it. He must pay me for it. The customer buys it. At that point it can NEVER be resold as new and has no value to either the manufacturer or the retailer. When you return it after use you are stealing from one of us.

you can make all the excuses you want, but if you buy it and use it, you are stealing from someone unless it is defective. We are real people on the other side of this transaction. My company takes returned defective goods and trys to learn from our mistake. 

and when REI can't return it for a return credit, you are stealing from all of the other coop members as the dividend is that much lower.


I have a real problem who abuse the system bu I believe in Karma....You return a worn out pair of hiking boots & expect to twist your ankle in those new replacement Asolos >;)

 

But... From past experience in the industry...

 

1. REI resells returned products at their garage sales. I'd be willing to bet they at least break even. For some things if the mfr wants to play ball (sell their stuff at REI) the mfr has to agree to give a credit on defective items.   REI & the mfr offset some of the cost of returns by charging what they do for a piece of gear. It's no coincidence most things sell for nealy the same price at all authorized retailers. 

 

2.  Some companies very often make claims about their products that are outright lies or who's products are outright crap. You sometimes not know this until you get it home or on the trail when you really depend on it. Sometimes salespeople don't know (but talk like they do) know about a piece of gear that youre asking or advice on. Just last week I heard an employee outright contradict to a customer what the manufacturers instruction said. After the employee left, I set the customer straight with references to the instructions printed on the package. 

 

3.  Your REI dividend $ is a direct percentage of regular-priced purchases. It has zero to do with the guy who used/borrowed a piece of gear all season & returned it. 

 

I would think REI would at one time hange their liberal return policy so 1) it only applies to members & 2) if you return too much stuff, they revoke your membership. 

 

Ive seen smaller outdoor retailers 

post #73 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecon82 View Post

i saw a woman about $500 of very used clothing...they took it back without a fuss...although i saw her in the parking lot and bitched out for "renting"...

 

it's people like that ..that ruin it for all of us



You're an ass.  She didn't ruin anything.  She was going by store policy.  Who do you think you are, the REI police?

post #74 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecon82 View Post

actually I did...maybe that's why the policy has changed? LOL

 

and i have every right as a moral citizen to bitch out an immoral one. Anyhow, she got what she deserved....won't get much into it...
 

 



I hope you're a woman. Otherwise you've got more bitch than what you gave to that lady.

 

Also, this doesn't look much like a change:

 

The REI Guarantee

We stand behind everything we sell. If at any time your REI purchase doesn't meet your expectations, you can return it for a replacement or refund. What's more, if you're an REI member, you don’t even need a receipt—we'll have a record of your purchase.

post #75 of 132

I started shopping at REI about 6 or 7 years ago.  I probably took advantage of their policy and returned things I shouldn't have.  I have tested their return policy to the limits many times, sometimes returning objects that failed to perform more than a year after purchase (broken parts, zippers, wristbands, etc).

 

As a result of their fantastic return policy, now that I have a bit more disposable cash, I buy almost all of my clothes at REI, for example:

  • instead of buying $2 cotton underwear at walmart, I pay $20 at REI for quick-dry patagonia or their own brand
  • instead of paying $75 for a suitcase at the department store, I spend $250 for one at REI. 
  • I bought my timex watch at REI for $75, even though i could go to the target down the street and pay $20 less. 
  • I put all their sales in my calendar and try to hit the sales early.  I easily spend $300 per visit when they have big sales.
  • Last year, I bought a pair of shoes online for $30 less than the sale price at REI, and two months later when I found a defect in the shoes, I didn't have a way to return them. I hadn't bought them at REI.

  • When friends from out of the country come to visit, I take them to the store. Some of them drop $1K in a single trip, particularly when they hit a sale.

  • Every time I want to buy something, I try to double check if REI sells them first  ("do they sell expresso machines at REI?")

 

Nowadays, I spend more and I've become a loyal customer. The return policy is worth a lot to me.

  

I am ashamed to admit how much I spend at this store, but i  would estimate that I spend $3K or a lot more of clothing and other stuff for my family per year.  i buy a lot of my christmas presents at REI.  Even my mother gets an REI sweater or jacket every year.   I even have their credit card and get REI credit for every purchase outside of their store.

  

As stupid as their return policy may sound, some people like me end up being loyal customers for life, and as our disposable income grows, we tend not to abuse their return policy.

 

May I suggest?  let's try not to abuse their return policy, we don't want stores like these to change them!

 

post #76 of 132

I does state "100% satisfaction guaranteed".  I guess it is up to the customer to determine if they are 100% satisfied.

post #77 of 132

post #78 of 132
REI, Backcountry, and LL Bean all have amazing return policies and that's why I shop there.

I bought a jacket for my mom for Christmas. She tore some holes it that shouldn't have happened. We had lost the original receipt, brought it back and she picked up another of the same jacket. They didn't ask any questions and her new one is holding up better than the last.

I've got a friend that works at a bike shop that has a sale on Thules every year. The same customer every year buys 2-3 roof/bike racks. He then returns them to "Return Everything Incorporated" for store credit.

They do take things back with out a receipt but in the second instance it is an obvious loss.

When we returned the jacket I talked to the sales clerk. She told me they have to accept everything. She used the example "if someone bought a boar of pants, stayed at the register, took some scissors and cut the legs off. That customer could stay there and return the pants claiming they broke".
post #79 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skibum220 View Post

I've got a friend that works at a bike shop that has a sale on Thules every year. The same customer every year buys 2-3 roof/bike racks. He then returns them to "Return Everything Incorporated" for store credit.


How does that work?  REI's computer shows one's purchase history, doesn't it?

 

post #80 of 132

When marmots ate a hole in the mosquito netting of my tent Mountain Hardwear refused to replace it (I actually contacted them for advice on how to fix).  Maybe I should take it back to REI with the complaint that it's not marmot proof.  (Or maybe if it was a Marmot tent?)

post #81 of 132


How does that work?  REI's computer shows one's purchase history, doesn't it?

 

[/quote]

Not if you pay cash, and he just claimed to lose the receipt.
post #82 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skibum220 View Post Not if you pay cash, and he just claimed to lose the receipt

 

Wow.  The lengths to which people will go to steal a few bucks.

post #83 of 132


if people want them to keep the policy, then they shouldnt abuse it. 

 

Its amazing what people will do. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbgarrett View Post

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 #84 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skibum220 View Post
 


How does that work?  REI's computer shows one's purchase history, doesn't it?

 

[/quote]
Not if you pay cash, and he just claimed to lose the receipt.
 

This is a pretty silly thread, but when you purchase something from REI, you have to give them your member #, cash or not. They know what you bought. It's still a member Co-op.

post #85 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

 

Wow.  The lengths to which people will go to steal a few bucks.



Seriously, what a friggin douche. That's not even abuse of the policy, it's pretty much straight up crime.

post #86 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

 

 

This is a pretty silly thread, but when you purchase something from REI, you have to give them your member #, cash or not. They know what you bought. It's still a member Co-op.


In other words, he's calling shenanigans on your story.  Maybe not you specifically, but maybe your friend is just exaggerating his frugal-ness (why you want to be proud of being so cheap is another discussion).

 

post #87 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velobuff View Post



 

You had no right.


 

...other than the right to free speech, you mean.

 

post #88 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


How does that work?  REI's computer shows one's purchase history, doesn't it?

 

[/quote]
Not if you pay cash, and he just claimed to lose the receipt.
 

This is a pretty silly thread, but when you purchase something from REI, you have to give them your member #, cash or not. They know what you bought. It's still a member Co-op.



No it isn't. I've bought stuff at REI and I don't have any kind of membership.

post #89 of 132

I guessed they changed their policy then. Ok... I'm going to buy some stuff on ebay then take it back to REI for a living. nonono2.gif  

post #90 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post



No it isn't. I've bought stuff at REI and I don't have any kind of membership.



it's probably at manager's discretion.  They're probably just giving you the benefit of the doubt for your few items.  

Once it starts getting over some kind of threshold then they'll start looking at you funny.

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