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What's your state of limitation for returning gear?
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Ben F
(tekhna) - F
What's your statute of limitation for returning gear? on 01/08/2012 18:50:58 MST Print View

Ethical conundrum--I've got an Arc'teryx fleece I spent a pretty penny on several years ago before I really knew gear, but I ended up not caring for it particularly so it didn't get much use. I put it in my closet and forgot about it. I pulled it out a bit ago and it had totally pilled up and it looks terrible. I'm debating sending it back because, really, it shouldn't pill that badly, especially since one of the selling points was that it was pill-resistant. But, it's been a few years, so it kind of seems like it's pushing it.

Edited by tekhna on 01/08/2012 18:51:38 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What's your statute of limitation for returning gear? on 01/08/2012 18:56:09 MST Print View

Ben, why not just sell it to Eric? That's his favorite brand.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What's your statute of limitation for returning gear? on 01/08/2012 18:56:38 MST Print View

Send it in and let them decide if it is covered under warranty.

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Re: Re: What's your statute of limitation for returning gear? on 01/08/2012 22:38:42 MST Print View

+1. If they feel it's a material defect, they shouldn't have a problem replacing it. If they say it's not a warrantied issue (maybe blaming it on storage method), then take it for what it is. Maybe you can still sell it and get enough to to be happy.

I've never had an item pill during storage. Rather, my problems have been when washing (sometimes even when washing with the manufacturers instructions).

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: What's your statute of limitation for returning gear? on 01/08/2012 23:01:44 MST Print View

I returned something after a few years when it clearly failed due to their choice of materials (a thermploastic of such low melting point, it deformed in my car). I returned to REI (it was a $5 item) for replacement and the first staff I talked to said I shouldn't have left it in my car. ?!? The next person honored their lifetime warranty and replaced. I still have the replacement, 25 years later. But my former 100% positive experince with REI staff over the previous decade took a hit that day.

I know LL Bean gets their generous warranty policy abused at time. Boots with seasons of hard use returned for replacement and they do replaced them. But L.L. himself got back 90% of those first "Bean boots" he sold in 1911 and his taking them back and making it right did a lot to establish their reputation as an upstanding company.

I wouldn't return anything for wear and tear, unless it wore unreasonably fast. But I know things eventually wear out and I don't expect my $150 to provide with a rotating array of jacket-pack-pad-whatever for 50 years. But what you describe sounds like it wore out prematurely.

I suggest you return it to them, explain your minimal use, and request that they replace it or provide a credit towards other Arc'teryx clothing. Expecting a refund at this point seems a bit much.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
try on 01/08/2012 23:18:57 MST Print View

theres nothing wrong with asking ... good companies realize that it gives them a chance to show how great their customer service is compared to everyone else

supposedly according to the dead bird fans, they have the "best" warranty ...

i personally think EB does though ...

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Warrenties on 01/09/2012 09:31:33 MST Print View

Most of these warrenties are 100% satisfaction warrenties: REI, Eddie Bauer, MEC so they actually aren't about what happens to the product or how it breaks or how it wares out. It is whether or not you are satisfied. And I think that is the intent of these warrenties. So ethically I ask myself am I satisfied with the use I got out of the product. If so I don't use the warrenty service. If not I have no issue going back after a couple of years.

The worst one I ever returned was a pair of climbing shoes. I bought them on sale and didn't use them for around a year and the first time I used them was outside. They didn't fit well at all and hurt my feet and I really I couldn't climb more than about an hour in them. But they were the only shoes I had that day so I suffered through. By the end of the day they definately weren't new looking any more so certainly couldn;t be sold again for anywhere near full price. I returned them to MEC and they gave me a full store credit for them. On the other hand my old Tarn 3 tent that is about 10 years old has started to delamiate on the fly. I have gotten good use out of it and I am certainly satisfied with its performance (though at 8lbs I would never buy it again) so I am retiring it even though I could go back to MEC and they would give me a replacement tent fly.

So in the OP case I would say if you expected the fleece to wear better than it did then you should send it in. If you think you got fair value out of the product then I wouldn't send it in. I look at that eddie bauer case above as a satisfied customer therefore they shouldn't take advantage of the policy despite the fact that eddie bauer would give them a new coat if they weren't satisfied.

I have heard third and fourth hand stories about people being asked not to shop at REI or MEC anymore because they abused the return policies. But I have no idea if this is true.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: What's your statute of limitation for returning gear? on 01/09/2012 10:53:27 MST Print View

I bought an Arc'teryx fleece jacket a few years ago that pilled badly. I called Arc'teryx to ask them if there was some sort of washing/cleaning method that I could use. (I'd seen those "shaving" tools but didn't know if it would damage the fabric.) I didn't know that their fleece wasn't supposed to pill. They replaced my jacket. It was two years old at the time.

I don't know that it's really an "ethical conundrum" if you tell them honestly how old it is. It's up to them to decide how they'll handle it.

FWIW, I still use the jacket all the time and it's now 4-5 years old, so a 2 yo jacket should still have quite bit of life left.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Good for REI on 01/09/2012 11:11:34 MST Print View

That's nice to know that some retailers will put abusive people in their place. It's not right to lay waste to a stores policy and abuse it.

Adam Klagsbrun
(klags) - MLife

Locale: Northeast US
Definitely send it back. on 01/09/2012 11:32:46 MST Print View

I would absolutely send it back and tell them how it has pilled with minimal use. They can decide if they want to honor the guarantee, but it sounds like you are not satisfied, so its worth a shot. If you feel at all guilty about it that isn't the store's problem, they don't take that into account when deciding if you get a replacement or not :) But that guilt might be your burden to carry, in which case selling it via gear swap might be a good call?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
guilt on 01/09/2012 13:28:21 MST Print View

ill say it again for those moralizing PBLers out there

i have absolutely no ethical conundrum ... and i dont consider it one for anyone if you ask honestly, dont demand that they make you happy, and tell em exactly what happened

good companies tend to jump at the opportunity to show their service is better than the competition ... and theyll advertise that fact too ... its up to them to say no

for example

I'd like to return this taxi, please.
As you’d expect, over the years our guarantee has been put to the test. We’ve been given countless opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to customer satisfaction and our willingness to stand behind the products we sell – though none more demonstrative than the return and refund of an original London taxi.
Featured on the cover of our 1984 holiday catalog, the taxi was purchased for $19,000 by a Kansas native as a gift for her husband (an avid car collector). In 2005, her husband contacted Lands’ End and expressed interest in returning the car for a full refund. Of course, we obliged – because whether your purchase includes a tote or a taxi, your satisfaction is Guaranteed. Period.®,,1_36877_36883_37024_,00.html

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
"What's your state of limitation for returning gear?" on 01/10/2012 05:46:10 MST Print View

i'd send it back.
should it be rejected, you can always e-bay, craigslist, sell it privately, or i'd imagine there gear shops 'round your area that offer a consignment program? naturally you'll take a hit, but some moola beats none, eh? lt