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REI currently working on new return policies
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Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: REI on 11/19/2012 08:26:45 MST Print View

Wow... I wonder how long those particular stores have been doing that? In my many years of working at REI, I was never aware that any activity like that was ever taking place. I admit, I wasn't wasn't working in the warehouse or customer service, but I do know that dealing with any damaged equipment was always a risky thing.

Keep in mind that the slightest bit of “damage” in any product, even if it were donated to a great cause, could be a potential lawsuit for ANY outdoor retailer, regardless of some well-written waiver signed by a well-intentioned recipient. Let us not forget the litigious world we live in these days. I am sure REI has had their fair share of lawsuits over their 74 years.

Perhaps the higher level solution could be REI “encouraging” all manufacturers they represent to accept their products back for reconditioning, regardless of their condition.

(Not to digress too much, in “Cradle to Cradle” systems, the manufacturer is ultimately responsible for both the creation of their product, and what happens to it at the end of it’s intended life. If there is any room for re-use or repurpose, the manufacturer would take on this responsibility. I believe large retailers like REI would be in a good position to push more in this direction.)


R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
Re: Re: REI on 11/19/2012 10:00:15 MST Print View

I plan far ahead. I buy winter gear when it goes on sale in the summer. I don't have a chance to use it in the field till 6 months later. So 12 months return policy would be ideal for me, and it encourages me to buy on sale, instead of the week before a trip.

I have not returned any gear so far, because I heavily research the equipment and read the customer reviews.

There are two pieces of ancient gear that I contacted REI support for repairs that I would gladly pay, but instead they offered me to return them. I held on to the items anyways, and tried to repair myself.

REI Roadster Tent: the transparent rainfly window peeled off from the main rainfly. I bought it in 2006, on clearance for $50. For that price,I'd rather hold on to it and repair it rather than return/sell it back to REI.

2004, Garmin eTrex vista GPS, no color, no USB, no memory card, old style serial port, drains battery, and loses signal if there's a cloud or bird in the sky. It takes 20 mins on a clear sunny day to triangulate position. I've used this thing for ever in my early bp days! Some of the system maps are out of date also. After talking with REI support, they wanted me to return it back. I held on to it just the same. Read plenty of negative reviews on the new product releases, that I may be better off with the old ancient device.

REI's policy and customer service is top notch.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Re: Makes sense... on 11/19/2012 10:22:18 MST Print View

"I am not sure why I get this impression that so many people feel like its cool to return lightly used gear or gear that you just didn't use, but many years later... I think that when you buy something, you own it and that the company has no responsibility to let you return it for just any reason."

REI specifically says, "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."

Personally, I limit returns to gear that either didn't work out for me or gear that failed prematurely. I don't care if it has been a while since I bought it. Their policy seems to specifically allow that.

I do draw the line short of returning items that wore out after a normal life.