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Warranty expectations from high end gear companies
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Juliana Cho
REI experience varies? on 03/27/2013 09:00:58 MDT Print View

Last year, I brought my sister's rei branded pad in to the store because of a leaky valve (the pad was 2 years old or so at the time). I asked if they could repair it. They couldn't find it in their system because it was purchased before my sister had a membership, so they didn't have any idea on purchase price. Instead they grabbed a new one and handed it to me, no questions asked.

I still think it's reasonable to just be refunded the purchase price for a previous season's purchase. Full replacement is something I associate with manufacturers. REI's guarantee states, "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." and from the language, I think it gives them wiggle room that the replacement or refund could possibly be at their discretion.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: REI experience varies? on 03/27/2013 09:11:03 MDT Print View

"Full replacement is something I associate with manufacturers"

Exactly, but the problem was that REI was the manufacturer in my case. And while you received the replacement even though the product could not be found in their systems, I did not, even though the cashier already grabbed and scanned the replacement that was later denied by the manager.

So there's an inconsistency with how such a simple/straight forward return policy is interpreted from store to store, employee to employee.

I'm not trying to flame them, or say their policy isn't outstanding.
Just venting my frustrations at the particular situation I faced.

I still love REI, and spend a lot more money there than I should. Just really don't like the particular manager I dealt with and the response (also lack of further action as they promised) I got from corporate.

Sorry I steered this thread off topic. Back to the OP: Most manufacturers carried at REI have great warranty policies and that coupled with REI's (and, MEC, etc) great return policy means you'll be well taken care of.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 03/27/2013 09:25:19 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: not unrealistic on 03/27/2013 09:25:15 MDT Print View

its utterly and totally unrealistic ...

i mean i dont expect to walk into MEC, buy a clerance jacket for 59$ ... then a few months later come back and trade it in for a 200$ one ...

you got your money back ... you GOT WHAT YOU PAID ...

if you dont like it buy somewhere else

MEC doesnt bother with exchanges anymore realistically, they just credit you ... and you then buy what you want or walk out the door with your money...

Edited by bearbreeder on 03/27/2013 09:25:53 MDT.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
eric, stop being rude on 03/27/2013 09:32:21 MDT Print View

If you read my post, you would see that REI was the retailer AND the manufacturer. Also, I don't see how it's "utterly and totally unrealistic" when their return policy guarantees satisfaction.

I'm not trying to abuse the system so don't try to make it out like I'm some guy out to con REI out of money. It's not like I was returning a 2 year olds pair of shoes worn to shreds claiming they were uncomfortable or returning high end baby running strollers because it was "too small" for the child after a few years, or "trading" up for the $$ as you suggest.

I was returning a jacket that had seam tape coming off all along both sides of the zipper after less than 10 months of ownership.

Again, I was just sharing my experience here on the forum as the OP had a bad experience with a company that normally handles customers well.

You, on the other hand, are trolling and being rude and not adding anything constructive to the thread.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 03/27/2013 09:39:19 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: eric, stop being rude on 03/27/2013 09:36:22 MDT Print View

youre the one trying to justify getting more than what you paid for the item through multiple posts

i mean you pay XXXX dollars, you get back XXXX dollars with no questions asked, the same day in cold hard cash ... at any time you want

REI, MEC, etc has stellar warranties ... so much in fact that some here often COMPLAIN about how good it is and how people take advantage of it ...

youre the first ive seen complain about how you couldnt get MORE than what you paid

now THATS rude ;)

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Eric, you're a troll on 03/27/2013 09:45:11 MDT Print View

Troll. Also, I wasn't trying to get back more $$$, just wanted a dang jacket that wasn't defective. Asking for a Kimtah to replace my Kimtah isn't asking for more. Its asking for the same thing.

It's not anything that would have been unreasonable to any other manufacturer, which is my point. If I bought a mountain hardwear epic jacket at REI on sale, and went to Mountain Hardear for warranty because it was defective, regardless of the fact it was on sale, they would replace or repair it. And if that failed, as with the situation with the OP, I could return it at REI.

However, my jacket was manufactured by REI, so I did not receive the same dual warranty coverage, which helps the original post.

On the other hand, your response attacking me helps nobody, only serves your need to troll these forums.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 03/27/2013 09:49:04 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Eric, you're a troll on 03/27/2013 09:54:31 MDT Print View

oh bull

you paid CLEARANCE price for a jacket ... and you take it back and expect a new jacket that costs full price ... ie you want MORE than what you paid

realistically REI or MEC cant allow that ... as people like you can go buy stuff on clearance, come back later and return it (for any reason at all which they allow) and get the current model year for no extra costs the same day

they gave you what you PAID ...

trolling ... cry me a river ... im not the one whinning about REI not giving me more that what i paid ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 03/27/2013 09:56:27 MDT.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
REI sounds great on 03/27/2013 10:00:57 MDT Print View

Far from exposing REI as having an unsatisfactory warranty policy, An-D has actually convinced me that REI is amazingly good.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: Re: REI experience varies? on 03/27/2013 10:08:21 MDT Print View

After rereading the posts I get his point if they have the same product available and its their brand they should replace it. I would try again. I have a love hate relationship with montbell love their products (if theyre made right) hate their warranty/service dept I really had to squeek to get taken care of one time.

Edited by mtmnmark on 03/27/2013 10:12:21 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
REI on 03/27/2013 10:19:58 MDT Print View

I often pay more at REI than need be if I were to bargain shop elsewhere. The dividend program is certainly outstanding but it's their customer service reputation that keeps me coming back.

Case in point - I stopped by our local store and asked for them to order an item for me. Apparently, when they have to order the item from another store, they by policy (as explained to me later) will charge the customer postage even if it's delivered to the store. They didn't and I left the store none the wiser.

A couple weeks later I return to order another item and once again, it was only available from another store. When I learned that I would need to pay postage, I politely mentioned that I didn't have to for the previous purchase. The sales associate explained the process to me but then proceeded to waive the postage fee.

I explained to her that I wasn't trying to pressure her into giving me something I wasn't entitled to but that I was just trying to figure out the process and the inconsistency. She actually insisted on waiving the postage and I left a happy customer. I was polite and respectful to her and vice versa.

REI's customer service is second to none in my book but maybe if I would have gotten ugly with her I may have received "job description service" and paid the postage. Who knows but this otherwise unremarkable event has solidified my loyalty to that store. It's remarkable that REI has empowered their sales associates to keep the customer happy when every other major retailer seems to be going the other direction.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 03/27/2013 10:31:25 MDT.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Just to add my $1 (inflation and all...) on 03/27/2013 12:18:14 MDT Print View

I don't think anyone should ever expect to get a new product when returning one. The most one should expect is their money refunded. More and more businesses are now refunding your money period. Want an exchange? They give you your money back and you can repurchase. If they give you your money back then you are out nothing. Actually you might be ahead if you used the product successfully prior to the return. I'm afraid to many good companies have spoiled "us". We now expect them to "go above and beyond".

Jan S
Re: Just to add my $1 (inflation and all...) on 03/27/2013 12:30:22 MDT Print View

Producers pay a lot less for a product then the customer. From a business point of view it's always better to exchange the product then to give a full refund. So I wouldn't actually expect a refund but a new product – provided the defect is covered by warranty or it generates enough goodwill with customers.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Replacement instead of refund... on 03/27/2013 13:00:21 MDT Print View

Replacement is never a problem. Either replacement or refund should be considered making the customer whole.

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
warranty on 03/28/2013 00:02:32 MDT Print View

I've had experience with all these companies:

Arc'teryx - slow and not the best. They replaced a jacket for me, but it took a while [and I live right next to their HQ]. I now need a new part on a pack [my most important pack] and I worry that may take weeks or months. Kind of a strange company if you ask me and their products are hit/miss and of course the priciest out there.

Patagonia - stellar warranty/service

MEC - stellar warranty/service

Cascade Designs [for MSR and Platypus] - stellar warranty/service

Exped - stellar warranty/service

Chaco - stellar warranty/service

Mountain Hardwear - Emailed warranty dept. a few times regarding a tent pole issue - never heard back.

Black Diamond - Excellent

TNF [late 1990s] - Excellent

I agree with the earlier post, that buying as much as possible from a great retailer is the best defence. MEC has been fantastic for me. Shipping stuff back to another company, esp. across borders, can get pricey.