Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » R.E.I. return policy


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Kelly G
(KellyDT) - F
R.E.I. return policy on 06/04/2013 18:03:04 MDT Print View

Radio just said that R.E.I. will be changing their return policy to 1 year, receipt required. Too many abuses.
k

Kelly G
(KellyDT) - F
return on 06/04/2013 18:15:00 MDT Print View

ha i'm late to the party. Found this info in another thread!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: R.E.I. return policy on 06/04/2013 21:25:01 MDT Print View

"Radio just said that R.E.I. will be changing their return policy to 1 year, receipt required. Too many abuses."

It was the lead article on the front page of the Seattle Times this morning. That is about as official as it gets. :)

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"R.E.I. return policy" on 06/05/2013 12:10:04 MDT Print View

One of the news sites in Alaska is blaming it specifically on climbers that buy gear from REI to climb Denali and then return it after their expedition.
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130604/reis-legendary-return-it-whenever-policy-revised

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: "R.E.I. return policy" on 06/05/2013 12:50:50 MDT Print View

My wife and I have spent about 1000$ on REI branded backpacking gear in the last year which was advertsied as having a lifetime warranty, this is the same terms offered by Feathered Friends, Outdoor Reseach and Eddie Bauer.

When buying this kit we where not sure the kit would last but the store clerk told us "you have nothing to worry about because of the lifetime warranty."

I have a good mind to return all the kit get my money back and shop elsewhere.

Am I overeacting, after all REI have moved the Goal Posts on me.

Edited by stephenm on 06/05/2013 12:52:22 MDT.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Re: "R.E.I. return policy" on 06/05/2013 13:10:55 MDT Print View

There is a difference between a lifetime warranty, and a lifetime no-questions-asked return policy. REI has always had the latter, and people take advantage of it by thoroughly trashing and using up gear for several years, then returning it for a full refund.

Now REI will have a 1-year no-questions-asked refund policy that does not cover ordinary wear and tear. This seems perfectly reasonable to me. This does not change their warranty on defective gear ("if your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, you can return it at any time.")

So yes, you are overreacting.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: "R.E.I. return policy" on 06/05/2013 13:23:46 MDT Print View

so if my Rei pack falls apart after 1 year (not due wear and tear) they will fix/replace it?

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: R.E.I. return policy on 06/05/2013 13:35:29 MDT Print View

The policy doesn't bother me, however I do not see this policy change fixing the root cause of abuse returns. A bad customer has an entire year to use equipment for free then return it 364 days later. Most people planning an expedition already have a garage full of gear, and shop the mega sales.

The abusers are often the "last minute" adventurers that buy high end gear on Friday night, with the full intent to return it on Monday, before the credit card bill comes in.

A better approach would be for REI to offer a bigger selection of high-end equipment for rent. They do have minimal items available, but it varies.


Another approach would be to be allow 3 anytime returns per year for free. After that, charge that annoying re-stocking fee, as a penalty for chronic abusers.

D S
(smoke) - F
Maybe worse than it sounds? on 06/05/2013 14:06:34 MDT Print View

I understand the abuse thing and the intent of the change. However, my experience says that the warranty will transition from defects in materials and workmanship to everything being attributed to wear & tear and therefore, not covered.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Maybe worse than it sounds? on 06/05/2013 14:10:57 MDT Print View

I just spoke to them and was told I could still exchange things older than 1 year but to do so soon.

John Martin
(snapyjohn) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
National REI Garage Sale June 8 on 06/06/2013 11:51:57 MDT Print View

Prior to anouncement of "return policy changes" they announced a national garage sale June 8. I think they were exptecting an avalanche of returns. This might be the mother of all garage sales.

I think the new policy will change nothing. The abusers will do it under the confines of the policy. Can you buy an item then use it for two years then buy same item and use that reciept to return it? The bad eggs will still abuse the system. the head scratcher is the outlet limiting returns to 30 days. This one will limit my purchases dramaticly. The point of an outlett is to sell out of season overstocks and the like. If you buy your winter gear in the summer you wont have time to use it before your stuck with it. Most of REI's competition are way more generous with their outlets return policy.

What REI should have done is limit lifetime satisfaction to members. if you abuse the system you get a warning and the next time they refund your membership. I also think they should have retained lifetime for the REI branded merch where they have a larger prophit margine to keep people buying in house. It is what it is. Will Backcountry, Moosejaw, Campsaver, Campmor, EMS,...... follow suit? If the idea was to cut out abuse and stop preditory shoppers I think they will find it failed.

Brandon =Þ
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Re: R.E.I. return policy on 06/06/2013 12:42:26 MDT Print View

"The policy doesn't bother me, however I do not see this policy change fixing the root cause of abuse returns."

Doesn't bother me either, but I think it will stop one kind of "abuse", which is people cleaning out their gear closet and deciding to return a bunch of stuff they used only a couple times in previous seasons.

Unfortunately, I think for people like me, it might actually encourage more frequent returns. As I didn't feel comfortable returning stuff if I kept it more than a couple months. By telling me I have up to a year, I could see it changing my psychology and becoming more emboldened to return gear I'm not totally happy with. Although, there isn't a lot I want from REI anymore outside of food, fuel and maps.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Re: Re: Re: "R.E.I. return policy" on 06/06/2013 17:11:11 MDT Print View

"so if my Rei pack falls apart after 1 year (not due wear and tear) they will fix/replace it?"

that's what their new policy states. YMMV. I don't represent REI in the slightest so you'd have to ask them.

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Policy Changes on 08/20/2013 16:38:15 MDT Print View

I've seen a huge change in attitude regarding returns while in line to exchange items or make returns myself .... more like a typical store, where the customer is having to fight to justify returns that, imo, are legit returns .... I've found myself less inclined to pay the higher prices, especially when I can get something via Amazon and have it shipped in two days via Amazon Prime .... a big part of why I pay a premium at REI is no longer there ... so I'm finding I am less willing to pay that premium and shopping online a LOT more ....

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Policy Changes on 08/20/2013 19:53:27 MDT Print View

The only thing I've returned to REI in 40 years was a travel toothbrush, 30 years ago, that melted in my glovebox in the car. The clerk told me that I shouldn't have left it in a hot location. I still had the packaging and pointed out that it said nothing about any storage temperature limits. It seemed pretty petty on a $4.95 item, which the clerk did eventually replace (Berkeley store).

I was impressed the first time I was at REI as a 15-year-old Boy Scout thinking I needed really heavy, expensive boots for a week-long backpacking trip. The guy in the shoe department suggested a lighter, less expensive (but still heavy) Raichle boot and it impressed me that he suggested the less expensive item. Much later, I realized that the salespeople weren't on commission.

I still like the cooperative model. I like the 10% back each year.

I don't like that there are no real democratic elections in the cooperative. When was the last time you saw a contrary candidate running for the board? That is likely contrary to IRS regulations for cooperative (says the electric cooperative Director). Only board-nominated candidates are put before the membership, and they are high-level finance and legal types, which yes, keep them on a even keel and financially solvent, but also risks not engaging and targeting typical members.

There was a time when they gave the weights of all gear. They longer do.

While they still are primarily about muscle-powered sports, they do sell alpine skis which 99.92% of skiers use on 500-hp ski lifts - hardly a muscle-powered activity.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Policy Changes on 08/20/2013 20:59:46 MDT Print View

"The only thing I've returned to REI in 40 years was a travel toothbrush, 30 years ago, that melted in my glovebox in the car."

My REI membership number has 6 digits. I didn't even know about the lifetime return policy until I joined BPL. Only things I ever return are clothing gifts that are the wrong size, and I just exchange them.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Policy Changes on 08/20/2013 21:05:00 MDT Print View

"My REI membership number has 6 digits."

Me too.

The REI cashier always starts to tell me that my number has the wrong number of digits. Then the other REI cashier is dyslexic and interchanges the digits that I say.

I only learned about the lifetime policy about ten years ago when I had two friends working there. I don't think that I have ever returned anything to REI.

--B.G.--

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Policy Changes on 08/20/2013 21:21:07 MDT Print View

>"My REI membership number has 6 digits."

Mine is 564577. From 1977

But Bob's is probably in the very low 6 digits. Like Lot, Aaron, and Moses.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Policy Changes on 08/20/2013 21:48:40 MDT Print View

"From 1977"

Mine is slightly higher, from May 1977.

--B.G.--

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
REI number on 08/20/2013 22:21:27 MDT Print View

You two must be quite young. My number, from 1973, is 352569. That's quite a few new members in just 4 years since I got mine. Of course, that's about the time that John Denver released his "Rocky Mountain High," which drove all sorts of wannabee hippie mountain types to them thar hills. What do you suppose the highest BPL REI number is today--maybe 3 millon+? Any takers on that?