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William Cirino
(Newbflat) - F
Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 17:24:18 MST Print View

I have an REI bivi that is about 20 years old. Its Gortex with a PU coated bottom.
I used it about 8 times total in the last 20 years but haven’t used it in maybe 5 five years. It looks (at first glance) in like new condition. I was sorting threw some gear for an upcoming series of trips and thought on one of them i would use my bivi. Its been stored loosely folded for about 5 years and when unfolded it it smelled a little of degrading PU coating, not real strong but definitely there. On inspection i noticed ALL the seam taping had peeled away from the PU coating but not the (gortex) effectively rendering the bivi useless.

So I’m in a bit of a quandary. I have only ever returned a few things to REI in the last 25 years and all of those things for very good reasons. On average i spend between $1-1,500 there a year but in all honesty i only shop there when i can’t find what i need from a smaller local shop.

So, I’m miffed that the bivi’s seam taping has failed, somewhat dramatically i might say. And that the PU coating is starting to go even though i stored it is a dry place folded. Its had very little use and now is dead. But…its 20 years old and things don’t last forever.

So, am i asking too much or do i have a valid case for a return?

Bill

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 17:27:35 MST Print View

"So, am i asking too much or do i have a valid case for a return?"

Read REI's return policy. You can follow it to a "T"

If you are asking because it might be an ethical or moral dilemma, then only you can answer the question.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 17:31:36 MST Print View

20 years? Seems like one of those cases of unreasonable return

But, if it's consistent with their rules, I suppose it's okay

It would be interesting to see what they say with their new 1 year return policy

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 17:33:46 MST Print View

Nylon PU coated stuff isn't supposed to last that long, even if it's well made. The only materials that will last that long are canvas and wool.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 17:52:39 MST Print View

Please do not return it.




You will become one of those stories we see here all the time about how something was returned 20 years later (for whatever reason).

Then again, given the new garage sale pricing model that my local REI is using, they will put it in the garage sale for 20% off the current list price and expect someone to buy it and be offended if someone comments about the high price, given the condition and age. I guess they are just trying to recoup the loss on your bivy and other returns like it.

Edited by bestbuilder on 02/13/2014 17:53:11 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 17:57:45 MST Print View

I'm not sure if having the nerve to return a 20 year old bivy should be praised or condemned.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 18:11:18 MST Print View

Make some winter gaiters out of the fabric.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 18:25:22 MST Print View

I bought a steak at Safeway 5 weeks ago and kept it in the refrigerator. I took it out for dinner yesterday and it was all green and fuzzy. Should I return it for a refund?

That might sound sarcastic and I DON'T mean it that way. Kudos to you for asking. Here's another example:

I bought a bag of flour at Safeway 5 weeks ago and put it in the panty. I was about to make pancakes this morning and it had a rancid smell to it. Should I return it for a refund?

You expect flour to last many months. If it doesn't last like all the other flour you've ever bought, you are right to wonder why and to ask for a refund. Maybe they didn't rotate their stock and it was a year old when you got. Maybe there was a manufacturing or blending issue and it wasn't any good the day you bought it.

But a reasonable person doesn't expect raw meat to last for a month. That said, a clueless person (a vegetarian?), through lack of experience, might be surprised.

I know things about the aging of fabrics in 2014 that I didn't know in 1976. Because I've now owned and used cotton, nylon, polypro, polyester, leather, and their various coatings for many decades. I'm still using uncoated nylon gear from 35 years ago (Yeah!, Patagonia Baggie shorts!) But all my urethane-coated nylon fabrics from 20, 25, 30, or 35 years ago is delaminating. So I've learned that there is a lifetime to that material. In a few cases, I recoat it myself. Other times I repurpose to a non-waterproof use. Or I toss it or use it as un-coated fabric for MYOG projects.

Yes, you're probably within your rights to return it, by the letter of their policy at the time you purchased it.

I don't see it as REI's fault that they couldn't predict the lifespan of fabrics that had only existed for 5-10 years at the time.

I wouldn't return it myself.

If we want manufacturers to use the most modern fabrics when they've had no chance to field test them for decades, perhaps we have to accept an unknown useful life and roll those dice as we see fit.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 18:28:16 MST Print View

Seriously, who cares what the BPL community says?! The clerk at your local REI makes the call assuming you can prove you purchased it new from them. If you feel you have a defective piece, why shouldn't you take advantage of the company's warranty policy? Failing there, contact GoreTex and see what they will do. Gore Japan accepted my 20yr old jacket and pant set and sent me a new Pro Shell set from Montbell.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Yr choice on 02/13/2014 18:36:00 MST Print View

You bought it, its yr call

Ur following the rules and their stated policy

Only u and them can decide if you got fair use out of something used 8 times

The worst try can say is no

And if they do take care of you, or if gore does with their "lifetime" warranty ... Then youll happily shop there again and tell everyone rlse about it

its not like you didnt like the color ... The seam tape is coming apart

Intraweb "morality" is highly entertaining ... If we followed it on BPL we would never buy anything that wasnt cottage, never mind stuff made in china

;)

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Your call on 02/13/2014 18:37:24 MST Print View

Clearly your call and the clerk at REI.
It is however because of these kind of cases that REI and other companies have changed their return policies. Hey, we all do all kinds of rationalizing on a daily basis and I am sure you can come up with a very reasonable story to tell yourself and make this return perfectly legitimate :)


Edited because auto correct blows.

Edited by Kat_P on 02/13/2014 18:38:21 MST.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Return dilemma" on 02/13/2014 18:55:31 MST Print View

Policy or not- it's 20 years old. I think it's obnoxious to want to return an item after 20 years because it now has a flaw that is probably age related - lots of things see slow damage after exposure to air, UV, etc and that should be expected. It's these type of returns that prompted REI to change their generous policy.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 19:23:06 MST Print View

But…its 20 years old and things don’t last forever.

So, am i asking too much or do i have a valid case for a return?


You are asking too much. I would expect any similar item to be degraded after all this time.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: "Return dilemma" on 02/13/2014 19:26:48 MST Print View

Maybe try contacting the manufacturer and see what it would take to have it repaired? If not, maybe repair it yourself or just seam seal it?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Your call on 02/13/2014 19:30:22 MST Print View

That's it; it's your call. REI will probably honor their guarantee.

Whether is it right or wrong for you to exercise the warranty is for you to decide, not us.

Besides there are more important issues to discuss here -- such as stealing condiments from fast food joints :)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 19:36:24 MST Print View

I think the saddest thing is that the bivy wasn't worn out from all the use it could have experienced in 20 years.

I would not attempt a return, nor expect to get one.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 20:02:16 MST Print View

This is a return "dilemma"? REALLY??

Tom Brown
(tzbrown) - M
re return on 02/13/2014 20:17:26 MST Print View

After 20 years, If you have the original receipt, let your conscience be your guide.
I would not.

But I would use the material to make many other items

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/13/2014 20:24:09 MST Print View

But what if it IS DEFECTIVE and the company agrees? Lot's of products are covered by what seems overly generous warranties. The burden is on the company to decide if the claim is legit or not, not the consumer. A warranty is no different than having auto/property/health/life insurance. This really is not a question of morals. It's business. Companies have made a business decision and will adjust their policies accordingly if it does more harm than good for their bottom line.

A legit warranty claim keeps everyone honest, and gives vital feedback that helps the manufactures make better products.

Brian Johns
(bcutlerj) - M

Locale: NorCal
Return Dilemma on 02/13/2014 23:29:02 MST Print View

If you had actually used it, it would not have lasted this long. I'd say you got more than your money's worth. PU coatings are good for no more than 10 years. I had a TNF pack fail in around 8. I was so much younger then, but it killed me. TNF pretty much laughed at me and refused my warranty return. Sierra Trading Post, where I purchased it, made me whole, but all these years later, I know I got a really good run out of that WP coating. five years is probably a good run. Like David said, repurpose it, or pass it on. You can't expect to buy anything (almost anything) and closet it for decades to be ready and useful as your whims may dictate. But I"m not saying you "can't" return it. You could try that to.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Multiple Return Dilemma on 02/14/2014 00:10:41 MST Print View

Not to stir the pot further. . . well, okay, I will:

What if a company offered a "Truly lifetime jacket" and they explicitly said if the zipper breaks, it gets worn through, so dirty as to be uncleanable, torn through normal or abnormal use, or chewed up by your dog, they would replace it?

If it is functionally a $200 jacket, what would you pay for such an arrangement?

What would they have to sell such a item and service plan for?

And would those prices have any overlap? They might need to charge $1000, but there probably isn't enough market at that price point.

US cell phone plans work sometimes like that. Every 24 months (sometimes less), you get a new phone for "free" which is, of course built into your monthly charge. But this would be with a single, up-front charge.

At age 90 and with Jeanne Calment signed a deal to sell her former apartment to a lawyer André-François Raffray, on a contingency contract, he agreeing to pay her a monthly sum of 2,500 francs until she died. She lived another 33 years, collecting over twice the apartment's value in such payments and outliving the lawyer (whose heir paid for the last two years).

I'm trying to think of things that have lasted a long time. We still (occasionally) use my grandmother's 1906 Singer sewing machine. My uncle's Longines watch from 1946 still keeps good time. Sometimes I fly in 60- and 70-year-old airplanes. Of my own clothing, the oldest still in use is from the late 1970's I have some ties from dead relatives from somewhat earlier. I've got cameras and slide rules that still work just fine after 50, 60 and 70 years. There's some furniture in the family that is over 200 years old. But all the Gore-tex in current use is from the last 15 years.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Return Dilemma on 02/14/2014 00:11:45 MST Print View

Back in the old days, Gore-tex garments would get contaminated and then would have to be cleaned before washing to restore the waterproofness. So, we were using denatured alcohol and all sorts of stuff like that to act as a solvent on the contaminants. Well, it worked, up to a point. Later on, delamination became an even worse problem, and it showed up the most in the areas that had been decontaminated earlier.

I don't know whether these coatings and membranes just naturally degrade over time, or whether some of our treatments cause them to degrade.

--B.G.--

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Multiple Return Dilemma on 02/14/2014 00:31:37 MST Print View

What if a company offered a "Truly lifetime jacket" and they explicitly said if the zipper breaks, it gets worn through, so dirty as to be uncleanable, torn through normal or abnormal use, or chewed up by your dog, they would replace it?

If it is functionally a $200 jacket, what would you pay for such an arrangement?

What would they have to sell such a item and service plan for?


they would charge the same as any other jacket ... and less than say dead bird and patagucci

Here at Outdoor Research, we are committed to developing truly functional solutions for Human Powered Adventure.
OR products are Designed By Adventure™ and from this, we deliver the hallmark of all Outdoor Research products – functional gear that works and lasts. By placing quality and function first, we can offer the finest guarantee in the industry for each and every product – OR’s Infinite Guarantee™. We believe so strongly in the quality of what we make that if, at anytime, our product fails to meet your needs, we are happy to exchange or return it. Because of this solid belief, our products are guaranteed forever and are designed with this in mind. Your total satisfaction in our product is our goal.
Though we doubt you’ll ever need to, if you ever have to use our Infinite Guarantee, see the Returns and Exchanges section above.


heres a proven story of a dog chewing up a jacket and the OR folks were good enough to replace



http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2232975;

theyve had their infinite guarantee for many many many years, and havent went out of business ... and i havent heard of it going away anytime soon

plenty of people buy OR because of that guarantee ... its a competitive advantage ... when you buy OR there is no risk other than losing some money shipping it back to them (if you can return it at the retailer)

MEC has the same guarantee for anything they sell ...

now these companies can stop "abusers" as they have all the returns in the system ... and of they see you returning a shietload of stuff they inform you your business is no longer welcome

If anything, L.L. Bean seems to be welcoming the customers REI might be willing to let go. Behind its store counters, the guarantee is written in giant text. And there are a few reasons why this may be better business for L.L. Bean. Many of its sales are mail order, so it's less convenient for customers to return stuff. And, Fuller says, the crazy return stories are great marketing for the company.

"How many times has your colleague talked about the fact that she's returned that backpack, and L.L. Bean gave her a new one without question?" Fuller said. "That's really the value of the guarantee."

As a business practice, it's expensive. As advertising, it's cheap.


http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/25/223787129/what-happens-when-a-store-lets-customers-return-whatever-they-want

as ive said intraweb "morality" is quite fun ... it seems that with some other brands its "OK" to send 10+ year old jackets back ... and BPL thinks its great ... but when its REI, everyone starts going crazy ...

heres a recent credit given by dead bird to a BPLer on a 10+ year old jacket ... no one telling him that he just increased the prices for everyone else, or that his action reduced the dead bird warranty for future customers

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=86575


now about those "liberated" mcdickies condiments ...

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 02/14/2014 00:43:11 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Multiple Return Dilemma on 02/14/2014 00:42:32 MST Print View

"heres a proven story of a dog chewing up a jacket and the OR folks were good enough to replace"

I think that I would see about getting the dog replaced first.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 04:46:50 MST Print View

When OP bought this I am sure there was no documentation or conversation that the PU coating would last xx number of years. He used the item 8 times. It is not unreasonable for the average consumer to expect it to still be functional. Some of us are viewing this from our experience and perspective. It sounds like the item has not been abused. It is not worn out. It has a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. It is up to the retailer to decide whether or not to honor it.

I have lots of gear that is twice as old and still is in use and has seen considerably more time in the field. A couple years ago I send a 40+ year old backpack to Kelty to repair it because the material in a seam had frayed and separated. I expected to be charged for it, but they fixed it for free. It was their decision.

I have a 50 year old REI tent and would not submit it for a warranty replacement, even though it is technically probably covered.

I have several pieces of Briggs and Riley luggage that have a lifetime warranty to include damage from airlines. At the 10 year mark I sent it in for warranty repair and they completely rebuilt from the inside out. Two weeks ago I sent it in again because the airline destroyed the zipper. The luggage is expensive and the warranty is great.

They problem here, IMO, is the OP is asking the community what to do. How can someone not know what to do in these kinds of situations. We need to let our conscience guide is, and if we don't know what to do, then how do we make the truly important decisions in life?

Please ignore any grammar errors as I am typing on my iPhone and am not very good at it.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 04:59:30 MST Print View

One other thing...

I think people who grab extra condiments at fast food joints are thousands of times more in the wrong than someone who would return this bivy. Let your conscience guide your actions.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 05:32:53 MST Print View

There is a third option. Send an email with a nice pic of it to an executive, and share your story with them.

And ask them simply to fix it, although taped seams are known to delaminate over time no matter what.

If your bivy were 25 years old, it probably wold have needed to be seam sealed anyway.


That way you get a clear answer without wasting gas!

Matt

Clayton Black
(Jivaro) - MLife
Is it a good business deal? on 02/14/2014 05:56:52 MST Print View

I'm a fan of a capitalistic economy but not a so much a fan of a capitalistic society.

My mentor taught me that the definition of a good business deal is that the deal must BE GOOD for all parties involved and not a greed is good sort of capitalistic no holds barred deal.

Independently of your Consumer Bill of Rights that mistakenly claim the consumer is always right you must ask yourself - Is it a good business deal for all parties involved if I return an item after 20 years? The answer won't be hard to find.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 07:23:52 MST Print View

We have a bunch of those extra condiments from fast food joints.

They look disgusting and I try to throw them away. I don't think they have expiration dates on them, but they probably have extra preservatives in them.

"The wife" is more of a cheapskate than me, at least in some things, and doesn't let me throw them away so I have to sneak : )

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Socks on 02/14/2014 07:45:17 MST Print View

Let's say I've owned a pair of socks for 40 years. I wear them, at a minimum, once per week. Last week I ripped a hole in my sock and my big toe is now sticking through it.

Should I return it?

How about at the time of purchase, I paid more than the socks were worth because they offered the following guarantee:

Our Lifetime Guarantee
Unconditional lifetime guarantee—simply and without strings or conditions:

If our socks are not the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair, or your money back.

No strings. No conditions. For life.

When you are really serious about something you make it yourself.

Obviously this is Darn Tough Socks' guarantee. I don't own a pair as I prefer Wrights but in my opinion, you can't have it both ways. If you are going to market an item in this way, charge more than they are worth (imo) because you are offering a lifetime guarantee, I think it's a little disingenuous to cry foul when the customer expects you to honor it.

I don't know how the bivy was marketed but until recently, REI would have backed an item like that for life. Over the years, I've spent $100s more (collectively) on gear from REI because of their return policy.

Again, I personally would try to repair it myself or pay the manufacturer to repair it but I also understand why someone would feel compelled to return it.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
proof on 02/14/2014 08:59:53 MST Print View

How are you going to prove it was purchased at REI? I have a tent fhat is starting to delam and it was probably purchased at REI, but I am not even sure.

Marc Shea
(FlytePacker) - F

Locale: Cascades
Re: Socks on 02/14/2014 09:03:17 MST Print View

REI and similar stores are banking on the fact that its customers will feel angst about these returns. Sure, some will take full advantage of these types of policies while others will not, but isn't a morale question. They are banking on the fact that you will perceive it to be a morale question. Furthermore, REI is a corporation fronting as a co-op, it is not a person. You are not wronging an individual by taking your gear back. If they accept the return, then the transaction is agreed to by both parties, so who exactly is being impacted? Corporations base such policies on data, hence their need to change the policy because it was affecting their bottom line or some other metric that somebody's bonus is probably based upon.

I work for a large corporation that will remain unnamed. In an hyper competitive environment you have to do right by your customers. If that means taking back questionable returns, then heck yes, a business will do it and do it gladly to ensure that the customer has a good experience. The employees of the company should recognize this and be poised and empowered to ensure that the customer experience is a good one. The cost of a return is an inexpensive price to pay.

So, take back your bivy sack, your old smelly socks and whatever else you have! The clerk should give you your money back and then take you by the hand and show you a nicer, newer, ultralight, jewel-encrusted bobble you should replace it with.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: proof on 02/14/2014 09:03:17 MST Print View

Larry,

I'm pretty sure they have all my recent (decade, 15 years?) purchases accessible by my member number or phone number.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: proof on 02/14/2014 09:06:55 MST Print View

"How are you going to prove it was purchased at REI?"

I believe it's an REI brand bivy.

Steven Hollifield
(bisonkron23) - M
Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 09:26:21 MST Print View

I get scoffed at every time I have made a return to REI. It does not bother me too much, but they always act shocked. I tell them something flat out did not work and they shrug and act like I am making that up. Probably because so many others do so. I tell them an item did not work for me in a satisfactory manner, and they tell me "OH really? I heard from Bob that these are great." Well, maybe they were great for Bob, but not for me. REI charges a premium for most of their products compared to the price you find them for elsewhere. I have never abused this policy. I can get 80% of cost of an item that is in good shape on the secondary market, so I find no great need to return things when I am simply done with them. But if I am not satisfied with an item for whatever reason, I do not hesitate to return them. REIs in the Austin area are still littered with 5-finger shoes that are used to within an inch of their life and returned because "they were uncomfortable" or some such nonsense. So I cannot completely blame the employees at REI for scoffing at me, I just know that they will going in and try to have a bit of thick skin about all of it.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: proof on 02/14/2014 10:28:12 MST Print View

"I'm pretty sure they have all my recent (decade, 15 years?) purchases accessible by my member number or phone number."

I wonder what kind of history they keep. I have been a member for 25+ years.

REI doesn't charge significantly more to cover their old lifetime warranty. Returning a 20 year old bivy even if it was never used is an abuse of their policy (the OP did ask). I have an couple of old Jansport external framed backpacks. One has a hole warn in it, and on the other the hip belt padding is permanently compressed. Both have lifetime warranties as far as I know. I have never considered sending them in, even though I would have a use for the larger one if it had a good hip belt.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Return Dilemma" on 02/14/2014 12:10:39 MST Print View

I take issue with Eric Chan's comment:
"as ive said intraweb "morality" is quite fun ... it seems that with some other brands its "OK" to send 10+ year old jackets back ... and BPL thinks its great ... but when its REI, everyone starts going crazy ...

heres a recent credit given by dead bird to a BPLer on a 10+ year old jacket ... no one telling him that he just increased the prices for everyone else, or that his action reduced the dead bird warranty for future customers

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=86575"
======================

Eric-

First, you're comparing apples and oranges. The OP in the thread you linked to said he sent a 10 yr old jacket back to Arcterx to get it repaired. Not replaced. Not refunded. Arcteryx did choose to replace it, but that was their decision. The OP here wants his money back on a 20 year old item. A company has significantly less money into a repair than into a replacement or refund, I think we would agree?

Two, I can't speak for the others (or for you) but my morality remains the same regardless of the company. As just one example- I wear Darn Tough socks and can tell you absolutely that when I wear them out I do not take advantage of Darn Tough and ask them to send me another pair. I don't care what their guarantee is- I got my money's worth. I buy another pair. That's the right thing to do, in my opinion. Darn Tough isn't going to stay in business long if people buy socks once and then just return them for free socks every time they wear them out.

In my lifetime I've returned just one used item to a store. The store was REI, and it was on a jacket I had just purchased a month previous that the zipper failed on. But when I get what I consider to be reasonable life out of an item, I don't return them. I don't even consider it. I replace it, usually with the same brand, because they've earned my loyalty through the life I received on the first item.

The OP asked our opinion, and he got it. Bummer if that bugs you, but he did ask.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
My 2c on 02/14/2014 12:21:06 MST Print View

As with all "moral" issues, If you have to ask, then you already know the answer. We won't absolve you one way or the other.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: "Return Dilemma" on 02/14/2014 12:56:20 MST Print View

I have a couple thoughts;
1. The OP asked for an opinion about an “issue”. Thus the opinions given can’t be argued- they are an opinion. Though discussion can happen, opinions are based on a feeling or a specific paradigm, not fact and should be viewed as such. I know most of us here think our opinions are fact.
2. We really don’t know the facts behind this- what, where, how. Like, was the Bivy stored in the garage attic in southern California/Arizona where temperatures can reach upwards of 150* most any summer day (all day) for years. Or was it stored in a climate controlled, humidity stable, vacuum environment. The garage attic would bake/destroy almost anything and the climate controlled setting would preserve things for much longer than their regular useful life. Or any number of other scenarios.
Without the facts, it all comes down to a gut feeling and when someone asks for my gut feeling, I give it the way I see it; altering the opinion as the facts come to light or change.

It is good to have these kinds of discussions to help us see that everyone might not have the same opinion as everyone else. You don’t have to value others opinions or even respect their opinion on a given topic, but everyone has the right to their opinion (no matter how ridicules some of your opinions are- and that is my opinion)

Tad

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: "Return Dilemma" on 02/14/2014 13:00:17 MST Print View

+1 to everything Tad wrote (except my opinions are fact, it's just everyone else who thinks theirs are that bug me).

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 13:01:37 MST Print View

Lifetime means lifetime. You did not abuse the product, nor do you want to return it for a frivolous reason such as not liking the color. The product has failed and the manufacturer should live up to the guaranty.

I returned a suitcase to Eagle Creek because the PU coating was degrading and a sticky mess, making it unusable. It was sold with a lifetime warranty. Eagle Creek said that the PRODUCT was past it's lifetime and they would not honor the warranty. The suitcase was very lightly used and looked it-- no dirt, tears, fraying or other signs of heavy use or abuse.

I pointed out that every other manufacturer I had dealt with regarding a lifetime warranty had replaced the item with no hesitation. I asked to have the suitcase returned so I could initiate a claim with my state consumer protection office. I was promptly sent a new suitcase.

It is the frivolous returns that concern me. It is quite obvious when an item has seen heavy use and then returned due to color, fit, or rips and tears that are obviously beyond reasonable use.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 13:24:40 MST Print View

"Lifetime means lifetime."

What lifetime?

If the product has failed, then it has past its lifetime.

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 13:27:33 MST Print View

"If the product has failed, then it has past its lifetime."

Not true. I've failed more times than I like to admit, but I'm still kicking.....

Of course, me mum has tried to send me back numerous times. No luck so far. Something about not intended to be used in this fashion or something....

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Put your own floor in. on 02/14/2014 13:31:34 MST Print View

I have an REI goretex tent. The PU coating on the floor is well named. It is about 30 years old. Some day I will replace the floor with a silnylon fabric. You could do the same and seal the seams with liquid sealer. Should work well for a bivy and it would be lighter.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 13:33:29 MST Print View

Doug your failing is just your opinion. Its a fact that you were a lemon from the beginning. Your poor mum, she wasn't given a good return policy!

When I fail, I keep telling my wife "at least my mom loves me" (poor lady).

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 13:35:02 MST Print View

Lifetime means lifetime of the product, how long you could reasonably expect a type of gear to last. I'm too young to have experienced the old school nylon pu stuff, but I was under the impression that 20 years of that stuff sitting in a closet was past the lifetime of the product regardless of how much use it got.

Paul Andronico
(Jakesandwich) - M

Locale: S.F. Bay Area
When lifetime doesn't mean forever on 02/14/2014 13:39:35 MST Print View

There are at least two kinds of lifetime warranties, the first is the "satisfaction guaranteed" lifetime warranty, and the second is the more traditional lifetime warranty "against defects in materials and workmanship". The first type would allow for return of the bivy (although I would not, personally). The second type would probably not allow for a return because the failure is more likely the result of the natural degradation of a perfectly fine material, rather than a defect in the material. I have never read REI's return policy, but my impression from reading BPL is that it is more of a lifetime satisfaction guaranty.

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F

Locale: Channeled Scablands
REI- no return on lifetime warranteed Nalgene. on 02/14/2014 13:44:50 MST Print View

Long time ago, I had one of those lexan Nalgene's break when dropped. REI refused to take it back, even tho the bottle right in the store said lifetime guaranteed. They said I had worn it out. It was about 2 years old, but daily used.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: "Return Dilemma" on 02/14/2014 13:46:08 MST Print View

As for the dead bird return

The person got a full credit ...

The result is the same regardless of what the returner "asked" for... A 10+ year old jacket was fully refunded and then some

The effect on the company is the same ... Theyre out the full price regardless whether its rei or dead bird

So in BPL theory dead bird will now need to raise prices or reduce their future warranty

Again internet morality is a funny thing ...

Now how about those "chinese" windshirts or buying walmart goods

;)

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 14:25:10 MST Print View

From eric chan :
but when its REI, everyone starts going crazy

A) do you want to return a 20 year old jacket to XXXX ? Not my problem
B) do you want to return a 20 year old jacket to REI ?
Are you nuts ??? this is my problem , I am a member !!!

BTW, "REI does not charge significantly more..."
ask the owner of your local indipendent outdoor store if he thinks he is buying at the same price REI does.

Edited by Franco on 02/14/2014 14:32:23 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 14:30:56 MST Print View

Well according to the "REI is not UL ... Dont shop there ... Big box is bad" threads on BPL a few years ago ...

I dont think we need to worry too much about it

;)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: When lifetime doesn't mean forever on 02/14/2014 14:38:47 MST Print View

To me, "lifetime" means the lifetime of the original owner, unless specified otherwise. If there is to be a product lifetime, that needs to be spelled out in a specified time: 2, 10, 20 years. There could certainly be disclaimers as to abuse vs material defects.

If the product shows no no unusual wear and has simply failed in storage, how do you determine the "useful service life" of the product without stating it? With luggage, I'm sure most spends far more time in storage than use. There's no odometer, but I think it would be pretty obvious to spot one used by a road warrior flying weekly vs the typical twice a year traveler. Likewise a through hiker vs the summer weekend hiker.

IMHO, the failure of fabric coatings and seam taping is a clear failure of the product to perform as manufactured. As with my example with Eagle Creek, I'm sure they have had a wave of claims due to interior coating degradation, but that is as much a product failure as a seam coming apart or a wheel falling off in the abscence of abuse. It is simply a company policy to reject such claims unless the customer escalates. The real issue is between the fabric manufacturer and Eagle Creek. Not my problem.

Over the years, I have made claims regarding product failures with Outdoor Research, GoLite, REI, Timbuk2, and Pacsafe with stellar, no-questions-asked service. Kudos to those organizations for walking the talk.

As far as REI's purchasing power, I'm sure part of their negotiations includes no warranty returns and they handle it all in house. I'll bet that their gear garage sales recoup a good percentage of the actual cost too.

Edited by dwambaugh on 02/14/2014 14:44:59 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: When lifetime doesn't mean forever on 02/14/2014 15:04:35 MST Print View

A "lifetime warranty" is usually intentionally deceptive. I awlways thought in meant forever, for the rest of my life. But if you actually ask someone working at REI they will tell you that it means the lifetime of the product. The appropriate lifetime of a product is hard to tell and it's up to the REI employees to determine that.

Of course like most companies they will usually try and make the customer as happy as possible.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Literal translation of a guarantee on 02/14/2014 15:24:49 MST Print View

I used to sell quite a bit of stuff on eBay, mostly books and DVDs. I'd describe all items carefully and include good photos. The end of the description would say "Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed." For the very rare return I'd refund 100% and pay their shipping.

One time a guy insisted that he had paid too much and demanded I give him a free DVD as well. He was angry with the price, but said he was happy with his book otherwise. I pointed out that he, not I, had set the price and I sometimes sold at a loss.

He said that I had a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and if I didn't give him a free DVD he'd go "mad-dog on me."

He and I had different world views. :)

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Return dilemma on 02/14/2014 15:32:15 MST Print View

"BTW, "REI does not charge significantly more..."
ask the owner of your local independent outdoor store if he thinks he is buying at the same price REI does."

I was only referring to the price the consumer pays, not the markup amount. That is a whole nuther story. ;^)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: When lifetime doesn't mean forever on 02/14/2014 15:34:02 MST Print View

Yeah, here is Eagle Creek's current warranty:

"No Matter What™ Warranty

Our No Matter What™ Warranty covers the Lifetime Warranty promise plus the added insurance of repair or replacement due to damage, regardless of the cause. During this period, we will repair or replace it at our discretion. Contents of your bag are excluded.

Collections backed by the added protection of the No Matter What™ Warranty: Exploration Series, Ease Collection, EC Adventure Collection, No Matter What™ Duffels


Lifetime Warranty

Our Lifetime Warranty covers workmanship and materials against defect for the entire life of the product. During this period, if the product is covered by the warranty, we will repair or replace it at our discretion. Contents of your bag, normal wear and tear, abuse and cosmetic wear and tear are excluded.

=====================================================================

Contrast that with the Outdoor Research warranty statement:

Infinite Guarantee

At Outdoor Research, our mission is to provide innovation and inspiration for the relentless adventurer.

Outdoor Research products are Designed By Adventure™ and from this, we deliver the hallmark of all our products – beautiful, functional gear that works and lasts. By placing quality first, we can offer the finest guarantee in the industry for each and every product – the Outdoor Research Infinite Guarantee™.

We believe so strongly in the quality of the apparel and gear we make that if our product fails to meet your needs at any time, we are happy to replace it. Our products are guaranteed forever, and your total satisfaction with our product is our goal.

Though we doubt you’ll ever need it, if you ever have to use our Infinite Guarantee, visit the Warranty section of our website.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Return dilemma" on 02/14/2014 15:41:27 MST Print View

Eric said:"As for the dead bird return

The person got a full credit ...

The result is the same regardless of what the returner "asked" for... A 10+ year old jacket was fully refunded and then some"
========

Eric, not sure if you're being obtuse or deliberately stirring the pot.

It's NOT the same.

The guy with the Arcteryx Jacket asked for a REPAIR. Arcteryx made the determination to replace the coat. That's their choice, not an abuse by a customer. Are we supposed to beat that guy up because even though all he asked for was a repair, he got a free coat and so he's the problem? Um, no. He didn't ask for that. It was offered. That makes a huge difference in my mind.

And I have no idea what you mean by "internet morality". It's just morality. It doesn't change just because I'm on the net.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
retail vs manufac. on 02/14/2014 15:49:12 MST Print View

there is a big difference between a retailer and a manufacturer. The retailer has limited knowledge about the quality and workmanship of a product. A manufacture has the knowledge and responsibility to create quality products. Returning a 10 year old jacket to Arcteryx, who designed the jacket for many years of use, is different from returning a 10 year old jacket to REI who simply resells and distributes the jacket.

If your product is really old and having problems you should deal with the manufacturer first and give the retail store a break.

Paul Andronico
(Jakesandwich) - M

Locale: S.F. Bay Area
Re: Literal translation of a guarantee on 02/14/2014 15:49:54 MST Print View

Good story, Buck. Sounds like a line from a Bruce Willis movie :)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Literal translation of a guarantee on 02/14/2014 15:54:08 MST Print View

So, did you give him a free DVD?

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Return dilemma" on 02/14/2014 16:00:56 MST Print View

"So did you give him a free DVD?"

I wondered the same thing!

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Wording on 02/14/2014 16:23:42 MST Print View

I see a lot of different wording in the guarantees folks have been posting on this thread...

For example, the luggage warranty seems to relate -- specifically -- to the lifetime of the product (not to the owner)... and the Darn Tough warranty doesn't guarantee that a pair of their socks will last forever; it says:
"If our socks are not the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair, or your money back." It says that the socks should be:
- more comfortable than other brands,
- more durable than other brands, and
- better fitting than other brands.

None of the above conditions indicate that the socks should last forever!

I have rarely returned items that I have used (unused, in original packaging, with receipt is another story -- sometimes you just change your mind). One exception was a leather work glove that didn't last a week (the manufacturer replaced it), and the other was an REI-brand sleeping bag that made me so sweaty and uncomfortable that I have never experienced anything like it (before or since).

I agree that you might ask for a repair, if you really want to, but after 20 years, if it were mine, I'd PIF it, or give it to a thrift store.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: "Return dilemma" on 02/14/2014 18:34:09 MST Print View



Eric, not sure if you're being obtuse or deliberately stirring the pot.

It's NOT the same.

The guy with the Arcteryx Jacket asked for a REPAIR. Arcteryx made the determination to replace the coat. That's their choice, not an abuse by a customer. Are we supposed to beat that guy up because even though all he asked for was a repair, he got a free coat and so he's the problem? Um, no. He didn't ask for that. It was offered. That makes a huge difference in my mind.


So if i go to mec and ask for a repair on a 20 year old sack its ok?

Especially when i know mec will just give me a new one anyways?

Usually when u have issues with a 10+ year old rain jacket especially if its no longer waterproof, they arent repairing it

It costs less to give you a new one

As i said the end result is the same ... Some one sends back a 10+ year old piece of gear and it costs the company the same no matter what the person asked for

Thats the "morality" online here ... Its ok if you leave it up to them but not if you ask politely?

Well i dont want no price increases on my dead birds !!!

As to intraweb morality ... Its no different from those bible thumpers telling you what you should do ... Its not like the OP is doing something illegal or even highly immoral

There is guvmint spying, banks laundering drug moola, racial and same sex discrimination, oil being spilled everywhere, TEPCO lying about how muh fukushima is glowing in the dark, the fish disappearing from the ocean, and other things that might warrant actual outrage

Now condiment "appropriation" ... Thats an express ticket to BPL hell

;)

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - M

Locale: norcal
don't want to feel like a jerk. on 02/14/2014 19:49:58 MST Print View

> It is however because of these kind of cases that REI and other companies have changed their return policies.

I'd honestly RATHER they do that... this way I don't feel like a jerk when I return products.

They charge more but you're basically paying return insurance. Backpacking gear is a weird situation. You might use it 2-3x a whole year so when you do it's important that when it fails due to defect, you can return it.

I just don't want to feel like a jerk when that happens.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
under the bridge. on 02/14/2014 19:56:34 MST Print View

don't feed the troll.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: under the bridge. on 02/14/2014 20:08:27 MST Print View

Says the troll that puts up a post with no comment om the original subject

But simply "troll"

;)

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: When lifetime doesn't mean forever on 02/14/2014 20:47:53 MST Print View

Dale, you had a Timbuk2 bag fail?! What the heck were you doing with it?

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
REI's "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" vs. their "Limited Warranty" on 02/14/2014 23:42:12 MST Print View

REI's company "Policy" has NEVER been about the product. Their policy has ALWAYS been about the customer.

It is simply about the customer's satisfaction with their purchase. Period.

(As we all know) before they changed it last year, a person could walk into an REI with 20 years of heavily used stuff and claim that they were "Not 100% Satisfied", and they could expect a refund. (Like other former REI employees, I have many stories.)

Now, you have one year to beat up your stuff, bring it in, and claim you are not "100% Sarisfied." You paid for one years worth of total satisfaction. If you consistently show up at the return counter, it will be eventually noticed.

If you were genuinely not happy with the stuff and you get scoffed at, just tell the manager of the store that the CS employee you talked to probably needs their break just about now.

But the OP's issue is different. His REI BRAND bivy is now useless because the seam tape delaminated on its own. Given how long ago he bought it, this may no longer fall under the "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" anymore (but this is grey to me because he bought it when the old policy was still in place, so theoretically he could still claim he's not satisfied.)

But since REI manufactured it, it does fall under their "Limited Warranty", and it should ultimately be up to them to repair or replace it, not us BPL'ers. (BTW, please don't assume for a second that a custom repair of a bivy is less expensive for REI than a full replacement of the product.) The OP paid a whole lot more money for that bivy 20 years ago than it took to actually manufacture it, because he paid for REI's future support of the product and his loyalty.

Of course REI's final determination could obviously impact the future loyalty of a longtime customer, and they know this.

Matt
Aka: owner of a new "Dead Bird" jacket, thanks to a great company I'm loyal to, and numerous recommendations of many BPL's on this list

Edited by NamelessWay on 02/15/2014 00:09:31 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Rare Timbuk2 failure on 02/15/2014 00:16:13 MST Print View

Daniel asked, "Dale, you had a Timbuk2 bag fail?! What the heck were you doing with it?"

Yeah! I've seen some Timbuk2 bags beat to death and still kicking. The flap fabric and the rubberized liner are all sewn together with the edge binding tape--- there is no other bonding between the two layers. In my case, the top flap fabric was sewn on the extreme edge and it came loose and quickly frayed, so I had a 5" section of loose fabric on the edge with colorful fringes. I sent Timbuk2 an email via their warranty web form, they sent me an RMA number and I shipped it to San Fransisco. They gave me credit for the retail price of the bag so I could buy another item of my choice from their web store. Simple, speedy and straightforward.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Satisfaction on 02/15/2014 01:33:02 MST Print View

For the REI and MEC satisfaction guarentees I think you are warrented that you will be satisfied with the product. This doesnt mean it will lat forever, or that you can wear it out against granite cliffs and keep getting mec to replace identical models. It means that if the product you bought didnt meet your expectations you shoukd return it.

So in this case the OP needs to ask, am I satisfied that the bivy lasted 20 years with irregular use or did I expect this product to last longer. For me if any thing I buy lasts 20 years I think I am satisfied so I wouldnt take in back but you might be different.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Satisfaction on 02/15/2014 06:47:55 MST Print View

Hi Greg,

While I can't speak to MEC, I can speak to REI.

As you infer: REI has now limited their satisfaction guarantee to one year. But warranty against a defect in workmanship is different, and remains unchanged and unlimited by time.

If REI believes something failed when it shouldn't have, then the claim is valid, regardless of how old it is. They do not put a time stamp on their warranty. They explicitly state: "at any time." You might interpret that to mean "for the lifetime of the product", but that's not what it says.

A lot of that 1st gen seam tape sucked back in the early 90's.. Most products with it have likely been retuned by now anyway. As we know now, certain adhesives that stick well to one material will fall off another. I bet its they used the same tape on both the goretex and the coating. It could even be the pu coating delaminating and the tape falling off it is just the "symptom". The OP said the tape is fine on the goretex. In my time working at REI, i saw tons of perfectly beautiful 3-5 year old REI tents being returned all the time because the early seam tape became yellow and peeled right off. Now personally, I'd just seam seal the tent and be done with it. But that's NOT what the customers were sold. Some would argue that a 5 year old tent has lived out its life, believe it or not.

But as I had recommended much earlier in this thread: just ask for them to look at it. Can it be repaired? It to see if its worth a repair. Maybe theyll charge for it, maybe not. Again, a few pics and a sincere email will go a long way.

Best,

Matt

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Repairs vs replacement on 02/15/2014 07:29:27 MST Print View

Once my dog violently popped my exped synmat. I sent a photo to exped asking if it was possible to repair, and telling them the story of how it happened. They asked me to send it to them and they'd have a look at it - I said if it didn't cost too much I'd love for them to repair it, otherwise I'd just buy a new one.
A week later I had a brand new exped synmat in my mailbox.


Another time I was on a trip with my dog where there were a ton of horses (he doesn't like horses. At all.). So there was a ton of pulling at the leash...I noticed that the leash attachment on the back of my VERY used RuffWear Palisades pack was coming unstitched. The pack was pretty close to the end of its life anyway, but I was concerned about this particular wear. So I sent a photo to RuffWear (the pack was purchased at REI) asking about a repair, or perhaps I needed to buy a new one sooner rather than later.
Lo and behold, a brand new palisades pack showed up. They didn't ask for the first one back, nor did they tell me to go to REI. I received a brand new pack and harness in the mail (it was just the harness that was tearing) - which, in case you were wondering - cost just about as much as MY packs.

I don't remember my point of sharing these stories. But there you go. It'll come to me later......

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Fix it yourself on 02/15/2014 07:51:32 MST Print View

You re-sew on buttons, right?

Use some seam sealer (for PU) like aquaseal for waders, and glue that seam tape back down.

Probably get another 20 years out of it.

Edited by bivysack.com on 02/15/2014 07:53:25 MST.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Wording on 02/15/2014 11:10:12 MST Print View

""If our socks are not the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair, or your money back." It says that the socks should be:
- more comfortable than other brands,
- more durable than other brands, and
- better fitting than other brands.

None of the above conditions indicate that the socks should last forever!"

They don't indicate if it's the lifetime of the purchaser or reasonable lifetime of a pair of socks. Sounds like a fairly liberal return policy because if you keep reading...

"RETURNING SOCKS:
If you were able to wear out a pair of Darn Tough socks, we’ll replace them. At any time. Just package the socks up, fill out the form, and send to the appropriate address—we will send you a brand new pair!"

Who knows what the limits of their warranty are; I guess we can speculate until we're blue in the face but only Darn Tough can say.

I don't really care because I can buy a pack of Kirkland wool socks for less than what a single pair of Darn Tough socks cost so I'm not the target of their advertising. I'm sure they're great though.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Wording on 02/15/2014 11:34:25 MST Print View

"Darn Tough socks .... I'm sure they're great though."

They are. I've replaced all my other hiking socks with Darn Tough socks. Love 'em.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Darn Tough on 02/15/2014 15:16:23 MST Print View

"Darn Tough socks .... I'm sure they're great though."

--------

I'm with Doug. Darn Tough socks have become my go-to sock. Yep, they're more expensive. They are also comfortable, and so far rather bombproof. I get their merino wool blend, and I have other brand merino wool blends that I have worn the heels and the ball of the foot area through. The Darn Toughs are as thick and comfortable as the day I bought them. No wear spots. No holes. I wear those socks more than any other sock, too. If I ever do manage to wear a pair out, as I said before, I will gladly pay Darn Tough for another pair rather than send in for free replacements. They've earned my loyalty and repeat business by selling a really fine product.