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Return dilemma
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Dena Kelley

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
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) - F

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.

David 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
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.

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.



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
( - M

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 on 02/15/2014 07:53:25 MST.

Ian B.

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...

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: PNW
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

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.