What was impressive is that they had my complete purchase history in their system at least as far back as 1990, although I never got to see the screen. I don't know why they bothered looking, though, as they knew they weren't going to exchange anything as soon as we started talking. I also had been unaware of their new policy, which was how they explained why they wouldn't do anything for me. Not that these issues wouldn't be covered under the old policy, but that they now had a new policy. Perhaps the crux of the biscuit here is how lightly used these items were. As I have said, I have been a member of REI for about 40 years, and had only returned one other item. That was a set of the same type of carbon fiber poles. I had them for about 2 years or less when they failed in the same way. When I brought them back that time, they were replaced without question. These poles, while older, had less miles on them, probably only 100 miles or so. The pants I only wore twice before the zipper broke, and they look just about new. The binoculars, well, they are old but they spent most of their lives in a drawer or a closet.
Anyway, I may try and put in a new zipper on the pants, although I have plenty of others. These have been sitting on a shelf for 1 1/2 years as I kept telling myself I need to take them back. I may try and re-bond the broken pole, though I am hesitant to use it on my upcoming trip. I will be out for 4 weeks, above tree line a lot of the time and the poles are used to hold up my tarp; it would be inconvenient if the repair failed. I have plenty of other poles. I have tried removing the goo on the binoculars with naphtha, lacquer thinner and acetone, but none of those solvents seem to want to touch it. They are pretty much unusable in their current state, or at least very unpleasant. I almost never use these things so they really won't be missed. I will keep trying to find something that will clean off the mess.
On the other hand, it does seem like it is going to nice a nice day today, albeit a little warm.