Rating: 5 / 5
Just my opinion, but in my experience backcountry is by far the best big box retailer out there.
1) During extended business hours you can chat live with a "gear expert" who can answer almost any question.
2) FOREVER GUARANTEE on all products sold by the retailer.
3) FREE SHIPPING/HANDLING on purchases over $49 and actually reasonable shipping/handling for anything under.
I live in north east Ohio, and don't have any backpacking specific stores near me, and hate having to drive 2 hours away just to buy hiking and backpacking footwear. As we all know, most people have a very hard time mail ordering the right size in footwear, and then have to pay to send them back if they don't fit. Not a problem with backcountry.
I ordered 2 sets of footwear, each in 3 sizes to ensure that I'd get the right size for my feet. I explained this idea to the customer service rep at backcountry and they shipped my order with a free return shipping label for each of the sizes that would be returned.
Another time, I returned a rain top that had stitching in the shoulder unraveling. I paid $4 to return it, and since the manufacturer no longer made the model, I was given 3 options: full refund, in store credit, or new model ($40 more) in exchange without having to pay the difference. I chose the new model and it was shipped to me free.
The only complaint I could possibly come up with for backcountry is that I wish they carried many more LW / UL products.
Edit: After reading an other review above, I was reminded of a coupon I received via e mail 3 Christmases ago. It was for $25 off my order. No exclusions. It just couldn't be used for shipping costs. I purchased $55 worth of items @ $30 and got free shipping on the order.