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in 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)

Average Rating
3.59 / 5 (27 reviews)

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Rick Dreher
( halfturbo - M )

Northernish California . on 11/20/2006 18:47:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have to put in a plug for these folks, with whom I've shopped on line and over the phone, and who also have a store in soggy Eugene, Oregon.

They have a great backpacking and climbing selection for the lightweight crowd, including items I can't find anywhere else. You could completely equip yourself there with a very light kit. They carry specialty gear from small makers, even Tarptent!

Customer service is great. As an example, I received a knife that I thought might be defective. When I called, the fellow went into the store, gathered up their stock and examined them while we were still on the phone. He agreed there was a problem with several of them, picked out a good one, and shipped it to me along with an RMA label for the return.

They're also ready with gear advise and learned opinions, and aren't afraid to talk me out of something that might not be a good choice.

Glenn Roberts
( garkjr )

Southwestern Ohio
BackcountryGear is excellent on 11/20/2006 19:40:29 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I fully concur with the previous review. I've always gotten top-notch service - even better than REI, and I've never had the first problem there. While putting together some gear for a Scout troop, I submitted several orders, and needed to amend them (adding here, deleting there) - they handled it all without a single hitch. These are some of the better informed, most helpful folks I've ever done business with.

Their gear selection isn't bleeding-edge SUL - but neither am I. They have an excellent, large selection of lightweight gear from a wide spectrum of manufacturers. And, when they have a sale, it's a great one.

Finally, they should get a couple of bonus points for carrying TarpTent products.

First class company, all around.

Edited by garkjr on 03/03/2007 12:10:57 MST.

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paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
BCG: a mixed bag on 11/21/2006 01:47:50 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

My experience is a bit different than the two previous Reviewers.

Have done a lot, and i mean a lot, of business with these folks over the past three yrs.

Have had more problems with them than with any other Online Retailer that i've shopped.

What problems?

In the Negative Column:
1. Online inventory system is more often than not inaccurate, IME. Always call to check on availability before ordering.

2. Sometimes (a rare occurence, IME) need to make multiple phone calls to get an order which had some type of problem to ship. It seems, IME, that when they experience a SNAFU, they sometimes have just a little trouble (an extra day or two; once longer) getting it right and shipping. Though in all fairness, the info they give you is probably just what a distributor or manufacturer has told them regarding availability and shipping dates.

3. Some of their people are better at following through than others (Doron is TOP NOTCH - i try to only deal with him). I've even had to speak with the owner (i think he's the owner, or maybe a manager) twice to get action - he failed to follow through the first time; he just forgot. Doron has never failed and when he speaks, he knows.

4. They appeared, IIRC, to have a problem on a couple of occasions with their WebOrdering system such that orders didn't go through at all or properly and it takes a phone call to them to get it resolved. You know to call when you don't get any confirmation emails from BCG.

In the PLUS Column
1. If there is a problem with an order (other than in two cases), usually the item NOT being in stock even though their product availability "webcheck" says that it is available for shipping w/i 24hrs, you get a phone call w/i 24hrs, usually the same day, telling you such and asking what you would like to do (wait for all items before shipping, ship remainder of order, change color or item, or cancel that item and ship immediately). AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THESE CASES - and there have been a number of these, IME.

2. Never have had a problem with ordering one thing and receiving another, or getting the wrong size. When they pick an order, they get it right.

3. If they have an Order or Cust. Srv. SNAFU, they readily offer a discount on your current, or next order to make up for it.

4. They've even, without being asked, offered me discounts on orders (i always call before placing a web order to insure availability) at times when i've done a lot of business with them, or was placing a large order.

I don't do business with them any longer, or at least haven't in a while (except one small Smartwool item), though i plan to purchase some Smartwool products from them soon. My days are often too hectic to spend valuable time "following up" in those uncommon instances where there is a problem.

I'd give them a 3.5+ if i could give a decimal value, hence the four rating.

If it weren't for their exemplary Cust. Srv. to correct that uncommon problem, i'd give them a 2. Honestly, though, great CustSrv is probably more important than always getting it right. At least you know they're "rock honest" and care about making it right if something goes amiss with an order.

So, yesterday afternoon, i decide to give BCG another shake because of the many good buying experiences i've had with them and their great Cust. Srv.

Well, i find the item i would like to purchase. Click the check product availability link. It shows that it ships w/i 24hrs - which means (based upon multiple phone calls to BCG and speaking to multiple individuals there) that the product is in stock in their store or warehouse/shipping-area. So, i call them just to be sure. Well, as it has turned out in the past, that item is NOT in their possession and unavailable for shipping w/i 24hrs (or actually, anytime as it's a discontinued item no longer manufactured - this part i knew going in which is why i thought that i should try to snatch it up at the present time).

So, to make a long story short, make sure to call them before placing an order.

Oh, another good point about BCG is that they DON'T charge your CC until the item actually ships - a fine example for all phone/online merchants.

Edited by pj on 11/22/2006 06:12:15 MST.

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Craig Shelley
( craig_shelley )

Rocky Mountains
Online information isn't perfect on 11/21/2006 19:15:37 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've ordered from this company a few times. I agree with Paul, they don't have the online retailing down to a science yet. I recently ordered a Western Mountaineering Big Horn Sleeping Bag from them (they offered 15% off on anything and I couldn't resist). I ordered a Left Zip 6'6". I didn't receive a confirmation email. They called a few days ago to say they didn't have a Left Zip but they did have a Right Zip. I told them to just ship the Right Zip. I received the bag today. If I go on their web site today, it states they have a Left Zip but no Right Zip. Who knows what they have? I wish the inventory was shown when you add an item to your cart and that it was accurate. Other than the above experience, they do have a broader variety of products, like Western Mountaineering bags, which is a plus. I also think they are dependable.

James Loy
( jimbluz - M )

Pacific NW
I agree with the previous, but make sure any discount coupon is applied. on 11/24/2006 15:51:59 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I recently ordered 2 items because of a 15% discount coupon. The website order process did not allow for a discount code so I placed the order over the phone. I received email confirmation of my order, however the discount was not applied. It took a couple of follow-up phone calls & emails about the discount to make sure they got the price right. They were a little slow in shipping and did not notify me when the items were shipped. The items were received, however and the proper amount charged. I will order from them again but will expect the slow shipping process.

Travis Hohn
( JustAGuy )

Pacific Northwest
lacking on 01/06/2007 23:42:07 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I had an expericience similar to pj's in that I ordered an item said to be in stock and ready to ship only to find out they really didn't have it in stock. The item was last years Montbell thermawrap vest and I was pretty excited to be getting it for the $70 price they had listed. I was pretty bummed to say the least, and no discount or deal on the current model was offered for their mistake ( you should not sell items you do not have )

Having to call in to check the availability of a product defeats the purpose of an online store.

Edited by JustAGuy on 01/06/2007 23:44:18 MST.

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John Haley
( Quoddy )

New York/Vermont Border
Very Average on 03/03/2007 09:09:43 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

My experience with BCG is much the same as everyone else's. It seems that the ONLY way to order is by phone and specifically ask the availability of each item AND have a verification done. It irritates me to have an order held up by even as little as a day due to not being told initially that the item(s)are not in stock. After having to cancel two orders and re-order elsewhere because of this, I learned my lesson. If it wasn't for their total lack of inventory knowledge they would rate at least a 4.

Richard Scruggs
( JRScruggs )

Excellent service, product selection, and "sales" on 03/03/2007 13:52:35 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Have had many, many on-line orders at Backcountry Gear over several years, and experienced only a single error in all those transactions when they sent the wrong color of an item. As it turned out, I found that I preferred the "wrong" color after seeing it and never bothered to call them up to ask about correcting the mistake.

Unlike experiences described in some other reviews, I've never called to verify an item's availability before placing an on-line order. OK, I may have called to confirm shipping date for one or two orders, but for sure no more than twice. When I did call to confirm in advance, it was because I had some compulsive need to be certain an item would arrive by some certain date, and not because I had any reason to think that Backcountry Gear would not get the item shipped according to availability described on their site.

From my personal experience in on-line purchases, Backcountry Gear has not only been reliable in delivering goods as advertised, but has an excellent selection of items with regular sales at prices that led me to keep coming back for more. Really good resource.


Greg Vaillancourt
( GSV45 )

Spotty service, hope they improve on 03/23/2007 20:08:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I've had good luck with this bunch until the last order. Ordered an Alpine Vapor as a canyoneering pack for my wife. When we found they were back ordered we were told they'd be in stock in 4-5 days.

This was cutting it close to a trip we were taking so we asked them to ship overnight (we'd pay the difference). They shipped the pack on time but sent it UPS ground which meant it arrived too late to use on the trip.

Shop Alpine products at GearBuyer
David Neumann
( idahomtman - M )

Northern Idaho on 03/25/2007 18:43:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have always had excellent, quick service from this company. I have called on several occasions to insure I was ordering the correct item and received friendly, expert help. I have also had them call me when there was any issue with the order. Tis is a quality business.

Guy Laden
( GL )
could be better on 10/14/2008 15:45:40 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I've shopped with them twice. My experiences:
Site not in sync with actual stock
Slow to ship, at least for international shipping (a week or more - shipping not delivery!)
Made a mistake (got colors wrong)
On the plus side, depending on who you talk to, can be very friendly and helpful on the phone (e.g. Gabe), they have a good selection and their overseas shipping rates are reasonable.

Edited by GL on 10/18/2008 11:49:04 MDT.

Mary D
( hikinggranny )
Always excellent service! on 10/17/2008 12:38:20 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I am a relatively recent convert to lightweight backpacking (I didn't know all this wonderful stuff existed--you'd never know it from a trip through REI or by reading Backpacker) and this is my first review here.

While switching to light weight gear, I have bought quite a few items from during the past 4 years. I have never had any trouble with them. I've always used just the internet. Except for the one time they had to backorder (just before Christmas), the items I order are always shipped the same day and are on my doorstep the next afternoon. (I live in Oregon.)

The one goof was for an item they had to backorder. They asked Marmot to send the windshirt directly to me. Instead, Marmot sent me a pair of kids' gloves that was supposed to go to Arizona. When I contacted BCG, they provided me free shipping to send the gloves back to them. I just hope they got reimbursement from Marmot!

Before I ordered my Western Mountaineering bag from BCG, I emailed them to ask if someone with my girth (very ample hips) would fit into the Ultralight Super bag. They had one of their staff members with equally ample hips climb into the bag and test it out, and emailed me back the same day!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/17/2008 12:39:20 MDT.

john braun
( Hitman )

West Florida
Sent the wrong item, but overnighted a new one on 01/15/2010 10:18:36 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

December 22, my package arrived. But it was the wrong item. Imed customer service and they overnighted me the correct product.

Keith Selbo
( herman666 - M )

Northern Virginia
good service on 01/18/2010 10:51:51 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

When the wrong Western Mountaineering jacket model arrived (They sent me a Flash when I'd ordered a Flight) they overnighted me the Flight jacket and a return label for the Flash. I like a company that fixes things, no questions asked.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket - Men's priced at: $259.95 - $274.95
Gabe P
( Gabe )
online inventory system not always accurate on 01/22/2010 12:27:40 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've only purchased items from them on four occasions. On two of those occasions, after purchasing items online, I received an email shortly thereafter from stating that the items I had purchased were on backorder -- so I had to wait between 7 and 10 business days for them to ship. It seems their online inventory system is not always accurate. I recommend you give them a call to check on availability before ordering. I've had no other problems with them.

Edited by Gabe on 01/09/2011 13:53:27 MST.

Frederick Heath
( rickheath )
Beware out of stock on 01/27/2010 11:39:01 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

Like many of the other reviews, I ordered a product over the internet, but days later received an email that they did not have it. I was specifically ordering for a trip, so I had to scramble at the last minute to find an alternative. They really need to solve their stock issue. If you must order from this retailer, make sure you call to check inventory.

Anthony Brodek
( TBoogie )
If something is on sale be wary of inventory issues on 02/07/2010 14:32:56 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I like other reviewers in this forum have had issues with their inventory. After recently ordering something that was on the website and then days later hearing nothing, no confirmation e-mail or phone call I finally got word that they actually did not have the item. Very lame, and this is the third time this has happen on similar items with them. So when I am looking for an item I will look to other retailers and skip their website. If you are intent on ordering from them then I would call them on the phone and hope for the best.

Edited by TBoogie on 02/07/2010 14:36:11 MST.

Jason O
( jayo3434 )
Good deals, Long wait on 04/05/2010 05:29:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Just had my first experience with and I have to agree with many of the other posts out there that these folks need a little work on their online retailing skills.

That being said, however, if you don't need your order right away these are definitely the folks to order from. I ordered a climbing harness for my girlfriend (the site said it was in stock). It took almost two weeks for them to get it in the store and ship it out. Once shipped it came quickly though (free shipping was great!).

The harness was too small and I had to return it. After a short phone call I had an RMA #. The next day I had an email notifying me the new harness had shipped so I sent mine out the following day.

The only downside was that I was charged for both harnesses on my credit card and had to call and send two emails before they finally got around to crediting me back for the first one (due to a "busy returns dept."). They did give me back the price of the shipping for the return since it took so long though.

*Good - Customer service (phone or email) is friendly and prompt to respond.
- Shipping is fast and FREE
- Return was sent right away
*Bad - Online inventory was wrong (long wait for new stock).
- Took a long time to be credited back for my return

*** I will definitely order from these guys again for any time-insensitive items I need!

Rodney Mruk
( rodney_mruk )

Northeast Oregon
Good Deal Good Execution on 04/15/2010 21:34:00 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I just ordered a Montbell Super Stretch #3 and received it in three days. On time and the correct item.

Shop Montbell, On Time products at GearBuyer
Ken Smith
( KASmith )
Buyer Beware! on 06/11/2010 18:18:07 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

My super sweet and wonderful GF purchased a Marmot Helium on sale for me knowing I was in the market for my "dream bag" to take to Philmont. Well, the bag I really needed was the Hydrogen which also was on sale with Backcountrygear. I called and got the return/exchange info and shipped the bag. I called a couple of days later to check to see where we were at with the exchange (under time crunch for trip) to discover they couldn't find it. After verifying it had been received and signed for through USPS two days prior, I was put on hold AT LEAST three times by a backcountrygear associate to "search for it". Ok, all is good. NOT! I get a return call a bit later from backcountrygear saying they wouldn't exchange the bag because of a "strong odor and a lot of residue covering the bag." They assumed it was deodorant and stated they "could not resale this bag". This bag was never used, and Though I did handle the bag I don't see how "I" got deodorant on it (my clear solid surely didn't seep through my shirt) and nothing was noticed by us taking it out of the box or putting it back in. They sent us pics of it and what we saw wasn't hardly noticeable though there was something on a portion of the collar, yet not "all over it" as previously stated. Either way, the solutions offered were....
1. Charge a 40% (later reduced to 20%) restock fee and sell us a Hydrogen. (restock fee for a bag your adamant about not being able to "restock and sale?) Even at 20% we'd been more money out of pocket for the Hydrogen (almost retail price) than the Helium.
2. Keep the Helium
3. Keep the Helium and buy a Hydrogen from them (what? are you serious?!)
After several calls and a couple of talks with the GM, we get option #....
4. Refund all our money. (Ya won't exchange the bag because you can't resale it though you'll refund the purchase price for it? HUH?)
We took option #4 and purchased a Hydrogen from Campsaver (who assured us a "Hassle free return policy") for $255.
All is good, though BUYERS BEWARE of Backcountrygear and their return policy.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Marmot Hydrogen priced at: $279.20 - $348.95
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