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Mountain Equipment Co-op (Canada)

in 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)

Average Rating
4.17 / 5 (6 reviews)

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Laurie Ann March
( Laurie_Ann )

Ontario, Canada
Mountain Equipment Co-op (Canada) on 12/07/2006 18:07:18 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

One Canadian company I have been extremely impressed with is Mountain Equipment Co-op ( The customer service is amazing.

My first experience was over a decade ago when I was fitted for my first pack. I thought I needed a long torso and I really needed a regular torso length. I went on what was the most miserable backpacking trip with the hip belt hanging below my keister. Upon my return I called to place an order for a new pack. The salesperson asked why because she saw that I had recently purchased the same pack I was ordering. I explained what happened and she informed me that they would be more than happy to exchange it. Within 3 days a new pack was on my doorstep.

Several years ago we had a severe house fire and lost everything we owned. The staff at MEC spent a great deal of time helping us get quotes for replacing our gear and provided us with a copy of our purchases for a 3 year period. Not only that but they offered to loan us gear without charge so that we wouldn't have to cancel our holidays.

I can't express how much I appreciate this store and the friendliness of the staff.

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Channing Sze
( eeyore )
i'd second that. on 12/08/2006 08:35:15 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

very knowledgeable. very good service. prices are reasonable.

only thing is that they don't carry all that much ultralight gear. it's there to be sure, but you've to look hard and there's not a huge selection.

they're also very green, which is nice.

Richard Sullivan
( richard.s )

Supernatural BC
MEC - Betrays its founders on 02/01/2007 23:34:28 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I totally agree with the reviewers above. MEC is now the REI of Canada, but greener I think. You can buy all the heavy gear you want and return it for whatever reason, and most of the profit goes to environmental causes.

Unfortunately though, the current business model includes building more stores, which will drive smaller independent retailers into insolvency or bankruptcy. I've heard that MEC has now captured 60% of the Canadian retail market for outdoor gear. I fear that anyone else who can't go big will ultimately have to go home.

Anyway, what bothers me most about MEC is that it started as a buying co-op in order to allows members to purchase goods "at the lowest possible price". Now it seems that sometime recently they have become much more corporate, a la REI. All prices on name-brand gear are as high as possible i.e. full MSRP. The mission statement now declares that members will be provided with goods at a "fair price". that something like fairly pricey?

Yes, despite their friendly staff and green ethos, it now seems like a corporate steamroller which has betrayed the founders' vision. And think about this...if MEC is truly "green", why do they keep sending me emails trying to convince me to purchase more and more consumer goods, the production, distribution, and disposal of which will inevitably create more environmental harm?

Customer Service = 5
Lightweight gear selection = 2
Ethos = 2

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Miguel Arboleda
( butuki )

Kanto Plain, Japan
MEC Not So Good for Its Foreign Members on 02/02/2007 09:45:30 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I became a member of MEC in 1992, paying the membership fee and enjoying buying things at great prices and getting very well made gear that you couldn't find anywhere else.

Ever since the regulation that any goods not made in Canada were no longer available for members outside Canada suddenly made the choice of gear extremely limited. And my membership almost useless. I wrote and asked them why I had to pay the same membership price as Canadian members if I didn't have the same access to goods and they replied there was nothing they could do about that. I rarely buy from them any more. And I wish I could get my membership money back...(though it really wasn't much). It's a pity... I really like their gear a lot. They used to have some of the best bicycling gear on the internet.

Edited by butuki on 02/02/2007 09:46:19 MST.

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Richard Lyon
( richardglyon )

Bridger Mountains
Limited Availability on 06/14/2007 17:21:04 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I like the MEC-branded stuff that I've bought. Prices for Canadian-made clothing are very low considering high quality and materials (check out their merino base layer items especially). Easy to get a knowledgeable and helful customer service person on the phone. I don't particularly mind being limited to Canadian-made goods and the lifetime $5 membership fee is not an issue. But "Not Available Online" pops up all too frequently. MEC will search its retail stores to find a match but a store can only ship to Canada - a ding for this reason.

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Dan Durston
( dandydan )

Great Place on 05/11/2009 23:51:08 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I'm a very happy MEC customer. The prices there are always great and the MEC branded products are usually quite good and even innovative despite their low cost.

@ Richard who said:
"All prices on name-brand gear are as high as possible i.e. full MSRP. The mission statement now declares that members will be provided with goods at a "fair price". that something like fairly pricey?"

MEC is a co-op, all proceeds go back to the members. Depending on how much you spend in a year, that's how much of the profit you get. So if MEC is marking up their stuff more, it just means you'll get more back at the end of the year. If you buy a lot there it adds up. Usually they make about 5-6% profit..a nice safe margin, which they then give back.

And in my experience they still sell for quite a bit below MSRP. A recent example for me is MSR's Carbon Reflex 2 tent. It retails for $499 in the USA. I couldn't find the Cdn MSRP but MEC is selling it for $475 which is just over $400 USD.

It seems that MEC always has passionate and knowledgable staff (like any outdoors store I suppose). The selection is always great and so is the website. It's nice to drop in a store and drool over everything and then be able to buy it online later with free shipping if I can scrape together the money.

I've also been very happy with their customer service. I once ordered an 8 pack of batteries online and they mailed a 4 pack. I emailed them and they said I could keep the 4 pack and they were sending me another 8 pack right away :)


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