New REI return policy?

Nick

Spiral out.
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Aug 9, 2007
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Anyone had troubles returning stuff to REI lately? I know they switched from lifetime to limiting returns to 1 year quite a while ago, but it seems like things have gotten considerably worse lately. I recently bought a couple of their ridiculously expensive Flexlite Macro chairs and one of them broke at the hub for the poles. No big deal, I thought. That's why I pay too much money for REI stuff because they stand behind it. Or so I thought...

So today Audra goes to return it and a particularly rude employee named Everest at the Salt Lake location initially refused to take the chair back because it was "obviously misused". She put up a fight and after much arguing, she finally won and he processed the return, but he made it clear that they don't take things back that have been misused and that it absolutely would not happen again. And he did this all in an extremely rude way. I'm pretty displeased and if this is now par for the course at REI, I'll be avoiding their products like the plague.

Anyone else having problems like this?
 

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DuneElliot

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May 25, 2018
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I had no problem returning a backpack. But I have heard similar stories about bad service from employees. I've had no issues personally but I've had a friend completely ignored while 4 male employees drooled and fawned over 2 girls.
 

Wyatt Carson

Desert Vagabond
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Apr 15, 2015
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Yes, I’ve encountered that problem a couple times and with their REI branded stuff that they promised to be more flexible with. It is rare I shop there anymore. We have a better alternative in this town called The Summit Hut and they bend over backwards to help and I can just walk over there. REI is a drive and at a mall too, not my scene.
 

Shirt357

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251
Maybe it is store based issues? I mainly use the one here locally in Ft Collins and have never had any issue with them. If anything the staff are too nice to me.... seems to make me spend more.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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I just can't get over the fact that they claimed the chair was misused simply on the fact that it was broken. He kept trying to trick her into admitting that we leaned over in it or something. Like WTF!? It's a chair! We sat in it and it broke!
 

Wanderlust073

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Hit or miss. Usually no issues. Sometimes get some attitude and what feels like an interrogation. I don't think it's 'REI' as much as it is individual employee behavior.
 

Rockskipper

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Just mail the item back, no hassles that way. Of course, it does cost a little. But REI has built their reputation on good service, and if that goes by the wayside, they have a lot of competition. I generally buy my stuff from them online, not that I buy a lot, but have never had any isses returning it, including the hammock I got stuck in.
 

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Wyatt Carson

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Well, you have Campsaver up there, the Helinox camp furniture kings. They have a couple of good Helinox sales a year. That is where I’ve gotten all of my chairs and cots, very good stuff. We have used our Helinox ground chairs about a thousand times and a lot of trips with the Chair Ones before that.
 

Artemus

I walk
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Jun 25, 2012
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@Artemus said he would've arranged a rescue if I'd contacted him, but I couldn't reach my camera or computer. I was stuck in it long enough to kind of panic, then realized I could roll out. :help: I returned it the next day. :)
Well, the Rock has gotten herself in some pretty serious predicaments. All solo, as far as I can tell or with her dogs and they aren't talking much... I would love to rescue her from a life threatening hammock "incident" for the pictures alone (and the props for rescuing a damsel in distress of course).

Oh, BTW, Rock, aren't you up north of the Arctic Circle somewhere? Good wifi? :whistle:

There are many us waiting with bated breath (whatever that is) for your most-excellent TR...
 

Shirt357

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I just can't get over the fact that they claimed the chair was misused simply on the fact that it was broken. He kept trying to trick her into admitting that we leaned over in it or something. Like WTF!? It's a chair! We sat in it and it broke!
To me... the "average" employee should just be doing the refund per policy. If they have an issue... let the supervisor or manager make the call. No matter what it never hurts to be respectful to your customer and provide some good quality CUSTOMER service. I mean that ultimately is where the paycheck comes from.
 

Rockskipper

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Well, the Rock has gotten herself in some pretty serious predicaments. All solo, as far as I can tell or with her dogs and they aren't talking much... I would love to rescue her from a life threatening hammock "incident" for the pictures alone (and the props for rescuing a damsel in distress of course).

Oh, BTW, Rock, aren't you up north of the Arctic Circle somewhere? Good wifi? :whistle:

There are many us waiting with bated breath (whatever that is) for your most-excellent TR...
Not to derail this thread, but I'm back in Colorado recovering from getting in a big dogfight in Livingston, MT (I posted in the Before/After thread). Got the stitches out (both legs) and am now busy feeling sorry for myself. I did manage to get new tires and am debating trying it again, but have to get a leaky seal fixed. As for going solo, I have several co-pilots, but they can't actually talk, which is probably for the best.

As for that hammock, I'm surprised REI took it back, as it was related to the evil bicycle in Calvin and Hobbes.
 
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MikeM

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I had to do return some ski bindings twice over this past winter to the Bozeman, MT store and had mixed results.

The first time I had purchased the bindings online and found out they weren't compatible with my boots so I brought them to Bozeman in hopes of exchanging them for a different brand. They asked a lot of questions and seemed hesitant to return them, especially because they were a prior year's model bought online, but eventually they gave in and let me exchange for the newer model.

The second time, a piece of the binding broke and they replaced it with no questions asked. I think I lucked out the second time, though, as I talked with their ski "expert" and he knew of the issue with that particular brand of binding before I could even finish telling him what happened. He said I was something like the 6th or 7th person to have to return that particular binding this winter.

I guess it really all depends on who you talk to. The customer service reps at the front counter seem to be a little tougher, where the subject matter experts seem to be aware of any known issues with certain brands, etc.
 

Rockskipper

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While on a trip in Montana, I bought a pair of Keen hiking boots from REI (so I thought). I put them in my car carrier and forgot about them for a couple of months, then rediscovered them (I'm a bit disorganized). After wearing them twice, one of the grommets pulled out.

I contacted REI, and they wanted a receipt, which I couldn't find, nor could they find any record of my buying them in the Missoula store, which was where I swore I got them. But they told me to ship them to them anyway, and they'd send them to their repair guy in Seattle, which I did.

I got the boots back, all fixed up, and then found the receipt. Whoops, didn't get them from REI after all. I called and told them I felt I should pay for the repair and they said not to worry. (Probably more trouble finding what it cost than it would be worth.)

I've always found their customer service to be great, and I hope it continues, but I usually buy online and return by UPS if needed, so I deal with their phone people.
 
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Outdoor_Fool

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As for going solo, I have several co-pilots, but they can't actually talk, which is probably for the best.
Now I'm a little concerned with your dogs as your co-pilots. Hopefully they don't text and drive.

If I let our big dog, Willow, co-pilot, she would steal the controls and we would constantly be driving through people's yards so she could catch squirrels.
 

uintafly

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Mar 1, 2012
Messages
106
I just can't get over the fact that they claimed the chair was misused simply on the fact that it was broken. He kept trying to trick her into admitting that we leaned over in it or something. Like WTF!? It's a chair! We sat in it and it broke!
I had a similar experience there a couple years ago. I just bought a new backpacking tent and had a pole break on the 1st night out, while it was set up in the tent. It was probably during 15 mph wind and I was just laying there in the tent and it snapped. I'm guessing there were some micro fractures in there or something, but I figured no big deal, REI will take care of me. Wrong! At first the guy basically said I probably broke it and made up the wind story, and then switched to "Well, you really should take your tent down any time the wind is over 10 mph" I laughed and just said either let me return it or get a manager please. He finally took it back, but I have cut down big time on REI purchases since then. Pretty much only buy soft-goods when they are on clearance. Too many better deals out there these days.
 

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