Aug 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm #1306826
Im sure everyone is aware of the new warranty. My question is this, are any of you upset at the fact that your decision to purchase an REI branded(or non branded for that matter) product was based on that lifetime warranty?
More so, I would have liked to have seen REI keep a lifetime warranty on their branded products, much like Cabelas. While their current warranty is still pretty nice, I cant help but feel a little jipped that a tent I bought from them(REI branded no less) with a lifetime warranty now has no warranty at all. I think they could have saved some face by at least keeping the the lifetime warranty on their own products and boosted the sale of those products vs other brands they carry at the same time.
Thoughts?Aug 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm #2017641
you can probably make the argument that any products bought before the switchover date should have the old lifetime warranty applied … since that was what they promoted at the time of sale
as to the "warranty" … i see little reason to buy from REI now unless you return it within a year …
its more important than ever IMO to find manufacturers with unlimited no questions ask warranties like OR … especially for items with a good chance of failure, like rain jackets
;)Aug 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm #2017647
@pnwhikerLocale: Pacific NW
The new return policy went into effect on 6/4/13. Items purchased before that time fall under the old policy.Aug 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm #2017649
I agree regarding that the the new warranty should apply to new purchases.
Its funny you mention OR, Ive been on a buying spree lately from OR, Mountain Hardwear, Arcteryx and Osprey. Im still on the hunt for the best warranties in the business but those are the ones I have found thus far, now if I could find a great warranty, from a longstanding comapny…….thats still made in the USA!
All that being said, I guess its kosher to sell under a lifetime no questions asked motto and then just up and change it whenever. So who really knows if the jacket I spent a bunch of money on and hours of internet research selecting will truly be the last one I have to buy.Aug 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm #2017650
Is that written anywhere? I thought I had looked but didnt see that. If so, I guess I have to retract my current statements as that is a pretty stand up thing to do.Aug 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm #2017668
I read somewhere that on things like tents, they will continue to offer a lifetime warranty on things that are defective (like seams pulling apart). I don't know where I read this.Aug 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm #2017671
Thanks for the insight. It was my tents that I was primarily worried about. That being said, I havent had an issue with them yet, I just like piece of mind.Aug 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm #2017674
@lokbotLocale: Portland, OR
The policy change is for returns and refunds. They will replace products that are prematurely wearing out. Don't expect to get a new pair of shoes because you wore all of the tread off of them, but if there is a decent lifespan left in the shoes and seams start coming apart then they should replace them for you even if they are over a year old.
No gear is supposed to last forever. This is the wording from their website.
If your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, you can return it at any time. Many of our items also have a separate warranty from the manufacturer, and you can also return any of those items that don’t meet the manufacturer's warranty.
This limited warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may have other rights which vary from state to state."
-LokiAug 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm #2017680
Thanks for the reply, it seems as though their "limited warranty" is actually their "unlimited warranty" hahaha.
Thats all good to know as I have never been the guy to return worn out goods, just stuff that has genuinely failed, none of which has been to REI.Aug 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm #2017688
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Just a note, I'm not having the best experience dealing with Cabela's "lifetime" warranty on their clothing. I've got their Goretex Paclite jacket and it uses five of the same cordlock throughout the jacket. The two on the waist broke and a third was cracked in the same place where the other two failed. Seems like a pretty clear case of a material defect. However when I took it to the Cabelas store here the CS rep told me their "lifetime" warranty was only good for one year. That sounded like a crock to me so I emailed the CS on their website and the lady I spoke with said it should be eligible for replacement/refund, I just had to ship it to them so they could evaluate it and tell me what my options were. They've had the jacket for over a week and a half and I haven't heard anything from them. Maybe that kind of wait time is normal, I don't deal much with warranty work. However I've also recently contacted Leki about a bent pole section. After a 5 minute phone conversation they had a new section shipped to me within two days. This might not be the most relevant post but its tangentially related and I felt like getting off my chest.
AdamAug 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm #2017696
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
I'm not upset about it. I used to get upset *for* REI when I saw some of the crap people had the chutzpah to return. Completely worn out gear that had clearly served the owner well and over the long-term. Gear that had been burned by campfires. Stuff like that. Further, on forums like this one I've heard people flat out admit they used the program to get new gear every year, or to replace gear as their children grew – the kids wore clothes until they outgrew them, and the parents returned it to REI and got the next size up. Or they used it as a free "rental" where they bought gear, used it for a trip, then returned it. These things was an abuse of the intent of the program. And ultimately I'm positive that is why REI shut it down, and I don't blame them a bit. If you're angry about the change in the program, be angry at those people who abused it. They were the problem.Aug 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm #2017708
I hear ya, I was mainly using Cableas as an example but tis good know they were giving you grief int he store. I like to track this kind of stuff so I can choose the companies that truly stand behind theri products. I guess maybe I should have used LL Bean as an expample, I heard they are pretty good with their warranty.Aug 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm #2017709
I am too, its a shame that a small percentage ruined it for the rest of us but I guess thats the norm these days. Im wondering if a better course of action would have been to limit the number of returns in a year or something like that, I dont know. I was primarily curious as to how they were planning on handling purchases made before the change, and if someone could actually find it in writing, which I guess was somewhat answered by their "limited warranty" policy.Aug 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm #2017710
Larry De La BriandaisParticipant
@hitechLocale: SF Bay Area
"These things was an abuse of the intent of the program."
I am always amazed at what people will try to get away with. :^(Aug 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm #2017743
I thought the entire purpose of paying a $20 membership for the privilege to spend your money there was to get a lifetime return policy and a dividend.
Their prices aren't very good vs. online retailers and I can save my own money like a big boy, so I don't care about the dividend.
So without the lifetime return policy, what exactly am I getting for that $20 that any other retailer can't match or beat?
In the end it doesn't matter much to me.
Last year's dividend was $3.72…if that's an indication of how much I shop there.Aug 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm #2017765
@jbaysurferLocale: West Coast
Who among us thought it would last forever? The bad apples ruin it for everyone else. I've rarely returned things to REI, and it was ALWAYS a legitimate return, like a manufacturing flaw, shoddy workmanship, or just something that needed to be exchanged for a bigger size (before I wore it out beyond recognition).
But things have lifespans, and a true "lifetime" warranty was never more then a customer service nod IMHO, and the bad apples have screwed the rest of us over from having such a welcoming and friendly customer service experience. Thanks for nothing bad apples. Like always, you screwed the rest of us over with your selfishness.Aug 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm #2017770
@fluffinreach-comLocale: no. california
" what exactly am I getting for that $20 " ?
a 10% kickback, every year, for a very long time.
excellent service from people who if not the world's most knowledgable in your particular exact specific area of interest, are at least trying.
a wonderful return policy that lets you bring back anything that legitimately needs brought back.
you get to go watch Dave Metz show pictures and tell us how to walk across Alaska.
all for the price a two beers at the airport.
i think REI has a Folbot kayak on sale right now. if it was big enough for me, i'd buy it (and get 10% back too)Aug 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm #2017776
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
" what exactly am I getting for that $20 " ?
Geez, way back in the Dark Ages when I joined REI, I think the membership fee was $2 or something.
I had to think pretty hard about whether I wanted to make that investment.
–B.G.–Aug 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm #2017782
@squarkLocale: SF Bay area
" what exactly am I getting for that $20 " ?
$20 or so off any class.Aug 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm #2017802
Even before this change in return policy, it never said anywhere that REI had a lifetime warranty on anything. REI had a 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE. its a not so subtle difference, if you used an item until it fell apart, you obviously got your satisfaction out of it. All outdoor gear has a lifespan, and anyone who ever thought that rei is short for return every item should DIAF. I dont have a business degree but i can tell you that it is surely not a sustainable business practice for a company to accept a pair of cheap merrel moabs as a return/exchange four years in a row because they fell apart during the course of a guys construction job. No joke that just happened to me while i was working.Aug 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm #2017815
Eddie was one of the first retailers to offer an unconditional guarantee in writing-he was that confident and committed to the quality of his products. And after 50 years in business he said, "My greatest contribution to the consumer was our 100% unconditional lifetime guarantee. That guarantee was part of what I sold." Eddie's philosophy guides us to this day. Every product we sell is designed to be the best and built to last. If anything you buy falls short of those standards, you're invited to return it at any time.
At Outdoor Research, our mission is to provide innovation and inspiration for the relentless adventurer.
Outdoor Research products are Designed By Adventure™ and from this, we deliver the hallmark of all our products – beautiful, functional gear that works and lasts. By placing quality first, we can offer the finest guarantee in the industry for each and every product – the Outdoor Research Infinite Guarantee™.
We believe so strongly in the quality of the apparel and gear we make that if our product fails to meet your needs at any time, we are happy to replace it. Our products are guaranteed forever, and your total satisfaction with our product is our goal.
Brand new OR down jacket arrived two days ago, and I just came home to feathers everywhere.
The good news is that Outdoor Research said they would still cover it under their infinite guarantee.
companies can and do run successful business with UNLIMITED NO QUESTIONS ASKED WARRANTIES ….
i have no hesitation buying from those, and retailers like MEC, that honor such … i actually spend MORE money there than otherwise … its a RISK FREE purchase
;)Aug 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm #2017821
If you returned a jacket because your dog ate it, thats kinda sad. No company should have to replace that.Aug 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm #2017824
@tracedefLocale: Southern California
This will sound like a repeat of what I said in another REI thread, but I've been in the return line a few times recently and have seen a definite change in how they're handling returns, even under a year … have seen a few people have to fight for what seemed to me to be legit returns…. in any case, the attitude behind the counter in a few scenarios I've seen is significantly different …
Now that the return policy has changed, I'm finding that it's hard not to stay away from superior online pricing …. especially when you throw in Amazon Prime free two day delivery …. I love REI but am finding myself spending much more elsewhere these days, the value proposition that justified their higher prices just isn't there any longer, imho …. even with 10% coming back in a dividend, they often get smoked on price online … now always, but quite often …. My hope is that they will bring their prices a little more in line with their competitors and things will balance out a bit ….Aug 22, 2013 at 11:38 pm #2017845
If you returned a jacket because your dog ate it, thats kinda sad. No company should have to replace that.
they WANT to replace it … thats how good their service is …
;)Aug 23, 2013 at 5:41 am #2017873
@jcholmesLocale: SouthEastern US
Companies are successful for many different reasons. One reason is that they build high quality stuff and stand behind it. These are the types of companies from whom I buy gear. Good examples are OR, Cascade (MSR, Thermarest, SealLine, Platypus…), Tarptent, MLD, etc, etc, etc. There is no shortage of companies that deserve your business precisely because they offer superior products and service at a "fair" (i.e. "you get what you pay for") price.
Then there are companies that make a fine living thank-you-very-much selling inexpensive, or "adequate", products to those on a budget. Again, that is perfectly fine, but…wait for it…You Get What You Pay For.
I'm not sure how I feel about REI changing it's policy, nor am I sure that it affects honest people asking to return defective or unsuitable merchandise in good condition for good reason. Any company doing business via mail-order has to expect that people willing to buy products sight unseen (and untested) will also expect to be able to return them for good cause. I seriously doubt that REI will change their behavior in those instances. Not allowing someone to return a product that is clearly (well) used or abused is a business practice that I find quite reasonable.
Finally, here is something else my Mom taught me: "You make your decisions, and live with the consequences!". Personally, I spend my money on quality (gear, service, attitude, …), every time, and am quite certain that in doing so I am both saving money in the long run and enjoying my gear more.
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