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View Full Version : Why I love REI



mtruman
01-10-2010, 04:40 PM
I've been a loyal REI customer and member for a number of years but my experience last week really sealed the deal. Last weekend we went to the garage sale at the Cranston RI store. For anyone not familiar REI runs these sales every few months to sell returned merchandise at huge discounts. We've gotten many great GS deals in the past and always go. We got there a bit late to avoid the crowds breaking down the doors (it gets worse every time) and weren't expecting to find much left. I went to the shoe section first like I always do (we've gotten 3 pairs of $120 hiking boots for $20 in past sales). I was amazed to find a new looking pair of Lowa mountaineering boots that looked like my size sitting on the shelf. Checked the tag and not only were they my size, they were brand new. Checked the list price for Lowa Cristalo X Pro GTX on the web and found out that these were $380 boots priced at $124! SOLD!

Now I have to say that I didn't really need mountaineering boots (unless we start doing more serious winter hiking) but these were too good a deal. I wore them three times the next few days on our morning walk in the woods to break them in. They were awesome - really warm and comfortable. First day with snowshoes, next with microspikes and the next bare-boot. Then the problem. Got 1/2 way through the hike and noticed that one boot was unlaced. Went to relace it and saw that one of the lace hooks had broken off! Brand new $380 boots after just over 5 miles? Yikes!

I know that REI garage sales are "all sales final - no returns" deals, but these were brand new never worn boots with the tags still on them and the Lowa 12 month warranty so next day I head back to REI. Told the story to the clerk and he calls the manager. Tell the story again and the manager points out to me that this was a garage sale purchase and not subject to return. But I don't want a return, I want Lowa to fix the boot. He gets Lowa on the phone and after a very quick conversation says that the Lowa warranty doesn't apply to REI. They give REI low prices and it's up to REI to deal with product problems. REI will of course replace or refund any product forever - except garage sale items. Damn. Is it really possible that in this kind of situation a company like Lowa won't stand behind their product? Apparently so. I was clearly showing my frustration at this point and the manager told me that he wanted me to be happy and offered to give me a refund (even though he didn't have to). As much as I would have preferred to have the boots fixed this was sure better than losing $125. It's customer service like this that will make me an REI customer for life - and why Lowa has lost one.

Snow Miser
01-10-2010, 06:35 PM
Great customer service story Mark! I have been a member of REI for a few years now, and I am completely satisfied every time I go there.

CHRIS
01-10-2010, 07:36 PM
Wow that is great customer service. I usually get everything at REI except the Gregory back pack I bought on Sat. I got from EMS because they were 30 dollars cheaper on sale at both places. How ever Its going back Tuesday because there is some issues with the pack I did not like when I got home. Its to bad Iowa did not stand behind their boots. Thats bad customer service.

Charlie
01-10-2010, 07:58 PM
i just got nice boots at REI they were $125 down to $75 .they were the last ones in the store and were a little to big so the sales lady said she had a trick ,she went into the back and came out with some shoe inserts that fit inside the shoe and tales up a 1/4 shoe size .they fit like a glove but on my foot :eek:

mtruman
01-11-2010, 06:17 AM
i just got nice boots at REI they were $125 down to $75 .they were the last ones in the store and were a little to big so the sales lady said she had a trick ,she went into the back and came out with some shoe inserts that fit inside the shoe and tales up a 1/4 shoe size .they fit like a glove but on my foot :eek:

That's more typical REI service. The best part is that if you wear those boots a few times and they aren't comfortable REI will still take them back and give you a full refund.