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REI offers an amazing selection of gear! Their staff are outdoor enthusiasts who have great knowledge in the department. REI offers outstanding membership benefits and backs their products with 100% satisfaction guarantee. I've been a member here for over 10 years!
I was told by the cashier that REI membership gives you 10% off on everything for every purchase. I interpreted that as getting 10% at the time of purchase on anything I buy. This is not the case. Instead, you get "dividends" that accumulate and at the end of the year, you get back dividends. You're not guaranteed 10%. (They say you get the dividends as a refund, but I'm not sure if that means you get cash back or just store credit. I never went through with my first purchase online so I don't know, but seeing how shady they are with tricking you into buying the membership, I don't trust them anymore).
This is the first negative review I have ever written. I cannot in good faith recommend REI. I am an avid hiker, and I bought a serious (and expensive) backpack at REI last June. I had previously been using a different company, but there was a good sale and I thought I would try out REI. I used it a few times last summer — only normal use, nothing that a backpack like this shouldn’t be built for — and experienced some minor tearing on the front of the pack. Not a huge deal, more a design flaw in where they place mesh (fragile fabric on the outside of the pack is probably not a great plan when hiking through forests and occasional brush!). Also had issues with things falling out of the mesh & drink holders -- many questionable design decisions, but didn't bother me so much.
This summer, the first backpacking trek I went on, on the first day, one of the strap buckles (across chest) snapped off for no apparent reason. The pack was not overloaded, and there are no signs of tearing or disturbance where the strap was. For the entire week, I was dealing with the nuisance of this strap — trying to tie it onto my pack in various ways so that I could still support the pack properly and not overuse one part of my body and hurt myself. (I did end up developing a shoulder injury due to the imbalance of my pack.) On one climb, the strap simply fell off and down the mountain.
I went to REI upon my return to explain the situation and ask for a repair or exchange. The employee I worked with was very nice, examined the bag and agreed this was a product defect and there were no signs that it was my fault, but once she looked at the receipt, she was also very firm that store policy was that they wouldn’t do anything for me after 1 year after purchase (by the time I got back from my trip, it was 2 weeks past one year — and if their products are only made to last for the one year and break immediately afterwards, I am particularly unimpressed!).
My experience with the other company I've always bought from in the past (MEC) has always been that they stand by their product 100% and if you have ANY issues whatsoever — EVEN when it’s not their fault, and no matter how many years it’s been — they will either repair or replace your product, free of charge. They know the quality of their products is just that good, and that’s how they get loyal customers. I will never spend a penny at REI again, which is a shame because I liked many of their products from afar. But, in the end, I need products of high quality that I know I can depend upon on the trail!!!
High quality products, helpful staff, great customer support. REI is a great store - I've bought tents and a bike carrier and all kinds of random camping gear from them over the years. Their prices are probably a bit higher than other places, so I don't go as often as I'd like, but it's one of my favorite stores. I highly recommend it! I have the REI credit card, so I get 1% back on my dividend every year. I use it as much as I can, because it's fun to have REI money to spend in the spring.
The return policy differs from online garage sales compared to in store garage sales. Buyer beware. Absolutely no returns for in store garage sale items even if in store sales personnel help you by fit size model. Does not matter. It seems like an unreasonable policy.
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Placed an online order on 4/30/2018. REI overcharged my credit card $1,000 in addition to the original $400 purchase. As of 4pm on 5/2/18 they still have no explanation for me and have not put the money back in my account. This has caused many problems for me and my bank account. REI has not offered any assistance. Customer service sucks and I will never purchase from REI again. Beware of online purchases and them double or triple billing your account and taking days or weeks to fix it.
I'm creating an account here because I saw this page while randomly googling for some product at REI, and thought the reviews were outrageous. Read ~10 of them and the two points I saw come up most often were dissatisfaction with the membership, and dissatisfaction with the return policy. These complaints are ridiculous.
The $20 membership gives you 5% cash back on your purchases at the end of the year. The first $400 you spend pays for this membership (5% of $400 is $20). One big ticket item and the membership it will pay for itself. In one year alone I got back more than $100. If you don't benefit from the membership you either lack patience or you were never going to spend more than $400 in your lifetime here and couldn't do the math to figure that out. That's your mistake, not REIs.
The return policy on the other hand is the most outrageous thing to complain about. REI's return policy is the best in an industry that is known for good return policies. It is the main reason to shop here. Any item can be returned within one year of purchase with receipt (or without if you have a membership, because they keep records of member's purchases so that they can calculate the correct yearly rebate amounts). This applies regardless of whether or not the item was used or what condition it's in. They used to not even have the 1 year limit but had to change it because people were abusing the system. Heard about people returning 30 year old kayaks after a lifetime of use and getting their full refund back. This return policy is GOLD for trying out new footwear, backpacks, or other expensive items where fit is crucial. It is the only reason I shop at REI.
The only reason not to shop at REI given this policy is that their stock is targeted towards casual users, and is limited as far as specialty items are concerned. You want an ultralight weight high quality expeditionary sleeping bag? You won't find it here. You want specialized climbing hardware for doing new big wall routes? Not here. Ultralight skimo racing gear? Good luck. But for the kinds of stuff your 2-weeks-off-a-year urbanite wants, this place rocks. And generally speaking, I understand why the specialty items don't exist in store. I'm not sure why they don't offer a better selection online though, and it would very nice if they did so that I could benefit from their return policy.
To put things in perspective, I spent 4 months last year ordering ski touring boots and liners from different sites and consulting with a local boot fitter before I settled on something that worked (tried out 7 boots and 4 liner combinations). If REI sold the kind of ski boots I wanted I would have just ordered a couple pairs, taken them out to a resort to try out for a weekend instead of going to a boot fitter, and then returned whatever I didn't like with full confidence that what I had would work. As it was I had to get the boots from a different retailer, which would not accept used returns, so no chance to try before I committed to the boot, forcing me to instead rely on a boot fitter's guesswork, and what could have been a 2 week process was stretched out across several months.
This company sells membership for $20 promising to return your membership as dividends! For 2 yrs I have been trying to get my fee back or dividends but kept dragging the promised payment, FIRST call they said I will have the check in couple of weeks, the SECOND call they said I have to wait for few months, THIRD call, they said they only send out checks in January! Just be careful of this company, you don't get any benefits out of paying your membership.
I was sold a membership with promises that I would save a lot of money on a "Member's Only Coupon" that the company sends out every April. I specifically told the guy selling me the membership that I wanted to buy a bike and he said I would save a bundle with the coupon. After receiving the coupon and attempting to order and buy the bike, the customer service folks then explained that bikes are not a part of the coupon. This is a very dishonest business practice and I have received a refund for my "membership" and will no longer shop in their stores. Like their products, but it's not worth being duped when trying to shop with them.
I received several items as gifts, which all came from REI. One item had a gift receipt and was valued at about $130. The other items were small and had a combined value of about $35. All items were new, unopened and in original packaging. REI gladly issued a gift card for the one item that had the gift receipt but they refused to issue a gift card or even do an in-store exchange for the other smaller items, which they carried at their store. They insisted that I had to have a receipt (it was a gift) OR the membership number of the person who bought it for me. When I questioned this policy, I was told that I could have purchased these items at any number of stores and without proof that it came from their store, they would not issue any store credit or even allow an exchange. I've NEVER experienced this type of restrictive return policy at ANY store that I've shopped at.
If your store policy is that an item can't be exchanged or returned for a store credit without a receipt, then that should be clearly posted throughout the store, as this is NOT a typical return policy. After leaving the store, the first thing that I did was go down the street to Home Depot (they also carried the same gear ties and carabiners). They gladly issued a store credit for the balance of what I did not exchange. My second call with to the person who had made the REI purchase for me. I thanked them again for the gift but asked that they never buy me anything at REI again and please do not purchase any REI gift cards for me. Their return policy is unreasonable. For $0 out of pocket, REI could have kept me as a customer but instead, they got the $35 for the non-returnable items which came from their store but they lost me as a customer. In addition, I used the $130 gift card to make an online purchase and have it delivered to the store.
The order confirmation indicated that the estimated delivery date to the store was on a Sunday. When I called the store, I was told that they only receive deliveries on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. So the first available delivery date to the store would actually be the FOLLOWING Tuesday. I had ordered these items to take on a camping trip and given the deceptive delivery date, I would not have these items in time for my trip. Frankly, I don't know what has happened to REI. They used to be very customer service oriented. Now they just seem desperate. I found Amazon to have a better selection of merchandise, at better prices and faster, FREE delivery to my home. REI wanted $20 to deliver the same order to my home but given that I had the REI gift card to use, I had no choice but to make the purchase through them. Sad to see what used to be a great store to shop at, sink to this level.
I placed an order from REI on December 29, expected to arrive Jan. 5 for in store pickup, an option that seemed to be the fastest and most secure method of shipping. It was neither of those. I had a poor experience with REI where they failed to do a few things: 1) Better outline the fact that ordering to store means you as a customer are also forfeiting the ability to track your package. OR 2) At the very least provide basic shipment tracking when ordering to the store. 3) Notify the customer when significant events occur that may result in delays. 4) Take accountability, expediting a replacement shipment when an item is significantly delayed with no good reason.
5) Update expected arrival dates, it feels insulting that the order page still has a Jan. 5th expected arrival date, especially when any staff can figure out not only when shipments arrive, but from which distribution centers they arrive from. 6) Prioritize their duty to customers with active purchases overstocking shelves. Unfortunately, when ordering to store there is no ability to track your shipment, only an expected delivery date. There was a large blizzard on Jan. 4, which understandably should've delayed my package - however there was no update from REI. After multiple phone calls, I found that all regularly scheduled deliveries after the blizzard were met - three of which were from the distribution center where my order was last tracked to. This, to me, implies the package was lost.
So I called them once again to see if they could mark the package as lost and overnight the last available unit to me - however since the package wasn't already marked as lost they couldn't do that, but I don't see any clearer proof that the package is lost, so it is beyond me how a package would ever be marked as lost. Their advice was for me to order another unit and to pay the next day shipping myself. Ridiculous. Further, their reasoning regarding why it was late more than 5 days was delays from holiday restock, so maybe their trucks were too full to carry an additional shoebox - something that should've been factored into the original shipment date, not an excuse for delays.
That statement also implies that they care less about fulfilling an actual guaranteed sale than they do about stocking their shelves with items that may take weeks to sell, they care less about the customer and more about the sale, because once you order a product there's little in the way of recourse for an awful experience in receiving the item purchased.
I ordered a $125 shirt online for my son for Christmas. I ordered a large. REI sent a small. I contacted them the day after Christmas. They said they would email me a return label for UPS so that I could return the item. I didn't receive the label. After calling them 4 times, talking to different people each time, they still couldn't get me a label via email. We tried three different email addresses and could never get the label, even though the REI rep said it was emailed. My email was working just fine so it had to be on REI's end. Long story short, it is now January 6th and they are going to snail mail me a return label. They still have my $125 dollar, mind you. It was their error, not mine, and I still don't have my money back.
I bought a pair of $300.00 Saloman Ski Boots, they were sized much larger than they should have been, I have skied for 40+ years. I sent them back, after paying out of pocket $40 UPS. The boots arrived 12/26, they have not even begun to issue a refund or look at boots. REI answered my email and said it could be weeks before they even look at the return.
I made an online order of a product advertising made in the USA, when the items arrived one of the items was made in the USA, the other two were made in Vietnam. I called REI and made my complaint about what had happened. The first person on December 2nd, 2017 was a great help and offered me a credit or a replacement, I took the replacement option. Two weeks later the items never came so I called REI again and asked for the status of my order, I got the runaround. My items was not going to be replaced and if I wanted a refund I needed to go to the local store. The second person stated this item was not advertised made in the USA and both items were comparable. I was not treated fairly and my issue was not resolved. This is my last and final purchase from REI and I will not grace the store with my presence! Thanks for the 100% customer satisfaction, it is a great policy. You need to live it!
I have shopped at REI for years and made several online purchases. I hadn't received a confirmation for a package that I ordered with over $400 of Christmas presents that was to be shipped to the store as have all of my previous orders. The items were shipped to an old address I had on file. When I contacted REI they said there was nothing they could do because it was my mistake and "if you want to be gung ho about it, you can go and try to collect the items from the people who now live at that address". Are you joking? They show that one of the items was refused at the old address, and I still won’t be refunded on that item until it is received back. Shows how much REI cares about keeping their customers.
They should have just re-sent the items to the store for pickup and I would've been happy. Instead they lost a customer and my family members will not be getting their Christmas presents. Thanks REI, never again! I have had a similar problem with an Amazon purchase, contacted Amazon, issue resolved, super easy with no questions asked, that's customer service. REI needs to catch up or they will end up being history like Sports Authority! Terrible customer service! I'm shocked and extremely disappointed.
Purchased a canoe online and went for the shipping option, which added another $150 to the purchase but we thought it was worth it. We were provided a delivery date and time of delivery. My wife took the day off and waited all day. Turned out, they didn't have it on the truck but said that it would be the first delivery of the day the next day. Another day off from work and still no delivery. Finally, after several phone calls, the delivery was made the third day at 10 pm!!! Meanwhile, REI had no idea what the problem was and never contacted us after the complaints or even offered to drop the shipping charges. Extremely bad customer service and their use of a third or fourth party delivery service makes no sense. Take note REI that this shipping subcontracting is killing your reputation. We will never order from REI again.
Have had mixed results at REI, been a member for years, but being treated like a serf by the store managers who act like they're owed a ** just for helping you with an order that THEY lost in transit takes the cake. Ordered a pack online, was to arrive the week before a pack trip. Didn't. Then didn't come when the store said it was to come (many days late). Then the store manager said it was lost in shipment on the way, but alluded that they'd let me buy a pack of equal value from the store if I begged for their graciousness enough (the pack ordered was heavily discounted, discontinued item from the online garage sale, so the only thing in-store of equal value would be a child's knapsack). In the end, the nasty, curt manner of the manager has sealed my resolve to buy my gear anywhere BUT at REI.
I ordered a REI Nao+ Headlamp in Oct 2016. 3 weeks later they canceled my order without telling me they would do that. They came back in stock in Nov 2016, 3 weeks later they again canceled my order without telling me. After complaining and complaining they apologized and offered me a 20% off coupon (big deal, it was the fall sale where we all get 20% off). Now it's May 2017 and I wanted to try again and they are back in stock. The price went up $30 and I asked if they could honor the original price.
They said basically, "Too bad, so sad." I asked, "Why you made an error and you promised to honor the price." They said the model changed. I told them it didn't because it's a new item. She then disconnected the chat saying, "Thank you for considering REI" (something like that). I miss the old REI. They changed for sure. If you don't believe me try to return something.
My husband and I have waited to use our 20% off coupons on the website (as the in-store options were not suited for our needs) and by 11 pm AK standard time our 20% off coupons were no longer valid; DESPITE the fact that I specifically asked an IN-STORE WORKER when our 20% offer ends (because we are generally not considered part of the continental U.S.). He had no idea and he did not bother to ask. He was not helpful at all and he did not inquire any further help.
My husband and I have spent a significant amount of money at REI, and I would expect to be able to use my 20% off until midnight AK standard time. I am so disappointed I am unable to do so. I will no longer shop at REI except to cash out my $155.00 dividend...which exemplifies how much money I've spent there. I can't believe I wasn't able to use my 20% off within the allotted time. If they're going to include Alaska in their customer service base, they need to accommodate their customers!
I have spent so much time researching and comparing products...to be able to decide which product is best suited for us, only to be denied our 20% off before the deal even ends. SO disappointing. Please reconsider. Alaskan customers get (royally) screwed when it comes to times. I am writing this review 30 minutes before midnight AK time...obviously, because I've been denied access to my rightfully deserved 20% off. Thanks.
Paid $22 for guaranteed 2-day delivery, where as 3-day was free. After product failed to deliver (no weather issues), chatted with online representative (Manuel) who advised to wait another day for delivery, and wouldn't agree to refund 2-day shipping until I called again next day. No explanation of why the 2-day delivery wasn't met. Told him repeatedly that calling every day for me is a time-expense I cannot afford, especially as I was traveling next day. Poor customer-service, poor 2-day delivery promise!
For many years I was a fan of REI. But after two very bad experiences with their customer service (which used to be the main reason to drive to their stores) I've made a promise to never set a foot on their store ever again. The latest of the two awful encounters with REI happened yesterday. I purchased a GPS/HR monitor watch from REI two years ago. After a few months the heart rate strap stopped working. Back then REI customer service was great. They exchanged the HR a strap and gave me a new one. A couple of months after that it happened again and this time they replaced the whole watch.
Last week after a some months of use, my HR strap stopped working again. I drove to the store to ask if it was still covered by their warranty. One very nice lady at customer service spent about 20 minutes looking at the many transactions related to my purchase. She then called another lady that took another 10 minutes to look at transactions. At this point the process was a bit frustrating but I knew that because of the many exchanges it would be hard for them to understand the scenario.
Then, the second lady called a gentleman. This person without even looking at the computer immediately told me in an extremely rude way that if my HR failed again was because I was doing something to them to break them. I tried to explain the situation to him and he immediately shut me down and told me that it was the only explanation. I told him that the straps are poor quality, and I asked him to give me my old strap back and he refused. I had to ask him three times until he finally gave me my old strap back. I was extremely frustrated with the whole situation. And while I was walking away, this gentleman told loudly to the other ladies at customer service "You see? problem solved!". I guess that's how REI treats customers now, as problems to be "solved". Again, I have given REI the benefit of the doubt for a few months but I have to sadly say that REI is no longer the place it used to be for shopping.
It's Feb 21st as I write this, right in the middle of ski season. I needed some new goggles right away. Both the glorious new $$$$$ temple in Bellevue and the Issaquah stores were essentially out of 95% of their stock and weren't getting more. They had a few random pairs, nothing like the selection shown on their website. Staff told me "Oh, ski season is over." It's a 30 minute drive to the Bellevue store for me. REI is run for its members (according to its propaganda). I expect different regular commercial profit oriented stores to have seasonal things and to move from winter stock to spring stock by early winter. REI's members are out there skiing for maybe 3 more months, yet they're done with skiing? Not what a store supposedly run for its members is supposed to do. I can hear their CPA complaining to me about cash flow and parking unsold stock, yeah, yeah, yeah. You claim to be running the place for members.
If it was really for members, they would have warehouse style stores, not the incredibly expensive temples to corporate greed they have built. They would support members during the various seasons by not moving to the next season in the middle of the first. They could have just in time computer inventory to avoid too much overstocking so they could keep one or two items in various costs, selections and styles in stock. This happened to me early last fall when bicycle season "was over". I didn't get the memo to stop bicycling and needed something but their shelves were stripped of the bicycle stuff I needed. I've gotta say, in conclusion, that Amazon carries lots of goggles, and in fact it carries all the stuff that REI does. Frequently cheaper with no shipping charges. REI is all about corporate profit. I've been a member for a long time but am getting tired of how commercial the place has gotten.
Went to the store today hoping I can return and exchange my bag with the front mesh pocket torn. It's been over and a half year since I bought it but I was hoping the 100% satisfaction guarantee is gonna cover it and gonna exchange it for another backpack without a front mesh pocket. Talked to customer service I was shut down, the lady said I can buy a patch from them and place it on the torn area.so I spoke with the manager because the idea of putting a patch is asinine. I'm not a hippie (no offense meant). He said I can bring it to a place where they fixed things like that. I said, "Why don't REI fix it?" and he said, "Oh we don't fix things. Blah blah blah." Left the store disappointed.
Ordered needed gear for a trip that I needed quickly. Paid for 3 day and was told that I would get it by Friday. After order got an immediate email saying I wouldn't get it until the following Monday. Monday I was told I would get it on Tuesday and now being told I will get it by Wednesday. That is eight days to get an item I was told I would have in three. I even found it cheaper on other sites but needed it badly so I paid more thinking REI would back their products. What had happened to them? Not only have they become competently mainstream and never have the higher end gear but they use to care about helping you with your trips. Now they just tell you it's too bad.
REI has everything I need re: sports related clothing/equipment! REI carries everything I need or want related to sports. I feel their prices are competitive. There's such a variety of brand names and plenty of styles to choose from whether it be equipment or clothing. The store is located in Portland which is not far from my Washington residence so I don't need to pay any sales tax. REI also has many sales throughout the year. They even offer vacation adventures!!!
I have never had an issue with REI. They just finished their Winter Sale, and I ordered a jacket on the last day. It was just "delivered" to me in Portland. I received underwear that was supposed to go to Tennessee instead of a jacket. It's a similar color, but I cannot believe how careless they were! My name was on the shipping, and another name was inside. Of course, they're closed today for the holiday. I just moved here and desperately need a rain jacket. Thanks REI.
Very tricky promotions with a joke membership. You wouldn't find what you want all the time. Worst behavior for the customer services as well. People in the customer service have the best rudeness in the U.S. Stick with Amazon or Zappos. REI is just worthless.
Used to be a loyal customer of REI for nearly 20 years but recently they have really gone downhill. In April I ordered a rucksack to be used just for a planned holiday - I ordered it well before the holiday but it was never dispatched. I rang up and tried to hurry them up - they said they would dispatch it - but didn't. Eventually a few days before my holiday I cancelled it as it was not going to arrive in time and purchased something else locally. Then a few weeks ago I purchased 12 dresses. 10 arrived; 2 were cancelled for no reason. I liked one of the dresses so ordered 2 more like it - deliberately choosing 2 identical dresses to spread the (overseas) postage cost across 2 items. They sent one and cancelled the other! IDENTICAL ITEMS. No warning. No one asked if I wanted just 1, they just ASSUME they can send just one at the same postage cost and not the second. That's terrible. Very unhappy with them.
I recently purchased a Patagonia vest and it was too large. I reordered a smaller size by phone and promptly returned the original vest at my expense with a tracking number so I knew they received it. After 10 days, and no email about receiving it, I decided to call. I found out they have minimal customer support services. Here's the thing - they are "organic." Returns and emails are taken care of "when they get around to it." I must wait weeks for my refund, and maybe, just maybe, I might receive an email regarding my return. However I shouldn't count on it. Fyi - they certainly have great service when placing an order but zero service regarding returns. According to the phone rep, they are a "co-op " and depend on members (pay $20) to work the phones, hence the slow service. Wow! Bottom line - I expect good customer service. I'm paying money for merchandise AND service. Goodbye REI!
I have been a loyal customer of REI and enjoyed the shopping experience in Portland, Clackamas store. However this time I had to visit REI Tigard Store as I wanted to buy a Road Cycle which was only available in Tigard Store. The salesperson(s) in the cycle department were least interested in helping and overall the sales service was poor. Usually, the experience in other REI location, the salesperson are very helpful and they help/guide in making a decision by giving some insight on the pros and cons. I will never visit this location (cycle department).
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