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Last updated: Aug. 11, 2017

43 REI Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 11, 2017

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.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: June 9, 2017

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.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 9, 2017

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.

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Original review: April 11, 2017

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 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.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 16, 2017

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!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 13, 2017

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.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 21, 2017

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.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 26, 2017

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 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.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 17, 2017

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.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 6, 2017

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!!!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 25, 2016

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.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 13, 2016

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.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 25, 2016

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.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Aug. 7, 2016

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!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 1, 2016

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).

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 16, 2016

I usually really like REI but this experience was terrible. I went hiking in NH in June, 2016 with Black Diamond hiking poles. I had those rubber tips on them and just bought them in April 2016 at REI. I lost both of them either in the mud or between some rocks. The tips weren't the ones you screw in but just the ones you put on the end of the poles. They were on tight. I wrote Black Diamond and they said those tips can fall off easier than the screw in types. They couldn't offer me another pair. I thought this was lame. I went to REI and basically they said the same thing. I was out of luck. I've been an REI member for about 12 or 14 years and they couldn't even give me an extra pair. They cost $5. Geez! One star if even.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 6, 2016

I purchased two items during the REI sale on 5/27. I chose the "ship to store" option because my items did not meet the minimum amount to qualify for free shipping. There is a REI store not too far from my house so I didn't think it would be an issue. I promptly received an email from the company saying that my order had been received and that I could track its progress through their website. I logged on and they said my items had an estimated arrival date of 5/31. On 5/31 I had not received an email stating that my package was available for pick up, so I waited until the following day to call the store. They said my items were still showing as "in transit" and I should wait for an email that says they are available for pickup.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I waited 5 days before I contacted REI customer service again because as it just so happens I checked my bank account and REI has JUST taken payment for the order I placed over a week ago. I contacted customer service via chat and their representative said that I was charged today because my items were SHIPPED TODAY (6/6). So they were never "IN TRANSIT". Their website was misleading and my stuff is still on the other side of the country. I was told to wait "a few more days" for my items to arrive in the store. I'm disappointed and annoyed. Lame, lame, lame REI. Thank goodness my trip isn't for another 2 weeks.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 2, 2016

As I was entering a store this afternoon in Milwaukee Wisconsin, I noticed an employee placing a ladder against the support beams in front outside entry area. As I came out, there were several bird nests and baby birds lying on the ground. The employee had knocked the nests down, instead of waiting another week or two for the baby birds to be gone. I had been in the store a few days earlier and there was no indication of parent birds bothering the customers, this was completely unnecessary and disgusting. The company prominently references their commitment to environmental causes and the time and money which they devote to these causes, yet apparently they do not care about the wildlife living around their stores. This is blatant example of corporate hypocrisy!

Original review: May 11, 2016

Bought an Arc'teryx jacket at REI. Their brand is expensive. After washing it shrunk. REI said they have a warranty so I contacted their company in Canada. Horrible customer service. They said it takes three weeks. First they have to pick it up at the border once a week in WA after measure the jacket. WHAT? They need to assess before sending me a new one if qualify. Arguing with me. What is warranty for? Their tag does not say anything about not putting the jacket in the dryer. They are saying it's my fault. Completely deceiving the consumer. What is the warranty for? Never buy Arc'teryx.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 7, 2016

Purchased a pair of shoes 1/2 size too big. Went to exchange for a size smaller. I did not have a receipt and all they could do was keep asking me for a nonexistent receipt. The receipt that they give you says nothing on it that you need a receipt to exchange, only for a refund. I found them, arrogant, smug and more concerned with convincing me to join their co-op than with finding a solution. I finally came up with looking up my bank account on my phone to show them proof of purchase. They reluctantly said ok and I was finally done with them. Why is it that you can go to any store, Macy's, Home Depot and even Walmart and at least exchange or get a store credit without a receipt. I was very disappointed with their attitude and lack of interest in solving a problem.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 22, 2016

Purchased a pair of Tretorn sneakers. No mention on the REI site that they were tinted lavender, the image looked bright white. Emailed REI to pay for return, no response. Took 25 minutes to get a call through, and they refused to pay.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 14, 2016

I ordered Columbia Jacket on sale online. To reach free delivery, I bought some other stuff too. However, they cancelled my Columbia Jacket order and just shipped me the rest of them. I was told I was never charged for the Jacket. It's a SCAM! I think they never had it but they use it as sale "BAIT" for their site. I talked to their online chat to get help. They told me I will have to ship it to them (my expense) to get my money back (in 2-3 weeks). I was asking for more clarification but the person online disconnected me. Stinky service!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 3, 2016

Clearly the boots I bought were misfigured. They were discounted less than half price and now I know why. No other boots a size 'up' ever fit like these, and were clearly either mislabeled or a reject. However, this company REI does NOT give you a shipping label to even return THE SAME PAIR for exchange. That's poor customer service and they'll never get my business again. Shame on you, REI!

Original review: Dec. 7, 2015

We bought those shoes a few month ago. Have horrible, hideous experience with Merrell Jungle Mocs - Kids'. Guess what... in 3 month they were frayed - holes in the sole from outside and inside. Looks like Chinese cheap crap, sold in REI store for $50+ for kids. Rei - shame on you!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 23, 2015

I'm absolutely shocked with all the negative reviews on this website. I have gone thru the REI in Marlton multiple times for a variety of camping equipment. The employees are extremely helpful and are always helping me save more money and make the most of my membership. I've returned items and had no issues with the return transaction. Will continue to shop here for all of my camping needs.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 20, 2015

I placed an order, using their website, my charge card was charged right away. Two days later I noticed that I was overdrawn in my account. Since I knew I hadn't used the card since the REI transaction, I saw 2 additional REI transactions notated 2 days later. I called REI customer service, it was on a Saturday evening. Got a CS rep, who told me it's delivery charges, but it's free delivery and the delivery shouldn't be double anyway. He went on to tell me the driver needs to eat and get a hotel room. I am serious. I asked for a supervisor. She was way smarter, said billing would call me in the AM and the $25 overdraft fee would be covered. Billing called, she was not nice, explained all three were authorization charges, and some would be reversed upon delivery. I was fine with the first actual charge, but really doubling the cost by adding 2 more charge authorizations? This constitutes fraud!!!!

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 8, 2015

REI, your customer service team is phenomenal. Truly! But, you are making a huge mistake with shipping with UPS Surepost. I have been battling, side by side with your awesome team members to try to get my package delivered, and we are into our third week, now. UPS keeps claiming that the address is either no good, or that the recipient has moved... I haven't. I woke up at that address this morning. I double checked just to make sure. What's more interesting is that this same service managed to deliver a portion of the order to the same address without any issues. The fact that they can manage to botch a delivery to an address that they had already been to is a strong indicator that future reliability issues regarding deliveries, and additional costs in sending replacements (probably expedited for customer retention) lay in your future.

Unfortunately, I'm not just speaking from a one-time experience. Multiple companies that have attempted to fulfill orders I'd placed had to ultimately replace these orders 2-3x, and/or refund portions of my order. At one point, I'd even waited about 2 months before finally having to admit defeat with my customer service companions at the hands of the evil UPS Surepost. So, I beg you. For my sanity, your profits, and everyone's happiness, no more Surepost.

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Verified Buyer
Original review: Aug. 21, 2015

I returned a defective backpack twice, two of the same kind. Advising the manager my major inconvenience of having to travel to REI in New York City twice, time a minimum of 8 hours of my time, $15.00 minimum Subway cost. I pick out a more expensive bag, which I think are overpriced to begin with. I never would have gone to REI in the first place but my wife insisted. Plus they got her for a totally worthless $20.00 membership that I have come to understand is pushed quite hard by corporate uppers to the sales force. Oh excuse me REI is not corporate, Member owned... right.

Anyway I asked the manager if he thought my ordeal and junk product they sold me might warrant a 10% discount on the higher priced item. His immediate response was NO. NO.. We are talking a whopping $9.50. I called membership to complain and cancel my membership. They do me a favor by having such a liberal return policy, I was told. NO refunds on Memberships.. Gee what a concept.. You buy a backpack for $75, it rips in a week, you replace it - that one also rips in two weeks. If you sell someone a defective product, you stand behind it and replace it. What favor? What liberal policy.. They were not. Did not do me a single favor of any remote nature and have 0 idea of customer service.

I told my wife I don't like to go to fancy, think they are better, overpriced places. I was proved RIGHT AGAIN. I will go to Wal-Mart and buy one made in CHINA. They truly care more about keeping us happy than Pathetic REI. Was a Male Manager in the New York City REI Store 142, 30-40 years old who has no idea of right and wrong. I'll advise every person I know or come in contact with to shop elsewhere... VERY SAD.

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Original review: Aug. 21, 2015

Employees at REI are hired based on sales experience. That means people from Walmart, Walgreens, or another retail store can become employees at REI. They are not hired based on Outdoor experience. I was sized for a backpack and was told I was a large. So I bought a Large frame pack. Months later I went into a REAL outdoor gear shop and was told I was a dead medium. Not Medium/large, not Large, Medium. Later I decided to be sized by an employee of Osprey Backpacks to be sure, and guess what? I'm a Medium. REI employees should not be trusted, ever. This is just one of many problematic encounters I've had at REI.

Original review: July 8, 2015

REI Corporation decided to change from REI Visa to REI MasterCard - did the corporation think the card holders might want to know about the change? I have tried using my REI Visa it didn't work. Tried paying my bill, couldn't log in. It took an hour on the phone to find out that my card had been closed and I now have a MasterCard Account. I will never shop at an REI Store AGAIN.

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