Consumer Complaints and Reviews
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!
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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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have tried twice today, 5/15'15 attempting to place an order on REI's website. I have called their customer service number twice and the first time after I told them that their website wouldn't get me to the last page in order to place my order, I was told to be patient about the spinning button, that their "servers were overwhelmed due to the Sale."
I called back 2 hours later, and after telling them that it was STILL spinning, and not letting me get to the final page to place my order. They told me to log off the website and try again. Trying again, this time I can't even get off the shipping page. I haven't even gotten to the page to put in my card number, etc. This is ridiculous! I think that online companies should be FINED if they don't have enough servers to support their website having a sale! Bogus!
I read with some surprise several of the reviews here of people with an unhappy experience at REI. Personally after having spent large sums of money for all kinds of hiking and camping equipment over the last several years both online and in-store I couldn't be happier with REI. I have ordered items online and found that they were the wrong size or just weren't what I wanted. I took them to my local REI store and with no questions asked they took them back and refunded my money.
I have purchased boots that after a few hikes I decided they were not fitting properly. I took them back with no tags, no box and clearly they had been worn and they returned my money immediately. I have purchased items in advance of long hikes that sat in my garage unused for months only to decide for whatever reason the item wasn't going to work. Took them down to my local REI store and got an immediate refund.
They have always been helpful, friendly and knowledgeable on every visit I have made. My only complaint if there is one is that some items I would like to purchase items they don't carry (typically small cottage vendors who only sell direct). I trust REI will make things right if I make the wrong purchase decision. I suppose with any company of size there are going to be situations where something goes wrong. You find an employee under-trained or who just isn't the right person to be talking directly to customers. But for me, I couldn't be happier. Your mileage may vary.
I placed an order online with REI and was surprised after I had placed the order I was charged twice. After I had already paid for my order they took additional money out of my checking over drawing my account without my knowing or authorizing the transaction. How can this company have access to overcharge you or take additional money from your account without authorization?! I was upset and when I talked to REI Customer Service and asked them how and why they answered like it was no big deal. This is how it worked if your order is shipped from two different places. This is unacceptable and should be illegal. This could really mess up people's bank accounts! Luckily I caught it and replaced the money so I didn't have to pay an overdraft fee but it is quite upsetting that REI can overcharge your account without authorization and potentially cause more fees and charges to your bank accounts.
I got a Kuhl vest that was $149.00 and it was to small. All I wanted was 1 size bigger so I could actually wear it. REI is the only place in my area that has the brand name KUHL so it was for sure bought there. Being a Christmas present of course I don't have a receipt for it and they will not let me exchange it for the right size!!! It was never worn, tags are attached and the item is brand new on the Kuhl website. I can't even believe it and I am a member and will never shop there again!!!
I have been shopping occasionally at REI Marlton, NJ, for about 5 years. Every time I've visited, things have gone well. While the staff has not always known all the answers, they have never failed to be very courteous. For me, a great shopping experience.
Rei is not conveniently located so drove to buy Yaktrax for running. Said up to size 10 woman. I did not get receipt. I am not a member nor do I want to pay for that. Yaktrax did not fit 9.5 shoe. Store will not give me money back nor do an exchange without receipt or membership even though I could supply them the charge on my credit card. They will not order a next size for me and do an exchange. I'm out $32.13 and will never step foot in an REI again.
I have been an REI customer for many years, spending thousands and thousands of dollars at this store, including a recent purchase of over $400. I mentioned to an employee during this purchase that I hoped I wasn't going to be missing any upcoming sales by buying everything at once right then. I was reminded that if anything goes on sale in the next 30 days - yes, 30 - I can get back the difference. As such, I carefully watched Black Friday and holiday prices. I saw that all Black Diamond headlamps were 25% off, which was part of one of my recent purchases.
I immediately called REI, and in an extremely long telephone interaction, the woman I spoke to was initially very nice and looked into this issue, as well as checked all of the other recent purchases. She informed me that, in fact, the headlamp I bought was on sale. After being on hold, she casually came back and said that the policy changed and that it was only 14 days for granting a sales price. I immediately reminded her that I was completely unaware of this change and in fact was told by one of their own staff members it was 30 days. She apologized, but said she couldn't do anything.
Upset and very disappointed by yet another recent REI let-down from a company headed in the wrong direction (in my opinion), I informed her that it wasn't fair for me not to get back the difference and if that wasn't going to happen, I would simply return all 400 plus dollars plus another subsequent $200 from yet another online purchase. She put me on hold, then came back and said they would do a one-time courtesy, but it would have to be in the form of store credit. I again thought this was unfair (would prefer the money back on my credit card), but thought it was a somewhat reasonable consolation. She said it would come as an email.
Well, I never got an email and had to follow up again with the company. Apparently, assuming I am an idiot, they said it must be in my junk mail. I informed them that I had already checked that and that I wanted my measly $8.17 refunded to my credit card because I was done wasting my time. I once again got a we-don't-care-about-this attitude and was informed that they could only give me store credit (which again, never came in an email). They also offered me a 20% off coupon, all the while ignoring my request for the money to be refunded to my credit card and not addressing my complaint and whole issue. I certainly hope $8.17 was worth thousands in returns and loss of a customer.
I wrote them back the following: Wow, that is completely unacceptable and disappointing for a company I have given business to for years. You should be honoring what your own employee told me (although I realize I have no proof of this). I wouldn't have been checking your ads so carefully for a month if I was aware of the policy change to 14 days. The policy has consistently been 30 days which was confirmed by your own employee. Apparently I was supposed to be psychic to know of the change. I will be returning all of my over $700 in purchases over the past month as well as gathering past items which will account to thousands more.
I will gladly re-purchase items from small local businesses. With REI stores popping up everywhere, it certainly seems business is booming. All the more surprising the decline in not only the customer service (employees who are less and less knowledgeable and less helpful at the plethora of REI stores I shop at while traveling), but now the customer service with this issue? The change in your return policy was also a greedy corporate move. Now you cannot even do a courtesy of $8 towards my REI visa? Giving me store credit to no-doubt encourage me to spend more? Bad business practice. I will gladly support the little guy from now on at stores with knowledgeable, helpful people from a small business and do away with the now greedy REI. You've lost a customer and I will spread the word. It’s the principle and overall attitude gleaned from this experience that is the last straw.
My wife purchased a pair of trekking poles at Dec REI outside garage sale. Hectic environment, snowing and crowd scrambling all over. The poles were marked, in very light ink, "damaged and missing clips" separately on tag. My wife didn't see the missing clips comment due to the light ink and snow. We went to use them for the first time and discovered the unusable pole. The Marlton store refused to refund the purchase, stating they were marked. The manager said they encourage people to try things before buying. No such suggestion was made to my wife. We won't shop REI ever again, knowing they sell things that are unusable. Damaged is one thing, unusable is another.
I went to this store trying to find a device that would make climbing a tree easier. A female salesgirl showed me the Grigri in a display case but could not open the device until I purchased it. I then purchased it. She then showed me at the purchasing counter the function and connection to a rope, of which I bought at the same store a week earlier. I did follow the instructions that came with the product but used it as a climbing device as she had told me she used it herself.
The following Monday, I began to use the device on the top of a tree but due to my old habits and experience, I could not make the correct adjustments to my new device. I had forgotten that this device replaced the lanyard connection I always had to myself and the climbing line. Upon disconnecting myself to this Grigri device, I went straight towards the ground. I dislocated my left elbow and crushed my left knee cap. I was rushed to the hospital where I had surgery. I will probably be disabled for a year. My wish is that they would have given me more education and maybe even a demonstration of the device. I also believe that this device is not for climbing but for a belayer and was convinced differently just to make the sale. I am glad that at the time I climbed, I was not higher where as I could have killed myself.
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