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sbclimber


Feb 20, 2004, 7:22 PM
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Aliens...
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I work at REI.

As many of you know, we have a very liberal return policy. 100% satisfaction gaurantee. If there are problems, we will gladly take it back.

At the same time, I don't like to see the store's policies being abused.

That being said, someone came in today to return a yellow alien (great piece of gear, right?). Anyways, the product had obviously been used because the teeth on the lobes were worn. Still, 100% satisfaction gaurantee.

So I ask...what was wrong with the product?

He says "It didn't fit."

I say, "It didn't fit what?"

"The types of cracks I like to climb. I tried to get it to fit (as evidence by the wear on the lobes), but it wouldn't fit."

I know our return policy, believe me, but I felt like he was totally abusing it. It's like he knew he was going to climb a crack where he needed that size, and he also knew he would never climb a crack like that again.

So use it for what is needed, then return it? I don't like this abuse of the policy. I know returning the item doesn't affect whether I will get paid or not, but I still fell that people shouldn't be taking advantage of the company like that.

So I mentioned that he would probably come across a crack that would fit it in the future, and he got all irate at the thought of me trying to get him to keep the alien.

Was I out of line saying this? He wanted me to go get my boss, but I was lucky because she was on lunch.

I ended up returning and giving a refund to a VERY mad customer. Do you all have any opinions?

Robbie


dsafanda


Feb 20, 2004, 7:26 PM
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Good stuff. Very funny.


malabarista


Feb 20, 2004, 7:30 PM
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In reply to:
Do you all have any opinions?

Yeah, the guy was a jerk and you called him on it, good on ya.


addiroids


Feb 20, 2004, 7:30 PM
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I would have shoved it up his pee-hole and bounce tested it. Does it fit now, you sport climbing communist?!?!

You could state that he was intentionally misusing the product for what it was designed for and he should try to find a crack that it would fit.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


crimsongrin


Feb 20, 2004, 7:37 PM
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That guy was obviously an A@# Hole and you should have told him to take a hike. He has no integrity and needs a lesson.


smellyhippie


Feb 20, 2004, 7:40 PM
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Yeah, I totally see your point.

But, at the same time REI has become a very successful company, perhaps in part of the return policy. Although that guy is abusing it, he is only exercising the rights that REI gave him.

At any rate, the dude's a twerp, but if I was you I'd try not to have an emotional attachment to it. (Actually, if it was me I'd probably be just as pissed off and righteous, but it's easier to be preachy when your not involved.) It's kinda like when some guy cuts you off in traffic, you can either get worked up about it or forget it.

Can I have the alien?

Cheers,

Nate


moabbeth


Feb 20, 2004, 7:40 PM
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My opinion is the guy is a serious RETARD!!!! My yellow Alien sees more use than 90% of the rest of the gear on my rack.

Didn't fit the cracks?? Was he talking about the kind you smoke? Yellow is one of the most commonly used pieces, it's size is ideal in so many situations. Joshua Tree, Red Rocks, Moab...that thing works on cracks everywhere.

I think the guy probably stole it off someone else's rack and was trying to get some cash out of you. Cause I cannot think of a single trad climber who would return a yellow Alien cause it "didn't fit" the cracks. Guarantee it was stolen. Cause his statement is ridiculous.

I would have told him to give it back to whoever he stole it from.

And when did REI start carrying Aliens? They don't carry them in my part of the world (or so I hear from friends who shop there, I only shop local mom & pop climbing shops).


mesomorf


Feb 20, 2004, 7:44 PM
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If it's 100% satisfaction guaranteed, it doesn't matter what reason the customer had for wanting to return an item. You shouldn't even ask for a reason. Just smile and say Yes Sir.

Does REI know you're posting this here?


moof


Feb 20, 2004, 8:09 PM
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REI, aka Rental Equipment Incorporated, and Return Every Item, among others


Partner baja_java


Feb 20, 2004, 8:16 PM
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amazing how much worse your ethics are, robbie, after losing $250 worth of someone else's gear


Partner coldclimb


Feb 20, 2004, 9:00 PM
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So what do they do with returned items?


epic_ed


Feb 20, 2004, 9:12 PM
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Garage sale item.

This is one hilarious story. "Didn't fit"...damn, I really wish I had been the sale rep on that transaction. I could have gotten him to give me his entire rack and trade him out for some bomber 2x4s for the wide stuff. It's the only stuff you can really trust, you know...

Ed


diesel___smoke


Feb 20, 2004, 9:15 PM
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That is REI's policy, and the guy was acting well within it's parameters, therefore I don't see how he could be portrayed as taking advantage of the company. If anything, REI hung themselves with too broad of a return/satisfaction policy.


sbclimber


Feb 20, 2004, 9:38 PM
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In reply to:
And when did REI start carrying Aliens? They don't carry them in my part of the world (or so I hear from friends who shop there, I only shop local mom & pop climbing shops).

REI has been carrying aliens since I started working there (maybe earlier?) which has been 3 months.

In reply to:
If it's 100% satisfaction guaranteed, it doesn't matter what reason the customer had for wanting to return an item. You shouldn't even ask for a reason. Just smile and say Yes Sir.

Does REI know you're posting this here?
Actually, we are still required to ask for a reason why the product didn't work, because we have to damage out the product. We also need to input a reason into the computer before it allows us to make a return.

And no, REI does not know I am posting this, nor do they need to, because I am in no way challenging their policy, just curious as to other people's opinions about my actions earlier today. I think there policy is a great one, indeed one that has helped the store become so succesful. (as someone already mentioned)

In reply to:
So what do they do with returned items?
In reply to:
Garage sale item.
It actually doesn't go into the garage sale (aka used gear sale), contrary to what some people believe, because it is a liability for the company to sell used rock climbing gear. We simply damage the piece out at the register, and the gear gets sent to the distribution wherehouse in Seattle, never to be used again.

In reply to:
That is REI's policy, and the guy was acting well within it's parameters, therefore I don't see how he could be portrayed as taking advantage of the company. If anything, REI hung themselves with too broad of a return/satisfaction policy.
I agree that REI has put themselves in this situation, but he had obviously used the piece and then he was telling me it didn't fit? Come on, this doesn't sound right.

I returned the item, I was never not going to return the item. Keep in mind that the ONLY thing I said was what I said in the original post, that being that he might come across a crack in the future that it would fit. This is what made him so mad, I said no further statements regarding his use of the cam. I could see he was still very unhappy, so it was obviously no problem returning the cam.

Remember, I HAVE to ask what the problem was, with anything, albeit rock climbing gear, a jacket, a backpack...ANYTHING.


skiclimb


Feb 20, 2004, 9:56 PM
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That customer wasn't the least bit angry...he was playin ya...it's an ancient tactic...afterwards he was probably laughing his arse off telling his friends what a pushover REI is...

When I used to run into this tactic in sales i wouldn't budge a bit...I even threatened one guy with calling the cops and having him arrested for attempted theft...then they really did leave angry...and the sales force and management would usually laugh at them over beers in the back when we were closing..but I was luckily never working for REI.

There is a line a customer should never cross and that is being abusive to a polite helpful salesperson..


sbclimber


Feb 20, 2004, 10:11 PM
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In reply to:

When I used to run into this tactic in sales i wouldn't budge a bit...I even threatened one guy with calling the cops and having him arrested for attempted theft...then they really did leave angry...and the sales force and management would usually laugh at them over beers in the back when we were closing..but I was luckily never working for REI.

There is a line a customer should never cross and that is being abusive to a polite helpful salesperson..

You have no idea how bad I want to do this sometimes, but it doesn't fly at REI. You are probably right though, about the customer thinking we are a total pushover...

It this policy that makes us such a great company though. It's totally unique, I don't know any other company that has a policy like that.


dangermonkey


Feb 20, 2004, 10:19 PM
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The Yellow Alien is the KEY piece on everbody's rack,

That dude is crazy. I've named my yellow alien... swear. What a perfect piece for a perfect placement. What a tool. Props for working at REI. Long live the Empire.

Late,
CF


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Feb 21, 2004, 5:51 AM
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who cares if some stupid company loses a little money because people can take advantage of their own stupid policies?

rei is just as corporate america as enron or any other large scale stupid business. so f rei and all the stupid pizza sauce bearded hippies with hand made wool hats who shop their for more capilene to wear on tour


taalon


Feb 21, 2004, 6:26 AM
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Guess you never shopped at wall mart then lol... its not satisfaction garunteed there its the customer is always right ..... if Wal mart refuses to let you return something unless its like a open CD or something that is stated non-returnable on the package it opened. Then ask for a manager and complain alot you will get your money back and if you complain high enough at wall mart they will give you a gift card with 50 bucks on it now for your trouble.

I watched a guy complain about how long it took to put 2 new tires on his truck costing near 300 bucks. They even put him ahead of like 6 others cause they knew hed complain. He complained the manager gave him one tire free, and he was still not happy. He then complained to the reginal guy and got another 100 bucks to boot. So he almost got out of there with 2 free tires by the time it was done. That was just a customer abusing the policy so much i hated it. If i were a manager i would have never given him the tire cause i would have known that when we moved him in early and he was not happy that there was not gona be a way to make him happy at all. But hey that is just how i saw it.. i hate people that abuse things like that they make me so sick.


Partner baja_java


Feb 21, 2004, 7:11 AM
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what is with this mentality? just because a store has a generous return policy, then you're ENTITLED to max it out every which way? the government gives you unemployment checks too, and all you have to do is CLAIM you haven't found work. or if you do work, your company gives you disability pay too, if you CLAIM your back hurts like hell from whatever it is that you do, and put up a good act at the doctor's. by your logic, you all would be stupid not to do either too, right? do you people just get away with whatever you can within the "rules," or does a sense of right and wrong ever kick in? or does that always take a hiatus whenever convenient? pardon for asking, but where the hell did you people learn how to live?


mesomorf


Feb 21, 2004, 7:30 AM
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baja_java,

I am not defending what the customer did. I myself wouldn't take advantage of the 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy in that way. That just ruins it for everyone.

All I'm saying is, if the store has that policy, they should honor it no questions asked. But the employees are supposed to ask, so they can enter something in the computer - probably for statistical purposes, to see just where they're losing out on this policy.

The customer has a right to answer anything he wants - wrong size, wrong color, I didn't like the noise it made on my rack.

He should be able to do this without suspicions or accusations on the part of the employee. If the employee doesn't like it, he should get a job with the mom & pop climbing shop.

Oh wait, they went out of business. Here in Reno they did, anyway.


Partner baja_java


Feb 21, 2004, 7:46 AM
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but the point is, it's not always just about doing whatever you're allowed. at some point, there's right and wrong, and there's no doubt it's outrageously wrong in this case


Partner baja_java


Feb 21, 2004, 7:56 AM
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and no, those shops wouldn't go out of business around me. at least not because of no buys from others like me. i'm proud to say that all my pro pieces so far have been bought from either Pacific Edge up at Santa Cruz or Nomad Ventures out at JTree, all except 3 pieces at REI on thu, which neither shop will have til "summer"


thinksinpictures


Feb 21, 2004, 8:29 AM
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It's totally unique, I don't know any other company that has a policy like that.

Guitar Center actually has a similar policy- it's a 30 days, no quetions asked deal, although they require that an item returned under the policy come back in the same condition it left the store in (fortunately, most of the stuff they sell doesn't show immediate signs of wear when used, like cams and other lcimbing gear).

I'll also admit that I have taken advantage of their return policy. My band "rented" a couple consdensor microphones for a recording that would not have otherwise been able to afford. We did, however, treat those microphones as if they were family heirlooms, and, since we returned them in basically new condition, GC was able to re-sell them. To this day I feel bad about taking advantage of them, but listening to the band's demo makes me feel just a little bit less bad about it :oops:


smellyhippie


Feb 21, 2004, 9:04 AM
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Costco has that policy.

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