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ScottP

REI Sucks

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The whole new "and by the way.. you are a member of REI aren't you" is fucking LAME ASS and ANNOYING EVERY FUCKING TIME. I usually respond with "only sometimes".

how bout the whole old lame ass comparison of member numbers by the old geezer types going for the low score or somthing. that shit cracks me up.

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I just call REI something else: LCD, for lowest common denominator, to whom they now cater. People who like to shop more than they like to do stuff. boxing_smiley.gif

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I like REI. Lots of stuff, competitive prices and awesome service.

 

So *cough* 23,000 cough* 23,000* cough and flying into the face of potential critics* - what is your number? Mine would be low cough cough except I would use my brothers card as I was too cheap to spend a dollar back then. Back then we had to walk everywhere - miles - and it was uphill - both ways - 5 feet of snow - skateboards were new and had steel wheels so you spent most of your time on your ass - and women didn't put out either: sheese... you kids.......lucky in so many ways.

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Just for a little info from someone who works at Redmond REI (camping climbing), here's some random info:

 

1. This is the root of the problems seen in this thread:

a. We've become too large long ago to offer individualized service like Feathered Friends or something and have been forced to fall back on "policy" that works *most* of the time but has indeed not allowed us to be as flexible as would be best. (though remember that our balance to that is our "100% satisfaction" return policy that I've seen customers use to fuck us in the ass hundreds of times; it goes both ways people..)

b. Our pay scale is just a little too low. This is true of course at the floor salesperson level but also at the lower management level. The inevitable result of this is that we have positions of authority that would be much more effective at creating and enacting the necessary policy (due to our large size) if those positions were paid more.

 

2. All that stuff about REI trending towards catering to the lowest common denominator... is true. I hate it as much as the rest of you.

 

3. The comment about pushing the memberships: DON'T BLAME THE SALES PERSON (unless they're a manager). That is the only thing at the store that they actually keep track of, and we have to sell a quota to get a raise at the end of the year. Again, I hate that as much as the rest of you.

 

4. One more thing and I'll stop ranting. I think it's been demonstrated a number of times throughout this thread that, although REI may mess up more than would be nice, it IS in our policy to acknowledge our fuck ups and right them by doing whatever necessary, and if you have an employee who is not doing that, scream and yell because they're doing their job wrong.

 

5. Ok just one more thing. Although Marmot's stuff may be awesome, their customer service sucks ass. I've had one out of about 10 good employee-customer interactions at that store. They know their stuff but they're terrible elitists and don't seem to like helping anyone. If you buy a piece of pro there, and don't even walk out the door before deciding that you don't want it, they won't return it! At least at REI we will return it even though, if you've been out of the store WE CAN'T SELL IT.

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I guess REI doesn't piss me off so much anymore; it's kind of like an old climbing buddy who isn't much into climbing anymore -- you can stay pissed at him, or just move on. It's a good place to buy some stuff, and it's a great place to take your kid on a rainy day to play while you sit and look at climbing books.

I finally got up to Vancouver this fall and went into the legendary MEC, and felt the whiplash of deja vu -- it's exactly what the capitol hill REI store was like 20 years ago. About the time people were complaining that Eddie Bauer didn't sell stuff for climbing anymore.

So, in 20 years or so, REI will sell home furnishings, people will be complaining about how MEC only sells yuppie gear, and there will still be places like PMS to get climbing gear.

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Funny (to me) REI story. A friend's 4-season North Face tent got trashed in the wind on Hood in July last year -- I posted something about it at the time -- a couple of the poles were broken and bent. He got it at REI, so he took it to the repair dept, and the repair guy said "dude, that's a 4-season tent, not a mountaineering tent. You need a mountaineering tent for Hood. We can't fix it under warranty." Friend took the tent in anyhow for repair, planning on fighting about the bill when he picked it up. Came back, and the guy at the repair counter said "dude, we lost your tent. Can't find it anywhere. Go ahead and pick out any tent on the sales floor you want, and we'll call it even." So, his 3-year-old NF tent got replaced with a brand-new Mtn Hardware tent. I suppose stuff like that is part of why they sell casual shirts for $75, but...

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The problem with big stores like REI is that the quality of your experience with them is totally random. You might as well spin the big wheel of misfortune... "tick, tick, tick, Oh, too bad, better luck next time..." Any store can have imcompetent people, be out of stock, etc. I find that they generally are out of stock or don't carry what I want about 50% of the time. One year I went to buy small nagelene bottles - zip, nada. Not one in the house.

 

Pro Ski is generally fabulous. One friend has less than stellar experience but overall I'd say that they are great 9 times out of 10.

 

The final problem with REI is that they've totally lost the whole point of being a co-op. REI used to use its buying power to deliver goods to people less than they'd pay ordering it on their own. Now, since they are the largest outdoor retailer around they could push on suppliers to drop prices and/or pass on the savings of large purchages. Rather they are a "full price retailer" so they can carry Oakley and other brands which won't allow their products to be discounted.

 

Anyway, I could go on and on about this. Kudos to them for calling you back and trying to make you happy. Too bad they pissed you off in the first place

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I recently had a nice REI experience.

 

Monday I buy a bivy sack. The salesdude tells me I can apply my dividend to it and get 20% off. I'm stoked. I get to the cashier bitch who acts like I'm wasting her time by buying something. I ask if I can apply my dividend to the purchase. She impatiently tells me that unless I have the dividend IN MY HAND, I can't use it. I'm in a hurry, I need the bivy that evening, I plunk down the dough.

 

After hearing from several sources that I AM allowed to use my dividend even though I don't have the paper copy, I got back to the store on Friday. I tell the customer service guy what happened, and ask if he can get me my 20% back. He claims that without a reciept, he can't do anything (I forgot it in my room). I get pissed, wait ten minutes until the other CS dude is free, hand him the bivy and tell him "I'd like to return this". I don't need a reciept or anything, he refunds me the money, I walk upstairs, grab the SAME EXACT bivy, pay for it using the dividend and walk out the door. smirk.gif

 

I don't abuse their return policy as I feel it's unethical, but when I give them a reasonable offer and they refuse, I didn't mind taking advantage of them. So if anyone finds a new OR Basic Bivy at the Scratch and Dent sale, buy it, it's been on one snow bivy. New. thumbs_up.gif

 

That said, I like my dividend, I'll keep shopping there.

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I used to work at REI. I've also worked for many years for EMS. I found the experience as an REI employee both fun and horrowing at the same time. (Working for EMS was much better.)

 

On the one hand you get to meet alot of people passionate about the outdoors, and who are doing lots of cool stuff! You try to give them the best service you can. Sometimes you dont know everything.

 

On the other hand, I was making 5.25 an hour! I could not possibly make ends meet in the real world. My managers made around 20k to 22k a year. I am not sure how they made ends meet either. The good thing is outdoor retail sales people tend to take the shit more seriously than, say, someone at Payless Shoes. The reality is that you still don't retain particularly good help for a low wage - these are high school and college students, or part-timers on the weekend working for the discount, by and large.

 

I still go to REI. However, my purchases there have gone down about 50% over the last two years, as I find other, better, places to shop - both locally and online. My purchases at REI these days are pretty much B93'ed items and really basic stuff like Nalgene bottles.

 

I can get Clif Shots and Clif Bars cheaper at Trader Joes.

I can get climbing equipment online and at MEC.

I get real technical outerwear from shops like PMS, Patagonia, and FF.

I get alot of items from CASCADECLIMBERS.COM Yard Sale!

I get some things from Second Bounce, where it is invariably cheaper used, and still very servicable.

 

Alex

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it seems that a couple times a year, i am forced into rei b/c my local shops don't have in stock what i want.

 

this time it was new plastics. my other half and i trot off to rei w/last year's dividend in hand and oru 20% off coupons. we spend 30 min waiting for help in the boot department. it was saturday, it was busy. we're passed over countless times for other customers; 3X a sales person said they were sending someone to help only to have that person help someone standing closer to the backroom entrance; finally, i was admonished by another sales guy "that he was busy and i'd just have to wait my turn" we left shoes. grabbed a few other items only to get to the register and be told that our 20% off didn't apply to just about anything we were buying. nifty. rolleyes.gif

 

the 10% dividend is nice and it adds up. however, it seems like you can negotiate a little at some of the local stores and still end up w/your 10% off. my local shop really treats us right and the prices are definitely comparable.

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I can second the experience of dealing with two customer service people on teh same day, with the same problem, and getting two different responses.

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I don't know if things are much better at other stores. The people at Marmot Mountain Works in Berzerkely were invariably knowledgeable, and very helpful, but they also paid everyone very low wages which they tried to make up for by giving employee discounts on gear but, given the wages, no one could afford the gear. :-P

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The problem with big stores like REI is that the quality of your experience with them is totally random. You might as well spin the big wheel of misfortune... "tick, tick, tick, Oh, too bad, better luck next time..." Any store can have imcompetent people, be out of stock, etc. I find that they generally are out of stock or don't carry what I want about 50% of the time. One year I went to buy small nagelene bottles - zip, nada. Not one in the house.

 

Pro Ski is generally fabulous. One friend has less than stellar experience but overall I'd say that they are great 9 times out of 10.

 

The final problem with REI is that they've totally lost the whole point of being a co-op. REI used to use its buying power to deliver goods to people less than they'd pay ordering it on their own. Now, since they are the largest outdoor retailer around they could push on suppliers to drop prices and/or pass on the savings of large purchages. Rather they are a "full price retailer" so they can carry Oakley and other brands which won't allow their products to be discounted.

 

Anyway, I could go on and on about this. Kudos to them for calling you back and trying to make you happy. Too bad they pissed you off in the first place

 

 

Wait... didn't you kill yourself? (I did pay some attention in Lit. class) confused.gif

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I finally got up to Vancouver this fall and went into the legendary MEC, and felt the whiplash of deja vu -- it's exactly what the capitol hill REI store was like 20 years ago. About the time people were complaining that Eddie Bauer didn't sell stuff for climbing anymore.

So, in 20 years or so, REI will sell home furnishings, people will be complaining about how MEC only sells yuppie gear, and there will still be places like PMS to get climbing gear.

I'm too young to know when Eddie Bauer used to sell climbing stuff. frown.gif I can see TNF and other outdoor outfitters heading in that direction.

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all i know is that rei has done it again. madgo_ron.gif i placed an order last monday, for new shoes. i figured with the recent theft of my shoes, this would be a good use for my dividend. the estimated arrival was weds....plenty of time for the weekend. they still have not arrived. i bought other shoes at redpoint this w/e so i could climb. i called to cancel the order. apparently there was some problem or another (depends on which rep i talked to as to the nature of the problem) there was no e-mail alerting me to this, no phone call, no note in the mail. nothing. it was up to me to guess and call.

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I was in REI Seattle the other day, and one of the clerks there (some older guy) was trying to get me to sign up for another membership even though I already have one. You can get 20%, and for a bigger ticket item, that can be quite a bit... I just thought it was odd that he was pushing it. Do they get some sort of pay based on how many people the sign up (even if they're signing up people more than once)? confused.gif

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Look, REI sucks, go check out the new one in PDX. Oh great place to go buy psydo-climbing style CLOTHING. Or the 1 brand of wired nut they carry. End of selection.

 

I walk in there and say, were's the friggan ski boots man, I want to use my divided and get my 20 percent off too. There wasn't a ski boot to be had in the whole store.

 

I could have been in an Eddie Bauers except the last time I was in Eddie Bauers they had FREE wine and I knocked back 3 or 4 glasses till my wife came over and made me stop. No kidding: FREE. Free marichino cherrys too......ahhhhh wine and cherries.

 

Note to self, shop without wife.

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Neat! I found you could substitute the name (Starbucks) for (REI) and get a thread that still maintains the same spirit, integrity, and theme! hahaha.gifevils3d.gif

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The transition of climbing stores to mainstream is standard and always has had this sort of backlash from foundational customers.

 

This same transition happend with skateboarding in the 80's. Vision streetwear etc.. was for skateboarders, but as the skate scene became popular - Vision went way to mainstream and became the enemy of skaters.

 

For better or worse - this is capitalism, so stop your crying!

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I could have been in an Eddie Bauers except the last time I was in Eddie Bauers they had FREE wine and I knocked back 3 or 4 glasses till my wife came over and made me stop. No kidding: FREE. Free marichino cherrys too......ahhhhh wine and cherries.

 

Note to self, shop without wife.

 

 

blush.giffrown.gif

 

Dohhh, meant Norm Thompsons, the yuppie clothing/outdoor clothing store: yup, must have been the wine talkin there.

 

Yeah, I bellied up to the bar and my 12 year old bellied up to the cherries and we proceeded to monopolise and download the freebies as the wife shopped.

 

All was going well till she looked over, and in what was a horrifing embarrassing moment for her, realized that the other shoppers were observing us in shock and awe much like you would watch a couple of starving hampsters in a vegtable bin as the wine and cherries flew. He kept asking for pulls on the wine but I told him no way, people were watching.

 

At least she didn't grab our ears or nothin. Norm Thompson............ ahhhhhhh free wine.

 

No wine at REI, just yuppie clothes. They have a small wall, but little kids are on it and they charge.

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I used to like going to the old REI store in Seattle to buy Kendall Mint Cake. I bought a pair of wooden xc skiis there called Bla-skia... they rocked. Whatever happened to those?

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The transition of climbing stores to mainstream is standard and always has had this sort of backlash from foundational customers.

 

Ya see man, what you're missing here is that it is a CO-OP. The mission of the store was to pool buying power to get better deals on CLIMBING and outdoor gear. The mission was not to become the Wal-Mart of outdoor gear and to cater to yuppie casual clothing interest.

 

I still think we need a grassroots revolution. Nobody fuckin' votes in the elections (have you?), we need a hostile takeover. Get our people on the board and start runnin the show. Who's with me?

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A bunch of employees tried this a few years back.

 

Didn't work. It would take a large organized campaign IMO.

 

Will, you up for the task?

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