Mountain Project Logo

I got shot down on a return to rei today...

Original Post
JeffL · · Salt Lake City · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65

My REI flash 18 pack, which I thought was marketed as a summit pack got destroyed when climbing Epinephrine last week. I took it in today and the customer service agent said that it's not meant to be a summit pack and thus it's my fault and a return would not be accepted. I was in a rush for time, so I didn't challenge her.

I've been stewing over it at work and I'm wondering what folks here think. It was purchased under the 100% guarantee era over a year ago, and like all of my gear purchased from there, was more expensive than I would have liked, but purchased due to the kickbacks of the policy.

Her saying that it was "my bad" certainly follow the standard "the customer is always right" motto. Also I'm not really stoked on her argument that I abused the product by using it as a summit pack. Here is the direct quote from the website on the policy: "REI’s guarantee doesn’t cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents."

Thoughts? Oh and feel free to call me whatever names you want. I have in fact returned two other items to REI over the course of the last 6 years.

Jeremy Bauman · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 842

I had a similar experience recently. I had a pair of REI ski pants that I've only used a handful of times since I lived in Texas. This winter I was zipping my front pocket when the entire pocket delaminated and came out! I mean the pocket was all of a sudden outside my pants! Certainly not normal wear and tear.

When I tried to return them the guy tried to explain that they're not covered and that this is normal. I explained that this type of wear is more of a manufacturing defect and he reluctantly returned them for me.

I hear ya, REI isn't what it used to be.

Tristan Higbee · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 2,970

From the REI website for the Flash 18: "All-purpose daypack is handy in town, on trails and for short hikes away from basecamp; turn it inside out to create a stuff sack that helps organize gear inside a big pack"

Nothing about a summit pack.

Even if it were marketed as a summit pack (maybe it was at the time you bought it, I don't know), when I hear summit pack I think a pack you wear when climbing a big, snowy mountain on summit day. Not meant for rock climbing, let alone rock climbing on a chimneyfest like Epinephrine.

The ski pants thing, though, I'd want a refund for that too. Sounds like a defective product.

Ryan Williams · · London (sort of) · Joined May 2009 · Points: 1,265

I can't comment on current REI policy, or whether it was being followed in this case, but I agree with Tristan about the Flash. My wife has one. Great pack to travel with. She uses it to cycle to work. But dragging it behind me on Epinephrine? I'm not sure I'd trust it to hold my stuff for the duration of the route. It's obviously not meant for that kind of abuse.

Ryan Nevius · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 944
JeffL wrote:REI flash 18 pack...climbing Epinephrine.
bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

for a rock climbing pack 210D is the BARE minimum ... 400D+ IMO just barely makes it in terms of durability

my old mec blitz crag is still ticking strong with 1000D+ fabric ...i bought it 6 years ago for 17 dollahs ... its been used daily

reviews.mec.ca/9421-en_ca/4…

partner with it last week

memorial ledge, squamish chief

the 140D denier of the old flash daypack just doesnt cut it IMO ...

alot of these UL packs are only really suitable for fast and light alpine ... or face climbs where you arent dragging and chimneying with the pack

years ago when the last model came out i blew through the 100D sides of a dead bird cierzo pack in about 2 months (no hauling used daily) despite it being advertised for "rock climbing"

packs made of burlier material dont weight much more IF the manufacturers focus on keeping a simple design ... unfortunately many want to add doo-dahs

try the BD bullet ... its a proven design with 400-1000D fabric and weights a ginourmous 2 oz more than the flash 18

;)

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065
Jeremy Bauman wrote:I had a similar experience recently. I had a pair of REI ski pants that I've only used a handful of times since I lived in Texas. This winter I was zipping my front pocket when the entire pocket delaminated and came out! I mean the pocket was all of a sudden outside my pants! Certainly not normal wear and tear. When I tried to return them the guy tried to explain that they're not covered and that this is normal. I explained that this type of wear is more of a manufacturing defect and he reluctantly returned them for me. I hear ya, REI isn't what it used to be.
delamination of the pocket is a defect ... especially if theres minimal wear

;)
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346
bearbreeder wrote:for a rock climbing pack 210D is the BARE minimum ... 400D+ IMO just barely makes it in terms of durability my old mec blitz crag is still ticking strong with 1000D+ fabric ...i bought it 6 years ago for 17 dollahs ... its been used daily reviews.mec.ca/9421-en_ca/4… partner with it last week the 140D denier of the old flash daypack just doesnt cut it IMO ... alot of these UL packs are only really suitable for fast and light alpine ... or face climbs where you arent dragging and chimneying with the pack years ago when the last model came out i blew through the 100D sides of a dead bird cierzo pack in about 2 months (no hauling used daily) despite it being advertised for "rock climbing" packs made of burlier material dont weight much more IF the manufacturers focus on keeping a simple design ... unfortunately many want to add doo-dahs try the BD bullet ... its a proven design with 400-1000D fabric and weights a ginourmous 2 oz more than the flash 18 ;)
Just dont buy it from MEC. I remember the last time I went to an MEC. They charged full MSRP on everything I saw in the store, they charged a mandatory membership fee, and they charged for parking (which of course I dident pay). Who pays for parking at retailers???? Fuk that.
bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065
20 kN wrote: Just dont buy it from MEC. I remember the last time I went to an MEC. They charged full MSRP on everything I saw in the store, they charged a mandatory membership fee, and they charged for parking (which of course I dident pay). Who pays for parking at retailers???? Fuk that.
anything bought from MEC comes with a no questions asked UNLIMITED warranty

and they have plenty of stuff at clearance at the end of the year

the membership fee is 5$ ... whoopay doo-dah

parking? ... if you look around the vancouver location there is ALWAYS free street parking a block or two up

;)
Ryan Williams · · London (sort of) · Joined May 2009 · Points: 1,265
20 kN wrote: Just dont buy it from MEC. I remember the last time I went to an MEC. They charged full MSRP on everything I saw in the store, they charged a mandatory membership fee, and they charged for parking (which of course I dident pay). Who pays for parking at retailers???? Fuk that.
It does seem crazy in a country with as much space as Canada that you would have to pay for parking anywhere! Were you in the centre of a large city? If so, I guess that's normal. Certainly is here in London.

I've only heard good things about MEC though. Nothing wrong with charging full price for their merchandise, or with making you pay a one time membership fee.
teece303 · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 596

You destroyed your pack climbing in tough conditions. This is never covered by any kind of warranty anywhere. The fact that REI once covered these kind of claims was insane.

Bluestone · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0

I agree with teece. I always thought it was the responsibility of the buyer to make sure the product they chose is suitable for the task they're buying it for. Just common sense really.

Maurice Chaunders · · boise, id · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 5

You destroyed your pack climbing in tough conditions. This is never covered by any kind of warranty anywhere. The fact that REI once covered these kind of claims was insane...+1

And I think you were a bit out of line to expect a return, regardless of what the pack was marketed to do or be

Paul-B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 115
Maurice Chaunders wrote:You destroyed your pack climbing in tough conditions. This is never covered by any kind of warranty anywhere. The fact that REI once covered these kind of claims was insane...+1 And I think you were a bit out of line to expect a return, regardless of what the pack was marketed to do or be
++1
Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425
JeffL wrote:My REI flash 18 pack.....like all of my gear purchased from there, was more expensive than I would have liked.
$34.50

Really? It's like the cheapest day pack out there. I spend that much at the bar in an hour.
Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0
Paul-B wrote: ++1
+++2
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,931

The LOL is strong in this one.

Nick Votto · · CO, CT, IT · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 320
Scott McMahon wrote: $34.50 Really? It's like the cheapest day pack out there. I spend that much at the bar in an hour.
Absolutely Scott.....or in NYC on 2 drinks
Go grab a new one man!! That's cheap!
Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,794

Here's their policy:

"We stand behind everything we sell. If you are not satisfied with your REI purchase, you can return it for a replacement or refund. Items must be returned within a year of purchase, except items purchased from REI-OUTLET which must be returned within 30 days of purchase.

REI’s guarantee doesn’t cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents.

If your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, you can return it at any time."


And here's their description of the Flash 18:

"All-purpose daypack..."

To me, this is a toss-up. It's technically misused, a climbing pack for multipitch will definitely be more ruggedly used than a day pack for hiking, etc. However... Their description says "all purpose".

You could handle it a few ways:

-Go back to the same store and raise a stink over $35
-Eat it and accept at least some of the blame and maybe not shop there as much or at all if you think they wronged you significantly, and get a real multipitch pack
-Go to another REI, leave out the part about Epinephrine and multipitch climbing use of the pack entirely and get it replaced or receive store credit.

They definitely have tightened down on their policy. Honestly, I try not to shop there unless there's something I need to try on. It's only worth it really if you have the REI credit card and you get 5% back on everything you buy with it. Other than that, for gear hard goods, why would I (or anyone) pay full retail, just for 10% back the next year, when you can get 20%-25% back almost any time online?

The allure WAS the return policy, and now it seems that may have gone by the wayside. I try to do honest business and buy where I try on- meaning that I don't just try stuff on, using the staff and resources, then get my size and fit and buy somewhere else. But, if I'm going to pay full price when I could pay much less elsewhere, I expect to not be hassled or encounter a bunch of resistance when I come back dissatisfied.

It really is a matter of perspective though. For me, price is a big deal, for others it's not. If I can get 20% off though, or get nothing off, and receive the same or worse service, I'm going with the 20% off unless I have no other choice. YMMV.

JeffL · · Salt Lake City · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65
Maurice Chaunders wrote:You destroyed your pack climbing in tough conditions. This is never covered by any kind of warranty anywhere. The fact that REI once covered these kind of claims was insane...+1 And I think you were a bit out of line to expect a return, regardless of what the pack was marketed to do or be
Fair enough. I guess I'll just tape it and continue to abuse it.
Locker · · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 2,269

BINGO!

"You destroyed your pack climbing in tough conditions. This is never covered by any kind of warranty anywhere. The fact that REI once covered these kind of claims was insane."

Quit whining!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "I got shot down on a return to rei today..."

Log In to Reply