Manufacturer, Retailer, Survey and Consumer Feedback - REI Mart
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06-16-08, 06:15 AM
I'm getting more and more disappointed with REI, at least here in suburban Maryland just outside of Washington DC. Two weeks ago I went to College Park to get a tube and new helmet. Got the tube - turned out to be a used one that apparently someone returned and they put back on the shelf. The threads were chewed up, and, of course, it leaked. The helmet display looked like Filene's bargain basement after a sale. No prices, boxes scattered all over the place, a limited selection of helmets scattered all over the place. I spoke to the manager, who sort of shrugged it off.
This Saturday I went to the REI on Rockville Pike - newer store, a little more "up scale", with damn few sales people on the floor. m After pleading with numerous sales people to wait on me (literally 45 minutes) I spoke to a manager, who told me how difficult it is to anticipate customer volume. I suggested that a Saturday in early June might be a hint that volume may be high, and in case of customer overload it is a good idea to put more non-essential people on the floor (even managers). He finally agreed to help me. and then went off to find someone with the key to the bike computer case, returning with someone who had little knowledge of the products I was asking them to sell me. Their helmet display was not much better than College Park's,
Enough! After 35 years as a member of REI, I'm losing my patience, despite the annual dividend check...
I miss the old, smart, customer oriented REI!
This seems to be the rule for American retail stores as consumers demand cheaper and cheaper prices. If you want good service I guess you'll have to find a service orientated bike shop and pay the premium.
06-16-08, 08:53 PM
Sorry to hear about your bad experience at REI. Here in Spokane, WA the store and personnel are great. Always eager to help and if not knowledgeable in what your looking for quick to find someone who is. Plus I like the lifetime satisfaction warranty, and they're big enough I don't mind using it. What is the labor market like there? Maybe it's just hard to find good people.
06-16-08, 09:35 PM
I travel regularly coast to coast, driving, and dread crossing the MISSissippi River east bound.
Attitudes and courtesy change from the eastern US to the western parts.
Consistently in the west politeness seems paramount, with people behind a counter, in service areas. Rarely have I encountered rudeness, can't say that about the east.
REI stores? As with other retail situations I save the weekends for those who can't get to them weekdays. And if I did have an emergency that required my going on a weekend I would expect to wait, I can't imagine a better place for a gearhead to spend some time just wandering
As I mentioned, Eastern folk not at all like western folk
07-11-08, 06:53 PM
I agree with you... And it appears the same REI, Rockville, MD. Spoke w/ essentially worthless manager. B. Hunt Went there back when they had that sale ( regular prices for the other stores ) REI had very little instock. Sooooo, if I wanted it I had to go online. I could of done that without going there to look at all their stuff. Kinda like bait and switch. I got beaten up on a few sites warning people about this; but many agreed too. The REI patriots seem taken in with this membership thing and the ability to pick up the ordered items at the store. I don't get it, more face time for REI because YOU get to put in the energy to bike or, unfortunately, drive there.
Just get what you need delivered, a small price paid to UPS or whatever thats going to hundreds of your neighbors anyhow. If you're going to order stuff online, and get it delivered, why go to overpriced REI at all?
I wouldn't mind paying more at a mom and pop, but places like REI have run them all out. Now somehow REI is some oasis of things biking/camping. BS
07-22-08, 11:04 PM
Here's my REI in Sacramento, EastofMidnight. I rode there today, a 14-mile round-trip. The waiting line for the checkout here is configured so the lone cashier's back at the only open register was turned away from the guy at the head of the waiting line: yours truly. The cashier didn't check to see whether someone was in line, and instead helped a line-jumper. I brought the cashier's gaffe to his attention immediately, and he ignored me. He said something to the line-jumper, which I couldn't hear; the customer looked at me and chuckled. When I finally got to the register the miscreant cashier didn't apologize. He just said, "We need a better system here." Within a block of my house I punctured my rear tire. No problem—I had a tube I'd bought at REI just last week. Surprise! It doesn't hold air.
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