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Bike Assembly - Can REI Be Clearer?

Hi all!

I'm going to sound whiny, I get it. But please take a look and maybe we can save some future customers some bellyaching.

I ordered a new bike for a trip based upon the Pick-Up In Store date, a trip centered around gravel riding that I've sunk money into for an AirBnB and other expenses. About 48 hours after placing my order I got an email saying my bike "might" not be ready for up to 7 days beyond its arrival at store date. Off to a bad start. Store says it's going to be more like 2 weeks and that they won't release it so I can build it myself. Here's my gripe: nowhere in the cart or in the multiple disclaimers does it mention that the in-store pickup date is not correct, or even close, for bicycles and that they can't be built by the customer. If I ordered it to my home, I get:

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.42.44 AM.png

Cool, makes sense. I chose pickup at store which gives me:

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.44.08 AM.png

Nice, pickup date is displayed. Looks fast. However only after placing an order do you eventually get the email mentioning you can't actually pick it up when it said you could. Even though I could (and would love to!) build the bike myself, that's not an option — another thing that is not mentioned in the cart or in the disclaimer that pops up when a bike is added to the cart:

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.43.04 AM.png

Main point: the UI of the cart should include some kind of alert letting customers know that:
1) bikes can't be built by customers
2) the in-store pickup date is not accurate for bicycles and that all bicycles will require extra time, just like it mentions for bikes shipped to a residence

I just dropped 3 grand on a bike that will be sitting in a store a few miles from my house while I sit in a lawn chair in Vermont. My friends will be ripping around the gravel laden mountains without me. It won't be half bad because, well Vermont, but it's a huge disappointment that could have been avoided with some better website functionality and foresight. I know COVID has upended a lot of processes and made things complicated, I can empathize with that, but if the delay-alerts exist for bikes shipped to a residence they can surely be adjusted and displayed for in-store orders.

Thanks for listening. Be safe during your summer activities. Wear a mask!

5 Replies

@iadoredinosaurs first, thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with a such a detailed account of your experience - we are so sorry for the delay in getting your new bike to you and we really appreciate seeing how this situation evolved, especially where our communication wasn't clear/accurate. We have passed your feedback along to several different teams who are already looking for ways that we can be more clear in our online messaging.

Second, we have passed your feedback along to our Customer Support team and expect they will be in touch with you soon. Although we cannot guarantee there's an easy fix for your specific situation, we definitely want to try to make it better.

Again, we are really sorry for how this situation came about; thank you for providing us with such specific feedback and giving us the opportunity to improve.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Not a problem! Thanks for understanding. I know everyone is swamped and COVID has created special circumstances, just thought messaging could be as clear for in-store pickup as it is for shipped to your door bikes. Appreciate the reply and you forwarding it along, hopefully I wasn’t too much of a pain in the butt. 



@iadoredinosaurs not even a little bit! We really do appreciate hearing directly from customers when our processes/communication aren't clear as we then have the opportunity to improve. Considering one of our main goals is to help folks get outside, we hate hearing that something we did got in the way...

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Totally agree that the UI should be upgraded. Totally understand the pressures of COVID and a large number of bike orders during the pandemic. But it's a little sour to find out, after digging a bit, that bike orders could take additional weeks until they're ready to be picked up. From what I understand, estimated arrival dates aren't guaranteed, and those dates don't apply to bikes anyways which makes any date associated with a bike order arbitrary. 

As the OP noted above, when ordering a bike it clearly shows that the estimated pick-up date. It doesn't make sense to me that this date is shown even though the date of picking up - even up to a week after that estimated date - isn't feasible at all. Again, I understand the challenges and I'm sure the bike techs are working hard as ever to fulfill orders. This was my first time purchasing REI and there wasn't any reason for me to expect that I wouldn't receive my bike by the estimated date or even a few days after. Yet, I would have really valued that the actual expectations to receive my order were clearly laid out before shelling out a few grand on a purchase, not something I had to inquire about a week after an estimated date. 🙏


Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. We apologize for the difference in the estimated shipping timeline and the actual timeline for shipping your new bike. We will be sure to pass your comments along to the appropriate teams.

Thank you for being a member of our co-op!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.