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Gear that predates REI one year warranty.

Hi REI,

I am a long time REI member and former employee. I have been frustrated to see and hear of people abusing the REI warranty, but I have  been frustrated to see the increasing reliance on gear produced  that is meant to be disposable as opposed to repairable. I feel like I have reasonable expectations of gear when well taken care of. That said I am wondering about my options for a Primus two burner stove. There are two ways to look at this product, one, I bought it in 2011 so it is ten years old and wasn't meant to last this long. Two, I have used it less than a dozen times, and hasn't worked the last two times. (I do more backpacking than car camping ((my thirty year old Whisperlite still works like a rock star, and I can get parts to repair it, such as O rings)) The Primus has left me stoveless the last two times I took it on a car camping trip. This is very frustrating, when it is your only stove and there is a fire ban, so I don't have a backup fire option. The last time I it was an O ring issue, and after great effort, over a a month trying to get any customer service from Primus, or REI, I was finally able to buy and replace the O ring. So a year later I am thinking I have a ready to go stove and couldn't get it working to cook breakfast. It appears the problem is in the hose, but I don't know what is going on. I dread trying to go through Primus again. 

This stove isn't a pair of thirteen year old footwear.  It's been stored in its original box, when not in use, so I don't think it is unreasonable for me to expect that this stove should work the few times I take it out. Even if I am able to buy a new hose, the first one shouldn't have stopped working with such little use. I have lost trust in this stove and it feels ridiculous that I should have to bring my Whisperlite as a constant backup. When I bought this stove, the warranty was to cover defects, and not items that are worn out from a lot of use. At this point I would like to return this stove and apply the credit toward one I can depend on. 

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2 Replies

Hi @mtnlyon - Thanks for reaching out, though we're sorry it's because your stove isn't working consistently anymore. We hear your frustration with a product not working after you have taken good care of it.

Because our 100% satisfaction guarantee only cover products purchased within the last year, your Primus stove will not be able to be returned. With that, there may be other options for finding a hose that works. On the Primus website there is a replacement hose available. Without having your stove in front of us, we aren't sure if the one available will work with your older model, but it could be worth looking into to see if it will get your stove back into working order.

Thank you for being a co-op member and taking the time to share your thoughtful feedback with us. We have taken note of it. Let us know if you have any additional questions and we'll be happy to help!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Thanks for replying CarterC. I had a conversation with one of the local REI supervisors here. I felt frustrated with that conversation since his tact was if it was a stove defect, it would have shown up way before now. I guess it falls into the simple, there is something wrong with the product or something wrong with the way it is being used and he took that latter view. Regardless, I am trying to find out how to make the stove operable again. I have contacted Primus, but have yet to hear back. Based on my previous experience with them it could take a while. When the stove last stopped working I extrapolated all it needed was a small O-ring, but REI didn't carry it and it took over a month to get it from Primus. Makes me grateful that I have been able to readily get replacement parts for my MSR Whisperlite. 

On a more positive recent REI experience, I needed replacement poles for an REI Half Dome tent. Although REI doesn't sell or repair tent poles any longer, I was referred to a small company in Seattle which specialized in tent repairs. I was able to get the exact poles I needed and support a small company in the process. Seems like there might be a niche for a small company that did stove repairs? 

As a member of over thirty years and a former REI employee of seven years, I would be very disappointed if REI is considering making their lifetime membership an annual renewal membership. 

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