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Godawful untrained approach to customer service

Yesterday, in Jalan Teuku Umar, in Depasar, Bali I had an experience that typified the Indonesian approach to customer-service: 'as a Rei shop employee, I can only sell you the goods we stock (in this case hiking shoes). (And there is no way of money back on faulty goods). You asked us to order a spare set of laces for your shoes, but we can't/won't/don't know how to/are too scared to, order anything like that for a customer'. When asked to speak to a manager, panic sets in, and a determination not to let a shop-employee get away with this nonsensical attitude gripped me. Please, no-one endorse this short-changing of customers in Indonesia with illegal, discriminatory retailing practices. Shame on Rei for allowing this money-grubbing sales-attitude anywhere.

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5 Replies

Thanks for reaching out to us! I am moving your post to the "Ask an REI Employee" board, where another employee will get back to you shortly.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.

@mauriceg would it be possible to connect further about your experience? We do not operate a business in Bali or Indonesia - did you connect with us via phone or email? Further, we do have a satisfaction guarantee that covers manufacturer defect and although shoelaces wouldn't typically be covered (because they often break down with usage and are a part of a shoe that need to be replaced every so often), we would be unlikely to deny a return over the phone without the ability to see the item in question. If you are interested in connecting further, please reach out to us via

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

@mauriceg We appreciate you reaching out to us with your concerns, however, we do not have any presence in Indonesia. This website ( is for Recreational Equipment, Incorporated which operates stores only in the United States. If your service experience occurred at the store in the photo I included then that is a different company entirely. Thank you for your time, I wish you best of luck in your travels!




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

What is the story on this "other" REI?

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

The same as all the other rip-off and copyright infringement stuff in Indonesia and Thailand  I bought a "North Face" pack at an amazing discount from a street vendor, but I will not be complaining to North Face when it falls apart because it is clearly a knock off, just like the Rolex watches I could buy at the next stall.  I am also pretty sure the driver's licenses, press passes and college degrees I could buy and have "made to order" in Thailand were also all fake: