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Has your return policy changed?

So, we went to the Concord CA REI on 10/18/2021 around 3:00 PM to return a pair of HOKA trail shoes that my girlfriend felt wore out way prematurely. They were about 10 months old, but she suffered from knee problems most of that time and ended up having surgery and not wearing the shoes for 4 of those months.

My understanding is that REIs’ published policy is “satisfaction guaranteed”. Instead of issuing a standard credit, the employee said he would have to check with the manger, Dan, who proceeded to lecture us that our expectations of shoe life were exaggerated and that he didn’t think a return was warranted. He surmised incorrectly that my girlfriend put a lot of pavement miles on the shoes, even after we shared her health history. We were persistent though, and we did get our return.

This incident left a very bad taste in our mouths about REI, and rather than purchasing new shoes on the spot, we exited the store weighing our options.

Has the store policy changed, giving employees decision making powers over the stated 1 year satisfaction policy?

Old Guy

1 Reply


Thank you for reaching out, although we are sorry to hear it is because you had a negative experience at one of our stores. Our return policy has not changed and states:

100% satisfaction guaranteed

We stand behind everything we sell. If you're not satisfied with your REI purchase, you can return it for a replacement or refund within one year of purchase — with a few exceptions. 

With one of those exceptions being:

Damaged gear

REI’s Satisfaction Guarantee policy doesn't cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents.

You can read our full Return Policy, including all exceptions, here.

While it can be challenging to determine what is 'ordinary wear and tear', we trust our employees at the store-level to use their best judgement to make a decision about a return. We strive to deliver the best customer service experience possible, however, sometimes we miss the mark. We will pass your feedback regarding your experience along to the Concord store team.

Thank you for being a member and customer of REI.

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