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Poor customer service

Wow, showed up at the store at 6 pm to be told they were closing early due to COVID and to come back tomorrow, despite there was obviously shoppers still inside.  I explained I drove 30 minutes in traffic and knew the specific shoe and size for running. The same pair I always bought from them.  It didn’t make a difference so I came home and ordered them on line from another store.  I guarantee I will never shop in your store and make it a point to talk about your incredibly poor customer service.  So, thank you, REI, for showing me how to buy the shoes from anyone but you now and into the future.  I wonder how much business and how many customers you lose by poor customer service like what I encountered?

6 Replies

@Eds Thank you for reaching out with your feedback about your experience. We are sorry that we missed the mark on your service expectations. I have sent you a direct message and hope we can connect there to find a resolution.

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

Not sure where your store is, but the one in Virginia Beach has firm rules like: Mask Required, 30 People In The Store At A Time, Reduced Hours, Etc...Being that we're in a global pandemic. The store had been completely closed for a month or more. I called before I traveled more than a half hour and my wife bought some new Altra Lone Peaks and I found a great deal on the closeout rack. Sorry you had a bad experience, but "check the weather" before you head out on an expedition. REI rocks!

Hi @Eds .  First and foremost, let me say that I am not, nor ever have been, an employee of REI.  Nor do I have any financial interest in the company, save for my end-of-year dividend, which is in no way dependent upon your purchases.  I say this to establish that I have no vested interests at play.

It sucks to miss a deadline or appointment.  Even more so when there are contributing factors outside your control, such as traffic.  And I sympathize with your frustration, but to take the action that you will never shop at REI again, based upon a single perceived customer service disappointment seems a bit extreme.

As @BlueRidge mentioned, did you call ahead to check the operating hours?  Or to see if they had your specific shoe and size in stock? Could you have left earlier to avoid the traffic? I drive over 30 minutes to reach my local REI.  And to reach my job. And to reach many of the trail-heads I hike and bike.  To me, a 30 minute drive may not be fun, but it's a normal part of my life and certainly nothing to get bent out of shape over.

I no longer work in a retail environment, but I used to.  And my kids do.  And some friends do.  And I remember how those last-minute customers who "just wanted one quick thing" would end up causing an entire staff to wait to close out and return to their families.  I've had to sit and wait up to 45 minutes in a parking lot waiting to pick up one of my kids who were left dealing with stragglers and late-comers such as yourself in this instance.

These individual stores are operating under company and government imposed mandates, and it is incumbent upon the employees to uphold those rules.  Your being turned away after closing time was not done just to inconvenience you. And your inconsideration could likely have caused significant inconvenience to many other people.

Take a step back.  Think about how your actions affect others, and what you can do to make this a better, more enjoyable place for everyone.  

 

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

I've really been struggling with the poor customer service at their Bloomington, MN "Flagship store" for awhile and the current 'era' has made it 100X's worse. Planning for an extended winter of being outside I returned to the Bloomington store 4X's to buy winter boots only to not be given any service but the shoe department. When I was finally able to get some service there I was told by a sales associate that I "should have come sooner, all of Minnesota bought boots last week." Like I said, 3 previous visits in the span of a week, waiting for over 30-40 mins to get service and I finally had to leave. I keep thinking I should end my "membership" and get my $20 back but that seem petulant. Still... I don't think I will ever shop there again. 

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It is unfortunate to hear of poor customer service anywhere, but I have patronized as least five different REI stores  over the years, from Anchorage to southern California, and the service has always been excellent.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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@FormerlyFaithfulREI we're sorry to hear that you've had a few experiences of poor customer service in our Bloomington store and appreciate that you've taken the time to share your feedback with us. Have you asked to speak with a member of the management team on any of the occasions? We always recommend taking this step as they are in the best position to address a situation in the moment. Noting that a co-op membership is non-refundable, we hope you'll give our team another chance.

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