The basement at the flagship store of REI Inc., the privately held sporting goods chain based in Seattle, is like an evidence locker for how the outdoorsy retailer earned an endearing nickname: Return Everything Inc. Hundreds of returned items are stacked in bins, hanging on racks and lining shelves. Tags detail the customer complaints: "suddenly not waterproof" on a frayed, blue, men´s rain jacket from a previous decade; "don´t fit well" on a pair of thick, black, women´s clogs so well-worn that their original design has faded. At another REI store, a customer recently returned a pair of women´s sandals,
Comments: There are selfish, flim-flamming pigs at all levels of society.
Back when I worked in a high-end women´s clothing retailer, a woman returned her bathing suit (faded from many washings) and picked all over the rear of the suit from sitting against a rough surface like concrete. She complained that it hadn´t held up. They gave her her money back. So yes, at all levels of society there are jerks. Most of them women from what I can tell.
LL Bean has the same problem now that they have stores in trendy areas like Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia. I know an employee there and he regularly gets returns on luggage and camping gear bought and returned after the trip or outing - basically a free rental! People troll garage sales for any REI or LL Bean merchandise to take back to the store. I saw a woman buy an adult size ski outfit for $5, bragging she could exchange it for one that would fit her 10 year old - and then do it again when he grew out of it!
Nordstrom´s has the same policy. Or they used to. Some years ago, a woman bought several items at a Nordstrom store at a mall in Seattle. She then went to the food court where someone stole her bags. She went back to Nordstrom´s and demanded they replace the items. Forturnately, the manager told her no. But this is the mentality of a lot of people.
There are folks with no ethics an no morals and Companies like this should never kowtow to their sense of entitlement. I personally know of an individual who returned a vacuum cleaner to a major chain store one year after purchase simply because he wanted a new one,and though their policy was to replace product after only a few months, nevertheless they gave the individual a new machine, even though the old one was in working order with no problems. The current social environment lends itself to these activities and allows people to act irresponsibly.
I blame the proprietors to an extent, too. In the good old days, proprietors sometimes knew that you had to say no. A friend of my family´s was a restauranteur for many years and would always be plagued by people who would come in, order an expensive steak and then complain that it was ´undercooked´...after eating 3/4 of it of course...and indignantly demanding their money back. She would tell them no...you don´t eat the majority of your meal and then demand your money back and would tell them not to return. She had a loyal following.
On the other end, I have been a memeber since 1971 and bought a pair of X-country ski poles in the late 70´s. Loved the poles, but the small plastic piece that holds the strap finally broke. I took them in to the Boulder store seeking help in finding a replacement part that I could BUY. When I explained the situation, was told "looks like you got your money´s worth out of those polls, but can´t help you." I haven´t been back.
I retired as a manager at Nordstrom. We had the same liberal return policy. People would actually go to good will, buy Nordstrom labeled clothing, and bring it back for a cash refund. They would also purchase designer dresses, shoes, jewelry for events and return them the following day.
We have an REI in our town that has an awful chemical smell that makes me feel like I´m going to pass out. Or maybe it´s the $20 pairs of socks and the enormous 5% discount that makes me want to swoon.
I live in the Bay Area and remember the Berkeley store before REI went "big." It was overpriced even then, but had a certain "cachet" with tree huggers and other leftie types. Those of us who weren´t trust fund babies had to shop at the North Face outlet a few blocks away. Better prices, products, and lots of regular people. It´s one store I do miss!
Great memories of the original store in the warehouse on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Floorboards smelled like creosote and I never had to return a thing. They used to have parking lot sales to get rid of the returns, discontinued, etc.
Don´t cry too much, people. It´s a business model. Good will buys customers but also attracts lefty entitlement leaches in search of a new host.
A young man I know bragged that he would buy an expensive backpack from LL Bean when school started, use it a year or so, then complain it "wasn´t wearing well" and get a new one. He also did this with jackets, etc. He thought he was clever, and I thought he was a thief. He was from a family that was quite comfortable financially.
There is a way that one expects visits with jailed criminals to go: typically, there´s guilt, contrition, the accepting of responsibility. Not so with Bernie Madoff, serving 150 years, the executor of the world´s most famous Ponzi scheme. As the five-year anniversary of the discovery of his crime approaches — is that even something worth keeping an anniversary for? — The Wall Street Journal´s Sital Patel sought out comment from the convicted fraudster. What she found over a two-hour sitdown at a comfy Butner, N.C. prison was a man who basically pointed fingers while raising other fingers, to boot. Haters, it
The Navy recently christened the USS Gerald Ford in Newport News, Virginia, with considerable fanfare and the traditional smashing of a bottle of champagne across the bow of the ship — the most technologically advanced aircraft carrier the United States has built. The fancy new ship cost taxpayers $13 billion, including a shameful $2.5 billion cost overrun! That’s an overrun of almost 20%, hardly a rounding error. Really? A $2.5 billion overrun. I’m sure taxpayers are scratching their heads wondering who will pay that outrageous tab. Well, since the carrier is being built under a cost-plus, incentive-fee contract , the Navy pays
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate turned media personality, is looking at another bid for the presidency, this time backed by ministers eager to put an evangelical into the White House. Huckabee will test the waters when he returns home to Little Rock, Ark., December 12-13 to address the Arkansas Renewal Project, part of evangelical organizer David Lane´s American Renewal Project. Huckabee had the support of pastors in his 2008 fight against eventual winner Sen. John McCain. Among the potential candidates looking at a GOP bid, Huckabee is closest to the pastors. He is a social conservative who
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W hen unexpected events happen — be they natural disasters or terrorist attacks — the consequences can be dire. As a result, governments have gone to great lengths to prepare for the unexpected as best they can, stockpiling scarce resources in case supplies get cut off. The most famous example is the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). With a capacity of 727 million barrels of oil, the SPR is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR is meant to offset a potential disruption in commercial oil
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The most curious thing of all about the November jobs report released on Friday was the huge drop in the unemployment rate — and the fact that the Labor Department chose not to disclose that the data going into that figure are under investigation for falsification. On Nov. 19, I broke the news in my column that the Census Bureau, which collects data that goes into the jobless rate on behalf of Labor, had caught one of its enumerators fabricating interviews in 2010. The culprit said back then (and to me during an interview) that he was told to do so by
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Denver - A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage." The order says the cake-maker must "cease and desist from discriminating" against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay
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