Company Spotlight: REI September 25 2014, 94 Comments

Company Spotlight: REI

Ok, I know what you're thinking, REI is a huge corporation blah blah.  True, they are, but they operate completely differently than your average Dick Sporting Goods, Academy's, and Walmarts.  To be honest, I didn't know much about REI until they opened up a retail store near my house. 
REI was founded in 1938 in Seattle, Washington, and quite refreshingly, they are a privately owned, American company.  They operate as a quasi Co-Op, basically if you purchase a 20 dollar lifetime membership,  and you will get an annual dividend check equal to 10 percent of what you spent throughout the year. Doesn't sound Ike much, but if you spend anytime outdoors, it adds up pretty quickly.  I was able to buy a Jet Boil, and a new headlamp with my last years return.  Their stores are always beautiful, clean, well stocked, and have helpful employees that know what they are talking about. 
So why am I writing this blog? Because I had an unusual experience from REI last week, and wanted to share it. I received an email, showing the Salomon Speedcross 3's were on sale.  Awesome, I wanted another pair, so I went to the website, and found the Speedcross's, which at the time were backordered, no big deal.  I ordered them and went about my day.  Later on that week, I received a shipping notification, so I made arrangements for someone to be at the house awaiting the UPS driver.  Dude never showed up, yet the tracking number said they were left by the door. So the next day, I filed a claim with UPS, which was a huge waste of time by the way, and while waiting for UPS to call me back, I took a chance and called REI, just to inform them about the situation.  
I was taken back, because right off the bat, I had a human on the other line.  But not just any human, a human who spoke English, and who was friendly.  I am 32 years old, and I have never had a nicer customer service representive talk to me on the phone, she genuinely showed concern, and cared about what I was going through.  After explaining the situation, she put me on hold, and transferred me to another friendly customer service representive who wanted to verify my shipping address, they were going to overnight me another pair of shoes.  I was shocked, I didn't get a run around, an excuses, nothing.  UPS made the fuck up, and they were making it right.  They both appreciated me shopping with their company, and thanked me for being a member.  
I base my purchases mainly on customer service, if you're a dickhead, don't return emails, I'm not going to spend my hard earned money with you. It's something I emulate in my business, I respond to emails, comments, and questions, because I appreciate everyone that supports this brand.  But REI, has cemented themselves into my life now, just by the way they treated me over the phone.  Simple as that.
Steven LaBarre
 
Steven LaBarre
Stay the Course LLC