I agree, pulling that rating after any amount of time is wrong unless it is stated that all ratings have a life span.
I would write corporate, it has been a good company for me and if I was going to leave them, I might as well give the top a chance to explain, if you do chose to contact them, I would be interested in there response, or lack of.
"Yesterday is the past, Tomorrow is the future, Today is a GIFT, that is why it is called the present".
I buy alot of gear from REI because it is really handy. I have never received great service from any location. As REI has grown over the years they have sold out to the posers and the GQ types. Much of the store is trendy clothing. I have been a member since 1981. They have changed with the times and have sold out for market share and increased revenue. They are still a COOP and not a public company. Members should have a voice.
"With an ax, you can build a life. With a stove, you can boil water. That is if nothing breaks and you don't run out of fuel." -Samuel Hearne
Each tent has its pros and cons and our family has an REI Taj3, an REI Halfdome 2 and REI Halfdome 4. We previously returned an REI Quarterdome when the urethane fly got all sticky. We also have a Eureka Timberline 4XT and my middle son has a Big Agnes Seedhouse 3. On a recent BWCA trip, the center pole on our Eureka timberline broke and we need to buy a new pole. On my son's REI Halfdome 2, one pole end is splitting and they are ordering a replacement for free. Who else has this good of a warranty on a 4 year old tent?
On our July trip, one of our very comfortable 3.5" thick REI Camp Beds sprung a leak and so my wife and I alternated using the non-leaky camp bed while the other used the leaky mattress. Even partially deflated, it was still more comfortable than the thinner Thermarests we've used in the past. When we got back, we went to REI and exchanged it for a new one, no questions asked. We decided against patching it in the BWCA as it did hold some air. But the REI sleeping pad comes with a repair kit, unlike the Thermarest and also a stuff sack is included and not sold separately like the Thermarest. It's times like this we really appreciate the value of REI gear.
All outfitters sell essentially the same gear. My local REI sells MSR and Optimus stoves, Thermarest sleeping pads, Perception kayaks, Cannondale bicycles, North Face clothing, Nalgene bottles, Harmony paddles, Pur water filters, Kelty tents, Lotus PFD's and other brand names I find everywhere else, in addition to their own brands.
I find they have good sales and using my REI VISA card for life's everyday purchases and work travel expenses, I get a rebate each year for free REI gear which has served me very well since I joined over 25 years ago. I can't say enough good things about REI, their gear and their return policy.
I have many REI tents, backpacks, cooking kits and other branded gear that are rock solid, last forever and highly recommended.
Sorry you didn't like your Taj3 tent. As I recall, the thread about this tent listed some pros and cons. What did you not like about the Taj3 so that you turned it back in for a refund? Was it the poor visibility or ventilation when the fly is on? The smaller vestibules?
I have used this tent in killer rainstorms and never had a drop of water get inside. I personally like a larger tent, but find it works great for backpacking trips.
Sorry for your bad experience and an older review being pulled from the web site, but I for one just can't get tied up in a knot enough that I am going to sever a 25 year relationship that continues to serve me very well. I hope your new tent serves you very well and addresses all of the concerns you had about your REI Taj3.
quit using REI years ago when I was constantly belittled for not having one of their memberships
asked when i walked in, asked by any floor sales I dealt with (service got cold when I said no everytime), asked again at the register. Made to feel like an arse when I said no thanks
cant bring myself to buy a membership for the privilege of buying overpriced merchandise at a discount
of course the famous time I asked about the quality of a certain piece of gear and was told the next one was better, when I asked why the first thing he sad was "well it costs more for one"
commissions???? I don't know
but thanks for letting me rant a bit
shop where ya like, REI just doesn't work for me anyhow
He, who would give up freedom for security, then neither deserves nor will receive either. -- Ben Franklin
REI is definetly a different beast than it once was. I think from a merchantdising perspective, there buyers are more computer program driven than out in the field find and using good and new stuff. From a customer service perspective, I think they have gotten big and their leadership is certainly to blaim if it is not a major corporate goal to provide the best customer service. They do still have some seminars and other things locally which is a big step beyond just being a big box store, but they are different. I went to the Maple Grove store and couldn't believe how the store was stocked. There was nearly nothing of interest there, but the same was true of the nearby stores, again driven by computer programs.
I prefer a trip to Midwest Moutaineering in Minneapolis when I am interested in seeing some cool gear and dealing with good customer service.
sorry to hear that the tent wasn't for you....and you put so much work into getting the "perfect tent". I quit buying from REI years ago, used to be a good company....we "hermits" are afraid of all the "Yuppies". :)
"I am haunted by waters"~Norman Maclean "A River Runs Through It"
I've been very pleased with REI over the past 20 plus years. In my experience its hard to beat there return policy and level of customer service. On the other hand I've haven't experienced the same level of service from Midwest Mountaineering.
Let me add to this line of thinking. The REI in Bloomington IMO is going downhill. Have been in there a lot in the last month. Preparing for my trip this week with my loving but ill-equipped girlfriend. Whoever is in charge of stocking that place is on crack. There are whole sections that are bare. Over heard another customer ask about this and he was told that it has been a really hard summer. Give me a break. As mentioned before, they all drill you with the membership question. I am a member but does it really matter? I'm just in there browsing and a sales person will ask if I need help. I say no and they ask if I am a member. If I'm not will I have to leave?
I have to say that REI has treated me very well. Special orders were no problem. Excellent customer service. I will pay for extra for this but not that much and most of my gear is from their outlet anyway. When I get to their store I find the service to be above average and I will take that any day.
Well, I haven't really had any trouble with REI. In fact I even have a REI tent that I use exclusively for car camping (6 person dome for the three of us). Ain't a bad tent.
But...the thing I don't like about REI is their slick catalog, which seems to market this outdoor jock lifestyle where image is everything, where you must have the latest clothing, kayak, rock climbing gear, whatever.
But I suppose I'm just a crabby old fart. Heck, I still like my buffalo plaid wool shirt.
an update (swallowing my pride and tucking my tail between my legs for this...somewhat)
i got the final explaination from REI. seems the review was flagged as inappropriate (foghorn going off now if youre a garage logic listener) by bizrate (i believe)....and for some reason they have the ability to pull a review...or atleast request REI to pull it. REI pulls it, then at some point goes back over it to see if it is offensive, etc.
bottom line, the VERY negative review i submitted is back on the website.
im still not sure if its because i complained or if it would have just taken time to get it reinstated. ill never know for sure.
there. im being honest. i thought it was only fair to give this update to all of you. take what you will from it.
(BTW...the taj 3 is back in the outlet store. lol)
Wow Kanoes! I am glad you got all that off your chest. We all need to be heard when we feel the need. I have always enjoyed my trips to REI. However, I do agree with how they have been the last few years. Clothes have gotten way too trendy & spendy. Wow, I am a poet! Are you a member? Are you a member? Are you a member? Thank God I am, or otherwise I may not have 1/2 the stuff I do. Anyway is there any other place that we can get the McKenzie maps? I guess I go to REI because it is the closest place to go for gear, etc. for me.
FYI: I have a Taj3 too & Love It!
C-H-A-L-L-E-N-G-E: Do not let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do.
ok, i will comment. i wasnt "put in my place" as you stated it cheesehead. they posted an explaination phrased in corporate speak that was double talk and basically DIDNT explain why they did what they did.
they did a sleazy thing (the reason i went off). i still stand by my view. ill never buy from them again because of it.
After buzzing over this thread, a couple of questions come to mind.
A lot of items at outlets are there because they are on closeout. It may have been closed out because it wasn't a good seller (which is why I seldom shop closeouts or outlets anymore). Poor quality may have been one of the reasons. Might this have been the case? How many GOOD reviews did you find on this item pror to purchasing?
Is this item/model no longer made? If it is not, and there are nearly no more of them out there to sell, then why not pull the reviews?
Don't get me wrong, in my opinion, REI is no longer an outfitter and I seldom even glance at their catalog if one arrives in the mail. They've gone so far that there is likley no return possible. I've seen fliers that might not have even one tent, stove or backpack in it.
Not saying that you were wrong to get 'P'd off. All reviews should be kept posted unless the item is no longer made.
P.S. I have a used Sierra Designs Light Year for sale but it's a little snug for most peoples likeing.
“The more you know, the less you carry” Mors Kochanski
I had to go to REI to see what all the fuss was about. I found the review: Sierra dome 2
I can't beleive you got any grief over your review. There are no foul words or even extremely critical comments. You basically listed some things you didn't like said the tent wasn't really an REI design.
Granted, REI has nice gear and sure, you expect to pay more for quality. But I agree with the majority opinion here in that they have changed over the years. What was once a niche market with experienced staff willing to discuss the particulars of caribiners, ascenders, or whatever gear you were after is now staffed with people who are just doing "retail sales", by and large. The small company feel isn't there any longer, or at least certainly not in the way it used to be when you only found their stores on the West coast.
I'm glad to hear they re-posted your review, and it was sad that they even pulled it off in the first place. After all, the gear you take with you is the only thing you have besides your wits out there, and in my case that leaves me with mostly gear. ;-) I think it's important to share your honest opinion with others so that we can all make informed decisions about what we are relying on when we head into the big woods.
But hey, I still miss Herters...what do I know?
REI CxO, if you are reading this, give Jim Whittaker a call and ask him if the quality of his tent was important when he was climbing. I think we all know what the answer will be.
Now then...I'm looking really closely at that Taj 3 after my old Eureka Dome 2 bug screen zipper recently failed...after only 19 years!
"Are you pointing TO the rock, or AWAY FROM the rock?"