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Should You Return Your Tent After Burning Man?

Should You Return Your Tent After Burning Man


This seems to be what happened to the REI lifetime returns policy. Up until last summer, REI had a no-questions-asked return policy that lasted a product's lifetime, even in some cases when the product had been heavily used. When the company changed its policy to only cover merchandise within a year of purchase, REI cited a large number of returns from a "small group of members” as the cause.

"Some customers have just been a bit confused about the spirit of our policy," Rachel Ligtenberg, a regional vice president in charge of retail stores at REI, told the Wall Street Journal. No more no-questions-asked lifetime returns.

The Journal also quoted a forum poster as saying, "A few bad apples ruined it for the bucket of good ones.”

But Chuck, who went to Burning Man in 2012, returned his $400 worth of gear within a year of purchase. “The return included odds and ends,” he wrote. “Some unused dusk masks, a super furry sweater shaped like a polar bear. The most expensive item was a large six-person camping tent.”

“Returning the tent was pretty difficult, because there was a decent amount of playa dust on it,” Chuck said. “I told the customer service person that my wife was pregnant. She probably believed it until she asked when my wife was due and I didn’t have an answer.”

A manager at another San Francisco outdoor supply store, with a tighter return policy, said that they often reject Burning Man returns. “Items that have been to Burning Man are typically so used and tattered after such rough conditions that we will not accept them back unless it's a warranty issue.”

Stashed in: Burning Man, Consumer Trends, Freakonomics, Burning Man/Black Rock

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So their techno-hippie utopia is built on deliberate, planned, with malice aforethought, in cold blood FRAUD... of a "big company" that actually happens to be a nonprofit co-op! Hahaha, that's too perfect!

Isn't it ironic? Dontcha think?

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