REI’s customer service gets the big screen treatment
One of the things that has earned outdoors retailer REI so many fans (AKA customers) over the years has been the cooperative’s 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. It is because of that commitment that REI received a free product placement in the new film "Wild" starring Reese Witherspoon.
The film is based on a memoir by Cheryl Strayed, which tells the story of a roughly 1,100 mile hike she took on the Pacific Coast Trail following the death of her mother. About halfway through her hike, Ms. Strayed lost one her hiking boots when it fell over a mountain ledge. Having purchased the boots at REI, she called the retailer and a new pair was shipped to her, "no questions asked," according to Adweek. Ms. Strayed continued on her journey with new boots on her feet and REI had a fan for life.
Once Ms. Strayed’s memoir was made into a movie, the account of the replaced shoes was included. While most product placements in major motion pictures involve fees, this one was free.
A replica of the shoes Ms. Strayed wore on her trek are now available on REI’s website. The boots, Danner Mountain Light Cascade, are available for sale at $299 (10 percent less for REI members). The boots include the description: "Featured in the Fox Searchlight Pictures release ‘WILD,’ the women’s Mountain Light Cascade hiking boots are a tribute to the iconic Danner style from the early 1970’s."
Interestingly, REI announced last year that it was scaling back its guarantee. Where there once were no time limits, now it is capped at one year.
- REI’s Great Customer Service Hits the Big Screen in Cheryl Strayed’s Wild – Adweek
- Will Changes in REI’s Return Policy Affect Its Business – RetailWire
- About REI – REI
What role do return policies and satisfaction guarantees play in consumers’ purchasing decisions? What is your take on REI?