Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I say good for consumers calling them out on what obviously was a BS policy.

REI successfully fulfilled that policy for decades. It wasn't BS, and it's sad to see it go.

The math doesn't add up. Plain and simple. They likely had actuaries analyzing that policy on an ongoing basis to ensure it wasn't causing undue losses. You've got to admit it makes your product seem a lot more appealing if you "claim" you give your products a lifetime guarantee. Then customers get savvy and realize, hey if I just keep my receipt in a box, and make some extra copies for redundancy (digital?), for decades I can get a free replacement.

I equate a claim like that to how businesses treat "rebates". Most consumers will abandon or forget to redeem on the rebate process, and many will get some technical details of the process wrong so they'll not qualify for redemption of the rebate, etc. But it certainly is appealing when you see that if you buy something you'll get 50% back in a rebate if you jump through hoops and send them a letter in the mail.

After all how many people in the world keep receipts around for decades just in case they need to make a claim on the company's lifetime guarantee policy? And how many receipts will retain their black ink for that long? These days I get receipts that start losing their ink days or weeks after the original purchase.

It's a bogus claim. A facade, that businesses will keep claiming as long as "the house" is in the black.

In other words, "It's only a lifetime guarantee as long as only a few of you ever call us out on it".

EDIT: I mention "lifetime guarantee" here. It seems, for the purposes of this thread it's equivalent to "lifetime return" since it appears there was a no questions asked policy when customers would return products (even without receipt?)

A lifetime return policy is not the same as a lifetime guarantee. They return policy can change at any time. If someone really thought that 100 years from now they would have the same policy, they're idiots.

Not saying it's not ok for them to change it. But I am saying that if it was truly a sustainable model they wouldn't have a need to change it.

It may have been sustainable until the extreme couponer thing blew up on social media. Again, it worked fine for decades - something seems to have changed recently.

Personally, I'm a REI man, but L.L. Bean still has a 100% lifetime guarantee.


Not saying it's not ok, but the downvotes here I think symbolize the double-standard we seem to have when it comes to thriftiness.

Businesses are rewarded with praise when they're thrifty, firing employees in exchange for automation.

Consumers, on the other hand, are the devil incarnate when they decide to be thrifty.

Maybe there's a bit of hyperbole in that last statement, but hopefully you get the point.

Firing employees when things are automated isn't unethical. Returning worn out 15 year old shoes is.

To a point I see what you're saying, but think of it this way.

Remember the episode of "Curb your Enthusiasm" where Larry David makes an empty gesture to his friend "Let me know if there's anything I can do for you". And what do you know, his friend takes him up on it.

REI saying "Sure, if you bring back your worn out 15 year old shoes we'll replace them free of charge". Then people start taking them up on that offer, and what do you know. Come to find out, they really didn't mean what they said in the first place. It was an empty gesture they were hoping no one (or only a few people) would take them up on.

As far as automation, "it's not an ethical dilemma" so say us programmers until computers learn how to code well and walk, run effectively, etc.. Taken to its logical conclusion, it seems obvious to me that computers will soon (within a few decades?) be capable of doing almost all jobs we humans currently do. And if not as soon as I'm predicting, then eventually. But I am fully convinced that no matter the timeline, it will happen.

And how is this an "ethical dilemma"? Human beings in the modern world depend on the ability to find work to make money to survive. What happens when all work can be done by robots?

Then the argument becomes. "Yeah, but we'll just find new work to replace the old work". This AI revolution is different in the sense that technology is approaching the ability to do all things humans can do. So as soon as we find these "new things", what will keep robots from doing them? More cheaply and more effectively I might add. I will say that the more likely scenario is as soon as robots surpass human intelligence and agility there will be new jobs, but those won't be filled by humans, because humans just won't have the right skill set.

BTW, here's the scene I was talking about from Curb your Enthusiasm:


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact