In March of 2013, I purchased a pair of Volkl RTM 84 skis/bindings from REI. They were on sale at a very good price. I was told that a gentleman had purchased them, didn't like them and exchanged them for a different ski. Seems like his loss is my gain, right? So I picked them up.
Great ski. Very happy with them. Skied them out West and in Michigan in everything from hockey rink ice, to a foot of fresh powder at Vail. My only complaint is that I would have gotten a little longer ski. Mine are 171's and I've now learned that rockered skis tend to ski a bit shorter. A 176 or better still a 181 would give me some more stability at speed and power through crud better. Ah well.
|Nice delamination, eh?|
So, off to the REI store I purchased them from (Ann Arbor, Michigan) to have a chat. I speak to representative in the ski shop who takes my skis and my receipt and says he'll talk to Volkl.
About an hour later, I get a very frustrating call. I am informed that my skis were in the REI Garage Sale and are not eligible for warranty. Oh, but it gets better. He then proceeds to tell me that the skis were warranty returns and that's why they were in the Garage Sale! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot???? Are you kidding me???? If I'd have known either of these things, I'd have never purchased them!!!!
But later I get thinking about this. That's not possible. I worked in ski and bike shops growing up and I help out some friends with their fly shop. I know how these businesses work. Warranty items go back to the manufacturer who repairs or replaces them for return to the owner. They don't go out on the shop floor for sale! So, this is either highly unprofessional on REI's part, or a lazy employee who wants to get rid of me.
I know the owner of a local Volkl dealer (where I should have shopped) so I ask him for some help. Of course he gives me some good-natured hassle about why I didn't buy from him (deserved) but says if I send him a photo, he'll ask his rep about what they can do. A few weeks pass, so I send a follow-up e-mail. Still nothing. Again, this really isn't his problem, so I don't want to push him.
OK, but now I'm mad. I look on the Volkl website -- there's pretty much nowhere to contact them and speak to a human. So it occurs to me to write the president of REI a letter. That was in January. Curiously, he has not responded. I go to the Volkl website's Contact Us page and send them an e-mail. It's been over a week and no reply from them.
Seriously - someone should step up here. My skis are still within the three year warranty (and they certainly were when I started all this back in November of last year!) and this is a legitimate manufacturers defect. C'mon REI -- you're better than this. And Volkl, shame on you for your lack of response and letting a major national retailer do this.
The right thing to do here would be to replace these skis. Now. And for my time and trouble, you might as well bump me up to the larger size. I loved the skis. When I bought my fat skis at the end of last season, I would have considered the Volkl Mantra. Not now. I'm on Blizzard Bonafides. Didn't even consider Volkl.
My advice to you? If you buy Volkl, don't buy them from a big box. Buy them from a local dealer who will stand behind the product. And don't make major purchases from REI. Stick to socks and hats.