Avoid Sports Authority like the plague.
While in Vail for vacation this year I've had the most horrifying experience imaginable with not only the store manager, David Buck, but also with customer care supervisor, Noreen Tikal. This problem with Sports Authority clearly goes over the heads of the managers to customer service to stakeholders and it's a problem with such an critical part of the shopping experience, and that of course being their return policy.
Before purchasing my merchandise I go online to find out about Sports Authority's return policy and find in not one, not two, but three places that merchandise must be returned in good condition:
This is stated twice in two different places: "Pack the item(s) securely in the original product packaging, if possible. Please include all paperwork, parts, and accessories. All products must be returned in good condition, to ensure full credit. [continued below]....
And this is posted on their '2012 Holiday Return Policy': "The item must be returned in good condition, in original boxes (whenever possible), and with all paperwork, parts and accessories to insure full credit. All items properly returned under this policy are eligible for a full refund of the purchase price, minus the shipping, handling, gift wrap, or other charges."
Yet I go to return my very lightly used goggles after just one day's use only to be told that they don't take returns on USED merchandise. Excuse me, I found in three different places where you state that you do, oh what's that apparently their return policy posted online does not apply to stores? I am not sure what kind of business treats their in store customers worse than their online customers but alright I'll bite, I scour their return policy looking for a place indicating that this return policy only applies to online orders, and guess what... it's not stated anywhere that this return policy is restricted only to online sales.
This is absolutely unacceptable, since the pompous store manager David Buck was condescending about the entire situation I attempted to reach out to Sports Authority's customer service department. It took (no joke) 6 times of my getting in touch with them over to course of a week to finally receive a response back and ultimately their customer service supervisor Noreen Tikal was unwilling to provide me anything excluding store credit.
No thank you Sports Authority for some reason I no longer feel like ever doing business at your store.
Essentially what it comes down to is if you are at all buying sports merchandise which requires actually using the gear to know how effective or comfortable your purchase was then like I said avoid this entire chain. There are so many others with return policies that look out for the customer instead of the company's bottom line, check out d**k's Sporting Goods, Academy, or REI.