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Shoplifting at Neptune Mountaineering?
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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Apr 26, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
NepRep wrote:
Hey folks, A little background information. I understand we live in a harsh world and things like these might not matter in the bigger scheme of things. But back in the day at least Boulder was a community and the climbing and mountaineering world were communities too. And there is a human side to it too. This guy came into the shop and certainly talked the talk. The girl who was helping him out is a darn good boot fitter and she takes her job very seriously. Getting a boot for Everest is serious business - mess it up and people lose limbs. She went through a 30-minute process to get him in the right boot. Lots of boots tried on, messing with sizes, making sure the toe room was right. It's not like trying on a pair of Crocks. A millimeter or two off and you can lose toes. Yeah, we're certainly aware of shop lifters but it doesn't dictate our every step. The man told her he was a physician up on Everest, talked about how beautiful the mountain was and knew enough details to be credible. He asked to walk around in the boots and where the bathroom was. This is a normal request - especially during an hour long Olympus Mons fit - and we don't require our employees to follow people into the bathroom. Maybe we should - I don't know. The relationship had been established and climbing is a sport where trust is paramount...as a store we hold to this climbing credo. We treat folks like adults. While he was "going to the bathroom" the sales clerk woman was checking for him what kind of heel lifts we had and other methods to make this boot exceptional for him. When she went looking for him it wasn't to bust him but to find out what his feet were doing so she could make the boots better. Of course, he'd already left the store, careful to not show his feet to our register clerk, with his pants zipped up well over the boots. When she found out what happened she was devastated to tears and it wasn't really about the thousand bucks. It was about the breach of trust. Perhaps that's silly. Maybe we should all be cynical and clinical in the way we do business, but personally I don't want the climbing and mountaineering world to become like that. It's about trust, honesty and doing the right thing. We're not trying to create a lynch mob here, but we do want that breach of trust acknowledged. Yeah, it would be great to get the boots back, but more than anything I want him to apologize to our sales clerk for breaking a simple code of life. If you're reading this sir, that your way out of this situation. Come in, return the boots, apologize, do the right thing starting now.



Well said. The trust issue is huge. I would usually trust climbers more than the average person, but this situation makes me second-guess that. There are many dirtbags in the climbing scene, but I'd like to believe that scumbags are few and far between.

I hope she gets an apology and you guys get the boots back.

FLAG
By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Apr 26, 2013
Ryan Williams wrote:
People like him are a dime a dozen


Dudes that can spray Everest beta with several joints missing are a dime a dozen?

FLAG
By Chris treggE
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Apr 26, 2013
This problem haunted my dreams for 6 years after failing to send in 2008.  Finally got to try it again -- now I can sleep.  Photo Darin Limvere.
David Sahalie wrote:
Dudes ... with several joints missing are a dime a dozen?


I'm missing a joint. Lost it at Red Rocks. If anyone finds it, please don't smoke it, PM me.

Anyway -- do stores have theft insurance?

FLAG
By J. Albers
From Colorado
Apr 26, 2013
Bucky
JLP wrote:
First, I hope you catch the guy and post his name along with whatever dumb-ass Facebook photos you can dig up. I hate thieves. Second, your utopian love "credo" BS is a fucking joke. It's well established your employees generally treat customers like shit - possibly even this guy during a past visit? I'm not bitter about it, really, just another visit to the house of Neptude - but I do ironically recall one visit to the store a few years go - I'm there with my wife and we're still dressed in our work cloths - not exactly the dirtbag look, probably the cleanest cut customers in the store. So we crack a few jokes to each other among the cloths racks and a few seconds later we have some 20-something hippie rasta douchebag following us around the store, kind of sneaky like, but really obvious. Nobody ever actually asked us if we needed help.



Okay, screw that nonsense.

Are there employees at Neptune that have the Boulderite attitude problem? Yes. But more often than not, my interactions with Neptune employees have been stellar. The last pair of Nepal Extremes that I purchased was from Neptune. And I walked around the shop with different insoles, sizes, etc. for at least 2+ hours. The guy that helped me was super patient and incredibly helpful. I bought them there full tilt instead of finding them online for cheaper because my time trying boots on in the shop was extremely valuable.

Anyway, I hope that this douchenozzle gets caught.

FLAG
By CJC
Apr 26, 2013
Ugh

I feel terrible for her

What a dick you'd have to be to treat someone like that.

Worse than the theft IMO

FLAG
By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
I hope you catch this guy as well.

FLAG
By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 26, 2013
El Chorro
David Sahalie wrote:
Dudes that can spray Everest beta with several joints missing are a dime a dozen?


Guys that can bullshit you enough to earn your trust? Absolutely. Anyone with internet access could come up with a pretty good spew about Everest.

Guys missing a finger? Maybe not.

FLAG
By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Apr 26, 2013
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow
Hey, for what its worth, I've found the Neptune staff to be very helpful. Admittedly, this is sample size 3, but on one occasion, when my son had won a free pair of shoes, and I told the person that we didn't know sizing for that brand, they were really helpful in sizing him.

On all the other occasions I've been there, they've also been great.

Matt.

PS: I'm cool if you go ahead and take another finger from the guy when you catch him. It would look pretty cool with the rest of the gear in there.

FLAG
 
By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Apr 26, 2013
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow
alpinglow wrote:
Large conglomerate corporation owns/profits from Gary's nastalgia. Mega-corp store plays "small" community business angle to get help with shoplifting investigation.


Not to thread drift...but since when does chain with eight stores that is run by founder's daughter (i.e. it is still owned by the founding family) qualify as "Large Conglomerate Corporation" and/or "Mega-corp"?

Unless they're grinding up puppies to put in their backpacking meals, I see no prima facie case for evil corporation.

FLAG
By kevin murphy
From Lafayette, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013
road
Ryan Williams wrote:
Fair enough. I think anyone who's ever worked at a shop would feel for the girl (and for your shrinkage report). It's horrible when you see first hand how ugly the world can be. But hopefully you've learned a lesson. I'm sure your local climbing community is as tight as ever. This guy just isn't a part of that community. People like him are a dime a dozen, and by sounding off about how tight your community is and how much you trust people, you are just asking for more guys like this to come and rip you off. Yea, it sucks, but that is the way the world works. Protect what's yours or lose it. No matter where you live. No one is saying the girl should have followed him into the bathroom (or done anything different than she did). But you should have had security tags on the boots. You do use them right?


I use to work there, they tag low hanging fruit like soft goods. Looks like assuming loses out a gain, I assumed he was just going to the bathroom.

FLAG
By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Apr 26, 2013
Stairway to Heaven
Chris treggE wrote:
Anyway -- do stores have theft insurance?


You can get insurance that covers catastrophic losses, but I don't think anyone will insure against common-or-garden shoplifting. Obviously this was an unusual event, and I don't mean to excuse this guy's actions, but a certain level of "shrinkage" is part of the cost of running a retail business.

FLAG
By Buff Johnson
Apr 26, 2013
smiley face
I can still pick up the peals of the poodle that was punted by the poaching pirate promenading through the parking lot; oh the persecution!

FLAG
By bevans
Apr 26, 2013
Cynics are a dime-a-dozen on the interwebz. Most of the time they miss the point. I'd guess they don't represent the average consumer. Most reasonable folks would support the efforts to catch the guy...including a post to the web asking for some help.

- Shoplifters suck. Hope you catch this guy.
- Can totally understand the salesperson taking it a little personally. I've worked retail. If you care about your job, it's easy to take it personally.
- Doesn't matter if it's a big corporation or a mom-n-pop. Still stealing. Still lame.
- The "suck it up, it's a big, bad world and if you can't hack it then you shouldn't be in the business" comments/arguments are a red herring. They don't matter or apply here. The guy stole...this is an attempt to bring some justice. That's fair.

FLAG
By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 26, 2013
El Chorro
alpinglow wrote:
How does this story change if this is from REI? Pardon my callousness, but I haven't been in Neptune's in years and don't know the current vibe...but... Gary doesn't own store anymore? Large conglomerate corporation owns/profits from Gary's nastalgia. Mega-corp store plays "small" community business angle to get help with shoplifting investigation. But really, this isn't coming out of clerk's pay, and the lost revenue isn't keeping Gary from another roadtrip or beer. Not to say stealing is behavior for good living, but a little consumer perspective.


Stolen goods affect everyone at the store from the part time sales advisor to the area manager. Sure if it's a mom and pop shop that sells two or three of those expensive boots per season then they are going to feel the financial burden more so than a store that is owned by a big corp. But your idea that it won't hurt the staff if a large corporation owns the store is an incorrect assumption. In fact, the employee and certainly the managers could suffer even more if they work for a corporately owned retail chain. Corporations don't take kindly to people who let $1000 walk out the front door, and to a corporation, those sales advisors are just numbers (read, easily replaceable). If those boots don't come back intact, the regional manager is going to investigate and issue warnings that can end with people getting fired.

It seems that Neptune's is still a family owned and run business and is not a "large conglomerate," but if they were, there would still be nothing wrong with the store managers doing everything in their power to get those boots back. They are trying to save their own asses and their employees asses.

bevans wrote:
The "suck it up, it's a big, bad world and if you can't hack it then you shouldn't be in the business" comments/arguments are a red herring. They don't matter or apply here. The guy stole...this is an attempt to bring some justice. That's fair.


I don't think there is anything wrong with them posting on MP. They are trying to make the situation right. When someone steals from my store, we prosecute to the full extant of the law. Jail time. If you don't, the guy will come back for seconds.

But I think the "big bad world" comments totally apply here. People will steal your shit if you don't nail it down. Earlier this year, at one of our stores, someone faked an epileptic seizure while his buddy made off with over 1000 worth of climbing apparel. Trust people because you work in an outdoor store? Yea, right. That is inviting criminals to your store and asking to get fired.

I was simply giving some professional advice to fellow retail manager: GET TAGS ON EVERYTHING. Better yet, have someone on every shift who is willing follow douche bags like this guy when the alarms go off.

FLAG
By Greg Berry
Apr 26, 2013
Sleeplessinnormandy wrote:
Hey mate! No need there to hate! I am a 6'4" 250 pounds of solid muscle mass fella, going to be treckin me some hills in Himalayas this year! Thank you very much...... I am indeed coming to the great country of USA next week to show you all fools how to treat ledies.


Funny

FLAG
By coppolillo
Apr 26, 2013
J. Albers wrote:
But more often than not, my interactions with Neptune employees have been stellar.

FLAG
 
By mike h
From Denver, CO
Apr 26, 2013
vv, laos
NepRep wrote:
Maybe we should all be cynical and clinical in the way we do business, but personally I don't want the climbing and mountaineering world to become like that. It's about trust, honesty and doing the right thing.


Sorry for the loss and best of luck. I agree with your comment, but it's a strange one coming from the store that has never let me independently carry any piece of climbing gear from the back counter to the checkout.

FLAG
By NepRep
Apr 26, 2013
Same guy
Same guy

FYI local outdoor retail stores. This is the same guy. Stole from REI yesterday morning, confirmed by their store, and left brand new, same size boots on our boot deck before walking out with the Olympus Mons.

FLAG
By NepRep
Apr 26, 2013
mike h wrote:
Sorry for the loss and best of luck. I agree with your comment, but it's a strange one coming from the store that has never let me independently carry any piece of climbing gear from the back counter to the checkout.


There was a time when it wasn't that way. Unfortunately we were experiencing pretty darned heavy theft in that department and had to change policies and require our staffers to walk items to the register.

My apology we have to do it that way.

FLAG
By Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Apr 26, 2013
Thanks Hank Caylor!
NepRep wrote:
FYI local outdoor retail stores. This is the same guy. Stole from REI yesterday morning, confirmed by their store, and left brand new, same size boots on our boot deck before walking out with the Olympus Mons.


I am sure REI also have footage of this guy, correct?

FLAG
By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Apr 26, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011
I would not rope up with (trust) anyone who would go on about hiking up Everest and consider buying $1000 boots, missing digits or not. Sounds like a banker to me.

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By doak
From boulder, co
Apr 27, 2013
Drinking with Moses
Back in college I decided to buy a pair of K2 mountaineering boots from Neptune's. I was so excited about them that I walked out of the store forgetting to pay for them. I realized my mistake a couple hours later and rode my bike straight back to the store to pay for them.

Anyway, this guy is a d-bag.

FLAG
By Aric Datesman
Apr 27, 2013
Ryan Williams wrote:
Guys missing a finger? Maybe not.


You'd be surprised how many people are missing fingers. I seem to recall it being 1 in 10 or something like that, and obviously skewed towards blue collar and farm work. Full disclosure: I'm missing the end of the right middle finger, and have never been to Everest. Rather fond of Neptune's too.

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Apr 27, 2013
...
LOL!

"I would not rope up with (trust) anyone who would go on about hiking up Everest and consider buying $1000 boots, missing digits or not. Sounds like a banker to me."

FLAG
 
By Helldorado
From Boulder, CO
Apr 27, 2013
Sucks you guys got your shit marked. Stealing from REI however, I condone that.

FLAG


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