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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I was all ready to go for a ride the other day, I rode a few miles on the road to the trailhead and was just starting on the trail (which was essentially a fire road at that point) when all of the sudden I felt crooked. I stopped, looked at my saddle and couldn't figure out what was going on...until I looked under the saddle and saw that I was missing part of the rail.

The saddle was a '09 Terry Falcon X that I bought new in April '10 and has been on my bike for about 700 miles. I weigh 125lbs and do light trail riding, no landing drops on the saddle or anything like that so I was pretty confused when I saw that the rail had snapped. The saddle was white so I was pretty meticulous about taking care of it and it didn't have a scratch on it. The only blemishes on it were the paint chipping off of the rails (not from impact).

I called Terry and spoke to someone from their Returns and Warranties Dept. and the conversation lasted about a minute, I was told that it sounded like a warranty issue and that I should send it to them. With the conversation being so short I thought that I wouldn't have any problems so I sent them the saddle the next day. I am now kicking myself for not taking pictures of the saddle before I sent it.

A few days later I got 4 e-mails from them saying that they had accepted the return and I was being given a gift card for $66.50 that was only good for their website (I didn't buy the saddle from their website). Well, that would have been fine if that's what the saddle had cost but I paid $76.99+shipping for the saddle and a new one their website is $95. I was upset that the saddle was clearly (to me) broken because of a defect and they weren't even going to give me a replacement. I called them to see if I could just get a replacement saddle and they said that I would have to pay the difference to get a new one since they didn't have any new '09s left. I told the woman that I didn't want to have to pay for a new saddle since mine shouldn't have broken. In the end she found a demo '09 saddle for me that she offered as an even exchange. I was pretty annoyed that I had to go through all of that for a warranty issue but at least the woman that I talked to on the phone worked with me and found the demo saddle as a solution. I got the saddle in the mail today and it looked basically new, I just hope the rails on this one last longer.

I just thought I would share my experience with my Terry saddle and their warranty. Has anyone else had any issues like this, either with their saddle failing or warranty problems?

The picture is from a few months ago.
 

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caveat: I repair outdoors clothing and soft goods. I deal a lot with the warranty question, as in, "is it a warranty issue" or not. I don't have any thing personal invested it in, most of the time it's just evaluating a issue and then suggesting whether a person should contact a manufacturer on a specific issue or not. I do warranty repairs for several manufacturers under contract.

It sounds to me like you got treated OK in the long run. It seems perfectly reasonable to exchange an item for a similar one, and after all they did find one out for you.
As for offering $66.50 over $76.99 - seriously, you are going to complain about that? They don't know who you bought it from or how much you paid. Steep and Cheap? Performance on sale? Craig's list? Full retail? They don't know. Also, you got 700 good miles out of it, that should count for ten bucks worth. It's common practice with returns to give credit for a sale price amount, not full retail, if you don't have a receipt to show what you paid. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that if they are going to issue a gift card, that it would be for use with them. I'm not sure what you were expecting, but it sounds like you were treated fairly.
f.
 

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formica - seems to me a warranty issue dealing with a manufacturer defect should allow the item to be replaced; that's what a warranty is for, isn't it? Yet offering less than what was paid (independent of what MSRP is) does not allow one to replace the defective unit without shelling out more cash - for something that shouldn't have broken in the first place, from the sounds of it.

Just my interpretation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It sounds to me like you got treated OK in the long run. It seems perfectly reasonable to exchange an item for a similar one, and after all they did find one out for you.
As for offering $66.50 over $76.99 - seriously, you are going to complain about that? They don't know who you bought it from or how much you paid. Steep and Cheap? Performance on sale? Craig's list? Full retail? They don't know.
I agree that in the end I was treated OK getting a demo replacement saddle, I was very happy that they were able to offer that to me as a solution. I just feel like the saddle should not have broken and I should have been offered a replacement instead of a gift certificate. It's not like I had trashed my saddle and was looking for a handout, I would have been happy if they had offered to replace the rail and return my saddle.

Also, I sent my invoice for the original saddle purchase, so they did know what I paid for it.
 

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again, I work in soft goods I regularly advise people as to whether *I* think something should be considered for warranty submission but I am essentially a third party, outside of the company environment that makes final decisions on how a situation will be handled for repair/replace. That doesn't make me an expert, but I can advise, based on my experience, as to whether IMO something is a warranty issue like a manufacturing issue or bad materials, over self inflicted abuse or wear, in soft goods only. My comments are based solely on what I see customers go through in dealing with warranty departments, or based on how the warranty departments I contract with handle warranty issues. So basically, this is all my observation and opinion. I'm sure someone that is employed IN a warranty department might have different comments.

I agree that in the end I was treated OK getting a demo replacement saddle, I was very happy that they were able to offer that to me as a solution. I just feel like the saddle should not have broken and I should have been offered a replacement instead of a gift certificate. It's not like I had trashed my saddle and was looking for a handout, I would have been happy if they had offered to replace the rail and return my saddle.

Also, I sent my invoice for the original saddle purchase, so they did know what I paid for it
Well, stuff DOES break sometimes. That is just a fact no matter what kind of product we are talking about (clothing, cars, electronics, bikes etc.) Some manufacturers have really good quality control, inspection and manufacturing, some don't. In ANY given group of products, a certain percentage is going to fail, period. It appears to me they stood by their product.

Maybe they can't replace the rail. I don't know how a saddle is built, do you? Maybe it costs more for them to replace the rail than it does to replace the saddle.

As for cost calculation, I don't know the formulas. Some items get prorated for how much use you've gotten out of it before it failed. I know of no manufacturer that gives money back - usually it's a replacement, or a credit to be used with them.

formica - seems to me a warranty issue dealing with a manufacturer defect should allow the item to be replaced; that's what a warranty is for, isn't it? Yet offering less than what was paid (independent of what MSRP is) does not allow one to replace the defective unit without shelling out more cash - for something that shouldn't have broken in the first place, from the sounds of it.
Again, I don't know the formulas on how these things are calculated. Maybe someone else does.The only thing I do know is that, at least in my field, soft goods, companies will try and do a repair over a replacement as it costs less. Some companies don't keep repair people around as part of their staff, which is where I come in. To grasp at straws, my guess would be their cost is based on current cost to them or some sort of adjusted cost factor. Did they say WHY they wouldn't cover your cost on it? The only thing I can think of is that you say you got 700 miles out of it before it broke. Maybe they prorated that you used it for two years.

More than anything, there are so few companies that will give you anything on a warranty nowadays. There are plenty out there that if you are past one year, forget it, or in some cases nothing at all. Plenty of my direct business comes from, "I called them and they won't do anything about it, can you fix it please?".

I'm of the mind that one should be grateful for them being willing to work with you and give you something back that was close to the original product. There's also the unquantifiable factor of what you get back is directly related to the level of stink you raise with customer service, lol.
 

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I'm of the mind that one should be grateful for them being willing to work with you and give you something back that was close to the original product. There's also the unquantifiable factor of what you get back is directly related to the level of stink you raise with customer service, lol.
I'd be of the mind that a product that has a manufacturing defect should be repaired or replaced for the consumer, not pro-rated like a 3 year old tire with a nail in it. But then again, my ideals on how a company should treat customers is clearly out of touch with reality.

I've had issues with manufacturing defects in the automotive, cycling, and photography markets and in each case, the company has been more than willing to repair or replace the defective product. In this case, with a light rider and an obviously well-cared for saddle, I would replace it without forcing the customer to "raise a stink".

As a matter of fact, Kenda recently replaced a tire on my personal bike as a consumer that was 1 year old and had a manufacturing defect that only made itself aware after about a year. I was taken care of simply and promptly with no other issues.

Disclaimer - I work in a bike shop and have exposure to what companies do to take care of customers (and not). In this case, from the sounds of it, Terry didn't do the right thing without some prodding. For a company that works in a niche market - not a good sign. Yes, they made right in the end, but they should have done it from the beginning.
 

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Maybe they can't replace the rail. I don't know how a saddle is built, do you? Maybe it costs more for them to replace the rail than it does to replace the saddle.
It may depend on the saddle. I had a wipe out that popped my Terry Fly (with the Ti rails) out of the saddle and bent a rail slightly. They had me send in the saddle + return shipping $ and replaced the rail(s). Good as new for minimal cost. However, this was several years ago -- early 2000s, so things have likely changed.
 

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Jen0910 -

You have 700 miles into the saddle, so you are down around 10 cents a mile. If you factor in 8% sales tax and the refund, you have spent $16.64 (2 cents per mile) to have a saddle on your bike for a year and 4 months.

I am curious, at what point will you consider that you have gotten your money's worth? What is your acceptable dollar to mile ratio for bikes and bike parts? When is a product "used" and no longer the responsibility of the manufacturer?

Cheers,
Chuky
 

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There's also the unquantifiable factor of what you get back is directly related to the level of stink you raise with customer service, lol.
Or, the stink you don't raise. Flies, honey, etc. In particularly tricky situations, a $5 Starbucks gift card in the box with your broken equipment works wonders. Customer service jobs turn over fast, due almost entirely to how badly the guys on the phone are treated every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was just trying to share my experience to let others know that Terry seems to treat warranty issues as "returns". Other companies that I have dealt with have offered repair or replacement for defects and I was surprised that Terry didn't.

Or, the stink you don't raise. Flies, honey, etc. In particularly tricky situations, a $5 Starbucks gift card in the box with your broken equipment works wonders. Customer service jobs turn over fast, due almost entirely to how badly the guys on the phone are treated every day.
I wasn't rude or mean to the woman that I spoke with. I simply asked her if there was any way I could get a replacement saddle instead of the gift certificate because I felt that mine should not have broken.

I am curious, at what point will you consider that you have gotten your money's worth? What is your acceptable dollar to mile ratio for bikes and bike parts? When is a product "used" and no longer the responsibility of the manufacturer?
I dont think I am being unreasonable to think that a $95 saddle should last more than a year with normal use (considering I don't ride in the winter so that is probably 4 months).
 

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Whoa there, these are friendly questions, as a part of this discussion.

1. Didn't imply you were rude, I think that you might not have noticed that my reply was to another part of this thread, which is why I responded separately. I do have some insight into the other side of the equation, and see how the CS people (who are usually passionate mountain bikers, just like everyone else on this board) are treated every day. The upside to that sad situation is that as a customer, you can turn things to your advantage by being extra nice. This is tangental to your issue, but may be useful to someone who has a fine-line warranty issue. I always use this technique when needing help with my snow equipment, works like a charm.

2.
I don't think I am being unreasonable to think that a $95 saddle should last more than a year with normal use
This is interesting to me, which is why I asked the original question - if it cost you $16 bucks to use a saddle for the year, and this is not acceptable, what is? Where, as a purchaser of bike parts, does your line exist? Is it an all or nothing equation?

3. The bottom line - bike parts break. How long their life cycle is, varies. As customers, we drive policy. I am curious what the women's lounge thinks.

- So, what do you all think is acceptable for warranty? A lot of people think it should be lifetime, but is that realistic? If it isn't, what is?

- Do you read warranty rules before you buy a product? What about a warranty will cause you to buy or not buy a part?

- What if lifetime warranties had more to do with legal-speak and cash reserves than they do with product quality? Would that affect your opinion?

- Are you more interested in a 1-year warranty with a no-strings/no questions asked discount/crash replacement after one year, or a very restricted lifetime warranty (ie. original owner, must have receipt, must be registered online, no visible wear and tear)

- What if you knew that extended warranties offered by large corporations were hurting the finances of small innovative companies that are champions of women's products? Are you willing to take on more risk for a product made by a company that addresses your particular needs?

- Is a pro-rated warranty unappealing? Why? If a rider gets 2 good years out of a non-repairable product and then it breaks, should they get the full value of the product back? If not, how much should they get back?

- Repair. For many products, repair or replacement with an identical item is not an option. This is due to a few things:

• Despite people saying that they want USA-made products, numbers show that the majority of buyers will choose price over origin every time. Manufacturing overseas puts the ability to repair a long way away from many companies - the cost of shipping the product back to the factory would far out weigh the cost of replacement. Some companies will maintain stock of repair parts in-country, but this really depends on the product and the company. The lower initial price of your product is directly related to your inability to repair your product.

• The consumer drive for "new" creates an artificial cycle of model years and aesthetic changes. Keeping stock around that isn't "new" can be very costly.

• In order to repair a product you have to be able to take it apart. Removable hardware is heavy - finding ways to make things out of as few parts as possible will make things lighter, but generally will also reduce repairability.

So, do you look for repairability, origin or light weight when buying a new component?​
 

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Or, the stink you don't raise. Flies, honey, etc. In particularly tricky situations, a $5 Starbucks gift card in the box with your broken equipment works wonders. Customer service jobs turn over fast, due almost entirely to how badly the guys on the phone are treated every day.
Good point, Chuky. I was coming from the other side. What I hear occasionally from my contractors: "normally we wouldn't fix this but this person is being a pain in the butt., so would you go ahead and fix it for them..".
 

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<mucho snippage>- So, what do you all think is acceptable for warranty? A lot of people think it should be lifetime, but is that realistic? If it isn't, what is?
One of the things I've learned working with soft goods is the relativity of the terminology "lifetime". First of all it's not YOUR lifetime, it's estimated product lifetime. So, what is that, anyway? This is where the subjectivity comes in, and whether the company is courting the customer by going beyond what may be considered reasonable and cost effective.

Anyone remember the days when you could send a tent back that a bear had torn into, and get a replacement? For you younger folks, that was a looooong time ago. Or, take 5 year old hiking boots back to a major cooperative and get new boots, claiming "they didn't fit right"?.

I had a really interesting personal experience with this lifetime issue recently. I have a very high end shell jacket, my personal ski shell, from a top manufacturer. The waterproof zipper started to delaminate even though I have taken perfect care of it and the coat was in a like-new condition. I had my retail partner send it back for evaluation to repair/replace; I wasn't sure what they would do. They returned to me with a new zipper in it several weeks later. This coat was purchased in 2008.

Now, through my repair business, a guy brought in a set of very hard used shell and pants made by the same company. These items were the same age as mine, but they were thrashed and very worn through hard use. Seams were separating, panels of fabric were delaminating, extreme wear through abrasion and so on. The short version of this story is that even though the items were the same age as my personal ones, the company stated the items were out of the "lifetime warranty" based on the amount of heavy use that had been sustained, not the amount of time the item had been in existence, As I know through my experience with this one company, they are pretty right on about handling materials failure and defects. I did learn something new about how product lifetime is evaluated, which will help me in working with situations like this in the future.

However, it never hurts to ask, nicely as Chuky suggests. I know of a few manufacturers out there that will on occasionally still replace a 10 to 15 year old thrashed item, but I never count on it.
 

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There's a whole lot of emotion coming out in this thread from formica and chuky, and most of it seems off base. jen0910 posted a story detailing a warranty experience and both of you are turning it into something it isn't.

Personally, if I bought any component, used it normally, and had it BREAK, I would want it replaced. Don't turn this into "how much did it cost you per day and when do you get your moneys worth out of it?"

If I bought a bike frame, derailleur, shifter, pedals, wheelset, or SADDLE, rode it casually and it broke within a year, I'd want a new component. This is the RIGHT thing to do and most companies (for me, Canon, Kenda, Giant, Shimano, Mavic, Thomson have all done this without quibbling) would do it without having to ask because they stand behind the quality of their product.

formica - glad you have so many years of experience in the "soft goods" industry - it doesn't turn you into the last word for what is right and what is wrong when it comes to treating a customer correctly. You come off as very condescending and "righteous" in a situation that doesn't seem to warranty it.

Just my observations of what is going on in this thread and how it comes across to me.
 

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I have very specifically stated that my comments and observations are from my experiences only. I have no intention of being condescending - just providing an interpretation from what I've experienced.
 

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Or, the stink you don't raise.
I can attest to this too. The o--rings on the head of my tire pump had worn out and weren't sealing as they should. Rest of the pump was A-OK. I liked the pump a lot and didn't really want to buy a new one, so I went in search of a new 'head'. I was told by various LBS's and online retailers that I could not just buy the part, I needed an entirely NEW pump.

:mad:

I wrote the maker of the pump, explained that I really liked my old pump and how well it worked, asked if I could buy a replacement part through them directly (the pump was still being made), and how much would it cost? The rep that responded asked for my address and said they'd just send me a new part, no charge. :thumbsup:

I still have and use the pump, it's probably over 10 years old. If the replacement head wears out, I think I may actually buy a new one... but until then, I have 'old faithful' to air things up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Whoa there, these are friendly questions, as a part of this discussion.

1. Didn't imply you were rude, I think that you might not have noticed that my reply was to another part of this thread, which is why I responded separately. I do have some insight into the other side of the equation, and see how the CS people (who are usually passionate mountain bikers, just like everyone else on this board) are treated every day. The upside to that sad situation is that as a customer, you can turn things to your advantage by being extra nice. This is tangental to your issue, but may be useful to someone who has a fine-line warranty issue. I always use this technique when needing help with my snow equipment, works like a charm.
I wasn't saying that you thought I was being rude, I was actually agreeing with you. I try to deal with situations like this by being nice (though I wouldn't have thought to add a gift card :p).

I had a really interesting personal experience with this lifetime issue recently. I have a very high end shell jacket, my personal ski shell, from a top manufacturer. The waterproof zipper started to delaminate even though I have taken perfect care of it and the coat was in a like-new condition. I had my retail partner send it back for evaluation to repair/replace; I wasn't sure what they would do. They returned to me with a new zipper in it several weeks later. This coat was purchased in 2008.
Thats how I felt about my saddle, I had taken perfect care of it and it broke. That is really the point of this whole thread. I was just trying to share my story to see if others have had similar experiences with Terry saddles. I liked my Falcon saddle but I would think twice about purchasing another one if too many other people have had them break.

It may depend on the saddle. I had a wipe out that popped my Terry Fly (with the Ti rails) out of the saddle and bent a rail slightly. They had me send in the saddle + return shipping $ and replaced the rail(s). Good as new for minimal cost. However, this was several years ago -- early 2000s, so things have likely changed.
That is what I was expecting with my saddle, thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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I think you got a pretty fair deal. I mean, you got 700 miles out of a saddle before any defects. It's not like you've only had it a week or so. As quality as something may be it will have a life expectancy. I work in the quality control business, and typically we give customers a "pro -rate" for something that's failed after such a long time like 700 miles or so but if it breaks fairly quickly then it's a no hassle replacement. Anyways, I'd say in the retail world they did you right.

They always could have said no, lol...
 

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There's a whole lot of emotion coming out in this thread from formica and chuky
Generally speaking, not cool to come into a women's environment and start talking about people being over-emotional, it comes off as either sexist or self-hating depending upon your gender. Besides, I believe the technical term is "hysterical" and something to do with our periods and repressed sexuality - the Victorians had it all figured out, heh.

I am curious how questions about people's perspective on the acceptable durability of goods can be seen as hostile in a forum format? Bottom line, I don't care about Jen's saddle, but I do find consumer ideas about the responsibilities of manufacturers to be fascinating. Growing global markets force small companies to deal with very complex issues, and in my opinion, affect the number of little companies willing to take risks on small markets (like women). Jen's saddle could be a good jumping off point for a discussion, or we can give her a pat on the back and a "you are SO right", but that isn't why I use forums.

Cheers,
Chuky

C
 

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Canon, Kenda, Giant, Shimano, Mavic, Thomson have all done this without quibbling) would do it without having to ask because they stand behind the quality of their product.
Funny, I was just denied my second Canon warranty claim in a row. They have great optics, though, so I had to buy another one. In this case, I am an educated buyer and choose innovation and spectacular optics over reliability and crap jpeg compression.
 
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