Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, here's a question that we discussed over beers after last night's Thirsty Thursday ride:

If you buy a bike with a lifetime warranty, how do you expect to be treated if the frame breaks?

As a customer, I think I should get a new frame, free. And hopefully that will include parts swappage.

One of the guys on the ride said his shop charges $50 to submit the claim (even on a bike that was sold by that shop), and more to build up the new frame. Another guy said his shop did the entire deal at no charge to the customer, and that the time spent was just a cost of doing business --part by the initial selling price of the bike.

Any comments/experiences w/ this???
 

·
Freshly Fujified
Joined
·
8,199 Posts
You get a free frame

I think that if your frame is warranted against defects and it breaks, you get a free frame to replace it. That's pretty much what the majority of manufacturers tell you in their warranty information, so that's what you should expect. It certainly sucks having to pay for the cost of the parts swap, but that's pretty much the way it goes. As for charging a customer $50.00 to submit a warranty claim, I'd be out the door with my broken frame in hand before the guy could finish his sentence. That's nonsense. It's merely a tactic to discourage you from submitting a claim through that shop, IMO.

My only experience with this type of issue was with my Leader 626S. They replaced the front triangle for me under warranty. The frame was sent to the original seller (Downshift Cycles), who sent it to me. I didn't pay for postage, but would have done so if they asked.

Just my twisted view as always.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,034 Posts
frame manufacturers in my experience have been very reasonable, to outright RAD in helping out with issues. but some people want to take advantage of them and deliberately break a frame to get it replaced. That's wrong. each damaged frame case is different. it's not fair to say you deserve a free frame just because you broke it.

Santa Cruz has lifetime replacement, as does Specialized and others. Yeti and Intense are awesome with customer service. I've never heard of LBS charging for claims.

as much as i'd like to support my LBS, remember 2/3 of LBS = BS. I'll leave it at that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Agreed. I can see charging for the swap. It would still wrankle me, but I can see that they've used shop time and parts (new cables, at the very least) to do the re-build. But as to the actual claim, his argument is that HE didn't warranty the frame, TREK warrantied the frame, and that I should pay for his time to submit and process the claim. I was so shocked that I neglected to ask how he thought Trek would respond if I tried to submit the claim directly, without his involvement. I'll suspect that might raise some eyebrows at Trek.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,034 Posts
Wheezer said:
Agreed. I can see charging for the swap. It would still wrankle me, but I can see that they've used shop time and parts (new cables, at the very least) to do the re-build. But as to the actual claim, his argument is that HE didn't warranty the frame, TREK warrantied the frame, and that I should pay for his time to submit and process the claim. I was so shocked that I neglected to ask how he thought Trek would respond if I tried to submit the claim directly, without his involvement. I'll suspect that might raise some eyebrows at Trek.
oh, i thought this was a hypothetical situation. Yeah that shop guy is a DIRTBAG. either ask someone else to help you or just, as Clyde has said, walk out the door.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
misctwo said:
oh, i thought this was a hypothetical situation. Yeah that shop guy is a DIRTBAG. either ask someone else to help you or just, as Clyde has said, walk out the door.
Actually, he's a great guy and a personal friend, and this was a discussion of shop policies, not my personal experience. But he's the shop manager, and says that the owner wants him to charge for all time spent...

I made the point that it all boils down to customer expectations. If I buy a bike with a lifetime warranty, I don't expect to have to -pay- just to make the claim! Moreover, I expect that if the frame breaks, I can reasonably expect to not only come back in a week and get a new frame, but to get a new frame that's a BIKE! (ie a completely rideable bike, like I bought in the first place)

If the policy were enunciated when I was shopping for a bike, then okay... But if it were enunciated when I was shopping for a bike, I might shop elsewhere! Absent any explanation, if I read something in a mfr's. literature that says "lifetime warranty," that's pretty much a promise. Not just from the mfr., but from their agent (LBS) who's selling their products.

Also, I don't mean to pick on Trek here. Again, I'm questioning the various shop's policies, not one specific manufacturer. Trek has a pretty good reputation re: standing behind their products.
 

·
Freshly Fujified
Joined
·
8,199 Posts
Here's the key

Wheezer said:
But as to the actual claim, his argument is that HE didn't warranty the frame, TREK warrantied the frame, and that I should pay for his time to submit and process the claim. I was so shocked that I neglected to ask how he thought Trek would respond if I tried to submit the claim directly, without his involvement. I'll suspect that might raise some eyebrows at Trek.
"One of the guys on the ride said his shop charges $50 to submit the claim (even on a bike that was sold by that shop)"

If the guy's an authorized Trek dealer, then he bought into the deal. That includes selling the bikes, and helping his customers with warranty issues. I think eyebrows at Trek would definitely be raised moreso about the $50 than if you tried to submit a claim on your own.

In any event, I don't want to derail any further. Let's see what other peeps think about warranty issues.

Bob
 

·
Freshly Fujified
Joined
·
8,199 Posts
My point exactly

Wheezer said:
Actually, he's a great guy and a personal friend, and this was a discussion of shop policies, not my personal experience. But he's the shop manager, and says that the owner wants him to charge for all time spent...

I made the point that it all boils down to customer expectations. If I buy a bike with a lifetime warranty, I don't expect to have to -pay- just to make the claim! Moreover, I expect that if the frame breaks, I can reasonably expect to not only come back in a week and get a new frame, but to get a new frame that's a BIKE! (ie a completely rideable bike, like I bought in the first place)

If the policy were enunciated when I was shopping for a bike, then okay... But if it were enunciated when I was shopping for a bike, I might shop elsewhere! Absent any explanation, if I read something in a mfr's. literature that says "lifetime warranty," that's pretty much a promise. Not just from the mfr., but from their agent (LBS) who's selling their products.
Also, I don't mean to pick on Trek here. Again, I'm questioning the various shop's policies, not one specific manufacturer. Trek has a pretty good reputation re: standing behind their products.
The highlighted parts hit the nail on the head. This is what you should expect. Sounds like your buddy's a good guy, just doing what the owner asks of him. It's the owner of the shop that's the problem. It's definitely NOT a Trek issue.

And here I promised not to derail any further...

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
I know a shop that told me the warranty replacement would be free...but $100 charge from the shop for the tear down/rebuild.
I wanted to do it myself, but the shop told me it had to be that way for warranty purposes. The bike was sold complete, and had to be shop-built for the warranty to continue.
 

·
Self Appointed Judge&Jury
Joined
·
45,793 Posts
Wheezer said:
Hey, here's a question that we discussed over beers after last night's Thirsty Thursday ride:

If you buy a bike with a lifetime warranty, how do you expect to be treated if the frame breaks?

As a customer, I think I should get a new frame, free. And hopefully that will include parts swappage.

One of the guys on the ride said his shop charges $50 to submit the claim (even on a bike that was sold by that shop), and more to build up the new frame. Another guy said his shop did the entire deal at no charge to the customer, and that the time spent was just a cost of doing business --part by the initial selling price of the bike.

Any comments/experiences w/ this???
Ellsworth has a lifetime warranty, just check out all the happy customers that have tried to use it.:D The warranty is good untill your frame breaks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48,238 Posts
Wheezer said:
Actually, he's a great guy and a personal friend, and this was a discussion of shop policies, not my personal experience. But he's the shop manager, and says that the owner wants him to charge for all time spent...

I made the point that it all boils down to customer expectations. If I buy a bike with a lifetime warranty, I don't expect to have to -pay- just to make the claim! Moreover, I expect that if the frame breaks, I can reasonably expect to not only come back in a week and get a new frame, but to get a new frame that's a BIKE! (ie a completely rideable bike, like I bought in the first place)

If the policy were enunciated when I was shopping for a bike, then okay... But if it were enunciated when I was shopping for a bike, I might shop elsewhere! Absent any explanation, if I read something in a mfr's. literature that says "lifetime warranty," that's pretty much a promise. Not just from the mfr., but from their agent (LBS) who's selling their products.

Also, I don't mean to pick on Trek here. Again, I'm questioning the various shop's policies, not one specific manufacturer. Trek has a pretty good reputation re: standing behind their products.
The warranty is for only the frame, not the complete bike. Most warranties expressly exclude labor charges. If you have a really good relationship with a LBS the may not charge you or give you a price break. This is the first I have heard of a LBS charging to process a claim.

Components are covered by the component companies (and usually for one-year. No labor).

There is no obligation to replace your frame with the exact same year, model and/or color. If they do not have it, they will offer you an equivalent model (which the old parts may or may not fit).

Expecting a 1-week turn around is totally unrealistic. Shipping alone can take longer than that. There is always some sort of approval procedure and time to find a replacement that will work for you. Again, having a good relationship with the LBS can make things easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,740 Posts
Santa Cruz sure as hell doesn't have a lifetime frame warranty. It's two years max and even them they'll try to weasel out of it and then sell you replacement frame components under their crash replacement warranty.
 

·
I live to bike
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
Charging to submit a claim wrong in my opinion. I work in a shop, and we would never charge to submit a claim. Now, there is a labor charge to swap parts if the warranty is past 60 days (at least on Giants -- Giant's warranty clearly states that labor is included in the first 60 days, but not after that time period). Does it take some of our time to process the claim? Yes, but that's just part of doing business, not labor charge to the customer. I have never heard of a shop charging for submitting a warranty claim until now.

Also, I'm not completely sure, but fairly certain that the rebuild does NOT have to be done by the shop for the warranty to be effective. The initial, new build, yes, but not the rebuild. Especially if you consider that if you buy a frameset, you receive a frame warranty even though the bike will not be built by the shop.

As for the length of time a warranty should take,, it is true that sometimes a new frame can arrive in just a week, but that is much too short a time for a customer to expect that it will take. As another said, shipping alone can take a week or more. And if the manufacturer is out of stock on the model in question, it may mean waiting or upgrading to a different model. But, in general, most of our warrany claims are completed and back out the door in less than two weeks. (And if the model is out of stock for several weeks from the manufacturer, please don't blame your LBS!)
 

·
10001110101
Joined
·
364 Posts
Santa Cruz sure as hell doesn't have a lifetime frame warranty.
You're right about that. I think the warranty is two years.

I cracked a Gen1 Heckler frame a few years ago when it was 4 years old. Sent it off to SC, they sent me a new Superlight frame for $200. Considering the alternatives, it was a pretty good deal.
 

·
A Real Winner.
Joined
·
863 Posts
Yeah, like most people said, there are lifetime warranty's on a lot of frames, but there is not lifetime warranty's on labor. This is pretty standard in most industries, electronics, 90 days labor, 1 year parts, etc. Most shops will give you a 1 year warranty on labor though. With a frame, TECHNICALLY the shop must do the work in order to not void the warranty. This is standard procedure. To be honest though, if you have a lifetime warranty on a frame, and your shop gets you a new frame in 5 years from now, well, I think you should just pay the $100 or whatever they charge to swap your stuff over. It's still a pretty good deal, a new frame for $100! Sure you want the free frame, but just like the shop has to jump through hoops to get you a new frame (which they are getting for free), but then you expect them to swap all of your stuff over (which is about a 5 hour process when done properly) which they are NOT getting for free, and give it to you?

I know it sounds crappy, but some companies are difficult to deal with for a warranty, some are PHENOMENAL! It just depends on who/what you are dealing with. At our shop, one of the things we pride ourselves on is resolving warranty issues quickly and hassle-free. The manufactures we deal with allow us to do that, but I understand that not every manufacture is the same.

As for a fee for filing a warranty claim, well, that's just BS.
 

·
Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
Joined
·
10,939 Posts
Didn't Ellsworth drop the "lifetime" warranty a couple years ago after it was pointed out on mutliple threads on mtbr from dozens of former Ellsworth owners, distributors and dealers that the so called "lifetime" of the warranty was restricted to the production lifetime of that EXACT version of whichever particular model frame you had.

For example... the "truth" model has undergone many changes and revisions over the past decade, with different linkages, chainstays, seatstays, shock mounts on the main frame, etc. All usually done to solve durability/failure issues that crop up because people are breaking them, and then expecting replacements under the "lifetime" warranty. But whenever they do that, they mysteriously demand an "upgrade" fee from the next person who tries to use their warranty, because they no longer have any of the old version frame subsections left to replace it, and the new ones are different and not covered under their defintion of a lifetime warranty. This is what caused their original canadian distributor and most all their original canadian dealers to drop them. They changed the shock mounts on the frames, in such a way as to require totally different length shocks as well, then expected people returning their frames under warranty to not only pay an upgrade to the new frames, but also forced them to buy new shocks for the frames to be usable.
 

·
Old school BMXer
Joined
·
2,695 Posts
DeeEight said:
Didn't Ellsworth drop the "lifetime" warranty a couple years ago after it was pointed out on mutliple threads on mtbr from dozens of former Ellsworth owners, distributors and dealers that the so called "lifetime" of the warranty was restricted to the production lifetime of that EXACT version of whichever particular model frame you had.
That's funny! And since they had to make so many changes because of so many problems, basically the lifetime warranty cover the frame for it's lifetime...Frame broke? It's life is over....So Ellesworth, from what I hear from my buddies who used to have them.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top