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  1. #1
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    My terrible, awful experience with FELT

    Bought a brand new Felt F4 last spring, $2300. Rode it 5 times. The carbon seatstay cracked.

    I did not wreck it or drop it, it was pure manufacturer defect. Sent it to Felt to be warrantied. Fought with them for EIGHT MONTHS (they outright lied and claimed I wrecked it, when there was no other scratch on the pristine, brand new bike.) Finally, they forced me to pay $600 to get a crash replacement (even though never crashed) and sent me a Felt FC frame.



    Of course, you will get no warranty and the poorest service of your life. I would never, never, never buy another Felt!!!!!
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  2. #2
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    I hate to say it but that's why I haven't made the "Carbon Leap" yet.

  3. #3
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    That's not the carbon's fault. There are thousands of functioning carbon bikes with intact seatstays. Bikes break. There are manufacturing defects. These things happen, and are not really in anyone's control. Bad customer service is something they could control, and chose not to.

  4. #4
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    Yes Nato, I tend to agree with you. I have had 2 Carbon Treks, and they had no issues. But with the whole Felt experience, I have chosen to just simplify and go aluminum. I bought a Specialized Dolce.

    Specialized.. now THAT is a company that knows how to give good customer service!!

  5. #5
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    I'm surprised your LBS wasn't more helpful. I've worked at a few shops. When we've run into that issue, with an obvious warranty claim denied by the manufacturer, the store would just eat the cost of the replacement frame. Not every store would do that, but it's better to spend $600 on a frame than to have a pissed off customer who hates their bike/brand.

  6. #6
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    Ah, if only that were so. The LBS said that it was clear that Felt was not willing to budge. Then they proceeded to tack $200 onto the price of the frame from Felt, for the cost of "shipping and reassembly". I told them to stuff the reassembly, as I intended to just sell the frame anyway. Certainly don't want to be going through this again!

  7. #7
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    That's pretty messed up. Standard mark-up on bikes is about 30%. That's not profit, that's just the markup from wholesale. So for a $2300 bike, they made $690, not taking into account their overhead, wages, etc. It's strange to me that they would rather take $690 and have a pissed off customer, than take $90, and create a customer for life, who would buy their next bike there, their accessories, tubes, get maintenance done there, etc.

    It's a short-sighted business model.

  8. #8
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    Which LBS was this, Workout Chick ? This sounds pretty weak that they treated you that way. I don't know what the intended use of the F4 is, but if you look over at the Ibis forum, you will see all kinds of examples of carbon failure, but Ibis has a good reputation and seems to always leave their customers satisfied. I dont know much about Felt as a company - they're apparently real big in road and BMX, and recently got into FS bikes.
    Its funny, people either seem to love this company or hate it, I guess based on their experience. If you look at other threads, there's other people who have had stuff warrantied buy Felt with no issues at all. How many times did you say you rode this bike ?

  9. #9
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    Maybe you crashed it lady.

  10. #10
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    Hey Felt, I have this awesome idea for a mountain bike. The only thing is, you can't ever let it touch the dirt, or it will explode.

    Seriously though, I've seen some GT carbon bikes that have been crashed dozens and dozens of times without being totaled.

  11. #11
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    Um, no, OuterNational.. that was kinda the point of my post. I never crashed it. But thanks for your totally unhelpful post! Geez....

    And we are actually not even talking about a mt bike here.. it was a ROAD bike, ridden only on roads. If they treat their road bike carbon failures like this, I can't even imagine how they treat their MT bike carbon failures.

    As for my LBS - I bought it in another state, 2000 miles away, then moved to my current location in WA state. So, I guess the LBS Felt Dealer here (Fanatik) had no motivation to help me, since they did not sell me the bike themselves. Sad.

  12. #12
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    I have dealed with Felt SA and their service has always been top-notch.
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  13. #13
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    I just got screwed by kona when their frame bent like a paperclip and they tried to say i crashed it. needless to say i am little worried since my other bike is a felt. bottom line, buy a trek or specialized. i have seen and experienced for myself them giving brand new upgrades with no questions asked.

  14. #14
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    Lucky you, Iwan. That was not our experience at all.

  15. #15
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    Bummer...

    Quote Originally Posted by WorkoutChick
    As for my LBS - I bought it in another state, 2000 miles away, then moved to my current location in WA state. So, I guess the LBS Felt Dealer here (Fanatik) had no motivation to help me, since they did not sell me the bike themselves. Sad.
    I love my Z35 and it works great even with my clydesdale fat @ss on it. Maybe if you split the difference between NC and Washington and dealt with my LBS? They're great guys and would go out their way to help.

    Sorry you got hosed like that.
    Sorry what?

  16. #16
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    Workout.....did you get in contact with the shop that sold it to you? If what your saying is the truth...and I have no reason to doubt it is, that has to be the worst CS story I have heard.
    How in the world do they claim that it was wrecked if there were no other scratches on the bike. There is not a chance in hell that if it was wrecked the bike wouldn't have some signs of this.

    The sad thing is Felt just took their name off my short list for my next purchase. Hell they don't give a damn anyway, they must be selling bikes left and right and don't need my money.

  17. #17
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    WOAH!

    I just recently bought a Felt Virtue 1. I'm so proud of that thing and I read all of this? I'm a little stiffled by this and now I'm a bit worried. If something terrible happens, am I going to get screwed over by the factory for manufacturing defects?

  18. #18
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    Someone always throws the never buy carbon card. This is not the first report of such a thing on mtbr from Felt. Do a search u might find more.

  19. #19
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    larlev - Yes, I contacted the shop that sold it to me. I was even friends with them. By that time, I lived in WA, and not NC (where the shop is.) They were not helpful at all, sadly. And I have NO idea how they can claim it was wrecked when it was otherwise spotless. Not even any tire wear!

    CTVirtue.. I wish you the best. Hopefully you have a good bike, and mine was just a lemon.

    Glovembt - I hear ya.. I now own an Aluminum Specialized... and let me tell you, THAT is a company that knows a thing or two about customer service! THEY ARE AMAZING!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkoutChick
    larlev - Yes, I contacted the shop that sold it to me. I was even friends with them. By that time, I lived in WA, and not NC (where the shop is.) They were not helpful at all, sadly. And I have NO idea how they can claim it was wrecked when it was otherwise spotless. Not even any tire wear!

    CTVirtue.. I wish you the best. Hopefully you have a good bike, and mine was just a lemon.

    Glovembt - I hear ya.. I now own an Aluminum Specialized... and let me tell you, THAT is a company that knows a thing or two about customer service! THEY ARE AMAZING!

    I don't know.....I work for a Felt dealer.....they have always been great to work with. Granted we are close to the corporate office and were one of the 1st dealers in our area.

    And yes, I do have my own experience with Felt Warranty......bought a F60 in 2004 and rode it for 3 years. One day cleaning, noticed what looked to be cracks where the carbon seatstay bonded with the aluminum frame. Send the frame in, they inspected it and notified my that it was only the paint at the joint and that there was nothing structurally wrong with it.......however, they warrantied it without question.

    Had a customer in 2008 that sent his 2002/2003 F35 in because the sleeve that the rear brake goes through, became loose. Felt found a hairline crack in one of the chainstays and warrantied it, no quesitons asked.

    I have yet to have Felt flat out deny a warranty claim, except in crash replacement situations. We ahve been a dealer since early 2004.

    I would blame the LBS for the way they presented it to Felt. Sounds like they did the very minimum to help you out.

  21. #21
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    Honestly mtnbkj, it is hard to believe you are even talking about the same company. I had owned my bike for only SIX MONTHS! After getting little help from our LBS (on either coast) we worked with Felt directly (as my husband is a bike mechanic who works at another, non-Felt bike shop). Not only were Felt employees unhelpful, at times they were downright NASTY. Also, our LBS here in Washington said "I can't figure out what Felt's criteria is. Sometimes they warranty things, and other times they just refuse in perfectly valid situations."

    Guess I was one of the unlucky ones. But going forward, I will only deal with companies with a rep for EXCELLENT customer service, and your experience nonwithstanding, Felt is NOT that company. Boo Hiss and shame on them.

  22. #22
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    We're Felt's largest dealer in Colorado, and we have never seen anything like this. Over the past 6 years we have probably had 7 or so warranties (out of a few thousand bikes). A very low warranty rate. As easy as they are to deal with I could not imagine a situation where a broken bike that was never crashed would not be replaced. That's just my experience as one of the largest Felt dealers. Felt is a company full of hard working, customer first people. We are very selective on the bike manufacturers we work with and Felt is an easy choice for us to recommend.

    Yours clearly was not a normal experience, and I'm sorry to hear that.
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  23. #23
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    Felt may have some hardworking and helpful people, but I was not able to find any of them in my 6-month long battle to get them to warranty my defective bike. So, sorry to say, they are also a company full of assy, unhelpful people. I did everything I could, asked nicely, insisted, then eventually raised hell.. dealt with at least 2 bike shops and more than 4 people at Felt Central... and NOTHING.

    As a result, I would NEVER reccommend a Felt to anyone, unless I really hated that person.

  24. #24
    Kaj
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    Wow, clearly something "odd" happened in your case.

    We have 3000 or so Felt customers that haven't experienced anything like that. In fact just the opposite, we have many return customers who come back to buy another Felt when it's time to upgrade.

    I hope your future bikes don't give you any more trouble

    keep on riding.
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  25. #25
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    Oh, I will keep on riding. Just not on a Felt. They will never get another dime from me, esp. not after the $1000 loss I was forced to take as a result of their pisspoor service. And honestly, I don't think it is THAT odd of an occurence, at least not according to our local Felt bike shop here in Bellingham.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkoutChick
    Honestly mtnbkj, it is hard to believe you are even talking about the same company. I had owned my bike for only SIX MONTHS! After getting little help from our LBS (on either coast) we worked with Felt directly (as my husband is a bike mechanic who works at another, non-Felt bike shop). Not only were Felt employees unhelpful, at times they were downright NASTY. Also, our LBS here in Washington said "I can't figure out what Felt's criteria is. Sometimes they warranty things, and other times they just refuse in perfectly valid situations."
    Something doesn't sound quite right here. You owned the bike for 6 months but you only rode it 5 times?

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    Polarized Felt Experiences.....

    Interesting thread and sorry to hear of your issue with Felt. What I can say is that I've had two Felt warranty experiences over the last 2-3 years with two different LBS and Felt has been super to deal with.

    First was my wife's F-65 which developed a crack at the seatstay carbon/aluminum interface at a little less than a year old. Felt sent her a new F-55 frame and the LBS built it back up at no charge - took a while but very positive experience.

    Second was my carbon F4 which developed a small crack at the chainstay near the bottom bracket after about 1-2 years of use. Frame was promptly replaced with a much, much nicer F2. I was nervous about carbon in general and wanted the ride of steel so I sold the frame and purchased a Gunnar Roadie. Once again, very good service from felt and the LBS.

    I also broke my 15 year-old steel mountain bike frame this year, but that's another thread I'll post in the Diamondback forum a little later. Suffice it to say there was no questions asked. I'm either lucky, blessed - or both with regard to warranty service.

    I would guess that without the LBS as your advocate you did not get the benefit of the doubt - which it doesn't sound like there should have been any at all. Not sure if you were able to talk to the Felt folks directly but sometimes it helps to talk directly to the source. Hope you get it all worked out. Above all, happy riding.....

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj
    Wow, clearly something "odd" happened in your case.

    We have 3000 or so Felt customers that haven't experienced anything like that. In fact just the opposite, we have many return customers who come back to buy another Felt when it's time to upgrade.

    I hope your future bikes don't give you any more trouble

    keep on riding.
    I have to say this may come back to the LBS.

    Whenever I have dealt with a warranty issue, I try to be an advocate for my customer. Plead with warranty guys, make nice-nice with our sales reps, whatever it takes. It makes a big difference.

    Flip it around, let's say it is a stranger off the street with a warranty issue that is very questionable, like a top tube dent or "I crashed it, maybe I can get a free XXX", well, I will still go through the motions but I won't speak up.

    I knew a guy who bought an used Enduro and decided to freeride on it (btw, he is 280lb). He smoked a crankset, and I called the manufacturer right in front of him. I told the warranty rep the circumstances and he denied a warranty on the spot. And if this guy wasn't a friend, I wouldn't have even called.

    But if anyone bought a bike from me and got screwed over by warranty (and it has never happened), I would certainly do some free labor out of sympathy and continued patronage. Because ultimately, I don't work for the manufacturer but the customer.

  29. #29
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    Womble - Yes, only rode it 4 times. Shortly after purchasing it I found out I was pregnant. Did not want to take any chances so I stayed off the bike for the duration of the pregnancy.

    Richsto - The LBS told me they advocated, but there is no way of knowing. They also told me that Felt had been very fickle in the past, warrantied some things, and then not warrantying other perfectly good claims.

    Sanjuro - We did not yet have a relationship with the shop, but there was nothing fishy about our claim. The bike was in brand new condition with no scratches and no tire wear, and obviously never wrecked, and the LBS (Fanatik) felt it was a clear warranty situation. And yes, we did deal directly with Felt eventually (as I posted earlier, my husband is a bike mechanic at a non-Felt shop). The employees at Felt were non-responsive, and eventually very rude, refusing to talk to us because we were not from Fanatik.

    It was just a TERRIBLE experience all around, and one I will not be repeating.. but NEVER buying a Felt again!

  30. #30
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    I believe you had a legit issue, so if I was your shop, I would make it clear to Felt if you deny this warranty, then we are likely to lose a customer.

    And then the next time I talked to the sales rep, I would tell him Felt is going to lose our business because I want to sell bikes I know won't be a problem.

  31. #31
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    Well, I guess the shop did not go to bat for us, not with heavy artillery like that. But truly, it is sad that it would even come to that, in a situation like ours (where the bike is brand new and very obviously defective...)

    Felt should have just done the right thing from the get-go, and they did not. I strongly feel the fault, in the end, lies with them.

  32. #32
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    The store that I work at has dropped brands for that kind of stuff in the past. I have never had a warranty claim refused that I felt should have been covered. I have also never had a warranty claim with felt so I can't comment on their customer service.

  33. #33
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    Hey WOC, thats sucks and its a small world. I feel Felt has lost more than $600 in sales just from this thread. The guys from Fanatik are good guys and seem more than willing to help out customers, maybe you should give it another shot. Russ is the guy to deal with if you didnt last time.
    Last edited by Chad_Money; 01-15-2010 at 12:36 PM.
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  34. #34
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    Hi Chad, thanks for your reply. I agree, the guys at Fanatik are great, and if I were going in with the same situation now, I might get a different result. (I actually work with Russ' wife, small town )

    But when I went in, it was shortly after I moved here, so I did not yet know the folks at that bike shop. It was not Russ that I dealt with, but I am sure the kid who helped me tried. Yes, he could have fought harder I am sure, but I doubt it would have done too much good. They just seemed resolved not to help, strangely.

    Last year, after many, many months of fighting with them, I just gave up and cut my losses. I gave them the $600 they demanded for a crash replacement, and sold the replacement frame for as much as I could get (sadly, only $1100).

    The math:
    $2300 bike + $600 crash replacement = $2900 spent for 4 bike rides ($725 per ride)
    $1100 frame sale - $100 ebay fees/shipping = $1000 net
    $2900 spent - $1000 recovered = FELT SCREWED ME FOR $1900 AND I HATE THEM FOR IT!

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    wow!

    I'm speechless. I keep thinking there's something we're all missing here. I just don't see a company who produces a bike like the one I have (aka. FELT Virtue 1) would conduct such a nasty business practice. I've not had any problems thus far but I don't hardcore jump from rock to rock either. However, I have had some bad wrecks but nothing terribly damaging to the bike.

    I hope I don't have a similar situation otherwise, I may end up along the same 'trek'. <--get it? same 'trek'?

  36. #36
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    Hi CTVirtue..

    Well, I have not left out any part of my story. I do want to reiterate that my bike was a ROAD bike, so it was never jumped from rocks. As a matter of fact, it was probably ridden less than 200 miles, on nice, smooth roads. My issue appears to have been a manufacturer defect, that for some strange reason, Felt decided not to cover. No missing pieces to my story.. just sadly missing customer service and product backing from Felt!

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    And yes, to your pun..
    TREK is indeed another company, like Specialized, that does not treat their customers this way!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkoutChick
    And yes, to your pun..
    TREK is indeed another company, like Specialized, that does not treat their customers this way!

    I'm not so sure about that.......I have had both of them treat both customers and dealers both pretty bad.

  39. #39
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    Do you have any photos of the bicycle? If there was absolutely no evidence of misuse - how do they explain the frame being broken?
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  40. #40
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    Nope, no photos. Should have taken some before I sent it off, but at the time I naively assumed this would be a standard, straightforward warranty situation. (That is what the bike shop indicated, anyway)

    First, Felt said it had been wrecked or dropped. When we pointed out that this was pretty much impossible, as there were not marks or scratches on the frame, they said that a rock flew up and hit the the frame, cracking the carbon. My bike mechanic husband, as well as the mechanic at the Felt shop agreed that this was not physically possible, due to the location of the crack.

    When we explained all of this to Felt (repeatedly) they just kept repeating over and over that they only thing they could do was offer me a crash replacement (even though the bike had never been crashed). They refused to work with us, or listen to us, and were often quite rude on the phone (when we could actually get them to call us back.)

    We offered to accept a lesser bike than the one they wanted to offer me and charge $600 for, but they would not work with us on that either. They insisted that my only option was to upgrade to the FC frame and pay no less than $600. I fought that for months, but finally just gave in.. as I really needed a bike to ride at that point, with summer coming on. It killed me to bite the bullet and pay the money, esp. since I knew I was in the right.. but I guess sometimes it is just what you have to do.

  41. #41
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    ..

    Quote Originally Posted by WorkoutChick
    Nope, no photos. Should have taken some before I sent it off, but at the time I naively assumed this would be a standard, straightforward warranty situation. (That is what the bike shop indicated, anyway)

    First, Felt said it had been wrecked or dropped. When we pointed out that this was pretty much impossible, as there were not marks or scratches on the frame, they said that a rock flew up and hit the the frame, cracking the carbon. My bike mechanic husband, as well as the mechanic at the Felt shop agreed that this was not physically possible, due to the location of the crack.

    When we explained all of this to Felt (repeatedly) they just kept repeating over and over that they only thing they could do was offer me a crash replacement (even though the bike had never been crashed). They refused to work with us, or listen to us, and were often quite rude on the phone (when we could actually get them to call us back.)

    We offered to accept a lesser bike than the one they wanted to offer me and charge $600 for, but they would not work with us on that either. They insisted that my only option was to upgrade to the FC frame and pay no less than $600. I fought that for months, but finally just gave in.. as I really needed a bike to ride at that point, with summer coming on. It killed me to bite the bullet and pay the money, esp. since I knew I was in the right.. but I guess sometimes it is just what you have to do.
    I would also ask them what their warranty rate is on this particular chainstay; and see if it is a known manufacturer problem. For instance, if you can document 10 other bikes breaking in the same manner as yours - should bolster your case considerably.
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  42. #42
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    I would suggest Small Claims Court against Felt, but since you don't have the bike or any pictures, I would say you're SOL on that option.

    I was in the same situation as you a few years back. Specialized Enduro that was near the end of its third season of normal use. Not sure when the crack developed, but in a truly "just riding along" moment, the seat just fell out from under me.

    Unfortunately, it happened as I was in the middle of a move from WA (Anacortes) to TX. When we got settled in, I went to the local Spec dealer near my house and explained the situation. They asked one question - was the seat post visible in the hole on the back of the seat tube? When I said it always was, they called Specialized, and in a couple of weeks, i had a new Enduro... two years newer model. It did cost a bit to build up because they changed the FD mounting, but that's OK... was time for an upgrade anyway!

    Ultimately, I sold that frame because I didn't like the way the new model rode... but I bought an Epic frame, in large part because of the warranty service I received!
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  43. #43
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    Moral of the story - always document - provide evidence, and make inquiries on incidence rates.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUMBAevo
    Moral of the story - always document - provide evidence, and make inquiries on incidence rates.

    if they are jerking the customer around already, i doubt they would give info on if it is a recurring problem.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000
    if they are jerking the customer around already, i doubt they would give info on if it is a recurring problem.

    I agree. It would seriously cripple their product line belief if they cited recurring problems. They would have to issue a recall on all FELT(s). Besides, it doesn't matter. IF what you say is true and anyone who is anyone who rides MTB or Road HAS to peruse these forums (perhaps, not this particular one but similar) would educate themselves for future reference.

    I myself am a little more weary of what possible danger lies ahead. My hope is that I don't face a similar predicament.

  46. #46
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    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by CTVirtue_Rider
    I agree. It would seriously cripple their product line belief if they cited recurring problems. They would have to issue a recall on all FELT(s). Besides, it doesn't matter. IF what you say is true and anyone who is anyone who rides MTB or Road HAS to peruse these forums (perhaps, not this particular one but similar) would educate themselves for future reference.

    I myself am a little more weary of what possible danger lies ahead. My hope is that I don't face a similar predicament.
    Well you have to also remember, if this is a common issue - other people will come forward as well - now if they are concealing a known defect - that is another issue entirely.
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

    http://chumbaracing.blogspot.com/

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUMBAevo
    Well you have to also remember, if this is a common issue - other people will come forward as well - now if they are concealing a known defect - that is another issue entirely.
    she should have posted this at roadbikereview.com to find out if there are more with this issue. this could be a specific problem with their road bikes and mtb riders might not be able to confirm. i still think it's ridiculous to think that felt would own up to past problems by asking them when they are trying to discount the op's problem to begin with

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUMBAevo
    Well you have to also remember, if this is a common issue - other people will come forward as well - now if they are concealing a known defect - that is another issue entirely.
    hey alan, funny to see you lurking in another manufacturer's forum. shouldn't you e updating your chumba blog with more anti dwlink spin?? i se you have a turner and a mojo listed with their deficancies compared to the horst link.

  49. #49
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    I spent a couple years working in a felt shop and took care of all of our warranties and I will tell you that this is out of the norm for them.

    1) Had a customer with an 05 F1 the FD braze on came loose and we got conformation that it was OK to drill out the rivets and replace them, 6 months later they became loose as well. Felt replaced the entire frame instead of fixing it, WOW.

    2) we had a customer that had a F4 that had what looked like body filler under the clear coat near the BB. I think it was most likely to cover a cosmetic blem that was their out of the mold. After the guy had the bike for a while it started to creek, he was convinced it was the frame. After talking to felt everybody but the customer thought it was fine. To make him happy we sent the frame back for evaluation by the engineers. They thought it was fine but they replaced it anyway just to keep him happy, WOW!

    3) A customer that bought his and hers F4 garaged one of them a month after the bought them. They were leaving for South Africa in 4 days with their bikes. We had a crash replacement frame overnighted for a total price of $250 and had them ready in time for their trip.

    I think the bulk of the problem is your shop. I have had a few times when Felt didn't want to do something but I thought they were making a mistake. I leaned on them and explained the situation and they came around to a reasonable decision. That said I had a pretty good relationship with the warranty guy.

    did you try and take care of this on your own at all? I think your experience might have been different.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by nato_the_greato
    That's not the carbon's fault. There are thousands of functioning carbon bikes with intact seatstays. Bikes break. There are manufacturing defects. These things happen, and are not really in anyone's control. Bad customer service is something they could control, and chose not to.
    +1 on that! Hate to hear that happened.

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