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  1. #1
    Sweep the leg!
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    Warranty problems with Trek/Gary Fisher

    Sorry for the length but it's better if itís accurate... Iím having a problem getting a Gary Fisher dealer to warranty a Gary Fisher product.

    Here's the issue. Within a 30 minute driving radius there are 7 Trek/GF dealers/locations to buy a GF Rig. Trek Factory Store owns 2 (east & west sides of town), Budget Bikes/Machinery Row Bikes owns 2, then Village Pedaler (east side), Middleton Cycle (west side) and Stoton Cycle (just south in Stoughton).

    I could have bought my Rig from any one of them assuming they had one in stock back in February. FYI there was a "shortage" of Rigs at that time. There were two 19.5" Rigs to be had at that time. One at Trek West, one at Budget. Each dealer I check with found that Trek/GF in Waterloo had none and no potential date of further production/release.

    So I test rode the one at Trek West in January and asked if there was any "wiggle room" on the $1099 price. To paraphrase the salesman "with nothing to compete with why should we reduce the price?Ē

    I was still considering an Inbred but was feeling the pressure to make a commitment... and I had the cash burning a hole in my pocket.

    So after work on the 2nd of February I stopped into Budget on my way home to kick the tires again. I found they had marked their Rig down to $999 so I asked if they'd reduce it any further. $910 was as low as they'd go and they'd keep the pedals. Since I had 2 pairs of pedals I'd be using I found that very appealing.

    So I bought the Rig from them.

    Time passes and I get some trail time on the Rig. I bought a computer, three tubes, shock pump and two cogs from the Trek West store for the Rig. I was really happy with the bike.

    Then the Eccentric Bottom Bracket reared its ugly head. The paper owners manual didn't list a torque spec for the EBB (I did find it later in the CD version- ~12Nm) so I just did what seemed reasonable- tighten it with a 5mm allen until it wouldn't move.

    At the first race it dropped the chain a few times. I had changed the 18t to a 20t that day so I assumed I'd failed to tighten it properly. 3 weeks later I took more time to tension the chain and torque the EBB bolt before a race. That day I dropped the chain so often I lost track but it was roughly 15 times.

    So I consulted with the Trek West store expert (actually a GF sponsored Pro who races a Rig) and it was discovered that the EBB needed to be rotated 180 degrees. It seemed the pedaling torque was working against me. After correcting the EBB position the chain stopped dropping. The next race went without a second lost to mechanical gremlins after changing to a 22t.

    A week later I was going to preride the upcoming event's trail. I wanted to put a 16t or 18t on for a relatively flat day. I put the 18t on first and when tightening the EBB bolt it stripped the steel insert within the wedge. Just freakin' great, but I had 7 days before the actual race so I wasn't stressed.

    I called the Trek West store. I did this based on two things- I had established "face time" with the staff there and they'd have "priority" over other Trek/GF dealers as they are essentially the factory outlet. I didn't call Budget, the store I'd bought it from because I didn't think they'd have an "in" with the GF warranty department like the Trek store would.

    When I spoke with the warranty guy that Friday night he remembered me. Fine. But when I asked about initiating the warranty process he said "you didn't buy the bike from us. you need to take it to that dealer."

    I agreed that I didn't buy it from them, but how should that matter? It's a GF product and they're a GF dealer. If I had bought it from a dealer elsewhere in the country would I be required to return it to them for the warranty?

    He became rude and disagreeable. We talked in circles for 10 minutes and I gave up.

    The next day I took the bike to the Trek East store (it is ~3 miles from my house as opposed to ~12 miles to the west side store or 6 miles to Budget) The salesman there, Kevin, was nice and understanding, He also knew of the origin of the sale but didn't seem to take issue with it. His boss, Lisa Joaquim, did take issue with the warranty. Again, I stated "what if it was purchased in LA? Would you insist I take it back there?" She had no reply and walked away.

    I waited until Wednesday to inquire about the warranty of the wedge. Kevin had filed the claim with GF but hadn't heard back. I believe him.

    I called a friend who owns a motorcycle dealership. He told me he had thread replacement alternatives (Time-Serts) and I could use his shop space & tools to fix my bike for free. I just had to cover the cost of the Time-Sert ($20).

    I went over to Trek and picked up the Rig and took it over to the MC shop. 30 minutes later the EBB was "like new." I did the race Sunday and it never so much as burped. I changed the cog yesterday and today the EBB is still behaving itself.

    Itís almost the end of the story. Kevin called the other day to say they have a replacement part but it would cost $30. I was at work so I didn't actually talk to him but from what my wife relayed to me that's what I can expect if I go back to the Trek Store.

    Here's how I feel. I want to slap someone silly. Do I have an unrealistic expectation of good customer service? Is it because I live in Trek/GF's back yard that they feel they can get away with this type of service? Should I accept that I stripped the part and covered the cost of repair myself and get on with my life? What if the Rig has need of another warranty claim?
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  2. #2
    Are you talking to me?
    Reputation: damion's Avatar
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    My opinion.

    If you have access to the shop that you bought the bike from, you should go there. A dealership does not get paid by the mfg for their time. You are right, however, that you went to a Trek dealership, and that is that. They should have taken the time to work with you, and did not. Did you call Trek directly to explain the situation? If not, what part of this post is a problem with Trek's warranty?




    At this point, I say bite the bullet. You have altered the part in question. THat is a no-no warranty wise. At least it is a $30 part instead of an altered frame, or something like that....
    gfy

  3. #3
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    Sounds like you created your own problem with the EBB to me and don't see why that needed to be a warranty issue at all (nice if you can convince them that failing to provide an accurate manual for components caused your mistake, maybe; it would be nice if a complete bike came with more information about the components for those of us that prefer to do our own wrenching).

    As far as who should provide warranty service is concerned, I'd always go back to the dealer unless not possible (like I was on a trip and had a problem). Dealing with warranty stuff isn't free of time and effort; IMO you should have had the shop that earned the profit on your transaction deal with it. Personally I'd find one shop and stick to them based on overall selection, attitude and service, not price. Seems a waste of energy and time to be flitting back and forth among alll these shops trying to be a super consumer....
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  4. #4
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    So after work on the 2nd of February I stopped into Budget on my way home....I found they had marked their Rig down to $999 so I asked if they'd reduce it any further. $910 was as low as they'd go....So I bought the Rig from them.

    (skip)

    Here's how I feel. I want to slap someone silly. Do I have an unrealistic expectation of good customer service? Is it because I live in Trek/GF's back yard that they feel they can get away with this type of service? Should I accept that I stripped the part and covered the cost of repair myself and get on with my life? What if the Rig has need of another warranty claim?
    I understand your frustration, but you did buy the bike from Budget - so that's where you should logistically do your warranty work. I don't think it has anything to do with you living in Trek/Fisher's backyard.

    Since you did the work with Kevin at Trek East, you should just accept that you stripped the part and pay him the $30 for the part/repair. After all, he did go out of his way to offer customer service. Unless you're dealing with an LBS that is a chain, I don't see why a store outside of that chain where you bought the bike should have to offer you warranty/customer service just because they sell products from the same company.

    Would you take a Maytag freezer to Sears who is an authorized Maytag dealer for warranty work even if you had purchased the freezer at Best Buy (also an authorized Maytag dealer)? Or take your Sony laptop to Best Buy (authorized dealer) even though you bought it at Circuit City (authorized dealer).

    You probably could have saved yourself time and frustration by just going to Budget in the first place where you originally bought your Rig.

    You're only out $30.

    BB

  5. #5
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    i can't believe you suckered me into reading that book of a report. first off, how the hell did you expect them to treat you? you made yourself well known to them, made your intentions to buy a new bike known, and then went with a competing bike shop. I wouldn't exactly jump off of a cliff to help you either, particularly since the whole sequence JUST happened. maybe in a few months or a year, after you've spent some money and time in my shop i'd forget about it, but not now.

    also, as someone else mentioned, you altered the part, voiding your warranty on it. so the warranty does not apply and is not a "problem" as your thread title seems to indicate

  6. #6
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    While it isn't really right, it is not uncommon....

    when you have that many dealers of the same brand of bike in a given area. If you have more than one dealer for a given brand of bike in the area, it is always better to take your warranty issues to the dealer you bought from. Also, don't blame the company for this one, this is a dealer issue, not an issue with Trek/Fisher, it's an issue with a couple of LBSs and the way they do business.

    Also, I work for a Trek dealer as a mechanic and I can tell you that it would be doubtful if we'd put your problem up as a warranty issue! Using incorrect torque and stripping threads is usually not covered under warranty unless the threaded insert was improperly heat treated or improperly installed. The torque specs ARE available to you, that's why they include that CD with the hard copy owner's manual. So even if you take it to the dealer you bought your rig from, you may not get the satisfaction you are looking for.

    In my honest opinion you've created your own problem here. Believe me all the other Trek dealers know where you bought your bike from. They can look up the registration online on the Trek dealer network and find out. They know you bought it locally and from which dealer. So save yourself the headache and just take it back to the store you bought if from next time. No Trek is pulling anything highhanded THE DEALERS ARE! And YES you screwed the EBB up so why shouldn't you pay to fix it!?!? So accept the fact that you screwed up. It's fixed now, get on with your life! Just remember the lesson you just learned and deal with the LBS that you bought the bike from next time.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  7. #7
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    What would you expect from a company who is trying really hard to take over the world, and force their dealers to carry nothing but product, sold by them? In their mind they owe you nothing, unless you can prove they are at fault. That said, yes, you should work with the shop you bought it, unless you bought it out of the area, and have moved into town, and expect to continue to do business with them, once they help you out.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  8. #8
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    This is my honest opinion on the subject:

    I work part-time helping out a Trek/Fisher dealer here in town. The other dealer is about 45 minutes away. We and the other shop warranty stuff that wasn't bought from us all the time, that being said I will make my point hahahahaaha.

    If you deal w/ the one shop almost all of the time then to me they should have helped you out. You buy product from them on a constant basis. Buying computers etc. etc. from the one shop shows that you support them, but found a great deal on a bike. The constant purchase of things like tubes/computers/etc. etc. is what keeps bike shops running. Your return buisness would have prompted me to help you out and if he was willing to warranty the part and help you out then you should pay him for fixing it. So basically he is warranting the PART, and just charging you a small fee to fix the EBB then you should do that because now you have voided warranty by working on it yourself.

    Trek/Fisher is a large, well enormous bike company, but from the Fisher stand point they did impress me when my friend cracked his Cake 3 and they sent him a Cake 1 to replace it shock and all.

    Oh well interesting topic for me and 1st post for quite some time. Now I have to go home to the 29'er board. Later on, JC
    Last edited by JC2niner; 06-13-2006 at 07:46 AM.
    On one gear fixed or free is where I want to be.....

  9. #9
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    No good

    uhh, let's see. you bought the bike at Budget, YOU stripped the EBB hardware, and want the Trek Store to warranty it? LUDICROUS!!!

    oh and Mendon, get over it! The big bad bicycle company is not out to get you!

  10. #10
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkenstein
    uhh, let's see. you bought the bike at Budget, YOU stripped the EBB hardware, and want the Trek Store to warranty it? LUDICROUS!!!



    100% true

    oh and Mendon, get over it! The big bad bicycle company is not out to get you!



    Never. They will never ever have anyone but their own best interests in mind. Enjoy your Corporate Mcbike should you choose to own one=
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Never. They will never ever have anyone but their own best interests in mind. Enjoy your Corporate Mcbike should you choose to own one=
    sounds like everyday busniess to me and nothing personal I'm sure.

  12. #12
    Are you talking to me?
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    Mendon may be on the something....

    Quote Originally Posted by funkenstein
    uhh, let's see. you bought the bike at Budget, YOU stripped the EBB hardware, and want the Trek Store to warranty it? LUDICROUS!!!

    oh and Mendon, get over it! The big bad bicycle company is not out to get you!

    I may be paranoid, but that does not mean that they are not out to get me! Trek is not out to get individuals, but they are on a mission from (God) to take over the world.
    gfy

  13. #13
    A Real Winner.
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    I guess I fail to see the issue here. It sounds like you stripped out the part, correct? You even admitted that you didn't torque it correctly, you said you just tightened it up to what you felt was the correct torque. Why do you feel that you are owed the warranty for a part you messed up? Finally, why didn't you take it back to Budget bikes in the first place? Even though they weren't the biggest dealer, if that's the place where you bought the bike, and it IS convenient to you, why not go back there initially? Warranty is warranty no matter where you.
    www.cycletofitness.com It's only a super-awesome website for a super-awesome store. Just click it. I dare you.

  14. #14
    Crunchatize me Capn'
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    first, in reply to a previous post....yes, if you are an authorized service center for whatever product then you absolutely must service said product regardless of when it was bought. I would absolutely expect Best Buy to service a laptop of "x" brand even if I bought it at Circuit City if they claim to be an authorized service center for "x" brand. And ya' know what? They would. As far as warranty issues go for bike shops I would expect that if a bike shop carries "x" brand that they help out getting warranty issues settled for that brand. To me, it's part of the requirement for carrying that brand. You should expect it of yourself as a shop owner and others should expect it of you. I might even go so far as to say that mfg's should require it in order for you to carry their line.

    I have to agree with the statement that a stripped bolt is not a warranty issue. But....the other dealers should have been helping you out. Count yourself lucky that it's a thirty dollar part. Even though you fixed the problem yourself I still think you should pick up the part from Kevin.

  15. #15
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkenstein
    sounds like everyday busniess to me and nothing personal I'm sure.

    Absolutely, and that's what worries me. We (the people, consumers, customers, etc) accept it as the way it is. Used to be, businesses had some level of interest in the well being of the market the operated in, and that led to folks having jobs, being proud of their work, etc. Now no-one takes pride, cause they know they are liable to get layed off at the drop of a hat. Business needs to look at who is most important to them. News flash, it's not the shareholders, it the folks that pay the end price. Unless the buying public starts to recognize this, choices will get thinner and thinner, till the only product you can find, is the one they want you to, and that's just wrong. No flames please, not looking to start a war, just think that corporations have too much power, and most consumers are too lazy to realize it, or act on it.=
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  16. #16
    Steep Hill
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    It seems you played 'getting the cheapest deal in town' but now you expect premium customer service. I'm not saying you're wrong...just that you should throw out any time line or no-fee expectation other than what is written on your warranty card.



    My experience with Trek is their warranty service is very sloooooow. A frame replacement took me anywhere from 6-10 weeks (5x). The Trek representative was not particularly helpful or customer oriented. I've used the original LBS and after they were fired I used another local Trek distributor who was more than happy to do warranty work. It is not uncommon for the shop to charge a build fee ($75-$125) although sometimes it was waved.

    When buying a new bike I now let the shop owner know my warrantly expectation beforehand then negotiate a price based on that understanding. Bike shops can be such a PITA

    ~ Good Luck

  17. #17
    Sweep the leg!
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    I guess what sticks in my craw is the sanctimonious attitude of the sales staff regardless of this situation. When I bought a Trek trailer to carry my daughter (6yrs ago) and when I bought her first bike (3yrs ago) I got nothing but attitude from each salesperson and the staff involved. If that's the way they treat a repeat customer... fill in your own ending.

    Yes I stripped the insert. But I think it would be better designed. The insert has bare a centimeter of thread engagement and does not appear to be anything other than white steel. Longer thread engagement, a rated-type steel material or both might allow a customer to change a gear ratio without this type of down time.

    Also, the reason I took it upon myself to install the Time Sert was the impending race. If I had to purchase any parts I needed time, which was limited. I'd rather not miss one of the 12 races in the series as I'm currently in 7th in the points standings and would like to keep moving up.

    As for any future purchases I make, I'll keep it simple and pick one shop. Then at the end of the season, if I stick with SS racing, I'll strip the Rig and have Seven make me a frame. Then I'll have my 7 year old Seven and my 18 year old Serotta to keep the new SS company.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  18. #18
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    so wihich way shoudl be the ebb be setup

    i read above about it being rotated 180 deg. in the wrong direction. thanks for any help

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