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  1. #1
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    Tree Fort - disappointing experience re exchange request

    This post relates purely to Treefort's inflexible return policy, which I feel is not competitive with other internet bike merchandisers. Their prices are good, but I am really disappointed in their return policy.

    Let me preface this with saying that their website is clear that they have a 30 day return policy. Yes, I know that's what it says. By comparison, Nashbar will take returns at any time and fully refund your CC. Jenson will too, even though their website says 30 days (I've returned things purchased 5 months earlier without incident). Cambria's website says 30 days but I just returned something purchased 6 months ago for store credit. Same with Chain Reaction: 30 day policy but returned stuff purchased months ago for store credit.

    I admit that I tend to buy components for bike builds that I'm planning in the future and then occasionally - not too often - change my mind. The parts are always pristine, unopened, and I pay S&H for the return and for the exchange.

    The details: 11 months ago bought two Avid G2 Clean Sweep rotors for $30 each. Never opened, they are in perfect condition. Today, TF sells these same rotors for $40 each (that is, they could resell as new and make an extra $20). All I wanted to do was exchange for parts that totaled $56 ($4 less than I paid for the rotors and $24 less than TF would be able to resell the rotors for). Note, I was not asking for refund - just an exchange. I was willing to pay shipping, of course, for both the return and the exchange. I called and discussed with a representative, and was told they couldn't do it. I amicably expressed my disatisfaction at what I felt was a non-competitive return policy, mentioned Jenson, Nashbar, Cambria, etc., as above, and their good reputation on MTBR. They would not accept the rotors.

    Bottom Line: If you never change your mind and can live with a strict 30 day policy, admittedly as published on their site, then TF will probably be great for you. I think the circumstances here would have made it extremely easy for TF to take the return (esp since they now sell the rotors for $10 more), yet they wouldn't do something their competitors routinely do - not great customer service in my book.

    I know TF has a good reputation here and this beef is strictly with the return policy. It is what it is and is published, so many probably will say I got what I deserved. Fair enough - make your own judgment.

  2. #2
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    11 month old order and you want them to help you. I think thats asking too much.

  3. #3
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    If I worked at TF I would try to block you from any future purchases.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzbee
    If I worked at TF I would try to block you from any future purchases.
    Why?

  5. #5
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    Asking for something unreasonable then flaming them publicaly would not be worth your business, if I were the owner. Luckily, I am not. No soup for you.

  6. #6
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    I didn't think what I was asking for was unreasonable. It seemed imminently reasonable for the reasons in the initial post. However, if consensus is that I am in the wrong then I will withdraw the public complaint.

  7. #7
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    Seriously dude, WTF is wrong with you? Would you expect to walk into ANY store 11 months after purchasing something and trying the same thing? I agree with Fuzzbee, you need blocking from purchasing online, for the mere fact that this seems to be common place with you - purchase products then months later decided you don't want/like them and want to exchange If I was the rep I'd have put it a bit more blunt so you really could understand.

  8. #8
    AZ
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    Unreasonable expectation . 11 months ?

  9. #9
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    Okay, I get it that 11 months is a long time. But they are still selling the same part now for $10 more than when I bought it, and it's not like rotors have a shelf life. I'll bow out now.

  10. #10
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    You are expecting service from a discount online retailer that you *might* get from an LBS that you have a personal relationship with.

    If you really want that type of service, pay full retail at REI.

    I'd consider yourself lucky with your Jenson experience.

    If you feel dissapointed, that's fine, but flaming a relatively good online shop for what you described above is lame.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grrrah
    You are expecting service from a discount online retailer that you *might* get from an LBS that you have a personal relationship with.

    If you really want that type of service, pay full retail at REI.

    I'd consider yourself lucky with your Jenson experience.

    If you feel dissapointed, that's fine, but flaming a relatively good online shop for what you described above is lame.

    Okay, since it seems like everyone feels like I'm in the wrong, I withdraw any criticism of TF expressed above. Not trying to be unreasonable here - anyone who reads the whole thread now sees that I am backing down.

    Their return just policy doesn't work for me, I guess, and as I mentioned in the first post there are plenty that do. Out.

  12. #12
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Survey says...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vikingfan
    However, if consensus is that I am in the wrong then I will withdraw the public complaint.
    Delete the original post.

    Backing down is one thing, but your original complaint is still posted. A person searching for info on Tree Fort may not read all the way through this to find your "withdrawal". On the other hand, they may just read your original post and draw the same conclusions as the rest of us.

    JMJ
    Last edited by Birdman; 11-06-2009 at 10:53 AM.

  13. #13
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    Agree, you've shown bad form here.

  14. #14
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    I'll give you 20 bucks for the pair...but I want free shipping, the ability to return them unopened in 11 months since I know that I will never use them and then will complain on a forum about it.

    I managed an LBS for 3 years. If someone bought them from me and we saw them all the time, I would do the return in a heartbeat...great customer service. But from an online store...come on man!!!
    Proud Tribe member since 1992 - looking for better singletrack to be ridden year round

  15. #15
    rmb
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    Just sell them on EBAY and you won't have to pay shipping.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vikingfan

    The details: 11 months ago bought two Avid G2 Clean Sweep rotors for $30 each. Never opened, they are in perfect condition. Today, TF sells these same rotors for $40 each (that is, they could resell as new and make an extra $20). All I wanted to do was exchange for parts that totaled $56 ($4 less than I paid for the rotors and $24 less than TF would be able to resell the rotors for). Note, I was not asking for refund - just an exchange. I was willing to pay shipping, of course, for both the return and the exchange. I called and discussed with a representative, and was told they couldn't do it. I amicably expressed my disatisfaction at what I felt was a non-competitive return policy, mentioned Jenson, Nashbar, Cambria, etc., as above, and their good reputation on MTBR. They would not accept the rotors.
    This thread should never even have been made- Tree Fort (not that I have ever used them) doesn't deserve this thread to exist for future searches to pick up.

    I'd go further and say that if other retailers such as Jenson or Cambria *do* pander to this sort of ridiculous request that they should stop and force consumers to bloody well take responsibility for their own year-old decisions. This thread boggles the mind.

  17. #17
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    Mods - please remove the thread (OP here)

  18. #18
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    why dont you just delete it.
    RH SL Pro

  19. #19
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    Whoa, what's all the hate towards the OP? I don't think what he was asking for was totally unreasonable and he's owning up to the fact that he was asking for something outside the stated policies.

    I don't understand why you wouldn't accept unopened, salable stuff in like new condition, especially if it was going to be an exchange. Goodwill towards your customer is valuable and this wasn't going to cost them anything as it wasn't an abuse of policy or a scam. It's their call and they're perfectly in the right to do what they've done. I personally wouldn't have done it that way.

    The OP is just putting out a WYSIWYG warning on TF's policies. I don't see anything wrong with that.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyjoedotorg
    I don't understand why you wouldn't accept unopened, salable stuff in like new condition, especially if it was going to be an exchange. Goodwill towards your customer is valuable and this wasn't going to cost them anything as it wasn't an abuse of policy or a scam. It's their call and they're perfectly in the right to do what they've done. I personally wouldn't have done it that way.
    They would lose money from labor costs if they took it back and tried to resell it. They state their return policy for a reason. It's not tree fort's fault that Nashbar/Jenson do stupid things like accept returns after ridiculous amounts of time.

  21. #21
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    Maybe they don't want more inventory. Maybe they don't have space to stock 11m old crap. Who knows maybe they don't care. The op isn't just stating, he's badmouthing tf for doing nothing wrong. If I was tf i'd take it back with a 50% restocking fee
    RH SL Pro

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyjoedotorg
    I don't understand why you wouldn't accept unopened, salable stuff in like new condition, especially if it was going to be an exchange.
    Because maybe Treefort already spent the money to, oh, pay salaries or something. Even an exchange might hurt, as there are labor costs involved, and the exchange might leave them with inventory less likely to sell.

    30 days is a generous return policy. That's plenty of time for a buyer to ensure that they've purchased the correct part, that it fits their bike, etc.

  23. #23
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    In these competitive times I think 30 days is a joke and not generous at all. Conversely, I wouldn't expect 11 months either (hello eBay) 90 days is more the norm with many retailers - with store credit even after that. Although some of us can try a part the day we get it and then send it back the next day if needed, most of us can't or more simply don't - life happens. I live in Canada and it sometimes takes 2 weeks for items I order to get to me, thanks in part to customs inspections, shipping etc which would leave me with a very small window of opportunity to return something, especially if you have a job and need to go out of your way to get to the shipping center. I'm curious how they would have handled it say, 2-3 months down the road.

    As far as other mail order outfits taking returns after 30 days, that just bolsters my faith in doing business with them. I keep most of what I buy but sometimes a return is inevitable - I simply won't make a purchase if I don't have a reasonable option to return it. I can order a gift for my lady right now from Victoria's Secret and they will gladly take it back or exchange it long after Christmas - THAT's customer service, and I'd like to think she'd have the same options available if she got me something that I ended up wanting to exchange.
    Tighten it 'til it strips - then back it off a quarter turn

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  24. #24
    Rollin 29s
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    I agree with most of the above. Consumers today, because of the super flexible return policies of Home Depot, Wal Mart and numerous online retailers -- who often will take items back even in some cases when the item was not purchased from them -- have come to expect this kind of policy across the board.

    The problem with TreeFort making one exception is that in 10 months when you decide to return last year's suspension fork you bought from them, citing that they took back your rotors, they are setting a precedence, and obligating themselves. Maybe the massive retailers can afford to take some hits with potentially old stock coming back to them that they will have to re-sell at huge discounts, but this is their choice. Most small retailers can not.

    The mature way to look at it would be to say "I made a mistake". The policies were clearly stated and you blew it.

  25. #25
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    Adam at Tree Fort here,

    I am the one that dealt with the OP. I'm sorry that I could not help you, but you have to understand that there are rules and policies that must be followed. In our case we have a 30 day return policy, which I cannot even say is very strict because if you had called me with a product that you had purchased two, maybe even three months later I would have helped out with no questions asked. We have to draw a line somewhere, and unfortunately you were already too far past it.

    Again, I apologize for your frustration in this situation, If there's anything you need for a future bike build, give me a call and I will see what I can do for you.
    Adam Ann Arbor, MI

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