Thursday, August 31, 2006

Consumer Safety???

Very long story short: driving my car (mid size SUV) with roof bike rack and bike mounted on top. Owned the thing for almost a year with no particular problems.
Well, after a short drive on the highway I'm heading to the trailhead, while driving around 25mph I hit a road dip, car tilts and bike comes crashing down on the side of my car... OMG!!. Stop the car, get out and here's the scenario: fork mounted bike rack failed, suspension forks snapped, car scratched and dented, rear wheel bent...

Al the details and painful pics on ZenTurtle.net

File a complaint to the rack manufacturer, two weeks later they tell me that the case has been forwarded to warranty claim dept (now two weeks just for that??). Wait another week, nothing happens. Call then once, twice...every week... always talk to a voice mail woho reassures me that my call is important to them, leave your info and we'll call you back... 12 messages, no call back.

After I buy a new bike rack (this time hitch mounted and from another company) I'm upset for the extra money had to spend (the first rack wasn't cheap, at around $500) so I decide to charge.
Call Thule, ask to talk to someone, anyone... wait on the line and end up talking with the boss of the boss of the boss. "Hello, I'm an angry customer..."

Thirthy minutes later the zealous manager of warranty claims tells me that
my case fell thru the cracks (what about my dozen calls??) and they'll do what they can to refound me... from there seems all downhill (shipped replacement racks, will pay damages costs...)

What really upsets me is that after I describe the problem, the guy says: "yea, that's the way it typically fails..." ???!!! Hello! Think about a mountain bike that flies off my car's roof @ 65mph
on the freeway and crashes in the car behind me... How can they still sell that crap (and for some money, the bike tray alone is $135...)

Bottom line: the trick is to be able to talk to someone (provided you are right in your claims)... seems like their only weapon is to wear you out (talk dozen times to voice mails) until you give up.

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