[Yak] Failure of BF Service
vsan3rd at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 10 16:22:17 CDT 2008
I am surpried at this string of e-mails. I'm surprised because I thought all this time that I was the only unhappy camper in this e-mail group. I bought an XLQ tandem which I'm not happy with. Someone asked for an opinion about this bike before purchasing it and I e-mailed to him my experience. He was surprised and suggested that I get in touch with Bike Friday. I wrote a review but it has not been posted in their site yet. I think I was being generous when I wrote a 7. I wrote as my comments: poor welds, poor handling (sluggish and twitchy), paint had a thumb mark or something when I got it. I also noted that the head badge was not centered, and the quick release that holds the handlebar does not appear centered and so is very annoying when I look down. The bike just does not feel like my favorite road bike. I am also having to stop frequently to adjust the sram dual drive. They have offered to take a look at it and I will mail it back to have it checked but a bike trip is coming up and I'd hate to miss it due to a delay in repairing this hub. I tried out other tandems from other manufacturers and I was quite happy with the build quality of the other bikes. I thought the idea of converting a tandem to a single is a good idea so I went ahead with this purchase. With all the issues I mentioned above, I don't think I'll be taking this single on a trip soon. I'll either take my regular bike and pay shipping or buy another packable bike. It's good to know that I'm not the only one. I hope that Bike Friday will get in touch with each of the unhappy campers and offer to fix the problem - whatever it takes to get a "10" rating - if they are really what they say they are in their website. I learned not to purchase on-line without local support from this experience. I this offends anyone, I'm sorry - but after spending close to $5000 on a "custom" bike on these difficult financial times, I expect it to be built well and to run well.
V. Santiago> From: yak-request at bikefriday.com> Subject: Yak Digest, Vol 51, Issue 20> To: yak at bikefriday.com> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:53:05 -0500> > Send Yak mailing list submissions to> yak at bikefriday.com> > To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit> http://store.bikefriday.com/mailman/listinfo/yak> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to> yak-request at bikefriday.com> > You can reach the person managing the list at> yak-owner at bikefriday.com> > When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific> than "Re: Contents of Yak digest..."> > > Let's be good netizens! When replying to a digest message please remember to trim away the excess text of other messages and replies.> > Today's Topics:> > 1. TIkit Frame Failure - BF Customer Service (James Saisakorn)> 2. Positive customer feedback ... and the OTHER side of the> story (Jim Knepper)> 3. Good BF service (Robert Immler)> 4. Re: Failure of BF Service (and WTB: Family Tandem) (Jym Dyer)> 5. Re: Tikit Frame Failure...Update: A Customer's Rights (swayne)> 6. James, a loaner tikit for you (Galfromdownunder)> 7. Failure of BF Service (x)> > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------> > Message: 1> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 14:34:06 -0400> From: James Saisakorn <jsaisakorn at turettarch.com>> Subject: [Yak] TIkit Frame Failure - BF Customer Service> To: yak at bikefriday.com> Cc: jordanb at bikefriday.com> Message-ID: <DC8646B9-EB4C-4821-817F-BFB3EB4AB2D5 at turettarch.com>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes> > To the Bike Friday Community:> > As the poster of the original comment regarding my Tikit frame > failure, I just want to let those who know that while I'm upset that > my experience with Bike Friday has not lived up to the hype that many > proclaim, I did not mean to start a flame war. I am not one of those > people who feels entitled to receive excellent customer service as a > god given right, but I did expect a little more from them. I just > want my bike fixed, and have lost all patience and faith.> > As an update, I was contacted by Jordan Bishko, the customer service > manager, but I can't say that my doubts have been assuaged. The > reason he gave for my bike not being completed yet, is the same reason > he gave me when I spoke with him the week before Labor Day, which > leads me to believe that nothing has been done to the bike since.> > The problem I have with the whole situation is that I would completely > understand a delay in repairing the bike, if I had caused the damage > to it myself, but clearly the problem was and this has also been > verified by Jordan, that the original bike was overzealously welded > which cause stress points at the part of the frame that was thinner > and not welded with such voracity. That's why the frame failed. I > feel that under the pretense of wanting to get things right, I'm left > waiting. This would not be a problem if the bike wasn't my primary > mode of transportation.> > At this point, I have to agree with other posters, who've said that > wouldn't it be just easier to send me a new bike or at least install a > new frame instead of repairing something that wasn't right in the > first place?> > Also to the poster who wrote that I should have worked with the > customer service to resolve the problem, I would have gladly done so, > had they tried to keep in contact with me regarding the situation. > Aside from one phone call they made to me, I've made about six to > them, and get the same vague responses. It was only last night when I > called them again that I finally indicated my displeasure.> > Finally, before I owned the Tikit, I had a Dahon Helios P8 which > served me well for two years without any problems with the frame. > Also, I had a good enough relationship with the local bike store who > sold it to me,which meant that if anything was wrong, which only > amounted to general wear and tear issues, they would promptly fix it. > Of course it is a different situation entirely, but for a factory made > bike it wasn't all that bad, and any questions that I had for Dahon > Tech were answered promptly via their forum. The bike was stolen, and > that is why I bought the Tikit... to get a taste of what dealing with > a small manufacturer committed to making bikes with a fervent > following was like.> > What disappoints me the most is that Bike Friday sells itself as is > the "warm fuzzy" culture where the customer is always right, the > environment is always protected, people are always (perhaps annoyingly > so) passionate about their commitment to bikes, and everything is > always good in the world. I realize that nothing is ever perfect, but > the solution to this whole problem (giving me a new bike, or at least > a new frame) is glaringly obvious and I feel like why wasn't this an > option in the first place? A frame failure is a frame failure (of > course being that it occurred six months after purchase makes me all > the more weary). They could have replaced the entire frame with a new > one, and tested my faulty frame for the benefit of their own research > and development on their own time. I guess that that's all I have to > say for now....> > Still Bikeless,> > Jim S.> New York City> > > > > > > > > > > > > The Original email:> > > To the Bike Friday Community et al.> > So, a month ago my Tikit had a frame failure whereby one of the arms > that connects the seat mast to the main frame broke while I was riding > my bike. This happened on August 9, 2008. I called the on call bike > support on Sunday and they told me that I should send the bike in. I > arranged to have the bike picked up on the 13th of August and it was > shipped next day to Bike Friday on the 14th. When I spoke to Tim Link > he said that the service department was confused that they had > received a bike via UPS. I would have thought that there would be > some indication that a bike whose frame had failed was going to be > arriving since I had spoke with Tim on the Sunday prior, and it was he > who had instructed me to promptly send the bike in.> > At any rate, the initial diagnosis when I spoke to a technician seemed > to be that the arm had been welded inappropriately or possibly cooled > down to quickly as to make this part defective and too brittle causing > the part to fail. They said that they would replace the arm and > repair the bike.> > I called again the next week and asked how the bike was doing, and > they said that it was being worked on. They said that they generally > promise 2 weeks return time if the bike needs to be fixed.> > The following week, I was told that once the frame was painted they > tested the bike and apparently the bottom bracket that allows the back > to fold under had dented or weakened when the arm broke so they wanted > to replace the bottom bracket as well. Unfortunately the technician > was unable to fix the problem till after Labor Day.> > I called the following Thursday after Labor Day to check the status > and once again the bike was still not ready. The customer service > representative very kindly send that should would email me when the > bike shipped. This occurred last week and this evening, I called again > to check the status and the bike still does not seem to have been > repaired or at least no one knows what the status is because the > people in the shop had all left by 4:30 PM PST.> > At this point, after waiting for a month without my primary mode of > transportation, I'm letting the New Yorker within me get the better > of me and I am now fuming and as such I am extremely upset. I think > that this is an appropriate response after one month of being > extremely patient. The reason why I bought a bike from Bike Friday > was that the reputation for customer service is legendary and the > passion of Bike Friday owners seemed insatiable. After this > experience though, I question whether this can be true and I question > whether those who have been proselytized by other owner/disciples have > bought into the culture of Bike Friday blindly, because this > experience has led me to believe that the cult and culture that > surrounds the company, the almost evangelical zeal that people display > is self-created and after this experience, paper thin. Especially, if > one considers the fact that a bike that I have owned for a mere 6 > months had a frame that failed whilst I was riding it.> > This experience with Bike Friday has led me to establish my own set of > principles as a customer with rights.> > Rights of a Bike Friday Customer> > 1. A bike that I purchase shall not do bodily harm to my person unless > out of my own volition.> 2. A $1,000 bike with innovative design touted as the ultimate > commuting bike should not fail after 6 months of commuting regularly.> 3. A customer whose frame has failed due to faulty design should be > put at the highest priority since the problem is with the design of > the product and has implications for a larger number of people who > have also purchased similar bikes. If you are a purchaser of a Tikit, > this means you.> 4. A two week turnaround time should mean a two week turnaround time, > not 4-5 weeks (or possibly 6 as no one seems to know the real status > of my bike.)> 5. Should a bike need to be repaired due to no fault of his own, the > customer should be updated on a regular basis , and should not have to > solicit responses from the place of purchase.> 6. I will not willingly be led by "the cult" when "the cult" has > clearly failed at its mission.> > Regards,> > James Saisakorn> New York City> > ------------------------------> > Message: 2> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 12:14:04 -0700 (PDT)> From: Jim Knepper <kneppjs at yahoo.com>> Subject: [Yak] Positive customer feedback ... and the OTHER side of> the story> To: yak at bikefriday.com> Message-ID: <181221.18322.qm at web30306.mail.mud.yahoo.com>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii> > I am the proud owner of a Pocket Rocket Pro. My bike arrived well packaged but was missing one key item. I called Bike Friday on a Sunday afternoon, spoke to the phone operator there who rolled my call over to Hans. Yeah - he answered my call on a Sunday afternoon.> > I was very happy with the service I received. And I highly recommend their products AND service.> > If you care to watch an interesting DVD sometime, check out a movie called HOODWINKED. It IS a cartoon about Little Red Riding Hood. However, even though it's a G rated cartoon, the story will entertain adults as well. And the story fits here nicely. It's the traditional story of Little Red Riding Hood and is told thru the eyes of Red, the Wolf, Red's grandmother, and other woodland creatures. And everybody has a wildly different opinion of what happened.> > Just one more opinion. Jim Knepper> > > > > > ------------------------------> > Message: 3> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:20:43 -0400> From: "Robert Immler" <roamic at gmail.com>> Subject: [Yak] Good BF service> To: yak at bikefriday.com> Message-ID:> <16fac340809101220t238b1e63jc1c43649feca7986 at mail.gmail.com>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1> > I better toss in a few examples of the other side of the coin.> > My wife has an Air Friday, which I bought used. Last November, the> beam became separated from the part of the frame that joins the seat> post to the beam. We were in Thailand and I called Friday from> Thailand and they told me to ship it to them when I returned.> > I ride an Air Glide, which was also purchased used. The seat post> clamp was stripped, so when I returned my wife's frame, I returned my> frame too.> > Both were repaired at no charge.> > > I bought a used Family Tandem from BF and they used the dimensions of> my wife's then favorite bike and modified the rear geometry so that> she's very comfortable on it.> > > I'd say their shipping is slow (I'd prefer they used priority mail> rather than UPS ground), but other than that I've been very happy.> > -- > > > Bob Immler> _____________________> > > ------------------------------> > Message: 4> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 12:35:29 -0700 (PDT)> From: Jym Dyer <jym at econet.org>> Subject: Re: [Yak] Failure of BF Service (and WTB: Family Tandem)> To: yak at bikefriday.com> Message-ID: <Jym.10Sep2008.48c82180 at econet.org>> > > I'm a little discouraged too. I just ordered a custom NWT for> > an upcoming trip to Mexico DF and now I'm worried. Had I heard> > all of this a couple of weeks ago I probably wouldn't have> > ordered and am now wondering if I should pull out before they> > actually build mine. Hmmm....> > =v= Don't be inordinately swayed by someone who's clearly got> an axe to grind. Sure, negative things loom large in our minds,> and I'm sorry when things have gone badly for people, but that's> not the representative sample.> > =v= I've been a Bike Friday customer for 9 years, and I live> with someone who's been a customer for 12 years. Between us> we've had 5 Bike Fridays. We have always had excellent service> even with complicated requests. Neither of us have had to go> "New York" on them (Manhattan in her case, Brooklyn in mine).> <_Jym_>> > > > ------------------------------> > Message: 5> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 21:20:12 +0100> From: "swayne" <swayne at elsdale.fsnet.co.uk>> Subject: Re: [Yak] Tikit Frame Failure...Update: A Customer's Rights> To: "Yak forrum bikefriday" <Yak at bikefriday.com>> Message-ID: <003b01c91382$a16f4530$de6b6c5b at home>> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";> reply-type=original> > I second Tonys words.> Rob.> ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Tony Raven" <tony at raven-family.com>> To: <yak at bikefriday.com>> Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8:12 AM> Subject: Re: [Yak] Tikit Frame Failure...Update: A Customer's Rights> > > >> > I would have thought that by the time they've stripped it down, repaired> > the weld (and with the possibility of other dodgy welds on the frame> > since they were presumably done at the same time), replaced the bottom> > bracket,stripped off the paint and repainted and then rebuilt plus the> > obvious disruption to the internal processes and customer satisfaction> > element, BF would have been better off financially and reputationally to> > scrap the frame and give you a new one. If they're desperate not to> > lose a frame it can always then be repaired at leisure and sold on as> > used/seconds to someone that perhaps can't afford full price.> >> > Tony> >> >> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 02:12:55 -0400> >> From: James Saisakorn <jsaisakorn at turettarch.com>> >> Subject: [Yak] Tikit Frame Failure...Update: A Customer's Rights> >>> >>> >> At any rate, the initial diagnosis when I spoke to a technician seemed> >> to be that the arm had been welded inappropriately or possibly cooled> >> down to quickly as to make this part defective and too brittle causing> >> the part to fail. They said that they would replace the arm and> >> repair the bike.> >> >> > _______________________________________________> > Yak mailing list> > Yak at bikefriday.com> > http://store.bikefriday.com/mailman/listinfo/yak> >> > > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------> > > > No virus found in this incoming message.> Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com> Version: 8.0.169 / Virus Database: 270.6.19/1664 - Release Date: 10/09/2008 > 06:00> > > > > ------------------------------> > Message: 6> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 16:37:44 -0400> From: Galfromdownunder <galfromdownunder at gmail.com>> Subject: [Yak] James, a loaner tikit for you> To: yak at bikefriday.com, jsaisakorn at turettarch.com> Message-ID: <7850B991-641B-4A8F-B013-01DC5D42876A at gmail.com>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed> > James,> > I'm so very sorry to hear that BF let you down.> It so happens there are 5 medium stock 8-speed hyperfold tikits > sitting at our NY downtown dealer http://www.bikefriday.com/dealers/ > bfold> I just got done with them for a Fashion Week show.> They're assembled and ready to ride (red, green, yellow, orange, I > got the pink one, sorry).> Please drop by during bfold's opening hours and borrow one for as > long as you need - right now if you want.> I have just spoken to David Lam, the shop owner, and he will take > good care of you.> He's open between noon and 7pm each day, except Monday and Sunday.> Shop details:> 224 E 13th St between 2nd and 3rd, Phone owner David Lam, (212) > 529-724, mobile (646) 644-4501> Open Mon, W, Th, Fr 12:30 to 7 pm, Sat: 2pm to 7pm> (Closed Sunday & Tuesday)> All other hours possible by appointment> > ***************************************************> Gone for cycling trip on Sept. 19th and 20th.> Limited help available during shop hours.> > Feel free to call me, James, if you want to meet and have lunch or > something, my treat, though I could well understand if it's the last > thing that turns your crank! What can I say - I've been a customer > and now an employee at BF for almost 15 years, and I have come to > accept that it's a small operation really pushing the envelope when > it comes to bicycles, especially for its size and tooling. We do the > best it can, with what we've got, at any given moment. Not an excuse, > just the reality. Most of the time things work out great, some of the > time we're fixing what's broke, rest of the time striving to improve. > Thanks all for your patience and understanding, and chagrin ...> > Lynette Chiang> Bike Friday Customer Evangelist> BIKE FRIDAY. PERFORMANCE THAT PACKS> http://www.bikefriday.com> 3364 West 11th Ave Eugene, OR, 97402, USA> Phone 800-777-0258 | Fax 541-687-0403 | Cell 541-513-7711> Australia: +61 420 968 967 (Cell), +61 2 9327 8630 (Sydney)> Email: lynettec at bikefriday.com> Personal Website:> http://www.galfromdownunder.com> > > > > > ------------------------------> > Message: 7> Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 18:01:10 -0400> From: x <ulltraz at tvcconnect.net>> Subject: [Yak] Failure of BF Service> To: <Yak at bikefriday.com>> Message-ID: <C4EDBBE6.68AE%ulltraz at tvcconnect.net>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"> > Just to inform the writer who did not like my description of geometry,> perhaps I did not fully explain. Geometry to a bike builder is the> resultant bike that puts you in the best location for your butt, hands and> feet throughout the pedal stroke. If you have found the positions that are> best for you then ideally every bike you own which has the same function> should replicate those three positions. Of course different sized wheels> will make the bikes to have a different tube angle, tube lengths etc. from> each other but BF should be able to consistently between their different> models be able to put your three touch points in the same position (if you> so desire) That is the primary job of a custom bike builder. If you do> not know where those three points should be in space then you need to have a> bike fit done before having a custom bike built to figure out where those> points should be. Also I would ride that geometry for awhile and make the> tweaks before you firm it up for a new bike design.> > There has been mention that I did not put my name down. Firstly, I do not> know how to change my computer for the sign in message that you see with an> email received, I have tried for years to fix it and I cannot. Also I know> no one who has participated in any of these threads anyway so in a way> everyone is anonymous to me. In our litigious society I think anomynity is> important and most all surveys I have filled out from companies make them> anonymous so that they get people to say the truth which is something that I> would like to do without any ramifications. Also just because you do not> know who I am does not mean that what has happen to me did not happen or> make it any nicer or make the BF products any better built. US> deterioration of manufacturing quality has to be talked about because we are> loosing lots of jobs because of it and sweeping it under the carpet does our> companies no good and it is very detrimental to you the consumer who has> within your buying power the ability to improve it. It is up to the reader> to take what is said as something important in their decision to buy a BF.> > Lastly the coupling systems I mentioned do not provide a fast fold feature> but they provide wheel size of choice, builder of choice and frame material> of choice, which are huge advantages. Unless you absolutely need the fast> fold feature you can get a much better quality product with a coupling> system and really assembly is very quick once you understand it and practice> a little bit. A coupled bike can be built using small wheels which will fit> a suitcase the same size as that used by BF. It seems that people only> relate large 700c wheels with couplings and that is simply not the case. My> desire is to get a 24 inch wheeled bike (like Airnimal) built with a> coupling system.> > > > ------------------------------> > _______________________________________________> Yak mailing list> Yak at bikefriday.com> http://store.bikefriday.com/mailman/listinfo/yak> > > End of Yak Digest, Vol 51, Issue 20> ***********************************
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