September 04, 2008

The Bike Chop

I'm annoyed.

My road bike is a Kestrel. The bike loves me, I love it. (Well, most of the time we love each other - just not always during Ironman training). The last time I rode my road bike was on April 13, 2008. That was at Ironman Arizona.

The day before Ironman, I noticed that Kestrel had a booth at the race expo. Over the past year the paint on my bike has been beginning to fade and so I went up to the fine Kestrel folks and asked them if they'd be able to fix it.

Probably, they said. But unfortunately we don't deal directly with our customers. When you get home, they continued, bring the bike to your local bike shop and have them send it back to us. We'll check it out for you.

No problem.

I race. I get home. I bring the bike to my bike shop and they send it off to Kestrel with a "it'll be back in about three weeks".

Two and a half months later I get a call informing me that Kestrel won't do anything with my current frame. Send the bike back, I say. Enough already.

One month later the bike is back at my bike shop waiting for me to pick it up. I go pick it up. It cost me $200.

Two hundred dollars?! I say somewhat flabbergasted. Actually, completely flabbergasted.

Shipping, labor.


Yes, we had to disassemble your bike and then reassemble it.

So it cost me two hundred dollars to get told that I'm shit out of luck?


OK. Here's my credit card.

I pay for the bike, feeling a bit perturbed. I bring my bike outside. As I'm loading it into the car, I notice a gauge in the fork. A gauge. Not a scratch. Not a nick. Not a dent.


I bring the bike back into the bike shop. Look at this, I say to the bike shop attendee (who, actually, is really nice and a friend of mine).

Uh-oh, he says. Let me see if it's safe to ride, he says.

He knows it's not my fault. He takes the bike away. He comes back 5 minutes later. Should be safe, he says.

How do we know it's safe? I ask.

Well, the only way to really know is to send it back to Kestrel.

You mean to pay another $150 to send it back?


I didn't have to roll my eyes or scream or throw a tantrum to get my feelings across. I effectively relayed tantrum without having to jump and potentially pull a hamstring.

So what do we do now? I ask. Clearly this isn't my fault.

Let me make some calls, he responds. I'll get back to you this week.

Two weeks later I'm on the phone with him. I've got bad news, he says. It's not our fault. And Kestrel says it's not their fault.

Well clearly it's not my fault! I complain.

Yes, true.

There's silence.

So...? Now what? I ask.

So now here I am, having already paid $200 to have my bike destroyed. Not feeling like it's safe enough to ride and having to pay another $150 to get that determined. The bike store isn't willing to take responsibility. Kestrel isn't willing to take responsibility. And though every single person and company involved in this entire ridiculous transaction knows, without an ounce of doubt, that I am definitely not responsible for any of it, I'm still the one that appears to be getting screwed.

So, as I said before, I'm really annoyed.


Amy said...

When I had my bike shipped to Guru to have it looked over after a crash the shipping company dented it. Guru then fixed the dent and repainted the whole shebang and I paid a measely 100 bucks or so. Could have been the shippers... talk to them. Good luck

buff_tri_girl said...

If that doesn't work you can send Kestrel a link to your blog with the promise to talk about this experience every day!!

Captain Cactus said...

I like the thoughts of buff_tri_girl ... make sure that Kestrel knows that you will make this information as public as necessary until they tell you that you are not, indeed, SOL.

KodaFit said...

Yeah, I'd try the shipper first as well - of course then it might come down to whether it was packaged properly as well, and then it would have to be determined if it was the bike shop or kestrel that was responsible if that was the case.

Either way, this isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for Kestrel - makes you wonder why they even bothered having a booth, if those manning it were clueless...

Tony said...

Well, FWIW you've just convinced me to NOT buy the Kestrel Talon that was on my short list of bikes. That doesn't help you in the least I know. There definitely seems to be a disconnect in responsibility here. There are 5 times when the bike could have been damaged 1 - your bike store packed it (bike store's fault), 2 - shipping to Kestrel (shipping company's fault, and Kestrel's fault for not noting it at the time), 3 - Kestrel "inspecting" your bike (Kestrel's fault), 4 - shipping to your bike store (shipping company's fault, and your bike store's fault for not inspecting the bike properly upon receipt), 5 - storage of bike at bike store (bike store's fault). Not that you don't know THAT either, or that it helps you, but I'm getting more pissed off as I think about your situation. I need to go read a race report or something and calm down....Sorry for the crappy situation man.

Elisabeth said...

Basing upon your story, that one was really annoying.I myself after hearing it got so pissed of. Well, your case is really difficult to be in. Good thing you have blog to pour it out your sentiments regarding your experience with kestrel. And that's really saving you from getting heart attacks.Maybe you can also have a punching bag at home at least to lessen your anger. We can't control everything. I believe you really have to get over it.

Backpacker said...

You win. I had a defective wheel that had spokes keep breaking. A ten day warranty replacement has turned into three weeks and counting. Note to self: Kestrel sucks.