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    • Should You Warn Others About A Company that Makes (Mostly) Good Products, But Customer Service Stinks?

      Would they care?

      64 days after complete product failure, I got a partial resolution, from an owner with so much arrogance its astounding, his customer service skills were at a solid zero. Does his company deserve its sales or should he be shamed publicly?

      Back story -

      I buy three products, mount all three to my motorcycle, during a ride one of them 100% fails, causing one of the others to come off my bike, luckily not injure me or anyone else, and leave me stranded. Eventually I get out of my situation and get home...but the failure has caused $250+ worth of damage.

      I contact the company via email, 7 days no response, I follow up with a second email and 4 days later 11 days in total I get a call.

      I explain the failure and what can be done about it, the person on the other end of the phone tells me of this parts failure multiple times and it is now being redesigned.

      He asked me write in detail, the part, the failure and attach photographic proof. I did this and as I had already told the guy on the phone I was testing and reviewing products, and as this was a product test I would tell my readers (250,000 hits on the thread) how I was treated by the company.

      The follow up response was from the companies owners who said

      it has always been my policy to not address anyone who begins a conversation with a threat.

      I explained as I had in two previous emails, and a phone conversation I was giving them full disclosure, not a threat, as we were now on correspondence #4, it's obvious they have minimal customer service skills!

      In further communication #6 he states this

      While this has occurred before, it is a less than .01% of these parts that fail.

      If, and it's a really big if he has sold 10,000 of this part then that means ONE has failed, especially when my invoice is number 2270, in conversation with another rider he tells me he had two fail in two days

      a few emails later he writes

      please let me know exactly what will make you happy. 

      I reply - "I am out my time, labor and parts way in excess of $250 so I'd just round it down to $250"

      His response

      I will authorize my bookkeeper to issue a check for you.  

      followed by

      I want our customers to know that we care, even if it costs me $250.

      25 days go by, no check received but I do get an email from him that includes the line

      there is no entitlement here, just my generosity and it has a limit.

      18 more days go by and today I receive a check for $63.61

      and in response to my strongly worded email where I question the above amount, he responds with

      I never wrote that I was sending you $250 or any other amount 

      So back to the original question about a product that failed and partial resolution took 64 days 23 emails and calls, the outstanding amount is somewhat trivial at this point, but the principal isn't.

      At this point it comes down to the value this company has in this industry and should others spend their money with them or be warned so they spend it elsewhere?

      Which side of the fence would you be on?

    • I can see how the owner if he was not brought into the loop until after the initial phone call might perceive your comment about your blog as threatening. That may not be what you intended, but if you pour water on a cat don't be surprised if the cat becomes irrational. It is true that humans should respond in a more intellectual way but it is a fact of life that some people when they get upset cease to be highly logical.

    • I can see how you could see it from that angle, but everything was explained to him in detail as it was to the original contact, he decided to take it that way, does that make him right about his product failing? Is that good for follow up customers with product failure?

    • In my opinion, if a company (if even more so it's owner) is arrogant and not receptive to customer's issues or concerns, or shows prejudices, it deserves to be pointed out to help get their issues corrected. Unless of course they're the Soup Nazi?!

      That doesn't mean abusing and talking down to customer service is acceptable, but in my book both parties ought to keep an open mind and be civilized about it, and above all the product owners through their actions should really show that they care. In my experience, especially with small companies, the owners always care to do the right thing. It's the ones resting on years of laurels and some brand name, who may at times start raising their noses as if they have become above common sense expectations.

    • You just described this guy exactly. One of his sentence starts with...I've been doing this for 20 years... blah blah blah

      All I wanted to say was. Good for you. Your product failed left me stranded and your years of experience and the arrogance that it gave you shouldn't be part of your customer service reponse, but I held my tongue

      Btw this is a very well known company in the motorcycle world.

      Shame on them

    • I did not mean to imply that he was right.

      I was talking about understanding Him.

      There are many people in this world that are wrong in what they do but I will not live my life in a state of "road rage" reactivity towards others's bad conduct. The other person is not my puppet master, he doesn't get to pull my strings. I choose to treat people not the way they treat me, but rather as I would hope to be treated.

      I would hope that when I'm having a bad day, everyone else is not seeking to accelerate everything to a greater crisis level.

    • Oh i fully understood him and what it was going to be like to deal with him right from his initial interaction. He talked himself into a corner then tried to escape with arrogance. I actually found it kind of amusing, there were multi page responses of narcissism, I bet he's an absolute joy to have as a boss!

      ...but back to the question and what could happen to others if they also have product failure -

      At this point it comes down to the value this company has in this industry and should others spend their money with them or be warned so they spend it elsewhere?

    • When perusing ride reports such as yours I expect a factual account of what works well and what doesn't. I enjoy travel stories and appreciate fine photography but also am looking for solid equipment and gear evaluations to inform my own purchases. So yes, tell what you experienced, in context. Give your readers the information to evaluate for themselves.

    • For me a failure that cost $250.00 and my time is a huge deal and then to not be treated right by customer service/owner of the company adds insult to injury. In today's day, I rely more and more on reviews before I purchase items. I used to just buy what looked good to me and if the item failed I accepted the loss. Over the years I have thrown a lot of money away doing this and I don't want to continue down that path.

      Even if the owner did feel threatened by you telling him you do reviews he still should have made things right. Saying he usually doesn't respond to threats doesn't help anything. In my way of thinking you gave him information that some people would be happy to have. Even if he didn't like what you said, taking it as a threat, he now knows his lack taking care of the problem could reach a large portion of the motorcycling population.

      An upset customer is a customer that should be handled carefully. I'm not saying a customer is always right or a company should bow down to them no matter what but they should pay attention. Customer Service and especially the owner should still treat an unhappy customer with respect to diffuse the issue and not simply ignore the problem. It's not easy to deal with unhappy customers especially when things are essculated but it needs to be done in a professional manner and it doesn't sound like that was done.

      In my opinion I think you should write your review about the failure of the product and failure of a reasonable response by the company.

      Like so many other motorcyclists I follow you on ADV and Facebook and respect what you have to say about products. I would be disappointed if you didn't review the product with your complete experience. Too many people write glowing reviews to work toward sponsorship rather than to help the readers who count on these reviews. When reading your reviews they have always seemed like you were writing them for other riders and not the companies.

      Keep up the good thing you do for those of us who ride and follow your travels.

    • IMHO, an honest review is not only a reflection on the company and the product, it is also a reflection on the reviewer. You will lose your audience if you are not candid and truthful. There’s no need to be snarky or to get personal, and no need to go into a lot of detail. Readers will contact you if they have specific questions.

    • People will forget what you said or did, but they won't forget how you made them feel.

      -said somebody.

      I have a hard time believing that people with that attitude will be able to maintain control of their market. Eventually their arrogance and conceited belief that they make the best product will be blindsided by someone who has an innovative and more creative approach to the segment who will show him that he doesn't make the best product anymore. Word will get out of the bad attitude, through the internet forums and honest, thoughtful reviews posted by people who use the products. This gives the new guy an edge. Especially when they're hungry for the business.

      Everyone can have a bad day or even a bad week. Someone who is just bad will be exposed and maybe even put out of business.

      Save the rest of us the hassle of having to experience this guy for ourselves and share your experience as honestly as you can. Please.

    • I agree with @lidja on this. I believe an honest review of this company's customer service would be good for others who are looking to do business with them.

      In a previous life I worked in a customer service / consulting role for a software company. While customers are not always right I always took complaints seriously and looked for a way to make the customer happy. It sounds like this individual doesn't care about customer service.

    • I worked for a major corporation years ago in upper management and we were sent on on a course about customer service, the gist of the information was -

      Bad customers service - the customer will tell on average 12 people, of those 12 they will tell at least 6, the 6 will tell at least 2 and they will tell one, it multiple out very quickly

      Good customer service - the customer 'might' tell 6 people and they might tell 1

      Moral of customer service, its harder to be seen as good, than seen as bad. This was almost pre-internet, so I'm sure nowadays as you can attest that numbers are dramatically higher

      Good customer service is hard work and consistency is the key, this guy failed all ways around

    • There is no question whatsoever in my mind that you should out the company: first, because their product failed (and I don't care about the failure rate: your failed and it cost you $250+. Can you imagine a hospital whose surgeon killed a patient saying, "yes, but the mortality rate of our ORs is only......?").

      Write a fair review, and tell the schmuck that you are also going to inform every place that sells their product what your experience with both the product and with customer service was. The guy won't sue you; doing so only reveals the issue, no matter how the court finds (and it will not get into court no matter how threatening their attack dog lawyer will be).

      Then do it.

      ps: when he said he would cut you a check, you reasonably assumed it would be for the $250; my rule is to always ask for clarification: "And that will be for the full $______?" Seems pushy but if you don't ask, you'll never know -- until the check arrives.

      HBE

    • see post above, it has been done, I do have a big reach in the market segment where this manufacturer operates and word will spread for sure, there were multiple comments and agreements to my post but the one that stood out to me was -

      Not only doubt their range of product, but more importantly their integrity.