Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Warranty / Customer Service Report / Mutant Winter III is ALIVE!

I am really happy with Chain Reaction Cycles right now. Remember how one of my new Schwalbe Marathon Winters had a cut in it? I said I would report on the customer service I got. The news is very good.

Here's the timeline:

Tuesday, Oct 16, 12:01 PM - I emailed CRC a filled-out warranty claim form (easily found on their web site) and a picture of the cut tire.

Tuesday, Oct 16, 12:02 PM - I receive an auto-reply from their "Warranty Team" saying that based on current volume I could expect a reply to my specific claim within 2 to 3 working days. Fair enough, I thought.

Wednesday, Oct 17, 11:04 AM (the next day) - I receive an email from a real person:

Hi Patrick,

Thank you for your email.

We are sorry to hear that your tyre is damaged. On this occasion we are sending you a replacement and there is no need to return the faulty item.
This should be dispatched within the next 24 hours.

We trust this helps.

Kind regards,

I had mentioned in my original claim that there was no way I had cut the tire by accident or anything. Still, I was super pleased that there wasn't any nonsense at all from CRC. They simply said sorry and were sending a replacement. Perfect.
Yesterday, Tuesday Oct 23 (one week after sending my first email) - The replacement tire is delivered to my house. No duties, taxes or shipping charges because they filled out the paperwork properly. I pay nothing.
Call me crazy, but 5 business days from warranty claim to complete replacement and resolution, from a company based in the UK (as in across the Atlantic Ocean) seems pretty stinkin' good to me.
Now, some would say that I simply got the good customer service we all deserve, and I suppose they would be correct. The fact is, however, that in my experience things rarely go this well and I truly appreciated it. I've been aching to ride this bike before real winter snow and ice comes, so that we're really good buddies by the time we need to trust each other.
I mounted the tire last night and rode Mutant Winter III to work today. I must say that after riding fixed all summer, gears sure are weird and fun! Here are some pics of this year's winter bike:

I decided to skip real fenders on this one (sorry, fellow fender freaks). The tires will clear their treads of snow better, and the clearances with this frame and the 35c tires were kind of tight anyway. I strapped a flexible plastic fender I had lying around to the downtube as a kind of crud guard for the drivetrain, and the rear rack / plastic tub blocks spray from hitting my bum or back.
I can't wait to see how the "skinny" 35c tires do compared to wider MTB tires. It is my hope they will cut through snow to find hard surfaces for the metal studs to grip. We shall see.

Yer Pal,

PS - I think I'll send the warranty people at CRC a link to this post. It is important to praise good work, especially if you want free reign to complain about just about everything else.


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Nice bin for your pants!

RANTWICK said...

Oh yeah, there be pants in that bin, brother. I know how ugly it is, but panniers would just get encrusted with ice and snow and slush.

TrevorW�� said...

Great to read of the first class service from Chain Reaction.....Always refreshing to read.

Steve A said...

Wait just a durn moment. Seems to me that one Rantwick took exception to my own use of the term "tyre" rather than "tire." Just to make sure, I double checked to make sure that "Canadian TIRE" hadn't defected back to true British Subjectude. Will you really feel right about riding on a new TYRE? If so, I'm happy you are as shameless as myself.

christopheru said...

So you know, the 700c tires will have no problems. Last winter, such as it was, I ran a set of 700x40c Schwalbe Marathon studded tires all winter and never once had significant slipping on ice (even pure ice of the shiny see through oops I did not see that EEEEKKK! kind of ice) and snow was cake. Really really easy to eat cake. Btw, your crud guard should work ok - I did something very similar last winter and rarely got dirty.

I don't know if you have used studs before, and don't know if anyone else reading this has either, so here are some tips to consider. Remember to drop the tire pressures a bunch when you want more studs to contact the road - this is a good idea when there is a lot of snow or ice outside. If there is ice and snow inside, you are on your own. Oh, and don't dry steer the front wheel - studs will work themselves out that way - track standing through red lights and sawing the fork back and forth a bit cost me a few studs. I found myself checking both tires before leaving anywhere and pressing back in (with a small slot screwdriver) any studs that were making a break for freedom. Schwalbe sells extra studs and a tool for inserting them (just an fyi). Put at least 50km on the tires before the snow and ice arrive to seat the studs.

Enjoy the really loud buzzing from them - I use the bell less in the winter due to this :)))

I have moved over to a mtn bike this winter instead of a hybrid machine since I was sick of subpar brakes in the snow (icing rims and v-brakes don't mix well). It cost less to buy a new bike with disk brakes than to do some needed repairs to my commuter - a cheap Kona hybrid that I put over 7000km on in less than two years - and convert it to disk brakes. Crazy, but true. So now I am looking forward to winter, studded tires, and snow!!

John said...

Good luck with that trunk. I had an old ammo can mounted in similar fashion. It really affects the balance and made mounting and dismounting a challenge.

rlove2bike said...

Fantastic...It is nice to hear of such great service. Something I will keep in mind.


Thanks for the post,

GreenComotion said...

Good customer service is hard to come by.
Hope the new tire lasts a bunch.
Paz :)

RANTWICK said...

Steve - You tyre me out.

Chris - We're on opposite paths. I'm familiar with and love riding studded tires. Ice? HA! I'm moving from MTB to hybrid, and discs to V's! The discs were very good, but did collect lots of crud and got kind of destroyed. I never took care to give them a rinse all winter though, so my bad.

John - I've been running a tub like that on my winter bikes for several years, so I'll be OK. Agreed on weight concerns and new dismount methods!

cafiend said...

We occasionally receive tires from our suppliers that have gotten sliced somewhere in their long journey from manufacturer to distributor to us. If we did not notice when unpacking them one might make its way to a customer. Fortunately the slices are easy to recognize as shipping and handling damage rather than the result of a riding mishap. There's also a bit of a honeymoon period for some component failures even if we suspect the damage might have occurred in use. It's usually better business to make someone really happy and turn them loose to talk about it than dig in and piss them off for what is actually a small amount of money.

RANTWICK said...

cafiend - Precisely so.

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