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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I like to do my own wrenching so last year I upgraded my components to SRAM Force. I'm now in the process of trying to find a new bike and, with fairly new components on my old bike, I am really buying this next bike only for the frame, with the plan to put transfer my Force gear over.

Problem I am finding is that the LBSs I'm dealing with tell me they won't honor their free lifetime tune up offer if I change components (big deal since I can tune my own bike), nor will they intermediate with SRAM for me if I need warranty service on components I installed.

Just looking for a little reality check from the board readers on this. What is reasonable to expect from the LBS in this situation?

Are there other options in dealing with SRAM if I have trouble (this has happened to me twice and it has been a hassle finding an LBS to help me).
 

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The LBS is in the business to MAKE MONEY. When you do your own wrenching, beyond the simplest of maintenance jobs, you are taking profit out of the LBS owner's pocket. The real question is WHY would you expect him to get involved in your affairs when they go sour after you have kept him out of the profitable end of the deal???

The LBS is just acting rationally. If you won't pay up front, you'll have to pay (by dealing with the manufacturer on your own) on the back end. TANSTAAFL.
 

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Are you buying a new bike from the dealer? If so, they should help you with any warranty issues you might have with SRAM. If you're not buying the bike from them, why would they spend their time and money (shipping)?
 

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duh...
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if you bought the sram parts from them then they should help you w/ the warranty... if not, they are under no obligation

the lifetime tune-up is a toss-up; I can see where some will and some won't. as such, I wouldn't expect it, esp since you changed out all the components
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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you've had problems w/ sram before? twice? were they "warranty" problems or something that happened because you didn't do the work correctly? anything a shop does takes time and time costs $$$. if you expect them to help you out, they should expect to get paid for their efforts. if you brought a bike in that you'd transferred the parts to yourself, and then had problems with...i'd help you out w/ the RA process, but i'd certainly charge you for the time...if you'd bought the parts from us and we'd done the install it would be free.
i don't really think it matters who does the work, a warranty is a warranty. if a shop had to do the installation for the warranty to be applicable, then ONLY shops would be selling sram parts, they wouldn't be available all over the interwebs. you should be able to find a shop to help you w/ the process, but it will cost you some dollars, and rightfully so.
 

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Personally, I would contact SRAM and let them know about the LBS's and their lack of desire to work with you on SRAM related warranties. Get them involved and have them deal with the LBS.

SRAM only deals with warranty issues through the LBS and will not work with individuals. Since this is how they deal with warranty claims they need the LBS's to work with individuals regardless of where the individual purchases the product...so they need LBS's to work with SRAM users regardless of whether they bought the product from the LBS or not. If they don't SRAM runs the risk of losing chunks of business compared to other component makers...something they don't want to happen.

As for the LBS...that's a stupid move by them to not warranty a component for you. Nothing like ignoring potential future customers and running them off to the Internet or other LBS. If a LBS goes out of it's way to help me, chances are I'm going to take my business their direction in the future, even if it's for smaller things. Their loss/ignorance will eventually lead to your gain.
 

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Why not just buy the frame of your choice, since you already have a complete group you want to use?
 

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Sore_Okole said:
I like to do my own wrenching so last year I upgraded my components to SRAM Force. I'm now in the process of trying to find a new bike and, with fairly new components on my old bike, I am really buying this next bike only for the frame, with the plan to put transfer my Force gear over.

Problem I am finding is that the LBSs I'm dealing with tell me they won't honor their free lifetime tune up offer if I change components (big deal since I can tune my own bike), nor will they intermediate with SRAM for me if I need warranty service on components I installed.
Are you going to strip & rebuild the bike with your Force components or is the shop going to do it? If you're doing it, the shop has no reason to tune the bike FOC as they don't know that it has been built correctly.

Just looking for a little reality check from the board readers on this. What is reasonable to expect from the LBS in this situation?

Are there other options in dealing with SRAM if I have trouble (this has happened to me twice and it has been a hassle finding an LBS to help me).
Where did you get the SRAM parts from? That's who your warranty is with.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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if the OP swaps the parts himself, the shop has NO responsibility to extend their "free adjustment" deal...i don't know of a shop that will actually 'tune' a bike for free, especially for life. free adjustments are one thing, but...
 

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We, as a shop and other than labor we might perform, are never the final "arbiter" as to whether or not a warranty claim is valid.

If it is a manufacturer/distributor that we deal with, we will submit the claim. It is their "call".
 

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Richard said:
We, as a shop and other than labor we might perform, are never the final "arbiter" as to whether or not a warranty claim is valid.

If it is a manufacturer/distributor that we deal with, we will submit the claim. It is their "call".
Even if they didn't purchase the parts from you? How would you react if I brought my Campagnolo parts, that I had bought at below US wholesale from the UK, to you for warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, since you asked, the second time WAS due to work the shop did and they wouldn't stand behind their work. I took it to them for a tune up (I paid ~$75 in labor), including cable replacement, new chain, etc. and when I got it back the shifter was not working correctly (worked well when I dropped it off but it started making an unsual snapping sound immediately after they worked on it). I went round and round with them but they refused to fix it or to take it up with SRAM, telling me instead that since I didn't buy the parts there, I was SOL.

So, I learned something about some LBS' ethics in the process. Another shop had no problem sending it back to SRAM. SRAM seemed to think it was a warranty (no quotes) problem and replaced *both* shifters winning a loyal customer for life. (SRAM did that is.)

Wish my luck with LBS wrenches was as good. I don't mind paying for time. I just wanted some opinions on what was reasonable, thus my question.

p.s. I wish the second LBS sold the bike I am interested in. I'd buy from them in a minute.
 

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ultimobici said:
Even if they didn't purchase the parts from you? How would you react if I brought my Campagnolo parts, that I had bought at below US wholesale from the UK, to you for warranty?
Although we might not be overjoyed at the prospect, we'd provide the information to Campagnolo USA. It's their call. We never, I repeat NEVER tell a customer "Oh, for sure, that's a warranty issue." The only exceptions to that are labor that we have performed, or a "recall" issue for which we have received prior notice.
 

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Sore_Okole said:
Well, since you asked, the second time WAS due to work the shop did and they wouldn't stand behind their work. I took it to them for a tune up (I paid ~$75 in labor), including cable replacement, new chain, etc. and when I got it back the shifter was not working correctly (worked well when I dropped it off but it started making an unsual snapping sound immediately after they worked on it). I went round and round with them but they refused to fix it or to take it up with SRAM, telling me instead that since I didn't buy the parts there, I was SOL.

So, I learned something about some LBS' ethics in the process. Another shop had no problem sending it back to SRAM. SRAM seemed to think it was a warranty (no quotes) problem and replaced *both* shifters winning a loyal customer for life. (SRAM did that is.)

Wish my luck with LBS wrenches was as good. I don't mind paying for time. I just wanted some opinions on what was reasonable, thus my question.

p.s. I wish the second LBS sold the bike I am interested in. I'd buy from them in a minute.
The shop only has a duty to warranty the work they did not the part which it turns out was faulty.
Having been caught out by mail ordered SRAM parts on a warranty myself I can understand the reluctance to send back stuff that they did not know the origins of. (SRAM marks every part they produce with a serial no that tells them where it was shipped to and for what purpose - that is OE or retail). If you send something back that was intended as OE they very often ask for the bike's make & serial no.
The other thing we as a shop would take into account is what we have learnt about the customer in sealing with them. So a regular customer who buys stuff from us etc will likely get a little more "outside the box" help than a total stranger. It's not that we don't go the extra mile, it's just that quite often you lose out because the time, postage & general hassle is not compensated by the distributor or manufacturer and the customer normally baulks at any contribution.

As for the free tune-ups, why should they tune up your work? That's like buying all the parts for the engine in your car, building it yourself and then expecting the garage to service it for free! The tune-ups are a perk for someone who buys the whole bike.
 

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Richard said:
Although we might not be overjoyed at the prospect, we'd provide the information to Campagnolo USA. It's their call. We never, I repeat NEVER tell a customer "Oh, for sure, that's a warranty issue." The only exceptions to that are labor that we have performed, or a "recall" issue for which we have received prior notice.
So you'd send back parts bought for less than your wholesale?
I'd send them back to where they bought it. That's the law here in the UK.
 

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ultimobici said:
Having been caught out by mail ordered SRAM parts on a warranty myself I can understand the reluctance to send back stuff that they did not know the origins of.
There are guys in this thread who know far better that I what it takes to make money running a shop, but this is a key point, IMHO. If some dude I'd never seen before walked in with a big, malfunctioning part, I'd be skeptical, too.

The one time I had a warranty issue on a crankset I got through "non-LBS" channels, my first step was to contact the manufacturer directly and have them recommend a shop for me to go to. I don't know what, exactly, the shop had to do/was told to do, but I do know that a couple of weeks later, the shop called and they had my brand new crankset waiting for me. No cost to me, and I'd totally buy from the manufacturer again. Unfortunately, I've never gone back into that particular shop again.

I've also taken the proverbial "box of parts" and a newly painted frameset to a LBS and had them do a complete build for me. I paid full retail for the labor and for a couple of incidental things needed to complete the build, but I would never think to go back to them expecting to get a single thing for free related to that deal. I love that shop, but that was a stand-alone deal... I paid fairly for the work and we both walk away clean.
 

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ultimobici said:
So you'd send back parts bought for less than your wholesale?
I'd send them back to where they bought it. That's the law here in the UK.
No, we don't "send back parts." Under the circumstances I mentioned, we'd contact Campagnolo USA. If they wanted "proof of purchase" or some other form of "provenance", we'd simply relay that to the customer. We try to be accommodating with our clientele, but some decisions are just not ours to make.

Campy USA has been very helpful in the past, despite the fact that, as you say, I could get, for example, a complete Athena 11 speed group from PBK or Ribble for less than I could get it from any of our American based wholesale distributors.

When I was "restoring" my Falcon, I needed the little "pin" for the brake release lever on a Record 8 speed Ergo. It's not a part that any of our suppliers stocks, nor does Campy USA have it. It's just not something that "wears out" or generally goes missing (these were some levers I got off a trashed bike.) I called Campy USA (just down the road from us in SoCal) and the rep I talked to said "No, we don't have that. But I'll root around in the warehouse and see what I can find." Three days later, a little package arrived from Campy with two pins and the bushings, no charge for shipping and a nice little note from the rep.

That was cool!!
 

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Here is an excerpt from SRAM's warranty policy.


http://www.sram.com/_media/pdf/warranty/sramwarranty2009.pdf

Extent of Limited Warranty
SRAM warrants its products to be free from defects in materials or workmanship for a period of two
years after original purchase. This warranty only applies to the original owner and is not transferable.
Claims under this warranty must be made through the retailer where the bicycle or the SRAM
component was purchased. Original proof of purchase is required.


However, if the LBS is customer oriented and cares more about the customer than just making a buck, then the LBS will work with a customer to get the correct warranty service. By doing this, they can pretty much guarantee they have a customer for life.
 

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frdfandc said:
Here is an excerpt from SRAM's warranty policy.


http://www.sram.com/_media/pdf/warranty/sramwarranty2009.pdf

Extent of Limited Warranty
SRAM warrants its products to be free from defects in materials or workmanship for a period of two
years after original purchase. This warranty only applies to the original owner and is not transferable.
Claims under this warranty must be made through the retailer where the bicycle or the SRAM
component was purchased. Original proof of purchase is required.


However, if the LBS is customer oriented and cares more about the customer than just making a buck, then the LBS will work with a customer to get the correct warranty service. By doing this, they can pretty much guarantee they have a customer for life.
Sadly, that is not always the case. Many people think we have an obligation to serve them at our own cost. Just read a lot of the threads on this board. They never buy anything at bike shops, they do their own repair work; they only want shops for warranty stuff and spare bolts and tubes.

Wolfman said:
The one time I had a warranty issue on a crankset I got through "non-LBS" channels, my first step was to contact the manufacturer directly and have them recommend a shop for me to go to. I don't know what, exactly, the shop had to do/was told to do, but I do know that a couple of weeks later, the shop called and they had my brand new crankset waiting for me. No cost to me, and I'd totally buy from the manufacturer again. Unfortunately, I've never gone back into that particular shop again.
Maybe it's just me being cynical and spending too much time reading message boards... I just know that if all cyclists were like the majority on bike forums, there wouldn't be any local bike shops left.
 
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