Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trek Electric Bicycles--Warranty Service

usbackroads product--Trek Electric Bicycles Warranty

One of the primary reasons we ended up buying Trek Electric Bicycles was the ability to get warranty service throughout the world.

There are plenty of good, small electric bicycle companies.  Unfortunately, we would have to returned to Santa Cruz, San Diego, or Vancouver, Canada depending on the company.   The thought of returning thousands of miles for warranty service made us look at a national company.

Electric bicycles are fairly sophisticated electronically and repairs involve computer software as well as mechanical parts.

Well, Susie's bicycle battery decided to quit charging.  My bicycle continues to function just fine.  At first I thought it might be the charger, but swapping my charger produced the same effect.   So I took the battery to the local Trek dealer on July 28th.  Now the Trek dealer does not sell electric bicycles, but you have to go through them for warranty service.

Well, this has good points and bad.  The dealer is trapped between you and the company.  Also Trek's warranty service seems to be geared towards fixing YOUR battery.  Most companies  handle battery failure by shipping the dealer a new or refurbished battery for replacement.  They then repair the batteries on their time rather than yours.

Not Trek.  So here we sit as they try to fix the battery remotely!!  We are headed into week three with no repair!!  The bike has been at the dealer for three weeks and it looks like Trek Customer Service does NOT read the e-mails you send them.

Here is the e-mail from Trek Customer Service:

> Hello Susan, 
I'm sorry, but we do not have the ability to send you a battery, or any
replacement part for that matter, directly to you. Any and all warranty claims
must be processed through a local Trek dealer. Furthermore this is likely not a
warranty situation. This is likely a case of a battery in a state of deep
discharge, and we have the ability to troubleshoot this issue with a local Trek
dealer. If you take it to them, they will be able to troubleshoot this issue,
allowing the battery you have to take a charge. If this is the case you may yet be
able to take the bike with you on your vacation. Please use the dealer locator to
find the nearest dealer to you, and set up a time to take your bike in along with
the battery and charger. Please have them contact us with any questions as to the
procedure if they have done it before. 
> Enjoy your vacation, 
> Sincerely, 
> William Rand | Trek Bicycle Corporation |Technical & Customer Services
Representative | 801 W. Madison St, Waterloo, WI 53594 | 920.478.4678

I am not sure what Trek means by........

"Furthermore this is likely not a warranty situation".

The battery on an electric bicycle is NOT covered by warranty??  Is that like buying a car where the warranty excludes the engine???

I really like the closing line of "Enjoy your vacation".  The point of the vacation was to take the electric bicycles on a tour.   Well, maybe I can go bike touring with my bicycle and Susie can hike!!

There are great companies out there and I have featured quite a few on this blog.  However, when companies fall short on customer service, I feel obligated to warn readers.  Trek Electric Bicycles are great when they work, but customer service is important for us to recommend a product.

Stayed tuned as we figure out what if anything to do with our $700 paperweight.

UPDATE:  October, 2012.  It was soon after posting this article that Trek threw in the towel at fixing the bike.  Trek did get the battery charged and working, but the bicycle at that point decided that it had free will and would accelerate on IT'S own.  

At this point Trek decided that we had been patient enough and shipped Susie a brand new bicycle.  We picked it up in Eugene and  where we were storing the 5th wheel  in preparation for our trips south this winter.  

A very generous offer from Trek.  Susie was concerned that her silver bicycle would now have the same blue color as mine and she was not quite ready for matching bikes!  However, the bike came in gun metal gray.  It is this years model, with some significant improvements and upgrades.  

We took it for a ride in Eugene and we impressed once again with the ease of riding electric bikes.  With the perfect fall weather it was a very pleasant ride up the McKenzie River and back to our campsite.

So this winter we will be looking for some bike trails in Arizona and New Mexico.  

Looks like that paperweight is back on the bicycle where it belongs!!


Martin said...

Just dial up the company. I worked for major Fortune 500 company and you may be very suprised by Trek's response. Many times the people in the middle who are supposed to fix the poblems are mired in policy and nothing happens.

While you may not get to speak to the top dog you may get far eonugh up the excutive ladder that someone in authority just says - "fix this person's problem.

Good Luck Martin

Martin said...

I kind of left out the crucial part of my first comment. When you call ask for the president or CEO of Trek.. Tell the operator you are a very disatisfied customer. Refuse to speak to customer service - insist on the top excutive. As I stated you may no get to spea k to that person but ratherto someone else very high on the food chain who can get results. Martin

Carol K said...

I'm sorry to hear about the bad service you are getting from Trek. I hope you can get this resolved to your satisfaction, not counting the time that you've already spent waiting.

Terry Mooney said...

Just found your blog today and want to thank you. My husband and I are avid backroad campers in our small class C motorhome. Hoping to find more information about your home area, Lake Wenatchee.



Vladimir Steblina said...

Check the Dogs days of Summmer for more links.

thanks...for the kind comments.

Jeff said...

My Wife and I bought 2 Trek 7200+ last summer. Mine quit after about 5 miles. Trek was terrible to work with until I was able to get this contact in the Company.

Ben-Ext 12917

Hope this helps. I feel your pain