Mercier poor quality and bad customer service

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.marketplace' started by CobraRGuy, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. CobraRGuy

    CobraRGuy Guest

    Hi all,

    I own a bike shop in California and recently one of my best customers
    brought his 2003 Mercier Serpens into my shop for service. In the
    process I noticed that where one of the seat stays was brazed into the
    rear dropout the brazing was not done properly. I advised the customer
    to let me contact Mercier about warrantying the defective frame. The
    reply I got back from Mercier really made me wonder how this company is
    even still in business. Here's what happened:

    1) I was told that the entire bike needed to be shipped back to Florida
    to be examined so they could determine what was wrong and why it
    happened.
    2) I advised Mercier that the brazing had not beed performed correctly
    during manufacturing, that the seat stay tube was brazed only half way
    around the tube.
    3) I wrote in my reply: "What is wrong is that the brazing was not done
    properly at the factory. I've done lots of brazing myself, so I know
    something about this. What caused it? DEFECTIVE WORKMANSHIP! You don't
    need the whole bike to see that the brazing was done poorly."
    4) I was told that Mercier needed the name and phone number of the
    customer and a copy of the original sales receipt.
    5) I was told: "There has not even been a failure of the product"
    6) I replied: "So what do you consider a failure? Is it when the rider
    hits the ground and breaks a few bones, maybe gets killed in the
    process? Can you blame us for not wanting that to happen?
    7) I was told: "Please have the customer ship the bike to us"
    8) I replied: "I don't want the owner to have to deal with boxing and
    shipping a bike, then having to reassemble it when it comes back"
    9) I also stated: "The frame is defective. I'll ship the entire bike to
    you, but the owner will not be happy when he finds out he has to pay
    for shipping the entire bike to Florida"
    10) I also stated: "I'm not impressed with Mercier, it's products,
    people, or it's policies"
    11) I was then told: "We will not deal with you".

    Of course there was more to the communications than just this, but the
    above snipetts should give you an idea of the way that Mercier operates
    (like I thought it was ridiculous to make the customer ship the entire
    bike to Florida at their own expense, that I did not consider this to
    be "excellent customer service", etc). The vast majority of my concerns
    were never even acknowledged. I was not given the information I asked
    for (like a phone number, address, the name of the person I was dealing
    with, who was in charge there, etc) so I could contact them directly. I
    finally got "Mike" as the person I was dealing with and a shipping
    address (no last name, no phone number, no name or email address of the
    person in charge).
    My impression is that Mercier never wanted to warranty this frame in
    the first place, so by making us jump through enough hoops, they hoped
    we would eventually give up. During the entire ordeal, I was treated
    like I knew nothing and that they have it all right (yeh, like that's
    why they're so huge and successful). My intelligence was insulted while
    the people at Mercier acted with arrogance and showed no concern and no
    willingness to accomodate our wishes.
    I promised Mercier that to make this up to them I would post my
    experiences on all bicycle related newsgroups, that I would make sure
    that every rider I know gets a chance to see the defective frame, and
    that I would also let them all know how I was treated. I think Mercier
    could have handled this issue better. YMMV

    Perry
     
    Tags:


  2. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    Perry, get your head out of your ass. The reason that they wanted the whole
    bike back is because the only REPLACEMENTS they have are whole bikes. It's
    likely that they don't have a screwdriver in the plant.

    When dealing with people who are a very small distributor dealing in a
    product that is running on the thinnest edge of profitability you are going
    to find that they're really picky about what they do. If they were making
    millions you could bet that they'd be willing to bend over backwards to help
    you.

    You have to make it as easy as possible for THEM and not for your customer
    or yourself.

    I understand your point but you also have to see it from their point of view
    as well. They're busting their butts to make a living and chances are the
    owner of that distributorship doesn't make any more money than the owner of
    a small bike shop does. He can only hire the cheapest labor and that means
    that they have little or no motivation.

    Never argue with this sort of set up. Be as friendly and understanding and
    helpful just like you do with your best customers. Otherwise you're just
    burning your bridges behind you and in a business as small as the bike biz,
    you never know when someone will remember the smart ass no matter how
    correct you were.

    Now, about Mercier - these bikes are overruns or last year's designs from
    other companies (if I understand it correctly) that contracted out their
    manufacturing to a Chinese or Taiwanese company that builds bikes. They are
    a spectacularly good deal in my experience BUT the Chinese quality control
    is really crappy and you have to be really careful about buying this sort of
    stuff. Personally I'd NEVER buy from a company like this mail order since
    you can never be sure what you're going to find in the box that's delivered.
    But some people are willing to take the chance in order to get really high
    zoot stuff for significantly cheaper than a local bike shop. While that's
    pretty stupid in my book, there are local bike shops that are as reliable as
    the Mercier folks as we both know it.

    So when you have to work with these people a little chapped lips from
    kissing ass is the cost of actually helping the customer. You can THEN post
    here and let us know that Mercier let a bike that badly manufactured through
    their quality control.

    On the other hand I've seen worse from some major Italian manufacturers in
    the past.

    Tom

    "CobraRGuy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I own a bike shop in California and recently one of my best customers
    > brought his 2003 Mercier Serpens into my shop for service. In the
    > process I noticed that where one of the seat stays was brazed into the
    > rear dropout the brazing was not done properly. I advised the customer
    > to let me contact Mercier about warrantying the defective frame. The
    > reply I got back from Mercier really made me wonder how this company is
    > even still in business. Here's what happened:
    >
    > 1) I was told that the entire bike needed to be shipped back to Florida
    > to be examined so they could determine what was wrong and why it
    > happened.
    > 2) I advised Mercier that the brazing had not beed performed correctly
    > during manufacturing, that the seat stay tube was brazed only half way
    > around the tube.
    > 3) I wrote in my reply: "What is wrong is that the brazing was not done
    > properly at the factory. I've done lots of brazing myself, so I know
    > something about this. What caused it? DEFECTIVE WORKMANSHIP! You don't
    > need the whole bike to see that the brazing was done poorly."
    > 4) I was told that Mercier needed the name and phone number of the
    > customer and a copy of the original sales receipt.
    > 5) I was told: "There has not even been a failure of the product"
    > 6) I replied: "So what do you consider a failure? Is it when the rider
    > hits the ground and breaks a few bones, maybe gets killed in the
    > process? Can you blame us for not wanting that to happen?
    > 7) I was told: "Please have the customer ship the bike to us"
    > 8) I replied: "I don't want the owner to have to deal with boxing and
    > shipping a bike, then having to reassemble it when it comes back"
    > 9) I also stated: "The frame is defective. I'll ship the entire bike to
    > you, but the owner will not be happy when he finds out he has to pay
    > for shipping the entire bike to Florida"
    > 10) I also stated: "I'm not impressed with Mercier, it's products,
    > people, or it's policies"
    > 11) I was then told: "We will not deal with you".
    >
    > Of course there was more to the communications than just this, but the
    > above snipetts should give you an idea of the way that Mercier operates
    > (like I thought it was ridiculous to make the customer ship the entire
    > bike to Florida at their own expense, that I did not consider this to
    > be "excellent customer service", etc). The vast majority of my concerns
    > were never even acknowledged. I was not given the information I asked
    > for (like a phone number, address, the name of the person I was dealing
    > with, who was in charge there, etc) so I could contact them directly. I
    > finally got "Mike" as the person I was dealing with and a shipping
    > address (no last name, no phone number, no name or email address of the
    > person in charge).
    > My impression is that Mercier never wanted to warranty this frame in
    > the first place, so by making us jump through enough hoops, they hoped
    > we would eventually give up. During the entire ordeal, I was treated
    > like I knew nothing and that they have it all right (yeh, like that's
    > why they're so huge and successful). My intelligence was insulted while
    > the people at Mercier acted with arrogance and showed no concern and no
    > willingness to accomodate our wishes.
    > I promised Mercier that to make this up to them I would post my
    > experiences on all bicycle related newsgroups, that I would make sure
    > that every rider I know gets a chance to see the defective frame, and
    > that I would also let them all know how I was treated. I think Mercier
    > could have handled this issue better. YMMV
    >
    > Perry
    >
     
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