Specialized Customer Service

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by cfblakeman, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. cfblakeman

    cfblakeman New Member

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    I bought my SL2 Pro in April 2009. From the start there were cracking noises and slippage coming out of the bottom bracket, and the chain was unshipping in both directions, chewing up the carbon frame as well as the carbon crank almost immediately.

    I reported the cracking/slippage to Specialized directly and was told it was just a maintenance issue - just take the bike in for regular maintenance (w/ a hundred miles on it??). This was repeated many times. 10 months later Specialized admitted the original build instructions they gave to bike shops for assembling the bottom bracket was wrong. I had already spent a lot of money getting "maintenance" that was unnecessary before they grudgingly rebuilt it. The shop charged me to do it - I refused to pay it.

    Also, from the first few weeks I was taking my bike in and paying to have the front derailleur adjusted (bought the bike in Mass. and moved to CO - so no sympathy from the bike shop that didn't get the original sale). I took it in almost every 3-4 weeks, regularly paid to have the derailleur adjusted and nothing worked. I finally took it to a non-Specialized shop in the area and they immediately identified that the chain rings were too flexible and that no amount of adjustment would fix the problem. I took it back to the Specialized shop and challenged them on this. I had called Specialized who said nothing like this was a problem. The LBS called Specialized who admitted the rings were bad and grudgingly replaced them (the shop was originally going to charge me to do it). The shop charged me once again to adjust the derailleur to the new rings. I'm left with a chewed up frame and crank from months of unshipping.

    A month after buying and setting up the bike I noticed the seatpost had slipped down from the original position (had it marked). I readjusted it back up and a few weeks later noticed it was down 1/2" again. This continued for months, getting shorter and shorter between adjustments until at about 11 months I was pushing it back up every other ride. The Specialized shop always said I just wasn't torquing it high enough. I finally convinced them to torque it and they finally admitted the S-works seatpost bracket was faulty and replaced it with a generic one.

    I spent hundreds of dollars, countless trips to the repair shop and many days without the bike in the first year. This bike is priced in the bike market about the same as a Rolls Royce in the car market. If this was a Rolls, in the first year alone I would have had the engine rebuilt (bottom bracket), the transmission replaced (chain rings), a dozen clutch adjustments (derailleur), and the seats would have been pulled because they don't stay where they are adjusted. By any measure, that would be called a lemon, which is what this bike is.

    It continues. At 1 yr 3 months the back derailleur cable broke at the shifter cable and the broken piece fell down inside the shifter, rendering it useless. The Specialized shop told me I would simply have to buy a new 7900 Dura Ace shifter because it was badly designed and "this happens all the time". Shimano says it wasn't faulty, then is giving me one for free. (?)

    I talked to two other bike shops who both said these shifters pull on the wire with distortion and needs to be checked every couple months! Specialized put this badly designed component on their bike and washed their hands of it because my lemon was 3 mths beyond the warranty. They couldn't wait for that date to arrive - I'm guessing the SL2 Pro is killing them nationally with all these built-in design and assembly problems.

    This bike was obviously hastily designed and built and Specialized wants to run away from it as fast as they can. But a $6,500 bike should not experience problems like this and a reputable company should go the extra mile for customers who have problems like this, not hide behind the legal argument that the warranty expired a couple months ago. I could see that argument if the brake shifter was my first problem, but it's a year+ of this nonsense.

    They are right legally, but they are wrong ethically, and the best way to create dissatisfied customers is to ignore a year and three months of problems with a Rolls Royce and fall back on legalities. Any time a company has to begin to pull the legal card means they have no ethical argument left. They know this bike is a lemon but don't want to admit it and expect the customer to pay the ongoing price of their bad design and assembly.

    Specialized is perfectly within their legal rights to wash their hands of this bike and they couldn't wait to do so. But in doing so they are also washing their hands of basic, fundamental good customer service. A good company would never do that with a lemon. I'll be telling this story for years and will do my best to keep others from making the same mistake I've made buying a bike from Specialized. The cost of poor customer service can be very high - it's surprising that Specialized doesn't recognize this.
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    The bike's not flawed. The assembly has been flawed. It's not the norm for Shimano shifters to break cables. Slipping seat post? That's an easy fix by applying carbon assembly paste to the post before insertion. Specialized did have an issue for a while with their chainrings being a bit wimpy. I've not heard of BB issues with them.

    Frankly, you can save yourself a lot of money by learning to take care of the bike yourself. Almost anything that could need done to a bike is dead simple to do. The internet is littered with pictorial and video tutorials on how to assemble, adjust, and otherwise maintain a bike.
     
  3. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    I would have returned the bike... it appears the BB and chain ring issues are warranty issues, the others are poor assembly and the shop should have taken care of them. Try another forum (bike review) where there is a manufacture's section for Specialized and see if this is a common problem...
     
  4. cfblakeman

    cfblakeman New Member

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    Sorry, but Specialized themselves, after a year of fighting with them, finally admitted that the rings are defective. That's not an assembly issue.

    And Specialized admitted that their build instructions for the BB, sent with each one of these bikes, were wrong. That's not an assembly issue - the bike shops were following Specialized's exact instructions. They sent out a notice to all bike shops changing that build a number of months later, which resulted in mine being rebuilt.

    And three different LBS's all said they think the 7900 D-A is a flawed design because way too often the little bit of cable left inside of it when a cable breaks cannot be extricated and you end up with a perfectly good shifter having to be replaced because of the bit of wire. That's not an assembly issue - that's a flawed design.

    The seatpost had carbon paste on it - didn't help. The s-works seatpost bracket was defective and Specialized finally sent a new one. The generic one I have on there is working just fine, but I have a leak in my garden hose that might be solved by the s-works bracket.
     
  5. cfblakeman

    cfblakeman New Member

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    Yes, 20/20 hindsight I should have done the same thing. I was way too nice about this and didn't post a single complaint in the year+ that this has been going on until now.
     
  6. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    check the other forum and see if there are others sharing the same problem. As a group you may have a better chance of getting something for your troubles.
    Is everything working OK now?
     
  7. cfblakeman

    cfblakeman New Member

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    No, I am dead in the water waiting for a shifter from Shimano, not riding since last Sunday and missing a ride this weekend. And when it's all said and done, I'll be left with unpaid bills, a lot of wasted time and a chewed up frame that I'm not sure is even safe anymore.
     
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