SRAM = No Customer Service/Relations for end-users!! ?

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by crank spinner, May 26, 2011.

  1. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    Had my first telephone experience with SRAM today. Surprisingly and sadly, I was very disappointed with them!!
    What should and could have been a very fast and friendly phone request, became a long call, leaving me frustrated, stressed and very unhappy. Thanks to SRAM for this!

    I have a nice road frame. Removed some worn out Integra components and bought new SRAM Red Group to build the bike back up.
    Heard that SRAM Red is good and works good - I admit I was not unhappy with the component group set.

    I change my pedals, between two pair, depending on my plans at that time. I use my Look clipless when I'm on my indoor trainer. I use my vintage Campy flats (road pedals) without toeclips, for outdoor use.
    Reason: Had a stroke last year, that affected my left ride. The indoor trainer is helping me build back my leg muscles, especially using each leg, separately. For outdoor riding, with my balance, stabability and confidence not as good as before my stroke, I use the flat Campy road pedals so there is no issue with getting my feet on/off the pedals anytime I wish to.

    Today, I called SRAM headquarters in Chicago (I'm in California), asked them if they could send me a pair of the flat washers that go between the pedals and the crank arms. I don't have any but thought that I should. They confirmed that I should, but upon my request for getting some, I was told that they'd be happy to send me a bunch and overnight them, but not to me, as I requested. They would only send them to one of their dealers, for me.
    The closest SRAM dealer is at least 35-40 miles away (driving distance, one way). SRAM does not care. That's the way they are set up, I was told.
    So I guess I'm not their customer, the stores are.
    As an end-user, there is NO Customer Service, NO Customer Good Will, nothing for me.... At around $4/gal. for gas, I am supposed to drive a ways, to get the washers that they will send to a shop, but not to me.

    Anyone agree with me that they just as easily could have offered to send them directly to me?
    They actually felt that I was unreasonable in my request, as well as defended their rules by telling me that's the way their system is set up.
    So now I don't have any pedal washers and don't expect any to be coming. Thanks, SRAM! You converted a happy, proud RED owner/customer to someone that feels insulted, disrespected and unhappy! Guess what I'll say, the next time someone comments on my expensive component group!!
     
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  2. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    My Follow-Up:

    I wrote and posted on Thurs, 26 May, about my experience with SRAM and discovering that end-users seem to be handled as an anoyance and SRAM admits that their customer service is focused on their dealers (instead of the individuals that buy (retail) and use their products).

    The next day (Friday), I decided to do it their way, at a cost and inconvenience to me. I called SRAM and got connected to their wholesale customer service (their ONLY customer service). Told the person of my request for some washers that are placed between my pedals and crank arms. I explained the reason for my request and why I'm switching pedals frequently, too. I offered to give him a (somewhat) local bike shop's phone number and any other info I could, so I could get the proper SRAM washers I need. I was immediately told that I could not do that. The shop would have to call them, even if they are not SRAM resellers. SRAM ould not call in my behalf and doesn't seem interested in helping me at all. This is despite the call to them the day before, when it seemed that they were willing to send me (shipped overnight) a handful of washers, although they'd send it to a shop on my behalf. When I mentioned this to the person I was speaking to, he did not care and did not seem interested in anything I said. I then asked to be transferred to a supervisor. I then transferred me to Brooke, a manager or supervisor of their customer service. I spoke to her the day before and she, too, confirmed that they cannot send me the washes, but were willing to overnight a bunch of them to a shop for me. When the call was transferred, I got her voicemail. I identified myself and reminded her of our conversation the day before. I told her that I have the info she needed for a shop. Since I left the voicemail in the morning, I was hopeful she'd return my call soon. 2 1/2 hours later, not hearing anything, I called again, got her voicemail, and again left my name, number and that I'm anxious to hear from her. Holiday weekend has come and gone, it's Tuesday afternoon now and still she has not called me.

    I don't feel my request is unreasonable. I'm surprised and disappointed that SRAM does and that they totally refuse to support/assist me in my request for their washers.

    I called a number of shops - none has or stocks these washers.
    Why does SRAM refuse to help or support a customer or an end-user (me) of their best component group, with a simple, easy request? (I don't understand it either...)
    Does SRAM really think they help/support their customers? Why do they think their only customers are their wholesale customers (bike shops)?
     
  3. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    That sounds awful, dumb and shortsighted. I can't see any reason for it even if they have to protect relationships with dealers. Why would a dealer want to hassle with this when they could simply be sent to you. Why don't you send them a copy of this and tell them you posted it here?

    I had the opposite experience with Ritchie bike products. One of my seat post bolts fell out along with another small serrated curved piece. (The other bolt still held the seat in place.) I contacted them and they sent the parts for free. I offered to pay because I said it was my fault for not tightening them enough after adjusting the seat, but they insisted on not charging. If they had told me I needed to get a dealer to do it, that would have been nuts. While I'm at it, I'd like to put in a good word for NiteRider lighting customer service and repairs too.
     
  4. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    Thanks, Alan. I appreciate your comments. I agree with you, some companies care about their customers, the end-users that purchase their products that proudly bear their company name.
    It's unfortunate that SRAM apparently only thinks their customers are the shops that buy from them. End-users seem to be an unwanted, unappreciated segment of cycling that they are unwilling or unable to help or support.

    Originally, I was happy and proud to buy an American brand of cycling components.
    Alan, your expeience with Ritchey (an American company), is the way that customer service should be. I and others feel that a company can be judged by the level of their customer service and/or customer good will. Too bad that SRAM does not seem to get that...

    Alan, on their website, http://www.sram.com, I cannot find any email addresses (aside from HR, internationally) and just one fax and voice phone number, for the entire Chicago based company. Their operator will not connect anyone to a higher level of person there than customer service.
    I just don't know if the people that are in charge of the company are aware or even care that their own, in house, customer service department causes so much hassle and grief to their own end users. It's as if their CS is a separate or independant entity that does what they wish, with no regard to how end users view the company.
    Brooke, the supervisor of CS, has my phone number and my address. Anyone from SRAM can contact me if they chose to, including sending me a private message here.

    If SRAM thinks I'll just drop this and go away, they are mistaken!
     
  5. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    Update. You just got me interested in pedal washers. I don't have them on my FSA K-Light carbon crank so I decided to check them out. Well the FSA store sells them directly for $1.93 each. I guess I'll get a couple. Maybe these will work for you too. Here is the link:

    http://webstore.fullspeedahead.com/fly.aspx?layout=estoreproduct&taxid=245&pid=363

    Just write a nice letter to the VP for marketing, Michael D. Mercuri, as listed. Explain exactly what happened as in your post and what you'd like them to do for you. Mark the letter "confidential." If he resolves it to your satisfaction, send him another letter of thanks and explain what you think the company could do to improve its customer service.

    If you don't get a favorable response, write to the president. Most companies want to be responsive to the needs of their customers. If that doesn't work, I guess you could publicize your displeasure.

    Some companies may resist posting public email addresses because they will get spammed a lot.
     
  6. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    AlanG's suggestion is most likely your best shot with SRAM. However, don't be surprised if you run into the same basic issue. Large companies that work through distribution/dealers do so because it is the design of the business model. My guess is Shimano is probably the same. The staffing that it would take to support millions of end-user customer calls is beyond what is economically feasible. If you need that kind of in-house end-user support department, you've got a very big problem. If you have them, but don't need them, you've got a lot of expensive overhead that has to get passed on in product prices.

    So, companies on that scale often choose a dealer network as their interface with end-users and avoid circumventing it for any reason because it just invites failure. Their computer order processing system isn't set up to handle individual accounts, so your need for washers can't be processed through the system. They would have to set up an account in their system, which would require accounting to validate their normal process, which requires credit validation, minimum order quantities, etc. that are all part of the dealer/manufacturer model. So when 50 end-users try to manually work around the system and something gets dropped because there is no automated way to process the pick list and schedule shipping - it just leads to customer dissatisfaction anyway. I've run marketing for major medical instrument suppliers and if the business model is dealer/distributor exclusively, we've had pretty much the same issues with how to provide the highest level of end-user satisfaction while controlling costs in a very competitive market. SRAM's first line customer is the major bicycle manufacturers where millions of component groups are the bulk of the business. The retail shops are small volume in comparison and primarily need support for bike assembly and service. Not that it is right, but managing CS and all of the associated issues on a scale that big can get out of hand very quickly when trying to deal with millions of en-users ... or at least being prepared to. My father did the same for GM - end users could contact him to express concerns with dealer dissatisfaction, but he couldn't realistically "run out back" and have a fan belt pulled and shipped to someone calling in. He could get on the phone and tell the dealer that if he kept getting dissatisfied customer calls, then the dealer would get fewer cars to sell. Again, just the nature of the beast on a scale that large.

    I have been able to get the end-user support you're looking for through Zipp, but they are a much smaller company actually division (recent SRAM acquisition) and have an online order processing system that can handle end-user orders. When you purchase a SRAM crankset in factory packaging, the pedal washers are zip tied to the crank arm. They're nothing special, My guess it the FSA washers would be the same... or an online retailer like Performance or Nashbar probably has SRAM or generic too.

    Hope you get what you need, and quickly.
     
  7. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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  8. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    OK, now let me put in a good word for FSA. Besides their on-line store for parts, they have a form on-line where you can ask questions and I asked yesterday if I needed to get some washers for my carbon crank. Today I got back an email that they will send me a pair for free. I certainly was willing to buy them, but if they are supposed to come with the cranks, then the dealer should have installed them when I bought the bike and pedals.

    -------------------------------
    [SIZE= 11pt]Hi Alan,[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 11pt]Thanks for your email to FSA.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 11pt]The pedal washers are supplied with all carbon cranks, so not sure why you didn’t get them, but I’d be happy to send you a set.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 11pt]They are not strictly necessary for all pedals. Their purpose is to protect the carbon material surrounding the pedal thread area. If you have pedals with a large diameter mating surface, they can sometimes contact the carbon area and cause damage. Most pedals do not, but the pedal washer is a safety check for this issue.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 11pt]Please give me your mailing address, and I will get a set out to you asap.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 11pt]Thanks,[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 11pt]Matt V[/SIZE]
    [SIZE= 11pt]FSA[/SIZE]
     
  9. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    Thanks Sitzmark and AlanG for your comments and suggestions.

    After my post yesterday (Tuesday, 31 May), I decided to send a short email, asking for any assistance in getting someone at SRAM that cares about the End User customer, to contact me (phone, email, postal mail - I provided all my contact info for each method).
    I know it's been less than 24 hours since I sent the emails to the only email addresses I could find, so it's too soon to know if it will do any good. Based on my experience with their CS, unfortunately, I will not be surprised if I receive no response... (what a shame that would be, in my opinion.)

    My responses to both your posts, since my last:
    I appreciate your opinions. SRAM's CS and help/support (good or bad) really boils down to a End User's experience and/or perception. Does an end user really care about their computer and order system? Is there anything about my request that seems unreasonable? Is it reasonable to tell an end user that they'll be happy to send a handful of these washers, using overnight service to a local dealer, yet when I was prepared to provide such info to them, I was shunned, as well as my two calls to the supervisor have not resulted in any attempt to reach me at all? Is it reasonable that the only dept at SR AM that might help me (CS) admitted to me that they are there to help/support their dealers, NOT end users.
    Does it really matter to someone that is a retail customer, with a perceived problem, issue or reasonable request, that the CS software or policy excludes any good resolution for that end user?

    Since I separated from the US Military, as a retired, disabled (from my service), some years ago, I worked for a few companies with duties/responsibilities within CS. With that said, I can honestly tell you that what I've experienced from SRAM is totally unacceptable to me and I'd hope, to other end users that paid good money for the company's best components that they offer. Of course, there are people that may abuse a good system, but what abuse or unreasonable request could I be causing?

    Fact: Someone I know contacted Shamano (US Headquarters in Ca, if I recall), requested a few hardware items. He was not asked for anything other than a street address. A couple days later, he received the requested hardware items at no charge.

    Fact: Over the past years, I as an end user customer, have contacted several companies with issues or requests to resolve various problems, including Motorola, Gillette, HP and the makers of some outdoor and/or tactical gear. Not once was I made to feel unimportant, or unappreciated. In every case, they seemed to care and were more than willing to offer reasonable resolutions that would be satisfactory to me (the customer).

    Fact: Thule, the maker of some fine rack products, sent me several replacement hardware and fasteners, that were faulty. Their CS and a CS Supervisor always seemed friendly and happy to do what they could to help me, including fast shipping and always at no cost to me.

    Compare ANY of these experiences to that I had/have with SRAM.

    Lastly, think about my personal experience and the resulting opinion and perception I have with SRAM.
    Now think about this: A person's perception of reality is in fact, reality to that person. With that said, one would think that SRAM would do the reasonable, right thing for their end users.

    Am I taking this too far? Am I expecting too much with my request of them?
    I don't think so, when you consider that their CS offered to send plenty of washers out, overnight, to a shop on my behalf and at no charge - yet when I tried to take them up on their offer, I was shunned, refused and ignored.

    Comments? Questions? Ideas?

    For anyone that is considering the purchase of SRAM components, it's of course, your choice, but you may not want to depend on their CS for anything - unless they change/improve it.

    Thanks for reading. If you know people at SRAM in Chicago, IL., please send them a link to this thread - they are always welcome to send me a private message here.
     
  10. conipto

    conipto New Member

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    I actually registered just to respond to this, after reading your post on Craigslist. I don't know what you're after here, but spamming craigslist seems like overkill for your two pedal washers. There is nothing magic about a pair of 9/16 inch shim washers, that you couldn't have just gone down to the hardware store and solved your problem for a dollar. Instead, you expect a multi-national company to go straight to you out of some misguided sense of customer service entitlement.

    Furthermore, SRAM is heavily involved in LOCAL biking. They support people going to shops. Even team sponsorships for them unless at the professional level are all done through their grassroots program, and must go through a shop. My experience with contacting them directly to report an early flaw in the SRAM force group of 2010 was met with prompt response, saying they'd rectified the problem in an existing released version, and sending of a new rear brake directly to my shop. This model covers 99% of the population that uses their components. Having a direct to consumer support group would raise the prices of their products tremendously.

    You may think you paid a lot for the products, but curious, where did you get them from? Since you clearly have no shop nearby, did you order from an online retailer? Ebay? Well, every SRAM crankset I've purchased through my retailers came in a nice box, with pedal washers zip tied in a little plastic baggie to the cranks. Did you buy take-offs from someone? And compared to the other big two component makers, I find it hard to believe SRAM's service is so poor. Try even getting a response from Shimano or campy. Oh, and happily pay 1000+ more for your equivalent level groups.

    Normally I would just let this kind of thing go and ignore it, but seriously, you bought a product from some online retailer, obviously missing parts that come with it were it retail, and now you expect the manufacturer to rectify this with some above the board service you think you deserve. And you want everyone to listen to you. Well, congrats, spamming for sale ads will get people to listen to you, but you really don't seem to want a problem resolved, you want to complain, and have people hear about it.
     
  11. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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  12. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    AlanG: Thanks for your post, today. I'm not surprised at all, with your experience with FSA's CS. Sounds like a very similiar response that someone I know had with Shamano. Or like the responses I had with Motorola, Thule and others, requesting a swap or replacement of one or more faulty items.

    To be clear, I'm not telling anyone that SRAM's products are bad. But I still truly believe that their CS is needing in-house review. Why? If a end user contacts them, requesting some simple hardware pieces and explains why and what for, wouldn't GOOD CS be to just drop them into an envelope and mail them out? How can any customer (end user) have a problem with that? Shamano gets it. FSA gets it, as well as other companies I and/or others have dealt with.

    In my case, as I have stated, SRAM offered me a resolution, albeit not exactly as I hoped. The following day, I tried to get what they offered. I, as an end user was shunned, ignored and even the supervisor, that I had spoken to the day before, has chosen not to call me back and to ignore me.
    Does anyone here feel that that is an acceptable level of CS? If so, why? You should not put up with bad CS. Don't you deserve better?
    When I call SRAM's headquarters in Chicago, I can choose from a few menu choices, or get the operator. I, as an end user, customer, have no opportunity to reach anyone with the company to help resolve/fulfill my (reasonable) request, other than their CS Dept, that admits that they are only set up to help/assist shops and stores. So where is their CS for us? It could be the shops, IF they had these washers. They don't.
    But it doesn't matter, none of this. Because they offered me these washers, that they'd overnight them to a shop, for me. When I seriously attempted to follow thru, it was as if they did not know/did not care about the previous day's offer to me. Heck, the supervisor has chosen to not return my call!
    This is customer service!!?? And why would or should ANY customer be happy or satisfied with this level of CS, that I've experienced from SRAM?
     
  13. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    As an end-user I don't have a problem with wanting to deal directly with SRAM. However, the company has openly stated that isn't their business model and they've chosen to rely in their dealer network for direct-to-customer support. It is a common support model. SRAM is a US-based company (which is a big reason for my decision to buy their products), but they do not manufacture in the USA. You're assuming that the company warehouses product in Chicago at corporate HQ - if so, your wish for the washers to be dropped in a envelope and mailed out is more feasible. If product is warehoused at regional distribution centers (common), then someone in the HQ cannot easily package up your washers and send them out. Even if they could, SRAM owes you no special consideration. Nothing the company did caused you to be without pedal washers. Yes, it would have been above and beyond for the company to accommodate your special request, but requiring them to treat you special is unreasonable..

    My personal opinion is that your local shop failed you, and especially the shop where you purchased the crank is most at fault. Pedal washers are like copper pennies - both shops should have them .. maybe not SRAM brand, but they should have pedal washers. If your local shop isn't a SRAM authorized shop and you demanded SRAM washers, then that lets them off the hook. But, when you called the shop where you purchased the crank, that shop's response should have been "we don't have them in stock, but can get them for you and ship them out ASAP". SRAM goes to great length to protect its dealer network - as you are finding out. That shop earned a profit from selling you the crank and that shop should have bent over backward to support you. Most likely someone didn't want to be bothered with a $2 sale.

    My assessment of the situation is that your calls to SRAM should have been to notify them of the poor service you received from a dealer where you purchased SRAM product. Then I would have gone online and ordered some washers. A quick search of Google for SRAM pedal washers brings up more than 20 online retailers. You'd probably y have them by now if you had ordered online.

    It isn't unreasonable to want to deal directly with a company, but it is unreasonable to expect it when the company openly says it doesn't work that way. I'd move on and buy from a company that met my requirements.
     
  14. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Based on my first hand experience, let me say that Shimano (Irvine, CA) has superior customer service ... DT Swiss also has excellent customer service in North America.

    But, as I have previously noted in the past, SRAM's customer service is woefully lacking ...

    After waiting about SIX months for any response from SRAM's customer service, I contacted SRAM in Europe ... I got an immediate response ... I also got a subsequent bogus apology from the guy in NA who said that he had previously written ... he indicated I should contact a shop in Pennsylvania to get the part ... the bike shop in Pennsylvania never even replied to multiple e-mails!

    WTF?

    That was several years ago ...

    As a consequence, regardless of how good SRAM's road-or-MTB components may be-or-become, I long-ago decided that I would never buy another SRAM component ...

    BUT, why should they care?!?

    It may-or-may-not-be a business plan they teach in Business School, but I can tell you that the business plan which SRAM has apparently chosen to follow is the same one which PT Barnum is attributed to having promulgated -- There's a sucker is born every minute ...

    Essentially, SRAM's marketing philosophy would appear to be create a demand (i.e., it would appear that they suck up to the periodical reviewers + spend a lot of "advertising" money in those periodicals AND sponsor a lot of Teams & events AND dump stuff in the OEM marketplace) and then sit back and sell their cycling-equivalents of Chia pets to all those who must have THE much heralded components -- in other words., why bother worrying about the last customer when there is another one already standing in line.

    • I would suggest that if MicroShift wooed the magazine writers AND ponied up mega-millions to sponsor a team like Leopard Trek, then it would be the must-have component group for the next few years.

    BTW. Much to my chagrin, I have encountered some retailers who appear to employ the same marketing philosophy as SRAM!?!

    • I suppose that it could be suggested the "greater fool" concept is a variation of Barnum's "sucker" marketing philosophy ... and, I think that they do teach the former in Business Schools.
     
  15. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    Sitzmark, thanks for the reply. I am not saying your wrong, but we disagree. That's okay - no problem with that.
    I agree with you - the fact that SRAM is an American company was a large part in my choosing them. I just didn't think that such a choice would bite me later...

    SRAM's level (or my perception of) their CS is what I have a problem with. Why? That they told me that they'd be happy to overnight a handful of these washers for me, to a local shop. When I cooled off and called them back the next day, they not only refused this to me, the CS supervisor (Brooke), that I had also spoken to on the first day, was unavailable, so I left voice mails for her that she has chosen NOT to return the calls to me.

    Easy to notice here that this real and true example of their CS, that I've written in this thread, probably at least 3 times, has not received any comment by anyone. With what I described above, does anyone think SRAM has handled my request for the washers in a satisfactory way? Is this the kind of CS that you (the reader) would be delighted to experience??

    IMO, this kind of service (or lack of) reflects on the company. There is no excuse for such bad service.
    The fact that no one from SRAM has made any attempt to contact me is disappointing. Besides Brooke having my address and phone number, I've included this information in several emails that I've sent to the email addresses I could find for SRAM. Either they can't be bothered or they see no problem. After all, as CS has told me, their customers are their dealers, (not end users).
     
  16. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    Hi Alfeng,
    Thanks for adding your very interesting post to the thread. It's appreciated.

    Since you've had better luck with SRAM's CS in Europe, could you please share the email addresses with me that proved successful? If you like, please send them thru a PM.

    I agree with you that as far as I can tell, some of SRAM's competitors seem to have a better, caring, more responsive customer service. For SRAM's CS to actually tell me that their customers ARE the shops and don't (or cannot) help end users was a surprise to me because I felt unimportant and of no value to SRAM. Maybe SRAM has grown too quickly or they feel succesful enough. I wonder how their CS handled inquiries and requests from end users in their first few years in business...?
     
  17. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Agree to disagree. Really a matter of perspective I think. The key is customer satisfaction and you don't have it with SRAM, so they failed.

    My experience is opposite. Having been responsible for setting up the entire customer interface in companies from $500,000 in annual sales to $1bil +, I have had to wrestle with the issue of support/satisfaction on many different levels. As companies grow, what worked with three guys in a warehouse becomes physically impossible as the customer base grows and volume explodes. International sales/support enters the picture and all of this has to be woven together. Given the choice I would always chose a direct sales and service team, but financially that doesn't always work.

    Specifically with SRAM, I really don't need nor care if I have a company employed account representative.... just that my needs for service, support, and warranty issues are taken care of promptly and without issue. I've never had a bad experience with a SRAM related product, so my frame of reference is different. My local shops are extremely responsive and have handled everything for me. (Which is what distribution/dealer models are all about). If my LBS doesn't have a replacement item, they contact the area distributor and usually have it within 24-48 hours. Or, sometimes I search for the item myself. I like to give LBS first shot, but if they don't stock something, then their value to me drops.

    The only need I can envision calling SRAM for would be if my LBS told me SRAM wouldn't stand behind a warranty claim and therefore the shop wouldn't replace a failed part without charge during the warranty period. Then I would be on the phone asking SRAM why the LBS wasn't being supported. So far, never have had that issue.

    I suspected that maybe the initial conversation with the CS department got a little heated. That is usually a killer if you're asking for out-of-the-norm support. What a fairly low-level CS manager says may or may not be the company objective. Unfortunate words - "end-user not the customer". The reality is that the golden tongued are floating the halls at higher levels making bigger $$ than the CS manager. Doesn't mean the CS manager should override company policy, but should be a better communicator. SRAM management has to decide if Brooke is the right person for the job. I can think of a couple of ways the CS people could have responded - either referring you to a local shop for support (which I suspect they did), or telling you washers would arrive and then contacting the local shop to tell them to process an order and send it to you. I don't agree the company has any responsibility to eat $30 in processing and overnight charges just because you bought a product and wanted some washers. (I suspect we disagree here as well, but as you say that's ok)

    I can't speak for SRAM, but in my business the end-user is always the most important piece of the puzzle. Our direct customer might be a dealer or distributor and they are damned important, but they are "deputized" agents of our company and should act as though they are the face of our company to end-users ... because they are. We are partners and share in the customer's mutual satisfaction. For that we give a significant discount to cover the costs associated with warehousing product locally, staffing the service/support teams with skilled/trained people,and the many other costs associated with delivering top notch customer service. When the dealers fail to live up to their end of the bargain, we cut them or renegotiate the terms of the agreement. If they don't stock enough product locally, we drop ship for them and charge them list price. They haven't done anything in the transaction to deserve a split of the profit. Obviously if this happens infrequently we support them and give them their normal cut. If frequent ... there is less and less negotiation until they are finally replaced.

    We disagree on whether SRAM should have sent the washers to you directly, but as long as you were reasonable, there are avenues available to work it out - even with a no-ship to end user corporate policy. Still hope you get your washers and get riding soon. Still
     
  18. crank spinner

    crank spinner New Member

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    sitzmark, just as you say, I both agree and disagree with parts of you post. Thanks for you post, it's appreciated.

    My phone calls to SRAM were always civil. Once CS flat out stated to me that their customers are shops, not the people that buy SRAM products from shops/dealers, I became disappointed as well as confused. (I'm not a customer, then what was I, just an unwanted caller??) The CS person I initiallyspoke to brought up the offer of the overnight shipping and the handful of washers. At that time, through later speaking to Brooke who repeated and agreed to the offer of overnighting to a local bike shop, I felt the offer was real. It was not until the next day, when I called them again, I discovered the offer probably was not sincere. I knew for sure it was not and never going to happen, when Brooke has/had chosen to not respond to my two Voice Mail messages that I left her, stating that I was prepared to do as they asked, in order to get the washers.
    I was reasonable, but since she chose to not return my call, there were no options or alternatives to discuss, was there?

    Last week, I called a number of shops, although not really local, to see if they might have these washers. Not one shop had offered to get them for me.

    There's not much in the way of local bike shops near to me. Sure, plenty of them, if I want to drive about an hour or more each way, but locally, there's one, although not close. I asked them and they flatly said they don't have the washers. No offer, no nothing.

    I think SRAM falls short on customer service (to end users). Call the single number they list on their website. The only option on the menu for us would be CS, but once connected, the caller will be surprised that it's meant forr what SRAM considers their customers (dealers and shops). Pass the menu, speak to the Operator. A customer (end user) will still only be able to get transferred to their CS. If you let her know that you'd like to speak to someone higher or other than Brooke or CS, she'll tell you she cannot do that.

    Perhaps SRAM has grown too fast? I don't feel that the people in charge know what's going on in their CS. Could it be that they actually condone how end users are handled/treated? Do they care what perceptions or opinions end users have of SRAM, based on their experiences or hearing about them from others? Apparently, they do not care. If they did, I'd like to think I'd hear from them - I certainly am not hiding from them.
     
  19. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    While I did receive a reply from SRAM Europe who subsequently prodded their North American customer service manager to belatedly contact me, I have to repeat that I did NOT receive any satisfaction ...

    Here are TWO e-mail address (I don't know if they are the ones I actually used ... you should definitely CC the other address):

    European Headquarters
    SRAM Europe Sales & Services BV
    Paasbosweg 14-16
    3862ZS Nijkerk
    The Netherlands
    Tel: +31 33 4506060
    Fax: +31 33 4570200
    E-mail: [email protected]


    European Headquarters
    SRAM Europe
    Basicweg 12-0
    3821 BR Amersfoort
    The Netherlands
    E-mail: [email protected]

    German Branch
    SRAM Deutchland GmbH
    Romstrasse 1
    97424 Schwinfurt
    Deutscheland
    E-mail: [email protected]

    FWIW. By my reckoning, it could also be suggested that SRAM has apparently chosen to follow the same indifferent customer service policy which many in the US Auto Industry feel worked for them ...

    • So, for example, intentionally poor customer service from my Jeep dealer several decades ago was the last straw (I could hear the service people laughing about how they didn't really service someone elses car properly + I waited two hours for them NOT to even begin to look at our car -- the known-to-be-defective turn signal switches needed to be replaced -- I was there at 7am and at 9am they still had not even bothered to look at it) & we will no longer buy a car from an "American" automobile manufacturer ...

    I wrote to Chrysler to complain about the dealer ... several times ... to no avail (my letters went without replies).

    No doubt, Chrysler didn't care whether or not their dealers provided poor customer service since there was, at the time, always another "sucker" waiting to buy another one of their cars ...

    I am quite sure that my experience was not unique.

    ---​
    While I do have some SRAM, AVID, & TruVativ components floating around here, I need to reiterate that I certainly won't buy any in the future AND I will always recommend against others buying SRAM components AND/OR bikes which are equipped with those components -- ditto for Rock Shox & ZIPP components.

    BTW. The component which I wanted was small, too ... even with the part number, three of my LBSes did not want to order it for me at the time! I can only imagine that at that point in time that SRAM was somehow a nuisance for them to deal which they tried to avoid for some unknown-to-me reason.
     
  20. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    For what it's worth, my two washers came from FSA via Priority Mail along with three FSA catalogs. I sure didn't need them that fast but all I can say is that FSA went way beyond meeting my expectations about such a relatively trivial item that I would have been happy to have ordered and paid for.
     
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