Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Shopping online for a bike like this is pretty much pointless. So many variables, so little chance to walk back into a store and raise a fuss if there are problems after I bring it home. I instead opted to take a tour around town of all the stores that had bikes and eventually settled on one for sale at Dick's Sporting Goods. In light of the fact that I really didn't want to be replacing that one quite so fast, I opted to pick up their relatively inexpensive "No Sweat Warranty".
Fast-forward to December 2006, and I'm now using said warranty, as my bike's entirely driven by the computer perched atop the front column, and without it I can not only not run programs or measure calories but can't even adjust the tension. The computer works, but its buttons don't. So, after leaving it unplugged over Christmas to see if maybe it might reset itself, on December 26, I called the warranty hotline, got a claim number, and was told I'd get a diagnostic callback in 2-3 days.
At the close of New Year's Eve (which I thought was three business days after my original call), I'm on the phone with Dick's again, asking the nice young lady, hey, when exactly is someone going to call me? Oh, well, the claim went through on Monday. You should hear on Friday. And if not, here's the number of the guy who'll be fixing your bike.
Friday comes and nearly goes and so I prepare to pick up the phone and call the dude. Before I do, I go look it up and find out that this guy's in Traverse City, Michigan. I live in the Grand Rapids area of said state. I'm a little shocked that they don't have anyone local; Traverse City's not exactly a hop/skip/jump from Grand Rapids—more like a three-hour drive. So I call and leave a voicemail at 4 p.m., figuring maybe he'll try on Monday.
I finally heard from the guy last night at 9 p.m. He'll be in the area Friday, so I have an appointment that morning for—get this—diagnostics. I noted to him that I was pretty darned sure it was the computer, and if he could get that part, we could save ourselves all a load of trouble, but no, that's not the way the "No Sweat" system works. He has to come out and poke at the thing himself. Then, I imagine, he'll come to the exact same conclusion I did: an electronic part has failed, and needs to be replaced. I'm guessing that before this is all wrapped I'll have been bike-less for a month.
So, yeah, "no sweat", literally. I am not breaking anything close to the sort as I continue to wait for this problem to be resolved.
UPDATE (1/9): A new computer has been ordered, and if I'm lucky, I'll be up and running within a week. I'm to expect the computer to be delivered here, but it'll need to be programmed for my unit, so I can't install it myself. I asked how much it would cost me to acquire one of these computers on my own; repair dude said, probably $300. Which is about what I paid for the bike. In the end, I suppose I'm grateful that I did get the plan, and even with the long downtimes, will probably renew in April when it comes up.
If you think this was bad, you might be interested in what happened next...
I can’t help but laugh at your rendition of the “No Sweat Warranty!” My thoughts exactly. I bought a treadmill from Dicks in April of 2006. I purchased the three year warranty, you know, just in case. Since, then I have run on the treadmill 3-4 times/week. Last Saturday, the deck cracked! Yes, I am under the weight limit! Long story short, I spent a week calling the 1-800 number...and the “technician” and got nowhere, no answers, no timeframes, nothing but back and forth. I then called the store and found out that Dicks switched warranty companies!! I called the new company (a week after the treadmill broke, mind you) and was told to call back the next day to schedule my appointment…seems much better than the last company, so far! So, I called the next morning and was told I would get a call by 9 PM the next night… we’ll see! The kicker…the deck costs $48, I think I could even switch it out…the warranty $130. I know the price, because I was even told to call the manufacturer (Horizon-DON’t buy one!!) by the manager at Dicks! Two more phone calls later, and a different manager at DICKS, I learned about the warranty company switch! At the moment, I still don’t know when I will get a call, I don’t know when they will be here, I don’t know if they will have to come twice…I have asked these questions to all of the companies and NO ONE knows! Oh, and so far I have dealt with DICKS, the first warranty company, the first technician company, the manufacturer, the second warranty company, and the second technician company!! I will NOT be renewing this ridiculous warranty!
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