Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hope springs eternal: will Dick's Sporting Goods' warranty come through at last?

This is a continuation of the saga of my experiences with Dick's Sporting Goods' "No Sweat" extended warranty, which began with a delay-fraught diagnosis procedure and eventually led me on a bizarre journey through call-centerdom... all in the hope that I could start getting some exercise again this winter.

I'm slowly coming up on two months since I originally called in my recumbent bike as needing repair—which was already a few days after the initial breakdown, since I was hopeful I could avoid calling anyone by invoking the tried-and-true "reboot" strategy; unplug the device for a bit and see if the problem resolves itself. Alas, it did not, and here I am.

I was afraid earlier this week that I was going to find myself chasing people who weren't returning my call yet again, as two business days had passed and I hadn't heard back from the woman who was handling my case at Dick's corporate. I left several voice mails with her and tried going through the main customer service line to get her—only to get immediately transferred to her voice mail when I identified myself. As it turns out, someone was already on the case: we were actually getting calls from the new warranty servicer, but they weren't leaving messages. Thankfully, they happened to call again Wednesday, when my wife was home; she had them call me on my cell at work, and we got things moving again. (Saved us all a lot of trouble, really; I was preparing to file complaints with the BBB and tip off the Consumerist if I hadn't heard anything before today.)

The folks at the new warranty servicer took my info yesterday, got me registered (with an expiration date of exactly one year from when I bought the bike—needless to say, once this is over, this had best be extended), and told me to call a number today. I didn't get around to doing that, but their contractor called me anyway today and I have a new diagnosis appointment for Monday. I'm a bit put out, of course, that I have to have yet another diagnosis appointment, but being of the technically-minded sort that I am, I do understand that if Phoenix (the old servicer) is no longer a going concern, then getting the info out of them would be next to impossible.

And so, here we go again. I am more impressed off the bat with how things are moving now that I managed to actually catch the rep from the new warranty servicer. Time will tell how this saga will end, of course, but hey, at least it's given me something to write about, eh?

Oh, and one more thing, before I forget—the old servicer's contractor told me (perhaps just off the top of his head) that replacing the computer on my bike would cost me around $300 if I didn't have the contract, and that his services were needed to install the part himself because it needed to be coded to the bike. Out of curiosity, I contacted the manufacturer. The part in question is $70+shipping, and it's just as easy to install as the original computer that came in the package. Hmm...

Will my bike get fixed at last? And would Dick's care how long it took, and how much effort I expended? Read the next thrilling chapter.


posted by zigg 8:21 PM


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