Saturday, March 14, 2009


Lest you think my life is all excruciating torment...

I just went upstairs to grab my fingerless gloves—hands getting a bit cold—and my wife and kids are parked in front of the iMac watching a movie on Hulu. And my two-year-old son, fresh from the tub and decked out in his footie jammies, is seated in his kid-sized director's chair, watching wide-eyed with his own little bowl of freshly-popped popcorn.

So adorable. I love being a dad sometimes.


posted by zigg 6:55 PM 0 Comments

The end of the saga with Dick's Sporting Goods warranty... or is it?

Two months and thirteen days.

This is almost, but not quite, the end of my saga of trying to get my recumbent bike fixed via Dick's Sporting Goods' "No Sweat Warranty". You can brush up on the saga's history starting with adventures in diagnosis, moving on to entirely bizarre phone calls, and the latest entry as to how I finally thought I might get my bike fixed at last.

On March 11, the elusive replacement console for my recumbent exercise bike arrived via UPS at my front door. Elated, I placed a quick call to the sub-subcontractor (Dick's new warranty provider is N.E.W., and they send out General Assembly to do the actual work) to see if it'd be allright if I could just plug it in myself—after all, I put the original one on. Four screws removed, three wires unplugged, three wires replugged, four screws replaced, and I am finally back in business.

Even after Dick's put me over on N.E.W.'s warranty, I still didn't have a totally smooth experience. They sent a guy out quickly, and he seemed to be much more on top of things than the guy Phoenix (may they rest in pieces) sent out back in December (or was it January? I don't even remember anymore. So long ago.) He actually tried to see if he could fix the touch panel that passes for controls on my bike's computer and, having no success, said he'd get one ordered.

That process did take a few weeks, though; the gentleman assigned to me at General Assembly e-mailed the order to my bike's manufacturer, didn't receive a response, then had a death in the family that called him away. I talked briefly with the guy who was supposed to take over in his absence, who promised he'd follow up—I saw no signs he did. Finally I followed up with the original assignee again last week Wednesday, who said he'd call me back; he didn't, so instead of continuing to call I went up the chain at N.E.W. only to find out that hey, the part actually had been ordered—showed up the next day. I'm really not in the mood to retrace those steps now, but I think that process took about three weeks. Not horrid, but not great.

But, yes, due to a number of unfortunate factors, it took two months and thirteen days from the day I originally called in my broken bike to get the thing up and running again... not to mention well over a dozen phone calls, many with half-hour-plus wait times. So now that I'm finally fixed, doesn't it seem reasonable that I might be able to get my warranty expiration bumped out a bit, at the very least?

You'd think so, but both Dick's corporate and N.E.W. say no. Apparently, two and a half months is a completely acceptable timeframe. They don't do warranty extensions, the phone jockeys say (and Dick's tells me that they don't have any responsibility for the warranty itself... perhaps they should have considered that before stamping their name on it, eh?) Never mind that I was without my indoor exerciser through a good chunk of a winter that made taking a walk impossible. Never mind that I wasted hours of my life just trying to get answers. And so, my next step is to write a love letter to Dick's CEO Edward Stack. I'm glad I wrote these journal entries about the process; it gives me good, solid material from which to construct my complaint.

And next time (if there is a next time, because if Mr. Stack doesn't see fit to make me happy, my next equipment purchase will not be from Dick's)... I'm just passing on the warranty. Getting a replacement part for $70 from the manufacturer—no muss, no fuss—sounds pretty attractive in retrospect.


posted by zigg 6:12 PM 0 Comments