Saturday, March 2, 2013

Disappointed in SRAM and Zipp customer service...

I was just denied a warranty by SRAM/Zipp on my Zipp SLC2 carbon handlebars. :(

What happened was that while unwrapping old Cinelli cork bartape from them, the outside layer of carbon finish ripped right off with the bartape! Never, ever crashed or dropped or hit these bars on anything. So I wasn't sure if it was just cosmetic or if it was structural, but it sorta looked like delamination. And tapping it with a penny produced that dull sound which I read is supposed to indicate structurally unsafe carbon.

I bought the bars from a authorized Zipp dealer in Wisconsin through the internet (the shop was and still is listed on Zipp's site as a authorized dealer). But since the shop is in a far away state, I decided to do the warranty through a local dealer. My local bike shop sent the bars to Zipp. Zipp responded by saying I needed to provide a proof of purchase. I supplied a screen pic of the PayPal receipt. And I was then initially told by the bike shop that Zipp has decided to warranty the bars as soon as they have one to send. After a week or two and no bars, I asked my LBS to find out what the hold up was.

It turns out, Zipp decided to suspend the warranty work order and just sent the delaminated bars back to my local bike shop. The accompanying fax basically said that based on the price paid ($104.50) that the bars must be grey market, and it said grey market items are not covered under warranty.

My feeling is that the bars left their warehouse as a Zipp product free of defect. They were sent to one of their authorized dealers. And I purchased them. Why am I being punished because I bought them for a cheap price? Maybe they were mispriced...maybe the store was liquidating...maybe it was a sale...or maybe the shop was just going against Zipp's dealer pricing structure. I honestly have no clue. But I still feel like they should honor their warranty if they care about their customers and believe in their product. I's not like their warranty has a stipulation that if a Zipp product is sold below a certain price that it is not eligible for warranty even if it's purchased as new from a authorized dealer with proof of purchase.

Just venting. I sent SRAM an email asking them to reconsider their warranty denial. We'll see what happens.

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