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  1. #1
    CDG
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    labor charges for warranty work???

    Is it normal for a bike shop to charge for labor for warranty related repairs? I had my frame repainted undr warranty and the dealer tried to charge me for the frame disassemble/reassemble charges. I never heard of anyone paying labor charges for a car repair under warranty. What's the deal with this bike shop? Time to shop for another?

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    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    As I understand it, a car manufacturer reimburses the dealership for removal/replacement labor costs but bicycle manufacturers only replace the frame leaving the responsibility of labor to the customer. Right or not, that is just how it is.

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    i've had a warrantied part replaced on a car and the garage charged me for labor. and the labor was $300! what a ripoff.

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    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    20+ years ago, I had a seat tube crack on a straight-gauge hi-ten frame that had been used for loaded cross-country touring, urban commuting, local club touring, child trailer towing, etc. Schwinn gave me a newer Cro-mo double butted frame and I was happy to pay to have a headset installed. And build it back up myself.

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    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    I snapped a Cannondale SuperV swingarm in half, had to pay $40.00 at the bike shop for labor.

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    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    I'd say it depends on the circumstances. Is the repair being done at the same shop where the bike was purchased? When was the bike purchased, a month, a year or several years ago? Read you manufacturer's warranty, most, if not all, will not compensate for labor. This is not uncommon at all in any industry.
    Last edited by Moose; 09-22-06 at 09:57 PM.

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    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDG
    Is it normal for a bike shop to charge for labor for warranty related repairs? I had my frame repainted undr warranty and the dealer tried to charge me for the frame disassemble/reassemble charges. I never heard of anyone paying labor charges for a car repair under warranty. What's the deal with this bike shop? Time to shop for another?
    Disassembling a bike down to it's bare frame for repainting is a big job. I would expect to pay for something like this. Or you should've done it yourself.

    I'm going to assume you're pissed because the shop didn't inform you beforehand that there was going to be a charge for this?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    So this begs another question then. Luckily I have never had to deal with this issue. But say my frame was replaced for some reason under warranty. I have the knowledge and tools to tear down and rebuild my bike. But would me doing the labor myself void the warranty? Or is the warranty only still good on the replaced frame if it was built up by the the authorized dealer (bike shop)?

    -D

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    cab horn
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    Well there's only one or two reasons I can think of for an RMA for a frame and both wouldn't be a problem if you tore it down yourself.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Well there's only one or two reasons I can think of for an RMA for a frame and both wouldn't be a problem if you tore it down yourself.

    Well the tear down yes. But I thought I remembered reading (dont have my warranty card handy) that the frame warranty was only in the case that the bike was assembled by an authorized dealer.

    So in that case would the replaced frame be warrantied only if it was assembled by an authorized dealer? Or is the replaced frame not under warranty anymore (I would imagine it still would be).

    In this case you would save some $$$ by only having to pay the build up labor. But still it is kind of screwing you since you have no choice but to let them build it (assuming you need to for the warranty to remain valid)

    Hope that makes sense.

    -D

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    Oh I see what you mean. In that case, no idea.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    CDG
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    The frame was sent back to Lemond(Trek) for repainting. The bike had been purchased exactly one year before. The tear-down/reassemble was done at the shop where I purchased the bike and, yes, I am pissed because the shop folks never mentioned paying for anything until I picked up the repaired bike.

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Did they give you a fair shake on the labor costs? How much was it?

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    CDG
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    Frame swap charge was $120. They offered me the standard 10 percent off labor for having purchased the bike there, so $108. I was speachless and paid, then thought through the fact that never in my life had I heard of paying for warranty work and I demanded a refund, which they paid, but not without a stink. With the info here I am considering going back and offering to pay, but still think they need to change their policy and make sure people know this up front and change the way they explain why there is a charge, i.e. unlike vehicles, there is no recourse for labor charges.

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    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    You're right, it's a big deal that they did not authorize those charges with you beforehand. They should give you an estimate up front, and get your permission to proceed before they do anything. They can't just come up with a charge later that you didn't agree to before the fact.
    No car. No TV. Three bikes.

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    cab horn
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    What lawkd said. What if it was a poor student like me? $108 is not something that just magically appears out of fat air.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  17. #17
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDG
    Frame swap charge was $120. They offered me the standard 10 percent off labor for having purchased the bike there, so $108. I was speachless and paid, then thought through the fact that never in my life had I heard of paying for warranty work and I demanded a refund, which they paid, but not without a stink. With the info here I am considering going back and offering to pay, but still think they need to change their policy and make sure people know this up front and change the way they explain why there is a charge, i.e. unlike vehicles, there is no recourse for labor charges.
    True, they should have let you know up front. As others have said, they do not receive compensation from the manufacturer for their time. Oh well, you got your money back...

  18. #18
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    What does the warranty card say? Having worked in a previous life on the other side of the counter (TV shop), most people don't read the warranty past the "1 year" to see how the manufacturer intends to remedy any problems. And "1 year warranty" doen't mean you get a brand new item when you need minor repair after 364 days. How many cheap items have you seen with a "lifetime" warranty? Most of them, when you read the fine print, say to mail the item, along with an amount that equals the purchase price for "shipping and handling" to the manufacturer for "replacement or repair at their option". You can try taking it back to the store, but the store is not obligated to do anything unless they are an authorized repair center, or just trying to make you happy. Even things that are broken right out of the box are technically your problem, although most stores will exchange it because they can claim it was damaged in shipping.
    So, read your warranty card. In general, labor for bolt on parts is not normally included. It appears that the shop wants to keep you as a customer, as they felt bad about not telling you about the labor charge beforehand. Even if it was clearly spelled out, they may figure it's good PR to waive the charges.

  19. #19
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath
    So this begs another question then. Luckily I have never had to deal with this issue. But say my frame was replaced for some reason under warranty. I have the knowledge and tools to tear down and rebuild my bike. But would me doing the labor myself void the warranty? Or is the warranty only still good on the replaced frame if it was built up by the the authorized dealer (bike shop)?

    -D
    I just sent a frame in for warranty ( I got my crappy integrated head tube swapped for a traditional style head tube) and there was never any mention of who built the bike. I built the bike originally, and then when the problem arose I took it back to show them. I then went home and stripped the bike and brought it back to them (mostly to save time) The warranty work was done no-chrage, and even though I did most of the labour myself, they did install my new headset cups, seatpost and crown race for free when I went to pick it up.

    PS- it was an '04 frame with lifetime warranty and I didn't even pay for shipping (two X shipping actually, 'cause I wasn't happy with the repair the first time 'round)

  20. #20
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    JUst another perspective...
    A neighbor had an older (10+ yrs) Raleigh they took to LBS for tune-up. LBS noticed a crack in the headtube. Neighbor immediatley received equivalent replacement bike totally free.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  21. #21
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    I always did it depending on the amount of time it would take. If it were a big job like disassembly and rebuild it would cost $100. Of course customer attitude comes into play on warrenty charges too.

  22. #22
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    humble_biker is right!

    In my shop it comes down to this:

    When I have customers who have supported my shop by getting their P&A from me, IOW have chosen to create a positive relationship with their local wrench rather than bring their ebay parts in for me to install, frame warranties are done at no charge. I'll do 'em myself so one of my guys doesn't have to not get paid to do it. Bike companies do not reimburse for this! Even if they didn't get get it from me (we have a lot of college students in town) I'll try and get it warranteed. We had this happen with a Felt. The frame clearly had a dropout issue caused by a bad weld. His shop back home did not catch it. We don't sell Felt, but I called 'em up, sent a digi pic of the problem and they agreed to send me a new frame. It's about creating positive human relationships rather than getting it cheap. BTW, we're almost always cheaper than MO. AND we support local cycling with free services at events and we attend the Bike Summit . None of the MO shops have gone-I've been to every one! So has Kozo Shimano. Never seen anyone from Campy FWIW.

    OK, I coming down off my soapbox.

    Your shop had every right to charge you. I agree they should've informed you at the beginning of the warranty procedure-we have a little one-page warranty FAQ we give to customers that details what the manufacturer covers and what the customer is responsible for...

    In the end, the want to keep you a customer. They don't want you to feel cheated. Shops are sensitive about this. We don't make NEAR the profits the MO guys do on the same parts, so we're eating it big time just to stay close. They lost $$ on you. The time it took to call the manufacturer, maybe ship the old one back-receive the new one-all that takes time, and time=money.

    Your LBS operates on a 3%-7% GM. At my shop, if we have a $1000 day, I get to keep $40 out of which I have to pay myself. Ahh the glamorous life of a small business owner! I'm not whining. I chose this life. I just wanted you guys to know we're not living it up on the (little bit of) money we make from doing what we do.

  23. #23
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Specialized requires that a shop do the rebuild or they won't honor the warranty in the future. Kinda makes me mad but, as long as I want the frame to be warranteed, I'll play by their rules. Probably not much you can do about it since I'd suspect that it's stipulated in the warranty information.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    humble_biker is right!

    In my shop it comes down to this:

    When I have customers who have supported my shop by getting their P&A from me, IOW have chosen to create a positive relationship with their local wrench rather than bring their ebay parts in for me to install, frame warranties are done at no charge. I'll do 'em myself so one of my guys doesn't have to not get paid to do it. Bike companies do not reimburse for this! Even if they didn't get get it from me (we have a lot of college students in town) I'll try and get it warranteed. We had this happen with a Felt. The frame clearly had a dropout issue caused by a bad weld. His shop back home did not catch it. We don't sell Felt, but I called 'em up, sent a digi pic of the problem and they agreed to send me a new frame. It's about creating positive human relationships rather than getting it cheap. BTW, we're almost always cheaper than MO. AND we support local cycling with free services at events and we attend the Bike Summit . None of the MO shops have gone-I've been to every one! So has Kozo Shimano. Never seen anyone from Campy FWIW.

    OK, I coming down off my soapbox.

    Your shop had every right to charge you. I agree they should've informed you at the beginning of the warranty procedure-we have a little one-page warranty FAQ we give to customers that details what the manufacturer covers and what the customer is responsible for...

    In the end, the want to keep you a customer. They don't want you to feel cheated. Shops are sensitive about this. We don't make NEAR the profits the MO guys do on the same parts, so we're eating it big time just to stay close. They lost $$ on you. The time it took to call the manufacturer, maybe ship the old one back-receive the new one-all that takes time, and time=money.

    Your LBS operates on a 3%-7% GM. At my shop, if we have a $1000 day, I get to keep $40 out of which I have to pay myself. Ahh the glamorous life of a small business owner! I'm not whining. I chose this life. I just wanted you guys to know we're not living it up on the (little bit of) money we make from doing what we do.

    Thank you BikeWise for your post. I work in another small business related industry and have come to realize that most customers don't have a clue when it comes to warranty costs to the dealer. I spent most of today thinking up a post that I would like to cross post in several of the forums covering just this type of thing.

    Many just do not understand that business is a two way street. They also don't understand the small margins on parts, cost of inventory, SHIPPING COSTS, and other expenses involved on "our" side of the counter.

    Many companies don't actually pay anything for warranty work. They issue credits against your parts bill. During slow season, cash flow is more important than credit. Labor, when it is paid, is often less than the shop's hourly rate. Labor is often paid at a "national average" rate. I could go on for a full page on this.
    Last edited by ScrubJ; 09-25-06 at 08:08 PM.

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    Mega pluses for BikeWise and ScrubJ
    Amoung the many life experiences that a teen should have before entering the "Real World", there is working third shift at a waffle house for tips only, and trying to make a living as a small business owner(Maybe an Ebay business where they have to buy stuff and try to sell it for profit. Just to get a flavor for the "hidden" costs like buying the stuff, shippng the stuff, paying credit card fees, etc)
    I do all my own work = I have very low standards

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