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Old 01-04-14, 09:59 AM   #1
gregjones 
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MagicShine's Level of Customer Service

Here's the body of an email that I sent to info@magicshineusa.com:

"I have just received a MH-818 tail light "add on" package. I can't get it to work. I have plugged in the Y-cable. My headlight works on both legs of the Y. That tells me the the battery and the Y-cable are both working fine. I can't get the tail light to do anything.

According the the website, it looks like all that I should have to do is turn the silver ring to turn it on. I've done that, both directions with no results.

Am I doing something wrong, or did I receive a defective light??"


Here is the next correspondence that I had with them:

"Nevermind, I just returned it."



I figure in today's "rapid response" world that 24 hours is enough time to get some sort of answer from a "manufacturer" (distributor) to a customer that is having technical problems with a brand new item.
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Old 01-04-14, 10:38 AM   #2
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That is a bummer to hear, but pretty much expected. Once they take your money they are done with you.

I have been making custom, "made to order" high performance bike lights for over 6 years now. Have them being used by mtn bikers, commuters, endurance racers all over the world. My stuff is going to be a bit more expensive than the Chinese stuff, but that is because I use quality components that I know I can stand behind for years.

I am now making/offering an insanely bright (~400 lumens on max) red tail light. Multi mode (solid and strobing)



I can do it with a MagicShine cable so it will work with your existing battery, if needed.

Just thought I would throw it out there in case you were looking for an American made product, made by a fellow cyclist, that stands behind his product and you can get in contact with if ever needed.

Check out my blog - Amoeba - the simplest "light" form for some ride pics and videos. You can shoot me an email at JButhman@gmail.com if you would like some info on what I can do.


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Old 01-04-14, 10:39 AM   #3
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It sounds like a bad tail light, you should ask for a new one.

I'm not surprised, I had 2 of those tail lights back a couple of years ago.
They worked for a while (6 mo), then would not turn on any more.
I found I could swipe a magnet near the light and get it to turn on and off, and that worked for another 6 mo.
Finally, even that failed to turn it on anymore.

Since 2 lights failed for me, I switched to other 2W USB charged tail lights which are plenty bright.
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Old 01-04-14, 11:30 AM   #4
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This a ship back to MS, China round trip? or is there a US distributor ?
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Old 01-04-14, 03:19 PM   #5
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should've went dynamo (at least you'd get German customer service!)

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Old 01-04-14, 07:20 PM   #6
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should've went dynamo (at least you'd get German customer service!)
Yes, I hear that dynamo automatically means great customer service.

Seriously, I've been kind of thinking about playing with dynamos sometime this year, but it seems like everyone with a dynamo becomes a very smug sob, so I'm not sure it's a good idea.
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Old 01-04-14, 07:24 PM   #7
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So you paid shipping to return a possible working item just because they didn't respond within 24 hours with instructions on how to turn it on? Ok. The world of instant gratification.
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Old 01-04-14, 07:46 PM   #8
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but it seems like everyone with a dynamo becomes a very smug sob.
And they always seem to recommend the most expensive stuff, like German this and German that. After buying the light brand that's always getting raved reviews on peterwhitecycles.com and whatnot, I went away with a mediocre "meh" and stuck with my diy dynamo system and $30-$50 china battery lights. IMO, you will not become one of those smug sobs, you're gonna be one of them "meh" types.
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Old 01-04-14, 09:16 PM   #9
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So you paid shipping to return a possible working item just because they didn't respond within 24 hours with instructions on how to turn it on? Ok. The world of instant gratification.
Hell no, I didn't pay return shipping. And your damn tootin, skippy, I know of several dozen companies that can take the trouble to respond to a customer with a problem--------especially in an industry that caters a LOT to do-it-yourselfers.

And...................furthermore, if you can comprehend simple sentences, you might be able to tell in the third post that the odds are high that the LIGHT WAS DEFECTIVE.

Apparently you are smart enough to think that you are smart. Did you look at the site and see how simple their switch that is a large point of sale is supposed to be. Or, are you just blowing.............................
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Old 01-04-14, 10:05 PM   #10
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What day did you send the email and where are they located? I'm not accusing/defending but with the holidays you never know what kind of schedule companies keep.

On the other hand I noticed the safety on my Kershaw Leek pocket knife broke. I emailed them on New Year's eve and on January 2nd had an email they were shipping a new one free of charge, so there are definitely companies that do it right.
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Old 01-05-14, 02:55 AM   #11
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Yes, I hear that dynamo automatically means great customer service.

Seriously, I've been kind of thinking about playing with dynamos sometime this year, but it seems like everyone with a dynamo becomes a very smug sob, so I'm not sure it's a good idea.
No, this comes from time living in Germany. I have excellent luck with German customer service (from issues with cheese all the way through cars and houses). Other countries have OK service, Japan is usually better than Germany, but not many other places.

I feel like everyone on BF likes the MS, which just appears like a superpowered flashlight with PITA batteries. Especially, those with MG clones from China ... I guess one gets what they pay for No technology and no refinement.
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Old 01-05-14, 03:00 AM   #12
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And they always seem to recommend the most expensive stuff, like German this and German that. After buying the light brand that's always getting raved reviews on peterwhitecycles.com and whatnot, I went away with a mediocre "meh" and stuck with my diy dynamo system and $30-$50 china battery lights. IMO, you will not become one of those smug sobs, you're gonna be one of them "meh" types.
I am a big fan of dynamo tech, but not so much PWC.

I find the prices extremely high to the point that when VAT is removed and shipping/customs is covered, it's cheaper to buy from France/Germany. I also find the prices on full frames/bike quite high ... why not fly to Basel and head to TT and get the bike customised for the same money?

"Meh" is a perfect response for a dynamo system. No one discusses it's vast superiority ... what it does do is remove the "ah, crap" I didn't charge my batteries and a huge other set of potential pitfalls ... it's a life simplifier ... not anything superior. I like my life simple (I only ride a bike with one gear most of the time and enjoy the way it doesn't makes sounds and don't have to maintain anything).
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Old 01-05-14, 05:21 AM   #13
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Magicshine customer service has been stellar in the years that I have been doing business with them. I bought one of the original lights and the battery was recalled. Can't say enough about how they handled that issue. I think the owner (one man company) had passed away but his children honored the commitment to everyone who bought one.

24 hours, really? Give me a break.
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Old 01-05-14, 06:35 AM   #14
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24 hours, really? Give me a break.
+1. It might be appropriate to usually hope for a response that fast. But to demand it as part of adequate customer service is asking too much. A retailer that can guarantee that kind of response has no choice but to inflate their prices to ensure customer service capacity at all times. I'd rather not pay for that.
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Old 01-05-14, 06:52 AM   #15
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+1. It might be appropriate to usually hope for a response that fast. But to demand it as part of adequate customer service is asking too much. A retailer that can guarantee that kind of response has no choice but to inflate their prices to ensure customer service capacity at all times. I'd rather not pay for that.
-1

I guess this is where we differ. I'd gladly pay extra knowing that this service exists. For example, I pay extra when I buy something electronic in the EU (20% sales tax usually), but I automatically get a 2-year full replacement warranty by law.

I could save roughly 20% by buying the same item in the US as I travel there quite often. iPhones, MacBookPros and bikes are roughly 20% cheaper, but I'd rather have the warranty.

At a certain price point, I will by the cheaper option.

For example, I bought my recent MacBookProRetina in Japan because it was 40% less than EU (the yen is quite low now) even though I have no effective warranty.

On the whole though, on something I use daily like a car/bike, I'd pay extra to ensure that it was always serviced within a 24-hour period.

In fact, I buy a 24-hour turnaround repair/replace policy on all of my research equipment as it usually costs me roughly Ģ200/$320 to pay a single researcher for a day of work and if I have 6 people standing around due to failure, that's $2000 lost automatically (which usually pays for the 24-hour turn around policy).

However, at the MS price point in the US, one can't really expect that much service.
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Old 01-05-14, 07:23 AM   #16
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24 hours, really? Give me a break.
Yes. No.

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On the other hand I noticed the safety on my Kershaw Leek pocket knife broke. I emailed them on New Year's eve and on January 2nd had an email they were shipping a new one free of charge, so there are definitely companies that do it right.
Exactly.

Bike specific???? Two off the top of my head......Chain-L and Wheels Mfg. I had email Wheels on a Sunday so I could get an answer and order a part sometime the next week. The owner was back to me Sunday evening. I certainly don't expect that level of service and was quite surprised by the quick response. But, I am now a Wheels customer.

Distributors??? I had sent a question to Nashbar right after I attempted to contact MagicShine. Nashbar customer service responded in less than two hours. Universal has been equally fast. I don't expect speed that either, but a new item can still be shipped that day to correct the problem at hand. I am both a Nashbar and Universal customer.

Those four aren't the only bike related companies that I know of, just some that popped into my little brain without effort.

A company doesn't have to be big to give great service. Angie and Dave at Retrogression will do stupid stuff to assist a customer.
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Old 01-05-14, 05:44 PM   #17
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Yes. No.



Exactly.

Bike specific???? Two off the top of my head......Chain-L and Wheels Mfg. I had email Wheels on a Sunday so I could get an answer and order a part sometime the next week. The owner was back to me Sunday evening. I certainly don't expect that level of service and was quite surprised by the quick response. But, I am now a Wheels customer.

Distributors??? I had sent a question to Nashbar right after I attempted to contact MagicShine. Nashbar customer service responded in less than two hours. Universal has been equally fast. I don't expect speed that either, but a new item can still be shipped that day to correct the problem at hand. I am both a Nashbar and Universal customer.

Those four aren't the only bike related companies that I know of, just some that popped into my little brain without effort.

A company doesn't have to be big to give great service. Angie and Dave at Retrogression will do stupid stuff to assist a customer.
After I typed my original response I did remember a couple really good bike related experiences. One was Planet Bike - I emailed them about their new breakaway safety tabs for front fenders. A nice lady got back to me same day asking for my address so she could send me a pair no charge. Another was Panaracer when I had a question on what looked like sidewall cracks prematurely developing on some Paselas. The guy got right back to me and said they were cosmetic. Then for no reason they sent me a free pair of tires!

Just remembered another with Niagara cycles. I ordered a set of 36 hole rims for an IGH project and they mistakenly sent 32 hole ones. The customer service guy told me to keep the ones they sent and they shipped the others right out free of charge.
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