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  1. #1
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    cygolite - ggrrrrr.....

    so i had a hotshot in use for 1-2 months of commuting when the power/mode switch started acting up (the first sign of this was getting home, in the dark, and finding the hotshot had turned itself off - good thing it wasn't my only rear light).

    here's video of the light showing the switch "self activating" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow41s-FeOUM
    after that, the switch went pretty much dead.

    contacted cygolite, got an RMA number, and spent $10 shipping back a $30 light that died within 1-2 months of unpacking it.

    now it's after 5 o'clock friday calif time, and i just got an email from cygolite (after asking if they'd received the RMA, because i hadn't heard any updates since i sent it, three weeks ago). the good news: they received it, and they'll replace it. the bad news: they want me to pay $12 for return shipping.

    here's what i just sent them...

    "If the unit is under warranty, CygoLite will repair or replace defective components at no charge" - http://www.cygolite.com/support/warranty.html

    What part of return shipping isn't covered by "no charge"?

    Right now I'm not happy.

    The light is only a few months old (and spent most of that time in a box, in NJ). I already paid $10+ to ship it there (1/3 what I paid for the light), now you want $12 to ship a replacement back to me?

    I really don't think it's reasonable that I pay 2/3 the cost of the light for shipping a lemon back and forth (after dealing with shipping and not having the light for the last month). The light was only in use for 1-2 months before the switch died. Some companies (with good customer service) would throw in a small gift for the inconvenience, rather than ask me to pay for return shipping.

    If you don't want to cover the cost of shipping a replacement, just send the old one back, I'll avoid Cygolite products in the future (thus saving us both any inconvenience), and I'll buy a Moon Shield to replace the dead Hotshot.

    Thanks.
    feel free to tell me that's too harsh, but i'm not happy right now. especially after reading about the customer support from some other lighting companies, and having recently dealt with planet bike about a warranty issue (PB were beyond excellent in sorting things out!).

    good or bad, i'll post any follow ups. i'm just shocked that the light failed within 1-2 months of use, then after i paid 1/3 the purchase price of the light to ship it to them, they're asking that i pay another 1/3 the purchase price to have a replacement shipped back.
    Last edited by smasha; 05-25-12 at 08:07 PM.
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  2. #2
    of Clan Nrubso ChrisO's Avatar
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    I don't think it's too harsh; if I were them I'd pay the return shipping just to prevent flaming on the interwebzes.
    A Sufficiently Motivated Fool


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  3. #3
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    It's harsh. It's not a lemon until it's failed multiple times, and there's no need to be dramatic about what you'll do instead of Cygolite.

  4. #4
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p2templin View Post
    It's harsh. It's not a lemon until it's failed multiple times, and there's no need to be dramatic about what you'll do instead of Cygolite.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_%28automobile%29

    A lemon is a car, often new, that is found to be defective only after it has been bought. Any vehicle with numerous, severe issues can be termed a "lemon", and, by extension, any product with flaws too great or severe to serve its purpose can be described as a "lemon".
    if they were the world's only manufacturer of bicycle lights, they'd be in a position to charge me for return shipping; they're not. they stay in business if they keep me (a paying customer) happy. i don't depend on them to ride my bike - they depend on me to stay in business. it seems they need a reminder about how that works.

    it's an imperfect universe, and **** happens. how that **** is dealt with is what counts.
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  5. #5
    Randomhead
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    I think I might tell them to keep it

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Suggestion: Get your LBS involved.

    The LBS and Cygo would both have to agree to this scenario, but you could get your replacement from the LBS and then Cygo comps the LBS one on the next resupply order. Shipping charge would be minimal (if any) to the LBS, as they would be incurring freight charges anyway for the replenishment stock.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  7. #7
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    @no1mad -
    1- supply chains in NZ don't work like that; there are a lot of stops between the factory and the LBS
    2- i haven't found any LBS in NZ that carries cygolite; so i bought it on amazon
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  8. #8
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    I think your response is appropriate. I like my cygolite hotshot and am sorry to hear that yours broke. Hopefully its an isolated occurance.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Its appropriate.

    You've let them know you aren't happy and why. Now it's up to them if they wish to keep you as a customer or not.

    I split my purchases between LBS, performance and amazon. The only place I have had issues is one of the LBS. They told me to talk to the manufacturer.

  10. #10
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I'd have said the same thing, but honestly, why did you pay $10 to ship it there? I'd have chucked it into a priority mail box for < $5, they even provide the box. It's even more ridiculous for them to charge $12 for return shipping, any company of reasonable size gets such deep discounts on shipping you wouldn't believe it. I'd be surprised if they couldn't ship that for about $2.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  11. #11
    Senior Member 1FJEF's Avatar
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    The shipping seems a bit high. I get packages (bike lights) from china for half that.

  12. #12
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    @IJM - there's no priority mail from NZ

    it was shipped to calif "international economy". ten and change was the cheapest i could get.

    in any case, if i have to go out of pocket to return something with this type of a defect, i wouldn't complain if they threw in a "little something" for the inconvenience (a lot of companies would do this). that they'd ask me to cover return shipping is a bit shocking. when you provide a warranty like theirs, then the failure rate, warranty return rate, return postage rate, etc needs to be included in the purchase price. otherwise i'd just buy from deal-extreme... if it works, great. if it doesn't work, toss it in the bin but at least it's cheap.

    then again, deal-extreme never charged me postage to replace a dud. that really puts cygolite in an ugly spot.
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  13. #13
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Ah, OK. Seems like they should have a local rep to handle problems like this. They should have just replaced the thing.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Be happy that they are even dealing with you considering that you live in a country that doesn't sell the light. Living in a small country with limited bike parts available I've found that most companies will honour the warranty on products I bought in North America, but some will charge shipping as it's a PITA for them to go to the post office to ship the package, and using their usual parcel company (UPS, FedEX, whatever) is far too expensive for international shipments.

  15. #15
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    "Amazon Export Sales, Inc" sells the light to NZ. that's where i bought it from.

    if i knew cygolite was going to turn it into a problem, i probably could have sorted it out through amazon. but the busted light as at cygolite hq.

    there's nothing wrong with charging return shipping for warranty returns... but it is a problem when they ask me to pay return shipping after they receive the old light; and the warranty doesn't say anything about return shipping.
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  16. #16
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smasha View Post
    "Amazon Export Sales, Inc" sells the light to NZ. that's where i bought it from.

    if i knew cygolite was going to turn it into a problem, i probably could have sorted it out through amazon. but the busted light as at cygolite hq.

    there's nothing wrong with charging return shipping for warranty returns... but it is a problem when they ask me to pay return shipping after they receive the old light; and the warranty doesn't say anything about return shipping.
    Then take it up with Amazon. As far as Cygolite is concerned it's a gray market item. If you lived in North America they'd probably ship it to you for free.
    , and
    I just had the same issue with Arkel when the hooks on one of my panniers broke. They are sending me a free replacement hook, but as the bag is a few years old I'm stuck paying the shipping. It's not going to bankrupt me, and I'm happy that they are sending me the part from across the world.

  17. #17
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    @Ziemas - like i told them... if they want to charge me shipping for a replacement, then they can just send me back the broken one. they can also refund my shipping expense. then i'll get it sorted out with amazon.

    did you send your broken clip back to arkel? or did you just send them an email? if you're not out of pocket sending them a broken clip, and they're up front about shipping costs, then i don't see that as a big problem if they charge you shipping. you're not paying 2/3 the price of the panniers to get a new clip, are you?
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  18. #18
    Senior Member Falchoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smasha View Post
    2- i haven't found any LBS in NZ that carries cygolite; so i bought it on amazon
    That's odd. Nearly every LBS in Australia seems to stock them.

    I think your response to Cygolite was quite reserved, I would of been much harsher, though to be honest I probably wouldn't of bothered to try and claim warranty on a $30 light that I had bought from o/s. It seems a pretty standard thing to have to pay at least return freight on warranty items though. Why didn't you send it back to Amazon?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smasha View Post
    @Ziemas - like i told them... if they want to charge me shipping for a replacement, then they can just send me back the broken one. they can also refund my shipping expense. then i'll get it sorted out with amazon.

    did you send your broken clip back to arkel? or did you just send them an email? if you're not out of pocket sending them a broken clip, and they're up front about shipping costs, then i don't see that as a big problem if they charge you shipping. you're not paying 2/3 the price of the panniers to get a new clip, are you?
    You're being unreasonable. It sucks that your light has broken, but they are doing you a favour by sending you a replacement as you are well out of their sales zone. They could just tell you that it's your problem and they don't ship outside of North America. It's twelve dollars, is that really going to break you?

    As for Arkel, no, they didn't ask for the old hook back, but the pannier does have an unconditional lifetime guarantee. Other companies have asked me to return broken product, and I have with no problems.

  20. #20
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    I have used Cygolite head lights way back to the old Rover Halogen days (yes the old rovers had some issues) years ago with great customer support. I never had a problem with support from them. I have 2 Hot shots that I have been using for a few months with zero issues.
    Sick BubbleGum

  21. #21
    Vegan on a bicycle smasha's Avatar
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    it's been a week since i heard from anyone at cygolite (another bad sign) so i called them up before the weekend reaches calif. the guy i talked to said he's been out of the office for the last few days, and he's just catching up now. he said the warranty says there's a fee for international return shipping. i don't see that stated in the warranty, but i'm sure it will be updated soon

    anyway, he said they normally do charge for that, but they'll make an exception for me and they'll cover return shipping of the replacement.

    i'm sure they make thousands of lights that have no problems at all and work perfectly. but **** happens. i can either buy from companies that man-up when **** happens, or i can roll the dice and buy from deal-extreme. if i buy from "reputable" companies then i expect reputable support, on the rare chance that something goes wrong.
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

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