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Old 01-06-08, 07:00 AM   #1
Ekdog
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Dahon's Shabby Customer Treatment

I haven't been able to ride my Dahon Speed for six months because a bolt in the steering mechanism broke. The LCB where I bought the bike here in Seville asked for a picture of the part because, surprisingly to me, Dahon parts do not have serial numbers, and they wanted to be sure they got the right one. So I took this picture

and the part was ordered. Several months later, after having had to remind the folks at the Dahon importer in Vitoria, Spain, that we still hadn't received the part, they sent us an entire steering mechanism.

Fair enough. I paid the €20.00 for the parts, but it turned out they were the wrong size, so I took them back to the bike shop, and they reordered, this time sending side-by-side photos of the old part and the one they had sent. Months have gone by, and we have heard nothing from the people in Victoria. The people at the bike shop have even sent them my e-mail address so they can contact me personally, but I have heard nothing.

I really miss my bike. Any suggestions on what I might do to resolve this problem?

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Old 01-06-08, 07:29 AM   #2
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Contact the corporate office of Dohon directly. I often have to do this in order to get small parts here in Latvia due to the local distributors unwillingness to order replacement parts for the brands they represent.
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Old 01-06-08, 07:56 AM   #3
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Thanks, Ziemas. Do you mean Dahon's corporate offices in the States? Do you happen to have their e-mail address?
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Old 01-06-08, 08:04 AM   #4
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Thanks, Ziemas. Do you mean Dahon's corporate offices in the States? Do you happen to have their e-mail address?
Yes, Dahon's corporate office in the States.

No, I don't have their contact info, but I bet you can find it on their website. If they have an 800 number you can call for free using Skype.
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Old 01-06-08, 08:47 AM   #5
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This is a problem with Dahons and I have mentioned this numerous times to the UK Dahon online distributor and the Dahon forum. Dahon won´t deal with you at all so if you need spare parts from Dahon you are stuck with the LBS who are usually not interested in ordering small parts. The last time I tried to get a plastic chainwheel guard the UK Dahon distributor sent me the wrong one twice and couldn´t understand why I was annoyed as I had even sent them the original Dahon part for comparison. They behaved like they were just doing me a favour and I should be happy that they were trying. Very frustrating- in the end I just gave up and bought a Birdy part from the LBS and adapted it.
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Old 01-06-08, 08:57 AM   #6
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I've sent an e-mail to their corporate headquarters in California. We'll see what they have to say. If I'd known this was the way they treat their customers I'd never have bought a Dahon. Live and learn.
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Old 01-06-08, 10:42 AM   #7
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This is why I am not a fan of Dahon's use of many proprietary bits. They can be hard to get, especially after a few years when they change the part.

That said: I had good luck getting warranty parts. My Mariner had a bad wheel; I called Dahon directly, and they had no problems replacing it.

I'm not sure how well they respond to email -- a phone call to the parts department may be necessary.

If you continue to have issues, you may want to talk to Gaerlan Cycles. The guy who runs that place is very pleasant, although unfortunately I think he'd have to charge you for the parts.
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Old 01-06-08, 11:14 AM   #8
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Heck, I had a hard time getting parts for four and two year old Dahons, and I live in California. Both times the guy at Dahon, over the phone, said he'd "go out in the warehouse, look through some boxes, and see if he could find one". The part for the four year old bike was proprietary and no longer available.

it seems to me they don't actually stock much in the way of spare parts, but just scavenge off new bikes as they need them. The suppliers for the bits seem to change frequently, as there is little consistency in the fit quality of the parts even within the same model/year.
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Old 01-06-08, 11:47 AM   #9
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Here is the Dahon Forum URL:

http://www.dahon.com/forum/index.php

They do monitor it - it's part of their website.
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Old 01-06-08, 11:49 AM   #10
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If you continue to have issues, you may want to talk to Gaerlan Cycles. The guy who runs that place is very pleasant, although unfortunately I think he'd have to charge you for the parts.
Thanks for the tip. I have no problem whatsoever with paying for the parts if I can find the right ones. This is turning into such a hassle that I think I'm going to sell the bike once--or if--I get my hands on that bolt. Any recommendations on what brands to consider? Does Brompton have better after-sale service?
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Old 01-06-08, 11:59 AM   #11
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Here is the Dahon Forum URL:

http://www.dahon.com/forum/index.php

They do monitor it - it's part of their website.
Thanks. Actually, I started a thread about this over there quite some time ago. I started off being polite, but I finally lost my temper today and told them I regretted ever having bought a Dahon, so I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled the plug on it.
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Old 01-06-08, 01:43 PM   #12
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Thank you very much indeed to everyone for the sage advice.

I urge anyone who has had trouble getting parts for their Dahon to participate in this poll and let them know that you are not at all happy with the way they are treating Dahon customers needing replacement parts. Maybe if enough people complain they'll put a stop to this nonsense.
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Old 01-06-08, 09:01 PM   #13
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you think you are getting much help this way ?

first you were asking for a parts diagram on your first post, you were not asking to get a new part....

so far there is no description what year bike, no serial number, no decent picture
as far as I anm concerned I still dont know what exaclty is broken ? The adjustment cam seems to be in one piece...


what handlebar post do you need..... a one inch stem, a 1 1/8 stem, extender or solid there are not a whole lot of different possibilities. Again if you cannot describe than a picture would be helpful

Why can your own shop not help, or the mechanic who doesnt work on bikes ? It takes literally weeks before the part ends up at the dealer ..at least thats what I understand.
Why is there a mechanic involved who doesnt usually work on bikes ? why not the bike shop to start out with. I understand they received the wrong handlepost ? what was wrong with the received one ? was it for a younger bike ?

Have you contacted Dahon ? And if when ?

There are so many open questions ..

Thor
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Old 01-06-08, 09:28 PM   #14
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There are so many open questions ..

Thor
Jeezus. It's like you didn't even read the thread, and haven't had experience with trying to get rarely-produced parts...
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Old 01-07-08, 02:34 AM   #15
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you think you are getting much help this way ?

first you were asking for a parts diagram on your first post, you were not asking to get a new part....

so far there is no description what year bike, no serial number, no decent picture
as far as I anm concerned I still dont know what exaclty is broken ? The adjustment cam seems to be in one piece...


what handlebar post do you need..... a one inch stem, a 1 1/8 stem, extender or solid there are not a whole lot of different possibilities. Again if you cannot describe than a picture would be helpful

Why can your own shop not help, or the mechanic who doesnt work on bikes ? It takes literally weeks before the part ends up at the dealer ..at least thats what I understand.
Why is there a mechanic involved who doesnt usually work on bikes ? why not the bike shop to start out with. I understand they received the wrong handlepost ? what was wrong with the received one ? was it for a younger bike ?

Have you contacted Dahon ? And if when ?

There are so many open questions ..

Thor
Dear Thor,

I'll answer your "open questions", even though you don't seem to have read the thread at the Dahon forum very carefully.

Yes, I did ask for a parts diagram in my first post at the Dahon forum. Do you fail to see the logic in doing so? The idea at that point was to make sure we ordered the right part.

The skilled mechanics at the shop where I bought the bike have been in touch with Dahon about this many times and have sent them side-by-side photographs taken with a high-quality digital camera of the wrong-sized part they sent and the broken part as well as all of the pertinent information. If Dahon require any further details, all they have to do is ask the bike shop for them. Those mechanics are more than willing to fill them in. I clearly described in the Dahon forum thread which part in the picture is broken and the difficulty I was having getting it out of the steering mechanism. I'll quote myself here to refresh your memory:

It's that long bolt right in the center of the picture. At one extreme there is a Phillip's head; the other end is threaded. That's where it's broken, leaving a piece stuck inside of the hole.

There is no mechanic involved here "that doesn't usually work on bikes". What made you think there was?

Are you the Thor who works for Dahon? If so, how about rereading the thread over at your forum and seeing that I get the part I need?

Regards,

Ekdog
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Old 01-07-08, 03:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
you think you are getting much help this way ?

first you were asking for a parts diagram on your first post, you were not asking to get a new part....

so far there is no description what year bike, no serial number, no decent picture
as far as I anm concerned I still dont know what exaclty is broken ? The adjustment cam seems to be in one piece...


what handlebar post do you need..... a one inch stem, a 1 1/8 stem, extender or solid there are not a whole lot of different possibilities. Again if you cannot describe than a picture would be helpful

Why can your own shop not help, or the mechanic who doesnt work on bikes ? It takes literally weeks before the part ends up at the dealer ..at least thats what I understand.
Why is there a mechanic involved who doesnt usually work on bikes ? why not the bike shop to start out with. I understand they received the wrong handlepost ? what was wrong with the received one ? was it for a younger bike ?

Have you contacted Dahon ? And if when ?

There are so many open questions ..

Thor
Not all Dahon dealers are as diligent as you when it comes to customer service. I think you forget that for those of us overseas, it can sometimes be a torturous procedure to get a small, but often crucial part for our Dahons/re-branded Dahons...
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Old 01-07-08, 04:26 AM   #17
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Dear Thor,

I'll answer your "open questions", even though you don't seem to have read the thread at the Dahon forum very carefully.

Yes, I did ask for a parts diagram in my first post at the Dahon forum. Do you fail to see the logic in doing so? The idea at that point was to make sure we ordered the right part.

The skilled mechanics at the shop where I bought the bike have been in touch with Dahon about this many times and have sent them side-by-side photographs taken with a high-quality digital camera of the wrong-sized part they sent and the broken part as well as all of the pertinent information. If Dahon require any further details, all they have to do is ask the bike shop for them. Those mechanics are more than willing to fill them in. I clearly described in the Dahon forum thread which part in the picture is broken and the difficulty I was having getting it out of the steering mechanism. I'll quote myself here to refresh your memory:

It's that long bolt right in the center of the picture. At one extreme there is a Phillip's head; the other end is threaded. That's where it's broken, leaving a piece stuck inside of the hole.

There is no mechanic involved here "that doesn't usually work on bikes". What made you think there was?

Are you the Thor who works for Dahon? If so, how about rereading the thread over at your forum and seeing that I get the part I need?

Regards,

Ekdog
Ooooh, looks like Thor has more than 1 blind spot...
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Old 01-07-08, 05:10 AM   #18
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"The skilled mechanics at the shop where I bought the bike have been in touch with Dahon about this many times and have sent them side-by-side photographs taken with a high-quality digital camera of the wrong-sized part they sent and the broken part as well as all of the pertinent information"

and Ekdog is lucky in that he has a good LBS !

now imagine that you have a bike shop that doesn't give a crap (and why should they - they are not running a public service-)- this gives you some idea of the difficulty of getting Dahon specific parts
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Old 01-07-08, 09:29 AM   #19
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and how do I understand this quote :

I think I'll let my mechanic take care of it. He works out of a garage and doesn't sell bikes or parts, so I'll have to wait until he gets that bolt out and then take it to the shop

quote end ....

as I said there a re a lot of open questions here from the very begionning of the thread over in the Dahon forum. when was the first time you send Dahon an email direct. The Dahon folks do not scann all the forums all the time. They might not know nothing about this up to this day .....

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Old 01-07-08, 11:23 AM   #20
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and how do I understand this quote :

I think I'll let my mechanic take care of it. He works out of a garage and doesn't sell bikes or parts, so I'll have to wait until he gets that bolt out and then take it to the shop

quote end ....

as I said there a re a lot of open questions here from the very begionning of the thread over in the Dahon forum. when was the first time you send Dahon an email direct. The Dahon folks do not scann all the forums all the time. They might not know nothing about this up to this day .....

Thor
Dear Thor,

How should you understand that first quotation? Well, there it is in black and white. I really don't know how to explain it to you in simpler English. My mechanic does not sell anything. He earns his living exclusively by repairing bicycles. If he needs any new parts in order to carry out a repair, he tells the customer what he needs, and the latter proceeds to the bike shop of his choice, purchases said parts, and brings them back to the mechanic, who affixes them to the bicycle. How could you possibly construe what I wrote to mean that he does not usually work on bikes?

With regard to your question about when I first contacted Dahon directly, I never resorted to doing that until yesterday, when someone in this forum suggested that I do so. Up till then I had followed the normal procedure, which is to allow my local bike shop, which sold me the Dahon in the first place, to take care of ordering the parts. I will remind you once again that they have sent numerous e-mails, which have included detailed descriptions of the part in question as well as digital photographs, to the Dahon importer in Vitoria, Spain, over the last three months. I should not have to get in touch with corporate headquarters in the United States every time I need a replacement part.

I have been patient with your questions up to now because I suspect that English might not be your mother tongue, and I know how difficult it can be to read and exchange ideas and opinions in a language that is not one's own, but I can now see that you will defend Dahon at all costs and and that you are intentionally muddling the issue at hand in a pathetic attempt to place the blame on me, the customer, instead of where it really belongs. This is really quite simple: Dahon needs to get their act together regarding the availability of replacement parts for the bicycles they sell outside of the United States.

I have been told that you are affiliated with Dahon. Perhaps that is why you stand up for them tooth and nail. Do you think you will be able to ingratiate yourself with your superiors by showing a "the customer is never right" attitude in a public forum? The biggest favor you could do them would be to stop posting these obtuse questions and make some suggestions as to how Dahon could improve their customer service.

Yours sincerely,

Ekdog
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Old 01-07-08, 11:51 AM   #21
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Dear Thor,

How should you understand that first quotation? Well, there it is in black and white. I really don't know how to explain it to you in simpler English. My mechanic does not sell anything. He earns his living exclusively by repairing bicycles. If he needs any new parts in order to carry out a repair, he tells the customer what he needs, and the latter proceeds to the bike shop of his choice, purchases said parts, and brings them back to the mechanic, who affixes them to the bicycle. How could you possibly construe what I wrote to mean that he does not usually work on bikes?

With regard to your question about when I first contacted Dahon directly, I never resorted to doing that until yesterday, when someone in this forum suggested that I do so. Up till then I had followed the normal procedure, which is to allow my local bike shop, which sold me the Dahon in the first place, to take care of ordering the parts. I will remind you once again that they have sent numerous e-mails, which have included detailed descriptions of the part in question as well as digital photographs, to the Dahon importer in Vitoria, Spain, over the last three months. I should not have to get in touch with corporate headquarters in the United States every time I need a replacement part.

I have been patient with your questions up to now because I suspect that English might not be your mother tongue, and I know how difficult it can be to read and exchange ideas and opinions in a language that is not one's own, but I can now see that you will defend Dahon at all costs and and that you are intentionally muddling the issue at hand in a pathetic attempt to place the blame on me, the customer, instead of where it really belongs. This is really quite simple: Dahon needs to get their act together regarding the availability of replacement parts for the bicycles they sell outside of the United States.

I have been told that you are affiliated with Dahon. Perhaps that is why you stand up for them tooth and nail. Do you think you will be able to ingratiate yourself with your superiors by showing a "the customer is never right" attitude in a public forum? The biggest favor you could do them would be to stop posting these obtuse questions and make some suggestions as to how Dahon could improve their customer service.

Yours sincerely,

Ekdog
I would have done the same thing, but I wouldn't have waited that long before contacting the Dahon mothership directly. But, that just demonstrates a lack of patience on my part!

I hope you get your problem resolved soon and your bike back on the road.
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Old 01-07-08, 11:58 AM   #22
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I would have done the same thing, but I wouldn't have waited that long before contacting the Dahon mothership directly. But, that just demonstrates a lack of patience on my part!

I hope you get your problem resolved soon and your bike back on the road.
Thanks for the kind words of support.
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Old 01-07-08, 12:00 PM   #23
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I have to admit that I misunderstood your comments about the mechanic and the garage too.
I thought you were taking your bike to your auto-mechanic, and not a bicycle repair mechanic. Which seemed odd, but for the purposes of removing a bolt, it's simple mechanics and only a matter of tools/inclination, which is why I didn't think much of it. (English is my native language...)

Are you certain that all the communications you described occurred? i.e. did your bike shop actually email them, or did they just tell you that they did. I'm not saying that your bike shop didn't do this, but that I'm sure any number of people could relate similar stories where their vendor (of any product) said/promised one thing and then didn't actually do that.

Your chain of replacement seems unfortunately convoluted... which is probably the norm.
User --> LBS --> Distributor --> Dahon

Dahon either needs to ensure that this chain works properly and efficiently end-to-end, or they need to make clear that the user should contact them directly.

User --> Dahon

then take the part to the LBS for installation.

The other question is whether the LBS and Distributor have spare parts on hand.
If they did, then dealing with them directly would seem to be more efficient...

but what I have heard is that the LBS/Distributor is not likely to keep lots of spares on hand, although I think they are required to purchase a certain minimum of spares with each order from Dahon.
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Old 01-07-08, 12:27 PM   #24
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Are you certain that all the communications you described occurred? i.e. did your bike shop actually email them, or did they just tell you that they did. I'm not saying that your bike shop didn't do this, but that I'm sure any number of people could relate similar stories where their vendor (of any product) said/promised one thing and then didn't actually do that.

Your chain of replacement seems unfortunately convoluted... which is probably the norm.
User --> LBS --> Distributor --> Dahon

Dahon either needs to ensure that this chain works properly and efficiently end-to-end, or they need to make clear that the user should contact them directly.

User --> Dahon

then take the part to the LBS for installation.

The other question is whether the LBS and Distributor have spare parts on hand.
If they did, then dealing with them directly would seem to be more efficient...

but what I have heard is that the LBS/Distributor is not likely to keep lots of spares on hand, although I think they are required to purchase a certain minimum of spares with each order from Dahon.
Yes, I'm certain that my LBS sent the e-mails because when I went in to complain about how long this was taking, they pulled them up on their computer and showed me the messages along with the photographs they'd gone to the trouble of taking and attaching to their messages. They really have gone out of their way to help me with this. As another poster pointed out, there are plenty of shops that couldn't be bothered. The owner of the shop was so ashamed about this hassle that he sold me some cycling clothes I'd picked out at half price!
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Old 01-07-08, 01:57 PM   #25
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I'll shoot an email over to Matt at Dahon, and find out who can get you taken care of.
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