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  1. #1
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    Does Dahon ever respond to customer inquiries? RANT

    Arrgh. I have written several times to Dahon and have even attempted to post on their forum (but was censored) and have received no response.


    Has anyone else had this problem?

    I simply wanted to know if I can purchase a 2008 Smooth Hound 6.0 from an international dealer. The 2008 model currently available in Asia breaks away with P.A.Q. technology.


    I have only received a quick little computer generated note saying that they would respond SOMEDAY. It has been over two weeks. Should SOMEONE from Dahon respond?


  2. #2
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Yes, they should. Which country are you in? Maybe somebody here can point you toward this sharky velocipede.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  3. #3
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    My experience with Dahon is that customer service isn't a priority for them. The long, sad story of my disillusionment is at http://www.dahon.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=4383 .

    I'm not making it a link because I'd rather they didn't notice people clicking through to it. I'd rather it stayed up for a while.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  4. #4
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    rant might be the right word....

    in my years on the dahon forum I have never hear about anybody being censored. Even if the posts were blantant lies and completely untrue , they were never censored.
    lets hear how they did that ...

    About the question you have... what should be the naswer from an Dahon employee on your question ? Should the employee write down something which is clearly against company policy ? The reason there are no Smoothhounds over here is simply. the dealers didnt order enough ( any ? ) when they were asked .... This might be different in other countries....

    Nobody will forbid you to buy anything in a different country ( ist after all a pretty free country we are living in ) Problem is that officially the warranty will be not working, Not because Dahon are angry that you bought a bike which didnt get sold in this country, but because if the bike is not sold than the importer doesnt have any spare parts for that bike... its really simply and has NOTHING to do with censorship or bad will.....

    However the name bears the name of Mr David Hon and you better believe it, if there is a real warranty he personally will make sure that a defective bike will be replaced..... never went that far as Dahon is pretty easy to deal with... warranty wise ...

    I am not an employee and I am shooting straight with my answers....

    Its very understandbale that if you are a employee of any company you will not answer some emails, same is you get an email full of "designflaws" and all kinds of problems ... nobody in his right mind will answer those, as it will open the company to open litigation....

    thor


    ps. Matrix with custom parts,, I fail to see the part the Dahon customer service should play in that, however I have to admit I didnt read all the different posting about the bike..... when you state that you replaced the brake wires to steel ... i stopped.... ( what was in there before ? )

  5. #5
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    Matrix with custom parts,, I fail to see the part the Dahon customer service should play in that, however I have to admit I didnt read all the different posting about the bike
    Then you didn't get to the part where the frame broke under warranty and they took a long time to replace it.

    And then the second frame broke in exactly the same place and they took a long time to replace it.

    And sent the wrong frame.

    And then they took a long time to send another one.

    And it was the wrong frame, too.

    The bike has been in the shop for five weeks. It's my commuter--I'm supposed to wait months for a replacement of their poorly-brazed mistake? Now we get to wait for them to take a long time to send yet another frame. Maybe this time it won't be the wrong frame. In the meantime, I've given up on them and bought a Xootr Swift.

    In my experience, Dahon can't get their customer service and warranty fulfillment right.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  6. #6
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by noteon View Post
    Then you didn't get to the part where the frame broke under warranty and they took a long time to replace it.

    And then the second frame broke in exactly the same place and they took a long time to replace it.

    And sent the wrong frame.

    And then they took a long time to send another one.

    And it was the wrong frame, too.

    The bike has been in the shop for five weeks. It's my commuter--I'm supposed to wait months for a replacement of their poorly-brazed mistake? Now we get to wait for them to take a long time to send yet another frame. Maybe this time it won't be the wrong frame. In the meantime, I've given up on them and bought a Xootr Swift.

    In my experience, Dahon can't get their customer service and warranty fulfillment right.
    Correct me if I'm wrong. Don't you use your folder to commute and also pull a child trailer with your kids in it up some hills? Would that have affected the strain on the frame and are folding bikes designed to take such abuse? I'm not sure just raising a question?

  7. #7
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    It's a fair question. The first frame snapped way before any trailer-hauling. The second snapped a couple of weeks after I started pulling the trailer.

    After asking around and doing some research (I can't cite it--I wasn't looking to bolster my position in a debate, just making sure my kids were safe), it seems a trailer doesn't stress that part of the bike; it hitches directly to the rear skewer, while the breaks were up where the seat tube meets the top tube. (Both of the breaks--with and without the trailer.) I think it keeps breaking because their weight limits are, um, overoptimistic, I put more miles on it than they're gambling people will, and the BioLogic Post Pump doesn't extend far enough into the frame to prevent flex at that braze. But I'm just guessing, and I'm not an engineer.

    But even if trailer-hauling does somehow increase stress on the seat tube, Dahon advertises this as a bike that "begs to be ridden hard," and says nothing about not pulling trailers. The marketing is that this is a rugged, 26" mountain-style BIKE. Period.

    Dahon itself decided both breaks were fair warranty replacements, but their fulfillment has been dismal.
    Last edited by noteon; 07-14-08 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Clarification
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  8. #8
    The Metropolis, UK
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    I'd have thought Dahon would be quite a customer responsive company. Every now and then you get an off experience like yours noten. Doesn't make it acceptable of course in your case but it's not enough evidence in itself to make an absolute statement that Dahon have defective warranty service.

    In spikedog's case, I think Dahon should respond to a sales query and any sort of customer interest. Why do companies spend considerable money on promotion and marketing and neglect to answer customer leads? Even if the bike is not available in a given territory it is still worth answering the query to build a brand relationship. Of course, I'm not at all implying Dahon are alone in this respect and it could also be a once-off esperience.

  9. #9
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    2 breaks and one before trailer pulling! Now that is unlucky to say the least. Have you come across this model doing that on other blogs at all?

  10. #10
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    Every now and then you get an off experience like yours noten. Doesn't make it acceptable of course in your case but it's not enough evidence in itself to make an absolute statement that Dahon have defective warranty service.
    Of course not. That's why I prefaced it with "My experience."

    My experience is they bungle every contact I have with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    2 breaks and one before trailer pulling! Now that is unlucky to say the least. Have you come across this model doing that on other blogs at all?
    People don't seem to be blogging about their Dahon Matrices at all, either good or bad.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for your reply Thor. I appreciate your posts. In fact, I wish you had the 2008 Smooth Hound. I'd buy from you.

    Any company can become a bit lax in customer service- that's why they have dealers. The best are responsive and personalize the buying experience for the manufacturer.

    Cest le vie

  12. #12
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    snafu21 has a 2007 Matrix. she loves it to death, and has convinced me to probably get one...

  13. #13
    Explorer CaptainSpalding's Avatar
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    I've had my trials with Dahon customer service.

    The best way to deal with them is over the phone, without an LBS as an intermediary.
    I came to say I must be folding . . .
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    — or not . . .
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  14. #14
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owlmaster08 View Post
    snafu21 has a 2007 Matrix. she loves it to death, and has convinced me to probably get one...
    I loved mine, too, until the frame broke twice.

    For whatever this is worth, if you're bigger than the average cyclist and intend to do any serious mileage, I'd suggest you consider switching the seatpost to something that extends farther into the frame. That braze seems to be a weak spot, and less flexing couldn't hurt.

    That's for the 2007. If you get the current model, I have no opinion.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  15. #15
    Senior Member gringo_gus's Avatar
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    for what its worth, the Dahon distributor in the UK were exemplary in dealing with the HH& hub grommet issue (remember then???)- outstanding in fact
    it aint the size of your wheels, its the rhythm of you cadence. And I got powergrips too.

  16. #16
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owlmaster08 View Post
    snafu21 has a 2007 Matrix. she loves it to death, and has convinced me to probably get one...

    Still like it a week later. A folding off-roadie that also commutes? Mmmmmmm....

    None of my Dahons have broken, despite off-road use. My UK dealer Winstanleys are prompt and reply to emails.

    Noteon opined: "People don't seem to be blogging about their Dahon Matrices at all, either good or bad."

    Too busy riding them, old bean..

    For what it's worth, while I'd be chewed up if my (second) frame broke, I would at least try not to over generalise that every Matrix/Dahon is a heap of dingo's kidneys.


    And, sure, it's pain when suppliers don't respond to customers. Generally, I tend to vote with my credit card..
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  17. #17
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
    For what it's worth, while I'd be chewed up if my (second) frame broke, I would at least try not to over generalise that every Matrix/Dahon is a heap of dingo's kidneys.
    I haven't.

    I didn't realize it was considered impolite to make reasonable complaints about a favorite company. I apologize for my insensitivity.
    Last edited by noteon; 07-15-08 at 05:39 AM.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Dahon US responded in three or four days to an inquiry. (It was about getting some of those transparent sticky pads you put on where metal can touch metal when folded.)
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  19. #19
    eight spokes somnatash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noteon View Post
    ... to make reasonable complaints ...
    I appreciate that
    That is what Forums are also for, right? To hear (and let know) the good experience (the facts) and the praise (the feeling) of the satisfied and also the bad experience (the facts) and the bemoan (the feeling) of the dissatisfied.

    If the second is unwanted here in this forum (and somehow it sometimes occurred to me like it is), I could as well read a promotional brochure. While I can understand that the love for a certain folder brings people to kind of identify it as part of the family and hence defend it/the company/the agents against criticism, I wish we could just accept reasonable complaints and the inevitable frustration without attacking the poster. If the product/the company/the dealer is a good one, other posts will balance that. IMHO there is no need that every post is balanced in itself, we don't ask that from praisers, do we?
    my 2c
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  20. #20
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    In the reverse of the experience that the original (and other) posters have had on here, I have had nothing but exemplary service from Dahon. I was unable to procure mudguards, so contacted Dahon uk and got sent some in return post. I was unable to source a mini-bike bag and they offered me one within a week, I had a small problem with a headset and my lbs (who used to stock Dahons but no longer did), made a call to them and got permission to sort it out. I have actually made exactly the same query that the original poster did and found out that there are no British stockists of the 2008 model (a combination of lack of demand and a cocked up order apparently), there may be European stockists (but these are few and far between) and it is up to each individual company as to whether or not they would sell to the UK or not. I stopped pursuing this at this point as I got a 2006 Hammerhead for the bargain price of £249 - sure it doesn't fold/breakaway, but it is £500 cheaper than the 2008, amazing to ride and I wouldn't have to worry about shipping/import duties.

    Again - I have posted regularly on Dahon's boards and not noticed any censorship and have nothing but praise for the timely response of people I have contacted direct. Admittedly I have not had the problems that other posters on here have had - but I note that Noteon has had no problem getting Dahon to admit warranty issues, just in getting a bike - at least he's won half the battle!

    In my experience, Dahon have got customer fulfulment extremely right (Dahon MU SL x 2, Hammerhead 5.0 and 7.0 and Hon Solo (only x1!) and as a result I have had no call to explore their warranty fulfilment.

  21. #21
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    My experience in trying to set up an online bike business is that so far, only two of about 12 companies (manufacturers and distributors both) that I've contacted with enquiries has bothered to respond at all, and this is me wanting to buy things from them in quantity. I no longer have any faith in anyone's online or email customer service.

  22. #22
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mroli View Post
    but I note that Noteon has had no problem getting Dahon to admit warranty issues, just in getting a bike - at least he's won half the battle
    Well, I'd call it a third of the battle, since I think there's either a design, manufacturing, or maximum load estimation flaw in the first place. But I'm glad you're posting your experience, which is what these kinds of boards are for.
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  23. #23
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    Oh - in the uk, it was Christopher Raven at Fishers, now I think it may be someone else that is the Dahon contact (the new guy was helpful too - but Chris was excellent).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikedog123 View Post
    Arrgh. I have written several times to Dahon and have even attempted to post on their forum (but was censored) and have received no response.


    Has anyone else had this problem?

    I simply wanted to know if I can purchase a 2008 Smooth Hound 6.0 from an international dealer. The 2008 model currently available in Asia breaks away with P.A.Q. technology.


    I have only received a quick little computer generated note saying that they would respond SOMEDAY. It has been over two weeks. Should SOMEONE from Dahon respond?


    Yes, they do. I must apologize to Dahon. My email was answered promptly but routed to the junk email box.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
    And, sure, it's pain when suppliers don't respond to customers. Generally, I tend to vote with my credit card..
    That's the smartest thing I've read today. You're under no obligation to do business with a company that you feel has wronged you, in fact you'd be foolish to. It is also not your obligation to inform others, though it is a service to your fellow consumer to make others aware of any unpleasant dealings either informally through a forum like this or formally through a more influential body. (BBB, etc.)

    Thor has some good points about why companies do the things they do. You must do whatever you can as an employee to protect the company and maintain damage control by "ignoring" provocations that don't seem to have a constructive end result. One of the pains of growing large as a company is that the larger you get the more enemies you accrue many times through no logical function of your operations other than you've been successful. To state Thor's not an employee is not really entirely fair. Thor's paycheck doesn't say Dahon on it, but his business is greatly affected by the overall performance and reputation of Dahon. Indirectly, he is more of an ambassador for Dahon and also has obligations to protect the product's image. Would you expect someone selling toothbrushes to come out and tell you that the electronic ones are rubbish when 80% of their business is from the sale of electronic toothbrushes? There's a definite conflict of interest there.

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