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  1. #1
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    What are my legal options here?

    Back in May, I became the proud new owner of a Genuine Buddy 125. http://www.genuinescooters.com/ After being Car-Free for almost 7 years, I found that my career path obligated me to go places that were not reasonably accessible by bike or bus. A scooter that gets 90-100 mpg was a good, green alternative, and a great deal of fun to ride. I got the two-tone green one, it has a 2-year warranty and even road side assistance.

    Anyhow, it started running really rough all of a sudden, I took it to the shop I got it from on July 24th. They said the spindle bearings were bad and had ruined the bearing races on the spindle of the rear wheel. After school started in August, I told the local dealer that I know it's not his fault, as he is being screwed around with by Genuine, (the dealer is not a large enough operation to disable one of their scooters to fix mine, nor do I expect them to,) but I needed transportation for school. They gave me a loaner, which is cool, but it's still not my scooter, plus, it's been wrecked. And it's red, white, blue and yellow.

    Well, as you've probably guessed, nothing has happened. I e-mailed the scooter company (Genuine) a week ago and told them this:



    I've not had my Buddy 125 for a month and a half. Seems something went wrong with the spindle bearings and now it needs a new spindle. From what my dealer (Scenic City Scooters, Chattanooga TN,) says, you guys don't seem too concerned with getting me another one. They've been kind enough to loan me a TGB, as my scooter is my only form of transportation. I love my scooter when it runs, and the two year warranty is great, unless your scooter sits in the shop for a month and a half. Meanwhile, the insurance company is still sending me a bill on a scooter I have not ridden in six weeks.

    A lot of us Buddy owners talk online, and apparently my situation is not unique. Many of us are starting to think that, although we would normally love to sink more money into a Blur or a Stella, (if you decide to introduce it again,) we'd probably rather deal in the future with a company like Honda or Yamaha, if this is any indication of parts availability/customer service.

    This situation could best be described as "ridiculous," and that's being polite. You need to fix this problem, for me and everyone else who is having to wait for months at a time.

    -Nathan




    To which I got this response:



    Nathan:

    Thank you for the email... and I apologize for the delay.

    I spoke with one of my coworkers and he has already been in contact with your dealer regarding the backordered part. I believe he's looking into a way to get the part expedited.

    Again, I apologize for the delay... we are very concerned with getting parts out.

    Brett Ratner
    Genuine Scooters Dealer Development




    And you know I haven't heard anything since, so I had to fire this missile today:



    I would like some details as to how you plan on getting this part "expedited," as you guys seem to have no problem sending brand-new scooters to my dealership, scooters that I assume are mechanically identical to my own. I have been patient. According to many of my friends I have been played for a fool. I haven't seen my scooter, (again, my primary source of transportation,) since July.

    One of four things needs to happen, now that I am out of patience with you guys:

    1. Get it fixed within the week. I don't care how you do it, but you have access to the part, and both of us know it.

    2. Get me a new scooter. The one I have has about 2000 miles on it, (and yes, half the time I've owned it, it's been in the shop.) Maybe you'll get a better resale value out of it than I would if I traded it in for a Honda, (a company known to stand by their products, by the way.)

    3. Refund my money. I doubt Yamaha, Kawasaki or even TGB could stay in business doing this to their customers. Shoot, even Wal Mart would've refunded my money and all they sell is Chinese crap.

    4. Let's trade phone numbers, my lawyer for yours.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    This needs to be rectified, and soon. It's not my fault, it's not my dealer's fault, and it's not Taiwan's fault. I've worked with customers before and found that keeping them happy is often just as important as making new ones. You have a week.




    I know y'all will agree this is absolutely crazy, and I was patient for a fairly long time. My sister is a lawyer, and a good one, but I'd rather not bug her just yet,(plus, I did give them a week,) so I was wondering if any of you knew what my rights were in this situation?

  2. #2
    Old. Bald. Slow. openclassmx's Avatar
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    Just my opinion, and I work in the motorcycle industry:
    You have the right to repairs under warranty. As far as I know there is nothing to limit the time it takes. The Lemon Law (if it even applies to scooters) is only a factor if the problem is safety related (which one could make the argument that it is) and has been unsuccessful in attempts to repair (meaning the problem couldn't be fixed, not that the parts are backordered).

    The big thing here is that you PROBABLY killed your chances of getting someone to bend over backwards for you when you mentioned lawyers. Most companies would hand that straight to the legal department and not risk anything by trying to appease you.
    "This flag is blue with a yellow stripe. If you see this flag, it means there's a race goin' on. And you ain't in it."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Dang that sucks. How infuriating. I give you credit for being that polite.

    I think the best thing to do would be to try and get a refund if they won't fix it like they say they will. Threatening to sue them MIGHT help get you a refund. In any case, if it breaks that easily, I'd think you should get a different type of scooter, and do all you can do stop others from buying Genuines.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  4. #4
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I don't know if I could accuse anyone at Genuine of "bending over backwards" for me, or even planning to, seeing as how it's almost been two months. I'm not the one who poisoned the well, here.

  5. #5
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    Looks like a good counterstrike to me...threat of legal action does bother some managers...but follow through with something like this (worked for me in the past):

    Greetings,

    [open with a brief summary of the situation, and a paragraph of how pissed you really are]

    [follow through with a threat to take the story to the media, and spread the word on the internet that they sell crap products from China]

    Sincerely,

    Nate





    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    This tactic works wonders. No one wants thier company exposed on the local news, or dugg up on the interwebz.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    You need to find out what consumer protection laws in your state can do for you. Call your sister.

  7. #7
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Brett Ratner was a good characer in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I would compliment him on his body of work. A well placed compliment can work wonders. Oh, wait that was Mark Ratner.

    Brett is a producer/director, but he did play "boy on raft in pool" in ScarFace. I would play up that connection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  8. #8
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Maybe this problem is why I haven't seen the Buddy 125 that usually shares the bicycle at work with me every day, in the last week or so.





    Know of a guy in KC with an orange(ish) 125 that's got bearing failage?
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  9. #9
    Kicked out of the Webelos bluebottle1's Avatar
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    I'd suggest a couple of things, one of which is definitely talk to your sister about whatever consumer protection laws exist in your state. There is a good chance of some sort of law that would allow you to bring suit for breach of warranty and recover damages, attorneys' fees, and perhaps some enhancement to those damages. But you need to know what the law is before you can effectively wield it as a cudgel.

    Once you know it, ease up on the tone of your correspondence--drop the sarcasm--and forget the e-mail. E-mail is too easy and doesn't have the same effect as a very coldly, professionally worded demand sent via certified mail. (The return receipt can also double as proof of fulfilling any notice requirement under your consumer protection laws.) Let them know that this can cost them a lot more than the cost of the part and that you already consider them to be in breach of warranty (which, let's face it, they are).

    The purpose of all this, of course, is not to set the stage for you to sue them, but to get someone to move his ass and do something. Nevertheless, it serves both purposes. Good luck.
    ______________________________________________

    Kicked out of the Webelos.

  10. #10
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Just got this via e-mail. I hope to Criminy this puts this thread to bed:

    brett ratner
    to me

    show details
    12:22 pm (2 hours ago)
    Natham:

    Thank you for the email.

    Yesterday, we had come up with a creative solution to get parts to you. Most of your order is packed up and staged on the dock for shipping. There's one last part we're locating and then everything should be en route.

    I hope you're having a great week!

    Brett Ratner
    Genuine Scooters Dealer Development


    He may not have read the e-mail at all, or the lawyer-thing lit a fire under that ass. Whichever way, I'll keep y'all informed, and again, thanks for the replies.

  11. #11
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    creative solution
    Translation: We disassembled a scooter and stripped the parts you need. Please don't sue us.
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  12. #12
    nothing to see here Bryan C.'s Avatar
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    I work in the auto industry as a technician. Usually I find these sort of problems are pattern failures. When the part goes into a backorder status it usually means they are redesigning/updating the part to prevent further failures.

    Or they could just be selling pieces of crap and don't care about their customers.....

  13. #13
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Cut your losses and buy a real scooter, trash the SSO

    I'm agreeing with Bryan. They don't have the parts because there's been a rash of failures and it's in retool & restock.

    But why a SSO, you should have known better?

  14. #14
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    I agree with the concept of a pattern failures. What you will most likely end up with is the old style parts - because the new ones are ready yet. But, you will have your scooter back. You might be right back there in a short period of time.

  15. #15
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Get the parts, fix it, then sell it.
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  16. #16
    Member michiganboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by openclassmx View Post
    The big thing here is that you PROBABLY killed your chances of getting someone to bend over backwards for you when you mentioned lawyers. Most companies would hand that straight to the legal department and not risk anything by trying to appease you.
    I would say not probably, but more like definitely

  17. #17
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    hey stacey, what's an SSO? two stroke?

    regarding the Genuine (Stella) brand, I think there are more reliable brands out there. BTW, Portland now has four or more scooter dealers, and Columbia leads the nation in sales. In 2005 they dropped the Genuine brand due to emissions issues and TnG due to quality issues.

  18. #18
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    1. I'm not sure what an SSO is, this scooter is actually a PGO, rebadged from Taiwan. This is a reputable manufacturer, I am having problems with the American distributor, Genuine.

    2. As far as I know from poking around online, I am the only one who is having problems with this particular part. The only problems this model is prone to is something to do with aftermarket carburation stuff they've added for the more stringent North American market not meshing up with their engine. I found this out when I was researching the thing pre-purchase. But this too is exceedingly rare. I'm not having a problem with the Taiwanese company PGO, which, like most companies in Taiwan, have an excellent reputation worldwide, it's their North American distributor that's been screwing around for a month+.

    By the way, got two more e-mails yesterday in rapid succession:

    I wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that your parts have left our warehouse and are on their way to your dealership... I believe it was sent air freight so it will arrive this week.

    Again, we apologize for the long wait. It shouldn't take this long to get replacement parts, and we can definitely appreciate your frustration. On the bright side, we're working on some changes with our inventory so that if you need a replacement part in the future, you'll be able to get it right away.

    If you could, please email to me your address and phone number, as well as your shirt size.

    Thank you for your patience... you'll be back on the road soon!

    Brett Ratner
    -------------------------------
    Hello Nathan,

    The parts have been shipped UPS next day air. So Scenic City will have them tomorrow.

    I will contact Hugh at Scenic City and inform him.

    Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.



    Roy Park


    Hopefully, I'll have it by this evening.

  19. #19
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganboy View Post
    I would say not probably, but more like definitely
    Luckily for me, it looks as if both of you are wrong.

    Also, this is the first time in my entire life I've threatened or implied legal action. It seems like I was the one being "bent over backwards" having to wait this long, though, ya dig?

  20. #20
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    hey stacey, what's an SSO? two stroke?

    regarding the Genuine (Stella) brand, I think there are more reliable brands out there. BTW, Portland now has four or more scooter dealers, and Columbia leads the nation in sales. In 2005 they dropped the Genuine brand due to emissions issues and TnG due to quality issues.
    SSO ~ Scooter Shaped Object.

  21. #21
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    hey stacey, what's an SSO? two stroke?

    regarding the Genuine (Stella) brand, I think there are more reliable brands out there. BTW, Portland now has four or more scooter dealers, and Columbia leads the nation in sales. In 2005 they dropped the Genuine brand due to emissions issues and TnG due to quality issues.
    Genuine doesn't do the Stellas anymore, which were made for them by an Indian company, not PGO. Being two-strokes the Stellas did leave a little something to be desired pollution-wise, but in the Stellas defense, Yamaha and many other large scooter companies still sell two-strokes, and they are legal in every state but California, if I'm not mistaken.

    The Buddy is a four-stroke that meets every state's emissions standards, (shoot it probably pollutes less than a Prius,) plus it gets 100 mpg and chicks dig it, because it has white-wall tires and I'm the one riding it.

  22. #22
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    Luckily for me, it looks as if both of you are wrong.

    Also, this is the first time in my entire life I've threatened or implied legal action. It seems like I was the one being "bent over backwards" having to wait this long, though, ya dig?
    Threat of legal will usually get it escalated - which is what you needed. It usually is a sign a customer's patience has ran out. No one shakes in their boots - but they make sure to notify the powers that be so that if the you know what hits the fan no one can say they weren't told.

  23. #23
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    SSO ~ Scooter Shaped Object.
    I know the ones you're talking about, basically the Walmart bicycle version of a scooter. PGO is not one of those companies. Unfortunately, their American distributor has a little to learn about timely customer service.

    SSOs are for the most part manufactured in the People's Republic of China and if a part breaks, you may as well throw away the entire scooter..... Holy Crap! That does sort of sound like the one I bought!

  24. #24
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I didn't mean that ugly.

  25. #25
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    shoot it probably pollutes less than a Prius
    Only if you light it on fire. Iono though, about scooters in general that is. I'd get one if I knew I could source parts for it, but otherwise, why not just strap a Honda four stroke to the back of a bicycle?

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