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Customer support - Tern in the UK

Old 11-08-19, 02:22 PM
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Edinburgh_lad
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Customer support - Tern in the UK

Hello everyone, just thought I'd let you all know about my experience of getting in touch with Tern about a possibility of getting touch-up paint. I dread to think what it's like to be getting in touch with them about anything else - the only way to contact Tern is via the web (webform) or Facebook; no tel. numbers are provided, certainly to the UK office.

So, I contacted Tern about getting touch-up paint for my Link B7 on 6 June. Apart from getting an automated email I've not heard anything. Then I recently bought a rack (older model) from a UK based independent seller. During transit, the rack for slightly damaged, so I contacted Tern via Facebook to ask if they'd provide black matt paint (paint has different RAL numbers and some companies like Farrow and Ball in the UK even develop proprietary colours)

The person that dealt with my request (it doesn't seem to be good customer service of Tern employees to even mention their first name or initials) basically stated that I should get black matt paint from a local hardware store. (So, they didn't actually answer the question.) I found the whole experience unsatisfactory and the person from Tern customer services rude.

Tern bikes are said to be fab by many on this forum, but I'm keen to learn of your Tern customer service experience.
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Old 11-08-19, 03:51 PM
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tomtomtom123
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I don't think paint is that big of a deal. Is there a specific reason why you need to touch up the paint or need to match the exact color?

I don't think the folding bike dealers and distributors would carry any touch up paint. Scratches are normal wear and tear from your own use, so you'd be responsible for finding your own paint if you want to touch it up. I doubt the employees would know the RAL color to match your bike. The factories that build the bikes and the companies that sell the bikes are different people. Only the people who run the factories would know the exact color of your bike. And actually, I don't think RAL colors are used universally worldwide. When I was browsing Japanese model making paints, they didn't have any RAL numbers. They used some other standard. It's much easier if you simply go to your local hardware store and pick a paint that closely resembles what you are looking for.

The Tern Cargo Rack that I put on my Dahon bike started to have paint wear off from the pannier mounts. When it started to wear away the aluminum, I simply wrapped the worn area and the sections where the mounts contact with black duct tape. It helped dampen the shaking of the pannier by filling in the gaps. I also bought the Ortlieb rubber bumpers to stick on the lower track of the pannier mounts.

My Dahon aluminum bike has scratches from tree branches, shrubs, etc, from using the bike lock, locking poles, rubbing from my shoes, jumping chain, etc. I don't really care about the paint. It never came with touch up paint either.

My old Dahon steel bike came with green touch up paint, but I never bothered to brush it onto the scratches. A couple years ago, the looseness in the hinge gradually grew to be unusable, so I sanded off the paint around the hinge to expose the steel and asked a car mechanic to weld the hinge together to make it permanent and non-foldable. I then took a can of spray paint and sprayed over the welded areas. I didn't care if the paint didn't match the original color.

Last edited by tomtomtom123; 11-08-19 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 11-08-19, 04:19 PM
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Edinburgh_lad
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Cheers for the response, but I think the point that I was trying to make was to find out about other people's experience of dealing with Customer Service - I wondered if it was universally bad, or just bad in my case, because I asked for a thing that may not be that important to many.
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Old 11-08-19, 07:34 PM
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Old 11-09-19, 07:19 PM
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I think one of the reasons you were dissatisfied with your customer service experience is probably because they can't give you an answer about the paint color if they don't know what it is, and they probably don't stock any touch up paint to give out to customers. You'd probably be asking for something that they can't help you with.

From my impression, Tern bikes are mostly aluminum. It's not usually necessary to cover scratches on aluminum surfaces, since bare aluminum will oxidize when exposed to oxygen and form a protective layer against further corrosion (except against salts and chemicals). The reason why my old Dahon bike came with touch up paint was probably because it was a steel frame, which will quickly rust when the paint is scratched off and then exposed to moisture and water.
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