Let down by Merlin Cycles and SRAM

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  • Let down by Merlin Cycles and SRAM
  • Jamie
    Member

    How did you pay?

    Could always initiate a section 75 via you credit card.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    TBF, Fishers/SRAM are normally very good with warranty. There must be something in the way they’ve broken that’s causing them to query the reason.

    However, I thought that the law was on your side if they are still quite new (< 6 months???) and that they would have to come up with definitive proof.

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/forks-broken

    What were you actually doing when they broke?

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    not paid on credit card was debit card. there not new only just inside there warranty. they have offered no proof just a photo copy of an inspect sheet saying they bent backwards which they didnt. After emailing for almost 2 months I’m just disappointed that they would treat a customer like this. they offered my a replacement price which was the same cost as any other website, when I mentioned this they said I’m free to purchase were I want.

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    scotroutes I came of a small drop but landed back wheel first the forks had more travel than the drop

    andyl
    Member

    Did you ever get the hi res photos?

    patriotpro
    Member

    Now that IS metal fatigue 😯

    bland
    Member

    What hub do you run, and qr or bolt through?

    I’d say its down to rotation for them to do that! Was anything loose?

    Superglue and ebay?

    doof_doof
    Member

    If they were crashed, I’d expect there to be at least some damage to either/all of the lowers/stantions/steerer in the form of bending or alignment. If the forging of the crown has failed due to material or manufacturing process, then the rest of the fork should be fine (unless you crashed as a result of the crown snapping).

    Ask Sram what evidence their conclusion is based on.

    Edit: nevermind, just realised it’s the arch that broke, not the crown. Probably harder to prove you were JRA.

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    no andy they have been travelling since then currently on there way back from netherlands so will get them up when I next see them.

    ninfan
    Member

    Input from SRAM

    Hmm, thats where the alarm bells ring for me!

    TBF, Fishers/SRAM are normally very good with warranty

    My experience too… hence I’d guess the line goes like this

    Merlin
    OEM
    Grey
    No UK warranty
    Not sent to Tech-Centre

    Edit:

    on there way back from netherlands

    Aha – that sort of reinforces my opinion, A suspicious person would start stroking their chin and saying ‘Jimmy Hill’ about now!

    I think the section 75 advice is good!

    andyl
    Member

    Get the photos up and we’ll take a look before you go any further. Won’t be definitive but should see something.

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    they were proper ones I believe don’t think OEM but you can never be sure.

    section 75 is out of the question due to me getting them on a debit card.

    I have asked for the report from SRAM Netherlands and emailed citizes advice. The customer is always right is not something SRAM or Merlin have ever heard of apparently.

    rootes1
    Member

    your contract of sale is with Merlin.

    start small claims action.

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    I think I will wait for the response from citizens advice and merlin’s next response but will read up on small claims as I feel I have been wronged.

    Junkyard
    Member

    your contract is with Merlin but I cannot see what you will do to enforce it.
    They will just cite what SRAM have said in terms of the report and I am not sure how you would prove that it is certainly metal fatigue

    Jamie
    Member

    If you paid via debit card, then you want to be doing this:

    Invoking the chargeback procedure:

    If you suspect your card has been used fraudulently, if the goods and services you bought with your card are faulty or if they do not materialise, then you should contact the bank who has provided you with your Visa debit card within 120 days, requesting they initiate the chargeback process. It does not mean you will automatically and immediately get your money back. It will initially become a ‘dispute’ in which the claim will be fully investigated by both banks before any money is returned.

    Visa Debit Chargeback – The Facts

    they were proper ones I believe don’t think OEM but you can never be sure.

    er, what sort of packaging did it come in? OE stuff doesnt tend to come in logo’ed aftermarket boxes with proper manuals and accessories.

    rootes1
    Member

    I am not sure how you would prove that it is certainly metal fatigue

    more a case of them proving it was..

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    Jamie, its over 120 days and charge back only covers items under £100. thank though I’ve been doing a fair bit of research to try and sort this out.

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    some of you may have seen my post last month about my rockshox forks where the crown snapped. there was no impact but both merlin refused to fix under warranty and passed to SRAM who said it was due to a crash and they would not replace I argued that they were not fit for purpose these are 150mm forks and I’ve never pushed them a crown that snaps is dangerous. Just come back from Alps on a pair of 2004 bombers and they barely have a scuff let alone snapped. any way SRAM sent them to there European warranty department in the Netherlands. there latest responce is

    SRAM EMAIL:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Hi Mike,

    Input from SRAM is much the same as we initially indicated – the forks have been subject to some trauma which has led to the crack.

    The case is not one for warranty.

    Any one any ideas what I can do next or has the little guy lost. I know they had no trauma as I was on the bike but I cant prove that.

    Premier Icon hatter
    Subscriber

    As crashtestmonkey says; If they didn’t come in a retail box with the correct label they’re almost certainly OEM, especially if they come from Merlin and even more especially if they were 30-45% off ‘SRP.’

    Another way to check though; Fishers only import one model of Sektor RL with white lowers, they have this spec.

    “Sektor RL – Solo Air QR White Motion Control Alum Str 1 1/8” Disc (150mm max travel)

    Fishers code: RS8241001″

    If your fork doesn’t match this description it’s definitely OE so not Fishers problem. If it does and it came in a proper box then it could well be legit aftermarket and very much Fisher’s problem.

    Your warranty contract however, lies with Merlin, they made the money out of you either way so go get ’em.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Bit confused why they did’t send them to fishers – my missus RS forks from Merlin went there?? Sounds like they are grey imports if they went to the netherlands. Shouldn’t change how it impacts you really. It’s “only” the lowers – are they offering a crash replacement on lowers? It’s a very quick and easy swap.

    If something is not warrantied then the normal thing to do is offer crash replacement as good will.

    I had some Manitou SX-Ti’s snap at the brace many moons ago, a quick search on MTBR showed loads of identical failures, Answer fessed up there was production run with a casting defect and I got them warrantied. Have you researched to see if there have been other failures? Playing Devils Advocate but if yours is the first you’ll struggle to convince anyone (Merlin, SRAM, CAB, court) that its not your fault.

    Manufacturers used to void warranties if drop-out-mounted roof racks were used as this subjected the forks to loads they they weren’t designed for, so its not as simple as saying you haven’t crashed them. A loose QR/maxle would allow for rotational forces on the legs under braking that would stress the brace, for instance.

    Bit confused why they did’t send them to fishers – my missus RS forks from Merlin went there?? Sounds like they are grey imports if they went to the netherlands

    exactly what I thought.

    If something is not warrantied then the normal thing to do is offer crash replacement as good will.

    problem is, crash replacement prices are usually based on aftermarket rrp and might not be not cost effective (especially if the forks were cheap OE which looks to be the case). Before Answer actually warrantied my $500rrp forks they offered me a new set of lowers as a crash replacement for $200. I’d paid $199 for the forks….

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    they offered me full forks at cost price but when I mentioned that several shops were cheaper they basically said well buy from them then.

    there still in warranty and they are that model you have just described mike well 15mm maxle but sektor solo air with white lowers. came in a rockshox box. might contact fishers to see what they say cant hurt

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    Bloody wizzards

    Premier Icon parling
    Subscriber

    ha true can’t trust a wizard

    Premier Icon GDRS
    Subscriber

    Just a thought – but I like the executive complaint route for problems.

    Do a google search / linked-in for CEO / Head of Marketing and any other executives you can find for SRAM (Merlin might also be an option).

    Copy them all into a very clear email that summarises the issue – and explains that you have exhusted other options (and you can send copies of the emails etc).

    Also direct all recipients to the negative feedback that is being generated on this forum.

    Two things tend to happen with this approach – some one high up the foodchain delegates this to someone who will make you go away. Or someone from marketing steps in to stop you generating more bad PR.

    If nothing happens – well you tried!

    hora
    Member

    Can you be quite specific OP:

    What forks?

    SID or Boxxers?

    How old

    Only ever one race fitted?

    What frame?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    it says Sector RL on the brace hora?

    legend
    Member

    Hora, it wasn’t the crown it was the arch – as per the photo in the third post

    hora
    Member

    Ah big apologies, thats what happens when you post from a ickle mobile.

    OP, I also have Sektors and they seem quite ‘delicate’ (alot of flex). Should a heavy thus avoid? Weird considering their billing.

    I would look into the small claims route and no, I wouldn’t chalk it upto experience. That is a bizarre place for forks to fail.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    hora – Member

    OP, I also have Sektors and they seem quite ‘delicate’ (alot of flex)

    Hah. My recommendation to you is to never ride a 150mm 32.

    hora
    Member

    I had a go on someones- jeesus 😯 makes you wonder if that much flexing allows dirt to pop in/help the stanchion wear along 😀

    patriotpro
    Member

    LOL – slate a fork and conclude them as delicate cos of one user has a freak set. Come one now.

    LoCo
    Member

    Have you spoken to SRAMTech direct? quote the produce serial number (on back of the crown) when speaking to them.

    sugdenr
    Member

    You did the Mr Nice Guy, so first geet your forks back and then issue a small claim against them.

    Sorry but if you MTFU and go on the attack you will win, if wou keep faffing around and moaning, they will win.

    to misquote a phrase ‘that denial is useless without evidence’ and ‘must have’ is not a known empirical demonstration of fact, so unless they can do better it is ‘ollocks and response sould be’OK lets put it before a judge in (my local) court and see if he thinks I am a liar and believes your so called engineering analysis, or whether he thinks I am an honest punter and you have tried to fob me off’

    You absolutely must get the forks back first.

    spazzolino
    Member

    Hi there,

    well lets get things straight. You bought some forks, used them and they broke. You initially said that you had a soft landing so you will agree that the forks have experienced some trauma.

    SRAM say that they will not honour the warranty as they have been crashed. Or experienced trauma.

    The first thing I would say is that forks should be designed to experience a certain level of trauma. So the question relates to just how much trauma your forks have experienced and whether the forks should have withstood this.

    Incidentally do you still have these forks in your position?

    So the first thing we must do is establish whether there are any other physical sighs of crash to the fork. Gashes, missing paint dents etc? if your answer is yes then it could be reasonable to say that they have been crashed. If the answer is no, we probably cant blame the damage on a crash and perhaps should look deeper. Again if the answer to this question is no than there is no way that SRAM can categorically say that your forks have been crashed.

    I would say that in general your forks will not have been looked at someone who knows much about the materials and the processes employed. I would guess that they are some customer service guy or rep whose default response is to refuse. (I generally find that people who work for bike companies are not that clued up). Anyway, its unlikely that they will have been looked at by a metallurgist and a failure investigation done. Particularly if the forks are still in your possession.

    So whats next. if there are no other marks on the fork, we will never know the level of trauma the forks have seen. So we have to look at something else. We should investigate the materials. This will involve looking at the two fracture surfaces in some detail.

    So the question is has this been done?

    LoCo
    Member

    To be fair from the fracture it’s be fairly obvious to someone with a bit of engineering training whether the fault is from the manufacturering process or not and the forks if they have been returned to SRAMTECH either here or in europe should have been looked at by the workshop manager who would have a good idea on this.

    Again if the answer to this question is no than there is no way that SRAM can categorically say that your forks have been crashed.

    I refer you to an earlier post of mine – abuse/misuse doesnt just mean crash damage.

    We should investigate the materials. This will involve looking at the two fracture surfaces in some detail.

    So the question is has this been done?

    Who’s going to pay for that? Do you think for a second it will be cost-effective? Before I had a total career change I was a materials scientist and a primary function of my role was to investigate failures (and alleged failures from dubious claims) for a multi-national manufacturer of steel and alloy products. A couple of hours of my time was worth far more than the cost of a pair of Sektors (my dept used to cost my time at £750 for half a day).

    LoCo
    Member

    Crashmonkey, as a materials bod, would you say that a fault with the casting would be fairly obvious as air gaps, impurities, faults at the point of the break would be relativly easy to see?

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