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Frame Warranty - Who pays for strip down/build up?(6 posts)

Frame Warranty - Who pays for strip down/build up?Fez
Aug 5, 2003 7:33 AM
I heard that some shops charge labor to customers who have to send back a defective frame to the manufacturer for replacement.

I heard elsewhere that the manufacturer pays the shop for labor to remove a defective frame and install a replacement. So the customer does not pay anything.

Anyone know what the real story is? If customer has to pay labor, anyone know how much the going rate is to replace a frame with a "manufacturer's defect?"
oops sorry for double post nmFez
Aug 5, 2003 7:39 AM
Depends.Spoke Wrench
Aug 5, 2003 7:42 AM
Every way that you can possibly imagine it being done, I've seen it done that way.

Some of the most frustrating and time consuming warranties that I've processed involved bikes that I didn't even sell.
Aug 5, 2003 7:48 AM
Another dependsMR_GRUMPY
Aug 5, 2003 7:53 AM
If you bought the bike from a local shop, they should rebuild for free. If not, why should they ? The manufacturer covers the frame only, not labor.
The same way, if you have to send it in to be repaired, you're responsible to strip it. You can't send the whole bike in.
Warranties protect the manufacturer, not the consumerStraightblock
Aug 5, 2003 9:00 AM
Most of your warranty states what is NOT covered---abuse, bikes used in competition or commercial use, any secondary damage i.e. property damage or personal injury, blah, blah, blah. It will likely say that labor is not included, too. If any manufacturer gives the LBS a labor allowance it probably barely covers their overhead.

Still, I've had good luck with warranties & have had two frames replaced. The first was a Nishiki, their top of the line frame when I was on their racing team. My team let me keep the frame when I quit racing, I had added several braze-ons and repainted it and it was more than 10 years old, but the LBS warrantied it no questions asked. I carried the bare frame in and, since that model was discontinued, was given credit towards another of their frames. I never even asked the shop about building the new one up and did it myself at home.

Last year I warrantied a 2-year old Bianchi at the LBS. The owner happened to have a new complete bike in stock in my size and was willing to strip it for my replacement. He asked if I wanted to build it myself in his shop or let his guys do it. I let his shop do it, and it was ready in a few days. The new frame had a 1 1/8" fork instead of the 1" on the old one, and the LBS gave me a new headset, a nice Ritchey stem and sexy carbon spacers to go with it, and was not charged for anything. When I got it home I checked the build, and had to correct minor problems like front derailler trim adjustment and brake pad positioning, so I don't think they spent a lot of time on it, though. I think the old frame hung in the back of his shop for nearly a year before he got his warranty from Bianchi, too.

The bottom line is that the LBS loses money on most warranties, and it's just part of the cost of doing business. That's one of the reasons things cost more there than on the internet. Whether they charge you labor or not will depend on individual shop policy and your relationship with them. Also, be sure to keep any proof of purchase, as manufacturer's policies vary greatly. My first frame warranty was completed without any paperwork at all, but the second needed a dated purchase receipt (manufacturer's requirement, not the LBS's).