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A Tale of Two customer Service Experiences: Blizzard 10 - Goldsmiths 0

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I bought my son new 2012 Bushwackers during skis.com Christmas in July Sale.  I had the bindings mounted at my local shop in November and then wrapped them for Christmas.  My son, who has been skiing since he was 5, had the best 4 days of skiing in his life.  Then the topsheets began to "string" and then "lift back" from the edge on one ski.  As they dried out, the topsheet  began to shred in the spot where it had "lifted" and we noticed some small "bubbles" forming along other spots on both skis.  Skis.com said they would either replace them or refund our money but they did not have the Bushwackers in stock in my son's size.  I planned to call blizzard but had to wait for them to reopen following the long weekend.

 

Goldsmiths:  We took them into the local shop in Big Bear to ask his advice and to have the bindings removed.  There are multiple owners and it was the first time I had dealt with this particular owner.  In short, he was rude, kept cutting me off, telling us that he had seen this before on a demo pair and that our son must have crossed his tips or done SOMETHING to cause this.  I managed to get a couple of words in- explaining that I had skied every run with my son over the last 4 days and that he had not done anything to cause this.  He stopped just short of calling me a liar and said that we would have to "agree to disagree."  He told me not to bother taking the bindings off because Blizzard wouldn't warranty this.  At that point I left.  I did not purchase these skis there, but I wasn't asking for anything but advice and to have the bindings removed for shipping, and I did expect to pay for that service.  In the last two years, I have purchased the following from that shop:  skis, boots, and poles for a friend's son, seen a bootfitter for an adjust and purchased a footbed, had two sets of bindings mounted, bought various sundries such as wax, face masks, boot heel and toe peices, hats, etc.  I had just finished speaking with a couple of other employees about Fischer Vacuum Boots which I was planning to purchase this week.  Really, it's the only shop I've gone to in the past.  Now - not so much.  I'll wait until spring in Mammoth and go to Footloose.

 

Blizzard:  We almost didn't call them after what the owner of the shop had said.  Luckily, I have heard nothing but praise for their customer service and we gave them a call after all.  The rep couldn't have been nicer!  He immediately told us to ship them out and they would replace the skis.  It was easy, quick, and a very pleasant conversation all the way around.   I knew that Blizzard made a quality ski and I knew this was an anomaly.  

 

Moral:  Goldmsith's has lost generational business simply because of rudeness.  My son and his 2 friends heard the whole Goldsmith's story. Blizzard has gained generational business because all three boys were in the car and overheard the phone call with the customer service rep on the speaker phone.  These are 15 year old boys who love to ski and already get in as many days a year as possible.  When their parents call and ask me what ski to buy them, you can bet that I will be recommending Blizzard.

post #2 of 15

Hmm, the gap in  this story that you are missing is more that it's Skis.com didn't go the extra mile for you.  So you should rate skis.com maybe a 6/10 for this?

They are your blizzard vendor that you bought from; who have profited from your purchase, so they are on the hook to get on the phone with Blizzard on your behalf to arrange your replacement skis-or arrange to work with goldsmith for you to stop by and swap skis.  Why did you have to bypass them to get to blizzard to get the info you wanted?

 

When you buy something at REI or other highend B and M store, the vendor is supposed to handle all the warranties on your behalf.

When one of my skis broke, my local shop where I obtained the skis got on the horn with atomic and handled everything for me.

 

I think your 0 for goldsmiths is not quite fair, maybe a 2/10 (assuming they are a big blizzard dealer in the first place).  You didn't buy the skis from them, so you could've obtained the skis from grey market.  Especially if you didn't come in with a referral from skis.com to help back you up.   But still, it's understandable and well within reason for you to blacklist them, if you have alternate shops available.   Yes, maybe a different blizzard dealer would have given you an alternate answer and helped you out.

 

End of the day, I'm super glad it's getting worked out, but i just needed to throw in my 2cents there.

 

 

Finally, my last bit of advice,  if you made your purchase with a major credit card; you may find you have short term purchase protection/warranty, even if damage is completely your fault and can make a claim.  I recall the mastercard commerical where the guy backs over his brand new golf clubs.

post #3 of 15

Still it was nice that OP was able to get Blizzard on the phone and that they were helpful. I had problems with Solly bindings and there was no way to contact them myself--had no choice but to go through the store and had to do that twice with multiple calls each time to get the parts I needed.The ski business is funny that way--most stuff you buy--when it breaks the dealer has nothing to do with it. You are supposed to contact the manufacturer. 

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the missing piece of history.  Skis.com did offer to return the skis to Blizzard for me and implement the whole warranty procedure.  That's why I went to Goldsmiths' to get the bindings removed. I didn't want to ship the bindings.  Goldsmiths' is a Blizzard dealer.  After the Goldsmith response, I was afraid to ship to skis.com until I had talked to a Blizzard rep.  Blizzard gave me the option of shipping directly to them or going through skis.com.  I chose Blizzard direct because he had 2012 Bushwackers (180) in stock so it seemed like the quicker route to go.  Either way, of all three companies, Blizzard offered the quickest response and the best customer service by far!  

post #5 of 15

The shop messed up here whether they realize it or not. Sure, they did not sell the skis, but they should have a CRM system that shows them the OP has done significant business with them in the past 2 years (over $1,000 retail easily). If you have a relationship with a customer like that, you should at least provide decent service/advice and not be rude and argue, especially if you are wrong (shop claimed Blizzard wouldn't warranty, clearly they will). 

 

Shop owner probably thought it was a guy coming in with an internet purchased setup and didn't want to touch it, which is understandable, but he should have checked to see if he was dealing with an existing customer or not first.

post #6 of 15

So are you saying Blizzard built a defective ski that had improperly laminated topsheets?

 

In the last week I've seen two broken Bonafides which both broke in the exact same spot, directly in front of the toe... maybe they are defective also. 

 

What, exactly, is going on at the Blizzard factory?

 

It's a good thing they are willing to replace these defects, but I wonder if a recall should be issued?

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

So are you saying Blizzard built a defective ski that had improperly laminated topsheets?

 

In the last week I've seen two broken Bonafides which both broke in the exact same spot, directly in front of the toe... maybe they are defective also. 

 

What, exactly, is going on at the Blizzard factory?

 

It's a good thing they are willing to replace these defects, but I wonder if a recall should be issued?

That is my belief.  In 40 years of skiing, I have never seen a ski do this.  In any manufacturing process though a flaw can occur.  There is no such thing as 100% perfection.  As many skis as Blizzard produces, I would expect their to be some errors.  If a company stands behind their product, that's good enough for me.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh View Post

The shop messed up here whether they realize it or not. Sure, they did not sell the skis, but they should have a CRM system that shows them the OP has done significant business with them in the past 2 years (over $1,000 retail easily). If you have a relationship with a customer like that, you should at least provide decent service/advice and not be rude and argue, especially if you are wrong (shop claimed Blizzard wouldn't warranty, clearly they will). 

 

Shop owner probably thought it was a guy coming in with an internet purchased setup and didn't want to touch it, which is understandable, but he should have checked to see if he was dealing with an existing customer or not first.

I told him outright that I wanted them to take the bindings off for me since they were the ones who mounted them in the first place.  I didn't want to risk skis.com blaming the delamination on poor binding installation.  I just went to Hansons in Encinitas, CA.  They are also a Blizzard dealer.  They took the bindings off no charge even though I have never purchased a single item from them.  It was a great shop and they did the work while I browsed.  I am a huge gear addict and they will have my business from now on.

post #9 of 15

Are there really ski bargains to be had on the internet?  Late season on models that didn't sell sure. But for popular gear it usually sells out before it goes on sale.  The manufacturers seem to keep a pretty tight lid on when retailers can offer discounts. (I've noticed that REI starts discounting a week before other b and m shops--must be the volume they do, so the manufacturers let them discount early.)  The main reason I would buy on line is if I couldn't find the ski in a local shop and would buy the bindings and mount locally (no way I'd let REI mount). 

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

I bought online during a "christmas in July" sale.  The coveting got the better of me.  I wasn't intending to buy or looking to buy.  I was just bored and browsing when I saw a great deal on a ski my son wanted.  I have no beef with skis.com.  There were quite a few shops still selling the 2012 Bushwackers.  Blizzard said they still have some in stock.  I had them mounted at the same shop I have used for years.  As for bargains ... definitely there are bargains to be had on the internet.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Are there really ski bargains to be had on the internet?  Late season on models that didn't sell sure. But for popular gear it usually sells out before it goes on sale.  The manufacturers seem to keep a pretty tight lid on when retailers can offer discounts. (I've noticed that REI starts discounting a week before other b and m shops--must be the volume they do, so the manufacturers let them discount early.)  The main reason I would buy on line is if I couldn't find the ski in a local shop and would buy the bindings and mount locally (no way I'd let REI mount). 

 

Just out on my new Kastle LX92's today that came from STP at >50% off. Wearing my Smith I/O's that came at 50% off from Alsports, Giro G10 from SAC for 50% off with Salomon pants (also 50% off) from someplace, Arcteryx Beta AR from Travelcountry at 40% off, base layers from EMS at 50% off, Arcteryx midlayer from Steep and Cheap at 55% off, and so on.

 

Nope, no bargains on the interweb.rolleyes.gif

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Are there really ski bargains to be had on the internet?  Late season on models that didn't sell sure. But for popular gear it usually sells out before it goes on sale.  The manufacturers seem to keep a pretty tight lid on when retailers can offer discounts. (I've noticed that REI starts discounting a week before other b and m shops--must be the volume they do, so the manufacturers let them discount early.)  The main reason I would buy on line is if I couldn't find the ski in a local shop and would buy the bindings and mount locally (no way I'd let REI mount). 

Lots of bargains, if you know what you want, you are willing to wait, willing to look, and you are willing to buy last year's graphics.  Note you can buy online from big internet retailers to small shops.  Most of the local shops around here carry only middle of the road gear.  I believe in supporting local shops when they can provide the goods and give a decent price (15% off retail).  On line, I've seen just about every ski, except the Bonafide, for 50% of retail.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Are there really ski bargains to be had on the internet?  Late season on models that didn't sell sure. But for popular gear it usually sells out before it goes on sale.  The manufacturers seem to keep a pretty tight lid on when retailers can offer discounts. (I've noticed that REI starts discounting a week before other b and m shops--must be the volume they do, so the manufacturers let them discount early.)  The main reason I would buy on line is if I couldn't find the ski in a local shop and would buy the bindings and mount locally (no way I'd let REI mount). 

I just got 2011/12 Line Prophet 98s for $467 vs $650 for the 2012/13s (only a graphics change). And on top of that, I'm buying my bindings at my local REI and having them mounted there (for free). They did my last pair of skis correctly and also my wife's, so I have complete confidence in them.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Bump!  The new Bushwackers arrived today.  Blizzard replaced them with the 2013 models!  My son is thrilled.  I didn't expect the most recent model!  What an awesome company.  As I said previously, Blizzard has totally lived up to its reputation for excellent customer service.  Next stop ... Vivas for me!

post #15 of 15

Just out of curiosity, why didn't you just take the bindings off yourself?  Don't they just come off with a power screwdriver?

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › A Tale of Two customer Service Experiences: Blizzard 10 - Goldsmiths 0