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Am I Wrong Here?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
At the end of last season, I purchased a pair of 180cm BetaRide 11:20's from a local ski shop as well as a pair of Technica Icon X boots. Earlier this season, my wife bought a pair of Volkl Vertigo Motion 20/20's from this same shop. So needless to say, we spent a fair amount of money in this ski shop over the course of about 8 months.

I skied the 11:20's 2 days in April last year and over the X-mas holiday this year, we spent two days skiing at Powderhorn in the U.P. Toward the end of the first day, I was making some relatively fast GS turns on a groomed run and all of a sudden it was as if someone yanked my uphill ski out from underneath me. After I picked myself up, I looked down at my ski, which had released, and about 7 inches behind the tip, my ski had "folded." There was a noticeable crease that went from the top-sheat all the way through the base. I took the skis back to the shop where I had purchased them and they said they would work with Atomic on a warranty claim.

I finally received a brand new pair last weekend. When I picked them up I was charged $45. This cost, although not that significant, considering I have a brand new pair of skis, was for shipping ($25) and binding installation ($20)! I almost fell over, when I was told what the cost was for. After I bit my tongue, counted to ten and took a couple deep breaths, I politely asked if it was customary practice for this shop to charge their patrons for shipping and binding installation on warranty claims. (There was no charge for binding installation on our new skis, at least it was not additional to the cost of the skis/bindings on the invoice). The woman, who is the owner, launched into how much they are charged annually for product returns and how long it takes to install bindings. I replied that the shipping charges seemed to me to be a "cost" of doing business and that since the Atomic's are pre-drilled and only take Atomic bindings, how long could it really take? (They put the binding on in about 10-15 minutes when I purchased the skis!) Not to mention the fact that this is a warranty issue...I was not looking to buy a new pair of skis!

Anyways, I was just wondering if anyone else would be annoyed with this type of "customer service?"
post #2 of 9
I had to pay virtually the same thing when my Fischers were replaced on warranty. I didn't purchase the skis at the shop that sent them back for me though, so I didn't complain that they charged me for remounting and shipping. I think if I purchased the skis there I would appreciate the mounting thown in for free - it does only take a few minutes, but shipping is something out of their pocket so I can understand being responsible for that. Assuming I'm happy with the shop otherwise I don't think it would be a big deal - more like a perk if mounting happened to be free.
post #3 of 9
I don't think you're wrong. I know the margins on skis and boots, well at least here in the UK, and from what I've seen of US prices, equipment is generally less expensive. I would not use cheaper as an adjective where skis or boards are concerned. There is enough margin assuming you paid list price or close to to give decent service. I had a problem with a new pair of Atomics a few years ago, took them back to the retailer who agreed the fault, replaced at no cost. Mt son had a Burton board replaced from the factory, he was working at Sunday River at the time, no cost but last year in France the new board broke and he could only get a 50% credit from the Burton distributor. I would not be happy to be expected to pay carriage on faulty goods. Why don't you name and shame the outlet?
post #4 of 9
That seems right to me as well altagirl. I have bent or broken many skis over the years and I believe the shop charged for the binding mount each time. If you don't want to pay for the binding mount charge just mount the bindings yourself (just remember this is an intelligence test - if you decide to mount the bindings yourself without the correct jigs and drill sizes - you fail). Atomic is charging you for the shipping; so don't complain about the shop charging a shipping fee. Complain directly to Atomic. It seems to me that only an ingrate complains about a $20 shipping fee (and the $25 binding mount fee) when getting a brand new pair of comp'ed skis.


How much better than free does the deal have to be to meet your seal of approval? Sheeeeesh! Atomic sent a free pair of skis. Although it is unclear, my experience is they would have sent a pair of 2003 skis and not a pair of last year’s skis. The total cost from Atomic is $20 for shipping. You seem to think that is unreasonable. I am stumped.


[ January 21, 2003, 08:00 AM: Message edited by: Maddog1959 ]
post #5 of 9
I understand your questioning the fees associated with the warranty return of your skis.

I send an average of 5-6 prs per season back to K2, and I would end up footing the bill if I didn't defer the cost back to the consumer. As I (or a shop) have no mandatory responsibility to assist with warranty, I (or they) could simply give you the address, and have you deal with it yourself.
But, since your business is important to the shop, ethically and business-wise, it's in their best interests to help you. But a $10-15 fee for shipping is quite reasonable.
On the other hand, if you purchased the skis/bindings from the shop, and they charge for a re-mount, I'd be a little ticked. As mentioned before, it takes but a few minutes to mount bindings, even if not pre-drilled. In the interest of customer relations, and the fact that you have already been inconvenienced by the breakage, it seems to throw in the re-mount is a no brainer. It's not like it's happening 3 times per day.(and if it is, that shop had better re-evaluate the lines it carries, )

Remember, you can have a say- vote with your dollars! Take them to the shop which gives you the best service. Everybody has the same hardgoods, so the service is what makes the difference!

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Based on some of the responses, it doesn't seem like the charges were out of the ordinary. Like I hinted at initially, it seemed to me like it was trivial on the shops part, particularly for the cost of mounting the bindings.

I guess maybe I am the one that is being trivial! No complaints with Atomic. They replaced the skis, no questions asked!

Looking foward to using them in Summit County the first weekend in February!
post #7 of 9
How long it takes to mount bindings?? What a joke. When I was a tech it was very fast, set the jig, drill the holes, mount the binding and test. 5 minutes, tops.

Doesn't the R:11 already come pre-drilled for atomic bindings? Saves even more time.

I could see the shipping charge, but the mounting should have been gratis for a return. Hell, 99% of the places mount for free when you buy the ski anyway, should be the same on a warrantee claim. If it were my biz, it most certainly would have been.

Isn't this the 3rd Atomic that's been bent on this board recently? I'm starting to wonder if I want to buy them now.
post #8 of 9
I have been the fortunate beneficiary of warrantee replacement ski's three times now.

Each time I have been charged $40 by the retailer for shipping and binding remount. I see this as a very small fee for great relations and assistance with obtaining the replacement ski.

I am considering tipping the retailer for his assistance in making my claim as seamless as possible. This attitude, inspite of my loathing to drive the 20 miles to the shop.

Service has a value beyond the price of the goods!.

post #9 of 9
I agree with most of the others here. The shipping is a real cost to the retailer and it is the norm and somewhat fair to pass it on. To suggest that you are getting a free pair of skis is sort of like saying they did you a favour by selling them to you. It sounds like there was a very definite fault in the ski and it really folded up in an abnormal manner. You paid for a functional flawless ski, Atomic is simply making good on THEIR mistake in letting a flawed ski get through. Nothing free about it you paid for it and have been inconvenienced by the flawed ski to boot. As for the binding mount charge. I could absolutely see it if you were dealing with another Atomic dealer than who you purchased from. You bought two pair of skis from them and they had a part in selling you a flawed pair. They should suck it up and mount a no charge as a gesture of good will for a repeat customer. They haven't built any loyalty with you. At our shop we would definitely suck up the mount charge especially since there is no real cost to us and Atomics need no drilling and are easy as pie. I mount my own with hand tools at home on the floor and that doesn't even take me 15 minutes. Next big ski purchase you make you should stop by their shop with it just so they're fully aware you have a new loyalty.
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