I have a Giant XTC2 mountain bike which I bought in Japan in March of 2000. It's an aluminum-frame, full-suspension bike which I paid around $1000 for.
Recently, I was riding my bicycle home from work and the rear wheel started to wobble around. It took me a minute to figure out what was wrong- the section very near the rear sprockets which the wheel connects to (the frame) had cracked quite badly and was on its way to coming completely apart.
I have had street tires on this bike from day one, and the roughest riding it has seen has been the occasional enthusiastic jump off of a curb.
The frame of a $1000 bike, broken.
I assumed I'd be able to order the part, and then remembered that I bought it in Japan.
After much poking around, I gathered that Giant had a lifetime warranty on all its frames, and all I needed to do was take it to a Giant dealer so they could see what the situation was.
Well, the Giant dealer here in Portland I dealt with was Bike n' Hike, and they were very helpful and friendly, but in the end the word came back from Giant- I would have to service the bike in Japan, since I bought it there.
An old friend was kind enough to help me out (Thanks Nozomi!), and located the bicycle shop I had long forgotten the name and location of in Gare mall, in the JR Osaka train station- "Cycle World". With a little fidgeting I got their number and spoke with them.
They were puzzled, and of course, much of the feedback was in polite Japanese, so I didn't catch a lot of it. I assumed the guy was looking into the issue for me and I would call back later to find out what he'd discovered. When I called back, the person I got on the phone did not know what I was asking about.
I re-explained all the story to this guy as well, with slightly broken Japanese at many turns, but he seemed to understand what I meant.
He told me the warranty was definitely expired.
I asked him if he knew whether the Giant warranty was lifetime in Japan or not.
He didn't know, but countered with the fact that I'd have to come up with proof of purchase in order to get any warranty anything anyway.
I told him I did not think I had that.
I asked if he could look into getting the part anyway.
He said if it was available, a Giant dealer in the USA would be able to tell me (the part is, in fact, not available to the dealer here.)
So. At present I have a $1000 paperweight. A greasy one.
I turns out I do have proof of purchase- my old habit of holding onto receipts may prove helpful here.
I understand that companies warranty items by country to prevent black/gray market transport and/or devaluation of their products, but these are $1000 mountain bikes pretty much wherever you purchase them- well, $1400 now. Anyway, the cost of getting a container of asian-market bikes to the states is going to void any possible profits...
I am going to pursue both Japan and USA Giant dealers and write a letter to the USA Giant office in Newbury Park, CA- since they have no online support whatsoever- and report back on how my $1000 paperweight is doing.
My instinct tells me this is a waste of time, and that Giant is going to blow me off and I will get nothing but a hassle. However, if they do, I will make sure anyone searching for their name will have my blog come up as a hit concerning their warranties and practices.
Here's a copy of my receipt- I think it has warranty info on it, too...
Wait a minute- it that Giant's phone number at the bottom? Ooooo...
Labels: Giant bicycle frame warranty trouble