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As most of you already know we take customer service very seriously. Obviously this is because we understand that our reputation depends on it, but more than that we want to do the “right thing”.

I have a customer service situation that I would like to run past you guys to get you input. I am having a hard time coming to a comfortable resolution.

We installed a 57mm system on a 05 999R recently and after the bike left the exhaust moved around a little bit due to heating and cooling etc. I’m sure you can imagine the little space inside the fairings that is left after installing this system. Simply put, it’s jammed in there. When the system moves around even a little it can come in contact with the inside of the fairings, and therefore damage the fairings. To combat this we put a lot of heat insulation inside the fairings that is not included in the exhaust kit. Last week the owner of the 999R emailed me a picture of where the back side of the fairing contacted the header and discolored the paint. The spot is the little bit of fairing underneath the kickstand. The spot is not burned through or melted, the paint is just a little brown.

Since the customer spent a lot of time in the service department while the exhaust was being installed I asked my tech who did the work what kind of “warnings” he gave the customer about the install. My tech told the customer that the exhaust is so big that there are clearance problems, pointed out the added heat shield and warned the customer about the fact that as it goes through it’s first few heat cycles it will move around and to watch out for clearance issues that may arise, specifically with the swingarm because this is where we have had the most interference problems. My tech did not specifically say to watch for fairing to pipe clearance issues though, he probably should have.

Normally we have the bike for a few days so the heat cycle issue is watched by us before the bike is delivered. Due to time constraints we couldn’t have the bike that long.

After a return email to the customer explaining my views on “implied shared responsibility” in regards to motorcycle modification I received a reply stating that he would like the panel replaced, not repaired, etc. Of course I can see his point, the fairing is worse off after the exhaust install, and therefore we have some responsibility in the matter. But on the other hand putting a massive full race system on a street bike does have it’s compromises.

I am looking for a proportional solution. Coming out of my pocket for $1750 odd dollars for a new panel seems a bit extreme from my end, but maybe I am wrong. On the other end I certainly don’t expect for the customer to just eat all of the damage/expense, etc.

So what is the good solution?
 
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Re: Customer service question (section8superbike)

The panel is a ton of money, but what then, it's just going to discolor again. Buying a new panel is not a solution, unless the bike is placed in a museum and never started again. Since the panel is not damaged, and there was no intent on Section8s part, I would say an acceptable repaint is all that should be done. Since the damage is way down low, then it can be spotted in and cleared and you would never know. The owner still has the problem with the pipe to body clearance issue though. I feel like if you offer anything at all, it should be a repair, as good as new, but a repair none the less.
 
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Re: Customer service question (section8superbike)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by section8superbike »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I am looking for a proportional solution. Coming out of my pocket for $1750 odd dollars for a new panel seems a bit extreme from my end, but maybe I am wrong. On the other end I certainly don’t expect for the customer to just eat all of the damage/expense, etc.

So what is the good solution?
</TD></TR></TABLE>

Honestly, if it were me, I don't think I'd be asking you to fork over $1750.

Your customer wants to live in the world of high performance mods without the associated risks of things not working exactly as they did from the factory. To expect that any shop will be able to anticipate every single problem that might crop up due to a particular aftermarket mod is a little unreasonable. And, even though you state that your guy didn't tell him to inspect this exact spot for problems, he bears responsibility for understanding the fit issue and to perform his own due diligence, if I can use the term.

I would bet he's no dummy and he actually doesn't expect you to cough up the whole amount ...... it's just the start of his end of the negotiation.

I know you said he doesn't want to paint the part, but I would suggest that would be a fair offer. Or how about just slapping a Section 8 sticker over it.


 
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Re: Customer service question (JamesP)

hi i think, that if does not agree to a repair of the painted area, them maybe you could offer him a new panel for your cost, i do not think this was in any way your fault !!!!!
 
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Re: Customer service question (section8superbike)

I have always understood that modification away from factory tolerances were made at the owner's risk unless otherwise specified. I'm well into the process of burning two (2) holes in the bodywork I bought from you with my puny 45/50 aftermarket system and it never occurred to me to complain. Apparenlty some others do not share this understanding so it might be a good matter of policy to include some very basic waiver language to the bottom of your work orders to the effect that the buyer understands that you do not warrant the fit or function of accessories or aftermarket parts and accepts the risk that the installation and use of such parts may have unintended consequences affecting the appearance or function of the motorcycle.

With regard to the situation at hand, it appears the owner is attempting to use stock body panels for a purpose for which they are not intended (enclosing a huge exhaust). If the discoloration will occur no matter what you do (or) if you took all reasonable steps to prevent the discoloration, I think you do not have an obligation to further address this matter but rather, in the name of good will, you might offer to re-paint the body part or give a deep discount on some some quantity of parts. Bottom line - if the owner is going to badmouth you no matter what you do, I say why throw good money after bad.

On the other hand, if the owner won't be satisfied with anything less than a new bike, you could always broker a deal between him and one of your lowly 996 customers...
 
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Re: Customer service question (section8superbike)

Just because motorcycle parts come painted is the only reason some guys are afraid of paint. I mean, if something like this happened on the guys new Corvette, the ONLY solution is paint since you can't get painted parts from the factory. I say offer a deal to repair the damaged area and that's it.
 
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if the sale of the exhaust was unsolicited and the exhaust was installed correctly then I would offer NOTHING. On the other hand if the sale of the exhaust system was sollicited by your shop and the proper warnings were not issued, than you are responsible for the repair/replacment of his bodywork. You are not going to make everyone happy and therefore will leave some business off on a bad note. If the guy came to you and wanted this system installed, it is his problem.
 
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Re: Customer service question (section8superbike)

i think it's mostly a business question,i am also in business,(doors and windows,sales and instalation)from what i have learned is that the responsability is always the dealers what ever way you see it, thats why every little ''detail'' must be writen down on a contract or at least talked about very clearly with the customer, i know you have a very good reputation and your line of work must be hard because your customers spend big money for their toys and they want their bikes perfect. i just hope you can get an agreement with your customer, theres also the solution to have his lower modified for clearance and if it's well done maybe that could make him happy,good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
besides, if he is paying up for 999R and 57mm exh. he should be able to fork up the cash for a new fairing and gold foil tape to protect it with ease.
 
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Re: (jayhunter)

Repaint!

His panel wasn't new when he got the exhaust put on so why should you have to put a new one on.

In the future, maybe a have customers sign off on that performance mods may cause unforseen consequenses such as bigger wheelies, hotter exhaust, bigger pucker factor (the good and bad), lower MPG, etc. Some people only think of the benefits rather than the big picture.
 
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Re: Customer service question (Phil 998)

tell him that all the cool people have a big ass section 8 sticker in that spot and you'll give it to him and install it for free instead of charging 5 bucks.

i would think a quality repaint and a heads up to him and the next guy that this stuff happens.
 
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Re: Customer service question (section8superbike)

Personally, I wouldn't expect a dealer to replace anything unless they screwed up. The only thing you *might* have done wrong is to not specifically warn him about that particular problem. I just looked at pictures of the 999R, and if it's a small discoloration below the kickstand, it would be kind of hard to see, unless it was burned black. I say stick to your guns on this, and if you feel obligated to fix things, I would go halves at most.
 
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Re: Customer service question (erik996)

The most i would offer is a new paint job.along with a signed disclaimer that for
any reason the panel becomes discolored once again- It is not your responsibilty
to fix it due to a after-market kit being installed.
 
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Re: Customer service question (erik996)

Just to clarify, the problem of continued burning will be and can be addressed before any kind of "fix" on the fairing is performed. The reason the exhaust pipe touched is that the pipe moved arround a bit as it settled in. These can be set up so they don't burn, but it's a fine line.
 
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Re: Customer service question (STRATUS749)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by STRATUS749 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"> The most i would offer is a new paint job.along with a signed disclaimer that for
any reason the panel becomes discolored once again- It is not your responsibilty
to fix it due to a after-market kit being installed. </TD></TR></TABLE>

Agreed 100%, as pointed out earlier as well the panel was NOT new to begin with and if a repaint will fix it then that should be it.

The other thing you could say to him is that it adds wank value cos people will know he has a BIG pipe
, you tell him that is this case there will be no charge for the burn stain
 
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Re: Customer service question (Monstaman)

Oh yeah, I forgot to add. I have already drawn up a "exhaust waiver" that explains the possible riskes in installing aftermarket exhaust.
 
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Re: Customer service question (section8superbike)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by section8superbike »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Oh yeah, I forgot to add. I have already drawn up a "exhaust waiver" that explains the possible riskes in installing aftermarket exhaust.
</TD></TR></TABLE>

The trick is now getting him to sign it.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Just to play devil's advocate, for the paint to brown on the outside, the panel has been subjected to excessive heat. Is it possible this could have affected the integrity of the panel? If so the request would be valid. If its purely cosmetic then repaint would be the logical choice.
 
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Re: (Loosecannon)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Loosecannon »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Just to play devil's advocate, for the paint to brown on the outside, the panel has been subjected to excessive heat. Is it possible this could have affected the integrity of the panel? If so the request would be valid. If its purely cosmetic then repaint would be the logical choice.</TD></TR></TABLE>

A good point, but I doubt there is any danger with the integrity of the panel, it's not like it needs to hold up to re-entry.
 
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Re: (section8superbike)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by section8superbike »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">

A good point, but I doubt there is any danger with the integrity of the panel, it's not like it needs to hold up to re-entry.


</TD></TR></TABLE>

I thought about that too after I typed the above post.
 
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