Buying a bike on-line and wanting a local shop to do warranty service

JohnF

New Member
I was involved in a discussion in a Brand forum but thought it would be a good topic for General Discussion.

Some thought the manufacturer should ensure the buyer is covered for all costs. That could mean either the manufacturer reimbursing the local dealer or requiring as a condition of being a dealer that they absorb all costs.

An example of purchasing a car was given. A buyer can purchase a car and get it serviced anywhere. That happens because the retail and servicing departments are usually separate entities and the service department bills the manufacturer for any warranty service.

A major difference is cars are almost always purchased from a dealer. Some dealers have higher costs than others, but a dealer does not generally have to compete with an on-line seller.

Can a local shop compete with an on-line seller in terms of pricing? It would be very difficult especially if the local shop maintains an inventory allowing demonstrations, has sales people, and has to pay rent in a decent retail location.

If all warranty costs were covered, would there be much motivation to support the local dealer? Maybe some would do so if the price difference were small, but how would the buyer know or care if his willingness to pay a small amount extra would compensate the increased expenses of the local dealer? I bet in this case, many local dealers would go out of business, depriving many purchasers of having a local contact and being able to try different bikes.

What would be the fairest situation? One option comes to mind, but in any event making sure the policies are advertised up front:

State warranty coverage for on-line purchases will only be for parts. Buyer will be responsible for labor costs at a local shop. Furthermore, a local shop would be free to have a discounted shop rate for those who purchased their bikes from the shop. If a buyer lives far away from a local shop, possibly a warranty coverage company, such as Square Trade, might provide full labor coverage during and after the warranty period.

A manufacturer needs to protect both the dealers and customers. Maybe a policy like this would be the most equitable.
 

RoadWrinkle

Active Member
Nearly all the large online sources for ebikes also have a brick and mortar store (ebay-Amazon excluded). Warranty service is the responsibility of the manufacturer, so LBS agree to service warranty claims from bikes they sell, then they get reimbursed. A dealer could never buy and re-sell a manufacturers product without knowing the profit margin. If dealers were on the hook for possible claims, that business model goes out the window. I agree that all of the big manufacturers should have an agreement with Dealers to offer warranty service on all their products no matter where it was purchased, but then you potentially deprive the LBS that did sell the bike from revenue from servicing what they sell.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I was involved in a discussion in a Brand forum but thought it would be a good topic for General Discussion.

Some thought the manufacturer should ensure the buyer is covered for all costs. That could mean either the manufacturer reimbursing the local dealer or requiring as a condition of being a dealer that they absorb all costs.

An example of purchasing a car was given. A buyer can purchase a car and get it serviced anywhere. That happens because the retail and servicing departments are usually separate entities and the service department bills the manufacturer for any warranty service.

....

I would think larger and more well-run LBS' would have some motivation to run their service departments similar to an automobile dealership's service department - as a profit center. For one, you get that customer in your shop that bought elsewhere and perhaps win him/her over for the next purchase. Two, it gives you some ability to compete with online retailers. Third, if you are an LBS that sells smaller brands or perhaps a house brand you are probably selling to long distance customers as well so you understand the needs of similar buyers that come into your shop. My local LBS is a large store that sells Trek and a couple of other brands. They have a large banner outside that says "we service all makes and models" which by implication means they service folks who bought elsewhere. Of course their service work is rather expensive but I think labor rates have to go up a bit if they are going to try to turn a profit from their service department. As a buyer I don't mind paying for their service because I was able to get the bike I wanted which wasn't available locally. They do sell service plans for folks that buy from them.
 

raymann112

Member
reminds me of the debate in Texas with Tesla refusing to use dealers and Texas law requiring them. The libertarian in me says let them sell to willing buyers but I was sure glad I was able to go back to my dealers shop when I had a problem with my new car.
 
I was involved in a discussion in a Brand forum but thought it would be a good topic for General Discussion.

Some thought the manufacturer should ensure the buyer is covered for all costs. That could mean either the manufacturer reimbursing the local dealer or requiring as a condition of being a dealer that they absorb all costs.

An example of purchasing a car was given. A buyer can purchase a car and get it serviced anywhere. That happens because the retail and servicing departments are usually separate entities and the service department bills the manufacturer for any warranty service.

A major difference is cars are almost always purchased from a dealer. Some dealers have higher costs than others, but a dealer does not generally have to compete with an on-line seller.

Can a local shop compete with an on-line seller in terms of pricing? It would be very difficult especially if the local shop maintains an inventory allowing demonstrations, has sales people, and has to pay rent in a decent retail location.

If all warranty costs were covered, would there be much motivation to support the local dealer? Maybe some would do so if the price difference were small, but how would the buyer know or care if his willingness to pay a small amount extra would compensate the increased expenses of the local dealer? I bet in this case, many local dealers would go out of business, depriving many purchasers of having a local contact and being able to try different bikes.

What would be the fairest situation? One option comes to mind, but in any event making sure the policies are advertised up front:

State warranty coverage for on-line purchases will only be for parts. Buyer will be responsible for labor costs at a local shop. Furthermore, a local shop would be free to have a discounted shop rate for those who purchased their bikes from the shop. If a buyer lives far away from a local shop, possibly a warranty coverage company, such as Square Trade, might provide full labor coverage during and after the warranty period.

A manufacturer needs to protect both the dealers and customers. Maybe a policy like this would be the most equitable.

Most regular bike shops I have talked to don't want to even mess with electric. So it's best to build and service your own ebike.
 

Bob G

New Member
If you take a bike to a shop that didn't sell it to you then the best you'll get for covered warranty work is replacement parts free but you pay for labor.
Haibike website--
When you bought your Haibike you made a legal contract with your dealer. If warranty and liability claims or any other service questions arise, that dealer is your only point of contact.
However, if you should chose to make a claim for your Haibike with a dealer other than the original seller, additional costs may occur. We do not cover these costs. Therefore, we strongly recommend to settle any issues with your Haibike seller.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
That would be an excellent reason never to consider buying a Haibike. Since the only companies that go out of business more often than ebike vendors are ebike dealers they're basically making you hope that the dealer will be around. Regardless of what they say, however, if the buyer purchased the bike with a credit card - and it's always a good idea not to pay cash - there is another solution which is just to charge back the purchase. The typical credit card company will allow you to charge back if a vendor fails to replace/repair for up to 120 days and the credit card company knows that their customer is the cardholder, not the merchant so they tend to be very easy to deal with.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I would think larger and more well-run LBS' would have some motivation to run their service departments similar to an automobile dealership's service department - as a profit center. For one, you get that customer in your shop that bought elsewhere and perhaps win him/her over for the next purchase. Two, it gives you some ability to compete with online retailers. Third, if you are an LBS that sells smaller brands or perhaps a house brand you are probably selling to long distance customers as well so you understand the needs of similar buyers that come into your shop. My local LBS is a large store that sells Trek and a couple of other brands. They have a large banner outside that says "we service all makes and models" which by implication means they service folks who bought elsewhere. Of course their service work is rather expensive but I think labor rates have to go up a bit if they are going to try to turn a profit from their service department. As a buyer I don't mind paying for their service because I was able to get the bike I wanted which wasn't available locally. They do sell service plans for folks that buy from them.
I agree that the auto industry's approach to warranty/maintenance/service makes sense. If any of the many bike shops near me offered a reasonable variety of eMTBs at prices worth my consideration, I'd absolutely buy local. I did find a shop nearby whose service mgr is open to working on the bike aspects of my pedelecs, but not the electric parts (they carry Giant and Raleigh but no electric models so far).

I have used some of the savings from my online acquisitions to invest in quality bike stand and tools, and have been slowly but surely learning different aspects of bike maintenance and repair (I realize that not everyone has the time and/or space for this option). Thus far, with multiple ebike purchases over the past two years, I've been able to handle most bike-related service issues on my own. The few times I've had motor, controller or battery problems, mfrs have sent replacement parts to the dealer of origin, who then forwards them to me. I've managed to successfully "plug & play" the new e-parts, and send faulty ones back for research etc. Some dealers and/or companies won't knowingly work that way, of course, but (knock wood) it's been working for me.

A bike mechanic friend of mine once told me that a "downtown" shop he worked in made more than 80% of its profits from service/repairs of older bikes, mostly simple stuff that casual cyclists don't want to - or cannot - deal with. He felt that this was at least partly because online competition kept new bike margins razor-thin (margins on ebikes start much higher, but time will probably erode that market tendency). He and I were considering an ebike shop at the time, but abandoned that idea when a few major ebike dealers told me that the vast majority of their sales have been through the interwebs. If most of my sales were out-of-area, there would go more than half my post-warranty revenue potential.

Until ebikes become more mainstream like they are in Asia and Europe, specializing in service of "all makes and models" of them here won't pay the bills. And the only way to compete in ebike sales would be to start with enough working capital to buy at mfrs' lowest wholesale rates (think "YUGE" volumes). Aside from cycling "purists'" resistance to pedal assist bikes, this seems to be a primary reason my LBSs have avoided dabbling in electric bicycles so far...
 
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LimboJim

Well-Known Member
Most regular bike shops I have talked to don't want to even mess with electric. So it's best to build and service your own ebike.
DIY ebikes can no doubt be awesome, but purpose-built ebikes are often more aesthetically pleasing, and thicker- or bulkier-framed to handle the extra weight and stress a battery and hi-torque motor create.

I believe this to especially be true for eMTBs that are ridden off-road; I've read alot about DIY electric bike frames etc. cracking and/or breaking when ridden hard on trails. Other than a few chains (which I replaced with ebike-specific parts), my pre-built, "major brand" electric mountain bikes have held up through many hundreds of rugged trail miles.
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
I'm sure bike mechanics would like a base rate of $25-30/hour, and work off a flat rate system where the book says a derailleur tune-up gets billed for 90 minutes work. Meanwhile, the dealer charges a $90 diagnostic fee and $80-120/hour for that book rate. Add 20% more if the bike has german parts. That's the auto industry. Don't forget training and certification. Regulatory issues to work on AC, and emissions.

Nope. US bike techs are either minimum wage, or they're the owner on his own time. The independent guy is there 6 or 7 days a week, 10 hours a day. I give them credit for the love of bicycling, but they ain't retiring on pensions.

I sympathize withe-bike owners who aren't hands on. E-biking should be simple, but they are not. I think they'll get there.
 

Bob G

New Member
I disagree with the bike shop is similar to a car dealership analogy I've read on this and other threads recently. It's not similar at all. Sure it would be nice if there was full coverage wherever we took our bikes but that's not how it works right now.

Part of the blame falls on the buyer as well -- if you want full service coverage on your bike then find a local dealer that offers that but you'll pay more because you're getting more. It's a trade off, period. I bought my Haibike online to save money on the front end but I know if I have a problem then I'll be paying for labor charges later. It's a risk that I took and I'm okay with that.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
I agree with what you're saying, but if you buy a Ford or Chevy and the dealer goes under there are tons of other dealers. With the way bike shops come and go you can pay more to support a local dealet but the dealer could fold at any time. It's more like having bought a Saab and having no warranty when they went under.
 

JohnF

New Member
I disagree with the bike shop is similar to a car dealership analogy I've read on this and other threads recently. It's not similar at all. Sure it would be nice if there was full coverage wherever we took our bikes but that's not how it works right now.

Part of the blame falls on the buyer as well -- if you want full service coverage on your bike then find a local dealer that offers that but you'll pay more because you're getting more. It's a trade off, period. I bought my Haibike online to save money on the front end but I know if I have a problem then I'll be paying for labor charges later. It's a risk that I took and I'm okay with that.
I agree with this. Some make a case for a buyer living far away from an authorized dealer when it comes to purchasing, but when they need service from an authorized dealer, they would have to travel the same distance.

In another thread I was involved with, some believed the relationship was between the manufacturer and the buyer, with the dealer only having an incidental role. They argued that the manufacturer had the sole obligation to provide warranty service (labor and parts) regardless of the place of purchase. In this case, the buyer would save money on the purchase and someone else would have to cover for his warranty labor.

As you implied, it's all about being accountable to your own decisions. Save money up front - great. But the risk for your saving should be on you, not someone else.
 

JohnF

New Member
I agree with what you're saying, but if you buy a Ford or Chevy and the dealer goes under there are tons of other dealers. With the way bike shops come and go you can pay more to support a local dealet but the dealer could fold at any time. It's more like having bought a Saab and having no warranty when they went under.
You make a valid point, but who should cover for the labor part of the warranty service if the dealer does go out of business? I've seen in other cases where a business folds, the former competing business will try and get new customers. For good will, they could choose to cover or at least give a good discount on the labor.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Well they could do what is the norm in most businesses (cars, motorcycles, TVs, appliances) where the manufacturer and not individual dealers honor warranty work. I assume there's no free lunch, so potential warranty costs are baked into the price of the item, but if, for example, you buy a Sony XBR TV of a certain size Sony pays for warranty work and it's actually in-home service. Maybe it's this type of anti-customer attitude that has helped make ebikes a tiny niche market. I'm in the states but my understanding is that EU warranty laws are very pro-consumer. It would be interesting to see how Haibike covers warranty work in the EU, if it's as messed up as they treat folks in the US/Canada or if it's more generous. By the way depending on what state you're in regardless of what they say they may have to cover warranty work. A few states such as Maine and Louisiana have generous implied warranty laws so a manufacturer's attempt to skirt their obligations is over written by state law.
 

kiltym

New Member
I see the following issues with all the warranty items. Flame me if you want :).

The below is only my view being in the U.S. Outside of the U.S. I do not imply to know anything about.

When a bike is purchased new (from any dealer), let's use Haibike as an example, Haibike states they provide a warranty (part of why one buys a particular brand, is the warranty being offered by that brand). They would like to then claim (on their website) that the agreement is between the buyer and the dealer, but this is BS. The agreement is between the buyer and Haibike, just like any other consumer product on the market. Think of any product you bought, in the back of the manual is the warranty information (FROM THE MANUFACTURER), not the dealer. If the dealer offered a warranty that would be a completely separate warranty. With many small appliances, things have to be shipped back to the manufacturer, totally removing the dealer from the equation.

Haibike has on their site "When you bought your Haibike you entered into a legal contract with your dealer. If warranty and liability claims as well as any other service questions arise, that dealer is your sole point of contact."

They also write "How long is the Haibike liability responsible for the warranty period? The statutory liability for material defects applies to the complete bicycle for two years."

So in one sentence they state a "legal contract with your dealer" and the next sentence they state "Hiabike liability". Pretty sketchy if you ask me. And I am pretty sure nothing was signed about warranty work when I purchased a bike. The warranty was "sold" from Haibike, not the dealer.

I suspect, if someone wanted to start a class action against Haibike in the U.S. for not covering warranty repairs except at the original dealer, they would lose. Haibike has a legal obligation to stand behind their warranty, that is their contract, not the dealers.

There are many reasons one cannot return to the original store of purchase:
1) You move
2) You are travelling and have an issue
3) You bought from a dealer 5 hours away as they had a better price then the one 10 minutes away (sorry, in the U.S. competition is king, but the warranty is a legal contract from the manufacturer).
4) You buy online (Haibike has no right to discriminate against customers purchasing online, since they obviously allow their bikes to be sold that way).


Now, if Haibike simply reimbursed any dealer for warranty work (like Ford does), dealers would all be happy to work on any bike, purchased anywhere, for warranty work as they are guaranteed payment back from Haibike for their labor and parts. Seems like a no brainer for any bike shop. But, based on reports of bike shops not wanting to do warranty work on bikes they did not sell, something is obviously amiss here, and Haibike is not reimburing the bike shops. To me, this is the core of the problem, and what needs to get resolved (by dealers).



"Part of the blame falls on the buyer as well -- if you want full service coverage on your bike then find a local dealer that offers that but you'll pay more because you're getting more."

I could not disagree with this quote more. One should not have to pay more for a warranty. A warranty is part of what anyone is buying (regardless of the final price) when they purchase a new product. Manufacturers use their warranty as a selling point in marketing and advertising. To then claim you only get it if you pay a premium at your local shop, that's crazy (to honor warranty only from "authorized dealers" is common). The issue is that the bike manufacturers must not be playing fair with the dealers. That is the only explanation to all of this or dealers would be very happy to fix any warranty issue on any bike.
 
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Solom01

Well-Known Member
Not meaning to flame, but as a lawyer I can tell you to forget about a class action suit. That requires either a large potential class or huge damages (death, permanent injury) to make it economically worthwhile. So what realistic options are there? If you're in one of the few pro-consumer states like Maine or Louisiana there's an implied warranty that the manufacturer and retailer can't exclude. Call your State Attorney General's office and they'll normally help you out. In most other states there is some version of a small claims/general district court. It only costs a few dollars to sue the retailer and manufacturer for breach of warranty nd the court house normally has fill-in-the-blank pdfs to make it easy to do. Either they spend a lot of time and money defending the suit, or they don't show up and you get a default judgment. And last but not least let your wallet do the talking. Regardless of a review going on about why it's worth paying more for a good warranty and dealer network if a manufacturer is charging a premium price and offering a poor warranty buy from another manufacturer. None of these bikes is so special that there aren't other choices .
 

Dan Dialogue

New Member
I bought my bike online because my local dealer (10-minutes from home) wanted nearly $1800 more. I prefer to support my LBS any time I can but I can't justify an additional $1800 PLUS tax buying locally versus buying online. The same LBS is a Bulls dealer and will not do any warranty work on it. In my eyes, I feel that if you're an authorized dealer of a certain brand, providing warranty service should be part of the dealer agreement regardless of where the person bought the bike. He was so adamant about it that when it came time for me to replace my broken controller(in a crash), I bought it from a dealer that is 45-minutes away. In fact, that dealer was willing to upgrade my software at no charge and even though 35-miles away vs. 5-miles, will now be getting my ebike service.
 

John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
I see the following issues with all the warranty items. Flame me if you want :).

The below is only my view being in the U.S. Outside of the U.S. I do not imply to know anything about.

When a bike is purchased new (from any dealer), let's use Haibike as an example, Haibike states they provide a warranty (part of why one buys a particular brand, is the warranty being offered by that brand). They would like to then claim (on their website) that the agreement is between the buyer and the dealer, but this is BS. The agreement is between the buyer and Haibike, just like any other consumer product on the market. Think of any product you bought, in the back of the manual is the warranty information (FROM THE MANUFACTURER), not the dealer. If the dealer offered a warranty that would be a completely separate warranty. With many small appliances, things have to be shipped back to the manufacturer, totally removing the dealer from the equation.

Haibike has on their site "When you bought your Haibike you entered into a legal contract with your dealer. If warranty and liability claims as well as any other service questions arise, that dealer is your sole point of contact."

They also write "How long is the Haibike liability responsible for the warranty period? The statutory liability for material defects applies to the complete bicycle for two years."

So in one sentence they state a "legal contract with your dealer" and the next sentence they state "Hiabike liability". Pretty sketchy if you ask me. And I am pretty sure nothing was signed about warranty work when I purchased a bike. The warranty was "sold" from Haibike, not the dealer.

I suspect, if someone wanted to start a class action against Haibike in the U.S. for not covering warranty repairs except at the original dealer, they would lose. Haibike has a legal obligation to stand behind their warranty, that is their contract, not the dealers.

There are many reasons one cannot return to the original store of purchase:
1) You move
2) You are travelling and have an issue
3) You bought from a dealer 5 hours away as they had a better price then the one 10 minutes away (sorry, in the U.S. competition is king, but the warranty is a legal contract from the manufacturer).
4) You buy online (Haibike has no right to discriminate against customers purchasing online, since they obviously allow their bikes to be sold that way).


Now, if Haibike simply reimbursed any dealer for warranty work (like Ford does), dealers would all be happy to work on any bike, purchased anywhere, for warranty work as they are guaranteed payment back from Haibike for their labor and parts. Seems like a no brainer for any bike shop. But, based on reports of bike shops not wanting to do warranty work on bikes they did not sell, something is obviously amiss here, and Haibike is not reimburing the bike shops. To me, this is the core of the problem, and what needs to get resolved (by dealers).



"Part of the blame falls on the buyer as well -- if you want full service coverage on your bike then find a local dealer that offers that but you'll pay more because you're getting more."

I could not disagree with this quote more. One should not have to pay more for a warranty. A warranty is part of what anyone is buying (regardless of the final price) when they purchase a new product. Manufacturers use their warranty as a selling point in marketing and advertising. To then claim you only get it if you pay a premium at your local shop, that's crazy (to honor warranty only from "authorized dealers" is common). The issue is that the bike manufacturers must not be playing fair with the dealers. That is the only explanation to all of this or dealers would be very happy to fix any warranty issue on any bike.

Wow, Kiltym I agree with your post and I think you nailed it...." The issue is that the bike manufacturers must not be playing fair with the dealers. That is the only explanation to all of this or dealers would be very happy to fix any warranty issue on any bike....

As for Internet purchase of an e-Bike vs from a LBS, for me personally, I would only purchase from a LBS. I have two examples of how
my LBS solved two significant problems with each of my e-Bikes. Before I explain, I'm absolutely in no way knocking an Internet purchase nor the person
that chooses that route.... I own two Trek e-bikes, an XM700+ and a Powerfly 7 MTB, both purchased from the same LBS...

Problem #1 The chain on the sprocket of the XM700+ came off twice 3-4 miles from home. Reseating the chain is quite difficult on an XM 700+ because
of the chain guard design and support. ( Chain dropping on the 700+ appears to be an issuel ) My dealer and his lead Shop Tech studied
the problem, realized the Powerfly 7 had a much better front sprocket design with a built in guard, called Trek, they agreed, sent the parts for the swap
and I have not had a problem. Done Deal thanks to the skill and knowledge of my LBS.

Problem #2 When my Trek Powerfly 7 arrived at my LBS, the Bosch controller was damaged in transit. What to do ? My LBS contacted Trek,
the Bosch Intuvia controllers were back ordered. Bosch distributes via a parts distributer, not direct to Trek and the dist. was back ordered as well, so
how did Trek solve this with my dealer as to not delay the customer aka me...

Trek immediately sent another Powerfly 7 from Wisconsin 'on their dime' and I was off riding in three days....Doesn't
get much better then that.

I rambled on about my real life examples of new e-bike issues to make a point....Without local support, either through a Factory Authorized
Dealer or a LBS that is willing to gladly work on our bikes, Online e-Bike shopping has the potential to become a real 'science project'
If someone is serious about buying an e-Bike online, please go into it with eyes wide open.

John from CT
 

Dan Dialogue

New Member
Wow, Kiltym I agree with your post and I think you nailed it...." The issue is that the bike manufacturers must not be playing fair with the dealers. That is the only explanation to all of this or dealers would be very happy to fix any warranty issue on any bike....

As for Internet purchase of an e-Bike vs from a LBS, for me personally, I would only purchase from a LBS. I have two examples of how
my LBS solved two significant problems with each of my e-Bikes. Before I explain, I'm absolutely in no way knocking an Internet purchase nor the person
that chooses that route.... I own two Trek e-bikes, an XM700+ and a Powerfly 7 MTB, both purchased from the same LBS...

Problem #1 The chain on the sprocket of the XM700+ came off twice 3-4 miles from home. Reseating the chain is quite difficult on an XM 700+ because
of the chain guard design and support. ( Chain dropping on the 700+ appears to be an issuel ) My dealer and his lead Shop Tech studied
the problem, realized the Powerfly 7 had a much better front sprocket design with a built in guard, called Trek, they agreed, sent the parts for the swap
and I have not had a problem. Done Deal thanks to the skill and knowledge of my LBS.

Problem #2 When my Trek Powerfly 7 arrived at my LBS, the Bosch controller was damaged in transit. What to do ? My LBS contacted Trek,
the Bosch Intuvia controllers were back ordered. Bosch distributes via a parts distributer, not direct to Trek and the dist. was back ordered as well, so
how did Trek solve this with my dealer as to not delay the customer aka me...

Trek immediately sent another Powerfly 7 from Wisconsin 'on their dime' and I was off riding in three days....Doesn't
get much better then that.

I rambled on about my real life examples of new e-bike issues to make a point....Without local support, either through a Factory Authorized
Dealer or a LBS that is willing to gladly work on our bikes, Online e-Bike shopping has the potential to become a real 'science project'
If someone is serious about buying an e-Bike online, please go into it with eyes wide open.

John from CT

That's a good point but to be fair you were dealing with an American bike manufacturer(Trek) who's been manufacturing bikes for nearly 40-years with thousands of dealers worldwide. I am within a 20-minute drive of at least 5 or 6 Trek, Specialized and Cannondale dealers and all of them will perform warranty work on the brands they sell, regardless of where it was purchased. Competition is too fierce not to. There's only one Bulls dealer within 30-minutes of my house. Bulls and others, are just barely entering into the U.S. market and need to step up their customer service if they want to compete. I'm a technician for a local Motorola radio shop and I often perform warranty work on radios not bought at my shop. I can't even imagine turning away a potential future customer because they didn't buy the radio from us.

Seems simple to me. If you sell and service a brand, you should offer warranty repairs on that brand regardless of where it was purchased. If not, you risk losing future business. My LBS 10-minutes away won't be getting my business for this exact reason and I'm sure I'm not alone.

BTW, back in the day, my '11 Trek EX5 had a defective coil fork and Trek upgraded it to an air fork. Trek does have good customer service.