New bike damaged in transit, advice required.

scott_b
scott_b Posts: 27
edited February 2014 in Road general
Hi guys looking for a bit of advice re damage caused during transit....

After never owned a brand new bike I found myself in a position to splash out. Due to work and family commitments I needed the bike to be delivered. Having done my research and sat on the same size bike during an event last year I was happy with ordering online. The courier attempted to deliver twice whilst I was out and I ended up collected from there depot. The box looks second hand but in generally good condition. I collected the bike and laid in flat in the rear of my car. I got the bike home unpacked it and began to build it up. When it came to attaching the bars I noticed a scuff to the paint under the stem. I installed the front brake so it did not become tangled in the wheel, or mark the frame. The bike was then put in my spare room and I emailed the company.

From looking at the box and location of the mark it appears the scuff has been caused by the box having been dragged on one end and the frame having no protection in that area.

I contacted the store and supplied photos of the damage and box and was told they would contact parcel force and the matter will be investigated. The bike came parcelforce 48 so not sure what level of cover they offer.

Here are a few pics of the damage.

Scuff on frame
null_zps2e590aa4.jpg

Box.
null_zpsce19c8f6.jpg

After waiting a week with no news I emailed the company today and got the following reply. At this stage I have edited out the company name....


Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delayed response before coming back to you.
We rarely have any issues with goods damaged in transit and certainly not in similar circumstances to these. I therefore wanted to make a thorough investigation prior to coming back to you.

In terms of my role, I am responsible for customer deliveries at XXXXXXXXXXXX, which includes the packaging of built bikes. Prior to taking this position I was one of the mechanics, so I am familiar with preparing bikes for shipment and reassembling afterwards.
With regards your shipment, it was me that actually secured, packaged and shipped you bike. I used the same method as always which involves the removal of certain components for the bike, additional packaging and ensuring there is nothing moving freely in the box.
We tend to re-cycle the boxes and mainly use Cervelo ones for all makes of bike. These tend to be the best quality and accommodate most bikes well, especially Cervelo.

As you have confirmed the bike was partially stripped and secured, with foam covering the head tube. To be honest this is where we are really struggling to reconcile the damage on the bike to the damage on the packaging.
I have contacted Parcel Force and spoken to them about the damage that has occurred to your bike in an effort to find out how it may have occurred.
They have informed me that when you collected the parcel from the Rotherham depot there was nothing other than normal transit marks to the packaging. I have spoken directly to the person who handed the parcel over to you and she confirms the damage to the parcel was slight as indicated in your photographs.
The side carry handles were ripped upward and there were mark’s down the sides of the box with one corner bent in and ripped slightly. Her comments again reflect your photographs.

We know how the bike was packed, as we take the upmost care take to try and stop this sort of thing from happening and with the marks on the box we are really struggling to see how this damage has occurred.

As you said yourself the bike was very well packaged. At the time of packing there was foam placed around the head tube and stem, the frame covered with card, spacers placed in or around the drop outs, handlebars covered in foam and secured to the frame. The front brake calliper was removed and placed in a jiffy bag. The seta post and saddle covered in card and bubble wrap and the box was double lined with card and the front wheel placed in a card sleeve. Small parts were added to another jiffy bag.

This bike was packed far more securely than those we receive from the manufacturers, and they travel half-way round the world to get to us.
Unfortunately when you collected the bike from the Parcel Force Rotherham depot you did not check the contents and you have signed for the parcel as being received in good condition.
Even if the parcel looked in “OK” condition as it had damage to the box you should have ideally checked the contents before signing. Unfortunately the carrier is now relieved of any responsibility no matter what the cause of the damage.

From your description in your email your state that there is a large hole in the end of the box, this is perfectly normal, it is meant to be there, and is used to drag out the box when in storage racking.
We are therefore really struggling to understand how the damage has occurred. As there is no visible damage to the box that reflects the damage to the frame in the photos that you have provided us.

Furthermore we have taken the same bike, placed it in the same box in the same way and attempted to replicate the damage with a screwdriver. We found that the head tube was a good 125mm to 150mm from the entry point to the box assuming the offending sharp object entered through the whole. There is then the issue of the foam padding, not to mention that the head tube has been marked and scuffed.
As there is no sign of something puncturing the box and assuming contact wasn’t made through the “hole” any crush damage would have been taken by the stem that covered the location. Also impact damage would look very different. We have therefore ruled these out as possible causes of the damage out, due to the evidence provided.

In the photos you have sent to me it is clear that someone has assembled the bike, you have also stated that fact in your email. We can’t help but assume that this damage has occurred whilst the bike has been in your care or buy whoever assembled the bike, perhaps a friend or local bike dealer.
Alternatively perhaps someone has inadvertently caused the damage after it was received and unpacked.

Finally and more confusing, we are able to understand why someone would fit the front bake and continue to assemble the bike if such a blatant mark was present on the head tube.
It’s clearly obvious to the eye, and in a very prominent place that just can’t be missed.
On this basis we again fail to understand why the issue would not have been reported before continuing to assemble the bike.
Clearly as we have not been involved since it left here it is very difficult to suggest exactly how this damage has occurred. We can however categorically state that it was not on the bike when it left here, and that we packed in extremely well.

I understand that the damage would not have been knowingly caused at your end, but all the evidence does point to the damage taking place “out of the box”, not within it.

I have discussed this problem with the Managing Director at length and we are both in agreement that this damage has been caused by other means and not in transit.
Obviously this is not the answer you were looking for, but we are struggling with where to go on this. The damage to the box is not significant enough to cause the damage to the head tube and the box was collected and signed for as being in an acceptable condition.

Perhaps you could investigate further the whereabouts of the bike from unboxing it, through assembly to when you actually noticed the fault. This may well help identify who else other than yourself could possibly have made contact with the bike.

Regards

What are peoples thoughts on this and where do I stand? I am insulted to have it even suggested that I or someone else has damaged the frame and I am trying to pull a fast one. Needless to say I will not deal with the company again.....
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Comments

  • That is a very comprehensive and detailed reply - if it was me I would take each of the points where they say they are struggling to understand how damage could have occurred e.g. they say
    Furthermore we have taken the same bike, placed it in the same box in the same way and attempted to replicate the damage with a screwdriver. We found that the head tube was a good 125mm to 150mm from the entry point to the box assuming the offending sharp object entered through the whole. There is then the issue of the foam padding, not to mention that the head tube has been marked and scuffed.
    As there is no sign of something puncturing the box and assuming contact wasn’t made through the “hole” any crush damage would have been taken by the stem that covered the location. Also impact damage would look very different. We have therefore ruled these out as possible causes of the damage out, due to the evidence provided.

    and tell them why they are wrong and why you feel the bike was damaged in transit. I would do this for each and every single point they raise. I would also give them a detailed moment by moment account of why:
    Finally and more confusing, we are able to understand why someone would fit the front bake and continue to assemble the bike if such a blatant mark was present on the head tube.

    and
    Perhaps you could investigate further the whereabouts of the bike from unboxing it, through assembly to when you actually noticed the fault. This may well help identify who else other than yourself could possibly have made contact with the bike.

    I would then send them this counter argument demonstrating why each of their points is wrong and why there is evidence of damage in transit, state clearly what you expect them to do and give them 2 weeks to respond. Then if not happy search for Consumer Advice and follow the well trod steps to raise a claim against them.

    No point in being insulted - they have merely replied to explain why they don't understand why you think the bike was damaged in transit when they can't work that out. You should respond to clarify why you think they are wrong, explain where they have gone wrong, tell them what you want them to do and give them the chance to be reasonable.

    Then if you are dissatisfied with their response this is one of very many guides on what options you have
    https://www.gov.uk/consumer-protection-rights
  • Semantik
    Semantik Posts: 537
    I don't agree at all with their explanation that the hole in one end of the box is meant to be there- 'to drag it out from the storage shelf'- that is complete bollox. the hole shouldn't have been there.
    having said that, I don't think I'd have signed for it at the parcel depot without giving it a thorough once over.
  • Who says the mark wasn't there when it went in the box? If nothing else makes sense that would be my conclusion.

    I've never received a frame or bike with a hole like that in the box either.
  • topdude
    topdude Posts: 1,557
    If that is the only damage you could easily touch it up with some black / silver car paint and cut out all the hassle.
    You will get more chips and scrapes in the future anyway :wink:
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • It is certainly an odd hole, but it isn't unheard of for boxes to have holes in that position for pulling them out of racking. But I'd suggest that it is most probably caused before boxing... It simply won't have happened if there was headtube padding. Generally it is almost impossible to get damage like that in transit. Bent mechs, cranks, bars, forks through the box and knackered sure but a small scuff like that?

    Where we're the handlebars for transit?
  • Assuming you contacted the seller within 7 days of receiving the bike, you are covered by the distance seller regs which, simplified, means the seller has to prove the item was not damaged when you received it -something which will be very difficult as they used a 3rd party courier.
    Do not get involved with Parcelforce- that is the seller's responsibility.
    If you do not want the damaged bike inform the seller that you are rejecting it as faulty, that they must arrange and pay for it's collection, and if you are not refunded in full including any delivery costs within 30 days you will report the matter to trading standards and initiate a charge back (if you paid by card).
    That is the law. IME it is better not to get involved in negotiations outside of this unless the seller offers an alternative solution such as a discount - best not to ask for this as it muddies the waters.
    Edit: Even if you do not want to return the bike it is best to start this process ASAP so you have a strong negotiating position.
  • Tricky one!

    Do you still have the foam that they say was attached to the head tube? If that is damaged then that suggests damage through the hole.

    If not, it suggests damage already present. Though, admittedly, that does also mean that they will rely on there being no damage as it being caused by you.

    Could also be the bars that caused it. Were they alongside this mark? Were they fully protected?
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • Also, assembled the bike? Why is it not already assembled? Most of the bikes I've had in a box require the bars attaching and the wheels. Never heard of the brakes being taken off. Odd. If they disassembled it that could also explain it.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • rayjay
    rayjay Posts: 1,384
    As long as the it's just a scratch/chip and the frame is not damaged just get a new decal and stick it over.

    Go down to Halfords or a model shop and just get a bit of paint and touch up the small mark.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Bizarre.

    Thing is - it will get scuffed in normal use anyway - so you could argue the toss for weeks/months about what happened - or just touch up the mark and get on with it.

    Whenever I've had a bike its been packed well and never had the front caliper off - why would they do that ?? does anyone take a front caliper off when they fly with a bike ??
  • I personally would not accept a new bike with a scratch lie this. We all spend as much as we can on our bikes and they are important. I would go down the returns route. If they offer a discount then you may choose to have your upset cured by money.
    Chris
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I personally would not accept a new bike with a scratch lie this. We all spend as much as we can on our bikes and they are important. I would go down the returns route. If they offer a discount then you may choose to have your upset cured by money.
    Chris

    +1. And I don't get all this 'it will get scratched in normal use anyway' - you'd do well to make a mess of your head tube like that in normal use and my Ribble is approaching 19,000 miles with barely a mark on it. I can only assume that there are a lot of people who are very careless with their possessions!

    Mind you, the vendor has a point when they express surprise that the OP managed to assemble the frame without noticing a mark that size on it. I'd have gone over it with a toothcomb before I touched it.
    cougie wrote:
    Whenever I've had a bike its been packed well and never had the front caliper off - why would they do that ?? does anyone take a front caliper off when they fly with a bike ??

    This is odd. They have changed the caliper from being something that is fixed in place where it can do no harm to something that is presumably flapping about on the end of a cable. I struggle to see how the damaged could have been caused but it is not inconceivable that the head tube got knocked by the caliper bolt before the caliper was bagged up.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Don't you have stones on the road up there Rolf ? All it takes is one pinging up.

    I've never been that precious about the looks of the bike. I need it to work and I ride it. A bit of chipped paint doesn't affect the ride.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    cougie wrote:
    Don't you have stones on the road up there Rolf ? All it takes is one pinging up.

    I've never been that precious about the looks of the bike. I need it to work and I ride it. A bit of chipped paint doesn't affect the ride.

    It's never happened in 40,000 miles so far! If it did, I'd be looking for a professional repair.

    I'm unashamedly precious about my bikes looks. Aside from anything else, if my bike looks new then I don't see any need to want a new new bike as I've already got a new bike (albeit one that is several years old!) - saves money in the long run! Of course, paint sticks to carbon better than metal so chips are less of an issue on those bikes anyway.

    Anyway, being precious or not about your bikes isn't something you choose. You either are or aren't and if you are, no amount of 'don't worry, it'll chip anyway' is going to console you! :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    cougie wrote:
    I've never been that precious about the looks of the bike. I need it to work and I ride it. A bit of chipped paint doesn't affect the ride.
    I'm not as anal as Rolf - but I do like to try and keep my bikes as chip free as possible.

    I accept that I may scratch or mark my bike - I do not like it when someone else does.

    I wouldn't accept a new bike with a scratch on it ... end of ... at that point it should be spotless ...
  • rob21
    rob21 Posts: 284
    several weeks on any news from the supplier????
  • hatch87
    hatch87 Posts: 352
    Rolf F wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    Don't you have stones on the road up there Rolf ? All it takes is one pinging up.

    I've never been that precious about the looks of the bike. I need it to work and I ride it. A bit of chipped paint doesn't affect the ride.

    It's never happened in 40,000 miles so far! If it did, I'd be looking for a professional repair.

    I'm unashamedly precious about my bikes looks. Aside from anything else, if my bike looks new then I don't see any need to want a new new bike as I've already got a new bike (albeit one that is several years old!) - saves money in the long run! Of course, paint sticks to carbon better than metal so chips are less of an issue on those bikes anyway.

    Anyway, being precious or not about your bikes isn't something you choose. You either are or aren't and if you are, no amount of 'don't worry, it'll chip anyway' is going to console you! :lol:


    What!?! I rarely go on a ride without hearing a stone getting chipped up, sometimes it hits the bottom of the passing car, sometimes my leg and sometimes my bike.
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/686217
    Come on! You call this a storm? Blow, you son of a bitch! Blow! It's time for a showdown! You and me! I'm right here! Come and get me!
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Rolf F wrote:
    It's never happened in 40,000 miles so far! If it did, I'd be looking for a professional repair.

    I think I'm liking your paintwork ! 40,000 without chips ! What bike is that ?

    I remember having a hire car from work - first month in a new job. Brand new car - and on the first day a stonechip cracked the windscreen - by the end of the week it was right across. Oops.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    cougie wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    It's never happened in 40,000 miles so far! If it did, I'd be looking for a professional repair.

    I think I'm liking your paintwork ! 40,000 without chips ! What bike is that ?

    I remember having a hire car from work - first month in a new job. Brand new car - and on the first day a stonechip cracked the windscreen - by the end of the week it was right across. Oops.

    I've spread the mileage over several bikes but the highest mileage is the humble Ribble Gran Fondo at about 14,000 for the frame. It actually does have one chip, I confess, on the inside of the drive side chainstay which you can only really see when the bike is upside down. That's about it. There may be some little ones under the downtube but they are tiny. Mudguards may help there. There's nothing on it that would, when cleaned and polished, make it look obviously that much more used than a new frame so I wouldn't expect my head tube to end up like the OPs any time soon!

    Oddly, the original frame was replaced at about 5000 miles (though the forks are still original and unchipped) - but that frame had picked up a little row of 3 chips on the top of the drive side seat stay. They weren't that noticeable though.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    NOW the sordid truth is revealed !!!
    Rolf F wrote:
    It actually does have one chip, I confess, on the inside of the drive side chainstay which you can only really see when the bike is upside down.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    cougie wrote:
    NOW the sordid truth is revealed !!!
    Rolf F wrote:
    It actually does have one chip, I confess, on the inside of the drive side chainstay which you can only really see when the bike is upside down.

    I'm sorry... I thought I could keep it secret but it just came out. I'm a bad person! :cry:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Which is one reason why both my bikes have been purchased through my local bike shop
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Mikey23 wrote:
    Which is one reason why both my bikes have been purchased through my local bike shop
    My LBS was so incompetent I wouldn't buy anything from them. Incompetent and overpriced. And arrogant. But that's a different thread.
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    If the package was signed for as 'received in good condition' then the buyer doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

    To then go and fit parts to the bike, next to where the damage is, would only reinforce the impression that this is not the retailers problem and that the bike was delivered in a condition acceptable to the buyer. Otherwise, why would you spend time getting it ready to ride?

    If I were to receive a bike by mail order (that is very unlikely to ever happen), I would open the box and check the contents before signing that it was in good condition. If it were broken, the retailer of the customer (the T&Cs will say who Parcel Force are working for), can then claim against Parcel Force's insurance.

    I am not implying the damage was caused after receipt, but there are processes in place that need to be followed, if claims for damage in transit are to be successful.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • navrig2
    navrig2 Posts: 1,844
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    If the package was signed for as 'received in good condition' then the buyer doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

    To then go and fit parts to the bike, next to where the damage is, would only reinforce the impression that this is not the retailers problem and that the bike was delivered in a condition acceptable to the buyer. Otherwise, why would you spend time getting it ready to ride?

    If I were to receive a bike by mail order (that is very unlikely to ever happen), I would open the box and check the contents before signing that it was in good condition. If it were broken, the retailer of the customer (the T&Cs will say who Parcel Force are working for), can then claim against Parcel Force's insurance.

    I am not implying the damage was caused after receipt, but there are processes in place that need to be followed, if claims for damage in transit are to be successful.

    This is not always possible.

    For instance I bought a Ribble Gran Fondo. The box looked fine on delivery. I signed for it.

    I then put it on my workstand to give it a more detailed inspection and built the bike up - attached bars etc.

    Then I turned the pedals and checked that the shifters worked and that the indexing was good. All was fine until I moved the chained to the lowest gear. At that point the lower jockey wheel was pinging on the spokes.

    It turned out that the mech hangar was bent slightly. There is no way I could have seen that before taking the bike out of the box, building it and then running it on the workstand.

    Ribble were fine - I sent the bent one back and they sent me a replacement.

    I suspect the box either fell over or Parcelforce laid it flat and put other parcels on top.
  • Bar Shaker wrote:
    If the package was signed for as 'received in good condition' then the buyer doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

    To then go and fit parts to the bike, next to where the damage is, would only reinforce the impression that this is not the retailers problem and that the bike was delivered in a condition acceptable to the buyer. Otherwise, why would you spend time getting it ready to ride?

    If I were to receive a bike by mail order (that is very unlikely to ever happen), I would open the box and check the contents before signing that it was in good condition. If it were broken, the retailer of the customer (the T&Cs will say who Parcel Force are working for), can then claim against Parcel Force's insurance.

    I am not implying the damage was caused after receipt, but there are processes in place that need to be followed, if claims for damage in transit are to be successful.

    No. That's incorrect.

    Parcelforce provide insurance to the sender. Their contract is with them.

    The buyer contracts with the seller. They are entitled to damage free goods.

    The buyer has no contract with Parcelforce and cannot be aware of their terms and conditions. They are simply signing for receipt of the goods. It's good practice to sign "unseen" but generally impossible in today's electronic age.

    Even if the term and condition between the sender and PArcelforce could be imputed into the contract between the buyer and seller it's still rebuttable if there is evidence.

    And that's really the only point here. What does the evidence suggest. To me it's quite clear. There's a hole in the box and, oddly, the brakes were removed. I've no idea who does that.

    Evidentially, if this matter went to Court I'm fairly certain (and that's all I have to be) that the COurt would conclude the damage was not caused by the buyer.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    The buyer has no contract with Parcelforce and cannot be aware of their terms and conditions. They are simply signing for receipt of the goods. It's good practice to sign "unseen" but generally impossible in today's electronic age.

    Even if the term and condition between the sender and PArcelforce could be imputed into the contract between the buyer and seller it's still rebuttable if there is evidence.

    And that's really the only point here. What does the evidence suggest. To me it's quite clear. There's a hole in the box and, oddly, the brakes were removed. I've no idea who does that.

    Evidentially, if this matter went to Court I'm fairly certain (and that's all I have to be) that the COurt would conclude the damage was not caused by the buyer.

    I only ever sign as "unchecked" or I check the goods.

    Some years ago, my brother was clamped in Bristol, by a private clamper. As part of his tools, he had a petrol disc cutter in his car... which he used to cut through the clamp chain. The next day, he returned the lot to the clampers office with a courier style delivery ticket. The girl on the desk signed as 'received in good condition'.

    He later used this signed note in his defence against a Police prosecution for criminal damage and a small claims court claim for the cost of the clamp. He won both cases.

    Be VERY careful what you sign for.

    In the case above, I do not agree that a court would automatically find for the buyer. Rightly or wrongly, his actions were not normal for someone who had received a bike that was obviously and visibly damaged in transit. This is completely different to the bent rear mech case, which would only be apparent on physical checking of the full function range of that part.

    None of that stops me wishing the OP good luck with his claim. It looks like he will need it.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • diamonddog
    diamonddog Posts: 3,426
    My turbo bike came from a well known supplier with the front caliper off and the cable not attached.
    This did not cause a problem but the rear wheel rim (which was fitted on the bike) had a ding in it and was well out of true, I didn't bother doing anything about it with the supplier and sorted it myself as it was just for the turbo.

    There wasn't a big hole in the box either. :shock:
  • Bar Shaker wrote:
    If the package was signed for as 'received in good condition' then the buyer doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

    Retailers often try this one on, however it's complete nonsense. You sign to say you have received the package, that's all, nothing else. It's not reasonably practical to unpack and inspect the goods at the depot or if delivered to your door before signing.

    As said upthread the OP is best rejecting under the Distance Selling Regulations, he has 7 days to quote these and return - Notably you do not have to give a reason to return under these and it's probably better if you don't. The DSR don't care if the item is damaged, the retailer *must* refund.