The aluminum frame of my second hand racing bike of a renowned bike manufacturer is corroding to an increasing extend. This bike was bought at an authorised reseller.
The corrosion looks very much like filiforme corrosion, a forme of corrosion that can be related to many factors: the substrate, the construction, design, assembly, pre-treatment, coating application, load, surface irregularities, cleanliness of the substrate before coating application, the climate, air pollution, maintenance and the coating system itself.
I contacted the manufacturer's service desks by mail and telephone several times (which was a hassle itself: unresponsive, not keeping due date promises etc.)
Finally after a last telephone call with their service desk I received the following reaction by mail within several minutes after the call:
"Corrosion is caused by a number of factors, rain, sweat, salt air, etc. Our paint warranty is covered for a period of one year from the date of purchase. We have tested our paint system extensively in our labs and in various parts of the world. It was proven that corrosion due to a manufacturing defect would occur in the first month or two. For this reason we do not accept any claims after the 12 month
What is very frustrating, is that this manufacturer did not make any attempt whatsoever to get his hands on this product to investigate the cause of this problem, despite my extensive argumentation and visualisation that the cause cannot be related to normal use and maintenance of this bike but to a manufacturing defect.
I even informed them in writing that I do not have the intention to receive any material or financial compensation!
What if this, out off warranty defect could jeopardise my safety? (eventually it will....)
What if this, out off warranty defect would be experienced by many customers?
So my question is: what really is customer value?
I am reminded of a favorite quote from Dr. Deming. As he was walking into one of his four-day seminars, his escort (probably just to be polite) said to him, "Those are nice shoes, Dr. Deming. How much did they cost?"
He replied, "I don't know. I'm not done wearing them yet."