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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry guys, my patience is gone. Am I being unreasonable?------

June 10, 2011

Bushtec
Customer Service
180 Mt. Paran Rd
Jacksboro, TN 37757

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to express my concern and disappointment over my past three orders with your company. I conducted a great deal of research before deciding to patronize your business with the purchase of a trailer hitch and additional accessories for my 2009 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide. I read several reviews online about your excellent quality of product, customer service, and product support. I am sorry to say, I have had several negative experiences with Bushtec, and my experience today has been the one which has exhausted my patience.

I spoke with a gentleman on your order line on 05/23/2011 to ask several questions about the mounting process of the hitch specific to my year, make, and model of motorcycle. I was primarily concerned that the mounting design would not interfere with the quick detach hardware I currently have installed for the tour pak trunk. I also wanted to make sure the draw bar and hitch ball included with the hitch would have a ball height close to 12” - 13”, due to the fact your company also offers a draw bar with a 2” rise, otherwise the bar with the rise is the one I would have specified to be included in the kit.

Your employee was courteous and friendly, but did not have any idea as to the answers to my questions and did not seem to be very familiar with the specifics of your products. He kept asking questions to someone in the background and could not obtain the answers I needed. I asked if it would be more convenient for him to speak with someone who was familiar with the product and then call me back. I needed to have the answers to these details before committing to an expensive purchase. The employee agreed to do so.

Later in the afternoon, I received a call back from the same employee. He assured me that the hitch would not interfere with the quick detach hardware and that the ball height with the flat draw bar would be within the range I had specified. On may 11th, I purchased the hitch kit (which included the flat draw bar and hitch ball) along with the plug and play wiring isolator specific to my motorcycle. These items, along with shipping, totaled $398.25. (re: order number xxxx).

I received the package in the mail later in the week. The hitch mounted up just fine, with the exception of four of the included grade 8 bolts being ¼ inch too short. I drove to the hardware store and purchased four of the proper length bolts. When I tried to mount the hitch ball on the draw bar, the hole that had been drilled into the draw bar was too small to accommodate the shank of the hitch ball. Before contacting your company, I measured the overall height of the ball where it would sit when properly mounted on the hitch. The ball height was nowhere near the 12” to 13” as I was assured it would be. At this point, I had been hoping to load up my trailer and pull it with the motorcycle for a weekend trip. No such luck. The plans for weekend number one were a no go.

The following Monday, May 23rd, I called to order the proper draw bar (re: order number xxxx). I ordered a replacement hitch head with the 2” rise which would bring the ball height to the proper level. Being that I had already lost one weekend, I wanted to get the correct draw bar as soon as possible and did not want to wait around to return the original one for replacement. I spent an additional $113.00 to receive what should have been processed on the original order I had placed on May 11th. I figured I would get everything working right with the hitch and contact Bushtec later for the return of the original draw bar. At that point, I was willing to pay for another shipping charge to ensure I would get the part I needed in time for the weekend.

I received the draw bar in the mail and went to mount the ball on it. The mounting hole on the new draw bar was also too small to fit the hitch shank. This was the second draw bar I had received with an incompatible mounting hole. I called to speak with your customer service department about this issue, but I had to leave a voice mail message because nobody answered the phone. To this date, I have never received a return phone call. I brought the draw bar, hitch ball, and safety chain retainer (the piece which mounts between the draw bar and ball hitch retaining lock washer and nut) over to my local hitch installer and dropped it off to have them see if they could mount the ball. They said they would need to enlarge the hole and I could pick it up later to have for the weekend. Long story short, the item was misplaced and they will reimburse me for a replacement. Weekend number two (Memorial Day weekend) was lost due to a second, inferior product shipped by your company.

I called again, to order a third draw bar and a replacement 1 7/8” stainless hitch ball. I spoke with the man who answers your phones. As usual, he was very polite and courteous. I explained to him what had happened and that I was really in a time crunch due to several weekends passing by and expressed my concerns with the first two draw bars being improperly machined for the hitch ball. He said to avoid additional problems, he would make certain the draw bar, safety chain retainer, and hitch ball were assembled together prior to shipping so I could mount up the draw bar and go. I placed my third order with your company on Friday 06/03/2011 for another $143.43 (re: order number xxxx). So now a third weekend had passed while waiting to receive my third order from Bushtec.

Now we get to today, Friday 06/10/11. I received the third package in the mail just in time to get ready for the weekend. I opened the package to find the draw bar and stainless ball inside. Not only were the items not assembled as promised, but the person who packaged the items failed to include the safety chain retainer piece. At least this draw bar was machined properly and the ball fit. I called your company again and reached the same person on the telephone. Again, he was very helpful and assured me the missing piece would be shipped to me on Monday.

My question as a customer is what is Bushtec willing to do to make this right to compensate over one month of frustration and inconvenience to their customer? I will be returning the original draw bar original shipped in order #xxxx, which was not the correct height and does not fit the hitch ball shank, for an exchange credit of $99.00 for the proper draw bar which I finally received today in order #xxxx. I would like to see the shipping fees of $14.00 from order #xxxx and $14.43 from order #xxxx along with ten percent of my initial order reimbursed to me. I missed the ten percent discount from the Christmas holiday sale and due to everything involved with this issue, I don’t think this is too much to ask.

$99.00 exchange credit
$14.00 shipping from order #xxxx
$14.43 shipping from order #xxxx
$39.83 ten percent from original order
------------------
$167.26 total

Please contact me to advise if I need a return authorization number. I have included my telephone number but would prefer an email response as I work two jobs and one of them is during night shift.

Sincerely,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just mailed the letter. They are closed for the weekend now anyway, and I think an old school mailed letter is sometimes better than an email. They'll get it Tuesday. I'll keep the board posted. To be fair, if the hitch place hadn't lost my part this wouldn't be as irritating, but I never should have had to take it there in the first place. Having to go through three orders and the need to wait a month, to get the right part (and they STILL didn't get it totally right) is ridiculous in my opinion. I was very clear with my communication.

Maybe I am expecting too much, but the summers are short here and my free time is even shorter. If I owned the business, I would want this info to be able to improve my customer service. Especially in this economy...
 

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Yeah it does really stink when someone on the phone can't answer your questions....but even worse when they say something will fit/is the right part/etc but in fact they are wrong.

On the flip side.....often there are posts on this board from dissatisfied customers who order items just before leaving for a big trip....seems to me if one is planning a trip one should be prepared wll inadvance as you never know what may happen.

I am confused about the 10% for the Christmas discount...if I read your letter you ordered in May??? Am I confused??
 

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Well I certainly can't blame you for being upset. Nothing will get you back the time and the riding you lost, but I have no doubt John will make it as right as he can. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for your shipping charges back and to get the discount that you lost due to their mistake. And above all, at least you were polite in the letter.

As in the last post, I'm also confused how you were getting a Christmas discount in May.
 

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Well I certainly can't blame you for being upset. Nothing will get you back the time and the riding you lost, but I have no doubt John will make it as right as he can. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for your shipping charges back and to get the discount that you lost due to their mistake. And above all, at least you were polite in the letter.

As in the last post, I'm also confused how you were getting a Christmas discount in May.
I thought John sold the business some time ago and is no longer involved.
 

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I thought John sold the business some time ago and is no longer involved.
I did not know that. It has been a long time since I talked to him. I wondered why he had not been on the board in awhile. I guess that explains it.
 

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John sold the business at just the right time

Andrew stayed on for a while and now he too is gone.

Met some of the new folks at Americade....they seem like a nice bunch that want to do what is right but I think they are still feeling out the business....I'm not making an excuse for poor service just or frustrations, just trying to give perspective
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input guys. My big vacation trip is not coming up for a while so I still have plenty of time before my break from both jobs kicks in. I should clarify the holiday discount point. I added that into the letter because I was planning on taking advantage of their sale over winter but finances didn't allow for it. I hear the run around from companies all the time that their profit margin is "so low" they can't afford to discount when they screw up, in order to make it right with the customer.

I just wanted to remind them they recently could afford to run a discount during the holidays and now that they have screwed up repeatedly, they can likely afford forty bucks to make up for 4 weeks of BS due to their continued screw ups. That would go a long way toward resolving the issue in my eyes.

It is extremely irritating when you wait a week for something to get shipped out and it is wrong. Then you call to get it resolved, wait another week, and find out it is still screwed up. Call again, wait another week and still don't get the proper order. I'm reasonably patient, but after having this happen a third time my patience is gone. Monday, they should ship out the missing piece so then it will all come down to how they choose to address the financial side of this mess.
 

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Maybe an email to Bushtec with a link to this thread and an explanation that this forum has 30,000 members who will potentially be reading it also. They definitely need to make this right.
 

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"I hear the run around from companies all the time that their profit margin is "so low" they can't afford to discount when they screw up,in order to make it right with the customer."

They need to be told that there is not supposed to be any profit margin to be made in a screw up. That is why they are called screw ups. The profit margin would not be in jeopardy had they not screwed up. I am sick and tired of the same story, myself.
 

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Bushtec is still shown to be one of the co-sponsers of this site. Wonder if the new owners are active with the board.
 

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I think you are spot on. New or not, they had Andrew on staff for awhile and it does look as if they should of kept him on longer. I guess we will see if they step up to the plate here and make things right. If they do, I trust you will (just a pubically) make that known. Stories like this do make me think twice about doing business with those companies. There are choices out there other than Bushtec....

:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
 

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I just had an experience with Bushtec, but not like the OP's. I misplaced the drawbar and hitch ball for my trailer hitch, and we had a trip planned. So I called Bushtec up and talked to a young lady and place my order for the drawbar. I was assured it would arrive in about 5 days. It didn't arrive as I was told, but figured it just hit the truck wrong and was taking longer. Fortunately a friend had one he could loan me. Meanwhile I contacted Bushtec and asked where they thought my hitch bar was. He said it was mailed, but would have to check for its status. He then sent me an email that indicated the date it was mailed, but they couldn't find a tracking number for some reason. He included his name and phone number, as well as email address in case I had any questions. A day later the hitch bar arrived in the mail! Blame this one on the USPS, I guess, but I felt that Bushtec did all it could do to find out why it was taking nearly 11 days for the thing to get to Idaho from Tennessee. I wonder if the OP's experience was just a fluke, but I don't blame him for feeling the way he does, as it sounds like someone there wasn't doing their job correctly. Let's just hope this isn't an indicator of how things will be from Bushtec.
 

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Bushtec is still shown to be one of the co-sponsers of this site. Wonder if the new owners are active with the board.
I think you are spot on. New or not, they had Andrew on staff for awhile and it does look as if they should of kept him on longer. I guess we will see if they step up to the plate here and make things right. If they do, I trust you will (just a pubically) make that known. Stories like this do make me think twice about doing business with those companies. There are choices out there other than Bushtec....

:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
A bad reputation for Bushtec on this board could definitely cause a noticeable reduction in sales volume. All else being equal, customer service can either make you or break you. The 30,000 forum members here probably know a minimum of 5 other riders and those 5 know 5 more etc, etc. Word of mouth can spread quickly. Maybe they need to hire a little Dutch boy to plug up that hole in customer service. :nojoke:
 

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I just found out that they had a hitch for my XCountry and a new style trailer that matches my bike perfectly. Have been working on the wife to let me get it. But the more I read about problems with Bushtec on this site the more I hesitate. My previous trailer was a Cyclemate I bought from Tourmasters to pull with my Yamaha Venture. It wasn't a very stylish trailer but it was inexpensive and very reliable, and the people at Tourmasters were the best. I would like to have a Tailwind but can't afford it nor justify the price but I thought I would bite the bullet on a Bushtec. Didn't know John had sold out. Think I will look around a little more. Sure hope you get your problem resolved !!!
 

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"I just mailed the letter." Isn't it a bit early to complain about the company in an open forum? Give 'em a chance to respond then complain if you don't think the company treats you right.

I just mailed the letter. They are closed for the weekend now anyway, and I think an old school mailed letter is sometimes better than an email. They'll get it Tuesday. I'll keep the board posted. To be fair, if the hitch place hadn't lost my part this wouldn't be as irritating, but I never should have had to take it there in the first place. Having to go through three orders and the need to wait a month, to get the right part (and they STILL didn't get it totally right) is ridiculous in my opinion. I was very clear with my communication.

Maybe I am expecting too much, but the summers are short here and my free time is even shorter. If I owned the business, I would want this info to be able to improve my customer service. Especially in this economy...
 

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Recently ordered some parts from Bushtec. Received them with no Instructions.

Made several calls and learned that the person who answers the phone is in Ohio. He said he was having problems getting the info I needed, from the plant in Tn.

Fortunately I bought my Trailer while John & Andrew were there. What concerns me is if this new bunch drives Bushtec out of business where we will all find replacement parts for their Unique Suspension Design.

A lot of their parts are propriotery and not on the market through a regular parts store.

I think it is a great Trailer but I am concerned about customer support.

A friend & I plan to ride up and get him some new Tires Mounted in a couple of weeks. Maybe I can nose around and get more input while I am there about what is really going on, and do a follow up post after we get back

Kinda sounds like a bunch of Bean Counters in Ohio bought the place and are out of touch with whats going on in Tenn. Also wonder if the key people in the shop left when John & Andrew did??
 

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My recent experience with Bushtec customer service was excellent. When they made a mistake, they immediately fixed it. I could not have asked for more.

I ordered a bike side connector from Bushtec in April.

The weekend before a planned trip to Arkansas I removed the Aluma connector from my bike and wired in the new connector. When I went to connect the trailer to the bike, both connectors were the same, Bushtec had sent me a trailer side connector by mistake. ( I should have made sure the connectors fit together before attaching the new one.)

I called Bushtec on Monday morning, explained the problem, and that I had plans to leave with the trailer on Wednesday. Bushtec agreed to send me the correct part with overnight delivery. The next day the correct part arrived with a pre-printed label for return postage on the trailer side connector.
 
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