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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to let you guys know about my Vance and Hines debacle. I purchased my Straightshots a while back and on first fire-up there was a wisp of white smoke from the front pipe. Figured it was condensation. When I looked down, I saw that the smoke was coming from the front heat shield and an area of chrome about 1.5" x 3" had become pocked. So, I called them about the issue and then wrote this email:

Vance and Hines,

Today I called to report a defect with my new V&H Straight Shots for my '01 Kawasaki Vulcan. Yesterday I installed the pipes without any difficulties. After firing them up for the first time, I noticed a small amount of white smoke coming from the front pipe. I assumed this was condensation or some other normal break in trait. However, today I noticed that there is a blemish on the heat shield of the front pipe (see attached picture) which was not able to be
cleaned off. It appears the chrome is pitted. I hope that you will be able to replace this part at your cost. I have heard from other riders that V&H stands firmly behind their products, which is one reason I went with you instead of a competitor. At the bottom is a copy of the email receipt from the internet distributor I purchased them from, as you requested. Thank for your consideration in this matter. I am otherwise very happy with the look, sound, and performace of my V&H purchase.

Sincerely,
Mark Posen


V&H told me I had to send them the part for a replacement (that I may end up paying for), keeping me off the road, or else buy one and send back the old one for them to look at and then they'd decide whether to reimburse me. Keep in mind, I ordered the replacement on October 29th. So, today I wrote this email:

Dear Vance & Hines,

RE: RMA #39605

The email below was written to you on October 29th, 2 1/2 months ago. I ordered a new heat shield that day to replace the defective one. I was also asked to pay for it, pending your review of the damaged part, or else leave my bike on the kickstand with no heat shield. It's a good thing I went with the order since it took a month to receive the new part. I returned the defective part last month and you received it on the 14th of December according to USPS Delivery Confirmation. This makes it a month since you have had the part in your possession and still I have not heard a peep from you. I respect that you are a large company and the holidays are prone to delays but 2 1/2 months to resolve this is unacceptable.

I feel like my past and future business with your company means nothing to you. I am a member of a riding club in my town and a couple of online motorcycle communities. I have heard from my fellow riders that your competitor Hard Krome has exceptional customer service. Not only do they guarantee their chrome, but have sent other riders replacements for their defective merchandise IMMEDIATELY UPON REQUEST. The customer then sends the defective unit back once the replacement has arrived, and does so at HK's expense. They do not ask their customers to pay up front to continue to ride their motorcycle while the company decides whether or not to back their product. Yet this is what V&H has demanded of me.

I ended up going with V&H over HK because I'd heard you had a quality product that was more reasonably priced than HK. Please don't make me regret my decision because of poor commitment to your customer and your product. Rest assured that whether you are the spoiler or the hero in this matter, other riders I know will hear about it. It may be only a handful to you but isn't that, and my future business, worth a measly $77.83 to a multi-million dollar company with 25 years in the industry? Or am I just a number?

Sincerely,
Mark D. Posen


I don't mean to bash V&H but I don't want my fellow Kaw riders to get burned either. I'll keep you posted on what happens next. Thanks for letting me vent.
-Pick
 

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personally, I am glad you vented. It's stuff like this that helps everyone, and sometimes makes a big enuff voice for companies to hear. Your mails to them were well written too, btw, considering you must have been VERY upset. Good job, and thanks for sharing. While I'm here, I gotta ask. How do they sound? And are they obnoxiously loud?
 

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Good post and good info Pick. I had made up my mind yesterday that I would get the StraightShots, but now I don't know. Maybe HK's.
 

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Thanks for the post, Mark. As a new Mean Streak owner, I am currently putting together quite a shopping list after a lot of research. It's info like this I can't find anywhere else and should have. Don't hesitate to give us Newbies more info like this in the future!

I'm curious to hear how it turns out... and I'll bet I'm not the only one. Keep us posted! Good luck.

Rock & Roll,
--MK
 

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the "fun" guy
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That's to bad about the poor customer service your recieving. I know it's frustrating to be treated like a number. Hopefully you'll find someone there with decision authority to make things right for you. I'm curious....have you tried calling them and ask to speak with upper management?
 

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Official BTK Forum Pot Stirrer
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post away and hit wherever you need to. Sometimes large companies forget why they are in business.
 

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re

absolutley post your bad experience :wink:

savy mfg's monitor message boards,maybe they'll see it :grin:

i know GM watches fbody.com and some of the product managers have posted there-so you never know :wink:
 

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cobra service

The treatment you recieved sounds all too common.Seems to be like that for motorcycles all over.Limited market compared to cars and limited service.
On a positive note for those who have had Cobra pipes....
My last bike Shadow 750 had Cobra pipes when I bought it second hand.I noticed one pipe was louder than the other and when I looked up the ends one baffle was reversed compared to the other.I wondered if this was made so to emphsise the sound on one pipe to make the bike sound like it was reving lower or whatever.I asked the dealers and accesorie importers and they had no idea and were really not interested in discussing even!On a whim I emailed Cobra in USA (I am in Australia) not expecting any reply at all.A month later I got an email from their customer service dept saying it was def a manufacturing fault and could harm the bikes perfornace etc.They said the Australia rep would be in touch.2 days later I had an email from the rep then a call saying if I could send proof of the problem they would replace them free of charge!I would have to pay the freight and fit them .Since I was not the origional purchaser and although they would have been less than 2 years old (still looked new) I was very happy.Pipes went on ,sounded better as well.
So I guess some we win and some we lose - well done Cobra in backing your product!Hope your service comes good too.
 

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Wow that realy sucks,I hade orderd some V&H Cruizers from the local dealer where I bought the bike.They were on back order for awhile so they finally show up and i get a call from the shop saying he would be installing them the next day.I was in the area so i thought i would stop by to check them out.I'll be dammed I look them over and one is dammaged (now I'am ****ed).Dealer said I will see what i can do and call ya tomorow.I got lucky and they express shiped a new one in less than 24 hours.I hope you get what you want and good luck,keep us posted.
 

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Sprinting G-Man
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Thanks for sharing the experience. Hope they do right by you. I have limited choice for pipes due to the configuration of my bike (hard bagger). I have already decided on the V&H Bagger Duals when I finally get around to changing my pipes because I like the looks and the sound. I heard them on a used bike at a dealership when I was shopping for my bike. I just hope my purchase experience is better than what you've gone through.

Good luck!

Scott
 

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Pick
thanks for sharing your story, definitely keep us posted.

Scotty Luv
i have the bagger duals and i am very pleased with them overall and extremely happy with the sound. keep in mind that they are usually backordered, sometimes more than a month and they have been known to come through with damage. just make sure you take a real good look at them before you accept them. other than that, enjoy them when you get them, i am sure you will be happy with them. oh yeah, one more note. if they aren't loud enough for you from the factory, remove the baffles and take off the heat wrap that comes with them. then reinstall the baffles and they will sound real nice. i left the baffles out for about a week and not only is it too loud, but the sound is not clean. i find that with the baffles in and the heat wrap removed they sound near perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all for backing me up. To answer your questions...

- Alex/AJay, they sound really good but I wouldn't say great. Not too loud but loud. I personally prefer the note on the Cruzers (a little more "crack", a little less "pop") but can't stand the look of them. At this point I'd go with HK if I could do it over but many have had good experiences with V&H. My impression is they're worth the extra cash.
- Whistle, upper management is the next step. If I don't hear from them within a week or so, I'll bag this email thing. Trouble is that when I ordered the replacement, it seemed really difficult to get anyone but an order-taker on the phone and they were reluctant to help.
 

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Sprinting G-Man
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ispeed77 said:
Pick
thanks for sharing your story, definitely keep us posted.

Scotty Luv
i have the bagger duals and i am very pleased with them overall and extremely happy with the sound. keep in mind that they are usually backordered, sometimes more than a month and they have been known to come through with damage. just make sure you take a real good look at them before you accept them. other than that, enjoy them when you get them, i am sure you will be happy with them. oh yeah, one more note. if they aren't loud enough for you from the factory, remove the baffles and take off the heat wrap that comes with them. then reinstall the baffles and they will sound real nice. i left the baffles out for about a week and not only is it too loud, but the sound is not clean. i find that with the baffles in and the heat wrap removed they sound near perfect.

Thanks for the heads-up Ispeed77. I'll look'em over good when I finally get around to ordering them. I'll probably set up the baffles like you suggested too. I can't wait until I can get them because the stock pipes are soooooooooooooooooooooo quiet.

Scott
 

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RIP Deron Harden :-(
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yeah, i hear ya there. i had actually ordered a set of Cobras the day i picked up the bike. the V&H pipes were on a long backorder and i wanted pipes "right now !" so i figured, what the heck. yeah right, that's why the Cobras are sitting in my cellar and two months later i had reordered the V&H !
 

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Thanks for alerting us of your bad experience. Sounds like my kind of luck...LOL! Very interested in how this turns out, keep us posted.
 

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Excellent job! I applaud people who take the time to voice a valid complaint. All too often, I see people simply accept poor service and go on with life. If we don't all stand up for what we expect in customer service, companies will learn that they do not have to be held accountable. I've written many letters to various companies over the years to both complain and compliment (Let em know when they're doin it right, too.) Like the saying about the butterfly causing a hurricane, your efforts may just help prevent a similar hassle for the next 20 or 200 guys with a problem.
 

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I think I'll Stay away from V & H

Thanks for the post. I've made up my mind now to go with HK. I don't need any problems like that.

Possible lost sale for V&H

kazoorider
2001 Vulcan 1500 classic
 

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the "fun" guy
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Pockets....Hang in there! Somehow it'll work out. You've done a good job of dealing with deplorable results.

If anyone visitng here works for V&H.....How about making this right?
 

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I deliver products to customers every day and my companies policy is if you do not like the color,shape,performance, model or if its damaged during shipping you can replace or return it free of charge. Customer service and quality products is what every company should sell first, we can by pipes from different companies and spend less or more but if we get bad service people tend to not spend their hard earned dollers with them anymore, remember with 1 unhappy customer you lose 5 new ones so $500 or $500x5 customers do the math v/h. We come to you because we know you have a tried and proven product, your pipes arent the cheapest for a reason, people tend to pay extra for better service anyway its a proven fact, I hope v/h is watching because we are!!!!! GOOD LUCK BUD!
 

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Maybe you should let them check out this web-site and this thread as sort of a "heads-up" on what's to come ! :wink:
 
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