Please don't think the tone of my 'rant' is how I communicate with Hope.
I'm just annoyed and frustrated. I work in a partial customer service role, I know what good customer service is and I've been nothing but polite, courteous and even resorted to begging on several occasions.
The person who replies to emails at Hope is neither polite nor rude, direct would be a good way of describing them and certainly not someone I would have fronting my company. Any converstation you have with them is dead ended straight away and you are invited to buy something newer in a roundabout way.....I have new Hope stuff but this is Retrobike after all
I have not been offered any discounts. I have used three distinct different email addresses and names over five different requests/converstations, all with the same result.
This is 2011, a time where communication via the web is vital to your company, the old school talk about picking up the phone but that is not todays world...Hope are definately not fully web smart. It does appear I need to restort to old tech to solve this problem, something I did not realise (honestly)
As stated at the begining, I would not expect them to be able to provide me with a hub shell or a piston from an old caliper; anything large or costly to stock / produce. I fully understand you cannot have hundreds of thousands of pounds tied up in old stock.
They are supposed to be a centre of engineering excellence, an English company that make everything in house. I understand when something runs out its gone but that is not the case for Hope, they can knock out something simple like a skewer in ten mins because 95% of it is already on the shelf in current model form and there are plenty of us out there with their older equipment.
I have not asked for obscure parts, that is my problem, I am asking for simple service parts and they don't have them. If you need a ratchet for your Bulb hub, they won't have one and those hubs are not that
old. Please consider the last date these items were sold, not their introduction date. How can you not get a seal for an O2 caliper? Baffling, its a 5p bit of rubber.
When you pay a higher price for equipment you expect the back up. I have not have problems getting parts for any car or motorbike I have owned, 15 years old + including Japanese only imports. My gas boiler at home has broken twice in a year and both times original parts have been fine, that is 12 years old. Perhaps this is my problem, I have a lot of experience with cars, I've only ever owned BMW's and I've never failed to get an original part direct from BMW. In my eyes, Hope is the BMW of the bike world, a high end, high class manufacturer. Yes BMW is huge but so are the price and size of the items, its relative. You can get a new engine for a 10 year old car...
Please don't think I'm knocking Hopes quality, I know the stuff is first rate on every level which is why I have a lot of it. I love it, really I do and have always recomended it. I don't object to the price premium because it is very very nice gear. However, I do expect a little more assistance via email, even if it is to raise points like jonnyboy666 mentions about the 'spares kits' LBS might have. (Thanks, good idea and one I'll persue)
Carge: What parts did you order?
97 GT LTS-1
99 GT Lobo DH 1000 x 2