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Will NEVER do Business With Wiggle/Chain Reaction Cycles Ever Again (Very Long)

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Will NEVER do Business With Wiggle/Chain Reaction Cycles Ever Again (Very Long)

Old 05-14-19, 07:24 AM
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puma1552
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Will NEVER do Business With Wiggle/Chain Reaction Cycles Ever Again (Very Long)

In February I bought a set of wheels from Wiggle. Wheels arrived promptly, and looked good. Installed, and had problems with the brake tracks galling no matter what brake pad I tried (Shimano R55C4, SwissStop BXP, Kool Stop Salmon Dura 2). Bike was unrideable, couldn't go more than a couple minutes before the pads were trashed and there were horrible grinding sounds damaging the wheels. Was cleaning wheels constantly with isopropyl alcohol, etc. Something just wasn't right.

I opened a dialogue with the manufacturer's North America branch and sent them pictures. They said something definitely seemed wrong, and they had never seen the issue. They suggested that I send the wheels in. They told me I had two options:

1) Send the wheels directly to the NA branch for failure analysis, but this would need to be done through an official dealer (LBS) for insurance reasons
2) Send the wheels back to the retailer, which would ultimately end up going to the manufacturer's UK branch

Since I didn't buy the wheels from the LBS, I didn't think it was right to have them liaison with the manufacturer on my behalf. The correct path, to me, was to go back through the retailer I purchased them from, so that's what I did. That retailer was Wiggle in the UK.

I initiated a return on 4/5/19, packaged the wheels up, and dropped them off at the post office that same day.

I had to pay for the return shipping, of which I had no say in the method. While it's bad enough to pay for the return shipping, the real problem is that Wiggle uses two shipping companies just to get the package to the US return depot in Washington, D.C. They use USPS for the drop off, and then it gets handed off to UPS somewhere along the line for delivery to the US return depot. From there, it goes overseas. The tracking I am provided only provides tracking to the US return depot, nothing further. The use of two shipping companies just to move it within the US alone is important because...

...the wheels weren't seen for 20 days after dropping them off at the post office. There was an acceptance scan the day I dropped them off, and then 8 days later, still no further scan, at which point I started calling and investigating because something wasn't right. They weren't seen again until I physically went to the post office, for the second time to track them down, on 4/24, when they were finally found, still sitting in the back. They were only found after both USPS and UPS just constantly pointed fingers at each other. Nobody could give correct information, because nobody at either entity knew how to do their job. All they would do is give me the run around and point fingers at each other, ensuring me that it was the other company's fault the wheels were missing. I spent something like 8 hours total on the phone across multiple days with both USPS and UPS trying to find these wheels. Extremely stressful. In that time, I opened a case with USPS, and nobody there ever called me back; no, I had to constantly badger them to get any information. In that time, I was also speaking with Wiggle, and I mentioned that I had opened a case with USPS, and asked them to open a case with UPS. They said they would. They never provided an update. I followed up with Wiggle again, told them I had heard nothing, and they said they would email me with information. Again, I never heard anything, because nobody does their damn job. Eventually, I found the wheels myself at the post office and got the guy at the post office to scan them again on 4/24, and then they got moving.

If Wiggle had just used one company to move the wheels from MN to Washington, D.C., there would've been far fewer problems, blame, and stress for me. Wiggle did nothing here, I was left holding the bag to find my wheels. There is zero, and I mean zero reason for Wiggle to use two shipping companies to move a package within the United States. They should have made it to Washington D.C. entirely in the care of one shipping company so that they couldn't just point fingers at each other.

So the wheels finally got moving. They arrived in Washington, D.C, and they were last scanned on May 2, as "in transit to retailer" after a prior scan indicating they were being put on a pallet. I have no actual shipping company tracking to track them from their journey between the US and the UK. I've been told conflicting things by Wiggle, that they use Royal Mail, and that they use UPS. The actual tracking number(s) I have had are numbers that terminate in delivery to Washington, D.C. I have no actual tracking number from the US to the UK for this part of the journey. No, all I have is the secondary Wiggle return confirmation email with a generic tracking link. Don't know who is moving the wheels at all.

Today is May 14th. This is day 39 without my product, my money, or even the return shipping. And no resolution in sight.

I spoke with Wiggle again, and I've been firm in what I expect from them; I want a full refund for the wheels, and I want a full refund for the return shipping. I've made this crystal clear to them, and I've told them that this has been an awful process, that the customer service has left a lot to be desired, and that at this point I've been very patient and very reasonable, but "sorry I can't do anything, sorry for the delay" simply doesn't cut it anymore. I've made it clear to Wiggle that I am very unhappy and I've made it clear what I reasonably want/expect from them as an outcome. I've asked them to just provide me a refund and they can deal with the wheels in the background. They won't do it. All I get is "Sorry for the delay, sorry, but due to the high $ value of the item I nor my supervisor can provide you a refund until the wheels are analyzed for failure, sorry." Just more of the same garbage from them.

This morning, twelve days since they were last scanned, I was now told that it can take four weeks for the wheels to make it from the US return depot to the UK. Four weeks. So you are telling me that at 39 days in, and I still have 2-3 weeks to go just for you to RECEIVE the return? And then from there, no, you won't just provide a refund, no, you need to have your team liaison with the manufacturer to SEE if there's a failure and the wheels can be warrantied? So what are we looking at, realistically, July? I mean, is it going to be 75-90 days all said and done, and even then, I don't know if you're even going to give me a refund at all? Unlike any other company or manufacturer anywhere on the planet, Wiggle won't refund something if it's open, and all these UK discount retailers are the same. Once you open it, you own it unless there's a warranty failure, and whatever you send has to go through warranty failure analysis before they will even consider offering you a refund. "Easy 365 day returns" on their homepage is a scam. There's nothing, and I mean nothing easy about this.

This process has been a nightmare. I told them this morning again that I was unhappy with another worthless "sorry for the delay, can't do anything" and that I expected better from them. They simply closed the chat window, so here I am, feeling that I have provided them ample opportunity to make things right to no avail. So, now I'm here telling everyone about my experience and telling everyone to avoid them, and their co-company, Chain Reaction Cycles, like the plague.

Wiggle has good reviews online...unless you start looking at reviews of returns. Those are absolutely awful, and my experience mirrors this. 39 days, no product, no money, not even return shipping, and I have literally no end or resolution anywhere remotely in sight at this point. Don't even know if I'll even get a refund when it's all said and done. I will lose half of my riding season or more, all said and done, and Wiggle couldn't give two *****s.

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Old 05-14-19, 07:37 AM
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Does not sound fun. I bought a wheel set from CRC. Turned out their website description was incorrect, the rims were much narrower than specified. I emailed them with a screenshot of their web page and a picture of the rim with a tape measure across it. They agreed to the return and handled the shipping. But this was before their merger with Wiggle. I have no return experience with either since the merger.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:48 AM
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It sounds to me your biggest problem is with the shipping process (your local USPS, mostly), and nothing to do with Wiggle at all.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:50 AM
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Query: How much $ were you going to save going the overseas route?

Got a new touring/commuting wheelset built last fall. From parts selection to picking them up at my LBS was 10 days max. Got a free checkup after a few hundred miles. No problems. Will be doing my second mini-tour of the season this weekend.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:52 AM
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sounds like buying from Wiggle is o.k. but returning items is not ideal
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Old 05-14-19, 07:53 AM
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as far as USPS my expectations are already very low. They seem greatly under staffed just from what I see around here
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Old 05-14-19, 07:57 AM
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TLDR. But the never again from these guys rage posts are always fun to see; pretty sure if we went with all of them there'd be nobody left to buy from and we'd be building our bikes from scratch.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:59 AM
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You haven't stated the wheels unless I've missed it but sounds like the wrong type of brake pads were used for the rim material possibly so it could be a user error type of situation unfortunately.

Admittedly I can't quite get my head around what is going on but surely it is either the wrong material in the brake pads for those wheels or some sort of contaminant. Maybe you are using brake pads meant for aluminium rims with carbon rims or vice versa?
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Old 05-14-19, 08:01 AM
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Did you not know the UK was a long way away from the US? This sounds like a shipping problem and problems with your expectations. I feel like I should order some stuff from Wiggle right now to make them feel better after your misplaced insults.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
You haven't stated the wheels unless I've missed it but sounds like the wrong type of brake pads were used for the rim material possibly so it could be a user error type of situation unfortunately.

Admittedly I can't quite get my head around what is going on but surely it is either the wrong material in the brake pads for those wheels or some sort of contaminant. Maybe you are using brake pads meant for aluminium rims with carbon rims or vice versa?
Leaving the wheel manufacturer out for now, but they were alloy wheels and Shimano R55C4 pads for aluminum rims, Swissstop BXP pads for aluminum rims (softer than Shimano pads), and finally, the oft-lauded ultra soft Kool Stop Salmon Dura 2 for aluminum rims (softest pad on market?). Like I said, the wheel manufacturer said something seemed wrong and even the Shimano pads should have been fine. When the Kool Stops were no good, he said send the wheels back.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:08 AM
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While I'm sure it's very frustrating, sadly I don't really see anything out of the ordinary happening here. That monetary savings comes at a price, and you've found it. I've had stellar instances of customer service, and I've had what you described here-- I had 3 tires go back to Maxxis for warranty replacement, and the shortest turnaround was about 45 days, of which 5-7 days was transit time. They would receive the defective tire in 2-3 days, have it in hand for usually around 4 weeks, I would get a "replacement authorized" email, and then hear nothing until the tire showed up on my doorstep a week or so later. Compare this to Panaracer, when I had a tire catastrophically fail: I emailed them some photos, they asked for my address, 3 days later I had a new tire.

So is Wiggle doing everything they can to assuage you? Not at all, but as a person who has to ship things all the time, I too know what it's like to be at the mercy of package carriers. Now if the wheels had arrived in Wiggle's hands quickly and there was then no movement from them, I could see the amount of ire directed at Wiggle. But this is a UPS/USPS issue-- Wiggle can't call 'em up and demand to know where the package is sitting.

I've never ordered from Wiggle, so I have no opinions for or against them. But I also don't leave it up to the universe when things go sideways. My bike computer had a charge port failure, well within warranty. I contacted the company, and was given an RMA after a couple of days. I shipped the computer back on a Friday, they received it in NYC on the following Monday. Then I didn't hear anything for about 3 weeks, which is what I expected. Got an email saying replacement was authorized, got the new computer in my hands about a week later, so turnaround was 32 days, and transit was ~8 of those days. But I wasn't bothered in the least, because the same day I dropped the defective computer off at the post office, I stopped into REI and bought a new computer. I'm not putting my riding schedule in the hands of strangers on the other side of the country-- or in the case of Wiggle, the other side of the world.

It's a bummer, but I don't think Wiggle is doing anything nefarious.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
Leaving the wheel manufacturer out for now, but they were alloy wheels and Shimano R55C4 pads for aluminum rims, Swissstop BXP pads for aluminum rims (softer than Shimano pads), and finally, the oft-lauded ultra soft Kool Stop Salmon Dura 2 for aluminum rims (softest pad on market?). Like I said, the wheel manufacturer said something seemed wrong and even the Shimano pads should have been fine. When the Kool Stops were no good, he said send the wheels back.
UP close does the rim surface look the same as stock images of the wheels online, did they look correctly machined or are they too coarse or too smooth?

How about the seam/join on the rim surface was that ok if that is not level it can act as a slicer for your brake pads. Best of luck anyway, sounds like a genuine fault but buying internationally has caused a frustrating delay but hopefully when they do arrive in the UK you will get a prompt refund.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
While I'm sure it's very frustrating, sadly I don't really see anything out of the ordinary happening here. That monetary savings comes at a price, and you've found it. I've had stellar instances of customer service, and I've had what you described here-- I had 3 tires go back to Maxxis for warranty replacement, and the shortest turnaround was about 45 days, of which 5-7 days was transit time. They would receive the defective tire in 2-3 days, have it in hand for usually around 4 weeks, I would get a "replacement authorized" email, and then hear nothing until the tire showed up on my doorstep a week or so later. Compare this to Panaracer, when I had a tire catastrophically fail: I emailed them some photos, they asked for my address, 3 days later I had a new tire.

So is Wiggle doing everything they can to assuage you? Not at all, but as a person who has to ship things all the time, I too know what it's like to be at the mercy of package carriers. Now if the wheels had arrived in Wiggle's hands quickly and there was then no movement from them, I could see the amount of ire directed at Wiggle. But this is a UPS/USPS issue-- Wiggle can't call 'em up and demand to know where the package is sitting.

I've never ordered from Wiggle, so I have no opinions for or against them. But I also don't leave it up to the universe when things go sideways. My bike computer had a charge port failure, well within warranty. I contacted the company, and was given an RMA after a couple of days. I shipped the computer back on a Friday, they received it in NYC on the following Monday. Then I didn't hear anything for about 3 weeks, which is what I expected. Got an email saying replacement was authorized, got the new computer in my hands about a week later, so turnaround was 32 days, and transit was ~8 of those days. But I wasn't bothered in the least, because the same day I dropped the defective computer off at the post office, I stopped into REI and bought a new computer. I'm not putting my riding schedule in the hands of strangers on the other side of the country-- or in the case of Wiggle, the other side of the world.

It's a bummer, but I don't think Wiggle is doing anything nefarious.
I don't think they are doing anything nefarious either, but I do:

1) Hold them responsible for using two shipping companies just within the US, which is a recipe for finger pointing disaster that was entirely avoidable by using one shipping company and thus having one company you can definitively hold responsible. Every single time in the history of humanity where two companies are involved with something - every single time - they will point the finger at the other when there is an issue. Every. time.
2) Hold them responsible for failing to communicate or follow up on the case they supposedly opened with UPS - twice.
3) Hold them responsible for really just flat out not seeming to care whether a customer who purchased a high value item is satisfied in the least. They basically told me if it was a $40 item they would just refund me up front and deal with it in the background, but because it's a high dollar item, they flat out won't do it. So you get penalized for making a high dollar purchase if there's an issue? Duly noted. Again, I've voiced firm displeasure for this process and experience, raised it up the chain, and they just don't care. Most companies worth their salt will do what it takes to satisfy the customer in an extenuating circumstance. Not Wiggle/CRC. "Sorry, can't (won't) do anything."
4) Getting conflicting information from them every time I ask a question. Who sends them to the UK? Royal Mail? UPS? Who? They should know, they told me both. They also told me the wheels should've arrived by now, and now it's "four weeks". Which is it? Is anyone there competent and have actual, correct information? It's literally a different answer for everything each time, simple things that they should know the answers to.

For those reasons alone, I will not use them again for any future purchase. There's no reason a return, even if we cut out 15 of the 20 days the wheels sat in the back of the post office while USPS and UPS needlessly pointed fingers at each other while Wiggle just sat around with their dicks out while I sorted it out myself, should take 50+ days. No reason for that at all under any circumstance - let alone entirely at my expense. No product, no money, no return shipping money. I'm out everything and I'm sorry, but I'm not going to consider that even remotely reasonable for that length of time.

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Old 05-14-19, 08:17 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
UP close does the rim surface look the same as stock images of the wheels online, did they look correctly machined or are they too coarse or too smooth?

How about the seam/join on the rim surface was that ok if that is not level it can act as a slicer for your brake pads. Best of luck anyway, sounds like a genuine fault but buying internationally has caused a frustrating delay but hopefully when they do arrive in the UK you will get a prompt refund.
Thanks, as best I could tell the rim looked ok to me and the rim joints were nice and flat, no issues with those.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:22 AM
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Well, this is the whole risk/reward thing with ordering overseas. If it works out, then you get what you need at the price you wanted. If not, it can be a total pain. I'm dealing with an issue with Aliexpress. First time I've ever had to do a credit card dispute. It has also been months with no end in sight yet.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
There's no reason a return, even if we cut out 15 of the 20 days the wheels sat in the back of the post office while USPS and UPS needlessly pointed fingers at each other while Wiggle just sat around with their dicks out while I sorted it out myself, should take 50+ days. No reason for that at all under any circumstance - let alone entirely at my expense. No product, no money, no return shipping money. I'm out everything and I'm sorry, but I'm not going to consider that even remotely reasonable for that length of time.
I'm genuinely curious: what do you think a Wiggle representative was supposed to do to figure out your local USPS had misplaced your wheelset?
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Old 05-14-19, 08:26 AM
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CRC has been great but I haven’t ordered anything since they merged with Wiggle. Shimano won’t let them sell to North America anymore and being a Shimano fan that is a bummer. It’s seems companies quality goes down when they merge.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:29 AM
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I think if you wanted to ensure your return was handled as fast as possible, you have to accept that you're going to have to pay a reasonable amount to ship a wheelset overseas via some form of Registered Post, and arrange the carrier yourself, in communication with Wiggle UK if necessary.

If you're expecting local service levels, but with an overseas return process, I don't think that's reasonable.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
I'm genuinely curious: what do you think a Wiggle representative was supposed to do to figure out your local USPS had misplaced your wheelset?
Respond to me about the case they opened with UPS, like they said they would do. I had to ask twice, got told I would get an email response twice, and never got one. Either time.

I just ask that people do their job, that's all. If you don't, that is the quickest way to lose my respect.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
Respond to me about the case they opened with UPS, like they said they would do. I had to ask twice, got told I would get an email response twice, and never got one. Either time.

I just ask that people do their job, that's all. If you don't, that is the quickest way to lose my respect.
It's very likely UPS and USPS never responded to Wiggle - never updating the status of the inquiry - and so in kind they never responded to you / updated the case.

I'm currently having the same problem with my local postal service, it's not uncommon. It is frustrating, but I don't blame the people to whom I addressed the parcel.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:35 AM
  #21  
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By not buying from a local LBS with an easy return policy, we gamble, and sometimes lose. How much $$$ is 8 hours of stress worth to us?
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Old 05-14-19, 08:38 AM
  #22  
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Wow, sorry to hear this story!

I've (so far) had good luck with Wiggle/Chain Reaction. When incorrect parts were sent, they promptly sent correct ones. However, I've not had to return anything and/or had any issues as serious as mentioned.
I try to do business with LBS whenever possible.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:38 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
It's very likely UPS and USPS never responded to Wiggle - never updating the status of the inquiry - and so in kind they never responded to you / updated the case.
I don't doubt you're correct, I'm sure nobody at UPS did their job either. But, would it be that hard for Wiggle to simply send me a message saying they:

A) Haven't heard anything yet
B) Followed up (god forbid they follow up if they don't hear anything)

I don't think it's appropriate for them to just 'not respond' just because they didn't get a response. They could - and should - have the decency as customer service representatives to follow up, and/or at the very least inform me that they've heard nothing yet. Basic decency, really. I do this all day long at work, constantly following up with everyone, because nobody does their job, and constantly letting others know that I've yet to hear a response but have followed up.

Why do I always have to hold the bag on everything for everyone? Not once in this entire process was Wiggle proactive about anything, and that's probably the most irritating aspect. Entirely reactive, not at all proactive on anything at all.

Last edited by puma1552; 05-14-19 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:46 AM
  #24  
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Here's just some of the many negative returns reviews with Wiggle:

https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/wiggle.co.uk

And if you go to any other sites with tons of positive reviews, and filter for the negative ones, the vast majority of the negative ones are for returns and/or worthless customer service.
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Old 05-14-19, 09:05 AM
  #25  
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Well, Wiggle definitely did screw up their return process lately. It was extremely simple: they simply had a return address in US where you were supposed to mail the package yourself using whatever shipping method you wanted. Return shipping costs to US address were on you. I returned items two or three times previously and packages got back to UK and I was refunded pretty fast, under two weeks time or so.

Lately, however, they got a "bright" idea to "simplify" the return process and now if you'll initiate a return using their web site they'll use some third party "helper" service that will right away prepare a printable return shipping label and charge for the shipping. And it offers just one return shipping method that costs $20+ (shipping cost is still on you) and covers any package up to 20 kg AFAIR. Which is probably all great as long as you have a heavy package and are located far away from their return address. Unfortunately, for me it means that cost of returning light items (e.g. wrong size clothing) suddenly rose from ~$4 to $20 dollars.

I've spent two weeks exchanging emails with Wiggle support guys explaining them the issue with their "new and improved" return method. It took lots of patience. The majority of their support stuff are simply not aware that it is not possible to choose a return shipping method. Or that manual way to return package is not documented on their web site anymore. However, at the end, they told me that it is in fact still possible to just return the goods to the same address that was always used before.

The address is the following:

Wiggle Returns c/o Air City Post
153-63 Rockaway Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11434

They still do believe that their web site provides an option for your own return method.
So, this is their reply: "If you can not create a return order using the 'self post' option, please add a note in the parcel with the original order number and your name and address to allow the returns team to locate your order when it arrives back to us."

I'm intending to return one package later this week and will update this thread on the experience.

PS. Address, as you can see, is in Jamaica, NY. Always was in Jamaica, NY during last few years. So, I'm a bit surprised where Washington, D.C. address came from?
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