On June 9th 2007 I blogged about my new acquisition, an Oxford Boss Alarm Disc Lock, which to cut a story slightly shorter (go read that post instead) is a security measure for the motorcycle.
Well it runs on 6x LR44 batteries, the small disc shaped ones you get in hearing aids, and since buying the alarm I've changed the batteries only once, after a bit less than a year, which isn't too bad at all. But they ran out again recently, so I bought replacements, Energizer ones, from B&Q at a total of almost £8 for three packs of two.
Having replaced them (successfully, surprisingly, hunting out an Allen Key of the necessary size in the process) I put it all back together again and took it back outside to the bike, but when I attached it and set the alarm, instead of the usual
loud short bleep
loud l-o-n-g bleep
which indicates it is set, it went
almost inaudible short bleep
almost inaudible l-o-n-g bleep
which was a surprise!
I looked up t'InterWeb and found Oxford Products' site, and called them. The gentleman I spoke to, William, was very friendly and helpful, but said there wasn't actually anything that could really go wrong with them, so suggested trying a further set of new batteries and failing that to return it to where I'd bought it, which was J&S Accessories in Hamilton, and even though it was over a year old they could sort something out for me
So off to another shop I went the other day, and bought three packs of Duracell ones, at around the same price as the Energizers. I changed them this afternoon, but to no avail.
Another call to Oxford Products, and this time I spoke to Rosie, who was equally as friendly and helpful as William had been, and she suggested changing the Alarm Module (the bit where the batteries go).
So all I had to do was contact the shop I'd bought it from, they'd order one from Oxford, and I could go and swap them over when it arrived.
Ooh, hold on, I said, how much will this cost me, after all the alarm was about £60. Oh, nothing, she replied, we'll do it under warranty! For an item I bought over a year and a half ago!
Fantastic service from the manufacturer.
So I then telephoned J&S and explained what I had just been told.
Hmmm, the staff member replied, first time I've heard of that. That's the problem with them promising the earth, they don't have to deal with customers over the counter. What's the OF number?
The OF number. We need to know what model it is.
It's the Boss Alarm one.
Oh, but they do loads of different models.
What, all with alarms?
I checked the receipt, their receipt, and managed to find the model number, OF3.
Oh, I've never heard of that one.
Now as an aside, I've since looked on the manufacturer's Website and the OF3 Oxford Boss Alarm Disc Lock seems to be the only one with an alarm.
So we were getting nowhere fast.
He then came up with the problem that they would need to inspect the item before deciding whether to order the replacement bit.
But the manufacturer has already said it'll be a free replacement under warranty, I said.
Maybe, but we'd still need to raise a purchase order to them and we wouldn't do that without inspecting it first, so can you bring it in and leave it with us, we'll send it back and then when the replacement arrives you can come and get it.
But this would leave me without any security on my bike over and above the steering lock.
Well why not call them and have them send you one direct.
Ah, we're getting to the nub of the matter, I thought. This is a lazy bastard who doesn't want to have to deal with this and is trying to pass the buck back to the manufacturer. So to cut this saga short, I cut the call short, after getting his name, and called the manufacturer back.
Rosie, again, was as nice as can be, and after first suggesting I send it back direct to them after which they'd send a replacement, she accepted that this would leave my bike unsecure so she asked that I email a copy of my proof of purchase to her and she will post a new module, on trust that I will then send the faulty module back. Which I will, obviously.
So, praise where it is due, I will certainly use Oxford Products again, and I encourage others to do so too, but J&S, well fuck them! I have in the past bought a fair amount of stuff there, but will not do so again. And it's all down to the unhelpful attitude of one employee.