Radio Flyer Does Right

    “My elderly, widowed, neighbor had purchased a Radio Flyer “Retro Red” tricycle some time back which her grand children used when they visited her. The front tire and axle had been attached to the front forks with special plastic retainers. Although the tricycle looks like new, one of the plastic retainers failed and broke. The second retainer could not take the added stress and cracked badly, leaving the tricycle unable to be ridden.”

At her request I looked to see if I could fix the tricycle for her. Sadly, I was forced to admit my usual standbys of duct tape and “Gorilla Glue” were just not going to cut it. I searched several local bike shops for parts with no luck, and also found out she had an older tricycle which had been replaced by a newer model. I turned to the Radio Flyer website and while I could not find a manual with part numbers, I did find an area to email Radio Flyer for replacement of defective parts.

Having nothing to lose, I fired off an email explaining the situation and tried to describe the parts as best as I could, asking for them to be replaced of to be directed to a source where I could find the parts. I should also add, I have no idea how long ago she bought the darned thing nor did I know what store it was purchased from…both questions in the parts request form. After a week with no response I thought I was out of luck. A couple of days later the parts came in the mail.

Not only did they replace the parts at no cost, they sent upgraded parts which had been manufactured out of metal instead of the plastic like the older parts. In addition, someone in customer service was sharp enough to recognize what I had not. In order to replace the retainers I was going to have to destroy or damage the foot pedals which had been designed to prevent them from coming off. Radio Flyer’s staff recognized this and included the pedals as well as the retainers and in 15 minutes the tricycle was as good as new and now her youngest grand child is enjoying her beautiful tricycle.

Bravo Radio Flyer! If only other companies would follow your lead.

Thomas G.
Boise, Idaho

Comments

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  1. rlgurney says:

    Bravo indeed, Radio Flyer! My wife and I recently had our first child, and I’ve been looking into buying a tricycle in the near future. This positive customer service story just earned you a customer.

  2. fargle says:

    Too bad they’re not all that great a company, because in 2004 they shut down their wagon production in the US, moved it to China, and layed off all their workers.

    [www.msnbc.msn.com]

  3. crnk says:

    @fargle:
    2004, eh? Most companies seem like they did that a long time ago. And, if you read, it only put 45 people out of jobs here–plus they kept the distribution and management in the states.
    Sad that they are not US made, but we’re the people who are forcing it to begin with.

  4. backbroken says:

    This is an almost unbelievable coincidence. I just bought a Radio Flyer tricycle 2 days ago. Upon assembling it yesterday, I noticed that the entire front wheel support mechanism was poorly designed and likely would fail at some (hopefully distant) point in the future. I considered boxing it back up and returning it for another model, but I don’t think my 2 year old would have understood and he already had waited patiently for a few days for the tricycle. At least it’s nice to know that when it fails, I may be able to count on RF to back the product.

  5. DeeJayQueue says:

    I had a similar experience with BestTop, the makers of replacement soft tops for Jeeps.

    I needed a couple of retaining clips that attach the frame to the windshield of the Jeep. BestTop doesn’t sell their products directly to the public, but I was able to call and they sent me new clips for free. They were probably a $.10 part but it was nice that I didn’t have to jump through distribution hoops to get them.

  6. bobreck says:

    Two years ago we bought a radio flyer wagon for our kids as a Christmas gift. This is one of the plastic two seater wagons. Well, one of the button like retainer things that holds the front pivoting wheels was MIA. So, I emailed Radio Flyer and had a similar experience as this person. About a week later, the piece arrived and they even included an extra one.

    The only downside to this story was that my kids were very excited to use their new wagon, but they had to wait for a little over a week to do so. They have great customer service, but it seems like their Quality Control department could use a kick in the pants.

  7. mopar_man says:

    their Quality Control department could use a kick in the pants.

    Like the tricycle my wife and I bought our niece that was missing the entire rear axle assembly (both wheels and axle). We took it back to K-Mart and they had to order another one in since we got the last one. That was a year ago and that Radio Flyer is still running strong. My niece also got a “Roadmaster” tricycle from Wal-Mart that isn’t doing so hot. And I bet you won’t be getting replacement parts for that if something happens.

  8. Yep says:

    Take my advice – don’t buy a RadioFlyer tricycle. They’re completely unstable. Kid gets up just a hint of speed and turns the wheel, goodnight.

  9. SuperJdynamite says:

    “Too bad they’re not all that great a company, because in 2004 they shut down their wagon production in the US, moved it to China, and layed off all their workers.”

    That’s terrible! They must be the only company in the history of companies that has relocated their manufacturing base to China or Mexico!

  10. obbie says:

    good customer service.

  11. TechnoDestructo says:

    Man…moving your manufacturing is one thing, but shouldn’t that mean you have LESS need to switch to cheap parts?

  12. crankymediaguy says:

    “That’s terrible! They must be the only company in the history of companies that has relocated their manufacturing base to China or Mexico!”

    So your “logic” is that since other companies have done this same thing, that makes it OK for Radio Flyer to do it, too?

    Wow, my Mom was wrong! Two wrongs DO make a right.

  13. WV.Hillbilly says:

    @Yep:
    ANY tricycle is completely unstable if you get up to speed and turn the wheel.

    That’s what makes them fun.

    Whine about something else.