Our stroller was broken during a “police incident” on the NYC subway back in March. If you want to read the whole story of the stroller’s demise, click here. If you want the short story, well, let’s just say that a crazy mofo on the NYC subway started a fistfight with a stranger b/c his leg had been accidentally brushed on a crowded train. How does our stroller fit in? Well, Ms. P and I were standing but 2 feet away from the violent fight and after we ducked out of the mess and to the other (safe) end of the train car, Crazy Mofo grabbed our stroller and swung it like a baseball bat at the victim’s head. Fortunately for the victim, the stroller missed his face and made impact with the subway doors instead. Unfortunately for the stroller… it made impact with the subway doors, snapping a back wheel off entirely, damaging the axle, and possibly warping the frame. It took us +6 weeks to get the broken stroller back from the NYPD (it was booked as “evidence”) and has been sitting, broken, on our living room floor ever since.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the money to go out and buy a new $350 jogging stroller (we got this one secondhand at a great deal), so we’ve been exclusively babywearing ever since, until we figure out how to get this one repaired. As summer approaches and P continues to grow, however, full-time babywearing is becoming a little tougher. You ever try to carry a sweaty 18 lb kid through 85 degree heat for a couple of hours? Yeah, it sucks.
Anyway, about a month ago, I realized I needed to get on this stroller repair thing. So I sent an email to Baby Jogger, manufacturer of our stroller. I briefly explained the situation leading to the stroller’s demise (so they wouldn’t think we were idiots who somehow busted the hell out of a pricey stroller), included a link to photos of the broken stroller, and asked advice on how we should move forward.
Can we get parts from you guys? How might we go about getting it repaired? Is this something that can be done locally or will we have to ship it to you? I also explained that we are a one-income family and unable to afford much in the ways of either repairs or replacements.
And then I waited.
I sent that email on April 26th and never got a response. Great service, guys!
After looking at the weather forecast for the week (90 degrees and muggy on Wed?!), I realized I need to follow-up with a phone call. Right now. So I got P down her for morning nap and got on the phone.
The good part of the phone call?
After pushing one or two buttons, I was connected to a real, live person without any wait.
The bad part?
Complete lack of interest from the customer service rep.
The whole “conversation” went something like this:
Rep: Baby Jogger.
Me: Oh, hi. I have a question about a broken stroller.
Me: I actually emailed you guys nearly a month ago and never got any sort of response.
Me: Ok, um, anyway. I have a Baby Jogger Classic. It was broken during an assault on the NYC subway in March. I was not involved but the stroller was damaged when used during a fight. The back wheel was completely busted off the frame, the axle may be damaged, and who knows about the frame itself.
Me: Um, I’m wondering how I can get it repaired? It’s our only stroller and we can’t afford to buy a new one. Do we have to… ship it to you guys? Can I go to a bike shop or something?
Rep: Bike shop.
Me: A local bike shop can fix it?
Rep: Should be able to.
Me: What about… parts? Do I need to order a new wheel from you guys?
Rep: Yes. We sell them.
Me: Oh, so I can get that online, or…?
Rep: No, we don’t sell parts on the website. You have to call us.
Me: Oh, ok. Um. Any chance you could tell me how much a new wheel would cost? We have the City Classic.
Rep: Front or back wheel?
Me: Ok. So if I order a wheel and take it and the stroller to a bike shop, they should be able to do it, no problem?
Rep: As long as nothing else is wrong with it.
Me: Well, the axle may be damaged — as I said, the wheel was broken off pretty violently — and the frame could be warped. Hard to tell since it’s only on two wheels at the moment.
Me: Um, ok. Well, thanks. I guess.
Rep: Yep. Good-bye.
Now, I wasn’t expecting much from the rep, but a little courtesy and warmth would’ve been nice. I had, after all, just told her that my stroller was used as a weapon in a violent altercation. The least she could’ve done is asked whether the baby was ok. Or perhaps apologized that her company completely ignored my initial inquiry. But none of that. In fact, hardly any information at all unless I pried it her from her word by word. And then she didn’t bother wasting any extra words. Not even “have a nice day” or “thanks.”
That conversation alone — and the ignored email of nearly a month ago — make me want to say “to hell with that stupid stroller” and move on. But it’s a nice stroller, I’d like to jog with Poppy, and $26 + labor is probably going to be cheaper than buying another used or new (non-jogging) stroller.
But, dammit, I don’t like shitty customer service. And I don’t like supporting companies with shitty customer service, so I’m going to look elsewhere and see if I can find any deals before I repair this one. If I can find another secondhand jogging stroller, that would be ideal, but I’m also going to start looking at other lightweight city-friendly strollers and possibly retire the Baby Jogger altogether.
Anyone have any recommendations?