Thursday, January 12, 2012


Last year I did two posts detailing some of the upgrades we did on our truck. One of those upgrades was new shocks. Just last week, Ed discovered that those shocks were leaking (whatever the hell that means). That resulted in him having them taken off the truck, then packing them up to send them back to the manufacturer for them to figure out what cause the problem.

Needless to say, he's not very happy about it. And he's written a new post about it. I now present you another installment of "Ed's View"...

I have a rant!

Eight months ago I purchased six Road King Shocks for our Coronado and about a month after installation, they started to fail. That’s not to say that the shocks weren’t good – they worked great! They certainly absorbed more impact than any other brand shock I’ve had on a truck, and created a smoother ride, making the rough roads a little more bearable. But that didn’t last.

Built into the shock, but visible from the outside, is a plastic wiper which is supposed to keep the shock shaft clean as it travels in and out of the shock body. This wiper is supposed to stay in the shock body, but it did not. Instead, it worked its way out of the shock body and up the shock shaft where it left the shaft unprotected. The result? Six leaking shocks.

I should have known there were going to be problems with this company from the beginning, when they didn’t ship the shocks to me when they said they would. I had to call to find out where they were and when I did, was told that UPS lost them. I found this hard to believe. I suppose it’s possible, but I think it’s highly unlikely for sixty pounds of gas filled shocks to be "lost". I believe they used the age old excuse of blaming someone else - some manufacturers and sellers use this technique to cover up the fact that they forgot to ship an order, lost an order, didn’t even place the order or are just plain incompetent. I’m getting used to this way of doing business, because I have no choice, but I’m not happy with it.

I finally received the shocks in May 2011 and found them to be very stiff, which is good. Since they’re supposed to absorb energy, otherwise described as “shock”, the stiffer they are, the better. Usually stock shocks are easy to compress by hand and install with only a couple of wrenches, but these shocks needed a shop and a good bottle jack. Not knowing if there would be any other complications, I took the truck to a shop and let them do the job of installing the shocks myself. At the time of installation, I discovered the seller had shorted me some bushings, so I had to go to a hardware store to get them myself. Had I not found these bushings, I would have had to wait a week or more until the seller could ship them out to me.

This brings us to the present – leaking shocks that I had to remove and ship back to the manufacturer. I'm not holding out much hope that they will expedite the repair process. I spent $2000.00 for parts, labor, and shipping, and now I have a truck that’s been sitting a week already without shocks. I suspect I’ll be looking at another week at least before I even get them back. They hawked these shocks at the biggest truck shows in the country, year after year, telling people how they offer "ten times the damping force of other shocks" and that "no after-market enhancements are needed". They also said they can be rebuilt up to three times during the lifetime of the shock and don’t need the first rebuild until they hit three or four hundred thousand miles of use. We only went about 100,000 miles and already there’s a problem.

When I called the company and told them about the problem I was having, they told me they’d never heard of anything like it before. I hate this answer - especially from someone who just sold me their product! I am not comforted by the knowledge that the company hasn’t had any other calls like mine. Why should I care about that? It literally makes no difference to me. You’re getting the call now. I am having a problem with the product you sold me, and I can’t see how it makes a difference whether I’m the first person or the last person to have the problem. What I want to know is what you’re going to do about it.

To me, telling me you’ve never had a call like this before, is just a manipulation tactic; trying to make me somehow feel bad that I’m having an issue. As if I shouldn’t be bothering you with it, that you don’t have time for me. It reminds me of the place I bought my truck - after spending over two-hundred thousand dollars, once I was in possession of the item they sold me, they acted as if they didn’t have time to fit me in and fix problems that were occurring, even though everything was under warranty. It’s an unscrupulous technique, unfortunately practiced by far too many businesses these days, especially in trucking.

In the case with the shocks, there is not only some kind of flaw in manufacturing, but also a flaw in their customer service; there isn't any. They should be bending over backwards to make me happy, and so far I’m not at all impressed. I’ve fired off an angry letter to the company, expressing my displeasure and I’ve asked for them to cover the shipping costs. As of this writing, they have not replied. Shocker.

I’m hoping to hear something soon but I’m smart enough not to hold my breath while waiting.

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Angela said...

It is a sad reality that customer service has gone the way of the Dodo. It's nearly impossible to get anything other than the lowest level of customer service these days. Be it in a multimillion dollar company or your local fast food joint. Customer service really seems to be a thing of the past.

And I hate that!

I hate that companies now try to force blame onto the consumer for their own inadequacies.

Good luck with the shocks. But my gut tells me that they will replace your shocks (not actually repair them) and you will once again have the same problem. Something tells me its a manufacturing flaw.

ELH said...

Best of luck to you with those shocks..keep us posted as to what happens with this company..
you would think with this post that you and Salena have, and all the people you both can reach,influence,and inform...that they would be very accomidating to you, good business sense no???

Ed said...

Well interestingly enough, my 2 internet reviews some how quickly made it to Road King and the guy over there wasn't happy about it. My kind hearted nature felt for the guy, but the annoyances associated with his product outweighed my concern for his concerns. He claimed to have no idea that one of his customers was having problems. After getting angry with me on the phone and then listening to me tell him how inconvenienced I have been by his company, he apologized and overnighted the shocks to me and promised to cover the shipping that I had to pay to ship him the shocks. I am having them installed today for the 2nd time in 1 year so I guess we will see how it goes.

Anonymous said...

I've always heard good things about those shocks and I'm close to buying them myself..Would you recommend them to me?

Ed said...

If your truck's shocks have failed and you want to keep your truck rolling, then you will have to wait for a week at least to get them as opposed to just picking up some shocks from the truckstop. Otherwise if you don't have any problems with the issues I described already then go for it. The shocks do work well.

You might avoid the hassles I ran into by ordering them and going with another King repair facility that is in your area. King has many vendors who are more accessible than having to ship your shocks to southern California. I won't know for awhile if the repair these shocks just underwent will hold up as I am a new customer and so far they haven't lived up to the original statement that the seller makes.

But I will update if there is a problem or if they work well. Either way, I hope the other drivers who have given me their product reviews can benefit from mine. You gotta help out your fellow drivers. I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

It seems you get your feeling hurt very easily......maybe Roadking's are not for you...go back to the factory shocks and get over this.....

Ed said...

I don't think that Roadking's shocks are for anyone if this type of customer service persists. Of course there are people out there who like being tortured and abused. Maybe you are one of them? LOL. They did rebuild the shocks and refund the shipping charges, which is more than others I know who have purchased these shocks have said, so I am happy about that. If they hold up as advertised, I will be talking a lot about that as well. So far, so good. Keep on reading the blog! :)