Wednesday, March 20, 2013 -- Above and Beyond

I've shopped at for a while now, and I've always had positive experiences with them. They have a great website, great selection of goodies, great prices, and great service. But they did something today that went above and beyond in providing exemplary customer service. I am very impressed, and thought I should take a moment to tell others what happened.

About 6 weeks ago, I was ordering a few little things for my bikes: chains, oil filters, etc. As I was adding a few things to my shopping cart, I noticed they had some rediculously low prices on motorcycle batteries. Of course, they were some kind of generic no-name brand, and I was very suspicious that these were probably junk batteries. What the hell, I figured... at $20 for a replacement battery for my WR250X, and $25 for my DR650, that's two bike batteries for $45.  I figured even if they only last one season, they'd be worth it.

Well, when my stuff arrived, I immediately unpacked the new batteries and checked them on my voltmeter. Rather disappointed to find the first battery read about 9.1 volts. The other battery read 11.5 volts. A little better but not great.  Over the next day or two, I fully charged both of them on my Battery Tender Junior.

Taking another voltage reading after charging was complete, one of them was reading 12.2 volts. Not great, as a good battery should read about 13.5V if it's fully charged. The second battery showed a reading of 13 volts after charging. hmmm.

Not expecting much, I installed battery #1 in my DR650.  I wanted to give it a real world test, so once installed in the bike, I unplugged the spark plug wires. This would allow the battery to crank the engine over, but the engine won't start. I wanted to see how long it would take for the battery to crap out.  I was not very impressed when it failed in about 9 or 10 seconds.  Not much cranking power there.

The test on battery #2 was almost the same. I installed battery #2 in my WR250, disconnected the spark plug wire, and hit the starter button. The engine cranked over for about 10 seconds, then the battery gave out.  Not very impressive, but what did I expect from a $20 battery?

Oh well, I just accepted the fact that I tossed $45 down the toilet for these 2 batteries. Lesson learned.

But after thinking about it for a while now, I decided it was my duty as a customer to let the good folks at RockyMountainATV know that these cheapo batteries are not worth their weight in salt. I didn't really expect them to do anything. At most, I figured they might offer to refund, or exchange the batteries, but I fully expected they would want me to ship them back. Of course, if I have to pay shipping fees, it wouldn't make it worth my while. I was fully prepared to just accept the fact I bought some junk, but it wasn't a ton of money. I had no hard feelings against RockyMountain. It's not their product.

However, when I emailed them my story, they replied with an offer to give me a store credit for the full amount and they don't want me to ship the junk batteries back to them.

Wow. Is that great customer service, or what?  Way more than I ever expected. Especially since I wasn't going to bother even telling them about the crappy batteries in the first place.

I wrote back and expressed my thanks, and told them I'd like to put the credit toward a new high power AntiGravity 8-cell Lithium Phosphate battery

I do have confidence that the AntiGravity will be a solid product. Expensive, yes, but definitely a quality product based on all the reading I've done. I might have gone with an Earth-X brand LiFePo4 battery, but sadly, they don't carry that brand at RockyMountain.

For what it's worth, the junk batteries I bought were manufactured under the name brand Moto Power, and they are apparently AGM technology (Absorbed Glass Material), which is known to be a good replacement for tried and true liquid-filled lead acid batteries, similar to gel batteries. However, these particular batteries sold under this name brand are just pure crap, made from second rate materials. Probably factory rejects. They're cheap, and you get what you pay for.

This is them..... I bought a CTZ7S for my WR250X, and a CBTX9 for my DR650

It will cost me $5 each to dispose of these batteries (the have an environmental / recycling fee for old batteries at the scrap yard). But I'm very happy with the outcome.

I'll post an update when the new AntiGravity battery arrives.
This is junk.

I expect this will be a quality battery.