magπ

A crafty, nommy, occassionally geeky blog-thing.

N.P.L. Bike Guard's Anti-Theft Malice

Shnazzy new bike comes with shnazzy new lock (no brainer, what with last shnazzy new bike being stolen). Shnazzy new lock is courtesy of Bike-Guard Thingamabob, and looks decent enough. Even came with a $500 Anti-Theft warranty, which is pretty spiff.

Or would be, if they had any intention of honouring it.

The fine print is obscene. Their terms & conditions are so restrictive that they pretty much ensure no one will ever be able to claim the prize money. Which begs the question: why bother? Offering no theft warranty at all would have been less offensive than this sham:

You must complete and return by registered mail or courier all of the following within 7 days of purchasing your BIKE-GUARD Lock and PRIOR to time of theft.

7 days? Registered mail? I’m willing to jump through hoops, if it improves the quality of service you can provide. This does not. These criteria serve no purpose other than to make the process less convenient (and more expensive) to the client.

Include a copy of your bill of sale clearly showing the purchase of the BIKE-GUARD Lock and the lock model number.

Sounds innocuous enough (and I’d even left that one slide, if that were my only complaint), and yet many small retailers do not include this information on their receipts, and we have no way of knowing that its even required until after the packaging has been opened. BIKE-GUARD could instead include a proof of purchase token in their packaging. If they wanted to help anyone meet their criteria, that is.

The real offense, however, is this bit:

If your bicycle is stolen, you must… send N.P.L. the broken BIKE-GUARD Lock and the keys along with the police file number and evidence that you filed a claim with your insurance company. This must be sent within 24 hours of the discovery of the theft.

I can appreciate their desire to not be processing claims that are 6 months old. But why not 1 month? Why not a week? The only advantage that a 24 hour deadline gives them is to ensure very very few people will have the paperwork in order quickly enough to file. That’s bad faith.