Have I being Ripped Off, too?

Hi all,

I had my 125cc scooter serviced today (yes in Vauxhall!), within the warranty period (Suzuki offers a 24 month warranty), close to 3000 miles.

When I went to pick it up in the afternoon, the bill was saying £270 :w00t:

I was pretty sure that this was a mistake… but it looks like the mistake was mine…

The bike is 15months old and has covered 3000 miles. From the day I bought it, it was producing an irritating sound when the 1st gear was on that was immediately stopped. When I complained about it (3 months later, not having reached the 1st service mileage but I was there to have a top box fitted) they said they were going to take a look at it at the 1st service. To my bad luck, I could not arrange it for the service to be performed there as calling them on July had a 2 month queue last year. So the service took place in Greenwich.

As it did not sound as something serious (at least nothing you could feel while riding) and being sure that it can not be something important (after all, I bought it new, right?) and having the certainty that the warranty will cover it, I asked them to have a look on it this morning as part of the 2nd service.

When I arrived there in the afternoon, I was shocked: the bill was enormous!! The damage was in the drive belt… So they replaced the belt and the roller. When I said that this should be a mistake as the bike is still under warranty, they replied that it is normal wear and tear(!) since I am using the bike in the City, this can happen (where are you supposed to use a 125cc bike? On M1?!?). When I explained that this was happening from Day 1, he said something like it could be covered from the warranty, but should be reported earlier, blah, blah… In any case I was charged with the aforementioned amount.

My only regret is that I should have insisted to be looked at at the 1st Service in Greenwich. But to be honest, since I have asked the guys there to replace the rear brake fluid and noticed that they have not done so, I wasn’t feeling very confident to take it back there (now that I read all the praise for them, I have second thoughts ofcourse). So I decided to have it looked at, at the 2nd Service…

Do you think that I have being treated correctly, or should I raise the issue to Suzuki GB? I can accept my part of not having it looked at earlier, but then why are we given a 2-year guarantee???

Note that the bike has never had a scratch and is parked in garages both at home and at work… So it really is as good as new

Sorry for the length of this, but it is the first day and I am still ready to explode…

Yes. Do report this to Suzuki GB. It’s quite unacceptable.

Keep the letter short, factual and polite.

If there is no decent response, seriously consider a Small Claims Court action against your Suzuki seller. The drive belt should not need replacing this soon even if only city driven and the “wear item” exclusion is borrocks at 3,000 miles.

Evidence may be a problem (I don’t suppose you have any in writing?) but there is a general rule in the EU that consumer durables should last two years with out anything except routine maintenance.

Thanks Oldguy. I do have written evidence, as the receipt they gave me is itemised and includes the parts(belt, roller), labour (£120) etc… I think I will go ahead with the Suzuki GB complaint letter, but I do not know anything about small claims courts… SHouldn’t a lawyer cost more than my claim?

Big ripoff mate, i`d never use them.

There’ll be people out there who know more about this than I, but the whole point of small claims courts is regular people can go and have these sort of problems dealt with. I had a successful claim against a previous employer years ago through the Ontario small claims court. I’d actually left Canada by the time it was settled and didn’t have to go to court even (though someone may have gone in my place, I can’t remember) and never needed a lawyer. The U.K. and Canadian legal systems are similar, so this may be relevant.

i know its in to salg metropolis off at the mo but at the end of the day there a main dealer.

your going to pay main dealer prices at least 75 quid an hour.

you should also know that using a any vehicle in the city makes 3 times more wear and tear than a motorway, think about it.

the drive belt and rollers are wear and tear, there service parts like a chain and sprocket.

Suzuki GB would not replace that


We’ve had to use this service on a few occasions for work, it’s easy, quick and reliable. If it can’t be sorted out of court you will have to attend as we have, but there’s no big problem if you stand your ground and present your case in full.

Metropolis seem to have got the same bad rep Motorcycle City used to have years ago (before they tried to get over the problem by changing their name every two years).

Respect your views, but in my experience (backed up by all the other scooter owners I know, many of whom commute), there’s no way a belt should need replacing after 3k miles from new. Not even on a 125 (high-revving), and taking into account the fact it’s only used for commuting (higher wear and tear).

For example, I’d expect to change my belts every 8k miles (because that fits in with my service intervals), but I know that others have had over 12k out of belts with no problems, and I know that my old belts always look pretty good when they’re changed.

imho, this is DEFINITELY a warranty claim. (And even taking out say £150 for labour, that’s a LOT of money for a belt change. How much are the replacement Suzuki belts?)

£150 is two hours at main dealer rates which is not unreasonable for a full service and belt change. I would press under warranty as the belt and rollers must have been fitted incorrectly or been fault as fitted to fail that quickly.

i agree thats to much for a belt and roller change but they would have done other stuff too.

also 3k is not a lot for a belt but i dont think suzuki will pay out as they didnt make the belt.

and i dont think there is a guaranteed minimum milage on them.

i do wish you luck with it though :slight_smile:

270 quid is a lot of money

does seem a bit quick to fail but never owning a scoot cant really say, do harleys have the same failure rate then as they have belts and more torque than a scoot ?

oh and my headlight bulb failed at 40k think it worth trying Honda UK for free replacement ? :slight_smile:

Many thanks for your replies, guys. To be more concise, I have to say that £120+VAT for 2 hours is something like a ‘normal’ price in London. The problem is that under the Suzuki Warranty, all parts and labor is covered, apart from consumables (oil, brake pads, etc).

Now in this case, the Belt and the 6 rollers are considered consumables, as their replacement after 2996 miles and 15 months is considered normal wear and tear…

So if I was covered from the warranty, I would have to pay something like £25, as the 2 hours labour would have been excluded as well… The total cost of the damage that I consider ‘defective on arrival’ (remember it was doing it from Day 1, but I was advised from their salesman that I would hear sounds and glitches during the first few months), is £249.

I was also wondering that if I was such a bad driver (having a 15 year experience in riding and 16 in driving), wouldn’t other sign of ‘wear and tear’ show? (for example my brake pads are excellent…)

I will give it a go with Suzuki, but for sure I will never go back there again…

A Harley belt does a lot less than a belt on an auto - think of it as the chain, transmission and the slack in the clutch cable.

Had two CVT machines from new and never had any noise or glitches - the salesman was an @rse!

There’s a lot of grey stuff being posted here.

Cut to the facts.

Do you have evidence that the machine was noisey/unpleasant when new?
Do you have evidence that you complained?
You obviously had evidence that the belt only lasted 3K.

Forget wear and tear, the phrase is “Fair” wear and tear. (Abuse is unfair wear and tear.) If you do 15K miles in a year, you expect things to give up. Brake pads are a good example. 3K on a drive belt is not fair.

Start with Suzuki UK who will probably tell you to go forth and multiply.

If that fails, your beef is with the retailer. Write to them If their attitude is similar, tell them politely that you are dissatisfied and are going to take out a small claims court action against them.

The small claims court action is designed so that you do not need a solicitor. Just fill in the forms and make a simple concise statement and attach copies of the evidence. (Forms available on line.)

My guess is, when the retailer gets the claims notice from the court, they will offer a deal. If not, so what?

You invest a couple of hours, lose nothing and might gain lots.


many thanks for your help on this. Obviously I do not have any evidence that there was a instant noise when the bike was starting to move since I bought it, and I do not think that the guy who said that I should expect some noise and glitches during the break-in period would not stand for me (he has been treated well as an employee in an emergency he had in the past).

So your suggestion is to writte a letter to Suzuki UK (copying Suzuki Japan as I think of doing?), giving them only the proven facts? (that is only the charge of the repair and the mileage covered)

No word that this was happening since the day I bought it, but I was not worried since it was in the break-in phase? No word that Metropolis forgot to reset the Oil Change indicator and to stamp my Warranty and Maintenance booklet?

Even if there was no noise or “oddness” when new, 3k is too little for a belt (by a factor of over 50% - i.e. you should get AT LEAST twice as much and more like 3x - 4x as much).

If this is the belt supplied with your new scoot, then look to the mftr for compensation.

There will not necessarily be any noise for you to notice, if it’s simply a defective belt.

The only transmission noise on a CVT is usually the strangled sealion effect which is associated with a hot clutch.