I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I do find it ironic how a motorcycle manufacturer who markets the idea to ride free and be unique gets so easily offended, even when one asks a simple and honest non-threatening question.
I was visiting the Harley Davidson website, checking on available accessories, and I decided to post a question about one of their products, mistakenly thinking it would be answered by some kind of CSR/HD employee. I simply asked what country was the origin of manufacturer for one of their wheels, and boy, in HD's subtle way, I got my pee-pee wacked.
I received what looked to be a standard corporate reply that a human body would have at least had to initiate after reading my question- much like a moderator on these forums. Here's the reply:
"HEY BIKERJ, Thanks for asking about the following product:
Slotted 6-Spoke 17 in. Rear Wheel
We're all about challenging the status quo and riding free. But we have a few ground rules we ask everyone to follow when it comes to our community. Unfortunately, your question wasn't quite up to snuff.
Take a minute to review our guidelines and resubmit your question."
Now, the best I can remember, their guidelines are pretty much the standard variety- no mentioning other brands, no offensive verbiage, no bad mouthing HD...yada yada yada. So, the best I can figure, somebody at HD felt either I was trying to instigate a bad public image for HD, or they believed revealing this information would hurt their public image or more importantly their sales. If this is the case, then the way they answered did them more harm than good. Even if it's not the case, the perception they left is just as bad. I will contact the corporate offices to get clarification.
As I began this post, I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed. Harley Davidson is simply another publicly traded corporation, who's sole interests are to make a profit and appease their shareholders, yet they feel the need to market their products and philosophy in such a way that amounts to pure bullshit. It's just sad there are so few companies today who are genuinely appreciative of their customers. It's disappointing because clowns like these wave the American flag, encouraging people to buy "American". I understand that, and I agree with the concept, even when foreign sourced parts are utilized in the production of the core product. It's good for American workers, and it's good for the American economy, but when one considers Harley Davidson has been the recipient of govt. (taxpayers; YOU & ME) bailout that kept them from becoming extinct, then it should be realized such replies to a customer- a repeat one at that- is a slap in the American face.
Dependent upon Harley Davidson's response to this, they might be getting the same amount of support I've decided to give to GM (government motors)- ZILCH! Although, I will happily share my HD experiences at every opportunity.