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!!!Aftermarket Seatbelts – My Bad Experience with RETROBELT USA (AKA TRUBELT)!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1950merc, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    This may be long, but if you are interested in seatbelts, it is worth reading. I will be strictly factual as I do not want to risk slandering Retrobelt or TruBelt.
    <O:p</O:p
    Retrobelt, LLC and TruBelt are sister companies or are affiliated in some way. I was told by one of their employees that TruBelt is intended for dealers not so much the end consumer. They are both part of Retro Manufacturing which also includes Retrosound <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]</st1:country-region>USA. I am the end consumer and did order from the Trubelt website (www.trubelt.com). I ordered four 3-point retractable belts with aviator-style buckle in black.

    When I opened the first one, I found that when they are packaged by their manufacturer in <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region>, they were packaged such that the bolt that holds the shoulder harness digs into the plastic retractor housing. This ruins the finish on the retractor housing. All four showed the same problem and the same damage. The second thing I noticed was the lack of any installation manual.

    I contacted Retrobelt/TruBelt and explained the situation about the damage caused by their packaging method. They offered to send me new housings. I was prepared to accept this offer. I next asked about an installation manual. That was when I was told that I ordered from TruBelt and that is why I did not receive a manual. If you order from Retrobelt you get the manual. It should be noted that you will pay nearly $200 more through Retrobelt for the same seatbelts. I was referred to the Retrobelt website for instructions (www.retrobeltusa.com).

    I began to ask a specific installation question. Their employee did not answer the question. When I repeated the question, I was again referred to the website. I had looked at the website and it didn’t answer my question. I don’t know if he could not answer my question or did not want to answer my question. When I repeated my question again and mentioned there were other places that sold seatbelts, their employee said it would be best if he just gave me a return authorization number. Because he did not answer my question, I said that I agreed.

    Having the RA number, I then asked who was going to pay for shipping to get the belts back to them. They weighed 21 pounds and had to go from PA to <st1:City w:st="on">Chino</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">CA</st1:State>. He said it was my responsibility. I said this was not acceptable as they were not damaged in shipping, that it was their packaging that caused the damage. Their employee said they already lost money shipping the belts to me, because it costs them more to ship them than they charge for shipping. I told him that was not my problem and I needed to speak to somebody higher up. He said the owner would call me. That never happened. I did receive two one-line emails from the owner (I think) through the employee’s email account saying I had to pay the shipping.

    I asked friends who are car guys and they say I was not being unreasonable. Was I asking too much for the seller to take responsibility for their mistake?

    In the end, I paid the shipping to get a refund on the seatbelts.

    I was interested in a Retrosound stereo, but I'm afraid they wouldn't stand behind that product either with tech support and customer service.

    Again, the company I had this bad experience with is Retrobelt <st1:country-region w:st="on">USA</st1:country-region>, LLC or TruBelt!

    If you or someone you know is in the market for seatbelts pass this story along.

     
  2. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With
    Member

    This is good information to know. So many products out of China are total junk and we as consumers need to know about any substandard products on the market. Its almost impossible to purchase American made products now but we do have a few choices on products produced in countries other than China. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  3. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    I didn't post to make any political statement. I just was putting it out there so others are aware that this company sent me a defective product and it cost me money. With all the lawsuits that fly around these days, I willl leave it at that.
     
  4. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,744

    stealthcruiser
    Member

    I am guessing, that you got no instructions, to distance them from any liability...............They did tell you, that their products were for dealers, who, I guess, would shoulder the end responsibility.......................Don't get me wrong, I am not condoning their actions, just offering up an explanation.
     

  5. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy
    Member

    You buy Chinese parts you get Chinese quality.There are alot of choices out there.I wanted to put belts in the 53 Chevy so after checking around for belts and the outrageous prices I went down to the scrapyard found a real nice set in greatshape and pulled them myself and paid $40 for front and rear.
     
  6. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    There may be something to that, but if they charge you $200 more through their other company you get the manual. Is $200 worth the liability. And let's face it, one little CYA statement at the end can make the liability go away.
     
  7. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    Well paying good money and the company being named Retrobelt USA, I wasn't expecting parts from China. There is truth in you get what you pay for, but these weren't exactly cheap. I had thought about salvage yard parts, but me personally, I didn't want used for seatbelts.
     
  8. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    As mentioned, that extra $200 might be their liability cost per unit. Wouldn't shock me in the least. The USA part was probably referring to our lawsuit happiness, not where they are made.
     
  9. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage


    all cars run on used parts..from the second they drive off the floor..

    the vehicle that you drove to work today has used seat belts in it..

    look em over good, they are just a safety measure anyways, because no one will accept the liability of you putting them in anyhow..no matter who sold them to you or if they were new or not.
    sounds like you did the right thing...let them keep their POS seat belts..and their attitude too.

    No one is going to take on the liability of a seat belt you install...no one..i dont care if you even paid them 200 bucks..its never going out weigh the liability or the law suits.

    I bet you will find there is no liability to the manufacture of the belts if you install.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  10. Evilfordcoupe™
    Joined: May 22, 2001
    Posts: 1,817

    Evilfordcoupe™
    Member

    "Products may be returned for a full refund (minus a 20% restocking and processing fee), credit or like for like exchange within 30 days of receipt..........
    Customer will pay freight on all return orders."


    You should always read the easy to read print on websites.


    -Jason
     
  11. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,694

    Weasel
    Member

    I buy my seat belts from Bob Juliano (he's here on the HAMB) for good reason - quality product, great service and full instructions. You get what you pays for and cutting corners or nickel and dimeing on safety critical items is not smart.

    Sorry to hear of your problems but there are quality suppliers out there. Maybe you should ask where the product is made before you buy.
     
  12. big bad john
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 4,727

    big bad john
    Member

    .........You can't go wrong with Bob Juliano........
     
  13. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729

    GassersGarage
    Member

    I've found that if you don't order directly from the manufacturer, but go to through dealer, they don't stand behind their products. This happened with Edelbrock and Heddman when the part was bought through P.A.W.. Their excuse was "since these companies order in bulk, we don't guarantee the product". Now, to be fair, owners of the companies may not know this is going on. When I left Heddman, I ran into an old guy chomping on a cigar. He said you don't look happy! I explained what happened. He took me back inside and told the person that I talked to, to fix the problem. Turns out, the cigar smoker was the owner. This was years ago..........
     
  14. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    Hahaha!! Reading comprehension for the win!!!
     
  15. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    I would agree if it were I just changed my mind after seeing them in person, not damaged because of their packaging process. I'll consider it money well spent if somebody else doesn't fall into the same trap.
     
  16. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 785

    VonWegener
    Member

    Call me insensitive but if you need a manual to install a seat belt..........
     
  17. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    I don't want to seem disrespectful, but "they are just a safety measure" is kind of a strange comment. Use them one time and they do their job they could easily save your life. I realize nobody is going to take the liability, but I would at least like some guidelines (if you don't want to call them instructions). And as far as used, there are just some things I wouldn't buy used. I would buy used trim or a used intake, but I wouldn't buy a used alternator or ball joint.
     
  18. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    You're right. There are probably a lot of think I should do.
     
  19. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,088

    wvenfield
    Member

    That's all I need to read.
     
  20. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    Call me touchy, but there's more to it than you might think on retractable units. Were you aware some retractors are meant to work with a certain range of belt pulled from the retractor? I wasn't. I'm strapping my 2 year old in. I want new parts and want to install them so they work.
     
  21. LIL.TIMMYUser Name
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 741

    LIL.TIMMYUser Name
    Member

    . I had thought about salvage yard parts, but me personally, I didn't want used for seatbelts.[/QUOTE]
    I can see being cafeful about condition on used belts. But what kind of confidence can you have that the proper webbing material is being on chinese belts? Heck, something as small as a bolt or spring not being up-to-snuff could cause failure. As has happened time & again, many chinese manf. don't seem to care if a product meets u.s. safety standards. A crash is a helluva test-bed for china belts, i wouldn't do it.
     
  22. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    I can see being cafeful about condition on used belts. But what kind of confidence can you have that the proper webbing material is being on chinese belts? Heck, something as small as a bolt or spring not being up-to-snuff could cause failure. As has happened time & again, many chinese manf. don't seem to care if a product meets u.s. safety standards. A crash is a helluva test-bed for china belts, i wouldn't do it.[/QUOTE]

    Not getting poilitical, but I couldn't agree more. For the record, I thought they were made in the USA.
     
  23. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage


    I ment that toward the liability end of the issue..no one will take responsibility so its all on you..so that just makes them a "measure" because in the event of an accident and the belt fails..you will have only yourself to sue

    and you werent disrespectful..I may just see things a bit differently...I still stand by my thought process of everything on your car is used..but that doesnt make it bad..used doesnt mean bad.
    used seat belts could be used, and not bad too.

    a used alternator? all day long...no problem

    my 2009 GMC has a used alternator in it..been getting used since it was new in 2009
     
  24. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,288

    KJSR
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    You really need to take this one as "lesson learned" and move on
     
  25. 1950merc
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 161

    1950merc
    Member
    from Butler, PA

    That's just what I am doing. I'm just giving others some info that may be useful. If somebody else would have posted this, I would have never bought from them in the first place.
     
  26. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    I can see being cafeful about condition on used belts. But what kind of confidence can you have that the proper webbing material is being on chinese belts? Heck, something as small as a bolt or spring not being up-to-snuff could cause failure. As has happened time & again, many chinese manf. don't seem to care if a product meets u.s. safety standards. A crash is a helluva test-bed for china belts, i wouldn't do it.[/QUOTE]

    Something to keep in mind...just because something says "made in USA" doesn't mean the raw materials are manufactured in the USA. China manufactures the majority of the worlds textile fabrics, so most likely even made in USA belts are made with chinese manufactured webbing. Ive been to many Chinese factories, and they are required to test their materials before using them in manufacturing, however unless you hire someone to go over there and check to make sure they test and build everything to spec, they will probably cut corners. There are some extremely organized and well run factories over there and there are also alot of absolute shit holes.
     

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