Ariel Quality and Service - Read before you buy

Swm

New Member
I ordered the Ariel D after an extensive comparison of similar bikes. I was excited to get my bike and it arrived after 3 weeks. I was told a few days before its arrival that I had been “upgraded” to the Limited Edition. Yes it has a different seat and cosmetics, a larger battery and what I was not expecting - Bafang motors. I explicitly ordered this bike because it said it has Dapu motors. I don’t have experience with either but the reviews are universal that the Dapu motors are a better product. Either way, I expect to receive what I pay for. When it arrived I was optimistic things would work out. I started to assemble the bike. Immediately upon taking it out of the box I noticed cosmetic frame damage and a flat tire. I assembled the bike, inflated the tire and took it for a spin. Great power and fun to ride. But the Ariel D seems to have an inherent flaw of its frame geometry. When you turn the bike wants to increase the rate of turn against your will. The design is very unstable. For instance, you can not ride this bike safely with no hands. Not a regular practice for me but it is a good indication of the stability of the bike. One thing to note is on these small cruiser bikes you can’t pedal when you are leaning on a turn or the pedals hit the ground. This bike is no exception.

After a few minutes of riding, the bike shut off. I tried everything I could think of - nothing. I took the battery out and turned everything on and off again it started working again. This happened a few more times when I rode it for the next 2 days. I was also unable to get the light to work properly. It went on but would not turn off. I called Ariel, they were very friendly and suggested a number of things to get my bike working correctly. Remember, at this point I only had maybe 1 hour of riding on the bike. None of their suggestions seemed to work for the light and I could not reproduce the issue of randomly shutting down so that was not possible to diagnose. But the real killer for me was the fact that they advertised Dapu motors and they shipped Bafang. I explained that I did not order the Bafang motor. They told me that the motors were an “upgrade” and I should be happy and they would not replace. I said we should get the rest of the bike working first and then address the new motors. They asked if I could take (in a car) the bike 1 hour and 45 minutes to a shop that might help with repairs. I declined that. I exchanged emails and phone calls a few times to try to come to a resolution. When it was clear that the bike was not going to be repaired or replaced and that the frame geometry was not simple a matter of the new wide tires needing to be broken in (yes that is what they told me!). I said I had lost faith in the bike and since they were not going to replace the motors and electronics and I wanted to return it. I was on the phone with Arda, one of the founders. With a bit of back and forth he reluctantly agreed to send me a new box to send the bike back. The box arrive 8 weeks later! I immediately sent the bike back with roughly only 1-2 hours of use. I got an email from “Nora” explaining that they would credit my account the “appropriate” amount after reviewing the bike and deducting the “normal” amounts for returns. I am fine with the fact that I need to return it in the same condition that I received it. But I am not fine with having to pay the “normal” return fees when the bike never worked and furthermore they pulled a bait and switch in the name of an “upgrade”. They didn’t bother to check the bike before it left their shop. The lights didn’t work properly, the front tire was flat, the electronics that run the bike had an intermittent fault and the frame was cosmetically damaged. On top of that the bike is not stable to ride. I have ridden dozens if not hundreds of bikes and at least 15 Ebikes. NONE of them have this stability issue and all the e-bikes I have ridden work fine.

Sensing a bit of an argument during my email exchange with Nora, I contacted AMEX to alert them to the fact I might have a dispute with a vendor. AMEX was great as expected. I emailed Nora that I had contacted AMEX. I received a pointed, if not nasty, email in return that I should not have done that as now they would have to take a stricter look at their return policies. The email exchange was degrading in professionalism so I suggested we take a break, enjoy the Christmas holidays, and let them reconsider their stance. Of course they need to ensure that my bike is indeed in the exact same shape as I received it. I did forward the email chain to Arda hoping he was not in the loop with Nora’s emails. He obviously takes pride in his company but the customer service is unusual at best and difficult and rude at worst and I thought he should be aware. Arda, took the same stance and said that if I did not retract my dispute with Amex, “that it'll take another 3 months and in the end, you won't receive even half of the refund back.” This is clearly a learning moment for anyone wanting to understand customer service. I told him that I would contact Amex and let them know what was transpiring. I informed Arda of that and he immediately credited a full refund. It was a long, time consuming and painful process to rectify a defective product. On top of that it was downright unprofessional.

I did look around the website in the warranty area. I found something rather unusual that now resonates entirely. There is a paragraph at the bottom of the page that discusses “blackmail” and difficulties they have had with returns or warranty. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have NEVER seen anything like this. Had I seen this before I purchased the bike I would have never come back to the site nor done business with anyone that holds these beliefs regarding customer service. There is something odd about someone warning people not to blackmail them as part of the sales process. Below is the passage from their site. All in all it has been a very difficult experience. It took me 3 months to return the bike even though I contacted them immediately. While their responses have been helpful at times, on average they were difficult to deal with. If this bike is any indication, their quality is significantly lacking. The Ariel D specifically, suffers poor design and is not stable to ride. But most of all, I enjoy doing business with companies I trust. Advertising one brand of motor and delivering a cheaper substitute as an “upgrade”, is not right. Then refusing to remedy the situation is beyond the pale. I don’t consider this review to be “blackmail” as I am not asking for anything. But I suspect they might have a different take given their view of business. Judge for yourself and be very informed before you do business with Ariel. As a note, I rode a friend’s Rad bike and it was great. He praised their customer service. Similar bikes at similar prices.

This is at the bottom of their warranty section - “Sadly very seldom, we do receive blackmails from unhappy customers, because their issue isn't solved the way they'd prefer. Please note that blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person/company to the public unless money or any other valuable thing is paid - to purchase silence. Blackmail is considered a federal crime and can be punishable by either fines or imprisonment depending upon the specifics of the case. The victim does not need to be a federal office-holder in order for blackmail to be prosecuted at the federal level... In these blackmailing cases, Ariel Rider Ebikes/Arba International LLC will offer a warning at first, after that we do reserve the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, issue refunds, void warranties, or cancel orders at our sole discretion. If this decision is made it is final and cannot be undone.”
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
I've never seen the blackmail as above on any vendor's website, policies, etc ..... very unusual. But I have never heard of this bike company before and they're probably related.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
With Bafang it depends on which hub motor Ariel used. The G310 and G311 series are seat motors!

I have seen numerous incidents where purchasers were disappointed and quickly jumped on a dozen forums in an attempt to discredit and get satisfaction. Every week here there's another post about some direct marketing eBike seller not meeting the customer's demands. And VERY OFTEN it's buyer ignorance. !!!NOT IMPLYING THAT HERE!!!

Reading the full warranty it seems they've had some issues.
Once I read it I can sympathize. I'd be happy with two 750W Bafang motors.

As avid ebike riders, we do understand how frustrating it can be to have a technical issue with your bike, or something wrong with your order. And we can relate to your frustration and even anger at times, but we will NOT tolerate rude/vulgar language towards our team. We will offer a warning if this occurs, after that, we do reserve the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, issue refunds, void warranties, or cancel orders at our sole discretion. If this decision is made it is final and cannot be undone.

Sadly very seldom, we do receive blackmails from unhappy customers, because their issue isn't solved the way they'd prefer. Please note that blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person/company to the public unless money or any other valuable thing is paid - to purchase silence. Blackmail is considered a federal crime and can be punishable by either fines or imprisonment depending upon the specifics of the case. The victim does not need to be a federal office-holder in order for blackmail to be prosecuted at the federal level... In these blackmailing cases, Ariel Rider Ebikes/Arba International LLC will offer a warning at first, after that we do reserve the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, issue refunds, void warranties, or cancel orders at our sole discretion. If this decision is made it is final and cannot be undone.
 
Last edited:

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I explicitly ordered this bike because it said it has Dapu motors.
Not very positive results from Dapu.
 

Swm

New Member
Agree with all. I don’t mind tinkering and even some mild work to get things to work. My experience was not good from the start. And it took 3 months to resolve even though I was not riding the bike. As I mentioned, it is certainly a learning experience for anyone in Customer Service. Threatening me that I would not get a full refund if I spoke to my CC company is really telling IMHO.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Agree with all. I don’t mind tinkering and even some mild work to get things to work. My experience was not good from the start. And it took 3 months to resolve even though I was not riding the bike. As I mentioned, it is certainly a learning experience for anyone in Customer Service. Threatening me that I would not get a full refund if I spoke to my CC company is really telling IMHO.
Exactly why I prefer making higher priced purchases by way of AMEX!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I ordered the Ariel D after an extensive comparison of similar bikes. I was excited to get my bike and it arrived after 3 weeks. I was told a few days before its arrival that I had been “upgraded” to the Limited Edition. Yes it has a different seat and cosmetics, a larger battery and what I was not expecting - Bafang motors. I explicitly ordered this bike because it said it has Dapu motors. I don’t have experience with either but the reviews are universal that the Dapu motors are a better product. Either way, I expect to receive what I pay for. When it arrived I was optimistic things would work out. I started to assemble the bike. Immediately upon taking it out of the box I noticed cosmetic frame damage and a flat tire. I assembled the bike, inflated the tire and took it for a spin. Great power and fun to ride. But the Ariel D seems to have an inherent flaw of its frame geometry. When you turn the bike wants to increase the rate of turn against your will. The design is very unstable. For instance, you can not ride this bike safely with no hands. Not a regular practice for me but it is a good indication of the stability of the bike. One thing to note is on these small cruiser bikes you can’t pedal when you are leaning on a turn or the pedals hit the ground. This bike is no exception.

After a few minutes of riding, the bike shut off. I tried everything I could think of - nothing. I took the battery out and turned everything on and off again it started working again. This happened a few more times when I rode it for the next 2 days. I was also unable to get the light to work properly. It went on but would not turn off. I called Ariel, they were very friendly and suggested a number of things to get my bike working correctly. Remember, at this point I only had maybe 1 hour of riding on the bike. None of their suggestions seemed to work for the light and I could not reproduce the issue of randomly shutting down so that was not possible to diagnose. But the real killer for me was the fact that they advertised Dapu motors and they shipped Bafang. I explained that I did not order the Bafang motor. They told me that the motors were an “upgrade” and I should be happy and they would not replace. I said we should get the rest of the bike working first and then address the new motors. They asked if I could take (in a car) the bike 1 hour and 45 minutes to a shop that might help with repairs. I declined that. I exchanged emails and phone calls a few times to try to come to a resolution. When it was clear that the bike was not going to be repaired or replaced and that the frame geometry was not simple a matter of the new wide tires needing to be broken in (yes that is what they told me!). I said I had lost faith in the bike and since they were not going to replace the motors and electronics and I wanted to return it. I was on the phone with Arda, one of the founders. With a bit of back and forth he reluctantly agreed to send me a new box to send the bike back. The box arrive 8 weeks later! I immediately sent the bike back with roughly only 1-2 hours of use. I got an email from “Nora” explaining that they would credit my account the “appropriate” amount after reviewing the bike and deducting the “normal” amounts for returns. I am fine with the fact that I need to return it in the same condition that I received it. But I am not fine with having to pay the “normal” return fees when the bike never worked and furthermore they pulled a bait and switch in the name of an “upgrade”. They didn’t bother to check the bike before it left their shop. The lights didn’t work properly, the front tire was flat, the electronics that run the bike had an intermittent fault and the frame was cosmetically damaged. On top of that the bike is not stable to ride. I have ridden dozens if not hundreds of bikes and at least 15 Ebikes. NONE of them have this stability issue and all the e-bikes I have ridden work fine.

Sensing a bit of an argument during my email exchange with Nora, I contacted AMEX to alert them to the fact I might have a dispute with a vendor. AMEX was great as expected. I emailed Nora that I had contacted AMEX. I received a pointed, if not nasty, email in return that I should not have done that as now they would have to take a stricter look at their return policies. The email exchange was degrading in professionalism so I suggested we take a break, enjoy the Christmas holidays, and let them reconsider their stance. Of course they need to ensure that my bike is indeed in the exact same shape as I received it. I did forward the email chain to Arda hoping he was not in the loop with Nora’s emails. He obviously takes pride in his company but the customer service is unusual at best and difficult and rude at worst and I thought he should be aware. Arda, took the same stance and said that if I did not retract my dispute with Amex, “that it'll take another 3 months and in the end, you won't receive even half of the refund back.” This is clearly a learning moment for anyone wanting to understand customer service. I told him that I would contact Amex and let them know what was transpiring. I informed Arda of that and he immediately credited a full refund. It was a long, time consuming and painful process to rectify a defective product. On top of that it was downright unprofessional.

I did look around the website in the warranty area. I found something rather unusual that now resonates entirely. There is a paragraph at the bottom of the page that discusses “blackmail” and difficulties they have had with returns or warranty. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have NEVER seen anything like this. Had I seen this before I purchased the bike I would have never come back to the site nor done business with anyone that holds these beliefs regarding customer service. There is something odd about someone warning people not to blackmail them as part of the sales process. Below is the passage from their site. All in all it has been a very difficult experience. It took me 3 months to return the bike even though I contacted them immediately. While their responses have been helpful at times, on average they were difficult to deal with. If this bike is any indication, their quality is significantly lacking. The Ariel D specifically, suffers poor design and is not stable to ride. But most of all, I enjoy doing business with companies I trust. Advertising one brand of motor and delivering a cheaper substitute as an “upgrade”, is not right. Then refusing to remedy the situation is beyond the pale. I don’t consider this review to be “blackmail” as I am not asking for anything. But I suspect they might have a different take given their view of business. Judge for yourself and be very informed before you do business with Ariel. As a note, I rode a friend’s Rad bike and it was great. He praised their customer service. Similar bikes at similar prices.

This is at the bottom of their warranty section - “Sadly very seldom, we do receive blackmails from unhappy customers, because their issue isn't solved the way they'd prefer. Please note that blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person/company to the public unless money or any other valuable thing is paid - to purchase silence. Blackmail is considered a federal crime and can be punishable by either fines or imprisonment depending upon the specifics of the case. The victim does not need to be a federal office-holder in order for blackmail to be prosecuted at the federal level... In these blackmailing cases, Ariel Rider Ebikes/Arba International LLC will offer a warning at first, after that we do reserve the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, issue refunds, void warranties, or cancel orders at our sole discretion. If this decision is made it is final and cannot be undone.”
Thanks for the heads up with this company. They do lack any kind of professional C/S experience according to your doc above. That said, I would stay far away from a company like this. If companies today think they can handle situations like the way they did yours, they are in need of a big wake up call IMO!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
What difference does purchasing with AMEX make vs. Visa or Mastercard?
In my experience, Visa will go to bat for the consumer during legit disputes with a merchant. I had a case where it took over 1 year for the dispute to ultimately be voted in my favor after an extended period of arbitration. Apparently the right person on the Visa side was able to see the merchant's deceptive practices with other customers. His Visa rights ended up being terminated due to violation of policy. Double thumbs up for Visa arbitration from me! 👍👍
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
AMEX stands with the customer at a level I've never seen with any other card. At least in my 47 years of using cards and AMEX. It's also a reason some businesses won't take an AMEX charge.
Good to know. Never considered an AMEX card to have handy in my wallet. Probably something to consider for extra insurance for rather large purchases. Last I checked there is an annual fee unlike most Visa/MC bank cards though. Sounds like you get what you pay for with AMEX.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Good to know. Never considered an AMEX card to have handy in my wallet. Probably something to consider for extra insurance for rather large purchases. Last I checked there is an annual fee unlike most Visa/MC bank cards though. Sounds like you get what you pay for with AMEX.
That has been our experience. As a seller, I have also been on the other side. But with good information they did reverse the claim when they discovered the user had a record of abusing their support.