Bought an Ebike from a "Popular Wisconsin Dealer"

I honestly quite like seeing everyone's different point of views on here. It's enlightening to see people from the dealer side of things, as well as others who are "regular" consumers/purchasers/enthusiasts. I think the most interesting (to me) is how vociferously some will circle the wagons, just to defend the very concept of dealers and their infallible nature.

My whole point in this post was to share my experience. It doesn't invalidate anyone else's positive experience, or reinforce anyone else's negative experience. So far, I've been called whiny, angsty, entitled, and more. I've been scolded for posting to the internet and told I didn't use my "deity given wisdom", among other things.

I'm a consumer who is new to this whole ebike industry, but I work in a Fortune 500 company. I deal with true marketing and customer service professionals at the top of their game on a daily basis, and it's fascinating how far back in the stone-age the whole "LBS" thing currently is. It's like all the negatives of a car dealership, with none of the positives.

Internet direct ebike companies definitely have their flaws, but they have made huge strides in customer service and marketing. However, many of the "best" and more name-brand bikes and motor systems can only be purchased through a dealer network. It just seems, to me, that there is a huge opportunity for disruption in this space. I wouldn't be surprised if the next 5 years bring some sweeping changes to the space.

As ruffruff said above, I'm just chalking this all up to a learning experience!
 
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onlineaddy

Well-Known Member
Don't worry too much, Witt--see what I did there? ;)--everyone likes to have an opinion on the Internet. I feel for you; I really do. I wouldn't want to experience what you are going through. I hope things work out for you in the end.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I honestly quite like seeing everyone's different point of views on here. It's enlightening to see people from the dealer side of things, as well as others who are "regular" consumers/purchasers/enthusiasts. I think the most interesting (to me) is how vociferously some will circle the wagons, just to defend the very concept of dealers and their infallible nature.

My whole point in this post was to share my experience. It doesn't invalidate anyone else's positive experience, or reinforce anyone else's negative experience. So far, I've been called whiny, angsty, entitled, and more. I've been scolded for posting to the internet, told I didn't use my "deity given wisdom", and others.

I'm a consumer who is new to this whole ebike industry, but I work in a Fortune 500 company. I deal with true marketing and customer service professionals at the top of their game on a daily basis, and it's fascinating how far back in the stone-age the whole "LBS" thing currently is. It's like all the negatives of a car dealership, with none of the positives.

Internet direct ebike companies definitely have their flaws, but they have made huge strides in customer service and marketing. However, many of the "best" and more name-brand bikes and motor systems can only be purchased through a dealer network. It just seems, to me, that there is a huge opportunity for disruption in this space. I wouldn't be surprised if the next 5 years bring some sweeping changes to the space.

As ruffruff said above, I'm just chalking this all up to a learning experience!
All you gotta do is look at all the bike companies listed under the Brands Forum..how in the world is that sustainable?
Just by sheer market forces I gotta believe 80-90% of them will be gone in 5 years.
The ones with good customer service will remain.

Just so happens we are are in the wild west days of Ebikes.

Saddle up and enjoy the ride!
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
Umm, the bike hasn't even arrived yet? Let' the dice roll and see what warranty support is needed in the next two years.
I guess that I have been very fortunate so far. Have purchased 3 e-bikes from CL's, and have always been treated with full respect (have worked over the phone with Lenny, the lady in sales, and John via email). All bikes arrived in perfect cosmetic and working order, and I have yet to have problems with any of them.

With the single 'sales' based issue (bike I had ordered was actually not in stock), they treated me very well, offering a different bike or an immediate refund. With at least one other on-line vendor, when the bike I ordered ended up not being in stock, they tried very hard to make me instead purchase an in-stock bike which I didn't want, instead of providing any refund. CL's was not like that at all, and was very professional about the whole matter.

To the OP, I understand you wanting to provide your personal experience to the group here. I would recommend that you call and speak directly to Lenny. I have found him to be very pleasant to deal with, and truly working hard for his store to provide the most positive buying and ownership experience. He should personally know the difficulties you had.

And I truly hope that when you get your new bike you absolutely love it and never have a single issue with it! Haibike designs and builds an excellent product.
 
I guess that I have been very fortunate so far. Have purchased 3 e-bikes from CL's, and have always been treated with full respect (have worked over the phone with Lenny, the lady in sales, and John via email). All bikes arrived in perfect cosmetic and working order, and I have yet to have problems with any of them.

With the single 'sales' based issue (bike I had ordered was actually not in stock), they treated me very well, offering a different bike or an immediate refund. With at least one other on-line vendor, when the bike I ordered ended up not being in stock, they tried very hard to make me instead purchase an in-stock bike which I didn't want, instead of providing any refund. CL's was not like that at all, and was very professional about the whole matter.

To the OP, I understand you wanting to provide your personal experience to the group here. I would recommend that you call and speak directly to Lenny. I have found him to be very pleasant to deal with, and truly working hard for his store to provide the most positive buying and ownership experience. He should personally know the difficulties you had.

And I truly hope that when you get your new bike you absolutely love it and never have a single issue with it! Haibike designs and builds an excellent product.

Thank you very much for posting your experience. I will attempt to get in contact with him and will update this thread with how things go.
 
Quick update, my rep reached out to me since I left a message asking for a callback on Wednesday, and I told my sales rep about my interaction with the guy on the phone. She said "its probably either this person or this other person. Both of them are pretty bad on the phones. I'll tell my manager, but I'm not technically working today so I wont have any update until later this weekend."

A few people said it was silly to assume they "assemble it, test it, then ship it" like I was told initially, so I asked again today in no uncertain terms, and was told in these exact words: "We take it out of the box, set it up, make sure everything is adjusted and working properly, and then ship it out in either the same box with additional padding, or a different one if the original one was damaged in transit to us. This is done for every Haibike that gets sent to us from their Ohio distribution center."

My rep said they would look into what happened with my bike, and if the proper steps were followed. Not sure if anything is really possible at this point if they weren't, though.
 
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Lucky

New Member
Our purchase experience in March with Crazy Lenny's was excellent. We dealt with Evan, bought a Bosch Performance Speed motor bike (Gepida Fastida) at a price $1500 lower than they are sold anywhere else. The bike arrived in perfect condition, packed perfectly, but was missing a part (factory horn button) when we got it. We got in touch with Evan and he located one after a couple of weeks and the part shipped out to us. All of our interactions with people from CL were great and I would not hesitate to buy from them again if they have what we want to buy in the future. The Gepida bike is a dream.

Every local bike shop isn't full of angels. We tried to buy bikes twice over the past 2 years from a local "high end" full line e-bike shop near San Diego and the sales staff were total losers both times. We wanted to support them because I have friends who know the owners, but I can't imagine having to go back there for service if the sales process is bad.
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
I have worked in customer service for over 30 years, at all ends from entry level to management. It is so hard to attain excellent customer service consistently, all it takes is a employee to have an off day(they broke up with their significant other) Or they call in sick and then there is a whole in the customer service line. But the issue is, can you be excellent at least 80% of the time average 15% and only bad 5% of the time.There are variables that are out of peoples control. Some of it is within their control however, one large National Box store I worked for in management who shall remain nameless could not comprehend giving people a crappy work schedule month after month year after year after they have proven themselves valuable to the company is not a way to retain your best people who excel at customer service, they literally lost 80% of their best people because of consistently lousy schedules, including me.

I am not defending that "Ebike" company, personally because I have worked in the customer industry for so long I just bypass the front line worker/contact and go right to the GM or owner if anything goes wrong, my experience is they/we want to make it go away ASAP and will take a loss to make that happen, unless the request is so outrageously beyond what is fair, the golden rule is always good to apply from both sides of the equation.
I will never forget the time we had customer seriously complain on a install job because the construction worker disturbed her pets, both her cat & bird, just by working in the house😂

Thus my advise to you is talk directly to Lenny, and if he tells you to go pound sand then you have a legitimate issue.
I climbed up the chain one time and talked to the VP on the phone of a major international corporation on my issue, he had it fully resolved within the hour, when at least 2 other underlings failed including the district manager.
 

BlackHand

Active Member
Quick update, my rep reached out to me since I left a message asking for a callback on Wednesday, and I told my sales rep about my interaction with the guy on the phone. She said "its probably either this person or this other person. Both of them are pretty bad on the phones. I'll tell my manager, but I'm not technically working today so I wont have any update until later this weekend."

A few people said it was silly to assume they "assemble it, test it, then ship it" like I was told initially, so I asked again today in no uncertain terms, and was told in these exact words: "We take it out of the box, set it up, make sure everything is adjusted and working properly, and then ship it out in either the same box with additional padding, or a different one if the original one was damaged in transit to us. This is done for every Haibike that gets sent to us from their Ohio distribution center."
Glad to hear you're on the path to getting it worked out.

I can confirm that CL sent me a picture of 'my' Haibike on the sales floor and told me my bike would take a couple days to ship because they had to disassemble and pack it.

The shipping box I received had definitely been resealed at the very least. I have no reason to doubt it had been repacked given that there were at least 2 types of tape used.

Overall a good experience for me from CL. Not looking forward to the day when I try to get service from my local dealer as word is that they are not receptive to bikes bought elsewhere.
 

Code54

New Member
I wanted to buy 2 bikes their but they were on backorder. I asked for a price and they said they had to check and would get back to me with a current price and a rough idea when they would have the bikes. Told them that would be great and I don't mind waiting on the bikes if needed. Never heard back. Called again a few days later and told the same thing, they would check and call me back the following day. Waited a week, never heard back so I bought elsewhere....
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
I wanted to buy 2 bikes their but they were on backorder. I asked for a price and they said they had to check and would get back to me with a current price and a rough idea when they would have the bikes. Told them that would be great and I don't mind waiting on the bikes if needed. Never heard back. Called again a few days later and told the same thing, they would check and call me back the following day. Waited a week, never heard back so I bought elsewhere....
I recently had a very bad customer experience, 3 phone calls, two visits to the actual business and talked to the person face to face, and two emails, they guy totally ghosted me, I was going to spend a thousand dollars with them. Never tried to even negotiate a better price, I accepted the price they gave me. After being ghosted for a month, I went to his local competitor, who quoted me an even better price for the same thing. I mentioned to him the actual owner, how happy I was with there attention to detail and fast response, I also mentioned my bad experience with his competitor, he just smiled and said they didn't want your business because they are way too busy with high volume large customers, thinking back it was true. My point is some business are so busy right now that they push some people away and they are still making tons of money......but I am going to remember this, and when people ask me where I got this work done, I am going to tell my story.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I recently had a very bad customer experience, 3 phone calls, two visits to the actual business and talked to the person face to face, and two emails, they guy totally ghosted me, I was going to spend a thousand dollars with them. Never tried to even negotiate a better price, I accepted the price they gave me. After being ghosted for a month, I went to his local competitor, who quoted me an even better price for the same thing. I mentioned to him the actual owner, how happy I was with there attention to detail and fast response, I also mentioned my bad experience with his competitor, he just smiled and said they didn't want your business because they are way too busy with high volume large customers, thinking back it was true. My point is some business are so busy right now that they push some people away and they are still making tons of money......but I am going to remember this, and when people ask me where I got this work done, I am going to tell my story.
I guess I'm not entirely surprised to see their target business shift in the current bike sales environment (i.e., HOT!). At a certain point, when the bikes are selling themselves and people are clamoring to buy, if you are a volume/discount seller already you'd look to start moving more inventory. I noticed on the deals page today a straight ad to sell to other bike businesses. To me what that means is, why would they continue to sell bikes at wholesale prices to the public when their competitors are now also low on inventory and willing to pay close to or wholesale price and buy dozens of bikes at a time.

What I'm getting at, is if working with you as a buyer to sell a $1k bike (with $500 profit to them) takes almost as much time as they can move 10 of them to another retailer for $800 ($3,000 profit), wouldn't it make sense to do that? I assume they look at the $1k bikes as a gateway - if 50% of those buyers really enjoy their bike and come back for a Stromer, Bulls, Haibike, etc model where profit on the 2nd sale is going to be $1K+ easily, then that is where the motivation lies in selling lower end ebikes - as a long term draw-in.

Being frank here, 3 phone calls, a couple of emails and 2 in-person visits to the store and you never pulled the trigger, I'm not entirely surprised they aren't clamoring to get back to you (I promise I'm just as bad sometimes, just thinking about it from a business perspective here). The $1k bikes are meant to be sold directly online (a phone call, an email at most - call in, want the bike, paid for, email shipping info, done), or drop-in local sales, same day, come in, check things out, walk out with a bike.

Right now if they are looking for the best margins, it is probably in taking that warehouse inventory and moving it to businesses that are willing to pay top dollar to satisfy their own retail buyers - most shops want to sell to get you hooked for post-purchase support and subsequent sales. The difference here is that with offering a lower level of long term support, their business is sales focused, both current and subsequent purchases through offering unbeatable prices.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
I noticed the same thing on their website... not a good sign for customer service.

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GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
This reminds me of Harley in the 80's till say 2013 or there about's. Nice run by the way. The big difference is eBikes are not products folks want or need for identity. They don't have the kind of "cool,.must have" thing going for them. They are products that let us older folk ride again. LBS and on-line retailers that are thinking they are in some kind of sellers "rocking chair" situation will pay for any arrogance.
 
D

Deleted member 4210

Guest
I noticed the same thing on their website... not a good sign for customer service.

View attachment 68765
Yep. No dealer in their right mind would buy like this. There would be zero warranty support from any legit OEM who sold them to this dealer. And he resells to yet another dealer. It's a bad sign as it's rather dubious that he does this. How old are the Ebikes, and are they close out models he bought on the cheap, as well is he taking no or very low profit ? The entire concept is beyond dumb. No dealer is anywhere near that desperate. Looks more like he is trying to scare the public into believing dealers can't get Ebikes now, which is not the case,or he is just doing a 'humble brag' about his inventory size. Sheesh.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
It says for many models. They do import a line of their own badged eBikes. American Rider they call it. Could easily be their main push to wholesale to other dealers.
I doubt it... he specifically mentions that he has 20 brands with 900 bikes available.
Yep. No dealer in their right mind would buy like this. There would be zero warranty support from any legit OEM who sold them to this dealer. And he resells to yet another dealer. It's a bad sign as it's rather dubious that he does this. How old are the Ebikes, and are they close out models he bought on the cheap, as well is he taking no or very low profit ? The entire concept is beyond dumb. No dealer is anywhere near that desperate. Looks more like he is trying to scare the public into believing dealers can't get Ebikes now, which is not the case,or he is just doing a 'humble brag' about his inventory size. Sheesh.
I agree that this is not a smart business decision and will hurt in the long term.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I doubt it... he specifically mentions that he has 20 brands with 900 bikes available.

I agree that this is not a smart business decision and will hurt in the long term.
Why isn't my theory just as good as anyone else's? I didn't say the American Rider was the only brand they were wholesaling. We are all just guessing. Funny how this group loves to second guess one of the highest volume dealers in America. Or any LBS as far as that goes. If all the experts on here had the real perfect business plan, why are they sitting in front of their computer and not behind some brick and mortar? I'm partial to the dealer we are talking about, bought 2 Haibikes from them and nothing but wonderful service and incredibly good pricing on both of those eBikes.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Why isn't my theory just as good as anyone else's? I didn't say the American Rider was the only brand they were wholesaling. We are all just guessing. Funny how this group loves to second guess one of the highest volume dealers in America. Or any LBS as far as that goes. If all the experts on here had the real perfect business plan, why are they sitting in front of their computer and not behind some brick and mortar? I'm partial to the dealer we are talking about, bought 2 Haibikes from them and nothing but wonderful service and incredibly good pricing on both of those eBikes.
Glad to hear that you had a good experience. ;)
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I guess that I have been very fortunate so far. Have purchased 3 e-bikes from CL's, and have always been treated with full respect (have worked over the phone with Lenny, the lady in sales, and John via email). All bikes arrived in perfect cosmetic and working order, and I have yet to have problems with any of them.

With the single 'sales' based issue (bike I had ordered was actually not in stock), they treated me very well, offering a different bike or an immediate refund. With at least one other on-line vendor, when the bike I ordered ended up not being in stock, they tried very hard to make me instead purchase an in-stock bike which I didn't want, instead of providing any refund. CL's was not like that at all, and was very professional about the whole matter.

To the OP, I understand you wanting to provide your personal experience to the group here. I would recommend that you call and speak directly to Lenny. I have found him to be very pleasant to deal with, and truly working hard for his store to provide the most positive buying and ownership experience. He should personally know the difficulties you had.

And I truly hope that when you get your new bike you absolutely love it and never have a single issue with it! Haibike designs and builds an excellent product.
"I guess that I have been very fortunate so far. Have purchased 3 e-bikes from CL's, and have always been treated with full respect (have worked over the phone with Lenny, the lady in sales, and John via email). All bikes arrived in perfect cosmetic and working order, and I have yet to have problems with any of them."

I concur. 3 bikes purchased from CL and no issues to report. All 3 running as expected after purchase. They were great to work with and delivered as promised.
Cheers! Hope the OP gets his issues straightened out!:)