Electric bicycle sales are booming thanks to COVID, but now there’s a customer service problem

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member

While the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and the e-bike industry with it, the pandemic also led to a huge surge in electric bicycle sales. Nearly every company that offered electric bicycles soon found themselves with empty shelves and warehouses. Between people being at home with more time on their hands, riders exiting lockdowns and itching to spend more time outdoors, and commuters looking for socially distant ways to get to work while avoiding public transportation, e-bike sales have never been higher.

But now that’s created a new problem in the industry: supporting all of those customers. Large e-bike companies who count their customer base in the thousands and tens of thousands were already tasked with managing a carefully orchestrated customer service balance. But now those systems have been pushed past the breaking point as countless new riders receive bike boxes at their doorstep, a small portion of which inevitably come with hidden problems.

As reported by BikeEurope, VanMoof’s flashy ads across various social media platforms are often followed by a litany of public comments complaining about customer support, or a distinct lack thereof. And while this surely represents just a small portion of its customer base, VanMoof saw sales more than double nearly overnight, meaning even a small number of complaints were bound to increase as well. As co-founder Ties Carlier explained:

“There’s a lot of frustration, I know. Even if it’s only a few percent of buyers that’s still way too much. Our next frontier is to transform our business by building a full support ecosystem around every rider.
We calculated in about 1% – 1 out of 100 bikes within the first week or so would have something important enough for a customer to give us a call. But that turns out to be closer to 10%.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member

While the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and the e-bike industry with it, the pandemic also led to a huge surge in electric bicycle sales. Nearly every company that offered electric bicycles soon found themselves with empty shelves and warehouses. Between people being at home with more time on their hands, riders exiting lockdowns and itching to spend more time outdoors, and commuters looking for socially distant ways to get to work while avoiding public transportation, e-bike sales have never been higher.

But now that’s created a new problem in the industry: supporting all of those customers. Large e-bike companies who count their customer base in the thousands and tens of thousands were already tasked with managing a carefully orchestrated customer service balance. But now those systems have been pushed past the breaking point as countless new riders receive bike boxes at their doorstep, a small portion of which inevitably come with hidden problems.

As reported by BikeEurope, VanMoof’s flashy ads across various social media platforms are often followed by a litany of public comments complaining about customer support, or a distinct lack thereof. And while this surely represents just a small portion of its customer base, VanMoof saw sales more than double nearly overnight, meaning even a small number of complaints were bound to increase as well. As co-founder Ties Carlier explained:
Yeah, its hard to even get the ear of the truly knowledgeable tech guys at most shops I’ve dealt with. Thankfully, my Trek Allant+7 has been extremely reliable and so most of my questions are non-service in nature.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Yeah, its hard to even get the ear of the truly knowledgeable tech guys at most shops I’ve dealt with.

Thankfully, my Trek Allant+7 has been extremely reliable and so most of my questions are non-service in nature.

Most of the referenced customer service issues are with direct to consumer, DTC operations... you are fortunate to have a LBS.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member

While the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and the e-bike industry with it, the pandemic also led to a huge surge in electric bicycle sales. Nearly every company that offered electric bicycles soon found themselves with empty shelves and warehouses. Between people being at home with more time on their hands, riders exiting lockdowns and itching to spend more time outdoors, and commuters looking for socially distant ways to get to work while avoiding public transportation, e-bike sales have never been higher.

But now that’s created a new problem in the industry: supporting all of those customers. Large e-bike companies who count their customer base in the thousands and tens of thousands were already tasked with managing a carefully orchestrated customer service balance. But now those systems have been pushed past the breaking point as countless new riders receive bike boxes at their doorstep, a small portion of which inevitably come with hidden problems.

As reported by BikeEurope, VanMoof’s flashy ads across various social media platforms are often followed by a litany of public comments complaining about customer support, or a distinct lack thereof. And while this surely represents just a small portion of its customer base, VanMoof saw sales more than double nearly overnight, meaning even a small number of complaints were bound to increase as well. As co-founder Ties Carlier explained:
OK wait... I just read the article.

" Rad Power Bikes, the largest electric bicycle company in the US "

That used to be Pedego only couple of years ago.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
OK wait... I just read the article.

" Rad Power Bikes, the largest electric bicycle company in the US "

That used to be Pedego only couple of years ago.
they even have mobile service in 3 States plus Vancouver,their bikes are everywhere!
 

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Deleted member 4210

Guest
OK wait... I just read the article.

" Rad Power Bikes, the largest electric bicycle company in the US "

That used to be Pedego only couple of years ago.
Rad is killing it. Blows away Pedego by a country Mile. At least $250 million in ebike sales this year. I would highly doubt Pedego reaches $50 million. Their ebikes are twice the price on average of Rads, are very heavy like Rads, and have no better performance and maybe only a few more bells and whistles. The only thing they have going for them is their rainbow of colors, and local dealers in some areas, but not enough areas to have competitive market penetration vs Rads' deliver everywhere business model.

Besides that Pedegos so called 'leading' position has only ever been ' verified' by Pedego themselves. It's been a myth perpetuated by fawning and uneducated media pundits. There are a number of major metro areas, such as Chicago where they have no store, and maybe a bike shop carrying a handful of their ebikes sitting in a back corner. I did find a bar in a northern suburb of chicago, who supposedly carried them and rented them. ( Get someone imbibed enough, and I suppose they could be coaxed into dropping 3 g's for one ? ) Clearly Pedego's dealer 'standards are nothing to write home about either.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
My wife and I bought two Pedegos in 2016 (Ridgerider & Commuter). Since then ebikes have improved in almost every way and the number of new brands and models has increases dramatically.
Pedego, for the most part, are still putting out the same product at an overinflated price, compared to companies like Rad Power. I think Pedego's days are numbered.
As a side note, I was very happy to sell my Ridgerider a couple of months ago and my wife's Commuter (which has had the display replaced twice in the last year, and had the controller fail) is going to be replaced this December. Needless to say, the replacement ebike won't be a Pedego.
 
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Deleted member 4210

Guest
My wife and I bought two Pedegos in 2016 (Ridgerider & Commuter). Since then ebikes have improved in almost every way and the number of new brands and models has increases dramatically.
Pedego, for the most part, are still putting out the same product at an overinflated price, compared to companies like Rad Power. I think Pedego's days are numbered.
As a side note, I was very happy to sell my Ridgerider a couple of months ago and my wife's Commuter (which has had the display replaced twice in the last year, and had the controller fail) is going to be replaced this December. Needless to say, the replacement ebike won't be a Pedego.
Pedego has 'milked' the same model line up for a long time, largely unchanged except for adding a few new models here and there. At least 5 years. If I recall, Rad has revised or updated every model at least 2 or 3 times in the past few years, while adding a number of new ones. They are overdue for a complete revamp, similar to what firms like IGO has done, where their models got dated like Pedego's. Considerable refinement was done including fully enclosed frame batteries, very modern and stylish aesthetics, bluetooth connectivity, including service diagnostics for dealers, and a phone App for riders that allows for some interesting tuning of speeds and acceleration for each level of assist. The models frames all appear to be prepped and ready for a drop in mid drive so they are future proofed if IGO finds enough demand for mid drives. 17 new models introduced. Some with torque sensing. On average they are at least $1000 to $1500 lower priced than Pedego's. That's just one example brand of many that are leaving firms like Pedego in the dust.

But I guess Pedego still has William Shatner as a 'fan.' yep, like that's gonna persuade me to drop an extra grand or two on a Pedego versus others ?