Frankreview

New Member
I took delivery of my ELF electric bicycle in January 2016, from Organic Transit.
I really like the idea for the ELF but most of the time the bike really does not operate due to electrical issues. The bike is really attractive looking. I think of that it looks like a little miniature Volkswagen Beetle. I can pedal it, however most of the time the electric motor does not work due to not receiving power for some reason. In the almost year that I have on the ELF electric bike I have only been able to drive it maybe 15 or 20 times. Sometimes that would work for a day or two or a week, other times it would break down in 10 minutes. Most of the year of 2016 I couldn't even use the vehicle other than peddling it and I asked the company to extend their warranty due to the many problems. The company did apologize to me for all the problems but refused to extend the warranty. Organic Transit has offered to put me on the phone with a technician, but I haven't yet done this as I do not understand electrical issues. I will probably have to try this as I don't seem to be getting help any other way.
My Elf is really neat looking. I have had a number of people come up to me and tell me they admire it. I even won at a car show with my Elf. That is all nice and everything but if I can't even drive it under electrical power what does it do for me? In addition the company says that they do not pay for labor even during the warranty period. I paid approximately $7,000 for the bike plus around $1000 to ship it but have not gotten much use out of it at all. At this point conscientiously speaking I would not be able to recommend it as a purchase based on my experiences. As I elucidated, I really do like the idea for the bike and I think there is some tremendous technology there, but if a product has quality and reliability issues it is a big problem. I have contacted the company about these issues probably 50 or 75 times. I have call logs email records and text messages. If an appropriate person wants to see records I am able to show my contacts with Organic Transit.
I honestly want no harm for Organic Transit. I wish them great success, but they do need to improve customer service and fix the reliability issues that I have experienced with the bike. The workers that I spoke with at Organic Transit were always very polite, that was not an issue. My concern was getting Organic Transit to fix the bike and as I stated to other venues, this has been very very frustrating for me. I have complained to the Better Business Bureau 2 times (Apr., Dec. 2016) but the BBB was unable to get Organic Transit to satisfactorily resolve the issue. At the moment I am also trying to get consumer help from some other sources such as NBC News for consumers or any other organization that may be able to render help to me.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I took delivery of my ELF electric bicycle in January 2016, from Organic Transit.
I really like the idea for the ELF but most of the time the bike really does not operate due to electrical issues. The bike is really attractive looking. I think of that it looks like a little miniature Volkswagen Beetle. I can pedal it, however most of the time the electric motor does not work due to not receiving power for some reason. In the almost year that I have on the ELF electric bike I have only been able to drive it maybe 15 or 20 times. Sometimes that would work for a day or two or a week, other times it would break down in 10 minutes. Most of the year of 2016 I couldn't even use the vehicle other than peddling it and I asked the company to extend their warranty due to the many problems. The company did apologize to me for all the problems but refused to extend the warranty. Organic Transit has offered to put me on the phone with a technician, but I haven't yet done this as I do not understand electrical issues. I will probably have to try this as I don't seem to be getting help any other way.
My Elf is really neat looking. I have had a number of people come up to me and tell me they admire it. I even won at a car show with my Elf. That is all nice and everything but if I can't even drive it under electrical power what does it do for me? In addition the company says that they do not pay for labor even during the warranty period. I paid approximately $7,000 for the bike plus around $1000 to ship it but have not gotten much use out of it at all. At this point conscientiously speaking I would not be able to recommend it as a purchase based on my experiences. As I elucidated, I really do like the idea for the bike and I think there is some tremendous technology there, but if a product has quality and reliability issues it is a big problem. I have contacted the company about these issues probably 50 or 75 times. I have call logs email records and text messages. If an appropriate person wants to see records I am able to show my contacts with Organic Transit.
I honestly want no harm for Organic Transit. I wish them great success, but they do need to improve customer service and fix the reliability issues that I have experienced with the bike. The workers that I spoke with at Organic Transit were always very polite, that was not an issue. My concern was getting Organic Transit to fix the bike and as I stated to other venues, this has been very very frustrating for me. I have complained to the Better Business Bureau 2 times (Apr., Dec. 2016) but the BBB was unable to get Organic Transit to satisfactorily resolve the issue. At the moment I am also trying to get consumer help from some other sources such as NBC News for consumers or any other organization that may be able to render help to me.

There are innumerable hurdles to an E-bike startup. Most people have no idea what it really takes to bring a successful E-bike product into the market (especially, one that is not copied from Asian markets) and sustain the business.
It looked like Organic transit was taking off in 2015 but they sort of faded away.

At this point, you would be better off taking the matter into your own hands and repair it. A simple BBS-HD motor and battery from Lunacycle would make your bike fully operable again.
You may spend another $1.5 more but your bike would have lot more power, range and most importantly, you get to ride the bike. Email and call at this time would only make it more frustrating for you.

Basically, you're converting your ELF into Virtue pedalist.

 
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I took delivery of my ELF electric bicycle in January 2016, from Organic Transit.
I really like the idea for the ELF but most of the time the bike really does not operate due to electrical issues. The bike is really attractive looking. I think of that it looks like a little miniature Volkswagen Beetle. I can pedal it, however most of the time the electric motor does not work due to not receiving power for some reason. In the almost year that I have on the ELF electric bike I have only been able to drive it maybe 15 or 20 times. Sometimes that would work for a day or two or a week, other times it would break down in 10 minutes. Most of the year of 2016 I couldn't even use the vehicle other than peddling it and I asked the company to extend their warranty due to the many problems. The company did apologize to me for all the problems but refused to extend the warranty. Organic Transit has offered to put me on the phone with a technician, but I haven't yet done this as I do not understand electrical issues. I will probably have to try this as I don't seem to be getting help any other way.
My Elf is really neat looking. I have had a number of people come up to me and tell me they admire it. I even won at a car show with my Elf. That is all nice and everything but if I can't even drive it under electrical power what does it do for me? In addition the company says that they do not pay for labor even during the warranty period. I paid approximately $7,000 for the bike plus around $1000 to ship it but have not gotten much use out of it at all. At this point conscientiously speaking I would not be able to recommend it as a purchase based on my experiences. As I elucidated, I really do like the idea for the bike and I think there is some tremendous technology there, but if a product has quality and reliability issues it is a big problem. I have contacted the company about these issues probably 50 or 75 times. I have call logs email records and text messages. If an appropriate person wants to see records I am able to show my contacts with Organic Transit.
I honestly want no harm for Organic Transit. I wish them great success, but they do need to improve customer service and fix the reliability issues that I have experienced with the bike. The workers that I spoke with at Organic Transit were always very polite, that was not an issue. My concern was getting Organic Transit to fix the bike and as I stated to other venues, this has been very very frustrating for me. I have complained to the Better Business Bureau 2 times (Apr., Dec. 2016) but the BBB was unable to get Organic Transit to satisfactorily resolve the issue. At the moment I am also trying to get consumer help from some other sources such as NBC News for consumers or any other organization that may be able to render help to me.
Once your warranty expired it was up to you to establish a relationship with the closest bike shop that works on ebikes. My personal experience is that such shops are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this product to the best of their ability. Your local shop mechanic is the one who can direct specific technical support questions to OT. If you have not done this yet, in my opinion it is wrong for you to go to media or the BBB. Heck, my bike shop even makes house calls so I don't have to take in my broken down vehicle to them on a flat bed truck or trailer. Indeed, you should have done this as soon as you started having a problem OT could not or would not help you with. Your chosen method of becoming pro-active is not going to get you back on the road. There may be just one little loose wire or bad fuse that will restore your joy when diagnosed and fixed, after which you could have years of trouble free ELFing.
 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
I agree with Popeye's suggestion that you should take it to an ebike shop and see if it is indeed something simple like a loose wire. This would save you a lot of grief and get you going again. Loose or broken ground wire connections can cause all sorts of weird problems, and are easy to correct once chased down.
However, OT can't ignore its responsibility as it would be in violation of the federal implied warranty of merchantability UCC 2-314 and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and state Lemon Laws depending on where you reside. Sounds like you have made ample attempts to attain satisfaction when it was under warranty, and documentation to prove it.
 

maureen

New Member
I took delivery of my ELF electric bicycle in January 2016, from Organic Transit.
I really like the idea for the ELF but most of the time the bike really does not operate due to electrical issues. The bike is really attractive looking. I think of that it looks like a little miniature Volkswagen Beetle. I can pedal it, however most of the time the electric motor does not work due to not receiving power for some reason. In the almost year that I have on the ELF electric bike I have only been able to drive it maybe 15 or 20 times. Sometimes that would work for a day or two or a week, other times it would break down in 10 minutes. Most of the year of 2016 I couldn't even use the vehicle other than peddling it and I asked the company to extend their warranty due to the many problems. The company did apologize to me for all the problems but refused to extend the warranty. Organic Transit has offered to put me on the phone with a technician, but I haven't yet done this as I do not understand electrical issues. I will probably have to try this as I don't seem to be getting help any other way.
My Elf is really neat looking. I have had a number of people come up to me and tell me they admire it. I even won at a car show with my Elf. That is all nice and everything but if I can't even drive it under electrical power what does it do for me? In addition the company says that they do not pay for labor even during the warranty period. I paid approximately $7,000 for the bike plus around $1000 to ship it but have not gotten much use out of it at all. At this point conscientiously speaking I would not be able to recommend it as a purchase based on my experiences. As I elucidated, I really do like the idea for the bike and I think there is some tremendous technology there, but if a product has quality and reliability issues it is a big problem. I have contacted the company about these issues probably 50 or 75 times. I have call logs email records and text messages. If an appropriate person wants to see records I am able to show my contacts with Organic Transit.
I honestly want no harm for Organic Transit. I wish them great success, but they do need to improve customer service and fix the reliability issues that I have experienced with the bike. The workers that I spoke with at Organic Transit were always very polite, that was not an issue. My concern was getting Organic Transit to fix the bike and as I stated to other venues, this has been very very frustrating for me. I have complained to the Better Business Bureau 2 times (Apr., Dec. 2016) but the BBB was unable to get Organic Transit to satisfactorily resolve the issue. At the moment I am also trying to get consumer help from some other sources such as NBC News for consumers or any other organization that may be able to render help to me.
 

maureen

New Member
Frank first filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in April 2016 while we at Organic Transit were working with him to troubleshoot his problems. At that time, Organic Transit had already sent him a new battery and a new charger free of charge because Organic Transit believed that was the problem.

However, after he received those new parts it was determined during the trouble shooting process that was not the problem. Organic Transit then determined the customer had a loose wire. We attempted to work with the customer who said he was not willing to reattach the wire himself. So Organic Transit sent a repair person all the way from North Carolina direct to the customer's house in California to correct the problem which was simply a loose wire.

The customer responded to the BBB that the problem had been resolved and afterwards Organic Transit did not hear anything again from him. So we can assume that, as he reported to BBB, the problem was resolved. In September 2016 the customer contacted us to report that his headlights were not working but then he emailed again a few days later saying that he got his headlights to work.

In November 2016 - He emailed us again saying he had electrical problems and we began working to troubleshoot his problems. In talking to our technicians he stated that he saw loose wires and we requested that he send pictures. There were emails back and forth and Organic Transit then determined that we needed pictures of the relay system to further diagnosis the problem. The customer didn't send us the pictures but instead he asked for a brand new warranty due to his past problems. He was informed that our policy is to work with customers to troubleshoot problems, as we had with him, but we could not issue him a brand new warranty.

We did not hear back from the customer although we wanted to continue to help him to resolve whatever problem he is experiencing. On Dec 19 2016 we emailed him asking to set a specific time and date to talk to troubleshoot problems but the customer did not respond until early Jan 2017, which due to the New Years holiday our work week started on Tues. Jan 3rd.

Organic Transit always honors the warranty but the customer must work with us so that we can determine the problem and troubleshoot it. We had hoped that the customer would realize that just dropping contact with us doesn't resolve anything. We were eager to help and hoping to hear back from him.

Jan 5th we finally did hear back from him and were working to schedule an appointment time with one of our technicians to resolve his issue. Organic Transit Limited Warranty does not include labor but it does include parts so it was out of an abundance of generosity that we sent a technician all the way from NC to California in May 2016. We were under no obligation to do so. We are happy continue to work with Frank to diagnosis and correct any problems and supply any parts covered under the warranty.

We also encouraged Frank to utilize a local bike shop, who we are more than willing to work with, if he cannot work with us to problem solve issues. Since our warranty does not include labor, many of our customers hire local bicycle mechanics to work with Organic Transit bicycle technicians to troubleshoot and resolve any issues that may arise with their Elf, which is technically a bicycle.

We were hoping that we would hear back from Frank so that we can set up an appointment with an Organic Transit technician. If Frank believes that fixing the problem is beyond his technical abilities Organic Transit is happy to work with a bicycle mechanic or electric bicycle mechanic of his choosing. Our Organic Transit customer service representative reported that she had been working to find a convenient time for Frank to talk to our technicians since he is on the west coast and we are on the east coast. We did not hear back from Frank.

Organic Transit's ELF is a mechanical device and like any bike or car will from time to time need repairs and maintenance. If a customer is unwilling or unable to do that we gladly work with their chosen mechanic. We went out of our way in the spring of 2016 to send a mechanic to his door to attach a loose wire but obviously Organic Transit can not do this every time a wire comes loose.
 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
Organic Transit's ELF is a mechanical device and like any bike or car will from time to time need repairs and maintenance. If a customer is unwilling or unable to do that we gladly work with their chosen mechanic. We went out of our way in the spring of 2016 to send a mechanic to his door to attach a loose wire but obviously Organic Transit can not do this every time a wire comes loose.
Very good response and illustrates that there is always two sides to a story. If true, it seems like OT tried their best to satisfy the OP.
 

Frankreview

New Member
Mar 2017. There are a couple concerns I would like to bring up regarding Maureen's response to my concern. Maureen works at Organic Transit which manufacturers the Elf electric bicycle.
Maureen said they sent me a new battery and a charger. That is partially correct and partially incorrect. Organic Transit did send me a new battery charger, but the battery as far as I know was never an issue. I was never sent a battery.
Maureen said that I was unwilling to attach the loose wire. That is partially true, as I am not an electrician. However the bigger issue may have been much larger than a loose wire. I am not sure about this. I do not feel that it is appropriate for an untrained person who is not an electrician to delve into electrical matters. If I were to do so and something got broken, burned, or damaged, Organic Transit could have turned around and said that I was somehow responsible for breaking the electric systems or the Elf, thereby denying me any further assistance. I did not want to experience this. I had previously elucidated all this information to Organic Transit by phone, by text, and by email. Communication was never an issue. On another note, if a customer were to get hurt when they were directed by Organic Transit to fix the vehicle what would happen? This could possibly said OT up to legal jeopardy. I personally don't think it is wise of Organic Transit to suggest that a customer try to repair something that is beyond their field of expertise.
On another issue, Maureen says that Organic Transit sent out a technician all the way from North Carolina. This is partially true, but partially inaccurate. The technician came from Kentucky or Tennessee, not NC. His first name starts with the letter M. He didn't exactly come out all the way but rather from midway across the United States, not North Carolina as Maureen in her statement claimed. M--- actually was the truck driver who made deliveries of the Elfs. He said that he had some kind of training in electrical or electronics, perhaps as an engineer, or similar. So that part Maureen neglected to mention. M--- was already out here in the area anyway, making deliveries of Elfs. However I do concede that Organic Transit did at least make the attempt to fix my Elf even if the vehicle ended up not working again which it did several times. In fact, again my Elf did work...for a couple weeks until it broke down again.
Maureen said that I did not send pictures of the supposed loose wire. In fact I can show that I sent a number of photos by text as requested. I still possess them on my smart phone. I have them stored in my device's memory. Organic Transit previously acknowledged that they had received those photos from me. Sometimes I would send them and then Maureen would ask me to send more photos, which I did. Organic Transit wanted me to get up inside the vehicle and take pictures of the electronic systems which I did take probably maybe 10 or 20 photos, or maybe more. Maureen expresses that I never sent the photos. Again she is inaccurate. Once again I can show on my device that I sent them and even received acknowledgement that Organic Transit had in fact received the photos sent by text. I do not understand why Maureen says I didn't send the photos that I did send.
Finally, try to put yourself in my shoes. I am not angry. I am just very frustrated. I am not rich, but I spent approximately $8,000 including shipment to buy a product that has not lived up to its expectations. I understand there are people out there who have an emotional attachment to electric bicycles. I am fully cognizant of this. However understand that when you buy a product you have an expectation that the product will live up to its claims. Unfortunately mostly this is not my case in this situation.
I am not out for blood. I am not out for revenge. But am I not allowed to express my frustration with the product that I had a number of problems and issues with? If you were in my shoes would you do the same thing? I have tried and tried and tried to get the Elf fixed.
Someone at Organic Transit had earlier communicated to me that at least some other people had similar issues such as I have had.
I do have some suggestions for Organic Transit. I suggest that they find ways to have wire harnesses preassembled that are completely reliable. I also suggest that they bring in some electric or electronic experts or engineers to help them troubleshoot the issues. Many people believe in Organic Transit's idea and I remain one of them. I just want to, in a friendly but firm way, encourage Organic Transit to be open to corrective ideas and to suggestions to ameliorate areas on the Elf that need to be fixed. There might be rich people or celebrities who support the environment or alternative transportation, or volunteers or electronic technicians or engineers, or similar who might be willing to volunteer to come in to enhance the Elf to make it a very reliable vehicle. The idea for the Elf fantastic. Now the reliability needs to be ameliorated.
It is my hope that those who are reasonable-minded who are reading this can see between the lines and infer from my text that I do not have ill will toward Organic Transit. I was just a customer who was frustrated venting feelings of disappointment, and trying to get what appeared to me to be a defective product, to be fixed.
I thank everyone, including Organic Transit who has responded to me. Some may agree, some may disagree. Look at the evidence, and I think you will see that I do make points that are truthful and needed to be expressed. Again, I can provide extensive documentation of contacts, letters, emails, photos, and some communication logs, if needed, that my motivation was just to get my vehicle fixed. Thank you.
 
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I do not work for OT, and try to not take this as derogatory or personal but it seems that much of your frustration was due to your own mistakes in dealing with this. And by the way there is no potential for personal injury in tinkering with your vehicle beyond the normal hazard of using hand tools incorrectly.
 

Frankreview

New Member
Dear Popeye Gordon:
As you put it, "what were my mistakes in dealing with a very defective product? I went first to company. When that didn't work, I went to the next step, that is trying to resolve problem with help from BBB. Why don't you go buy one, if you wish, then you can see if it works well for you. I basically lost $8000 on a product that didn't live up to its claim.
 
You are entitled to your opinion but the facts do not support your stance. You mentioned "no regular bike shop mechanic" as though that was even a possibility. It is not something anyone with a brain would do, the requirement is for an ebike shop with qualified certified ebike mechanic, even if that is 100 miles away from home

To my knowledge ebike techs are not "certified". What is the alleged certifying organization?
 
To my knowledge ebike techs are not "certified". What is the alleged certifying organization?

That's just it, you don't know about certification programs but you are ready to pontificate. This is not alleged: Light Electric Vehicle certification (Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
Ebikes School: http://www.ebikeschool.com/
For Canadians: http://cebassociation.com/e-bike-technician-certification-training/
And like I said, Organic Transit even holds classes at their factory.
 
An ebike shop techie my not know anything about the ELF. Without schematics, a tech can't do anything, anyway.
No, the components are standard, not proprietary. OT has a technical support line but if you know motors and controllers, that's pretty much it. If the ELF is rocket science to the mechanic, find a different mechanic.
 
Addendum: Any ebike shop techie would likely **not** try to fix Frankreview's problem unless the techie has the schematics.
Incorrect. Motor and controller each have wiring diagrams on the web or in literature that comes with shop inventory. That's all there is to it. This is not a computer controlled vehicle.
 
https://evmc2.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/elf-by-organic-transit-repairs-and-service/[/QUOTE]
This page you linked is quite old and features an outdated version. There have been 400 improvements to the ELF addressing many complaints since 2013. Original kickstarter version( shown in the thread), version 1.5 (mine), version 1.8 with mid-drive and the electronics bay moved up under the front shelf. 2.0 is next. A better source is the three Facebook groups. The private group has 500 members and is a treasure trove of information, troubleshooting, resources and upgrade ideas. You should be an owner to join it.
This whole industry just got a boost by the opening of the new PEBL vehicle factory, a direct (copycat) competitor to the ELF from better.bike. Soon there should be a PEBL group on this EBR site.
 
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