Bikes Direct Customer Service and Ride Report
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  1. #1

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    Bikes Direct Customer Service and Ride Report

    I just registered and started this thread because my Dawes SST from bikes direct just arrived damaged during shipping and I thought people might benefit from a report of my experiences dealing with their customer service, and eventually hopefully riding the bike.

    The bike arrived at 3:48 pm CST (according to UPS), and I immediately unpacked it. During assembly I noticed that one of the drop outs on the fork had bent during shipping and there was a minor scratch on the frame's paint. The bent drop out rendered assembly impossible. I immediately emailed bikes direct (at 4:10 pm), advising them of the damage, and asking how I should proceed. My camera battery was dead, and I wanted to catch them during business hours so I did not include photographs.

    I did a search to find out how others had fared in similar situations and ran across this forum. There were a lot of people claiming that BD had nightmarish service, and some people claiming the opposite. When I realized that most of the reviews were based on hearsay I decided to start this thread so that people could have a good understanding of at least one actual experience of buying from Bikes Direct.

  2. #2
    The Gimlet Eye
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    There's a forum for you

  3. #3
    duh...
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    call them!
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  4. #4

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    Without a doubt you will receive many a comment on the BD experience here, but you can also scroll down to the manufacturer section of the main forum page and click on the Motobecane-Mercier Forum. There you will find much feedback from actual (and fictitious I'm sure) BD customers - good and bad.

    I would run quickly from this thread, before it is plastered with more dripping sarcasm.

  5. #5
    eminence grease
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    Couple of questions and suggestions -

    1. I don't trust UPS delivery times, are you positive that it was truly 3:48PM? They regularly leave stuff on my porch and claim a time that makes them look good.
    2. Are you absolutely positive you called by 4:10PM? Do you have a photo of you with the phone in your hand standing in front of a bonded/certified clock?
    3. Never let your camera batteries become drained.
    4. What is the difference between your actual experience and hearsay? Are you willing to post a notarized document in JPG form attesting to the veracity of your claims?
    You'd be better off with a netbook, they do everything better.

    My travel blog: http://tbaroundtheworld.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireFred
    call them!
    Good thought, but BD publishes no phone numbers, so (unfortunately) that's not possible.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Atoric
    I just registered and started this thread because my Dawes SST from bikes direct just arrived damaged during shipping and I thought people might benefit from a report of my experiences dealing with their customer service, and eventually hopefully riding the bike.

    The bike arrived at 3:48 pm CST (according to UPS), and I immediately unpacked it. During assembly I noticed that one of the drop outs on the fork had bent during shipping and there was a minor scratch on the frame's paint. The bent drop out rendered assembly impossible. I immediately emailed bikes direct (at 4:10 pm), advising them of the damage, and asking how I should proceed. My camera battery was dead, and I wanted to catch them during business hours so I did not include photographs.

    I did a search to find out how others had fared in similar situations and ran across this forum. There were a lot of people claiming that BD had nightmarish service, and some people claiming the opposite. When I realized that most of the reviews were based on hearsay I decided to start this thread so that people could have a good understanding of at least one actual experience of buying from Bikes Direct.

    Was there a hole in box? If so, you shouldn't of opened the box and contacted UPS immediately.. I would think there would of been obvious exterior damage if a fork dropout was bent in shipping
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    n00bsauce
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    Was there a hole in box? If so, you shouldn't of opened the box and contacted UPS immediately.. I would think there would of been obvious exterior damage if a fork dropout was bent in shipping
    It's very possible to bend a dropout in shipping without putting a hole in the box. However, without a hole it will be very hard to get UPS to cough up. It's equally as possible that the damage was done before shipping and just not noticed. Either way the OP has to deal with BD. BD would hold the shipping insurance and make the claim if it was damaged in shipping. BD would also handle the OP's claim if it was damaged before shipping. It's in BD's lap either way and their job to make the OP whole.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    It's very possible to bend a dropout in shipping without putting a hole in the box. However, without a hole it will be very hard to get UPS to cough up. It's equally as possible that the damage was done before shipping and just not noticed. Either way the OP has to deal with BD. BD would hold the shipping insurance and make the claim if it was damaged in shipping. BD would also handle the OP's claim if it was damaged before shipping. It's in BD's lap either way and their job to make the OP whole.

    I agree Mel but it's easier during the claim process( even if BD has to file it) if the OP notifed UPS that there was damage...
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
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    You know what?

    I'm really impressed by this thread -- in the sense that, and without regard to the OP's particular problem for the moment (sorry!) -- it was once the case that any POSITIVE feedback for BD was immediately put under the microscope.

    Now, that is the case with negative feedback.

    This in of itself speaks volumes about the progress those folks have made.

    OP, if the problem is real, I am pretty confident you'll get it resolved in short order. As far as camera batteries, it's been a day, presumably you've got some pics, now? Most people have cell cameras these days, it's why I like having mine.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    It's very possible to bend a dropout in shipping without putting a hole in the box. However, without a hole it will be very hard to get UPS to cough up. It's equally as possible that the damage was done before shipping and just not noticed. Either way the OP has to deal with BD. BD would hold the shipping insurance and make the claim if it was damaged in shipping. BD would also handle the OP's claim if it was damaged before shipping. It's in BD's lap either way and their job to make the OP whole.
    UPS, and most shippers who offer insurance, won't pay without damage to the box. It doesn't have to be a hole, but there has to be damage. Quite rightly, they say that if the product inside is damaged and the box outside isn't, then it's indicative of poor packing, not poor handling.

    I hope BD takes care of this, and if they want takes the issue up with UPS, as it sure isn't the customer's fault.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  12. #12

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    It has been more than 24 hours and BD has not yet contacted me. I am going to email them again, this time with pictures of the damage to the box and to the bike.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Atoric
    It has been more than 24 hours and BD has not yet contacted me. I am going to email them again, this time with pictures of the damage to the box and to the bike.

    That sucks...sorry to hear that...It looks like the plastic fork protector fell off or was never installed....when shipped, most frames have a plastic piece(it's inserted in the dropouts) that keeps the fork blades from crushing and it prevents the fork from going through the box

    I'm sure they will take care of it for you....
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    when shipped, most frames have a plastic piece(it's inserted in the dropouts) that keeps the fork blades from crushing and it prevents the fork from going through the box
    The drop outs were swaddled in a sheet of some sort of styrofoamy stuff, which prevented me from immediately noticing the damage, but did not have plastic spacers in them. Thanks for your good wishes.

    I sent an email with the pictures to the BD alternate email, as their website advises if they do not respond to you in a full business day. I will continue to update once a day or as the situation develops.

  15. #15
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    Sounds like BD did not pack the bike correctly. What a shame. I am sure you want to ride your new bike but because Bikes Direct did not pack it correctly you will have to wait.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Atoric
    It has been more than 24 hours and BD has not yet contacted me. I am going to email them again, this time with pictures of the damage to the box and to the bike.
    Bikes Direct is a small outfit, pretty much one guy who specs bikes and imports on his own, probably with some help for shipping. It's one of the reasons they're so inexpensive, so cut him a little slack on response time in case he has a cold or something.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  17. #17

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    Just got this email from BD:

    Hey Richard,
    Thanks for the email and pictures.

    I am sorry to hear that the bike arrived with some slight damage. Sometimes UPS can be a little too rough with packages. The good news is that the damage is only cosmetic and since the fork is steel, the dropout can actually be bent back open without affecting the integrity of the fork.

    What I normally do to fix a bent dropout is take a wrench, or any tool that can fit in the dropout, and use the leverage to open the dropout enough to allow the axle to fit. This is a very easy repair to do. If you feel comfortable making this adjustment I will gladly credit $30.00 back to the card used to purchase the bike.

    Let me know.

    Thanks,
    {name removed}
    Bikes Direct

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Atoric
    Just got this email from BD:

    Hey Richard,
    Thanks for the email and pictures.

    I am sorry to hear that the bike arrived with some slight damage. Sometimes UPS can be a little too rough with packages. The good news is that the damage is only cosmetic and since the fork is steel, the dropout can actually be bent back open without affecting the integrity of the fork.

    What I normally do to fix a bent dropout is take a wrench, or any tool that can fit in the dropout, and use the leverage to open the dropout enough to allow the axle to fit. This is a very easy repair to do. If you feel comfortable making this adjustment I will gladly credit $30.00 back to the card used to purchase the bike.

    Let me know.

    Thanks,
    {name removed}
    Bikes Direct

    Wow....the decision is yours...... personally, I think you paid for an undamaged bike. You deserve an undamaged bike....I'm very surprised with that reply. I'd at least expect them to send you a new fork...
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Home Brew User!
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    If it is a 56, 58 or 61 than repack it, get a shipping authorization for BD and ship it too me (zip 23452).

    They can send you a new bike and I'll send them $150.
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  20. #20
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    and would the front wheel ever track straight?

    BTW, Alec Atoric, you can post Mike's name....he posts here on RBR and on bikeforums.net

    I'm kinda disappointed. I give Mike a lot of crap here, but I always thought he was actually a pretty 'stand-up' guy when it came to things like this. But, seriously? Bend it back with a wrench?

    Respect-o-meter dropped a few points.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by California L33
    Bikes Direct is a small outfit, pretty much one guy who specs bikes and imports on his own, probably with some help for shipping. It's one of the reasons they're so inexpensive, so cut him a little slack on response time in case he has a cold or something.
    Are you sure it's just a one-man operation? Bikes Direct actually has stores in some cities that you can go in and buy a bike. I know Arizona has one and I've been told that Florida is another place where you can walk into a Bikes Direct LBS and purchase a bike.

  22. #22

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    Mike is not the person who replied to me.

    I replied to the email and accepted their offer, bent the drop out back, and finished assembling the bike. Not to be overly defensive of BD, but it is a $300 bike, and $30 is 10 percent of the purchase price. They did sort of "encourage" me to take this course, but I could have insisted that I was uncomfortable making the "repair." I weighed my options and decided repacking the fork (or possibly the entire bike) paying shipping, waiting 5-7 days for the fork to get back to them, and then waiting 5-7 days for a new fork was more irritating than repainting the slightly damaged fork and patching the frame's paint.

    Am I disappointed? Yes. It would cost me more than $30 to replace the fork with one of comparable quality on the open market. I did not want a damaged bike. The bike was damaged by UPS, but BD could ship with someone else, or pack the bike more carefully. BD's customer service took over a full business day to respond.

    Am I mad that they gave me the option of fixing it myself and getting some money back? No. It was easy to do, and beat waiting for the shipping to go back and forth. I will make a post when I get the $30 back and I will post a ride report and general review of the bike later.

  23. #23
    BT, wishing you ride safe
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    I don't think the packaging is BD's fault directly. They contract with Chinese and Taiwanese bike mfgrs to produce bikes under the Dawes, Mercier, Motobecane, Windsor, Bottecchia, and other names that they license in the US. They spec out the bikes, have them produced, packed and shipped to their warehouse in the Houston area. They never unpack the bike. You order it, they pick the box and ship it out.

    So the damage could have happened when the bike was shipped from the Far east. From what you described it was not packaged in the factory properly. It's a QC issue that BD has to take up with the contractor.

    Fact of the matter is, almost all bikes are made this way, Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. The difference is they get shipped to the LBS where they are unpacked and assembled. That's part of what you pay an LBS for. I doubt if they would bother to claim this. It's too much time and hassle. Just like you the fix it and touch up the paint and move on. Maybe they get a credit from the Bike Company

    The problem with that approach is that the factory may never get the feedback to fix their QC problem.

    BTW, the BD lbs are called Cycle Spectum and they handle most of the BD bikes. They offer lifetime repairs on bikes bought from from them. You pay about $100 premium plus tax over BD online. Not a bad deal if you don't want to do your own wrenching. I believe they have 6 of 8 stores in FL, TX and AZ. I visited the Orlando store when I was in the market and visiting the area.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I bought a Moto I'[pro in May from BD direct. Love the bike. Arrived perfect, but needed the usuals tweaking. Had a weird problem that broke the rear der off when it got sucked into the wheel. I thought I had a warranty claim, but it turned out to be my fault.

    The problem happened on Sat and Monday they emailed me and asked for Pix. By then I had figured out what happened. I kept in contact with them and they offered a frame replacement at cost, but I decided against it. To his credit, Mike called me and we talked about the bike and the incident for about 20 min. Remember, the problem was of my doing (a rag fell into the chain and got pulled into the RD, then into the wheel.)

    Moral if the story: Don't carry small rags and things in your rear pockets.

    The rest of the story: We have a bike wrench in our club. He had a replacement Ultegra RD. He fixed and tuned the bike up for $75. I ended up replacing the chain too, and later a spoke broke. It was probably damaged by the incident.
    BT

    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Atoric
    Just got this email from BD:

    Hey Richard,
    Thanks for the email and pictures.

    I am sorry to hear that the bike arrived with some slight damage. Sometimes UPS can be a little too rough with packages. The good news is that the damage is only cosmetic and since the fork is steel, the dropout can actually be bent back open without affecting the integrity of the fork.

    What I normally do to fix a bent dropout is take a wrench, or any tool that can fit in the dropout, and use the leverage to open the dropout enough to allow the axle to fit. This is a very easy repair to do. If you feel comfortable making this adjustment I will gladly credit $30.00 back to the card used to purchase the bike.

    Let me know.

    Thanks,
    {name removed}
    Bikes Direct
    Like others have said, not a good reply, and a cop out, too. Looking at those pictures, I see no evidence of crushing, just some scuffs and machine marks on the box, nothing significant enough to bend a steel fork. I'd say 99 out of 100 chance that went into the box bent in China and BD is just trying to pass it off to you they way it got passed to them. You said it wasn't Mike who replied to you, maybe PM him here.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  25. #25
    The Gimlet Eye
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    The damage looks familar....found the same thing in a thread at Bikeforums.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...stomer-Service

    and evidently it's a common problem since that OP received the same instructions to "fix" the fork.

    Thanks for the email and the pictures.

    I am sorry to hear that the bike arrived with some slight damage. Sometimes UPS can be a little too rough with packages. The good news is that the damage is only cosmetic and since the fork is steel, the dropout can actually be bent back open without affecting the integrity of the fork.

    What I normally do to fix a bent dropout is take a wrench, or any tool that can fit in the dropout, and use the leverage to open the dropout enough to allow the axle to fit. This is a very easy repair to do. If you feel comfortable making this adjustment I will gladly credit $25 back to the card used to purchase the bike.

    Let me know.

    Thanks,
    SC
    Bikesdirect

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