Getting unhappy with UNIVERSAL CYCLES

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by OldNickToo, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    I ordered US$350 worth of gear from UNIVERSAL CYCLES (Portland Oregon).

    They seemed helpful, and answered my various questions as I worked my way through buying the stuff on the web. They were not always the cheapest, but had a 10% discount for any order over $150, and their freight was cheap, as they charged USPS rates, not UPS or FEDEX.

    Finally the big day arrived..

    ..the package is short by 2 X US$25 tyres, and 2 X US$25 frame pumps. That's US$100. Not happy.

    That was four business days and 3 increasingly worried emails ago, with no reply. They had their first headsup at open business 28 Feb, and have now had the 3rd March as well. I consider that to be too long a time to remain silent when a customer is asking about quite large, obvious, and relatively expensive items.

    Their previous emails have not been nearly as slow.

    If things pan out, I will make sure to post about it, but I am already out of sorts here.
     
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  2. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    These may be coming by Surface Mail as they are larger items. Were you billed for the lot?
     
  3. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    Thanks for coming back. This is really stressing me, waiting. "Company" helps! <G>.

    Yep. I sure was. Full amount.

    Good thought on the separate mail. But hey sent two tyres in the airmail box, why not the other two? They are kevlar and can fold up to billy-oh anyway. There was paper in the box to fill it up. The frame pumps would have fitted (I hope. I have to carry one on my bike, and persuade my wife to as well! <G>)

    No replies. That's the bit that makes me unhappy. My first email actually mentioned that maybe there was a separate package, hopefully....?? please??

    The only thing I notice is that they are having a "moving sale". I hope that's not euphemistic for "disappearing" <G>! It may, however, have strained their limits a bit and they are unable to answer. If that sort of thing was going to happen to anybody it would be me, just to give the Gods of stress their little laugh. :-<

    As I said, I promise to report if there is an improvement. Needed to vent. I will at least expect an apology.
     
  4. paul_in_toronto

    paul_in_toronto New Member

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    Hi

    I hope you got your stuff ok. I know exactly what its like to wait and wait..
    Im currently waiting for the adminstrator on here to clear me with more privledges..ie post on usenet, all of my emails or pms go unanswered..crazy..

    I hate to say it but you may have to actually give them a phone call. Sucks for you because its long distance. You could ask to be reimbursed for that cost.

    If they continue to ignore your emails, then you could contact the better bussiness bureau for their area. You could maybe even try emailing them under a different email wanting to buy something and see if they reply then.
     
  5. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Paul.

    Have not heard anything yet. It was very disappointing as I was waiting eagerly for these parts, and had done a lot of what I thought was research about where to buy etc.

    The phone call would cost about as much as the missing gear! <G> But yes you may be right. However if they are indeed moving as they claim, they might not have the same number....

    I would not want to start going to the authorities until another week, I guess. Things happen sometimes.

    Your idea of a different email would be interesting. I could get a Hotmail address or something ( I reckon an Oz email address would look funny if they are watching for it).

    It seems so strange. I know they now have my money and all that but the guy there was so darn helpful and patient with my questions. It's why I shopped there.

    Anyway. We shall see.
     
  6. paul_in_toronto

    paul_in_toronto New Member

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    Hmm

    Im trying to figure out how to state this, or word it. Lets just say I have had experience with selling mailorder domestic and international.

    There were times my stuff was running a bit late and other issues. I always replied back to the customer asap, sometimes before the prompted me to do so.

    You really have no idea what a company is like until you deal with them, or you can try and judge from other peoples experience. Im half thinking to call them for you on monday.
     
  7. paul_in_toronto

    paul_in_toronto New Member

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    Hey man

    They have a toll free number. I called but no answer not even a message..

    I can try again on monday, if you like and ask about your order. Send me a pm with the info.

    Paul
     
  8. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    Leave it for now. As I said they are apparently moving shop and may be offline or very busy. My emails are getting increasingly strident (but still polite) but I want a few more days before I really start any other action. Just "bitching and moaning" a bit at present.

    I do, however appreciate the input from you guys. It often helps just to talk things over to relieve the tension.
     
  9. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    Sorry, Paul. "Leave it for now" was a bit blunt. I mean "I appreciate the offer, but I am still willing to tread softly" <G>.

    If I get an apologetic email sometime soon from these guys I will still be willing to forgive and forget. They were very helpful and seemed to have a good rep.
     
  10. paul_in_toronto

    paul_in_toronto New Member

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    ok...

    See what happens. Im waiting in the wings if you need me to call.
     
  11. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    Ok. I have had a result. As promised, if things improved I would say so.

    The guy from Universal Cycles has emailed saying he tried earlier in the week, but maybe it got missed. Me, I would have emailed again in the face of increasingly strident emails from the Customer, but hey, we will let the dust settle. As I say, they are setting up to move, and that may be a strain.

    Without question, he has said he will send the goods, or refund me the money.

    Given the work both parties did setting up an account and some sort of rapport, I have asked that the goods be sent and said that I hoped we could continue doing business.

    So for now, I have to assume a most unfortunate train of events. I have to admit that if they are going to happen, they will happen to me....
    Thanks to both of you, Paul and George, for your support.
     
  12. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    I do not believe this!

    UPS have "lost" the replacement package. I tracked it, and there was a notice that because there was no invoice amount (as there would not be, because this was free fillout of missing items) the package could not proceed.....and I waited and waited an.....UPS seem to have forgotten to tell the Vendor, even though they have the package, and it's their decision that no maount is wrong. I suppose he is supposed to check all the time that nothing is wrong?

    In the end I emailed them, and they gave me a US "freecall" number (not much use to an Aussie) and told me I had to start a tracing report. Then they told me the _vendor_ had to fix it.

    I rand the Oz people and was told the same thing. Their rep could not tell me any more than I could see on the Net.

    These guys charged $75 freight on $250 worth of stuff. And that's the responsibility they take for a "missing" package......and again, it had to happen to me....:-<

    Just filling folks in....
     
  13. StN

    StN New Member

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    I'll be sure I don't ever buy from these people ever. I hope everything gets sorted out and you are given everything you are supposed to. Take care, - Chase
     
  14. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Nick,

    time to buy local. Guildford Cycles is a Giant dealer and stocks more bit than a museum. He does good deals and will barter on prices, if you can get a better price (USA) tell him. It is only a short drive for you. :)
     
  15. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    Wup! Back up! <G>

    I posted this because this last bit is not UNIVERSAL CYCLES's fault!

    As I promised, I am trying to make this a full and frank statement of what happened.

    UNIVERSAL CYCLES have been quite helpful, after the initial trouble. It's ruddy UPS. Note title change. <G>

    At this stage, I would still buy from UNIVERSAL CYCLES again, assuming that the package when it finally gets here does have the missing bits. They stuffed up once, and did not follow it up very well. But they have made good.

    The replacement package is verifiably in UPS's hands and should be their responsibility. They simply sat there waiting for somebody to complain.

    The guy from UNIVERSAL CYCLES probably should have chased me a bit harder when I first complained about the missing gear, but UPS's attitude has caused all of the last lot of delays, when UNIVERSAL CYCLES have made good their order, free of charge and free of freight.

    I feel that it is UPS's responsibility to inform the Vendor or the Buyer of a problem that UPS's own system has generated. A Vendor cannot be expected to watch every one of their transactions day to day, on the off chance that one may go wrong. If UPS _identifies_ that something has gone wrong, _they_ should be flagging this with their customers. Their own system describes this parcel as an "Exception". So they should be dealing with it, in the hope that it does not happen too often.

    Remember, UPS are charging me (and UNIVERSAL CYCLES in the second case) something like 30% of the order cost, just for freight! I am willing to bet a lot more of that is profit than the cycle shops make!
     
  16. OldNickToo

    OldNickToo New Member

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    Yeah. You may be right.

    It makes me mad that in this day of "Internationalism" this sort of thing can go on. As I say, Universal Cycles stuffed up, but are trying to make good. UPS should be better than this at sending a parcel. I mean, what else do they do? <G>

    So far I have had only mediocre dealings with two "local blokes" in Midland. I bought my bikes locally (apparently Giant will not allow postal sales, and service is simpler) but found local stock to be woeful on many items, especially tyres. You see the range you can get from the international stores, and it's "kid in a candy shop" time!<G> I was also bit that taken by the guy I bought the Giants from. So even apart from price, I was a bit disillusioned.

    I probably should have shopped around and usually I drive my wife mad with "research". But we were on the rebound from a rather nasty experience with our low end "try it" bikes; Malvern Stars, and was in a hurry, which is unusual for me. I wanted to keep the bike riding momentum going while it was still "hot" for both of us.

    I will check out Guildford Cycles. Thanks
     
  17. matagi

    matagi Well-Known Member

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    Phantom Cycles in NSW are also worth trying for mail order - lots of stuff, the owner is extremely helpful and they have some really good bargains. We do heaps of business with them, most recent purchase was a Zefal HPX frame mount pump for $38.
     
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