13 September 2007

Don't use Evans Cycles

This is a little distraction away from my training, but I want to tell you of my personal experiences with Evans Cycles & urge you not to use them.

Wiggle are excellent & can be found at


My employer (who do not want to be named in this blog???!!!) used Evans Cycles for the ride to work scheme. This is a Government base scheme to encourage more people to cycle to work. I along with thousands of my colleagues, brought bikes through this scheme. I can't remember the full details, but we don't pay tax on the bike & Evans also give you an additional 10% off. It's an excellent scheme & I would encourage everyone, if you get the chance to take full advantage of it.

My tale of woe started when I ordered my bike on the 23rd February 2007 & some accessories which came to £1188.82, which I think you'll agree is expensive for a bike, so you would expect a decent level of service??

The way the process works is you get a voucher from your employer which you give to the shop when you order the bike. They then prepare your bike for you & the employer then takes the money for the bike our of your wages at source over 10 months. As I said I can't remember the full details, but the tax is taken off at source & it works out about 60% of the normal cost??

The shop said that they would ring me, when it was ready to be collected. After a few days I rang the shop to be told that they were waiting for a bracket to fix the rear rack on with, but this should only be a few days. Having not heard anything for a few days I rang again & was told that they bracket was still on order. I suppose that I must have called about 3 or 4 times in the next couple of weeks & was advised that the bracket would soon be in & that they would contact me.

After about a month I still had not heard anything so I rang the shop & was told that the bike had been ready for collection for weeks!! So on the 6th April I went & collected it. Another calamity none of the extras I had purchased were on the bike. So I had an hour waiting in the shop for these to be fitted. I didn't care though as I had my bike!!

I had driven to work that day, so I took my nice new shiny bike home in the car. A Cannondale Bad Boy, 29 gears & a saddle like a razor blade (See other post re me & saddles!)

The first time I rode the bike I got about 5 miles into my journey to work & the rear end just didn't feel right. I put some more air in the tyre & it seemed to be OK. Mind you the next few miles were also dead straight, but by the time I got to the city I can only describe riding it as being like on a clowns bike. I had to walk the last few miles into work as the rear wheel was that unstable.

I got one of the highly trained collision investigators to examine the bike & it was discovered that a number of the rear spokes were loose enabling the hub to almost move freely on the rear wheel within the arc of the spokes. This could could have lead to a catastrophic failure, more importantly with me on it!!

I took the bike back to the West End branch & much to the amusement of the shop assistant they repaired it.

I had a few minor things go wrong with the bike, I have had to reattach the water bottle cage & the pulse monitor & tighten a few bolts. (These I would imagine would have be picked up at the first free service I was never offered)

I then was riding to work & got a puncture, which for those of you who cycle will know that this is a regular event. Not to worry when I brought the bike I also got some spare inner tubes for such an occasion. Guess what the ones that I was sold were the wrong fitting for the bike. (Mind you if they had of fitted the pump I was sold would not have fitted them anyway!) It was at this stage that I emailed Evans' customer service people & received an apologetic phone call offering me the free service that all new customers get?? This was news to me. She said that she had spoken to the store manager & how horrified he was that I had been sold wrong parts & not offered the service. He would ring me the next day to arrange the service. Needless to say he didn't call so I again emailed Evans customer service & received a call the following afternoon from the shop.

I arranged to take the bike into be serviced & it's fair to say that the person I spoke to was unable to comprehend why I was there. She couldn't understand what was wrong with the inner tubes, so in the end I just walked out. I again emailed the customer service department telling them of my disgust, but they didn't even had the courtesy to reply. I also told them that I would pay & have the bike serviced myself as I did not feel confident in their staff.

I contacted the department of my employer who can not be named (Voldermort!) & they have been in touch with their contact at Evans. He sent me a nice email two weeks ago, saying how sorry he was to hear of my problems & to rectify this he was making sure the relevant branch was to send me the manual for my bike & as a gesture of good will some inner tubes for my bike. (No offer of this free service at another branch I see & I'm not sure why sending the correct items that I have already paid for is a gesture of goodwill, more an apology for their incompetence)

Guess what, it hasn't arrived after 2 weeks, so I have again emailed the customer service people!

I require from Evans Cycles the following

1) The manual for my bike

2) The replacement inner-tubes I am still waiting for

What do you think my chances are ???

Well I got home today & the manual has arrived, but (I don't believe this) the shop has run out of inner tubes, but will send me some later (Second only to the phrases, The cheques in the post or Trust me I'm a policeman!!. There is a third phrase that you should never trust, but my mother reads this & it's rude!! - email me on pc.clare@gmail.com if you want to know)

You make up your own mind about Evans Cycles, I have chatted to a few people who have had similar problems. I was thinking of approaching them for sponsorship for the ride (not money, things like tyres etc, but I don't think I'll bother)

Oh yes, I should soon be in 'Police Review' as they are keen to follow the ride. They are doing an article on me & the training.

I am contemplating doing a trial ride in around May time form Belfast to Dublin. It's about 105/110 miles. This is on hold at the moment as I don't know what or where I will be working until they announce the promotion placements in a few weeks.


Robert said...

Totally agree - Evans' customer service is very poor. They give false advice and never apologise - and worst of all they have the audacity to disregard your emails. It's worth going to your local bike shop than supporting Evans Cycles......

Phil said...

I couldn't agree more, I have now been waiting nearly 2 months for the inner tubes. I emailed them again yesterday asking where they were & I was told they are being sent out business post today. I don't think that they will arrive.

Unfortunately this is the company that we used for the ride to work scheme, so I was limited to them

Geog.Wand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elisa said...

I had a nightmare with Evans cycles too! I ordered a simple bike totalling in cost about 200 pounds at the begining of the month. One month later, still no bike. Apparently it was "out of stock", and there was zero communication from Evans Cycles alerting me to the fact at any point during my month long wait (they claim bike delivery in 3 days!). After lots of emails they agreed to refund my money, but it's been six weeks now and no bike or money in sight.

How can a business not know their bikes are not in stock? I mean, I was sold a non-existent product! Now trying to get my money back is a total nightmare! Don't use Evans Cycles!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Customer service is a joke. For starters, the Waterloo shop goes for hours without answering their phone. After a zillion unsuccessful redials over the course of 3 hours, I called the corporate office to see if they could connect me. They told me sometimes the shop does not even answer calls from the head office! Totally unprofessional. On top of that many of the staff have a "not bovvered" attitude. Avoid Evans if you can.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lord, what a nightmare! I got a lock from them recently and it failed... whilst my bike was locked to a train! After 2 hours of extreme stress/hilarity straight out of a carry on film I got the cable securing the bike to the train removed by station staff with bolt cutters, then a lock smith had to resort to an angle grinder to remove the D lock. I rang Evans when the problem first presented itself and they had nothing useful to say. I rang back and got the name of the lock supplier. Again, nothing helpful. When I returned the goods and told them the story they replaced the lock without question, but refused to pay for the locksmith. They're still refusing to pay. I'm losing the will to live. I just can't believe a retailer can be so short sighted - I was a new customer initially pleased with my new bike the service I received, then whammo! They pull up the drawbridge. Soooo disappointing. Will post again if further developments!

Rob said...

Similar story - bought a £1000 (reduced from £1800!) bike from Evans and it came with no owners manual even though they admitted it should. They then suggested I contact my local store even though I had ordered it over the phone from Evans central. Told them I thought this was poor service and they should contact their supplies and order one and was told that they are only sent with new bikes (so where had mine disappeared to?) and so weren't available!
Sounds like BS to me.

Customer service? I think not.

Anonymous said...

My issues were similar when the bike was FINALLY received:
- front wheel not running true
- bell missing a screw ie hanging loose
- scratches on the frame
- rear indicator upside down (dangerous).

Also, salesman insisted that any sales prices were not applicable to Bikes 4 Work scheme, although my voucher said that they were. In general the staff had no clue about bike setup, the Bikes 4 Work scheme, how to use their till system, or anything else. Will avoid in future

Anonymous said...

Yep same problems with service from Evans ..I bought a bike recently which arrived with a fractured handlebar bracket ...rang and they promised a new bracket by return of post ..after 3 weeks I am still waiting ...loads of promises when I ring but nothing happens

Anonymous said...

I've used Evans for the first and last time. They sent me a bike with no pedals. When I complained they said they'd send some out straight away as I needed them for a bike ride. After 2 more phone calls some pedals eventually arrived which would have beeen suitable for a 6 year old childs bike. I then wrote to the customer service manager to complain as I was sick of being fobbed off in phone calls and e-mails. I got an e-mail response from one of their staff saying that they don't stock the pedals that are advertised on the bike I got. Not sure how true that is but I've written back saying if that is the case then what they are doing isn't just misleading it is dishonest as well.

Anonymous said...

I am from Singapore, ordered and paid for a Shimano XTR rear dee and Evans sent me an XT rear dee which is half the price of an XTR. Sent many emails to them, they replied with other email addresses to forward to. I am sick of going back and forth without getting any answer from this company. If you are ordering from outside UK, be careful of Evanscycles.

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Anonymous said...

Went to evans this week in regards to a basic repair however when i went to pick the bike up i noticed my brakes are looser reflector hanging off seat is too high and chain became loose. the staff seem to lack customer care so i called customer complaints and the person called john believed everything that the mechanic had told him from the shop so dismissed my complaint. i would. Never use evans again i have never been so insulted by them

Keith Currie said...

I'm in the process of a Paypal claim against Evans. Three emails ignored when it was their website that told me me order could not be completed, then I was sent a duplicate order. Their service is appalling. I will never go near them again and advise others to stay well clear.....