Dillenger Electric Bikes: Review of Product and Business Practice
Aka: Why as a Dillenger Retailer I no longer sell or support their product.
NB. We repeat that this Blog is intended as an apology to the customers of Cairns Electric Bikes, as to why we can not fully service the eBikes we have sold them.
When I started my business (Cairns Electric Bikes) Dillenger Electric Bikes were advertising hard. But while I sold the nicer products I realised that I needed a range of entry level products; and not just any products, the lowest price point products.
“If you can’t beat them, join them.” So that is what I did and signed a wholesale / retail contract.
I even tried integrating some of them into my rental fleet. However I quickly discarded that as the products simply were not good enough and I was left cringing every time they went out wondering if the bikes were going to break down.
But as time passed and I would order product, if it was damaged when it arrived I was hard pressed to get them to do anything about it. Sometimes yes, sometimes no answer.
Customers who had bought off their internet site who similarly had warranty issues would bring them in and to support the brand I would butcher my own retail bikes I had paid for to honour Dillenger warranties. I was supporting the brand. Two years on one of my bikes still lays in pieces awaiting its replacement parts.
Whenever I eMail management, it is ignored. Whenever I eMail the staff, I am told to take it up with management. The phones are only ever answered by staff who instruct me to write to management. Whenever I insist that I will hold while they fetch management, there is some convenient reason why they are indisposed: “I’m sorry, they aren’t in right now.” “I am sorry, they are unloading some bikes.”
A customer’s frame weld securing the battery breaks, well within said warranty period. Photos are taken and eMails sent. Attempted phone calls are made. All of which come to no avail.
A customer’s lithium battery fails within three month of purchase. I replace it with one of my own retail ones to support the brand and the customer’s reasonable expectations. Photos take and eMails sent with repeated no reply. “You will have to take that up with (management)” is parroted when phone calls are made.
A customer’s cast iron spindle (between the crank arms) was improperly manufactured and visibly unbalanced when rolled on the floor. Two and a half years later we are still awaiting a replacement. But because the bikes were manufactured from non-standard parts, I can’t buy a spindle near that length anywhere. eMails ignored, phone calls refused.
A conversion kit has a problem in that the sensors only turns on when you pedal backwards. After many calls to staff, reading poor English translations of bad Chinese manuals, eMails, videos etc. I post the relevant bits down for warranty claim. I receive a video back showing the product working in the frame of another bike and it is then posted back to me at my expense. Yet reinstalling the product it still has the same problem and the end customer settles for just using the throttle. Yet the product is designed to be idiot proof and still it has a problem: Did they post me back faulty product? Normally I would have thought something unique was happening with this said bike, but after dealing with Dillenger Electric Bikes I am left wondering.
The truth is that Dillenger are an internet business and their management want it that way because there is little accountability. They entertained the solicitations of businesses like myself because they like a greedy child, liked the idea of more. But once the responsibilities involved arose, they sought for a divorce.
When customers are chasing parts for bikes not yet one year old from date of purchase, Dillenger simply say: “We aren’t doing those any more.” Neither do they supply parts.
When invited by Dillenger to rate Dillenger Electric Bikes on Trustpoint, in frustration I gave them one or two star review. In which I detailed some of my experiences in the hope that some resolution would follow and I could take down the post. But all that followed was the removal of the post under the claim that I was ‘a competitor’. Meanwhile I and other businesses that had similar experiences all received one star Google reviews by Dillenger management filled with unfounded character slander (unlike our reviews that arose from real issues).
One of my last words to the Dillenger Directors was: “You do realise that these are real people that you are selling to, right?”
So if you are considering any product Dillenger Electric Bikes sells, know that even if the product is ok, the support is totally unacceptable.
As an ethical business, Cairns Electric Bikes seeks reputable trading partners.
Henceforth Cairns Electric Bikes apologises to your customers and must refuse to support any Dillenger product, wherein support from Dillenger Electric Bikes is required.
I have always said to customers regardless of brand, if you want an Electric Bike Conversion Kit, don’t: If you are going to buy it from Dillenger / Bafang / Arc / Goat etc., DON’T. If you want a cheap eBike, buy a Leitner – much nicer people to deal with.
Anthony van Duyn,
CEO and Owner of Cairns Electric Bikes.