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Author Topic: Zero Customer Service  (Read 5163 times)

MostlyBonkers

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Zero Customer Service
« on: March 30, 2017, 12:05:08 AM »

I've been without my Zero for over three weeks now, simply because it needs a new rear wheel. Aaron, Zero's Director of Customer Service said this:

"My apologies for any delays here.  We have been moving to set up a new warehouse in Europe to speed parts shipments, and we are still struggling to get this fully implemented.  It is my hope in the near future that shipping times will be substantially reduces."

That was nine days ago.  I don't give a damn where they store their spare parts. All they needed to do was pop the wheel in the post to my dealer. What is so difficult about that?

I've read a number of horror stories about poor customer service on this forum. I hoped I wouldn't have to share one myself.

What is so difficult about looking after your customers? Zero has had customer service issues for years. Why haven't they got their act together by now? It's letting the side down badly. Customers will only tolerate so much in good faith.

I wonder how much dealers are willing to tolerate bad service from Zero? I've been riding a courtesy bike around all this time. It may not be a big expense for the dealer, but it does tie up a bike that other customers could benefit from. Do Zero dealers need to run more courtesy bikes than those that deal with other manufacturers? It all costs.

I've been very fortunate in that the two Zero dealers I've dealt with in the UK (Streetbike and Daytona) have looked after me. That has taken the edge off the poor reliability I've experienced with my bike; new charger, new belt, new bearings (at my expense) and now a new wheel (due to bearing failure after less than 3,000 miles since the last lot). All within 11,000 miles. The bike has been off the road for well over a month in the 14 months I've owned it!

Come on Zero, I'm writing this for your benefit. You need to take customer service seriously. Don't let it kill your business when you have a great product. I bought a bike that I hoped wouldn't spend much time being serviced, or fixed...
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Shadow

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 12:30:37 AM »

I called (Zero Motorcycles support #) and left a message asking about concerns with the smartphone app, detailed my email address, and received a sincere though measured reply by email first thing the next business day. When I had warranty work done through a dealership the process took months, and it was back for sloppy work several times. Even a rear tire change became a difficult operation at a dealership while on the road. It seems like if your bike is physically at a dealership then you're on the slow track for service, and subject to their learning curve or indifference on how service work should be done on a Zero motorbike.
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MostlyBonkers

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 12:46:33 AM »

It's all very odd.  Could it simply be poor communication? It was down to me to chase. I can be quite persistent and once I got on their radar, things have happened. It shouldn't be like that though. A week should have been plenty of time to turn this around.

I'm sorry to hear you've had so much trouble Shadow. Are you utterly fed up now? Would you buy another Zero?
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Shadow

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 03:05:37 AM »

Keeping the Zero DSR, documenting on Zeromanual, buying a Tesla Model 3 (if it can tow the bike). Never have a thought of riding an ICE bike and Zero is the only EV motorbike maker with longevity. I think EV motorbikes are not the same market as for ICE vehicles.
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madcow

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 03:39:19 AM »

Experiencing the very same problem at the moment: SR 2015 has been waiting 6 weeks in France for a warranty issue (new rear sprocket). The dealer didnt get to do it in time before I moved to Germany. Now the bike is in the shop there for already 4,5 weeks (not the 1-2 weeks I was told it should take to do the job). Everyone has been telling me the same as you have been told about the European HQ (?) building change.

My time to visit the dealer is extremely limited and on Monday I plan to start commuting to work with the SR. Essentially I've owned the SR for under a year and it has been broken the whole winter without any fix. Haven't even been called or mailed by the dealers yet.

Except for that I'm a huge fan of my Zero - but only if it is om the street.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 10:36:54 PM by madcow »
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laramie LC4

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 07:14:38 AM »

wow, that stinks guys. nothing worse than being excited to have something and then not have it work. definition of frustration. not to defend them but they are a very small fish trying to compete in a very big pond. the farhter from home the harder it gets unfortunately.

hoping the best for ya,

laramie  ;)
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ZERO- '16 FX-S
KTM- 990R, 525EXC

Killroy

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 10:29:29 AM »

Aaron and the folks at Zero are good people.

My guess is that Zero is not currently a lucrative business selling EV motorcycles and works with limited resources and inventory.

Hang in there. 
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vaiarii

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 02:05:05 PM »

I have experienced and I am experiencing the same issue...

Charger, belt, bearing, wheel (because of bearings) all that stuff took several weeks to deal with and it happened separately at different time!

I've owned the bike (SR14) for 2 years now and it's at about 40K km taking into account the amount of time it spent at dealer shop (several months all in all). Just to take a guess, by counting only the distance home/job I should be at 52K km today!

I would like to get a DSR for my next bike, but even if ZERO is the best E-motorcycle today I am not sure if I still want to deal with these issues...

In a way I am hoping that the big manufacturers come in the run, that could bring changes in zero management.
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Cama

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 02:33:50 PM »

Even if there is exculpation for this kind of service,

why not offer a spare bike for the time the Zero is waiting at the dealer?


In case of failing gwp-charger (seems to be very common - my charger went bad a few days after buying my 2016 SR), the dealer could lend the deltaQ like my did. So I charged with the deltaQ until the new gwp-charger arrived at my dealer. Then they mounted the new one while I was there reading my stuff.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 05:18:07 PM by Cama »
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ZERO SR 2016

MajorMajor

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 06:33:29 PM »

I bought an emergency belt so I can keep riding in case of a belt failure and until my dealer can get one.
For any other malfunction I'm probably screwed...
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Seeth

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 10:01:32 PM »

Only perhaps related, and not trying to derail: I purchased a ZEV LRC 15 a couple of years ago. I'm a routine rider (normally). Within a single charge, I started to have failure issues, and it quit operating when it got rained on. Lights went out. Pieces started falling off...(noe of this is exaggeration).
The response of the ZEV company was "What did you do to it?" and proceed to accuse me of deliberately sabotaging the bike in order to insist on return. Thousands of dollars and over a year later, I have a useless hunk of plastic with less than 1000 miles on it. Great use of my $15,000.

So, I have a pretty low bar set for me in regards to customer service.
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nevetsyad

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 07:35:21 AM »

Place I bought my Zero from dropped Zero from their lineup after Zero took nearly a month to send a charger to them - and we're in the United States. Zero failed them a few times they said. Sucks for me, as I have a heavily flawed bike (at the time, it just shut down randomly while I rode it) and no place nearby to get it worked on.

A new dealership opened, a bit of a ways away. They did unauthorized work, didn't fix anything, charged me for it, damaged my bike and said it was like that when I dropped it off. I told Zero I didn't want to work with them anymore, they were dishonest, and Zero forwarded my E-mail to the dealer and told us to work it out!

My $16,000+ bike is at a third dealership now, having the original problems looked at, plus new serious issues. Zero won't reply to my E-mails. My warranty runs out in a few months now, the bike is approaching 3 months in the shop, with no loaner bike and me having to pay $18/day to park my car, vs free motorcycle parking...I've reported them to the BBB, and I may have to go to a lawyer next. I'm not paying for a fourth visit out of pocket.

Love the product, when it works. Hate the company, their customer services is truly horrifying.
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2015 Zero SR (4+ months in the shop), 2016 Zero S (Random freeway shutdown, heading to shop soon)

MostlyBonkers

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 12:33:15 PM »

Aaron and the folks at Zero are good people.

My guess is that Zero is not currently a lucrative business selling EV motorcycles and works with limited resources and inventory.

Hang in there.

Reading the stories above Kilroy, do you feel you might revise your statement?

Good people make mistakes like everyone else, but they do their best to rectify the situation.  They also do what is necessary to mitigate issues so they don't keep happening.

I'm sure each customer experience has its own nuances. Different circumstances combine to make an outcome less than ideal. It can't be easy running a customer service department for a small company.

Do sales departments operate like this though? Of course they don't. They wouldn't sell any bikes at all! Perhaps Zero need to treat customer service like sales. Customer service may not close the original sale (although it certainly helps if there's a good reputation), it does help repeat custom though.

Everyone who has been brave enough to share their story is probably wondering if they would invest in another Zero. Many may already looking for an exit strategy.  It's such a shame when people clearly love their Zeros, myself included.

No matter how understanding and tolerant Zero's customers might be, dealers will be less so. They want happy customers and as little hassle as possible.

Zero need all the good word of mouth they can get. I hope they can turn this around.
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nevetsyad

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 06:02:55 PM »

I used to be the guy that constantly told all of his friends about the joys of riding electric. Posted it on facebook. Answered strangers on the street's questions and advocated for Zero, made in my home state of California, go Zero! Then, slowly as I had worse and worse problems, and support slowly stopped caring, I got quieter. Now I'm vocal again, against them. Wait for a big company to make electric bikes, it's a crap shoot if you buy a Zero.

Exit strategy is very true. I've been contemplating my next moves. I can never go back to gas, we have two electric cars, two Zeros, solar panels and a Powerwall 2 being installed. But there's just no competition to Zero. I may have to trade it in for a 2017 that's hopefully reliable, not sure if that hurts my law suite again them if I don't have the flawed bike anymore, but I just can't be without the bike, or riding something that's going to get me killed! I suppose a cheap Suzuki may be the way to go, I haven't been to a gas station for 2 years almost, would really like to not go backwards!
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2015 Zero SR (4+ months in the shop), 2016 Zero S (Random freeway shutdown, heading to shop soon)

Richard230

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Re: Zero Customer Service
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2017, 09:05:38 PM »

All I can say is that Zero used to have very good customer service when they were a much smaller company - at least in my experience (I live about 70 miles from the factory).  When the company was smaller and I bought my first Zero, a 2012 S in January 2012, twice that summer they drove a truck to my home, picked up my bike, worked on it to fix a bad throttle and then later to fix the "glitch" and returned it to my home within a couple of days.  When I bought my 2014 S and my dealer had problems getting my "power tank" to work, they sent a Zero technician to the dealership and he spent a couple of hours replacing the defective "tank" module and sorting out some other assembly issues with the bike at the same time. It has been running perfectly ever since.

The problem (in my view) would seem to be that Zero has expanded their customers and retail outlets faster than their "customer service" can keep up - especially since the "customer service" department is not a revenue-generating division within the for-profit company.  I might add that my daughter is her company's only (internet-only) customer service representative and she spends many hours every day responding to complaints about the Chinese-made products that her company sells to mostly women. It is quite a job and one that tends to go unappreciated by management who really doesn't want to hear about any complaints.

Hopefully, Zero will straighten out this situation and it would seem that the first place to start is with better factory quality control of both components and assembly so that their bikes keep running without any problems once placed in service by their customers.  If everything works as well as it is designed, then you won't need as much customer service and everyone will be happy, including both the customers and the company board members and investors.  :)
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.
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