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★★★☆☆

“Sent wrong bike, initially defiant, helpful once pushed”

Written on: 06/11/2013

I ordered a new bike to be paid using a cyclescheme voucher, and Tredz assured me several times that they had the exact bike in stock (was also showing on website) and let me reserve it. But when I opened the box:

- They had sent me wrong bike, 2013 model £900, rather than 2014 model £1000 I had paid for

- Bizarrely, they were initially defiant, claiming that this was not an error, and claimed that the £100 difference in price would have to be "absorbed by them as a cyclescheme admin fee", which is not listed in their T&Cs anywhere

- After angry email from me, they relented and offered me the options to return the bike or get a £100 online voucher if I keep the bike. But also claimed that if I still wanted 2014 model I would need to wait 4 months - while on same day, I enquired of 2 other UK dealers who quoted me 2-3 weeks for 2014 bike. Hmmm.

- I also had to ask for a sales receipt, which was initially wrong, so I had to ask again and got one next day.

- A small point, but a big deal to someone wanting a bike a hurry, after them confirming by phone that they would ship bike on same day as receiving cyclescheme voucher, I had paid £7 to post it to them "next day", they received it Monday at 10am but did nothing with it for 24hrs.

I kept the 2013 bike since I didn't even want to wait 2-3 weeks or go through hassle of cyclescheme voucher refund, I used their £100 online voucher for fancy goretex winter boots. Its not the colour I wanted but its still a good bike and a reasonable outcome: just hard work getting there !

They seem to respond to complaints about stock control issues claiming its a one-off error: well during the 2 weeks it took me to wait for my cyclescheme voucher to arrive there were 5 emails from me with various queries relating to the bike/reserving it, and these ALL had exact model and year on the subject heading. Plus I called twice to check verbally that it was the correct model year which they had reserved for me. What more could I have done to make sure ? - they had plenty chances to spot the error, I am not sure I could trust them again.

Note my 3 stars for website: its easy to use, but if it says "in stock", I take that to mean the bike is IN STOCK, seems fair ?

On the plus side: the bike was well packaged, in perfect condition and immaculate working order when received. Also Tredz have a no-quibble refund policy which is really helpful when buying shoes/boots: just order 2 sizes then return the ones which don't fit. But regarding the bike, some of my cycling mates think I've been victim to a cynical ploy by Tredz to shift an end-of-season bike in the hope that I'd just accept it rather than a genuine error. I'll never know. But at least I got value for money, and nice boots.