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I love BionX electric bike kits, and I was really happy to discover that their after sales service is almost as good as their products.
Rear Axle Blues
As I was riding my brown BionX Pl-350 electric bike a couple of months ago, the rear axle snapped clean in half. This is the axle that is supplied by BionX, as part of the motorized back wheel.
This was not a fun incident.
I was pretty well flummoxed. I have been commuting on BionX bikes for six years now, and this was the first time I had a major problem. I knew I had a major problem because my electric bike suddenly became wobbly, and the BionX pretty much stopped working. It was time to get off my bike and call for help.
Which I did. My wife Maggie quickly rescued me, and I was soon in the bike shop that sold me my BionX – the Bike Doctor. They quickly diagnosed a snapped-in-half rear axle. Not the kind of thing you fix with a band aid.
Long story short: the Bike Doctor organized for BionX to replace the back wheel – free of charge, even though the BionX kit was already two years’ old, and I could not find my receipt. Given that the rear wheel houses the entire engine, I now had a completely new engine. I was really impressed by this excellent service, from both the Bike Doctor and BionX.
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Problems with my BionX Battery Mount
It is apparently my season for BionX problems, because a short time later, my down-tube mounted battery became so wobbly that it was clearly unsafe to ride. Back to Bike Doctor I went.
After removing the battery mount, it became clear I had a serious problem. There were gaping, ragged holes in the frame, apparently caused by wobbling battery mount screws. It was so bad that the frame was compromised.
I was pretty distraught. My bike is a Devinci Copenhagen, and it was not cheap. I have it fully outfitted for commuting to work, so all in all it is a pretty sweet bike. That I happen to love. Even though it is brown (I chose the bike on its merits, but I was not bowled over by its paint job).
Pol at the Bike Doctor stepped up to bat for me. He called Devinci and BionX, and between the two of them he managed to broker a very acceptable deal for me.
Devinci didn’t want to replace the frame outright, because they said it was never meant to hold a BionX battery. However, they were prepared to offer me a replacement frame at a cut-rate price.
BionX wasn’t really interested in helping me, because it was the Devinci frame that died, not their product. However, BionX’s new Canadian distributor, Cycles Lambert, apparently took pity on me, and agreed to pay for the cut-rate frame offered by Devinci. And I was also able to buy a matching fork for a cut-rate price. Finally, the Bike Doctor rebuilt the bike and re-fitted the battery (and all my accessories) for a really good price.
All in all, I now have an almost entirely new bike for relatively very little financial outlay.
But here’s the sweetest part – the new frame is RED! I’ve always wanted a red bike, and now I finally have one. Maggie picked the bike up from the shop for me, and when she came home bearing a red bike, it was like Christmas in October!
All in all, pretty good after-sales from both Devinci and BionX, plus skillful, customer-focused negotiation from Pol at the Bike Doctor, means that I am now a happy electric bike commuter again! Seems like my 12 years of being a loyal customer at the Bike Doctor have really paid off.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy my post “What it Feels Like to Commute to Work on a BionX PL 350” or my review of the BionX PL 350 electric bike kit.
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