Customers of Evans Cycles have criticised the retailer over the lack of warning on its website about extended delivery times at the point of ordering, after the company said today that it would take between 14 and 18 working days to deliver bikes due to current high levels of demand.
The update on delivery times comes as Evans, in common with a number of other bike retailers we have spoken to, are experiencing high levels of online sales during the lockdown as a result of people buying bikes for exercise, to travel to work and avoid public transport, or both.
The company has a link on the home page of its website to information about how COVID-19 is affecting delivery times and other issues, but (when this story was published) there was no information on the Evans homepage, nor the individual bike product pages regarding potential delays by contrast other online retailers such as Merlin Cycles has a prominent notice regarding likely delays on its homepage.
It says: “We are continuing to operate Home Delivery to the highest standards whilst following the government guidelines.
“We endeavour to build and test each bike as quickly as possible while maintaining our high standards but due to unprecedented demand, our current bike dispatch dates are 14-18 days.
“Demand to speak to our contact centre is also exceptionally high so please only contact us if you have not received your email notification of despatch after 18 days. At present accessory orders that are in stock are being despatched within 3 to 5 days.
The company has also produced a detailed breakdown of delivery times by product category and whether goods ordered are held in-store (where click-and-collect is available), at the company’s main warehouse or at a remote warehouses, as well as by postcodes in more remote areas.
However, after tweeting about the current delivery status this morning, some customers replied to Evans to say that they were not made aware of lead times when ordering products.
As Evans hints at in the information on its website, fulfilling online orders for bikes is more complicated than for many other product categories given that they need to be assembled and tested before dispatch, which then raises issues regarding the availability of staff able to do that.
An Evans Cycles spokesperson said: 'Due to unprecedented demand over the weekend, our current bike dispatch dates have been extended to 14-18 days.
"As soon as this decision was taken, it was communicated to customers at checkout, and then again in order confirmation emails.
"We are continuing to operate Home Delivery whilst following government guidelines, and endeavour to build and test each bike as quickly as possible whilst maintaining our high standards.'
Meantime, Evans Cycles has today confirmed that it is re-opening nine further stores to provide servicing and repairs to key workers.
A spokesperson said: “In close consultation with colleagues, and following positive feedback from customers, we have seen there is a demand to offer essential maintenance work that will allow the country’s key workers to keep moving safely.
“With this in mind we are pleased to be able to expand the locations in which we have workshops open to the public.
“We would like to reiterate that maintaining the wellbeing of our store colleagues, who have each volunteered to return to work, and customers is essential.
“As such, stores will follow stringent measures on social distancing and cleanliness and we urge all customers to follow the government’s guidance and only travel to our stores where necessary.”
The spokesperson added: “All of the staff at Evans Cycles would like to sincerely thank customers for their continued support in these uncertain times.
“Their patience and loyalty as we work through this rapidly developing situation is greatly appreciated.
“The team is doing everything possible to maintain high customer service standards.”
The following Evans Cycles stores are currently open: Kingston, Cheltenham, Gatwick, Reading, Guildford, Sheffield, Clapham, Notting Hill, Kings Cross, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sutton Coldfield, Chester, Deansgate, Cambridge, Plymouth, Havant and Bristol.
Four stores are also open for order collections by appointment only at Maidenhead, Brighton, Cardiff and Milton Keynes.
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